Nestled on the southwestern coast of Norway, Bergen cruise port is the country’s second-largest city and second-largest port. The city is the starting point for exploring the legendary fjords of Norway and the gateway to one of the country’s most picturesque and historically rich cities. Travelers are captivated by Bergen’s UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, the city’s maritime history, and the captivating natural beauty that surrounds it.
In this article, I’m excited to guide you through everything you need to know about the Bergen cruise terminal and getting around the city. Additionally, I’ll reveal the 10 best things to do in Bergen cruise port!
Bergen Cruise Port
The port of Bergen consists of two docking locations: Skolten cruise terminal (aka Vågen Harbour), which consists of three berths (Skolten, Bontelabo, and Festningskaien); and Dokken cruise terminal, which has two berths (Dokken and Jekteviken).
Skolten berths are located within 600-900 m from the iconic Bryggen Wharf, the city’s historic harbour and main landmark, while Dokken berths are situated in the city’s industrial area, around a 5-8 minute drive from Bryggen. If your ship docks at one of Dokken’s piers, complimentary shuttle buses are provided to transfer passengers to the city center.
Bergen port (Skolten cruise terminal) is also a turnaround port, meaning that cruises start and end in Bergen. With great international flight connections and a wide range of pre- and post-cruise activities, Bergen is a perfect starting point for your Scandinavian cruise adventure!
Major cruise lines sailing from Bergen cruise port include Viking Ocean Cruises, Hurtigruten, Ponant, and Silversea Cruises.
- The currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone, aka kroner (NOK). 1 NOK equals 0.08 EUR/0.09 USD. See the currency converter
- Bergen has a reliable and efficient public transportation network, which consists of buses, Bergen light rail (aka Bybanen), ferries and trains. Public transport is operated by Skyss and you can check timetables at Skyss’ official webpage.
- You can easily explore downtown Bergen on foot, but if you decide to use public transport, consider getting a Bergen Card which provides free bus rides in the city and its surroundings. In addition, the Bergen Card will give you discounts for numerous museums, attractions, tours, and more. You can purchase a Bergen Card at the Tourist Information Center, located at the Fish Market downtown.
- The high season is between May and September. For useful cruise packing tips, have a look at my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials
- Explore Bergen tours and activities
- Check out private transfer deals
10 Best Things to Do in Bergen Cruise Port
Located amid Norway’s magnificent fjords, Bergen invites you to discover its wonders. With its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking scenery, and vibrant culture, this city has something for everyone.
1. Bryggen Wharf
Embark on a captivating journey through time as you step into the rich history of Bergen, a city that effortlessly blends its maritime and architectural heritage. Begin your exploration with a stroll from the port to the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, a historic harbour district and one of the oldest ports in this part of Europe.
Walk through charming cobblestone streets and discover the picturesque Hanseatic buildings which stand as a testament to Bergen’s role as a medieval trading hub. Wandering through Bryggen, you’ll find yourself captivated by the charm of the small passageways and the wonderful leaning facades that seem to invite you deeper into the heart of this historic wharf.
Bryggen boasts several landmarks that you can visit, such as Bryggens Museum, Bergenhus Festningsmuseum (history museum), and St. Mary’s Church, as well as several shops, restaurants, cafes, and pubs.
2. Mount Fløyen and Fløibanen Funicular
Embark on a thrilling journey just a 15-minute walk from the port as you set your sights on the iconic Mount Fløyen and the renowned Fløibanen Funicular, a must-try adventure in the heart of Bergen. Upon reaching the base of Mount Fløyen, you will board the Fløibanen funicular that will take you to the mountain top in just a few minutes.
The slow climb offers glimpses of Bergen’s scenic landscapes, gradually building anticipation for the breathtaking panoramic views waiting for you at the top! Once you reach the peak of Mount Fløyen, a breathtaking view unfolds before you. The panoramic views of Bergen and its surrounding fjords are nothing short of spectacular, offering a bird’s-eye perspective that will undoubtedly leave you speechless.
Besides magnificent views, Fløyen features a large hiking area where you can spend hours if you wish so, a playground for kids, a shop, a couple of cafes, and a restaurant. The funicular is open every day all year round and you can purchase the tickets on Fløyen’s official website or on-site.
3. Bergenhus Fortress
This stone-built, 13th-century fortress proudly lies on the eastern shore of the Vågen harbor, only a 5-minute walk from Bergen cruise port (Skolten and Bontelabo berths). Built around the 1240s, the fortress served various purposes throughout its history, including a royal residence, a military stronghold, and a symbol of royal power.
Today, Bergenhus Fortress is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into Norway’s medieval and military history. The site provides guided tours, and visitors can explore the historic structures and learn about the fortress’s significance. The entrance is free.
4. Fish Market
Embark on a delightful sensory journey within a 15-minute walk from the port as you explore Bergen’s lively and vibrant Fish Market. Located close to Bryggen, this open-air, waterfront market invites you to immerse yourself in the rich flavors and freshness that define Bergen’s renowned fish culture.
Upon arrival, the vibrant array of stalls showcases an abundance of fresh seafood, ranging from delicious salmon to delicate shrimp, all sourced from the waters that surround Norway. While you’re here, take time to engage with local vendors and discover the stories behind each delectable offering. The market area provides outdoor seating where visitors can enjoy their freshly prepared seafood dishes while taking in the picturesque surroundings of Bergen’s waterfront.
5. Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene
The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene are two interconnected museums located in the Bryggen area that provide insight into the city’s Hanseatic history. These delicately preserved merchant buildings, standing proudly as living testaments to the city’s past, invite you to step back in time and explore the fascinating legacy of Bergen’s maritime trade.
Inside the Hanseatic Museum and Schtstuene, you’ll find carefully preserved rooms portraying the lives of the Hanseatic merchants who once prospered in this actively maritime city. Each area offers a story, providing insight into these great personalities’ everyday lives, challenges, and achievements. The ambiance in these buildings is packed with echoes of ages gone by, allowing you to connect directly with Bergen’s medieval tradition.
6. Torgallmenningen (Main Square)
Located in the heart of Bergen, Torgallmenningen serves as the main square in the city and is one of the largest squares in Norway, known for its open and spacious design. The square, often used for various events, festivals, and gatherings, is a pedestrianized area, making it a central gathering place for locals and tourists.
The square is surrounded by numerous shops and department stores, making it a prime shopping destination in Bergen. Torgallmenningen is also adorned with various landmarks and monuments, including the iconic fountain known as “Sailor’s Monument”, a 7-meter-high memorial to the Norwegian sailors.
7. Old Bergen Museum
At just 3 km from the port lies the Old Bergen Museum (Gamle Bergen Museum – Bymuseet i Bergen), an enchanting open-air museum that invites you to step back in time and experience life in Bergen during the 18th and 19th centuries. Wander through cobblestone streets, explore historic wooden buildings, and encounter costumed interpreters bringing the past to life.
For cruise enthusiasts seeking a nostalgic trip, the Old Bergen Museum is a captivating destination that bridges the gap between modern-day Bergen and its charming historical roots. To get to the museum, you can either take a taxi or public buses #3, 4, 12, 19, and 16E from the city center to the bus stop: Gamle Bergen.
8. Troldhaugen – Edvard Grieg’s Home
Troldhaugen, located a 20-minute drive south of Bergen cruise port, is a cultural gem and the former home of the famed Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Nestled on the shores of Lake Nordås, the estate boasts Grieg’s charming villa where he lived for 22 years with his wife Nina Grieg. The villa, surrounded by beautiful gardens, and the lakeside landscape served as a muse for Grieg, influencing the melodies that have become part of Norway’s musical legacy.
This delightful journey enables you to explore Grieg’s life, providing a glimpse into the daily life of the composer. Wander through the Composer’s Hut, an intimate space where Grieg crafted some of his most famous compositions, and explore the grounds at your own pace, taking in the picturesque surroundings that inspired Grieg’s creative genius.
9. Bergen Fjord Cruise
While exploring fjords on a half-day trip from Bergen is challenging due to the distance and time constraints, there are shorter fjord experiences that you can consider. The most famous fjord near Bergen is the Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is part of the larger Sognefjord system. While the complete round trip from Bergen usually takes a full day, you can opt for a partial tour that focuses on the Nærøyfjord section.
Alternatively, you can opt for a shorter fjord experience which includes taking an express boat tour to Mostraumen. These tours typically depart from the Fish Market in Bergen and provide a two-hour round trip to the narrow Mostraumen strait. The boat journey takes you through beautiful fjord landscapes, passing waterfalls, steep cliffs, and picturesque scenery.
10. Edvard Munch’s Bergen
The works of Edvard Munch, the renowned Norwegian painter, are celebrated and exhibited throughout Norway, including Bergen. While Bergen itself doesn’t hold a significant place in Munch’s biography, the city has art galleries and cultural institutions that may showcase some of his paintings as part of broader exhibitions of Norwegian art.
Tourists interested in Munch’s art can explore various museums and galleries in Bergen to experience a broader spectrum of Norwegian artistic heritage, even though the artist’s personal ties to the city are not as prominent as his connection to Oslo and Åsgårdstrand.
You May Also Like:
This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.