The coastal city of Bergen is synonymous with breathtaking fjords, and the former capital of Norway has now become the European destination of choice for intrepid explorers, culture vultures and families alike. The port especially is a joy to explore on foot, its wharf lined with quaint wooden buildings in rich reds and dazzling yellows, and a funicular ride to the top of Mount Fløyen offers panoramic views over the city centre. A holiday to Bergen from Glasgow Airport can also include whale watching or, if you’re lucky, the aurora borealis (or northern lights), one of the greatest displays of earthy wonders in existence.
Known as the city of seven mountains, Bergen has long been a gateway to the world-famous fjords of Norway. Sognefjord, often referred to as ‘King of the Fjords’, extends more than 200km to the foot of the Jotunheimen mountains and is the longest and deepest of its kind in Europe. It’s accessible by both road and rail, but the ultimate way to travel there from Bergen is on one of the daily boat services that stop at a string of quaint villages along the way, such as Vikøyri and Balestrand.
Culture on the high seas
Few visitors expect a small seaport to be culturally rich and defiantly diverse, but Bergen’s burgeoning music scene, best represented through Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp and black metallers Ancient, is forever bubbling away just under the surface. The city was notably visited by Banksy back in 2000, inspiring a generation of local graffiti artists – keep one eye out for the designs and stencil signatures of homegrown superstar Dolk. Heading indoors, art galleries and museums number in double figures; an essential stop is KODE (Rasmus Meyers allé 9), a complex of seven museum buildings housing more than 43,000 artworks.