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The best things to do in Bergen on a rainy day

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
The best things to do in Bergen on a rainy day
Bergen gets around 230 rainy days a year due to its particular microclimate – it's surrounded by seven mountains and located on the coast. Photo by Kamil Klyta on Unsplash

Regardless of whether you live in Bergen or are just visiting for the weekend, it's important to have a good overview of activities you can enjoy if the weather turns sour – which happens quite a lot in the "Rain Capital of Norway."


Situated on Norway's west coast, Bergen is a beautiful city with rich history, a great cultural offer, and breathtaking nature that its residents can easily access and enjoy.

However, life in Norway's second-largest city is heavily influenced by the weather. In particular, the rain.

According to some estimates, Bergen gets around 230 rainy days a year due to its particular microclimate – it's surrounded by seven mountains and located on the coast.

It is no surprise, then, that the city is often referred to as the "Rain Capital of Norway."

However, this doesn't stop the locals (or savvy visitors) from making the most of the city. In this guide, we'll share some tips on how to enjoy your stay in Bergen despite the wet weather, Bergenser-style.

Make your way to a good café regardless of the weather – but prepare in advance

If it's your first time visiting Bergen, and the rain is pouring down (as it usually does), you'll likely notice something peculiar – the locals seem to go about their business as if the weather wasn't an issue.

This is characteristic of the Bergen state of mind, which is nicely reflected in some of the most common sayings in the city, including "There is no bad weather, just bad clothes" and "If you wait for the weather to improve, you end up staying at home."

People jogging in the rain in waterproof costumes and couples leisurely walking down the central square in raincoats and with smiles on their faces show that good clothes and a positive state of mind are the keys to not letting the weather get the better of you.

So pack a raincoat, umbrella, and some waterproof shoes before your trip to Bergen – alternatively, invest in high-quality waterproof clothes if you're moving to the city – and you'll be set to enjoy a cup of coffee in the city centre (Dromedar and Plassen are both great cafes) or stay outdoors even during rainy days.


It's museum time!

The cultural offer in Bergen is terrific, and the city has a host of unique museums. From the famous KODE museum's galleries to the Fisheries Museum, the Maritime Museum, the University Museum of Bergen, the Troldhaugen Museum, and many more, visitors have many great options.

KODE is among the more popular choices among tourists, and it's a must-visit if you're into crafts and design. It boasts impressive collections, and it is spread out through seven buildings. You can find out more about the current exhibitions at KODE on the museum's website.

You can easily reach the Troldhaugen museum - the former house of the famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg - even on a rainy day (it's located roughly 10 kilometres from the centre). On the other hand, if you want to know more about Norway's maritime history, try to incorporate a visit to the Maritime Museum or the Fisheries Museum. 

The University Museum of Bergen, the museum's Natural History Collections, to be precise is probably among the best experiences in the city. .

These collections include a unique feature – the Whale Hall, where whale skeletons are on display, covering a total floor area of roughly 300 square metres. Eleven of the whale skeletons are more than five meters long, with a 24-meter-long blue whale skeleton being the largest.

The Whale Hall also has an online presentation with information on the whale species represented there, available on the museum's website.


Rainy Bergen

If you're visiting Bergen, make sure to pack a raincoat. Photo by Shaun Darwood on Unsplash

Visit the Bergen Aquarium

Bergen might not be the place where you'd expect to see penguins, but if you make your way to Nordnes – a short 10-15 minute walk from the city centre – that's exactly what you'll find at the Bergen Aquarium.

A visit to the aquarium is a great idea regardless of the weather. However, if it's raining, know that you can spend most of your time at the aquarium indoors, looking at the hundreds of animals they have on display.

From exotic creatures such as axolotls to the more common ones like sea fish and crabs, you'll get the chance to get really close to a number of beautiful animals and fish.

There are around 60 different aquariums on the premises that showcase life underwater, and most of the animals you'll see are from Norwegian marine fauna.

The aquarium also houses a restaurant, Spiseriet, where visitors can eat lunch or grab a light snack or drink that they can enjoy while they explore the facility.

You can check out the Bergen Aquarium's program and book tickets on the aquarium's website.


Try traditional Bergen dishes - or mix it up with some international cuisine

If you're visiting Bergen on a city break, then you must try the local cuisine. The city is famous for its seafood, and there are many great restaurants where you can try traditional dishes such as plukkfisk (cod mixed with mashed potatoes, usually served with bacon and flatbread) or Bergensk fiskesuppe (a rich soup usually containing salmon, pollock, carrots, leeks, celery, sour cream, white wine, and vinegar) in a warm and dry setting while looking at the rain through the window.

Alternatively, if you're not into seafood, and depending on the season, you can opt for meaty dishes such as fårikål, a hearty lamb stew consisting of tender pieces of lamb cooked with cabbage, whole black peppercorns, and a hint of seasoning.

While Bergen is known for its traditional dishes, it also offers visitors a notable level of diversity of international cuisine.

The city boasts an eclectic food scene with various restaurants and eateries representing flavours from around the world. Craving some Mexican or Italian delicacies?

Head to one of the restaurants serving authentic dishes on Skostredet Street, just a short walk from the funicular station in the Old Town.

In the last couple of years, both the street and the surrounding area have experienced a boom, becoming an international nightlife centre filled with exciting cafes and restaurants.

At the time of writing, the Taperia, the Poca Madre Mexican Kitchen & Bar, the pizzeria Villani Trattoria, and the Osteria Wine are all great dinner choices in Skostredet.


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