Saturday, November 17, 2018

Some Observations/Hacks From My Recent Bergen (Norway) Trip

norway fjord
Just back from 2-weeks free and easy holiday to London-and-Bergen. This is my first time to Bergen (Norway) and everything are pretty new and fresh to me. We spent about 6-full days each in London and Bergen so we managed to cover all our planned itinerary, except 1 in Bergen which I will share more later.

Overall, we have a great time there and thought I should share some of my experiences/observations/hacks in Bergen (Norway) which might be helpful for those readers who are planning to pay it a visit soon.

So, here we go:

1. Transport from Bergen BGO Airport to Bergen City Centre (The cheaper option)
If you are going to Bergen on free and easy basis, most likely you will be staying in the Bergen city centre, there is a convenient Airport Bus service called Flybussen which run on quite regular interval from the airport to the city centre (and vice versa).

It costs NOK115, about SGD19 (one way) or NOK195, about SGD32.50 (return) which is a much cheaper and convenient option (the bus is just right in front of the airport arrival exit hall). Also, it is cheaper to buy the ticket via the automated machine at the bus stop (with your credit card) than buying directly from the bus driver (at least that's what the bus driver told me). 
Flybussen Airport Bus
Oh, the journey from airport to the city centre is only about 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Norway is pretty cold and a true rain city
Being one of the Nordic countries, it is expected that Norway's weather (even for Bergen which is the southern part of the country) will be cold, what we didn't expect is the regular raining and the strong wind. So, if you are visiting Norway during the Autumn or Winter season, besides equip yourself with the proper winter attire, do bring along a "strong" umbrella or ponchos.
Snow in Autumn
For us, we just brought a small umbrella for sharing and we barely "survived". There are a few comical moments whereby our umbrella was flipped by the strong wind lol.

3. Buying Tickets for the attractions
Nowadays, most of the time we will book the tourist attractions ticket online (where possible) prior to the trip to avoid disappointment. However, there are some attraction like cable car ride which are weather condition-dependent i.e. the decision on whether it will be open for business can only be made on that day itself. For such attractions, it is not advisable to buy the tickets upfront (case in point is the Ulkerin365 Cable car ride, the itinerary that we missed due to the strong wind).
Ulkerin365 Cable Car
So, before you book the tickets, do read carefully as to whether the attraction will be ON regardless of weather condition?

4. High Standard of living
I am a little surprise that the standard of living in Norway is rather high. Some personal example:

a. a bus ticket within a standard minimal zone costs about SGD 6
b. a movie ticket (non 3D and non IMAX) costs about SGD 21
c. Two hot drinks and one sandwich costs about SGD40+ (at a coffee join like TCC in Singapore).
Kino - the movie theater in Bergen

I think you got the point...Just ensure you've brought sufficient cash there :-)

5. Top 3 Must Visit Places in Bergen
There are quite a number of worthy attractions in Bergen but if I were to choose, following are my top 3:

a. The "Norway In A Nutshell" Day Tour
This day tour bring you to the selected UNESCO protected Fjord (Nearoyfjord for our case) by cruise and follow by the Flam Railway steam train-ride with spectacular view.
View from Naeroyfjord - reaching the Flam Railway station

On the cruise at the Nearoyfjord

The interior of the steam train - Flam Railway

Brief stop at the train stop for photo taking

The Flam Railway train station
b. The Bryggen
The signature UNESCO site at Bergen.
Bryggen - The UNESCO site
Bryggen - The UNESCO site
c. Floibanen Funicular Ride
Take a funicular ride up to the top of Mount Floyen for a fantastical view. One of the most visited Bergen tourist attraction.
The Floibanen funicular station at the base
View from Mount Floyen

View from Mount Floyen 2
The track of the Floibanen
Hope you like my sharing. Till then...

Cheers!

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