Enjoy the outdoors - with appropriate clothing!
So, you’re going to Bergen in winter! What should be in your suitcase?
Norway in winter time. Sounds cold, doesn’t it? Snow and sub-zero conditions, surely? Not necessarily! Bergen is on the mild west coast of Norway, which means slightly unstable and wet weather. Since the variation is so great, a good place to start planning your outfits is a Norwegian weather forecast website such as yr.no. This will give you a clue - will you need snow boots and a woolly hat, or is a thin coat and an umbrella sufficient?
Bryggen in Bergen. Photo: Bergen Tourist Board - visitBergen.com
How to dress according to the weather obviously depends on what you plan to do in Bergen. Are you the art museums, cafés and nightlife type, or an explorer who likes to wander long stretches on foot? Unless you plan to spend all your time skiing in the mountains around Bergen, you can probably leave your thickest down jacket at home. A safer option for outerwear is a padded winter coat that can stand up to some amount of wind and rain. A hooded parka is perfect.
In general, what you should aim for is outerwear that allows for some layering underneath - the temperature does drop below 0°C sometimes, so make sure you have room for an extra layer, such as a woolly jumper, underneath your coat. A water resistant anorak teamed with a good fleece jacket is also a good combination. Other smart items to pack are gloves and a hat, maybe even some warm tights or long johns.
Photo: From the fjord cruise Norway in a nutshell. Available from Bergen daily all year. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho
What about shoes? Again, it depends on your activities, but if you plan to do some walking and generally spend time outdoors, go for winter boots that can take a bit of moisture, with room for some warm socks. Wool is great, as it feels warm even if your feet get a little wet.
But don’t worry if you didn’t bring all the right clothes, the selection in Norwegian sports and clothing stores is excellent, so you will find everything you need!
Shopping for warm clothing in Bergen. This photo is from the Fløistuen shop at the top of Mount Fløyen