There are lots of family-friendly things to do Bergen, Norway – many more, in fact, that we could fit into 40 jet-lagged hours. It helped, of course, that we happened to land in Bergen on a picture-perfect blue sky summer day. Bergen has been called the City of Rain, but we never saw any of it.
We did, however, sleep through much of our time in charming Bergen. Bergen was our first city in Norway, and we flew in from the U.S. Unfortunately, the hours our bodies wanted to sleep were the exact hours most museums were open. Thus, we have “things we loved doing with kids in Bergen” and “things we wished we would have done with kids in Bergen.”
We loved everything about this adorable town, and my only regret was not planning more time there. To help you plan your time, let’s start with the basics.
The Best Things to Do in Bergen with Kids
The Bergen Fish Market is centrally located and hard to miss. It’s a great place to taste a reindeer hotdog, buy local berries in summer, gawk at fish and eat seafood. Plus, it’s adjacent to the Bergen Tourist Office, where you can pick up a Bergen Card, which will get you discounts on museums and public transportation.
Bryggen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides the iconic photo op of Bergen. These wharf buildings are built on a foundation that dates to the 12th century; the original buildings were destroyed in a fire and rebuilt in the 18th century. While my kids didn’t care about this history so much, they did love running through the maze of alleyways behind Bryggen, and there are tons of adorable shops hidden there.
The Hanseatic Museum, which tells the story of how Hanseatic merchants lived and worked in this area for 400 years, is located at Bryggen. Everyone told us we HAD to go there, but we just didn’t have time. I recommend you do it and tell me all about it!
Mount Floyen was actually our kids’ favorite spot in Bergen. Take the funicular railway up to the popular lookout where you can look down on the charming town, then explore the playgrounds, forests and lake of Mount Floyen. If you want to pack a picnic, there are tons of great picnicking spots!
Bergenhus Fortress is a little kid’s dream come true, if your kids are anywhere as obsessed with fortresses, knights, and armies as my boys are. It’s located in the center of Bergen, on the water, and hard to miss. The Bergenhus Fortress Museum has a good reputation. Of course, due to jet lag, we wandered in here way after the museum had closed. My kids still had a great time running along the ancient stone paths and pretending to shoot cannons.
Inside Bergenhus Fortress is Hakon’s Hall. Hakon’s Hall is 750 years old and rumor has it that it was the model for Hogwarts’ Great Hall.
Things to Do in Bergen with Kids — If You Have Time
The Edvard Grieg Museum is located at his home, Troldhaugen, just outside Bergen. It’s a lovely place, especially in summer, and if you have an interest in classical music. It’s also because of my attempt to see Troldhaugen that I made 7 travel mistakes with 3 kids in 1 day…so do with that what you will.
Hikers gonna hike, but if you have kids like mine, they’d much rather take a cable car. You can do that in Bergen, of course. The Ulriken cable car will take you to the top of Mount Ulriken, the highest of Bergen’s seven mountains, where hikers can hike and the rest of us can take in the view from the mountaintop restaurant.
The Norwegian Fisheries Museum has a reputation of being small and good for kids. Even if you don’t have time to go inside (like us), drive by just to see how freaking adorable the windows are, and take a peek out back at the Viking ship. This museum is located on the water and offers paddle boat and kayak rentals. Kids will love the chance to paddle around here!
Fjord tours are easily available from Bergen, if you don’t have plans to see fjords from elsewhere in Norway.
Last but not least…my oldest son’s favorite thing to do in Bergen was actually renting bikes. Along the wharf are easily accessible bike rentals if you have a credit card and an app. Given the very long summer days in Norway, biking around the city in the early morning or late at night (without the cruise ship crowds) was amazing. I highly recommend it if your kids are old enough to bike.
Things to Do in Bergen with Kids in Bad Weather
That said, Bergen’s aquarium is the largest aquarium in Norway, so if you have time, it’s worth a visit for sure. The science center is also supposed to be amazing. If you find yourself looking for kid-friendly activities in Bergen during the winter, check these places out.