In October 2008 I wrote this small Bergen guide. Since then several people have asked me for Bergen tips. Today I got a Flickr mail from Laura, asking me for advice for her and her husband's upcoming trip to Bergen. Thanks to her I was reminded that it is finally time to update my Bergen guide.
Some of my recommendations are exactly the same as in that 2008 post, some of them are new. I've lived in Bergen since August 1999, and despite the very wet weather, I love it here!
Bring raingear or at least an umbrella. Even in summer, but especially in autumn. And remember sensible shoes. Bergen is a perfect city to explore by foot.
Get a city map so you can find your way around the city. The city centre is not big and it's nice to walk around and explore all the idyllic cobblestone streets and wooden houses. Take a walk from Torgallmenningen to Nordnesparken via Klosteret. Have lunch or a drink at USF (that's where my office is) whilst looking at the sea. If the weather allows it, it's the best spot in the city for al fresco drinks.
Have breakfast or lunch at Godt Brød. They serve the best organic sandwiches in town. The brownies and sommerbolle (sweet bun with vanilla custard) are yummy too. Find Godt Brød in Korskirken, Vestre Torvgate and Vetrlidsallmenning. Smakverket (Rasmus Meyers Allé 3) is another excellent choice for lunch and really good coffee.
For really great coffee I highly recommend Kaffemisjonen in Øvre Korskirkeallmenning 5. Dromedar (Strandgaten 81), Det Lille Kaffekompaniet (Nedre Fjellsmauet 2), and BarBarista (Stølegaten 8a) are also great.
A visit to Bryggen is a must. Amongst all the souvenir shops Ting stands out; a great spot for good design.
Another must: Catch the funicular to mount Fløyen and get a nice view of the city. Well, depending on the weather, of course... Or take the cable car to the highest of the seven mountain tops surrounding Bergen, Mount Ulriken. There are lots of great walking trails up there which I highly recommend.
Some of my favorite clothing shops are Vrimmel (Olav Kyrres gate 11), Retro (Olav Kyrres gate 7), Lot 333 (Strandgaten 72), Nova (Strandgaten 73), Filippa K (Håkonsgaten 33), Acne + Pepper (Christies gate 9) and Twisted (Nygårdsgaten 1). Skostredet is a sharming street with nice cafés and shopping, for example T Michael, Håkki, Kleskapet and Kamelone. There are several shops around Torgallmenningen and there are several shopping malls in the city centre: Galleriet, Xhibition, Sundt, Kløverhuset and Bergen Storsenter. Here you find high street brands like H&M, Cubus, Lindex, Kappahl, Vero Moda, Bik Bok.
I must admit that we don't eat dinner out a lot, so I'm not really into what's hot or not. But I do have a hand full of places I like and recommend (in no particular order): Bølgen & Moi (Rasmus Meyers Allé 9), Café Opera (Engen 18), Pingvinen (Vaskerelven 14), Potetkjelleren (Kong Oscars gate 1), Soho Kitchen & Lounge (Håkonsgaten 27), Søtt + Salt (they did the catering in our wedding), Colonialen (Engen 8), Lucullus (Valkendorfsgate 8), Hanne på Høyden (Fosswinckelsgate 18), Kroathai (Nygårdsgaten 29), Escalon (Vestrlidsallmenning 21), Jacobs Bar & Kjøkken (Kong Oscars gate 44).
For beer and rock visit Legal and the legendary Garage in Christiesgate 11 and 14.
Unfortunately I don't have any good tips for accommodation, since I always sleep at home ;-) But I'm sure you will find something nice by Googling it.
Here is my Bergen set on Flickr and here are all my Bergen related blog posts. You should also check out my friend Ingvild's Bergen guide brilliant Bergen guide (in Norwegian - use Google Translate). Also: VisitBergen.com
PS: All the addresses and names mentioned here can be found on Google Maps.
Feel free to add your own personal Bergen favorites in the comments!