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Discover Norway: Five great day trips from Bergen

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Discover Norway: Five great day trips from Bergen
In this article, we will cover five great destinations and activity ideas that you can easily integrate into any daily itinerary if you find yourself in the Bergen area. Pictured is Horgo, Austevoll. Photo by Rune Haugseng on Unsplash

Once you're done exploring Bergen's Old Town – with the inevitable tour of Bryggen and the Fish Market – set your sights on the city's surroundings. There are numerous day trips from Bergen that are well worth the effort.


Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, is well-known for its history and culture.

You can spend an entire day just getting to know the Old Town, soaking up the unique charm of the UNESCO-protected site of Bryggen, the Bergenhus fortress, the Rosenkrantz tower, King Håkon Håkonsson's Hall, and multiple other jewels hosted in the vicinity of the city's harbour.

Furthermore, even a full week might not suffice to thoroughly browse the famous KODE museum's galleries (the museum is spread out through seven buildings and houses over 50,000 items).

However, if you do decide to spice up your time Bergen with a few day trips, you'll have many great options at your disposal.


Cruising the fjords

Regardless of the season, you'll have a host of cruise options to choose from – even in wintertime!

At the time of writing, there are several cruise options you can embark on from Bergen, including the "Experience Bergen from the fjord" tour, a guided tour and fjord cruise to Nærøyfjorden, Flåm and Stegastein viewpoint, "Norway in a nutshell" tour, and many others. As a side note, Flåm is also home to one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. 

Many fjord tours can take up half of your day, and some need to be booked a couple of days in advance, so make sure to plan ahead.

You can find more information on the currently available cruises on the state-funded Visit Bergen guide's webpage, here.

Pssst! If you want to avoid the crowds typical for fjord cruises in late spring and summer, consider an autumn or winter cruise – just don't forget to dress accordingly to protect yourself from low temperatures and stiff winds.

The thrill of island hopping in western Norway

Island hopping is another great day trip option for visitors to Bergen.

There are literally thousands of islets, rocks, and islands in western Norway, and taking the Norled Express boat to Krakhella in Solund will set you on a real adventure!

After you arrive at Solund, which is situated close to the mouth of the majestic Sognefjord, you'll need to take a bus to Hardbakke. Exit close to the harbour, and embark on the post-boat Stjernsund, which will then take you to the islands of mid-Solund.

If the weather serves you, you'll be able to spot beautiful landscapes and marine animals (such as seals and eagles). As Stjernsund is a post boat, it will make stops to deliver the mail and other packages, as well as pick up other travellers.

You can find more information on the islands, the route, and available sightseeing options here.


Voss, the extreme sports village

Are you a winter sports enthusiast? Then a visit to Voss is a must if you find yourself in the Bergen area. Many people – especially those interested in active holidays – claim that the trip to Voss is one of the best day trip options from Bergen.

As it proudly states on its official tourism page, Voss is internationally known as the "extreme sports village," so if you're into skiing, rafting, skydiving, or hiking – this is the place for you.

Bergen locals often visit Voss for skiing, as there are three ski resorts in the area and a relatively new gondola positioned close to the train station, making a quick skiing trip from Bergen extremely convenient (aside from the train, you can also reach Voss by car – it will take you around an hour and a half).

The gondola – which takes passengers to the top of Mount Hanguren – is operational year-round, and the ride to the top takes around 10 minutes.

If you get hungry, you can always squeeze in a meal at the Hangurstoppen Restaurant, located close to the final gondola station. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes and makes an effort to use seasonal and local produce.

Voss is very popular with locals from all the surrounding areas, so don't be surprised by the crowds, especially during skiing season.


Austevoll, a comfortable ferry trip and great hiking opportunities

The Austevoll archipelago is made up of hundreds of islands located southwest of Bergen. The municipality itself is very popular with both visitors (who have a lot of holiday homes there) and permanent residents.

In order to reach Austevoll from Bergen, you will need to combine a car trip or bus ride with a ferry take will take you across the fjord. Depending on the ferry departures, the trip will total around an hour and a half.

The short ferry crossing (it usually takes around half an hour) is very comfortable, and you can get hot dogs, coffee, and a variety of other snacks on board. You'll be able to experience a special phenomenon on some of the ferry crossings – Norway's famous trust-based society.

During four out of my six trips to Austevoll in 2022, there was no one at the counter where the food and drinks were sold, and I had to register the items myself by selecting them from an online menu and then paying for them with a card…

Once you arrive at Austevoll, you'll be able to enjoy numerous hike opportunities, sandy beaches, and a host of cosy villages (I warmly recommend Bekkjarvik due to its charming harbour). 


Dale, the home of the Dale of Norway clothing brand

The village of Dale (home to around 1,100 residents) is most famous for a legacy premium clothing brand, a household name throughout the country – the Dale of Norway.

Founded in 1879, Dale of Norway has a rich history which is on display in Dale, as the village has been the site of the company's operations for 140 years.

Once you reach Dale from Bergen, you can visit the Factory Museum to familiarise yourself with Dale of Norway's exquisite knitwear and eventful past, which significantly contributed to Norway's textile history.

Guided tours to the museum, as well as the working factory, can also be booked - as long as you book them in advance.

While you're there, use the opportunity to visit the Dale church, designed by famous Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg. The church is known for its unique acoustics properties and often hosts concerts.

The trip from Bergen to Dale takes around 40 minutes, and you can reach the village by car or train.


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