Bergen (Photo:Mark_and_Anna_Wilson/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Bergen

Bergen, known as the "Gateway to the Fjords," is Norway's second-largest city. But with only about 260,000 inhabitants, it projects the warmth and accessibility of a much smaller community. The Gulf Stream softens the weather there, and the winters are mild with little snow.

Shrouded in history, the city's streets are flanked with centuries-old churches and quaint shops and homes connected by a labyrinth of backyard pathways. Two picturesque and inviting landmarks make orientation easy: the wharf area and the museum-surrounded ornamental lake and parklands are within ten minutes from each other by foot. Most of Bergen proper's attractions and activities also lie within a short walk of those points, as does the main cruise pier.

The nearly endless hours of summer sunlight seem to lend an unhurried quality to the pace of Bergen daily life-- but interestingly, this is a port that sees cruise passengers during all four seasons, thanks to the year-round itineraries offered by Hurtigruten. Most residents are patient and helpful to a fault, and tourists are almost always made to feel welcome. With great dining, art, historical and natural assets, and decent shopping, Bergen has something for everyone. Keep in mind, however, that Norway residents are paid high wages, and the cost of living is high as a result, which means visitors might be in for some sticker shock.

Bergen is a clean, friendly, accessible seaside town, rich in history and art, and it's easily navigated on foot or by public transport. But the city is also a jumping-off point for a wide range of longer-term pursuits for those who have more time to explore it while visiting independently.

About Bergen


Pro

This quaint city is a warren of tiny streets, historic buildings, outdoor markets and fantastic views

Con

It can be chilly and rainy one minute and warm and sunny the next; wear layers

Bottom Line

Bergen is a delightful hybrid of Norwegian fishing culture and modern aesthetic


Find a Cruise to Bergen

Where You're Docked

The cruise port is within walking distance of Bryggen and Bergen Town Centre, encompassing most of the city's points of interest.

Good to Know

It rains quite a bit in Bergen, and it can be especially chilly by the water, so be sure to pack layers.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Though there are numerous currency exchanges around Bergen, ATMs are plentiful and offer a far better rate of exchange. The biggest concentration of banks and ATMs is around the streets just south and east of the harbor, especially along the major thoroughfare, Olav Kyrres Gate.

Norway is not currently part of the E.U., so they still maintain their currency, the Norwegian Krone (NOK). Check www.xe.com for the most up-to-date exchange rate.

Language

Norwegian is the official language, but English is understood and spoken almost everywhere.

Shopping

Wool sweaters and troll dolls are the most obvious choices, but Norway is also famous for fine contemporary tableware, silver and ceramics. These can easily be found in Bryggen (historic wharf area) and in the cross streets running southwest perpendicular to Olav Kyrres Gate.