Bergen is a picture-perfect town with plenty to see in a small radius - completely free. With a good pair of walking shoes and rain clothes, you can easily fill a couple of days wandering round the streets, parks and mountains. The old town is lovely, with mostly car-free areas that are perfect for city walks. And you're never far from a park where you can rest your legs or enjoy a picnic. Public institutions offer free culture, as do the many street artists with their latest polemic installations.

    1

    Fløyen

    Entrance to the mountains is free!

    Fløibanen is Bergen's most popular tourist attraction, and you might think that it's the actual course that is most popular, but you'd be wrong! It's the view and the terrain that you'll remember, and it's absolutely free. You don't need to be especially fit or a local to find your way to the summit. Just start at Fløybanen's bottom station and make your way up at your own pace. Ask the way if you're unsure. There are always people on their way up and down, and people from Bergen are at their nicest when they are out for a walk.

    If you have children with you, the play areas in the forest, the area by Skomakerdiket and around Skansemyren sports ground are nice places to stop by.

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    Location: Fløyfjellet 1, 5014 Bergen, Norway

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    2

    Old Bergen

    Beauty is on the outside

    • Budget
    • History

    Old Bergen is an outdoor museum where entrance fees are required during the day in the summer, when activities are scheduled and some buildings are open to the public. Outside opening hours - so in the evening in the summer and all day in the winter - it is free to visit the area.

    It is not as lively then as it is during the opening hours, but the outside area is lovely and those who prefer a little peace and quiet might enjoy it more when it is less crowded. West-facing Old Bergen is also a beautiful place to watch the sun go down, and the sunset is of course free!

    Location: Elsesro, Nyhavnsveien 4, 5042 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Summer: evenings-Winter: all day

    Phone: +47 55 30 80 34

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    3

    Visit the fish market

    Fish and local community to stimulate all your senses

    Bergen fish market has gradually become more of a tourist attraction than a place where the locals buy fish, but if you have an open mind, you'll experience it as a fun place that really stimulates all your senses. The air is thick with smoked fish, boiled prawns and fish-based dishes prepared at the stalls, while the endless chatter in a dozen different languages makes for interesting background noise.

    This is the perfect place to sample caviar, banter with market traders and see if there is anything tempting on offer. The ready-made food is not recommended for tight budgets, but it's worth indulging in a handful of sea prawns to supplement a picnic in Nordnesparken or at Bergenhus Fortress.

    Location: Torget 1, 5014 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Monday and Tuesday: closed. Wednesday-Sunday: 11.00-21.00

    Phone: +47 55 55 22 00

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    4

    Bergenhus fortress

    A beautiful, open green area in a historic setting by the harbour

    Bergenhus Fortress is one of Norway's largest and most historic defence installations, and the area has been of great importance over the years. Some of Bergen's, and Norway's most important historical cultural monuments, Håkonshallen and Rosenkrantztårnet, are located in the area. It's free to visit the outdoor areas, which are open to the public despite being a military area.

    This is of great delight to children, picnic lovers and frisbee throwers, and anyone else who enjoys large green lawns with plenty of fresh air and no traffic and noise. The ring walls give a great view of the entrance to Vågen, Nordnes and Byfjorden.

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    Location: Bergenhus, 5003 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Daily: 06.30-23.00

    Phone: +47 55 54 63 87

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    5

    Check out the cool street art

    Bergen's biggest gallery is free

    The people of Bergen are a chatty bunch and not afraid to make a name for themselves, which explains all the street art and other graphics that can be found in the cityscape. Dolk, who is Bergen's own version of Banksy, has long made it into the warmth of the local galleries, and other names have followed. The City Council supports the street art, within reasonable limits, and provides legal graffiti walls and awards, and has prepared a separate plan for street art.

    Many home-owners here are also supportive. The corner between Hans Holmboe gate and Fosswinckels gate is constantly in the news as a canvas for new, politically charged works. Street art is fleeting, so visit gatekunstkart.no to find current pieces, paste-ups and stencil works. Or just keep your eyes open as you wander round the city.

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    6

    Mountain hike on one of seven mountains

    Enjoy the view from the city mountains

    Since the Middle Ages, Bergen has been known as the city between 'the seven mountains'. But which mountains form the seven mountains is debatable. One that is definitely on the list is Ulriken, the highest peak, with the colourfully illuminated broadcasting mast. Take bus 12 to Montana and walk the 1333 steps up the "Oppturen" path, and Bergensdalen is at your feet. On the other side of Bergensdalen lies Løvstakken, which is also easily accessible from the centre.

    Set the course towards Løvstakkveien and take the middle path upwards, past the landmark "Jesus lives" and the small hill Skillingsbollen up to the beautiful cairn at the top. Other alternatives: Bratte Stoltzekleien up to Sandviksfjellet is an institution among Bergen fitness fanatics, and the westernmost peak Lyderhorn has the most beautiful views of the shipping lane and the coast.

    Location: Bergen, Norway

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    7

    Church concerts

    Organ and choir music for next to nothing

    • Budget

    Bergen has a large and vibrant music scene, but the price of concert tickets for the bigger venues can be quite steep. Smaller stages and places aimed at students are often a great deal cheaper, but also have a narrower appeal. Sometimes, especially around the holidays or in summer, you can experience big free concerts on Torgallmenningen, in the city centre, with big local pop artists and the city's Philharmonic Orchestra. But don’t forget the churches.

    The beautiful Mariakirken for example, offers affordable organ concerts in unique surroundings. The Bergen Cathedral parish amateur choir, Bergen Cathedral Choir, not only participates in services, but regularly holds concerts with a varied repertoire. Fans of classical choir music should also check out the activities of the Sankt Sunniva Choir and Edvard Grieg Choir.

    Location: Mariakirken: Dreggsallmenningen 15, 5003 Bergen, Norway. Bergen cathedral: Domkirkeplassen 1, 5003 Bergen, Norway

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    8

    Bergen Public Library

    Much more than a library

    • Budget

    Bergen Public Library's main library at Lille Lungegårdsvannet does more than just lend books. Recent expansions have created large, bright rooms for several activities and experiences. The national library card gives you access to, for example, Norwegian short and documentary films online, or free use of the library's music stations. Film showings are also available. Emerging musicians can borrow musical instruments or use recording facilities. All this is in addition to free access to many shelves of fiction, non-fiction, comics, films, games and magazines.

    Chess evenings are also planned and learning opportunities for all ages provide the opportunity to expand skills in e.g. language or data. Drop by and make yourself comfortable in one of the cosy chairs with a book, but remember to check the activity calendar.

    Location: Strømgaten 6, 5015 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Monday-Thursday: 10.00-20.00↵Friday: 10.00-17.00↵Saturday: 10.00-16.00↵Sunday: 12.00-16.00

    Phone: +47 55 56 85 00

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    9

    Troip to Nygårds park

    Biggest and best park in the city

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Nygårds park is quite secluded and remote in relation to the city centre, but still only a 15- minute walk from Torgallmenningen. This means you're only a short walk to a beautiful green area with plenty of space to relax and take in some fresh air. At Flagghaugen in the upper part of the park, there is an exciting play area, plus a small fitness park. The pavilion in the same area is used for pop-up cafés and street food, among other things.

    The lower end of the park features larger lawns, fountains and a swan pond ideal for relaxed park life with picnics in the grass, book reading on a bench or feeding the birds. Large deciduous trees dominate the scenery making this park a real green gem.

    Location: Nygårdsparken, 5006 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Always open

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    10

    Apollon Platebar

    City of rock's little temple

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    Apollon has been selling records to (and by) the city's music for decades. It recently turned into a record bar instead, i.e. a combined bar/record store, but the status as a meeting place for the city's music environment remains. If you're lucky, you might catch a free concert by one of the local bands, usually as part of a record release. Or just enjoy browsing through what is known as the country's best selection of vinyl, which you can listen to on the speakers or at the listening stations.

    Enjoy a cup of reasonably priced brewed coffee in the day, or a reasonably priced beer in the evening. If you're on your own and the store is quiet, have a chat with the staff or check out the wall decor.

    Location: Nygårdsgaten 2A, 5015 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday 10.00-00.30↵Sunday: 14.00-00.30

    Phone: +47 55 31 59 43

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