We began our day by grabbing breakfast at Godt Brod near St. John’s Church. We walked along the fjord to Nordnes Park stopping at the United Sardine Factory, which has now been converted into an art space with an outdoor cafe. After admiring a panoramic view at Nordnes Park, we headed to Bergenhus Fortress, where we saw an opera being rehearsed. We checked out the Bergenhus Festningsmuesum nearby and walked around the university area in the evening.
See & Do
- St. John’s Church: At the top of the hill facing downtown Bergen lies St. John’s Church. It’s a beautiful red church, and standing in front, you get an amazing view of the city from atop the hill, which is sort of reminiscent of San Francisco in a way. As our AirBnb apartment was on the other side of the hill, we got very acquainted with climbing the stairs up.
- United Sardine Factory: A former factory used for the processing of sardines, now it’s an art space along the river in Norway. You are free to go inside if there are any exhibits, and there is a nice cafe and terrace along the water if you’re hungry. Supposedly has a good nightlife, but it’s a bit out of the way so we didn’t get a chance to check it out.
- Nordenes Park: A park on the northwest end of Bergen — a typical urban park similar to Central Park and such, but one thing that makes it unique is that it’s a peninsula, so it’s surrounded by water on three ends. Thus, you can walk along the water and get free, amazing views of the city of Bergen and the surrounding areas.
- Bergenhus Fortress: A beautiful historic fort near Bryggen –it’s free to walk around the grounds and see the walls and cannons. We got lucky and got to see a rehearsal of an Italian opera. The director was really intense, and spent a lot of time correcting the actors movements!
- Bergenhus Festningsmuesum: A free museum near the fortress — there’s an exhibit on the history of women. It seemed interesting but unfortunately, the exhibits don’t have English on the wall, it’s only in Norweigian. You can get a pamplet that translates the text from Norwegian to English but it ends up reading like a textbook and is a bit hard to follow.
- University of Bergen: We wandered around here a few times while lost and saw lots of college kids just hanging out and playing basketball. If you’re looking for cheap food and drinks, this is the place to go. The campus is right in the heart of the city (although, besides that, there wasn’t too much special about it), but most likely since it was summer, it was relatively quiet as class was not in session. There’s some beautiful public artwork on the walls in this area.
Eat & Drink
- Godt Brød: Grabbed a coffee and pastry and sat on the steps in front of St. John’s Church. Great way to start the morning.
- Ichiban: Since Norway is supposed to be known for their fresh seafood, we figured we should try out some sushi. We had some recommendations to try this place out as one of the best places in Bergen for good sushi, but honestly we found it to be just sort of mediocre. It’s a small no-frills place, and we probably wouldn’t go out of our way to come back here.
- Kafe Spesial: Student hangout near the University of Bergen. Eclectic variety of food that you have to order at the bar–we had pizza and pasta which were good enough for the price. The biggest draw is the very reasonably priced beer by Norweigan standards.
- AirBnb (no longer listed) — we stayed a 5 minute walk from Johanneskirken. Unfortunately, it was at the bottom of the hill that Johanneskirken was on, and the easiest way to get to the city was to climb up and then back down. Which means that we had to literally go uphill both ways just to get home (like in the good old days). This AirBnb was nothing special compared to other places we’ve been, but at least it was somewhat convenient to be able to walk to the downtown area.