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Bergen in the Winter: Photos from Norway’s Second City

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A short photo essay showing what to expect from a visit to Bergen in the winter months.

Many tourists visit Bergen each summer, but far fewer do so in the winter. Yet the city offers things to do year-round, whether you're travelling as a family, couple, individual or with friends.

Bergen winter scene at Bryggen

These photos will give you an idea of what to expect from a Bergen winter. Ready?

If you're arriving on the Bergen railway, the trip over the Hardangervidda mountain plateau will be a memorable one. That's if you're taking a train in the daytime, of course. At night, you won't see much.

Bergen railway in the winter

Read more: Fun Facts About Bergen

The winter weather in Bergen

First things first, winter weather in Bergen may not be as cold, or as snowy, as you might expect! Its picturesque coastal location is a big factor in the local climate.

Bergen pedestrian crossing the rain.
Photo: Dignity 100 / Shutterstock.com

The city is known as one of Norway's rainiest places. Precipitation is almost guaranteed in December, but it's just as likely to be rain as snow. Of course, rainfall means what snow does fall can be washed away quickly.

Snowy street in central Bergen

That's not to say it doesn't snow in Bergen. Far from it! As you'll see from the many pictures on this page, snowfall in Bergen is not a rare sight. What's harder to predict is exactly when it will fall.

Bergen city lake winter scene

One other thing. Remember the days are considerably shorter in winter, particularly in December and January. Many of the snow-laden pictures of bright days will have been taken in February and March, when the days are longer.

Winter hiking in Bergen

Bergen is well-known for its hiking trails within easy reach of the city centre. Many of them are possible to hike year-round, depending on snowfall and with the right footwear, of course.

View from Bergen's Mount Fløyen in the winter
View of downtown Bergen from Mount Fløyen

It's possible to try out cross-country skiing in the mountains surrounding the city following snowfall. But for guaranteed trails, nearby Voss is a great choice.

A winter scene from Ulriken in Bergen
View from the top of the Ulriken cable car

Both the Fløibanen funicular railway and the Ulriken cable car are open year-round. So, even if you don't fancy a winter hike, it's still possible to get some rewarding views.

Hiking route signposts in Bergen, Norway
Hiking trails above Bergen

Note: The funicular is temporarily closed until the spring of 2022.

Christmas in Bergen

Feeling festive? If so, Bergen is a great choice for a pre-Christmas break. While it's the darkest time of the year, the city is lit up by Christmas lights.

Bergen's Bryggen neighbourhood with Christmas decorations and winter lights
Bergen's Bryggen at Christmas

Bergen is also home to one of Norway's best Christmas attractions. Pepperkakebyen, or the Gingerbread Town, claims to be the world's biggest such attraction.

Gingerbread town in Bergen at Christmas
Bergen's Pepperkakebyen. Inspired By Maps / Shutterstock.com

As you can see from these photos, parts of downtown Bergen are recreated in glorious pepperkaker, gingerbread biscuits that are supremely popular during the Norwegian winter.

Bergen's Christmas gingerbread town, known as Pepperkakebyen in Norwegian
Bergen's Pepperkakebyen. Inspired By Maps / Shutterstock.com

The attraction has inspired a similar gingerbread town in Duluth, Minnesota, one of the hotbeds of Scandinavian American community in the US.

Read more: Beautiful Bergen in Pictures

Have you been to Bergen in the winter? Did you enjoy it?

About 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 professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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