Here’s what I’d do if I had only one day in Bergen, Norway. It would be a pretty darn good one for sure.
1. Get coffee. Bergen is meant to be the place for coffee in Norway. The best I had was at Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, which is actually just next to the paths up to mountain Fløypilen, a light and relaxed hike. But there’s a place from which the views are a hundred times better:
2. Ulriken! You and approximately two hundred tourists will have a breath-taking view all over Bergen and the surrounding mountains and lakes. It gets a bit exhausting at times if you’re not used to hiking (but still want to keep up with all the trained locals that seem to have spent their entire lives in the mountains), but it’s the perfect introduction if you’ve planned some further mountain-climbing in the near future. (There are cable cars going up there too by the way, but that’s cheating!)
3. Take a stroll through Skostredet, a street that is the an absolute must for all the indie people among you! Second-hand boutiques (including those cosy Norwegian jumpers which will make you look forward to winter!) next to record shops and galleries, all of which have their own creative history. And they somehow manage to successfully merge both the English language and distinct Norwegian culture. Oops, that one sounds like I stole it from some dreadful tourism press release.
4. Check out Bryggen, Bergen’s historic harbour district. The architecture is adorable; a fish market right next to it serves delicious snacks and everything’s so… woody.
5. Time for a picnic after all the walking! Grab some cheese and a bottle of wine, which is easier said than done as there’s only one wine shop in the whole town (in the shopping centre next to the train station), but it’ll be worth it. If you’re lucky there’s a really good band playing at the park Nordnesparken, if not, nothing beats watching boats go by and falling asleep in a slight breeze anyway.
6. And one last stop before heading to whatever evening program you fancy (for any cool bars I’d recommend the Skostredet area again), head over to the Marken area. The Bergen Turlag office has some maps on hiking trails in and around Bergen (more on that note later!) and some general advice for all things sports! Plus, the street Badstustredet is the perfect Scandinavian hangout. Well, except that it’s not a hangout really. But the houses are insanely pretty and if you’ve ever been into Astrid Lindgren stories (although Swedish), those alleys will be the place for touristy photos! No place like Bullerby.
(I hope I’ve spelt the names correctly and fingers crossed you’ll be able to find all of these on Google Maps, otherwise give me a shout and I’ll try and explain how to get to whatever place!)