In the fall of 2016, Dan and I took a road trip from Oslo to the western part of Norway (to be finally written about soon!). A year later, it was a trip I was still dreaming about, so when Norwegian airlines had a Labor Day sale on flights from Providence to Bergen in October, I jumped at the chance to return for a few days and show off this place that I loved to a few friends willing to come along for the adventure.
We took an overnight flight on a Tuesday, arrived early Wednesday morning, and departed Sunday afternoon. Norway for less than a week? It may seem crazy, but time or budget restraints don’t have to put a damper on travel plans. Despite being a quick trip, it was the perfect amount of time to explore Bergen before we felt like we’d be wanting to venture further.
Having a general sense of the city, we opted to stay in an Airbnb (if you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, use my link to get $40 off your first trip) in what we considered a central location. It ended up being SO convenient to everything we wanted to do. We took the Flybussen from the airport and it dropped us just a few steps from Bergen’s famous Fish Market. From there it was just a short walk to our apartment, which was conveniently located about a block from the Floibanen funicular.
We were able to drop off our bags at our Airbnb, and because it was unexpectedly BEAUTIFUL weather, we ran right over to the Tourist Information Center and booked a fjord cruise to Mostraumen for that afternoon. The weather looked like it would stay decent for the next few days, but we weren’t taking any chances. After all, it was October in Bergen.
When I travel, I like to combine a mix of some of an area’s touristy “must-see” things with more off the beaten path exploring. The fjord cruise definitely falls into the first category, but it was worth it in my opinion. If you are only visiting Bergen and your time is limited, the cruise was a great glimpse at the fjords Norway is famous for. My phone crapped out due to the cold so there’s no photographic evidence, but the boat even pulled right up to a waterfall and the crew collected a bucket of mountain water for everyone to taste.
After the cruise, we spent a low key night preparing for the part of our trip we were all most excited for. With another sunny day in the forecast, we opted to spend Thursday hiking the Vidden trail, from Mt. Ulriken to Mt. Fløyen. It was the highlight of the trip, so much so that it got its own blog post here. That evening we returned to one of our favorite spots from our previous visit – Pingvinen. The intimate bar and eatery immediately made us feel at home while enjoying traditional Norwegian dishes.
Having accomplished our two major sightseeing goals, we were left with the remaining days of our trip to relax, explore, and simply enjoy being in Bergen. For someone who likes to fit as much as possible into whatever time I have in a place, “relaxing” can be a challenge, but it allowed us to explore parts of the city we missed out on the first time around.
(We were initially considering taking a day trip to explore the Hardangerfjord. If you’re looking to pack more into a visit to Bergen, use the Norway in a Nutshell itinerary for inspiration)
We spent two full days wandering, showing off our “old neighborhood” from our last visit, dipping in and out of shops, and delighting in the drizzle that made the whole experience feel that much more authentic.
It may have been late in the season to appreciate the botanical garden in all its glory, but they’re one of my favorite places to visit when traveling, and we lucked out with lots of sunshine to highlight the foliage in the garden and surrounding areas.
All in all, four days ended up being the perfect amount of time for our mini getaway. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.