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A Watery Day in Bergen Part 2: Bergen Aquarium

Bergen Aquarium

After the Osterfjord cruise I decided to continue my water theme and visit Bergen Aquarium. I'd been advised to take the bus, but as the skies were clear I chose to walk. It's a nice 20-minute walk along Strandgaten from the fish market, passing through one of Bergen's older neighbourhoods, Nordnes. I'd recommend walking to anyone if the weather is nice.

Upon entering the aquarium it appears small – really small – with a large tank to the left and some penguins to the right. But the majority of the exhibits are actually inside and underground, so despite first impressions, it's a pretty big place.

Sea lions

First up I knew there was a show every hour, so I rushed to arrive in time for the 4pm show, which turned out to the exercise and feeding time for the sea-lions. The staff have a great relationship with the sea-lions and they seemed to lap up the attention and chance to play.

I couldn't help but wonder if they'd be happier in their natural habitat, but that's a debate for another time! The feeding time attracted a flock of gulls who weren't shy in swooping down after the leftovers – mind your heads!

Feeding time with the sea-lions

Sea-lion in Bergen

Penguins

Bergen Aquarium plays host to a gorgeous colony of gentoo penguins, who originally called the Falkland Islands home. They are great swimmers, especially the kids who spent almost all the time I was watching them (which was a long time!) circling the rocks.

Penguins

Bergen Aquarium

Penguin colony in Bergen

Inside the Aquarium

After the excitement outside, I headed in the building and was surprised to find so much inside, spread over three floors. The first thing you come to is a tank where you can reach in and touch the crabs. The kids were much keener than the adults 🙂

Inside the aquarium

There's various exhibits of fish found locally in Scandinavia and elsewhere in the world, including a pretty cool tunnel where you are surrounded by fish.

Fish at Bergen Aquarium

Colourful fish

Keep your wits about you though, because some nasty surprises lay in wait!

Crocodile

By the way, have you ever seen a wolf-fish? Ugly buggers…

Wolf-fish

Buried on the second underground floor is a tropical area, home to snakes, lizards and other creepy-crawlies. In addition to the hourly shows outside, there's a small cinema inside and a place to eat too.

I only spent just over an hour at Bergen Aquarium, but with more time and perhaps with company – especially kids – I could have easily stayed all day. In case you're wondering – I didn't have fish for dinner 😀

Bergen Aquarium

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.

1 Comment

  1. Hi! Delurking to chime in on the best way to get to the aquarium, in case any other visitors will be reading your blog post, or in case you will be walking in that neighbourhood some other time.

    I would start off with Strandgaten, just as you did. This is a long street, and part of it is a charming, narrow, winding pedestrian shopping street. After this narrow part is finished, Strandgaten becomes more drab, dominated by post-war architecture. But luckily, you’ll find the most perfectly quaint street in the whole city simply by going one “block” to the left; this street is called Ytre Markevei, and you can try googling it, but pictures don’t quite do it justice.

    When you get to the end of Ytre Markevei, you may return to Strandgaten, but I would instead recommend walking up the steps of Finvaldsmauet, which will lead you to the highest area on the Nordnes peninsula, a park-like area that has greats view across the rooftops and more of the harbour. There is another road that runs through here, along the ridge of the peninsula, that you can now follow to the aquarium.

    Walking back towards the city centre, I could recommend keeping to the south-west. You’ll find a park-like area where some stairs descend to Verftet (aka Georgernes Verft), recognisable by the long quay side (a popular day-time hangout on nice summer days). The quay ends with a big outdoor restaurant and the cultural centre called USF Verftet.

    The path back to the city centre continues behind USF Verftet. Walk straight ahead and you’ll hopefully find yourself in Skottegaten, the beginning of which is also one of the most picturesque streets in Bergen. At this point you should be looking straight at the roof of Den Nationale Scene, Bergen’s national theatre, so just aim for that, even though you’ll need to zig-zag through some more cobblestone streets, and you’ll be back on known territory.

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