Norway’s first capital city and a town Famous for Its Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf:
Bergen is a city best known for its Hanseatic heritage. The Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf is a UNESCO World Heritage site, dating back to the days when Bryggen was a major Hanseatic trading centre. The city of Bergen enjoys a beautiful location – surrounded by mountains and fjords. Its waterfront Bergen Fish Market is also very popular with visitors.
Although we only have one night in Bergen at the end of our Hurtigruten Norwegian cruise, we manage to see quite a lot of cultural and historical highlights of this city. Just walking around the Vagen waterfront district we come face to face with many of the attractions that this historic city has to offer.
Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf
Bergen Fish Market at the waterfront is our first stop and this popular tourist attraction is hard to miss. For seafood lovers, here is the opportunity to indulge in some of Norway’s famous seafood. This market is very popular with locals and tourists alike and it’s common for people to buy seafood and have it on the pier.
We walk along the northern quayside of Vagen harbour and arrive at Bergen’s famous Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf. Bryggen’s famous wooden structures house many shops and offices, artist’s studios, craft workshops, and restaurants. As we check out the shops along this famous strip, it feels like we are doing some late night shopping, but it is only four in the afternoon.
The Bryggen Museum and Hanseatic Museum are along the wharf. The Bryggen Museum houses extensive medieval finds from nearby excavations and from which we can learn about commerce, handicrafts and daily life in the Middle Ages. At the Hanseatic Museum, are exhibits that tell about the life of a 18th century Hansa merchant. Bryggen wharf was where the Hansas (a German medieval guild of merchants) opened one of their four European offices in the 13th century. The Hansas dominated trade for the next 400 years. At the Museum, there’s a lot to learn about these powerful merchants.The Museum is also in one of the the oldest and best preserved wooden buildings in Bergen.
Looking towards the far end of the quay we see Rosenkrantztårnet and Håkonshallen or Haakon’s Hall. This medieval ceremonial hall was built by King Håkon Håkonsson for the coronation and wedding of his son in 1261. During the 13th century, Bergen was the political centre of Norway. The Hall was the largest and most imposing building of the royal residency during that period. Rosenkrantztårnet was a fortified residence built in 1560. As it’s late we didn’t go close to the Bergenhus Festning castle grounds (Bergenhus Castle) as they are not open.
Other Bergen Attractions
Beyond the castle and sitting on the waterfront is Norges Fiskerimuseum, the Norwegian Fishing Museum. Norway has a long fishing tradition. The Norges Fiskerimuseum gives a comprehensive insight into the country’s fishing industry.
Other top sightseeing attractions in Bergen also include the Fløibanen Funicular, the Edvard Grieg Museum at Troldhaugen and Fantoft Stave Church.
Walking along Bergen’s historic harbourside, we got to see a lot during the little time that we have in Bergen. It is a beautiful city and certainly worth coming back for a longer stay.
Along the harbour-front there are many attractive hotels with views of Bergen’s beautiful harbour and easy access to Bergen’s main attractions. You can search and book Bergen hotels and read hotel reviews here.>
Map of Bergen: