Most of my trips happened during summer and winter ( I wish it will be all season —someday, someday) and I must say, summer for me is always the best time to travel. You can travel light! That is a big plus for me. With only a pair of jeans, tank top, a couple of shirts, flipflops and a comfortable trekking shoes, you can survive already. While during winter, you’ll need to wear layers, layers…and you guessed it right, LAYERS.
As I am planning for another summer trip, I thought of sharing a series of places which you can consider visiting on your next short (or maybe long) summer holidays.
First city for this series is my favorite! Bergen in Norway!
Bergen is often called ‘the city among the seven mountains’ aside from being one of the rainiest city in Europe. It is also a place known for its historic and picturesque wharf where you can travel back in time walking along its cobbled streets.
I went to Bergen last summer after one of my travel (best) buddies invited me to visit his beautiful city. He told me (almost) everything about Bergen, trying to convince me that visiting Bergen is a great idea for my next adventure. Well, it was not a long persuasion, I said yes right a way, after the sentence “come to Bergen and I will take care of you” hahahaha…. I BOOKED A FLIGHT RIGHT AWAY!
After my trip I can now say that it was one of my best summer trips. Although this blog is not really a ‘How To’ blog, what I will be sharing are some points on why visiting Bergen on your next summer holiday is a good idea.
1. You’ll experience one of the longest days in your life (not in a bad way).
Day time on summer months in the north is one of the longest, not only in Europe but in the world. Yes, Norway is in the north, so Bergen is part of these places. During my stay there (July), the sun sets normally around 11pm and by 4am, you can already start to see the sunlit sky. That’s 19 hours of sunny outdoors! Talk about adding hours to experience the city.
2. You’ll have a view of the city in seven different angles
Surrounded by seven mountains, you’ll have seven summits with seven different views of the city. During my trip, I have been to 4 of those summits and each one will give you a different perspective of Bergen.
3. You can hike in seven different paths
In relation to point number 2, being a city with seven summits, you’ll also get seven different hiking paths. The seven mountain (and summit paths are) Lyderhorn, Damsgårdsfjellet, Løvstakken, Ulriken, Fløyen, Rundemannen, and Sandviksfjellet. In Ulriken, which is the highest summit, you’ll have an option to ride a cable cart —which we did haha.
I think if you are looking for a place to experience and appreciate the outdoors, Bergen is the perfect place for you. Did I mentioned that you can hike all these mountains for FREE?
4. You can visit one of Unesco’s World Heritage Site
During the summer, you can join one of the historic walks around Bryggen, a UNESCO protected wharf. This place will take you back to the medieval Bergen with well preserved (and colorful) old wooden architecture and cobbled pathways. This is also Bergen’s main tourist attraction within the the city’s harbour. It is said to be the nerve of the city ever since and once was the hub of commerce, seafaring and crafts-manship.
From being a trading capital, Bryggen now houses a lot of artisan shops, restaurants and souvenir outlets but still preserving its history.
I think I can stare at these houses for hours while I imagine how it was like during those early days.
5. You’ll enjoy the daily fresh catch
Situated between the fjords and the seven mountains of Bergen is the famous fish market. A lot of Norwegians (and tourists) visit Bergen just to experience this picturesque and lively market. You can see an array of fresh catch from salmon to king crabs. The best will be dining al fresco with the harbour as your back drop while you enjoy the best summer weather.
6. You can swim in an open lake
Experiencing the beauty of nature is one of the reasons why a lot of backpackers and travelers are falling in love with Norway, and the city of Bergen is not an exemption. When my friend told me that we’ll go for a bath because we are meeting his friends, in my mind I translated it this way: ‘It is time to take a shower because we are going out to see his friends’, but in reality this is what he meant: ‘We will be meeting my friends and we’ll all go for a swim in the near by lake’. Too cool for school right?
I think when God created Norway, He made sure that in every community there should be a designated lake where people can go fishing or if the summer weather will be at its peak, go for a dip. Summer is the best time (only logical time) to experience this in Bergen. As most of the other seasons, it is either too cold or rainy.
7. I C E C R E A M
I was surprised that a softie ice cream is a big hit (aside from expensive) in Scandinavia. I had to queue in Stockholm just to get a cone-ful softie. In Bergen me and my friends got a softie topped with sugary sprinkles in a manner that it was mandatory while we stroll along the town square. I can’t blame them, it was perfect on a sunny afternoon. I guess no one wants an ice cream during winter and rainy season? (You think?)
SUN + OUTOORS = ICE CREAM WORTHY MOMENT
8. You can party in the town center
Summer is the season in Norway where being indoor is a waste of time. This is the reason that if you’ll choose to visit Bergen during the summer, there is huge probability that you will find yourself caught up in a party somewhere in the town center.
During my summer visit, I was lucky enough to witness the Annual Tall Ship Races. The town center and the whole harbour was transformed into a big celebration venue. Musical presentations, games, food stalls, theater acts and of course tall ships from different countries were everywhere.
9. You’ll avoid rain in one of Europe’s rainiest city
I think the real main reason why you should visit Bergen during the summer is to avoid the rain in the rainiest city in Europe! Bergen is a very beautiful city but you can’t really enjoy it if it is raining or snowing right?
My summer trip in Bergen was blessed with one of the warmest summer that they’ve had (according to my friends) and the whole time I was there, it didn’t rain, not even a drizzle. Because of this, we really enjoyed everything Bergen can offer.
10. You’ll meet friendly and awesome Norwegians in their best mood
Two of my travel best buddies are Norwegians and we all know that the weather can alter one’s mood (this is applicable to all of us haha). So if you will meet Norwegians in the season that they like the most, you are doing yourself a great favor and for sure you are going to enjoy every moment that you are in the city. Hike along with them, swim by the lake, watch the sunset while holding a cold bottle of beer.
Rain = Gloomy = Moody Norwegians
Summer = Sun = Very Happy Norwegians
Bergen is one of those cities that instantly became very close to my heart. I fell in love with this city as fast as I fell in love with its people. Visit Bergen on your next summer trip and you’ll find yourself in one of the most beautiful cities in this world.
Tip: There is no guarantee that summer will be 100% rainless, better check the weather forecast when planning for a trip—again, this is Europe’s rainiest city ^^
Additional references in planning your trip to Bergen