Bergen with Kids – When I visited Bergen it was a glorious summer’s day, but the city is notoriously wet and rainy. I returned to visit with the kids, and we were met with a downpour. The first thing to consider is dressing for the weather! Head to toe wet weather gear is often not amiss. Once kitted out you can enjoy yourself.
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1 Catch the Funicular to the Summit of Mount Fløyen – Bergen with Kids
Hikers can walk up to the top of the mountain, which gives excellent views right across Bergen. Catching the funicular is fun in itself (and easier for little legs), but at the top you can also find a playground (complete with trolls), café, toilet facilities, mountain walks, and unexpected free range goats. Tickets and prices can be found here – round trips are available, and obviously it’s cheaper to catch the funicular one way and hike the other. Currency fluctuates, but as a rough and v easy guide, simply divide by 10, so 95 NOK is approximately £9.50.
The FREE option is to hike up and down the mountain.
2 The Aquarium – Top Things to Do in Bergen with Kids
People rave about Bergen’s aquarium. It’s not the cheapest option in town, but aquariums are always a treat. I haven’t visited in person, but it makes a solid indoor option on a rainy day. Discover more and book tickets here.
3 Explore the Bryggen – Bergen with Kids
FREE – These iconic harbourside red, white and mustard buildings are a key photo opportunity in Bergen. What appeals to kids (and big kids) is exploring up the alleyways of this wooden mini maze. It reminds me of being aboard an old wooden pirate ship, as kids clamber up and down staircases seeking what’s around the next corner. The buildings house art galleries, gift shops and crafts, so gorgeous for a browse too.
Even if it’s bucketing down (which is was when we visited), there are lots of nooks and crannies where wee ones can find shelter.
4 Theta Museum
Behind a hidden door in the Bryggen is a remarkable, tiny museum. It’s not a museum in the conventional sense, as it was originally the compact, hidden HQ of a WW2 resistance movement of very young Norwegians – we’re talking young adults, aged 19-22.
A guide takes you into the room, which is wired with the remains of explosives, and tells the story of these exceptionally brave men and women. Practicalities such as makeshift beds, maps and radios, are placed alongside guns, grenades and photographs. An album contains images of some of the Theta group’s escape across the mountains to Sweden when this tiny room was compromised. Utterly fascinating, real and remarkable story, ideal for older children who want a tangible historic experience. Discover more, and note the limited opening hours, here. I gained access by requesting entry at the Visitor Center at the Bryggen.
5 Bergenhus Fortress Museum
FREE – Another WW2 musuem, also close to the waterfront, is the Bergenhus Fortress. This is a drier experience (think film clips, or artefacts and photographs with display boards and captions) so better suited for older children who can read well and have an interest in the topic.
On the plus side, many topics are covered across several floors, so it is thorough. Exhibitions include Women’s Contribution to the Norwegian Armed Forces, the Resistance Movement in and around Bergen 1940-45, Newspapers in Bergen during Wartime, the Underground Press 1940-1945 and Norwegian Forces Abroad. Plus, it’s free.
6 Visit the Fish Market, Bergen Murals and Photo Opp Spots
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of the market, and pick up some fish cakes ready to eat. This isn’t particularly exciting for children, but you’ll probably pass the market at some point as it’s so central and right next to the Tourist Information Centre, so you may as well take a look. Norway is known for its seafood, and is one of the world’s greatest exporters of salmon.
If you carry on around this south-west side of the harbour, you’ll reach the aquarium and pass some funky murals, as well as get great views over the water back to the Bryggen for photographs.
7 Family Friendly Dining – From Vegan to Italian
A central place, with Italian food for adults and a children’s menu, is Olivia’s on the harbourfront. Smart, yet reasonably priced (by Norwegian standards), with good views over the water.
Vegans should defintiely head to Kilo & Gram cafe near the Town Hall on Gulatingsplass.
Vegetarians/Vegans can also consider Solros bakery that rustles up a daily stew and a soup in relaxed surroundings. Find them on Marken.
8 Boat Trips
From watersports (such as kayaking and canoeing), to horse riding and cycling take a peak here for options.
If Bergen appeals, check out the accommodation options here.
We flew from Aberdeen direct to Bergen airport with Wideroe. A train connects the airport with the city centre swiftly and easily. Children’s rail travel is free. From Bergen, we carried on to the ski resort of Vestlia in Geilo.
If you are reaching Bergen by train it’s often possible to book family friendly carriages, so look out for those. We booked via the VY app.