In Association with: Austria National Tourist Office

Beautiful Bergen, the gateway to the Norwegian fjords

 

Sometimes we are all guilty of assuming that, to visit places of great beauty and culture, we have to fly great distances. And yet Bergen is immediate proof to the contrary – a city set amid spectacular scenery which is easily accessible for a fascinating weekend escape.

 

Bergen nestles in picturesque fashion on Norway's west coast – acting as the gateway to the fjords which famously shape this glorious region. And, happily, it is located under two hours' flying time from the UK. British Airways ( ba.com) offers daily services from Heathrow, while Norwegian ( norwegian.com) flies in from Gatwick airport. easyJet also runs services from Gatwick (until the end of May; easyjet.com).

The fjords which frame the city are true must-see moments for any traveller – astonishing steep-sided trenches which were carved by the slow movement of glaciers in the Ice Age.

The city sits on the rippling Byfjord, and is within quick range of two other wonders of nature. The Hardangerfjord, which cuts into Norway's torso for 111 miles, is just to the south – a miracle enclave of glaciers and waterfalls where you can hike to the top of Trolltunga (an unmistakeable shard of rock which juts out above a dizzying drop, 700 metres in the air). The Sognefjord, meanwhile, is located to the north of the city – a 127-mile corridor of geographical splendour where smaller branch-fjord the Naerøyfjord stands proud as a Unesco World Heritage site. These fjords can all be seen on boat tours – where you find yourself astounded by the size of the rock walls as you venture past them.

There is also much to see inside the city. Bergen is alive with museums, galleries, bars, restaurants – and a wealth of sites that call to your camera. Bryggen, the wharf area that has become the city's key landmark, also has well-deserved Unesco World Heritage status thanks to its colourful wooden merchants' houses – which sing of the 16 century and the Hanseatic era, when vessels from all over Europe berthed at these docks. Adjacent, you can see Bergen's continuing maritime traditions at the ever busy fish market (Fisketorget).

Culture shines at Bergen Art Museum, which boasts several works by the Norwegian icon Edvard Munch – and at Troldhaugen, the former summer home of the 19 century composer Edvard Grieg, now preserved as a museum in his honour. Between June and September, you can listen to daily concerts at Troldsalen – an adjacent concert hall which was purpose-constructed as a venue for Grieg's work. Indeed, musical shows are a regular part of Bergen life – particularly in summer, when daylight paints the sky until midnight.

Visitors can save money by buying the Bergen Card (available in 24- or 48-hour versions), which provides free or discounted entry to a range of museums and attractions, and access to much of the public transport network within the Bergen area – including the Fløibanen, the famous funicular railway which forges up Mount Fløyen, Bergen's striking mountain neighbour. From the top, you can glimpse the fjord region in all its drama – as well as a welcoming city which is far closer to the UK that you may ever have imagined. 

For more information, see visitnorway.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent