Bergen is Norway’s second city, and is surrounded by incredible mountains and fjords. Not to mention one of the biggest glaciers in all of Europe! It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage City and has earned the fancy-schmancy title of European City of Culture.

First things first, Bergen is quite a cool city and it can be tricky to figure out where the best area to base yourself is. We’re here to help you figure out where to stay in Bergen so you can decide which neighborhood fits your needs, interests and budget.

Our expert travel writers hunted down all the best-kept secrets of Bergen, and created this Bergen neighborhood guide for you and all your friends. Or maybe just the friends who are heading off to Bergen with you…

Ready to dig into our Bergen neighborhood guide? It is time to select the best place to stay in Bergen for you!

Whether you’re looking for a charming Airbnb, or a super social hostel, or a hotel that can make you and your family feel right at home our Bergen neighborhood guide is here to save the day and take all your travel worries away! Do we get a bonus point for rhyming?

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Bergen

  • Where to stay in Bergen for the first time –  Sentrum
  • Where to stay in Bergen on a budget – Sandviken 
  • Best area to stay in Bergen for nightlife – Bryggen
  • Coolest place to stay in Bergen – Nygård
  • Best neighborhood in Bergen for families – Nordnes

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN BERGEN

Sentrum

Sentrum is the name of Bergen city center. Center and Sentrum sound pretty similar, don’t they? Unfortunately, it was razed to the ground by a fire in the early 20th century.

Places to visit:
  • Check out the fabulous art exhibits at the KODE Bergen Art Museum
  • Go for a swim at the AdO Arena indoor swimming pool
  • Enjoy the incredible cocktails and artisanally plated food at Roast Restaurant and Bar

Where to Stay in Bergen

There are not many hostels in Norway so visiting on a budget can be tough. But check out our top three highest recommendations for places to stay in Bergen.

Best Hostel in Bergen: Marken Gjestehus Hostel

There are only three hostels in Bergen as of 2020. We think that the best one out there is the Marken Gjestehus Hostel in Sentrum. It is a very clean and bright hostel that is conveniently located right in the heart of the city’s center.

There are tons of different dorm rooms to choose from, varying by how many people in the room and by gender. It is known for being a quiet hostel, so don’t expect to party all night in the common room! Instead turn in early and catch some Zzz.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Bergen.

Best Airbnb in Bergen: Stylish top floor, central, free parking. LS401

This Airbnb is located in Nygard, but it is just a few minutes walk from the city center if you were curious. It’s one of the best places to stay in Bergen as it’s bright, crisp, and clean and can house four guests at a reasonable price. We love the location and the abundance of fuzzy pillows!

Best Hotel in Bergen: Bergen Harbour Hotel

The Bergen Harbour Hotel is located in Bryggen and is a luxurious stay for travellers, but not at exorbitant prices. Our favorite part of the hotel is either the lovely mountain and city views or free usage of the hotel’s bicycles for guests! The breakfast is also excellent provides guests with a wide range of items to choose from.

Bergen’s Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Bergen

FIRST TIME IN BERGEN
Sentrum, Bergen
FIRST TIME IN BERGEN

Sentrum

Sentrum is the name of Bergen city center. Center and Sentrum sound pretty similar, don’t they? Unfortunately, it was razed to the ground by a fire in the early 20th century.

ON A BUDGET
Sandviken, Bergen
ON A BUDGET

Sandviken

Sandviken has become a popular neighborhood in Bergen for students as it has more affordable housing and rental options. That’s what makes Sandviken where to stay in Bergen on a budget.

NIGHTLIFE
Bryggen, Bergen
NIGHTLIFE

Bryggen

Bryggen is a lively neighborhood that is one of the coolest places to stay in Bergen. It’s right along the water and is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Sentrum.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Nygard, Bergen
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Nygård

Nygård is a Bergen neighbourhood very close to the city center. Nygård sits just south of the Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake. It’s the coolest place to stay in Bergen as it’s where the University of Bergen dwells.

FOR FAMILIES
Nordnes, Bergen
FOR FAMILIES

Nordnes

Nordnes is the neighborhood in Bergen that sits on a peninsula that juts out from the harbor. For mental maps sake, Nordnes is on the opposite side of Bryggen and Sandviken.

Bergen isn’t a megacity. It’s not a huge, bustling city filled with miles and miles of businesses and skyscrapers. Bergen doesn’t have any skyscrapers, and they do seem pretty happy about it, if we do say so ourselves. Most neighborhoods can actually be crossed in just 15 minutes on foot.

And the entire Sentrum, or center area is home to most of the different neighborhoods and boroughs that are most popular with the tourists and the locals, actually just stretches for 10 square miles.

Everything is certainly cozy in Bergen. Because of this snug as a bug in a rug vibe, you’re sure to have a challenge deciding exactly where to stay in Bergen. That’s what we are here for.

As we said, Bergen is the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway. Since Bergen is located between the Hardangerfjord and the Sognefjord, it’s a great place to base yourself for day trips to the fjords. Feel like giving glacier hiking a try? Do it on a day trip from Bergen. Or if you’d rather there is epic mountain hiking, skiing, water rafting, and biking, opportunities in Bergen and beyond.

Bergen is brimming with history and tradition. It was founded in 1070 by King Olaf Kyrre. And ever since the 13th century, Bergen has been a huge hub of international commerce. Just by walking through some of the backstreets of Bergen, you’ll feel like you’re in the Middle Ages.

Architecture has been preserved very well in here in Bergen. There is also an abundance of colourful houses that are Insta-ready for your Instagram. Get your hashtags ready!

And what’s more? For the foodies out there Bergen is a dream come true. As of 2015 Bergen was awarded the UNESCO title City of Gastronomy. Who knew that Bergen, Norway would be a renowned international culinary city!? They might not have empanadas or sushi, but they do have plenty of mackerel and reindeer…

Not only does Bergen have one of the oldest Philharmonic Orchestra’s in the world, but it is also home to Norway’s very first national theater.

If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, go ahead and put your worries back in your pockets because Bergen has a burgeoning trendy music scene and tons of festivals. If you’re timing is right, you just might catch a killer show!

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Bergen’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Ready to find your match made in heaven? Or should we say your neighborhood match made in Bergen? Keep on reading, dear readers, to figure out which of Bergen’s best neighborhoods suits your fancy.

#1 Sentrum –  Where to Stay in Bergen for the First Time

Sentrum is the name of Bergen city center. Center and Sentrum sound pretty similar, don’t they? Unfortunately, it was razed to the ground by a fire in the early 20th century.

It was rebuilt with much larger buildings and apartment complexes that you won’t find in other neighborhoods in Bergen. Living in the town center is mega popular. Surprise, surprise.

Sentrum, Bergen

Filled with cobblestone streets and an overwhelming sense of unity, you’re sure to find a little slice of home in Sentrum.

Sentrum is charming, fun, lively, and vibrant and brimming with restaurants to try Scandinavian delights in and cafes to sip posh coffee in. Not to mention the little stores that are a mix of two different businesses, like Litteraturhuset which is a book store that serves epic lunches!

Things to See and Do in Sentrum

– Check out the fabulous art exhibits at the KODE Bergen Art Museum 

– Go for a swim at the AdO Arena indoor swimming pool

– Enjoy the incredible cocktails and artisanally plated food at Roast Restaurant and Bar

– Go for a walk around Lille Lungegardsvannet, the small lake in the center of Sentrum

– Snap a photo at the unique smoking sculpture, which bizarrely actually does have smoke flowing out of the top of it

– Toast a glass of wine at the Colonianlen 44, a popular and upscale Norwegian restaurant

Best Hostel in Sentrum: Marken Gjestehus Hostel

The Marken Gjestehus Hostel is a bright and clean hostel located in the heart of the city center. There are lots of simple wall murals, all of which gives personality to the rooms. It’s a quiet hostel. It doesn’t promote socializing and it doesn’t serve drinks. If you’re looking for a quiet stay in the city center, then this is the place for you.

Best Airbnb in Sentrum: Two floor apt. only 1.min from Bergen Train St.

This “Two floor apt. only 1.min from Bergen Train St.” Airbnb Rental is an incredible find. It’s bright, crisp white walls and minimalist designs appear to come right out of the pages ofa magazine. The space is exceptionally well-designed. Note that you won’t rent the entire apartment, just one bedroom in the apartment.

Best Hotel in Sentrum: Zander K Hotel

The Zander K Hotel is a trendy and stylish hotel that has a posh on-site bar. You’ll love the designs and the a

tmosphere of the Zander K Hotel! Breakfast is included and is a large buffet that is beyond delicious. We’re serious— beyond delicious! Please save a croissant for us.

#2 Sandviken – Where to Stay in Bergen on a Budget

Sandviken has become a popular neighborhood in Bergen for students as it has more affordable housing and rental options. That’s what makes Sandviken where to stay in Bergen on a budget. It’s not too long of a walk to Sentrum, as it is located just behind Bryggen and the infamous Bergenhus Fortress.

Don’t worry. You’re not forfeiting any Bergen charm by choosing a budget friendly Bergen neighborhood. Sandviken has plenty of wooden houses and narrow lanes to wander around and snap photos of.

Sandviken, Bergen

Not only does Sandviken have cheaper room rates, it also has the most things to do in Bergen that are free. All of the recommendations below of things to do and see are totally free!

From the outdoor Old Bergen Museum to the diving tower to a nice hike, Sandviken is the best neighborhood in Bergen to stay in if you’re looking for free things to do!

Things to See and Do in Sandviken

– Visit the Sandvik Church, an old wooden Gothic church from 1881

– Hike along the Stoltzen Start for incredible views of the city

– Snap a photo of the Madam Felle monument, a statue in honor of the woman who maintained the sale of beer during the mid-19th century

– Stroll through the Old Bergen Museum, an outdoor museum that offers travelers a glimpse of old Bergen town life through the ages

– Take an iconic photo in front of the gorgeous Sandviken Fire Station, a mammoth fire-engine-red wooden building

– Go for a swim in Sandviken Sjøbad, a diving board, diving tower, and BBQ area in Sandviken

Best Airbnb in Sandviken: Modern, clean apartment close to Bryggen

The “Modern, clean apartment close to Bryggen” is the best place in Bergen to stay if you’re looking for a budget Airbnb. It is a one bedroom and one bathroom, with a comfortable queen-size bed and well-equipped kitchen.

It’s just a 10-15 minute walk to Bryggen from the front door. Breakfast is also provided by the host, left right there in the kitchen and in the refrigerator for you to enjoy!

Best Rental in Sandviken: Urban Apartments Sandviken

The Urban Apartments Sandviken is a truly great place to stay in Sandviken. It’s close to the main points of interest and the free on-site parking sure is a plus! The apartment has both city and sea views. It is a 3 bedroom apartment, with a bathroom, living room, and fully equipped kitchen. We love the gorgeous wooden floors!

Best Rental to Stay: High end 2BR Apartment in Good Location

This “High end 2BR Apartment in Good Location” in Sandviken is a two bedroom apartment that comes with all the bells and whistles. With a huge flatscreen TV, washing machine, dishwasher, you are sure to stay in comfort in this rental.

You also won’t need to spend any extra dough on laundry or on eating out, if you take advantage of all these Airbnb amenities.

#3 Bryggen – Best Area to Stay in Bergen for Nightlife

Bryggen is a lively neighborhood that is one of the coolest places to stay in Bergen. It’s right along the water and is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Sentrum.

There are tons of amazing bars and eateries in Bryggen that will make your mouth water just reading the menu or the cocktail list. We love the huge list of beers at Belgic Gastro Pub, the funky atmosphere and pool tables at Bar3, and the innovative cocktails at BarKollektiv. Bryggen definitely the best area to stay in Bergen for nightlife.

Bryggen, Bergen

Club-hopping or bar-hopping couldn’t be easier too, with all the venues next door to each other or just a few short minutes walk. Get tired of the vibes at one spot? Just walk half a block and find three others to choose from!

Things to See and Do in Bryggen

– Visit the Bryggens Museum to see excavated city artifacts from gorgeous gold vases to skeletons

– Walk through the Bergenhus Festningsmuseum which is a free museum that exhibits the Bergenhus Fortress and the city’s resistance to the Nazi’s

– Walk to the top of  the 13th century tower— the Rosenkrantztarnet

– Hike the Hester Trenger Hvile Nature Preserve, it’s a great walk and you might even spot a small waterfall or some bronze sculptures on the path

– Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at Det Lille Kaffe Kompaniet

– Dine at To Kokker and make sure to try their delicious seafood, from the halibut to the scallops

– Catch a show at Madam Felle music venue and rock out all night long

Best Airbnb in Bryggen: KO4_A1

The KO4_A1 Airbnb rental can fit six guests into three bedrooms. It is a great place to settle yourself in Bryggen if you want to stay close to all the nightlife. Yessiree, it’s one of the best places in Bergen to stay if you’re looking to stay in Bryggen.

The apartment is huge and the kitchen is fully equipped with all you could need! This huge apartment is a great find if you’re traveling with friends and want to take advantage of the Bryggen nightlife!

Best Hotel in Bryggen: Bergen Harbour Hotel

The Bergen Harbour Hotel is a luxurious stay for travellers. We love that the hotel offers guests free use of their bicycles! What a treat! The rooms are all fitted with a sizable flat screen, and most rooms offer incredible mountain and city views!

Best Hotel in Bryggen: First Hotel Bergen Marin

The First Hotel Bergen Marin is one of the best places in Bergen to stay. It’s just one block from the waterfront. We love that they offer coffee, tea, and sparkling water to their guests available all day every day!This hotel is situated in the real heart of Bryggen which makes it a great place to make your home base.

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#4 Nygård – Coolest Place to Stay in Bergen

Nygård is a Bergen neighbourhood very close to the city center. Nygård sits just south of the Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake. It’s the coolest place to stay in Bergen as it’s where the University of Bergen dwells. You know what students mean? It means the cool factor goes up, up, up!

The University itself makes a fun way to spend an afternoon, wandering around the grounds, the gardens, and checking out the Universities museums.

Nygard, Bergen

Nygård is a very compact neighborhood, easy to navigate and to wander around without ever feeling lost. You’re sure to stumble into some incredible little small spots, from a Alléhjornet Thai food to the chic grocery store REMA 1000. All the hidden gems and University charm makes Nygard one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Bergen.

Things to See and Do in Nygard

– Walk the grounds of the University of Bergen

– Visit St. Jacob’s Church

– Try traditional Norwegian cuisine at Marg & Bein

– Enjoy a drink at Muskedunder that has a huge list of cocktails, beer, wine, and whisky

– Check out the University Museum of Bergen and it’s natural history collections that has a p lovely garden outside

– Enjoy a walk at Byparken and pack a picnic to enjoy by the lake

Best Airbnb in Nygård: Stylish top floor, central, free parking. LS401

This “Stylish top floor, central, free parking. LS401” Airbnb rental is a full apartment rental, that can easily fit four guests in it’s two bedrooms and one bathroom. We love that you can check yourself in with the lockbox. It’s a stylish apartment full of fuzzy pillows and bright white walls and modern art.

Best Hotel in Nygård: Hotel Park Bergen

A stunning hotel, Hotel Park Bergen has been noted as one of the historic hotels of Europe. The style of the hotel is a mix of historic and modern, which makes it feel kind of eclectic.

There are lots of tiny, unique pieces of art and knick-knacks to spot all over the hotel. We love all the personal touches. Expect great hospitality here at the Hotel Park Bergen.

Best Hotel in Nygård: Citybox Bergen

Citybox Bergen is a great hotel that comes with an affordable price tag. The rooms are crisp and clean, and we love the tea kettles in the rooms so if you fancy a cup of tea day or night, you are in luck! There is also a microwave available for all guests to use.

#5 Nordnes – Best Neighborhood in Bergen for Families

Nordnes is the neighborhood in Bergen that sits on a peninsula that juts out from the harbor. For mental maps sake, Nordnes is on the opposite side of Bryggen and Sandviken. Nordnes is known for being a wooden house district that is filled with narrow lanes and lots of charm.

You won’t be surprised at finding vines filled with red roses winding up lots of buildings. Get your camera ready, friends! Nordnes is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Bergen for your Instagram and for the calm, friendly vibes.

Nordnes, Bergen
Source: Tore Sætre (Flickr)

Nordnes is also home to the Bergen Aquarium and Nordnes Park, both of which helps to make Nordnes the best neighborhood in Bergen for families.

If you’re traveling with kids and want a quieter neighborhood that you feel like is safe to let the kids roam around, while you can sit back with a glass of white wine and feel carefree, then Nordnes is for you!

It’s a quiet and quaint neighborhood that will make you and your family feel right at home. Nordnes is definitely our top recommendation of where to stay in Bergen with kids!

Things to See and Do in Nordnes

– Spend a day gazing at all the fishes, penguins, and seals at the Bergen Aquarium

– Stroll through the Nordnes Park, called Nordnesparken, and watch the ships from the shore

– Take a dip in the outdoor, public saltwater swimming pool for a refreshing experience no matter the weather as it is heated when it gets chilly outside (Nordnes Sjøbad)

– Go fishing from the shore and see if you can catch a mackerel

– Walk down to Verftet to enjoy a glass of win or an ice-cream along the edge of the fjord

Best Airbnb in Nordnes: Modern apartment at Nordnes Brygge

This Modern apartment at Nordnes Brygge is an incredible find. It is definitely one of the coolest places to stay in Bergen with your family. It can comfortably house six guests, in two bedrooms. It’s a stylish and modern apartment that has all you need to feel truly at home.

Best Hotel in Nordnes: Comfort Hotel Holberg

The Comfort Hotel Holberg is a sparkling clean and eco friendly hotel. It offers guests a rich and plentiful Scandinavian buffet breakfast. Comfort Hotel Holberg is situated close to the Ferry Port and to the Fish Market.

With the spacious rooms and excellent location known for its friendly staff, it is a great option for where to stay in Bergen with kids!

Best Hotel in Nordnes: Annehelene’s B&B

Annehelene’s B&B is sure to be a memorable stay for you and your family in Bergen. The owner, Anne, will make your stay a real treat. Her B&B is located inside a charming old house that is iconic to Bergen. The breakfast is better described as a feast!

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bergen

Bergen, Norway is a picturesque city that is brimming with charm. No matter which neighborhood you choose, you won’t be too far from the actio, or too far from friendly faces.

If you’re looking for where to stay to be closest to the Bergen nightlife, staying in  Bryggen is the place to be. This tiny neighborhood is right on the shore and the Bergen Harbour Hotel is our top find. Take advantage of those free hotel bicycles to tour the city with ease.

While hostel life hasn’t taken Bergen by storm yet, from the three available hostels in Bergen the best hostel is the Marken Gjestehus Hostel. It has copious amounts of different room styles and rates to choose from. And the location in the heart of the city, in Sentrum, is hard to top!

If you’re looking for where to stay in Bergen that would make you feel truly at home in this Norwegian city, we recommend the “Stylish top floor, central, free parking. LS401” in Nygard. It’s a bright and clean house that four guests can snuggle up in. Nygard is also one of the coolest places to stay in Bergen, so this Airbnb is a hot find!

Do you already know the best of Bergen? If you have Bergen tips to share, please drop us a note in the comments below.

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