NORWAY  |  Bergen, Norway Travel Guide
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Bergen, Norway

Colorful old houses along the wharf at Bryggen in Bergen, Norway (cc)


Bergen, the second biggest city in Norway with 230,000 inhabitants, is on the west coast, surrounded by seven mountains and seven fjords. Tourism in Bergen is big, understandably, since it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. In addition, it has a vast number of restaurants, hotels and attractions. The city is known as the gateway to the fjords and is the perfect starting place for your adventures in the fjord region of western Norway. Bergen is also the start of the famous Hurtigruten, the boat trip stretching all the way up to Kirkenes near the Russian border. Although Bergen is by the sea, it is “protected” by the island of Askøy to the west, which means it’s not as windy as you might expect from a city on the west coast. However, neither Askøy, nor anything else, can protect Bergen from precipitation. And it does rain a lot here – about 270 days a year, for a combined 2,000 mm (80 inches). That’s more than three times the amount Oslo gets. Bergen rarely gets any snow, however, since the winters here are mild, thanks to the Gulf Stream.

A Brief History of Bergen

Bergen was founded nearly 1,000 years ago and became the capital of Norway in the 13th century. During the Middle Ages, the city developed into a crucial trading port for the German Hanseatic League. Although the town was founded by the Norwegian king Olav Kyrre, it was the Germans who put Bergen on the world map and rightfully gave the city its name, which means “the mountains.” The history of the city is still evident today with the old wharf, Bryggen, where the Germans set up one of their four most important trading stations in northern Europe. In 1702, Bryggen suffered from a fire but was rebuilt four years later and is today on UNESCO’s world heritage list.

Bergen was the capital of Norway until 1299, when Oslo took over, but the city would continue to grow, still thriving from the trading business. In the year 1600, it was the most populous city in Scandinavia with 15,000 people. Over the next couple of centuries, the population stagnated and, by 1890, it was overtaken by the current capital Oslo. Like many Norwegian cities, Bergen was severely damaged during World War II. After the war, when it was rebuilt, a lot of suburbs sprung up around the city, which significantly increased the population.

Last updated November 29, 2010
Posted in   Norway  |  Bergen
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
  • Weather Forecast
  • Clear sky
    • Reported on:
      Thu, 12/07/2023 - 11:50
    Clear sky Temperature: -4 °C
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.