If you are looking to add a little romance into your travels, you might consider booking a trip to the popular but overcrowded romantic cities like Venice and Paris. But, if are looking for something different and not so cliche, consider heading north to the Norwegian city of Bergen.
Although Bergen might be known as the “Gateway to the Fjords”, I think it could also easily be called the gateway to romance. From its charming wharf to its magnificent mountain views, it’s easy to get in a romantic mood when visiting this city. If you find yourself in Bergen with your sweetheart, here are a few things to do around town that will definitely put you in the mood for love.
The Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf may serve the purpose of providing a taste of local culture, but it also could serve as the official lover’s lane of Bergen. As you stroll along this charming old wharf hand-in-hand with your darling, I guarantee you will feel the urge to steal a kiss. With a magnificent backdrop of colored buildings on one side and clear blue waters on the other, you’ll be getting up close and personal in no time as you pose for snapshot after shapshot in this picturesque area of Bergen. Don’t forget to explore the narrow wood-planked alleys between the historic buildings that lead you to hidden restaurants and shops. You can easily find a quiet spot back there to lock lips.
The Fisketorget (Fish Market) of Bergen may be a reminder of the city’s role in the early fish trade, but for lover’s visiting Bergen, it’s a great place to try some libido enhancing delicacies. Located adjacent to the Bryggen Wharf, this long block is filled with fishmongers ready to cook up a quick bite for you. Here you’ll find the classic Norwegian steamed shrimp baguette sandwich as well as other familiar seafood like mussels, lobsters and scallops. However, if you want to fuel your frisky side, opt for the salmon, caviar or whale meat (the most controversial item on the menu). If seafood is not your thing, you can always opt for a a hot, meaty reindeer wiener.
Lovebirds everywhere agree, there’s nothing more romantic than buying matching sweaters! Okay, I have to admit, this is not everyone’s idea of romance, but it certainly proves your love for your sweetie if you go along with it! And when in Bergen, you’ll easily find yourself giving in and buying a new matching cozy Norwegian sweater … all in the name of love. You’ll have no problem finding shops selling the high quality Dale of Norway sweaters along the Bryggen Wharf. But if you have time in your schedule, you may even want to consider the 45-minute train ride to the Dale of Norway Factory and Company Store for a larger selection and bigger savings.
What can be more stereotypically romantic than watching the sunset with your beloved? Watching it from atop a mountain overlooking Bergen, that’s what! Catch a ride up to the top of Mount Fløyen on the funicular. Mount Floyen sits 1,049 feet above sea level, and from the top, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Bergen and beyond while you wait for the sun to go down with your sweetie by your side.
Around the main tourist area of Bergen (e.g., Bryggen Wharf, Fish Market, Mount Floyen funicular), you’ll have no problem finding a romantic restaurant for dinner. From candelight restaurants behind the shops at the Bryggen Wharf to alfreso dining on charming cobblestone alleys next to the Fish Market, Bergen delivers when it comes to dining options. Whether you want to gaze into your lover’s eyes over dried cod and white wine or recite amorous ballads to your beau over pølse (sausage) and a cold beer, you will have no problem finding options to suit your every desire.
For a traditional Bergen meal consisting of either fish or game in a charming setting, consider the To Kokker restaurant on the Bryggen Wharf or the larger Bryggeloftet & Steune restaurant on the main street leading to the Wharf. Another great option is Restaurant 1877, which is conveniently located by the waterfront on the street leading to the Funicular.
Bergen is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day. Better yet, crowds are gone, and the colorful Bryggen Wharf glows in the warmth of the evening lights. With a crisp evening breeze blowing off the water, you’ll quickly be encouraged to do some canoodling and smooching to stay warm as you take in the beauty of Bergen one last time before calling it a night.
I’m sure you’ll find Bergen tapping into your romantic side when you visit, and, I bet you’ll be just as eager to kiss and tell about your experience when you get back home!
Where I Stayed
During my visit to Bergen, I stayed at the Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen. The hotel is conveniently located right in the center of Bergen just a short walk to all the sites and a few blocks from the Bergen Train Station. It is also just a block away from the tram that goes directly to the train station making it easier for travelers with heavy baggage who aren’t up for the walk. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars within the immediate vicinity, or alternatively, you can dine onsite at the Egon Restaurant. Know that the hotel is located on the corner of a main pedestrian throughway with a McDonalds restaurant next door, so it can get a little noisy at times throughout the day and into the evening hours. However, after midnight, it quiets down, and you’ll have a restful sleep in the modern, comfortable rooms. It’s just a small price to pay for the super convenient location. If you are a light sleeper, simply request a room that is not facing the main pedestrian area.
Special thanks to Visit Norway USA, Visit Bergen, Fjord Norway and Thon Hotels for providing assistance with accommodations and transportation to Bergen. As always, opinions and recommendations are 100% my own. For more information and assistance in planning your visit to Bergen, check out Visit Bergen’s website.