Growing up by the Aurlandsfjord meant that Bergen was the closest city to visit for shopping, travelling (it has the nearest international airport) and for just getting a taste of that city life. Still, it wasn’t until I moved here that I finally got a taste of what this great city has to offer. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, and has loads of visitors each year. They come to see the famous Bryggen, hike one of the mountains in the area, or use the city as their gateway to the fjords. In my opinion, Bergen is the best city to fly into for anyone visiting Norway. This is especially considering all the great Bergen tours there is to choose from!
If you, like many visitors, only have a day or two in Bergen, I recommend that you book a tour of the city before your visit. When it comes to Bergen sightseeing, it can be a little challenging to figure out where to start and what to see, especially if you are short on time. Luckily, there are several tours in Bergen worth considering (whether you want to explore the city by foot, bus or even Segway!), and there are plenty of great fjord trips from Bergen as well. The latter is ideal if you only have a few short days in Norway, and want to experience both the city and the fjords!
Heading to the fjords? Read my post on how to get from Bergen to Flåm!
Since I get quite a few emails and questions from people who want to make the most of their Bergen sightseeing (due to a lack of time), I thought I would round up some of the best Bergen tours in this post! I’ll include tours in Bergen, as well as boat tours and fjord trips from Bergen. You’ll be surprised with how easily you can explore Norway and the famous fjords when you have your base in this city!
When you arrive at the airport in Bergen, here’s exactly how to get to the city centre!
Don’t forget to get the Bergen card!
Whether you are in Bergen for just a day or a little more, the Bergen card is a must for your trip. Most importantly, it gets you free transportation on the buses and Light Rail (ByBanen) in the city, which is absolute gold. Of course, it also gets you free entrance and discounts to loads of museums and attractions around the city, such as the Bergen Aquarium, Fløibanen (where you’ll see the view from the picture below) and Håkon’s Hall (the fortress main building).
My top tip before your arrival: the Bergen Light Rail ‘ByBanen’ goes all the way to Bergen Airport, and is a convenient way to get from the airport to the city centre. It is super affordable, as it only costs 38 kroner. HOWEVER, if you have booked your Bergen Card in advance, it’s free! So make sure to get the Bergen card before you arrive in Bergen, so you can start using it right away.
The best Bergen Tours for your trip!
The list below are all tours I have either tried, or had recommended from people who have tried them. They are all operated by different companies (or private persons), and are all unique on their own. So, I hope this list is helpful when you choose which Bergen tour to join, as there will be something for everyone here! Whether you prefer going with a private guide on one of the fjord trips from Bergen, or want to have a fun Bergen sightseeing trip with a local, you’ll find the perfect tour on this list!
Side note: I have numbered this list of Bergen tours, but they are all in random order. As mentioned, each tour will be perfect for someone, so it is not for me to say which is better.
Want to go on a great hike during your trip to Bergen? Don’t miss hiking to Mount Ulriken!
#1 Classic 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
Can’t go wrong with one of these, right? I know you may find it a little basic, but to be honest: I love these! Whenever I have less than 3 days in a city, I’ll spend the first morning on one of these Hop-on-hop-off buses, just to get a lay of the land and an idea of the city. During the trip I will take note of which places and sights I want to see more of. Then, for the rest of the 24-hour period, I’ll use the bus as my transportation in order to travel to those places! I genuinely think it’s a great way to get an idea of a place.
#2 Guided Segway tour
This is such a great way to see the city! Out of all the Bergen sightseeing tours, this one might just be the most fun. Segways are those vehicles you’ll see people stand on, holding on to for dear life while racing through the city with their guide. At first they can be challenging to drive, but luckily there are not many hills in Bergen (my first Segway experience included hills, and it was terrifying). You simply control them by leaning back or forward as you go, and the Segway (seemingly) magically understands your intent.
If you want your Bergen trip to have a bit of action built into it, I recommend going on a Segway tour. Side note: this is one of the bestsellers on the list, so I do recommend booking early. Another side note: keep reading if you want to make it even more special!
#3 Guided Segway tour BY NIGHT
I dare say this tour is quite similar to #2, but at the same time it’s completely different. If you feel like riding a Segway isn’t challenge enough, try doing it at night time! To be fair, it doesn’t really get all that dark in Norway in the summer, but getting a dusky view of the city is still quite unique. And I bet this is a tour not everyone can say that they have been on. I recommend this if you have a day in Bergen, and spend most of it exploring on your own. Then, in the evening, you can join this tour and get some extra information of all the sights.
#4 Self-guided audio tour of Bergen
Feeling a little independent? Then a self-guided audio tour is the way to go. I absolutely love this tour, and if I had to pick a favourite, this would be it. Please note that you will NOT have a guide on this tour, and it is completely self-paced (which is why I love it).
In short, you will receive an English MP3 download when you “book” this tour, and then you can start your self-guided tour whenever you feel like it. I believe it is absolutely genius, and I wish more cities had this option. Again, there is no guide and no meeting point, so you need to be independent enough to handle that (though I’m sure you are). I couldn’t recommend this enough, and it’s super affordable as well (less than $20 at the time of writing)!
#5 Private walking tour (with a local)
These kinds of tours are always fun, and I love seeing a city from a local’s perspective. I haven’t gone on this one myself (as I live in the city and consider myself a local), but have heard great reviews and experiences from my Airbnb guests who have done it. What is so great about this tour is that it is completely customizable, and can be adapted to your needs and interests. Want the best coffee in the city? Want to know how to find the Aquarium? Just want the history of Bryggen and the fish market? Regardless, your private local guide can help you!
#6 Another classic: A city walking tour
This is a popular tour for visitors to Bergen, and is often likely to sell out. Going on a walking tour is a classic way to get to know a city, and having a guide with you allows you to ask all the questions you want and get all the information you need. Out of all the Bergen tours, I believe this is the most popular, and that’s with good reason. The tour will take you to Bergenhus fortress and Bryggen (the docks), which are two of the main sights of the city. Adding this tour to your Bergen trip will ensure you see the most important sights!
Fjord trips from Bergen
Are you ready to leave the city? There are actually several tours from Bergen that will allow you to see the fjords, and a lot of travellers choose these options to easily explore the fjords. If you prefer planning and going about it on your own, I recommend checking out my Norway itineraries (they are only $1.99!). Whether you follow an itinerary or book one of the tours from Bergen listed below, trust me when I say that the fjords will take your breath away! Bergen truly is the perfect base for anyone wanting to see the beauty of the Norwegian fjords.
#7 A Private Trip to the Hardangerfjord
Slightly on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for. This is a full day tour from Bergen, and takes around 10 hours. You’ll have an English guide with you, and it is possible to be picked up (and dropped off) at your accommodation. This makes it a super convenient trip for anyone short on time, and want to make sure they see one of Norway’s beautiful fjords. The Hardangerfjord is picture perfect, and actually the backdrop of one of Norway’s most famous paintings; Brudeferd i Hardanger.
On this tour you will not only get to marvel in the beauty of the landscape, but also cross the impressive Hardanger Bridge, and see Vøringfossen (Norway’s biggest waterfall). Please be advised that some entrance fees are not included in the tour price, such as the entrance to Hardangervidda Nature Center.
#8 A private tour to Flåm (and the Sognefjord)
Home sweet home! This tour takes you to the area where I grew up, and I love hearing people tell me how beautiful it is there (as if I can take credit). This tour takes you to the heart of the fjords (in my opinion), and is also a full day trip. The journey from Bergen to Flåm is about 3 hours, so you won’t be surprised when I say that this tour takes approximately 11 hours.
What I love about this tour is that the Flåm Railway is included in it, so you’ll not only get to see the fjords in a day, but also travel on one of the world’s most spectacular train rides! So if you have only a few days in Bergen, and you’re not quite ready to follow my itinerary and book your trip on your own, this is the tour for you.
Want more Bergen tours? Check them all out below!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, and that you have been able to figure out which of these great Bergen tours you should join during your trip to Norway. Joining a sightseeing tour is a great way to explore a city, and especially when you are short on time. I find that many travellers to Norway only have a day or two to spend in Bergen before heading to the fjords (or up North), so I always recommend some of these tours. Do let me know in the comments which one caught your eye!