A Winter Break in Bergen, Norway

A view of the colourful Bryggen from across Bergen Harbour | Bergen, Norway

We spent three days in Bergen just before Christmas and it was glorious. Before this trip, I held a somewhat irrational fear of visiting cold places at cold times. Now that I've seen the magical winter wonderland of Bergen, I'm contemplating ski trips in France and more visits to Scandinavian countries in winter. I barely recognise myself.

A Walkable City

A view of distinctive four-storey shops in Bergen's shopping precinct with a snowy forest in the background | Bergen, Norway

Bergen is a very walkable city. We caught a tram from the airport to Kaigaten and then walked the short way to our hotel. We bought a weekly travel pass for less than £20 but we honestly didn't need it. You'll want to walk everywhere in Bergen.


As many of you know, I often travel with my disabled mum and see cities through a lens of accessibility, even when I travel without her. With its wide, flat walkways, much of Bergen is accessible for people with mobility issues. The areas around the shopping precinct and harbour are most accessible while the hilly residential areas would be less so in very snowy conditions.

View of Port of Bergen from between houses | Bergen, Norway

Rooftops | Bergen, Norway

I would recommend our hotel Comfort Bergen for allowing easy, accessible access to most of the places we visited during our stay.


A view of the colourful Bryggen from across Bergen Harbour at Dusk | Bergen, Norway

Bryggen is the most recognisable place in Bergen with its iconic, colourful buildings. I'm planning a dedicated, up close post on Bryggen but for now want to demonstrate how short the days are in Bergen in winter. The photo above was taken at dusk at 4.19pm...

A view of the colourful Bryggen from across Bergen Harbour at dawn | Bergen, Norway

... and this one was taken at 9.39am. It was still dark when we'd left our hotel minutes before.

Food and Drink in Bergen

A hog dog held in front of the famous Trekroneren | Bergen, Norway

No visit to Bergen would be complete without sampling the famous Trekroneren hot dogs. The hot dogs are absolutely delicious. I went for my favourite, bratwurst, while others in my party sample the reindeer.

We had two spectacular meals in Bergen. The first was at Fjellskål where we had seafood soup and octopus to start, and sugar-coated cod and traditionally cured herring for main course. We also went to Pingvinen where I sampled Lapskaus, a traditional Bergen lamb stew.

| Bergen, Norway

It was very cold in Bergen and we were thankful for our winter coats and thermal leggings. We were also thankful for the many warm coffee shops with delicious pastries.

The Big Wheel at Bergen Christmas Market | Bergen, Norway

We also discovered mulled rum at the Bergen Christmas Market and it became my favourite thing ever, more adored even than Baileys Hot Chocolate.

The Port of Bergen

Seamen WWI memorial | Bergen, Norway

This World War I memorial to local sailors reads "Fordum til sjömandens jammer og död, nu til hans velfaerd, tryghed og bröd" which translates as "Formerly for the sailor's lamentation and death, now for his welfare, security and bread". Despite my clumsy translation, I found this memorial to be quite moving.

| Bergen, Norway

Bergen is so full of history, with a rich Hanseatic heritage. The port of Bergen has held strategic importance since the city was founded in 1070.

Of more interest to classical music fans, Bergen was home to Edvard Grieg, composer of the Peer Gynt suite which is my favourite classical album.

Nighttime In Bergen

Bergen's National Theatre, lit up at night | Bergen, Norway

Bergen was magical at night and oh, so quiet. Perhaps it was the time of year? With two days to go before Christmas, people may have been at home with their families.

Olivia Ole Bulls Plass on a Dark Winter Night | Bergen, Norway

Or perhaps it was the quiet that descends on a city after hours of falling snow?

We enjoyed a marvellous three days in Bergen and would love to return in summer time and see the fjords. Check back over the next couple of weeks to see an astonishing meteorological phenomenon, a world heritage site, and my favourite day out in Bergen.

16 comments on "A Winter Break in Bergen, Norway "
  1. Bergen looks a lovely place to visit.

    I have to confess that I love visiting cold places at cold times for the atmosphere and scenery. It is a long time since my last visit at a colder time of year.

    1. I'm converted now, I must say. You're spot on about the atmosphere. We felt like we were in a Hallmark Christmas movie at one point

  2. Bergen is gorgeous. I only had 4 days there but I maximised the time by preparing the best sites to visit before arriving.
    But why visit in mid winter?

    1. Ha! We were actually there to see a Norwegian indie band in concert - Kaizers Orchestra. Turns out that they're performing in London in March (and of course we'll see that concert too) so we didn't need to travel to Bergen! I'm very pleased we did though

  3. Replies
    1. It was so lovely!! Back to reality now though!

  4. It looks wonderful. I recently watched a rom com movie set in Bergen, it definitely made me want to visit it. We spent a weekend in Oslo years ago but I would love to see the fjords. Lucky you, I guess you saw polar lights?

    1. Oslo is definitely on my list! And as to your question - I'm going to carry on the suspense a little longer but I'll let you know the answer on Saturday!!

  5. thoroughly enjoyed your post. you reminded me of my visit in 2018, although in summer, so i am quite happy to view your photos from a winter time. and i am glad you had a memorable time. you have presented some really recognizable shots of Bergen.

    1. I very much want to return to Bergen or other Scandi countries in summer! Did you blog about Bergen? I tried to search your blog but could not see

  6. Norway is a country I have yet visited before. What a beautiful and neat cityscape.

    1. It really is beautiful and as you say, neat and pristine. It was our first Scandi experience but hopefully not our last

  7. Bergen is a wonderful place to be. years ago we visited two friends who love in bergen and they showed us around. I can imagine that the bratwurst tasted well and with the mulled rum to stay warm. Absolute fabulous pictures, Mandy. A nice memory to keep.

    1. Isn't it a very special city? I have been bitten by the Norway / Scandi / Nordic bug for sure now and can't wait to return!

  8. Hi Mandy, found your blog! Bergen looks very interesting and I can imagine how the winter (and Christmas) vibe would add to the overall experience. I've never been to Scandinavia but maybe one day we might visit with our motorhome - though it would definitely be in the summer!

    1. So pleased you found the blog! A motor home trip to Bergen in summer sounds amazing. You are giving me ideas!!!!


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