SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF BERGEN AND SCENIC FUNICULAR RIDE
An exceptional tour on which we discover the main attractions and history of Bergen once the hub of the Hanseatic League, now a vibrant, commercial centre that retains its traditional maritime air before turning our attention to the scenic treasures on show in this landscape of fjords and mountains, with an unforgettable ride in the famous Fløibanen funicular.
What we will see
- Håkonshallen, Rosenkrantz Tower and Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf
- Fløibanen Funicular, Mount Fløien
- Central Park and Lake
- Residential area, wooden houses, gardens, Royal Residence, the wooden Fantoft Stavkirke (stave church)
What we will do
- Our tour begins with passing by King Haakon's Hall (Håkonshallen), the imperial residence with adjoining banquet hall built by King Håkon Håkonsson in 1261 and the nearby Rosenkrantz Tower (Rosenkrantztårnet), which was built around 1560 by the Governor of Bergen, Erik Rosenkrantz, to serve both as a residence and a fortified tower. Today it even incorporates part of the keep (1273) of King Magnus the Lawmender and Jørgen Hansson's fortress of 1520.
- We will stop on at the picturesque old wharf district of Bryggen ("bryggen" in Norwegian means "wharf"), which was built around 1350 by the Hanseatic League. It is the most picturesque district of Bergen, extending along the eastern side of the port of Vågen, with its long parallel rows of colourful buildings. Once, these buildings were used as offices, homes and stores by the German merchants of the Hanseatic League. Today the Bryggen District is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts shops, restaurants, cafés and artisan workshops. We wander around the alleys between the picturesque warehouses that line the street and along the seafront to enjoy the quaint atmosphere of this neighbourhood.
- We then arrive at the Fløibanen funicular station, which has been in operation since 1910. Once aboard, we are transported up the 26% gradient to an altitude of 320 metres a journey of about 8 minutes to reach the summit of Mount Fløien (one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen, its name derives from the wind vane placed at the summit many centuries ago to indicate the force and direction of the wind to sailors entering or leaving the port below). Mount Fløien is very popular with the inhabitants of Bergen as a recreation area all year round. From the summit the view is truly impressive: we can see the heart of Bergen at our feet and looking to the west, on a clear day, you can also see the North Sea, and the neighbouring archipelagos.
- We take the funicular back down, and after boarding the coach, we cross the Fish Market square, with its seafood, flowers, fruit and vegetables and souvenir stalls and we head for the central park and the lake.
- We then go through the residential area, admiring the well-preserved wooden houses, the gardens and the Royal Residence on our way to Fantoft Stavkirke. This wooden stave church, located in an enchanting wooded area to the south of Bergen, was rebuilt in 1992 after a terrible fire and is the exact replica of the original building which dated back to 1150. In the Middle Ages, in Norway, there were at least 800 of these typical stave churches; today there are only 30 remaining.
What you need to know
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.
- In the event of inclement weather, the view from the platform of the funicular may not be ideal; in these conditions you are also advised to wear appropriate clothing.
- The itinerary may be subject to change.