The culture scene
As Oliver Opheim, author of the Bergen-set novel Mann går på bar (Going to the pub) once claimed: “Bergen manages to squeeze in a lot of diversity between its seven surrounding mountains”. It’s certainly home to impressive museums such as the KODE group. Start with KODE 1 – an imposing 1930s building that holds one of the largest collections of Scandinavian art and design.
The other KODE galleries focus on contemporary exhibitions devoted to Edvard Munch and European Modernists such as Klee, Picasso, Miró and the acclaimed Norwegian landscape painter, Nikoli Astrup. Little art lovers will be happy playing and experimenting in KunstLab, which is designed for children.
In stark contrast to the architectural chic of KODE, the Hanseatic Museum is a rough-timber building from 1704. It offers a glimpse into the rich lifestyle of the Hanseatic traders, in contrast to the austere conditions endured by the merchant sailors.
Down by the Byfjorden boat harbour is the Norwegian Fisheries Museum. Its four 18th century wharf side warehouses joined by covered bridges inspired the area’s nickname – The Venice of the North’. If the weather’s fine, you could rent a rowing boat or paddle kayaks in the nearby canals.
Classical music fans should go slightly further afield to Troldhaugen to visit the home of Bergen-born composer, Edvard Grieg. Built in the style of a Swiss wooden villa, his house is now a living museum with gardens, café and concert hall. Spend a few moments in the tiny Composer’s Hut where Grieg would hide away to create his masterpieces.