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Bergen

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Travel Guide Europe Norway Bergen

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Introduction

Bergen

Bergen

© All Rights Reserved Peter

Bergen is located along the westcoast of Norway and is the second largest city in the country with about 250,000 inhabitants.

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Sights and Activities

  • Bryggen, on the Unesco World Heritage List.
  • Fantoft Stave Church - A church built in the 12th century was taken to Bergen but it was burned down in the 1990s. It was rebuilt to exactly the same pattern.
  • Mount Floyen - reachable by funicular near to the harbour and Bryggen.
  • Gamle Bergen - museum of Old Bergen houses - which would simply have been demolished if not preserved here. Tours in English show the interiors.

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Events and Festivals

Main article: Events and Festivals in Bergen

  • UKEN (The Week Student Festival) is arranged every two years. This second largest cultural festival in the Western Norway is organised by around 1,000 students from all over Bergen.
  • Grunnlovsdag (Norwegian Constitution Day) and Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) coincide with each other and are held every year on May 17 all around Norway . They are the main official national holidays.
  • Festspillene i Bergen (The Bergen International Festival) takes place every year at the end of May. The festival is the principal event of its kind in the Nordic countries. During its period (for about 15 days) there occur a large number of musical, dance, opera, theatre, literature, folklore and visial art events.
  • Grieg in Bergen Festival takes place every year from the start of June to the end of September, Korskirken and Troldhaugen. It is Bergen’s largest classical music event with a large number of concerts.
  • Kystsogevekene (Coastal Saga Weeks) happens annually from mid-August to late September in Bergen , Oslo, Gulen and in more than 20 municipalities in Western Norway. Kystsogevekene presents a variety of coastal cultural and sporting events in such fields as crafts, handmade, water sports, art and so on.
  • Bergen Matfestival (Bergen Food Festival) is held annually in early September, Bryggen. More than 90 farmers from the counties of Hordaland and Sogn&Fjordane offer to taste and buy their eco products.
  • BIFF – Bergen International Film Festival is held yearly in mid-September-October. BIFF is one of the largest and significants film festivals in Norway. Its programme usually contains for about 150 films from all over the world.
  • Pepperkakebyen (Gingerbread Town) is the world’s largest gingerbread town – Bergen’s miniature version. It is exhibited annually from the middle to the end of December. Pepperkakebyen is one of Norwegian Christmas traditons.

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Weather

Well, is there anything nice to say about the weather? Ok, there are dry days, but Bergen is known to have over 300 days with some rain (or snow) every year! Average highs are between 4 °C in winter and around 17 °C in summer, nights averaging around zero and 11 °C respectively. September to December is the wettest time, while April to June is relatively dry, but still about 17 days of rain, totalling over 100 mm a month (against almost 300 mm in September).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max3.6 °C4 °C5.9 °C9.1 °C14 °C16.8 °C17.6 °C17.4 °C14.2 °C11.2 °C6.9 °C4.7 °C
Avg Min-0.4 °C-0.5 °C0.9 °C3 °C7.2 °C10.2 °C11.5 °C11.6 °C9.1 °C6.6 °C2.8 °C0.6 °C
Rainfall190 mm152 mm170 mm114 mm106 mm132 mm148 mm190 mm283 mm271 mm259 mm235 mm
Rain Days211719171716181923242222

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Getting There

By Plane

The Bergen Flesland Airport is located 12 kilometres from the city and receives mostly domestic and European flights. About 20 airlines serve the city, with most of them offered by Norwegian Air Shuttle and Scandinavian Airlines. Some of the main destinations include Oslo, Riga, Helsinki, Stockholm, Torshavn, Aberdeen, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Rome, Warsaw, Edinburgh and Nice.

To/from the airport
Flybussen runs between Bergen city center and Bergen Airport Flesland. A minibus service connects the airport to the Flesland quay west of the airport. From here boats bring passengers southwards to Stord, Austevoll, Haugesund, and Stavanger. Car rental agencies and taxi services are both readily available at the airport and there are over 3,000 long-term and short-term parking places.

By Train

The Oslo-Bergen line is famous for its scenery and is often used to reach Voss or Myrdal for the Norway in a nutshell tour. More about this at the Norway#Sights and Activities section.

By Boat

Bergen is served by a number of ferry operators to different countries.

United Kingdom

Denmark

  • Faroe Islands

Smyril Line travels further from Bergen to Torshavn on the Faroe Islands.

Domestic

  • Domestic services include Fjordline which offers ferries between Bergen and Egersund.

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Getting Around

By Foot

The city centre is quite compact. It is easily traversed on foot. There is a good and well stocked Tourist Information Office not far from the sea front, where you can get maps and all sorts of brochures and leaflets on tours and trips, including fjord tours/trips.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Bergen YMCA HostelNedre Korskirkealmenning 4HOSTEL78
Intermission HostelKalfarveien 8Hostel76
Jacobs Apartments ASKong Oscarsgt. 44 5017Hostel82
Marken GjestehusKong Oscarsgt. 45 5017Hostel88
Montana Youth and Family HostelJohan Blyttsvei 30Hostel81
Dorm.no BergenMarken 26 5017HOSTEL-
Basic Hotel BergenHakonsgaten 27HOTEL-
Basic Hotel VictoriaKong Oscars Gate 29HOTEL-
Basic Hotel MarkenKong Oscarsgt. 45HOTEL-

Mid-Range

Steens Hotel - although this is not far from the station, there is a steep hill so a taxi may be worth it.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (often broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours.

However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere (gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc.), sometimes free, but be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Well over half of the camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Norway is 47. Emergency numbers include Police at 112, Fire at 110 and Emergency Medical Services at 113.
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department. For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.

Cell phone Coverage generally is very good, except maybe some of the valleys, fjords and mountains. The company with the best coverage is Telenor. The other main operator is Netcom. These two deliver coverage to a multitude of other companies (Tele2 and Network Norway are two smaller companies that deliver coverage in the main cities, but utilize the othe two's net when outside).Prepaid sim card are available in all shops that sell phones and also petrol stations and kiosks. Prepaid has been in a slump in Norway after forced registration was effected, so prices are a bit higher for these than for subscriptions.

If you plan to do quite a bit of websurfing on the phone then Telenor's Prepaid (or "Kontant" in Norwegian) might be the ticket. You can surf as much as you wish, but the card doesn't get charges for more than 10 NOK per day (worth it if you use more than 2MB per day on the days you surf - though after 500MB the speed get's axed to 100kb/s).

Post

Red mailboxes are found easily and post offices are plentiful, with opening hours on most being 9:00am to 5:00pm, with usually shorter hours on Saturday. Stamps can usually only be found at post offices although some popular tourist venues might carry them. Norway's postal system, "Posten", has a good website with a lot of English information including up to date prices and also details about the opening hours of the nearest post office. The most commonly sent format for travellers are letters and cards up to 20 grams, check their website for current prices. If you want to send packages, you might also use international courier companies lik DHL, UPS or TNT.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 60.3880719
  • Longitude: 5.3318512

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This is version 26. Last edited at 20:12 on Feb 11, 14 by Utrecht. 29 articles link to this page.

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