Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, attracts many tourists with its picturesque scenery, cultural attractions, and vibrant atmosphere, particularly during the Christmas season when the city transforms into a winter wonderland. I was lucky enough to have a personally experience this beautiful city over the festive season. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best things to do in Bergen during the holidays, including indulging in the traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner.
Experience the Festive Atmosphere
The festive atmosphere is one of the most enjoyable things about spending Christmas in Bergen. Twinkling lights, colorful ornaments, and snowmen decorate the city, and there are several Christmas markets where you can shop for handmade crafts, try traditional Norwegian food, and enjoy live music performances. Bergen also hosts several Christmas concerts, including the must-see Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra's annual Christmas concert.
Indulge in the Traditional Norwegian Christmas Dinner
You can indulge in the traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner, known as "Julebord," on Christmas Eve. The meal typically features a variety of dishes, including "Ribbe" (roasted pork belly), "Pinnekjøtt" (salted and dried lamb ribs), and "lutefisk" (dried whitefish soaked in lye). These dishes are often accompanied by "Rødkål" (red cabbage), "Brunsaus" (brown sauce), and "Poteter" (potatoes). Additionally, the Norwegian Christmas dinner includes several desserts, such as "Riskrem" (rice pudding with whipped cream and raspberry sauce) and "Kransekake" (a tower-shaped almond cake).
Explore the Festive Markets
Bergen's lively Christmas markets are a great place to find unique gifts, delicious food, and festive decorations. The Bergen Christmas Market is the most popular, with over 60 vendors selling everything from woolen sweaters to handmade jewelry. Other notable markets include the Pepperkakebyen Gingerbread Town, which is the largest gingerbread town globally, and the Julemarkedet på Bryggen, set in the historic Bryggen district, offering a wide range of handmade crafts and delicious treats.
Take a Walk Through the Winter Wonderland
Bergen's winter wonderland is another reason to visit during the Christmas season. Snow-covered streets, frosted trees, and stunning fjord views make the city even more magical. You can take a walk through the city center, enjoying the Fløibanen funicular panoramic views, take a hike through the nearby mountains, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the harbor, which is home to several historic wooden houses and colorful boats.
In conclusion, Bergen is a magical destination during Christmas, with its charming decorations, lively markets, festive atmosphere, and delicious traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner. If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable holiday destination, consider spending Christmas in Bergen.