View of Bergen city from top of Mount Floyen, Norway

Bergen Cruise Port: DIY Guide to Fjord Norway’s Gem

If your ship is going to dock in Bergen, Norway, for the day, you’re in for a treat! Bergen is nestled between mountains and the sea, so you’ll have stunning natural beauty whoever you look! Let’s get started on planning your DIY excursion!

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Bergen (Norway) Cruise Port: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? 😎😎😎😎😎 (Easy Peasy)

🚢 Bergen Ahoy! 🚢 If your cruise ship is making a stop in this Norwegian gem, prepared to be truly captivated! This fjord-side city is a feast for the senses, with colour wooden houses that look like they’re straight out of a storybook. It’s not unlike Alesund, with a waterfront promenade lined with historic houses to walk through against the background of majestic mountains. Here’s why I rated it 😎😎😎😎😎 (Easy Peasy) for DIY explorers:

  • Step off the Ship and straight into History: You’re practically steps away from the Bergenhus Fortress!
  • Stroll to a UNESCO Wonder: A leisurely 15-minute walk will bring you to the iconic Bryggen Wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s like a postcard come to life!
  • Funicular Fun to the Top: Want those jaw-dropping views of the city and fjords? Hop on the Fløibanen funicular – it’s just a short walk from the port and will whisk you up to Mount Fløyen for a view that’s worth a million kroner (or at least a few Instagram likes)!
  • Fjord Cruise Made Easy: If a fjord cruise is on your bucket list, you’re in luck! The ferry terminal where fjord cruises leave from are walking distance from the cruise port.

Bergen (Norway) Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need To Know

Bergen Cruise Port Address: Skoltegrunnskaien, 5035 Bergen, Norway – see this marked on my Bergen cruise port map below 👇.

Smaller ships may dock in “Jekteviksterminalen 2” next to the Hurtigruten terminal, closer to the city centre.

Note: If you’re going on a Hurtigruten ship (eg. Coastal Norway voyage), you’ll be docked in Hurtigruten’s own terminal, closer in the city centre. (See this marked on my map as well). The Hurtigruten ships are more like ferries that locals use to travel along coastal Norwegian towns, than traditional cruise ships. (I would highly recommend one of these trips if you want to see more of coastal Norway.)

  • Currency: Norwegian Kroner (NOK), June 2024: US $1 = 10.50 NOK, GBP £1 = 13 NOK, CAD $1 = ~8 NOK, AUD $1 = ~7 NOK
  • Language: Norwegian, but almost everyone you’ll encounter in Norway will be happy to speak English with you
  • Official Websites: Bergen cruise port schedule, Local Bus Authority Skyss for bus routes, official tourism information VisitBergen
  • Recommended Transport App: Use Google Maps for walking directions. If you need the bus, then it will give you accurate bus routes & live departure times as well.
  • eSIM Roaming in Norway: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when you’re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Bergen Cruise Port Map: 👇 Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version of the map. Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. If map is not loading, click here to see it directly on Google Maps.

Getting from Bergen Cruise Port to Bergen City Centre

The easiest way is to walk from the cruise terminal. It’s about 5 minutes to Bergenhus Fortress and 10-15 minutes to Bryggen Wharf. The fish market is a further 5 minutes way from Bryggen Wharf.

Must See Attractions in Bergen

Note: My directions below will be for cruisers whose ship is docked in Skoltegrunnskaien. As there are three cruise piers there, the bulk of cruisers will arrive in Bergen and be docked there. If you’re on a small ship and docked in the pier closer to the city centre, then you will be even closer to the action!

1. Bryggen Wharf – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Colourful houses at Bryggen Wharf, UNESCO heritage site, Bergen, Norway

Bryggen Wharf, also known as Tyskebryggen (the German Wharf), is a true gem of Bergen and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bryggen’s colourful wooden buildings were originally built in the 14th century as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire (aka Hansa), which dominated trade in Northern Europe up till 16th century. Bryggen’s last major fire in 1955 destroyed many of these houses but they’ve all been carefully reconstructed.

Back in its heyday, merchants from all over Europe lived and worked here and the wharf was a bustling centre for trade in fish, timber and other goods. Take the time to explore narrow passages, small shops, galleries and artist studios here. There’s also lots of souvenir shops selling Norwegian crafts, jewellery and knitwear.

If you’re interested in Bergen’s history and the Hanseatic League, visit the Bryggens Museum, built on the ruins of a 12th century church. The museum is open daily from 10am to 7pm during summer. Winter hours are from October to mid-May, from 11am to 3pm daily. Tickets are NOK 160 for adults and free for kids under 18.

How to Get There: Walk from Bergen Cruise Terminal – it’s about 15 minutes walk on flat ground.

2. Fløibanen Funicular

Fløibanen Funicular up to Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway
Photo by Barnabas Davoti

The Fløibanen takes you up 320 metres (~1,050 feet) in 8 short minutes to Mount Fløyen. As the top, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of Bergen, the surrounding mountains and the fjords. There’s a restaurant and cafe for coffee, ice cream and snacks. For adults, there’s the Fløyen Aktiv outdoor activity centre with zip lining and climbing. For kids, there’s a great playground, complete with a troll forest!

  • How to Get There: The funicular station is in the heart of Bergen. If you come straight from Bergen cruise port, it’s 20 minutes walk. If you’ve been walking around the Bryggen wharf, it’s a 5 minute walk. See both the lower and upper cable car stations marked on my map above 👆
  • Opening Hours: Daily 8am to midnight.
  • Tickets: Purchase at ticket machines. There’s also a ticket office during business hours. Summer return prices: NOK 180 adults, NOK 85 kids. You can choose to walk down the mountain – I’ve done it – and you only need to purchase a one-way ticket (half price of return ticket). Winter prices are 50 NOK cheaper.

10-15 minutes walk from the upper station is Lake Skomakerdiket – just follow the signs. During the summer, there’s free canoe rental and it’s great fun. If you’re a keen walker, there’s loads of trails suitable for all abilities – check out the detailed hikes available here.

Want to walk down? Follows the signs from the upper station past the children’s playground and take the first left. You’ll then start the descend. The trail down is not that steep, as it zig zags its way down. The path is well maintained and has guard rails on one side. Once you’re at the bottom, you’ll find yourself just behind the lower funicular station.

Want to hike up? Well done! I’ve marked the trailhead on my map. Start there. The hike up is 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure you have water with you.

Tip: To avoid funicular queues, come straight from the cruise port and make this the first thing on your DIY itinerary. You can sightsee back in the city centre afterwards.

3. Fish Market

Fresh fish counter at Bergen Fish market, Fisketorget, Bergen Norway

The Bergen Fish Market (Fisketorget) captures the essence of Bergen’s coastal heritage and deserves a visit! You’ll find everything from salmon, cod, herring to king crab, shrimp and mussels – all locally caught. There’s also stalls selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, flowers and plants.

If you’re feeling peckish, then there are stalls selling smoked salmon, caviar, grilled seafood and fish soup. You’ll also see mixed seafood ready-to-eat lunch plates with bread and salad. There’s a few restaurants too if you want a sit-down experience, or grab a seat at the counter. Almost all stalls will take cards – no cash needed.

How to Get There: Continue walking along the waterfront from Bryggen Wharf – it’s about 5 minutes walk.

4. Bergenhus Fortress

View of Bergen cruise port, from top of Mount Floyen
🤷🏻‍♀️ No idea why I don’t have a photo of the fortress but it’s right where the cruise ship is!!

On the way from the cruise port to Bryggen Wharf, you would have walked past Bergenhus Fortress. The fortress complex dates back to the 13th century and was once the royal residence in Bergen. The fortress grounds are free to enter and there’s a few things to see:

  • Håkonshallen: This magnificent medieval banquet hall was built for King Håkon Håkonsson in the 13th century and is the largest secular medieval building in Norway. Free entry – there aren’t that many free things to do in Norway, so take advantage and check this out on your way back to the cruise port! Open daily.
  • Rosenkrantz Tower: This 16th-century tower served as both a residence and a defensive structure. Summer hours are 10am to 4pm daily. Tickets are NOK 150 adults, NOK 75 students and free to kids under 18. Note the roof is currently closed, so it’s not possible to climb up to the top of the tower.
  • The Resistance Museum: Located within the fortress, this museum tells the story of the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II. Free entry. Open daily 11am to 5pm.

5. Fjord Cruise

If you’re not planning to do some walks around Mount Fløyen and enjoy the scenery, you may find yourself not having enough to do for a full day at port. So take advantage of being in Fjordland and take a fjord cruise to Mostraumen. The strait to Mostraumen is very narrow, so cruise ships can’t access it. There are steep cliffs rising dramatically on both sides and several waterfalls cascade down the cliffside. It’s really magical!

Cruises leave from the pier at the fish markets – return trip will take 3 hours. As up to 3 cruise ships will dock in Bergen a day during summer months, this boat trip needs to be pre-booked to guarantee a seat.

Featured Photo by Tove Liu

Wishing you an incredible day exploring the wonders of Bergen! If you found this guide helpful, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it with fellow cruisers who might be planning their own Bergen adventure. Happy travels!

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