Are you looking for an epic Bergen 3-day itinerary? You have come to the right place! From exploring the UNESCO-listed Bryggen to admiring the stunning fjords on a cruise or hiking on Mount Fløyen, this travel guide is perfect for first-time visitors, especially on a long weekend getaway. It will show you all the unique things to do and see to make the most of your time in the Norwegian city.
I visited Bergen in November with my partner Matt, and we loved it! After taking a cruise along the Norwegian fjords 4 years ago, we were eager to come back and discover this picturesque town, and we were not disappointed. What I loved the most was the diversity of experiences Bergen offers between culture, history, nature and relaxation. There is something for everyone!
And even though Bergen is a compact city, you will find plenty of places to visit and hidden gems. A short stay in the Norwegian city provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy unforgettable adventures, such as kayaking expeditions, open sea swimming and mountain biking.
So, are you excited? Keep reading this city guide to discover the perfect Bergen 3-day itinerary covering the top things to do and enjoy your vacation stress-free, without rushing. You will also find practical eco-friendly tips for responsible travel at the end. Enjoy!
My Bergen experience: Duration 4 Days Dates visited November 24 - November 27 Season Winter
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- Overview: how to see Bergen in 3 days
- 3 days in Bergen, Norway – Map
- Detailed Bergen 3-day itinerary
- Day 1 – Explore the city centre
- Day 2 – Natural & cultural immersion
- Day 3 – Fjord cruise & relaxation
- How to get to Bergen
- How to get around Bergen
- Where to stay in Bergen for 3 days
- Best time to visit Bergen
- How to reduce your impact in Bergen
- Bergen travel planning guide
- 3 days in Bergen, Norway – FAQ
Overview: how to see Bergen in 3 days
DAY 1 – CITY CENTRE
- Bergenhus Fortress
- Sandviken walking tour
- Bryggen’s back streets
- Skansens Bataljon
DAY 2 – NATURE & CULTURE
- Fløibanen Funicular
- Scenic hike
- Hanseatic Museum
- Fish market
- KODE Art Museums
DAY 3 – RELAXATION
- Mostraumen Fjord cruise
- Kayaking expedition
- Nordnes District
- Nordnes Park
- Nordnes Sjøbad
3 days in Bergen, Norway – Map
Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.
Detailed Bergen 3-day itinerary
This Bergen guide covers all the best things to do and see in 3 days and is perfect for travelling with family, friends or as a couple, whether it is your first time in the city or you have been there before.
On the other hand, remember that this itinerary is only a guide with recommendations. You can spend more days in the Norwegian city or add other stops to your city break.
Day 1 – Explore the city centre
1- Stroll along Bryggen
Your first day in Bergen begins at one of its most iconic landmarks and picturesque symbols: Bryggen, a historic wharf renowned for its vibrant and colourful wooden houses – so do not forget your camera!
Dating from the Hanseatic period, these structures are a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcasing the unique maritime history of the city. The buildings, leaning against each other along the waterfront (in a crumbling way), today house a mix of shops, galleries and restaurants, offering scenic views of the harbour and surrounding mountains.
Bryggen is a must-see attraction and the perfect way to start your 3-day itinerary, providing an excellent glimpse into the rich trading heritage and charming atmosphere of the town whilst you enjoy a morning stroll through its narrow alleyways and visit the Bryggens Museum.
🎟️ Book your tour: Pocket Bryggen: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Bergen.
2- Visit the Bergenhus Fortress
Not far from Bryggen, as you continue your walk along the waterfront, you will come across the historic Bergenhus Fortress, one of the oldest and best-preserved stone fortifications in the country, located at the entrance of Bergen Harbour.
Dating from the 13th century, it has played a significant role in Norwegian history. The fortress complex includes notable structures such as Haakon Hall, a medieval banquet hall, and the Rosenkrantz Tower, a defensive tower with a rich history.
This unmissable fortress will offer you an ideal insight into the medieval past of the country, combining architectural heritage, exhibitions and panoramic views of the surrounding harbour and city from the top of its tower – a visit I highly recommend!
🎟️ Book your tour: Bergen: A Walk Through Past and Present.
3- Go on a Sandviken walking tour
For a unique and family-friendly experience, why not take an audio-guided tour of Sandviken, a charming neighbourhood located northeast of the city centre? Lasting just over an hour, it is a perfect activity in any season.
Known for its picturesque setting and historic architecture, Sandviken is characterised by colourful wooden houses lining narrow streets. The area retains a traditional and small-town atmosphere, with views of the harbour and mountains adding to its scenic appeal.
As you follow your audio guide, you will explore the cultural heritage of the neighbourhood, enjoy waterfront walks and experience the local charm of this residential area. Sandviken offers a quieter alternative to the bustling city centre, providing a deeper look into the maritime history and coastal lifestyle of the town.
🎟️ Book your tour: Off the Beaten Track in Bergen: Sandviken Walking Tour.
4- Get lost in Bryggen’s back streets
When you return from your guided tour, take the time to wander further afield and get lost in the quaint cobbled streets behind Bryggen. Just walk around, stop at one of the cafés, visit cute shops and enjoy the scenery.
You might encounter a few hilltop paths, but it is not too bad and accessible to everyone. As an added bonus, you will be motivated with great views over the town.
In addition, do not hesitate to stop at Mary’s Church. Built in the 12th century, this Romanesque church is one of the oldest surviving structures in Bergen.
5- Enjoy the view from Skansens Bataljon
To end your first day in Bergen and enjoy a peaceful sunset with a scenic view, head to Skansens Bataljon, an old fire station (I thought it was a white church) just above the Fløibanen funicular building.
From there, you will be blessed with an uninterrupted panorama of the town, the harbour and the surrounding mountains. In the summer months, you can even pack and have a picnic – the perfect romantic evening for couples!
You will also find nearby a leafy park with a popular recreational area, perfect for families with children, and the Skansedammen, an artificial pond which can transform into an ice skating ring in winter.
Finally, for the bravest (and depending on the weather, as it can be slippery in winter), this spot is where you can start your hike to the summit of Mount Fløyen – if you prefer walking rather than taking the funicular.
Day 2 – Natural & cultural immersion
1- Take the Fløibanen Funicular
Your second day in Bergen will begin with a trip aboard the iconic Fløibanen Funicular to reach the summit of Mount Fløyen, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen and a popular tourist destination offering stunning panoramic views.
Operating since 1918, the Fløibanen takes you on a picturesque journey from the city centre to Mount Fløyen. This funicular ride is not only a convenient way to get to the top but also a memorable and scenic adventure in itself.
Once on the summit, you can enjoy the views from the platform as well as hiking trails, beautiful landscapes and recreational activities (including a playground, a shop and a café). Mount Fløyen is a breathtaking natural attraction and a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, providing a fascinating escape for everyone (also accessible to families and young children).
I recommend booking your tickets online through the website or the app, as it can get very busy, with long queues down the street. In addition, I would advise taking the funicular early morning to avoid the crowds and fully enjoy the area.
⏰ The journey takes only 6 minutes.
🚃 There is a funicular every few minutes.
💰 The cost for a return ticket is £8.
🧍🏻 You can sit down or stand.
👩🏻🦽 There is a section for wheelchairs and prams.
2- Venture on a scenic hike
Mount Fløyen is a haven for nature lovers! No matter your level, you will find a hiking trail suitable for all ages. The options are endless, so I would recommend checking out this article: Ten wonderful walks in delightful scenery. I used it to plan our short hike, Tour 2 – Revurtjern Lake, which took us around 2/3 hours, with a picnic halfway.
The landscapes were covered with snow, and we were incredibly lucky with the weather as it was sunny – but freezing! In winter, the lakes will be frozen, and everything will be quiet, but we loved it. It was so peaceful.
In summer, the area transforms into a beloved spot to enjoy water activities, such as swimming or hiring a canoe (for free) on the Skomakerdiket Lake. It is also the perfect location to have a picnic as you will find barbecues, benches and tables all around.
And for the most adventurous, you will have plenty of opportunities for full-day hikes if you prefer. One of the most popular journeys is the one to Ulriken, offering a real day out on the mountains.
Finally, for families with children, you will come across a large playground and an exciting obstacle course in the forest. Plus, do not miss the mysterious Troll Forest. And if you want a little more speed and excitement, rent a mountain bike and venture across the mountain.
3- Tour the Hanseatic Museum
For the remaining half of the day, you can either spend it on Mount Fløyen or go down with the funicular (sit in front if you can for a fun ride) to continue your discovery of Bergen with a few museums.
The first museum you should add to your bucket list is the Hanseatic Museum, housed in one of the preserved buildings on the historic Bryggen Wharf. This museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the Hanseatic past of the city, particularly in medieval times.
Explore the meticulously restored living quarters and workspaces of Hanseatic merchants as you learn about their daily lives, trade practices and the challenges they faced. The exhibits and artefacts of the museum also offer a unique perspective on the maritime and commercial history of Berger – a must-visit for history and culture buffs!
4- Stop at the fish market
Just a few minutes away from the Hanseatic Museum, you will find the Bergen Fish Market located along the waterfront, a bustling and iconic marketplace where locals and travellers can experience the lively atmosphere of a traditional Norwegian fish market.
Operating for centuries, it features a wide variety of fresh seafood, including fish, shellfish and other local specialities. Explore the stalls, eat at one of the restaurants to sample freshly caught treats and engage with local vendors.
The market is not only a captivating place where you can purchase seafood but also a cultural experience not to miss, offering a perfect taste of the coastal culinary traditions of Norway.
Note that the indoor Fish Market is open all year round, and the outdoor Fish Market is only running in spring and summer.
5- Visit the KODE Art Museums
For your final stop of the day, head to the KODE museums for another dose of art and culture. KODE refers to a group of four art museums, housing an extensive collection of Norwegian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and much more.
Permanenten focuses on temporary exhibitions, craft and design collections and Chinese art. Lysverket is often associated with art from the 15th to 20th centuries, in addition to international modernism, whilst Rasmus Meyer features the works of Edvard Munch. Stenersen, on the other hand, concentrates on international contemporary art.
The Kode museums collectively contribute to the rich cultural scene of Bergen, offering a diverse range of artistic experiences worth the detour, especially on a cold and rainy day!
Day 3 – Fjord cruise & relaxation
1- Join a fjord cruise to Mostraumen
Your third and final day in Bergen will begin with a scenic and popular excursion: a magical morning fjord cruise to Mostraumen. Hop on a boat and enjoy a breathtaking journey through the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian fjords, giving you a different perspective on the country.
Your cruise will depart from the harbour and sail through the narrow Mostraumen strait, surrounded by rugged mountains and dramatic waterfalls. You will enjoy panoramic views of the fjords, picturesque villages and wildlife whilst the boat manoeuvres through the thin channels.
The Mostraumen fjord cruise will provide you and your family with a memorable opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Norwegian coastline – something I highly recommend you try!
You are welcome to compare online the cruise you want to join, but I would suggest Rødne Fjord Cruise for its work towards sustainability, aiming to run the most eco-friendly operations possible for cruise tourism in the fjords.
🎟️ Book your cruise: From Bergen: Scenic Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen.
⏰ The cruise lasts around 3 hours.
🌦️ It is accessible all year round.
☕️ A shop is available inside the boat.
2- Or go on a kayaking expedition
Instead of the cruise, if you feel more adventurous and independent, rent a kayak and explore the fjord and inlets on your own for the morning! Or you can also check out this guided kayaking tour: Bergen: Øygarden Islets Guided Kayaking Tour.
On this beginner-level tour, you will experience coastal wildlife like eagles, hear stories from your guide about local cultural and natural history and taste delicious food prepared with locally sourced ingredients for a scenic lunch.
It is the perfect activity to unwind, immerse yourself in nature and meet other like-minded people whilst learning more about the local heritage – in an eco-friendly and safe way.
Please note this tour is only available from May to October.
⏰ The tour lasts around 5 hours.
🛶 Beginners are welcome.
🧥 Dress appropriately for outdoor activity.
🥪 Lunch with local apple juice included.
3- Wander through Nordnes
Once back in Bergen, you will continue your discovery of the town with a stroll through another of its charming neighbourhoods, Nordnes, located on a peninsula jutting into the harbour.
Known for its picturesque surroundings and historic architecture, Nordnes offers a combination of residential areas, parks and cultural attractions. The neighbourhood features colourful houses, cobbled streets and a relaxed atmosphere – perfect for photo lovers!
Explore its coastal paths, enjoy the maritime atmosphere and discover the local charm that defines this waterfront community. Plus, it is an ideal neighbourhood to stay in during your 3-day vacation in Bergen, thanks to its quaint setting and quiet location away from the busier areas.
🎟️ Book your tour: Historic Nordnes: Merchants, Witches, Crime, & Hidden Alleys.
4- Relax at Nordnes Park
On your wander through Nordnes, do not miss a stop at Nordnes Park, located at the tip of the peninsula, providing a peaceful green space with panoramic views of the harbour and city.
This verdant oasis offers locals and travellers a tranquil escape with lush lawns, walking paths and beautiful flowerbeds. It is also a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic in the summertime!
With benches, playgrounds and a laid-back atmosphere, Nordnes Park is an inviting space for fun, relaxation or leisurely strolls, contributing to the overall charm of the Nordnes district.
5- Take a dip at Nordnes Sjøbad
You will end your third day and 3-day Bergen itinerary with one of my favourite experiences, Nordnes Sjøbad (or Nordnes Sea Bath), a historic outdoor swimming pool overlooking the North Sea.
This sea bath provides a unique opportunity to experience open-water swimming in a controlled environment – all year round! If you are brave enough, swim in the cold sea or take a dip in the heated pool and relax whilst enjoying scenic views of the surrounding coastline.
You will also find wooden saunas with sea views, a few diving boards for thrill seekers and shower facilities.
Nordnes Sjøbad is a fun activity I highly recommend, even in winter, and a popular spot for both locals and travellers seeking a refreshing and invigorating outdoor swimming experience.
I also suggest checking the timetable on their website beforehand, as it will change depending on the day and season. You will also find free lockers inside and shared changing rooms.
Shop the printable travel itinerary
Plan your perfect Bergen city break & live a unique green experience.
How to get to Bergen
The best way to get to Bergen will depend on where you come from and your budget, but there are many options to reach the Norwegian city.
One of the quickest ways to get to Bergen is by plane. If you are travelling from another country or a distant city, you will likely arrive at Bergen Flesland Airport (BGO), the main international airport well-connected to major cities in Europe and around the world. But please, try to prioritise direct flights to reduce your carbon footprint – if flying is the only option. From the airport, you can take a taxi, the Airport Express Coach or Tram 1 to reach the city centre.
One of the most eco-friendly ways to get to Bergen is by train. The city is well-connected to the Norwegian railway network and neighbouring countries thanks to its central station. For example, the train journey from Oslo to Bergen, known as the Bergen Railway, is particularly scenic and considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.
Finally, the most affordable option for getting to Bergen is by coach. It is a great way to reach the Norwegian city if you are exploring Europe on a budget, but it may take longer. Long-distance buses connect Bergen with various cities in Norway and neighbouring countries. For example, check out the Eurolines bus service.
Dreaming of seeing the Northern Lights? Check out this article:
10 Best Northern Lights Holiday Tours in Norway
How to get around Bergen
Once in Bergen, you will find many options for getting around the city.
The best way (eco-friendly too) to travel around Bergen is on foot. The Norwegian city is compact and easily accessible on foot, even on a short day trip or weekend getaway, as the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. Plus, it is the perfect way to experience the best of the place whilst getting some exercise!
The best option to get around Bergen faster (or if you want to travel further) is by public transport. Bergen has an efficient and extensive bus network operated by Skyss, connecting various parts of the city and its suburbs, ideal for reaching remote places. Alternatively, use the Bergen Light Rail, known as Bybanen, which links the city centre to different neighbourhoods and the airport.
The last and fun option is to travel around Bergen by bike. It is a fantastic way to get around the city whilst reducing your carbon footprint! Bergen has bike-friendly infrastructures with dedicated lanes, and you can easily rent a bike at various locations to explore on two wheels, taking advantage of the scenic coastal routes and encouraging slow travel.
Planning a trip to Helsinki? Check out this article:
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Where to stay in Bergen for 3 days
THE BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS IN BERGEN
Are you looking for the best place to stay in Bergen for 3 days? Here is an overview of the top neighbourhoods in the Norwegian city:
- Sentrum (city centre): the best neighbourhood for first-timers due to its ideal central location with easy access to shopping streets, restaurants and cultural attractions, also suitable for different budgets.
- Bryggen: the coolest area to stay in for its lively atmosphere and nightlife, right in the heart of the historic district of Bergen. But keep in mind that it can be popular and potentially more expensive.
- Nordnes: the best area for families due to its charming and quiet location with parks and waterfront views, offering a more relaxed atmosphere whilst still being within walking distance of the main attractions.
- Nygård: the best place to stay in Bergen to soak up the local vibes, known for its various cafés, restaurants and shops. It is also a great lively area for travellers on a budget!
My partner Matt and I stayed for a long weekend in Nordnes, and we loved the area! Our Airbnb was in a quiet location, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, within walking distance of the centre and main attractions. Plus, the area was super cute with its wooden hours and narrow cobbled streets!
Want more inspiration for your city break? Check out this article:
40 Best & Prettiest Cities to Visit in Europe
Best time to visit Bergen
Overall, the best time to visit Bergen is in summer (between May and August) when the weather is warm and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 13°c to 18°c and longer daylight hours, which can extend late into the evening. It is the ideal season for sightseeing and outdoor activities, like hiking on Mount Fløyen, going on a kayaking expedition and exploring the fjords.
Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are also great seasons as they offer milder temperatures than winter, making them good times for sightseeing without the summer crowds. You will enjoy the beautiful flowers in bloom in spring and the stunning orange foliage in autumn, adding to the magical atmosphere.
Winter (November to March) is mild compared to other parts of Norway but can still be chilly, with temperatures ranging from 0°c to 6°c. Although it is the low season for travel, it is a good time for those who enjoy a quieter atmosphere. You will have the chance to enjoy the Christmas festivities, go ice skating, see the fjords under a white coat and catch the Northern Lights.
We decided to visit Bergen in November as we love Norway in winter. We experienced a fjord cruise above the Arctic Circle years ago and fell in love with the country during this season. However, Bergen was less cold and drier, and we were lucky with sunny days, adding to its charm
Fancy a scenic Icelandic road trip? Check out this article:
5 Days in Iceland: Epic Winter Itinerary
How to reduce your impact in Bergen
Sustainable travel means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.
Being a responsible traveller in Bergen is possible! Here are some eco-friendly travel tips for reducing your carbon footprint:
- If taking the plane is the only option, book direct flights (which require less fuel than indirect flights) and offset your carbon footprint. But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase for your green city break.
- Select an eco-friendly accommodation that has implemented sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient systems and waste reduction initiatives. It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use Bookdifferent or Ecobnb to help you decide.
- Be mindful of your energy and water consumption. Turn off lights, electronics and heating/cooling when you do not need it. Reuse towels and linens at your hotel or guesthouse to reduce your usage and impact.
- Once there, walk or use public transport. Bergen has an efficient public transportation network with buses and the Bergen Light Rail (Bybanen), perfect for exploring the city and its surroundings. The city is also highly walkable, with its main attractions close together. Finally, if walking is too tiring, use the bike! It is a great green way to enjoy the sights whilst lowering your environmental impact.
- Eat at local restaurants or markets that use produce from the area and emphasise organic and sustainability. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
- Respect nature and wildlife. If you are exploring the natural areas of Bergen, such as the fjords or mountains, stick to marked trails, respect wildlife and avoid disturbing natural habitats. Leave no trace by picking up your litter and disposing of it properly.
- Always respect the local heritage. Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. Respect their local traditions, smile and learn a few Norwegian words.
More inspiration for your green vacation:
- Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
- 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
- Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
Eco-friendly gear you might love:
- 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
- 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
- 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking
Check out this page for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.
Fancy a scenic Norwegian cruise? Check out this article:
Norwegian Fjords Cruise: Complete Winter Guide
Bergen travel planning guide
Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your 3 days in Bergen stress-free with one of my favourite providers, Nomad Insurance.
Yes, tap water is safe to drink all over Bergen (the water quality in Norway is excellent). However, I also recommend travelling with the UltraPress Purifier Bottle, a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.
Yes, renting a car in Bergen is easy and is a great way to explore the countryside and nearby fjords freely. I recommend booking yours with Rentalcars.com – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.
The best way to book your accommodation in Bergen is with Booking.com – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.
I recommend booking your plane with Skyscanner. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.
3 days in Bergen, Norway – FAQ
Yes, Bergen is generally considered one of the most expensive cities in Norway. But it is not impossible to explore it on a budget. Save in advance and be mindful of your expenses once there. Walk as much as possible, eat at local markets, stay in an Airbnb and consider free or low-cost activities.
Yes, 3 days are enough to explore Bergen and enjoy its top highlights and attractions. It will allow you to discover its quaint harbour, fjords and inlets, mountains, parks and museums. However, I would recommend staying longer if you plan to take day trips and explore the area beyond the city.
The best months to visit Bergen are between May and August, in the summer season, when the weather is warm and pleasant with longer daylight hours, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities, such as hiking on Mount Fløyen, going on kayaking expeditions and exploring the fjords.
Although it is possible to see the Northern Lights in Bergen, they are not as common as in other parts of Norway, such as Tromsø or within the Arctic Circle. Being located at a more southern latitude, conditions are generally less favourable. So if witnessing them is a priority for you, consider travelling to more northern regions.
And you, have you ever visited Bergen or would you like to go one day?
Let me know in the comments below!