Monday, September 4, 2017

How Much Does It Cost? Bergen, Norway (5 Days Itinerary + Budget)

       Norway is a beautiful country. Picturing the midnight sun shining on the fjord in Summer, and the Aurora dancing across the night sky in Winter, I didn’t think twice when it comes to booking my flight ticket. However, here is the real question: Norway is a huge country. How do I start planning???? 
Bergen, Norway
       I’ve got only 2 weeks in Norway, hence it’s a pity that I had to cross Northern Norway off my list. It was a tough decision so I totally understand the verdict when a reader asked this question on my Facebook page:

“Hi Miss Happy Feet, I’m inspired to visit Norway after reading your post about your adventure. All photos are so beautiful. I really want to follow all your footsteps but I only can take one week off work. Where do you recommend I fly to if I have only one week? I can’t spend too much too this is just my first year working. “

       Now let me answer this question in one simple phrase: “Bergen is the answer. "


       If you want to see a city, at the same time, want to experience the charm of Norway’s nature, then Bergen. Below, I've broken down the reasons to choose Bergen into 5 main points:

1. The second largest city of Norway

       Bergen is one of the largest cities in Norway, only second to the capital, Oslo. However, I think Bergen is much more exciting than Oslo. In Oslo, you are bounded to visit museums after museums, but in Bergen, you can hike, cruise, swim and even more.
Bergen, Norway

2. The gateway to the Fjords

       What is the point of visiting Norway without a trip down to see the fjords? A tour named “Norway in a Nutshell” is perfect for those who have limited vacation days. This tour includes a series of scenic bus, train, and boat rides, this tour will bring you through five Norwegian cities, you will be able to see some breathtaking views of the Aurlandsfjord and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord.
       We joined a cruise trip to Mostraumen. As we sailed away from thes harbor, we were mesmerized by the 14th-century Hanseatic wooden buildings and series of mountain views. The cruise ship drove as near to the waterfalls as possible so we can feel the refreshing water.

3. See the mountains. 

       Bergen is a city nestled between seven mountains. From the mountains, you’ll be able to see the unbelievable vista of the city. My favorite mountain is Mount Fløyen, where activity options are endless. From Mount Floyen, you can hike to Mount Ulriken, crossing the Vidden plateau in about 5 hours if you are reasonably fit.
Mount Ulriken
Mount Ulriken

4. Eat seafood. 

       Bergen is a famous port in Norway where fishing is once the most important economic drive. So without a doubt, seafood in Bergen is exceptional. The best place to try the freshest catches is the Fish Market.
Bergen Fish Market

5. International 

       Bergen is a vibrant city that embraces diversity. In the fish market, you’ll see the fishmongers speaking in numerous world languages. When one of the fishmongers tried to guess which country am I form, he had spoken 4 languages to me: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Taiwanese. and believe me, he is fluent. I speak 3 of the above 4 languages, I can tell.
Bergen Fish Market



Fly with Norwegian Air! Norwegian Air is the airline that offers the cheapest flights to Norway from Asia and the U.S., making a trip to Norway more affordable. Flight tickets from New York, the US starts from $102 while from Bangkok, Thailand, the cheapest airfare is $259.
Bergen flight ticket
Bergen flight ticket


The scenic train route from Oslo (NSB) is an amazing way to reach Bergen. On this train, visitors can enjoy the mesmerizing landscape of rural Norway.


Affordable Hotel Stay

       In Bergen, I stayed 2 nights in Magic Hotel Solheimsviken (starts from 655 NOK per night)I am really satisfied with the hotel choice this time because not only it is one of the cheapest hotel options on, it is also a TOP rated hotel by travelers to Bergen.
       Magic Hotel features modern, at the same time, practical designs with a touch of affordable luxury. Also it has a beautiful terrace overlooking the mountains. What a perfect place to unwind after a busy day!
       On top of that, The Magic Hotel has another hotel in the city center, just next to Exhibition! I bet Shopaholics will love the location! Magic Hotel Xhibition >>  
Magic Hotel Solheimsviken
Magic Hotel Solheimsviken
Magic Hotel Solheimsviken
Magic Hotel Solheimsviken
Magic Hotel Solheimsviken

Apartment Stay

       If you are traveling in group or want more privacy, go for Apartments! Here are some top picks on 


       Airbnb is another great choice. To ease your wallet, here is an additional $35 discount for your first rental through Airbnb.


       If you are more of a backpacker,  staying in a hostel is the oldest way in the book to save... some hostels even have your breakfasts taken care of! Here are some recommendations:
Bergen Hostel Montana >>
Bergen YMCA Hostel >>
Piano Hostel >>
Nygårds Historic Residence >>
Marken Guesthouse >>
Bergen Hostel


       Most attractions can be reached on foot. By walking, you'll be able to discover hidden gems, cute houses to photograph and great cafes to hang out.

       In Bergen, there is a well-connected bus system. You can download an app called “Skyss Billett”, so that you can refer the bus schedule and buy a weekly pass on your phone.

       If you are staying outside of Bergen, there is a light rail going to the center with a 10-minute frequency (15-minute frequency on Saturday and 30-minute frequency on Sunday).


       The smartest way to explore Bergen in limited time is by purchasing a Bergen card.
With so many things to do and see in Bergen, the Bergen card is a worthwhile purchase as it’ll grant you free or heavily discounted admission to various attractions. Other than it, it includes free rides on buses and light rails.

Top 8 attractions I highly recommend checking out: 

1. The Fish Market  

Conveniently located on the wharf, the Fish Market is the perfect location to enjoy a well-deserved culinary treat after a long day exploring Bergen.
- It's okay to ask the vendors for some free samples if you are indecisive.
- Try the whale, moose or reindeer meat and even caviar if you are given the chance.
Fish Market Bergen
Fish Market Bergen

2. Bryggens and Bryggens Museum  

An area included in the list of UNESCO heritage sites. Don't just photograph the colorful buildings outside. Wander around the narrow alleys soak in the 14-century Hanseatic vibes!
The Bryggens Museum displays archeological findings in Bryggen and contains the foundations of the oldest buildings.
Normal Price: 80 NOK
Free with Bergen Card  

3. Fløibanen 

The Fløibanen Funicular takes you up to Fløyen mountain, where you can get a sweeping view of Bergen. There is also an array of activities to participate, including free canoe rental!
Normal Price: 90 NOK
With A Bergen Card
May to September: 50%
October to April: Free
Fløibanen Funicular
Fløyen mountain
Fløyen mountain
Fløyen mountain

4. Mount Ulriken 

From May to September, the ticket includes a free transfer from Bergen city center to the base of Mount Ulriken, where you can take the Cable Car up for the view.
Normal Price: 170 NOK
10% discount with a Bergen Card 
Mount Ulriken
Mount Ulriken

*** If you have only enough time for one viewing platform, I would choose Fløyen over Mount Ulriken because I think the view on Flobanen is more beautiful. Mount Ulriken has less view of Bergen City, but my recommendation is based on my experience. I was up on Ulriken when the fog was too thick to take photos, unfortunately.

5. Norwegian Fisheries Museum

The best time to visit the Fisheries Museum is in Summer (June to August) when you can take a 20-minute ferry from the harbor. It is surely a one-of-a-kind experience! The exhibition will help you understand the lives of typical Norwegian fishermen and the role they play in Norwegian economy.
Normal Price: 90 NOK
Free with a Bergen Card. 
Norwegian Fisheries Museum

6. Leprosy Museum

Leprosy Museum is a stone throw away from Bryggen and its an interesting museum to check out if you are like me, in the medical profession. See how Norway contributes to the identification and medication of "Leprosy".
Normal Price: 80 NOK
Free with a Bergen Card. 

7. Bergen Aquarium

Normally I wouldn't visit aquariums but this one is different. Born and raised in a tropical country, I found aquatic creatures of the Scandinavian region fascinating. I was amazed by the fact that they have those cute penguins outdoor... then it dawned on me... Oh, this is Norway!
Normal Price: 220 NOK
With A Bergen Card
From March-October: 25% discount
From November- February: Free
Bergen Aquarium
Bergen Aquarium
Bergen Aquarium
Bergen Aquarium

8. Old Bergen Museum

We had heard a lot about this Museum when we are in Vik i Sogn, a beautiful hidden gem in Sognefjord. Old Bergen Museum is an open-air museum featuring houses dating back to 18th century.
Normal Price: 100 NOK
Free with a Bergen Card.

Any Free Activities?

       If you wish to spend even less on activities, no worries! Norway is an outdoor country where you can have fun without spending much. From the historical Bryggen district to winding cobblestone streets, Old Bergen Museum, central park, Floyen and Ulriken mountain hikes, visitors can easily spend a whole day experiencing all of those for free.


       Now to my favorite part of a trip, FOOD. If your hostel has a well-equipped kitchen, I recommend going grocery shopping and cook up a dinner. Here are some easy recipes if you would like some ideas. Local ingredients to try are salmon, caviar, lobster, Pollack, cod, mussels, dab and so much more.

       If Self-catering is not your thing, there are many great culinary experiences await you in Bergen. During our second day in Bergen, we ate at the fish market near the tourism office. There were so many choices… we spent about 30 minutes before finally decided to try an ultimate seafood platter. It cost us 360 NOK (180 NOK per person).
Seafood platter bergen

       I don’t drink but if you do, I know that you can only buy alcohol from Vinmonopolet shops owned by the state. Even beers in Norway is expensive, so if you are on a budget, I highly advise you to stay away from beer and wine.

For a 5 days trip, I'd recommend: 

  • Look for a "Breakfast included" stay - starts from 194NOK x 5= 907 NOK ( $115.61 USD)
  • Lunch and dinner - if you plan to eat out everyday, prepare at least 180NOK per day x 5 = 900 NOK ( $114.71 USD)
  • prepare at least 200 NOK ($25.49 USD) miscellaneous 

Day 1: Explore with a Bergen Card- 240 NOK ( $30.67 USD)

- Bergen Aquarium (2 hours)
- Old Bergen Museum (1-2 hours )
- Fishery Museum (1 hours)
- Bryggens Museum (1-2 hours)
- Leprosy Museum (1 hour)

Day 2: Check out the free attractions- FREE

- Bryggens
- Get lost in the winding cobblestone streets
- Bergen Harbor
- Fish Market
- Bergenhus Fortress
- Nordnes

Day 3: Do some hikes - FREE

-Hike to Floyen (30 minutes)
-Rent a canoe
-Hike from Floyen to Ulriken (5 hours)
- Walk down from Ulriken (40 minutes)

Day 4: Rest day - FREE or micellaneous 

- After a long day filled with adventures in the mountains, its time to take a rest.
- Maybe cafe-hopping or window shopping?

Day 5: Norway in a Nutshell Tour - 1440 NOK ($184 USD) 

TOTAL: 3697 NOK ( $471.27 USD)

You can cut down the cost by: 
  • self catering instead of eating out
  • rent a car and explore Sognefjord region instead of the Norway in a Nutshell tour.
    I recommend visiting Vik i Sogn, a hidden gem I found during my road trip in Norway.

  • Then, your new total can be 2112 NOK ($269.26 USD) 
  • Food: 450 NOK instead of 900 NOK, 
  • Trip to the Fjord: 315 NOK car rental and petrol for two instead of 1440 NOK per person Nutshell Tour

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Thank You for Reading! Miss Happy Feet was hosted by Visit Bergen but all opinion are as always my own. 
Visited Bergen? Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below

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