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Blog 7 things to do in Bergen on a rainy day
Date: 31 December 2019

7 things to do in Bergen on a rainy day


Norway’s beautiful city of Bergen is affectionately known as the ‘European capital of rainfall’. While September to November is the wettest season, on average, there’s at least some rainfall in Bergen on 239 days of the year.

But don’t let that put you off. This gorgeous, harbour-side city has loads to offer, come rain or shine (probably rain), and it’s surrounded by spectacular scenery.

The city is geared up for wet weather, so, if the heavens open, don’t worry, there’s plenty to do. Here are seven things to do on a rainy day in Bergen.

1. Splash about at Vannkanten Waterworld

Girl stands on steps of a slide looking towards the pool at Vannkanten Waterworld.
Avoid the rain and get wet anyway at Bergen’s aquapark. Photo © Waterworld Vannkanten

If you’re going to get wet anyway, you might as well embrace it at Vannkanten Waterworld. With outdoor and indoor pools, water slides, climbing walls and Jacuzzis to enjoy, this waterpark is a great rainy-day option in Bergen for the whole family.

If it’s still drizzling after your swim, dash next door to the Vestkanten Shopping Centre. With 110 shops, a curling arena, bowling hall and tons of fabulous restaurants, it’ll keep you busy until the sun comes out.

2. Delve into Bergen’s history at the Hanseatic Museum

Façade of the Hanseatic Museum in Bergen
Take a trip back in time at the Hanseatic Musem. Photo: Bjoertvedt – Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

A visit to the Hanseatic Museum is a must for history buffs. You’ll learn about the Hanseatic League (a guild of trading merchants who stimulated the economy in Bergen between the 14th and 18th centuries), and their lives in unmarried celibacy for as long as they stayed in the area.

You’ll also discover secret staircases, see how the Hanseatic merchants lived, and learn about the great fire of 1702 that destroyed almost the whole town.

Colourful buildings in Bergen as seen from across the water with now-covered mountains in the background
Explore Bryggen (aka the dock) with its colourful buildings and Hanseatic heritage

While in the area, you’ll have a great opportunity to explore the UNESCO-listed Bryggen neighbourhood, with its colourful buildings and pretty wharf. A stroll in this area is one of the most popular things to do in Bergen.

3. Get musical at the Grieg Museum

Living area in a rustic house with Steinway piano chairs and chandelier
See where renowned Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg lived at his beautiful home in Bergen. Photo © Bergen Tourist Board / Dag Fosse – visitBergen.com

If you appreciate classical music, you may want to pay a visit to Troldhaugen. This is where Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg spent the last 22 years of his life with his wife, Nina. Their beautiful home is now a museum, which contains treasures like Grieg’s Steinway piano.  

In the garden, you can see Grieg’s composer’s cabin, his grave, and a concert hall which is practically hidden from view from those crossing the nearby footbridge by an impressive grass roof.

4. Check out some art at the KODE Museums

3 paintings by Edvard Munch hanging on a wall in the KODE Museum
Explore the world of Norwegian-born expressionist painter Edvard Munch at KODE. Photo: Palickap – Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

A rainy day in Bergen is perfect for exploring the city’s art galleries. And there are plenty of them. KODE consists of four buildings around the city centre, each offering something different, and they’re all fascinating.

You can see masterpieces by the likes of Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and Pablo Picasso, and visit the unique ‘Silver Treasure’ exhibition, among others.

Tip: Buy a Bergen card and save money on your ticket to the KODE Museums and other Bergen attractions.

5. Wow the kids at Vilvite

Small child plays with water and balls at the Vilvite museum
Keep the little ones entertained for hours at the Vilvite Science Museum. Photo © Bergen Tourist Board – visitBergen.com

It’s tough to keep kids entertained on a rainy day. But not in Bergen. Vilvite Science Museum is the perfect place to engage them. The museum is full of child-friendly, interactive games and exhibits that’ll teach them about everything from the environment to the human body.

And, providing they’re five foot or taller, they can try out Europe’s only public G-force ride.  This place is great fun for kids, big and small!

6. Be enchanted by Villa Lysøen

A light blue house with white adornments surrounded by trees
The romantic-looking Villa Lysøen is a pretty place to wander around when it rains in Bergen. Photo: Edgar El – Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

If you’re a fan of magical architecture, be sure to visit Villa Lysøen. Open during the summer months, the property once belonged to Norwegian violin-virtuoso and composer Ole Bull, who transformed it into a fairy tale kingdom, complete with romantic paths, ponds and gazebos.

If it’s too rainy on your Bergen trip to take a stroll around all the grounds, you can enjoy a guided tour inside or sip a nice coffee at the on-site café.

If the weather does cheer up for half a day, Lysøen island itself is a perfect place for hiking with a beautiful forest, great viewpoints, and pleasant picnic areas.

You can reach Villa Lysøen by ferry from Buena Pier in Lysekloster.

Tip: Come rain or shine, a must-do in Bergen is a Fjord cruise. Hop aboard a catamaran on this three-hour fjord cruise and see spectacular fjords, mountains and waterfalls. Relax and enjoy a drink or two from the bar on board as you take in the breathtaking scenery.

7. Enjoy a taste of Norway

Cornelius Seafood Restaurant in Bergen at dusk as seen from the side
Kick back, relax and enjoy some delicious seafood on the waterfront. Photo © Truls J L Tvedt – Cornelius Seafood Restaurant

What better way to spend a rainy day in Bergen than by tucking into some delicious seafood? That’s what you’ll get at renowned Cornelius Seafood Restaurant.

Every day, regardless of the weather conditions, boats depart from the historic Bryggen Wharf in the city centre, to Holmen, where this magnificent waterfront restaurant is located.

Enjoy fresh clams, winter cod or traditional Norwegian lutefisk, while admiring the spectacular views of the fjords and mountains. There’s also a raw bar where you can indulge in freshly-picked sea urchins, horse mussels and flat oysters.

Visiting Norway

The colourful houses of Bryggen in Bergen with rainwater on the ground, grey clouds in the sky and a cyclist riding down the street
Bergen’s Bryggen area is still a great place to visit – even in the rain

It might rain a lot in Bergen, but it’s still a fabulous city to visit. But so are lots of other places in Norway. Why not rent a car and see them all on a Norwegian road trip? Take a look at some of the most spectacular places to visit in Norway for inspiration.

Tip: Save as you travel by booking your flights with Norwegian and your tours and car hire through Norwegian Reward. You can earn yourself some CashPoints and use them to get money off your next trip!

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Skiing holidays in the Alps: Which resort to choose?