Fall in Love with Bergen, Norway

 Bergen Harbor

Bergen captivated me. From the moment we arrived I was in love with Norway’s second largest city.

 Fløibanen funicular Station Bergen

I started the day off by taking the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen.

I recommend doing this first thing in the morning if possible. By 11am there was a line up at the ticket office. That's summer time in Europe for you!

If you're arriving via cruise ship it's only a 15 minute walk from the pier to the Fløibanen station, and on the way you'll pass by the old wharf area Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A return ticket for Fløibanen costs 85 NOK (approx. $10 USD).

 Fløibanen funicular Bergen

The scenic ride up to Fløyen (320 m above sea level) takes 5–8 minutes.

 Mount Fløyen View of Bergen

At the top I was blown away by the views of Bergen and the surrounding seven mountains and waterways. You'll also find a restaurant, gift shop, playground, troll forest, and numerous hiking paths, including one trail you can take back down to the city (a one way Fløibanen ticket only costs 43 NOK).

It is totally worthwhile to head up to Mount Fløyen, but it wasn't the views from up here that captivated me most in Bergen...

 Downtown Bergen

Rather it was the narrow streets that wound their way through the residential area of Bergen’s city center that I found so charming.

Who knew that just spending a short amount of time wandering through a neighborhood could leave me wanting to spend several days here; exploring the cobble stoned alleys, discovering a bright piece of street art, drinking a coffee at one of the many little cafes, and getting lost among the colorful Nordic houses.

This was definitely my kind of place.

 Downtown Bergen Colorful Alley
 orange Door Bergen

Most of all I love how the Nordic building style incorporates bright colours. I couldn’t get enough of photographing the many vivid doorways! Most of the buildings have potted plants outside their front doorstep, which I find gives the homes a quirky, but cute feeling.

 Blue Door Bergen

And the best part about it? As soon as I wandered off from the main drag the streets were quiet and tourist free so I could really take my time photographing and enjoying the ambiance.

 Downtown Bergen Alley and houses

I hardly ran into anyone in the alleyways, except for some playful outdoor cats and a few locals carrying their groceries home.

 Cat in Bergen Norway
 Det Lille Kaffeekompaniet Bergen

Where better to recharge after some sightseeing than in a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe called Det Lille Kaffeekompaniet (Nedre Fjellsmauet 2) with some home made apple pie? Yum!

If you're looking for this sweet little coffee shop, it's located right around the corner from the funicular station.

 Apple Pie Det Lille Kaffeekompaniet Bergen
 Det Lille Kaffeekompaniet Bergen
 Downtown Bergen Backstreets and Houses

This photo seems to sum up the cramped backstreets of Bergen perfectly: old stone steps, thriving outdoor plants, not a soul in sight, and a maze of white houses with those rustic tile roofs.

 Mailboxes Downtown Bergen
 Downtown Bergen Houses
 Black Cat in Bergen
 Cat Street Art Bergen

Downtown Bergen surprised me with some interesting street art, my favorite piece being the lounging cat seen above.

 Street Art in Bergen and Bicycle

So that's how I spent my day in beautiful Bergen, enjoying the views from Mount Fløyen, roaming the side streets, having a delicious slice of home made apple pie, discovering vibrant street art, and just taking it all in.

 Downtown Bergen Houses

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 My account of why I fell in love with Bergen, and why I think you will too! Because it’s the simple things…