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Bergen Visit

Hello experts and fellow travelers,

Would appreciate suggestions and recommendations for a three night stay in Bergen as part of a Scandinavian trip. We are a family of five, all above 30, and are looking forward to enjoying the famous fjords (first time visitors to Norway). We are not into hiking and similar activities but are looking more for scenic drives, walks and general peace and quiet in the scenery. Arriving around midday in Bergen (by Air) on Sep 1, and leaving for Oslo by train on Sep 4. Would appreciate views on:
a) doing day trips through a rental car with Bergen as the base
b) doing the same road trip as a longer loop with one night en route, outside Bergen
c) how much time should we budget to spend in Bergen town itself (half a day to walk around and do the funicular)?
d) if we get a good view of the fjords during our Bergen stint, could we skip the Norway-in-a-Nutshell and go straight to Oslo from Bergen by train with no stopping at Flam, Myrdal, etc.
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

Posted by
1557 posts

I did something very similar in August of 2015, with 3 nights in Bergen and 3 nights in Oslo. We stayed at Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret, with an excellent location between the old merchants' houses and the Royal Castle. We could walk everywhere from that location and the breakfast was very very good (in the top 5 for me).

We had a rental car with us and for a day-trip we drove all the way to Flam, but the long way, along the Fjords. From Flam we took the Flam Railway up to Myrdal and back down, the landscape was very pretty. Back in Flam we went on a Fjord Safari with https://www.fjordsafari.com/, where we went on a speed boat through the Fjords, that was really incredible speeding past all the sheer cliffs and really getting up close, my best memory from the trip!

We spent at least 1.5 days in Bergen, between the castle, old merchants' quarter, harbourfront, museums, funicular, and general exploring there was a good deal to see. We ate at two very good restaurants - Bryggeloftet & Stuene (very traditional Norwegian fare, order the Bergensk fiskesuppe, the main dish from Bergen) and Dr. Wiesener (neighbourhood hangout with great local seafood).

Posted by
102 posts

My partner and I are going to Bergen in May 2020 - 4 nights (but really only gives us 3 days). We will be staying in an apartment with a washing machine and kitchen to cut down costs. Answers to your questions:

a) rental cars in Norway are very expensive - close to most expensive in Europe
b) We are planning a full day trip to Hardangerfjord by public transit (buses go up and down the sides of the fjord with a couple of car ferry crossings and it will cost heaps less than a tour).
c) we expect to spend our remaining time in Bergen but want to go to several museums plus do some hikes from top of funicular - and we like long lunches and people watching
d) we have been told Norway in a nutshell can get frantic and if you decide to do it you might want to check out the porter services available in Norway to get your luggage from Bergen to Oslo while you enjoy the scenery.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the suggestions and perspectives.

Rental car costs about USD 125 per day including insurance (Avis-downtown, Bergen). If I add another USD 40-50 for fuel, etc. I estimate that to be about USD 325 for two days for five people - not sure if public transport would be significantly cheaper (plus the added benefit of dictating your own itinerary with a car). The good thing about car rentals (unlike flights) is you can cancel up to the time of start of rental. This is my thinking at present - will do more research in the coming days.

If we want to do a two-day road trip from Bergen, are there any recommended routes (with about 3 hours driving per day) and places to stay overnight (Gudvangen?). If Gudvangen is a good place to stay, we are thinking of completing the Flam-Myrdal train/ferry/bus loop (forming part of NIN) before returning to Bergen and then going directly to Oslo by train from Bergen (on the third day, after the two-day road trip). Would appreciate any advice and comments on this plan.