How to spend a 24-hour layover in Bergen
When you’re flying into Bergen, the scenery alone suggests you’re in for a treat. The Norwegian city sits on the southwestern coast, surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords. Looking out toward the North Sea from the shoreline, you almost expect to see the Arctic in the distance. During your Bergen layover, venture outside of the airport lounge and see the views for yourself.
Traveling into the city
When you head to Norway on one of the many Bergen flights available, you’ll arrive in Flesland, just southwest of the city center. Your plane will land at Bergen Airport (BGO), where you can choose from several ride options to get into town. Airport buses and taxis service the terminal, providing quick and easy transportation into downtown, but you can also rent a car in Bergen. If you decide to get behind the wheel, understand that finding street parking downtown can be tricky, so your best bet is to park in a public garage.
Experiencing Bergen in a day
With its thick, lush forests and inlets carved by glacier erosion, Bergen’s scenery alone is something to be admired. Witness the landscape in all its glory by riding the Floibanen funicular up to Mount Floyen. Within minutes, you’ll arrive at the top and be treated to sweeping views of Bergen, from the Fish Market to Grieg Hall. Take a sip of the fresh mountain air and count the fjords in the distance before hiking around the summit. While you’re at the top, mosey down to Skomakerdiket Lake, which you can swim in during the summer and ice skate on in the winter, or head toward Kobbeltvedt for some of the most coveted views of the city. This trail meanders through a spruce forest and serves up views of southern Bergen and Svartediket Lake.
To further take in the nature surrounding Bergen, amble around Nordnes Park. Tall trees provide shade to the pathway and lawn, while the park benches offer a front-row view of the North Sea. While you’re exploring, hunt for the 32-foot totem pole, which looks to the west. Bergen’s sister city, Seattle, gifted Bergen with the quirky totem pole in 1970 to commemorate its 900th anniversary.
As whimsical as Bergen’s landscape may be, if nature’s not your thing, attend the theater instead. Den Nationale Scene is Bergen’s pride and joy, as it’s not only considered a national theater, but also the largest in the city. Its history dates back to 1850, when violinist and composer Ole Bull urged the opening of Det Norske Theater, which later became Den Nationale Scene. Today, the art nouveau building hosts at least 20 productions a year, ranging from national classics to modern drama.
This enchanting city is hard to tear yourself away from, but it’s easy to book one of the Bergen hotels and stay a little longer. Roam around the rest of Norway, and book day trips from Bergen, such as the Voringsfossen Waterfall. Located to the east of Bergen, this waterfall is one of the largest in Europe, with a total drop of nearly 600 feet. Hike around the falls and take in the views from the upper and lower lookouts.
As soon as your plane touches the ground in Norway, get ready to enjoy some memorable Bergen adventures before your next flight.
What are your favorite hikes in Bergen?
Viewfinder tip: Take a ride on the cable car to the top of mount Ulriken, the tallest mountain in the area.