What's on in Bergen: The biggest festivals and events taking place throughout the year in Norway's second city.
Are you planning a trip to the west coast of Norway in 2019? If you're starting or ending a Hurtigruten or fjord cruise in Bergen, then why not time your visit to coincide with a special event?
We keep our eyes on the major concerts, festivals and other big events in and around Bergen so you don’t have to! Whether you're a local or planning to visit, check out this guide to make the most of your time.
Bergen Whisky & Beer Festival
31 January – 2 February: Hear experts from around the world share their knowledge at lectures and masterclasses, or simply try something you've never tasted before. Held over three days at the Grand Terminus Hotel next to the train station.
6 – 10 March: Borealis is a festival for contemporary music and experimental listening. Although sound and music are at the heart of Borealis, the festival also features talk, cinema, literature and visual arts events, as a way of expanding the conversation about music and its place in our lives.
Bergen City Marathon
For the eighth year running, a marathon will be staged through Bergen's city streets. It's a great occasion for participants and spectators, with the start and finish line at the iconic Bryggen.
Nordic Media Festival
8 – 10 May: Nordiske Mediedager is the most prominent and largest media-focused conference in the Nordic region: 1,800+ delegates attend from across the media world. The festival ends with the prestigious Gullruten award show, the Norwegian equivalent of the Emmy Awards.
Norwegian Constitution Day
17 May: Join Bergen's locals to celebrate the biggest day in Norway on the city streets. Watch the parades throughout the morning and listen to the marching bands before fireworks round off the day an hour or so before midnight.
Bergen International Festival
22 May – 5 June: The Nordic art community descends on Bergen for two weeks every year for the largest event of its kind in the region, The Bergen International Festival presents art in all its guises – music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art – at more than 150 individual events.
28 May – 6 June
The longest jazz festival in Northern Europe hosts concerts that blur the lines between jazz, rock, ethno and electronica.
The annual 7-mountain hike, as the name suggests, sees keen participants hike the seven mountains that surround Bergen. The whole day can be used to complete the 30km course which includes a total ascent of 2,200m. A bit much? Try the 15km four-mountain hike instead!
Bergen Gay Pride
1 – 8 June: The Regnbuedagene festival offers political debates, art shows, concerts, youth-events, film screenings, a colourful parade and different social events throughout Norway's second city.
Bergen to Voss cycle race
1 June: The ‘west Norway classic' is one of the country's best-known cycling events and one of the most scenic tours in Europe. Cyclists of all abilities take part in this unique annual event. The 170km route follows fjords and mountains from the coastline of Bergen to the ski and extreme sports resort of Voss.
12 – 15 June: In recent years Bergenfest has firmly established itself as a modern music festival of both national and international interest. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters are among the headliners for 2019.
Bergen Food Festival
30 August – 1 September
Farm-based food businesses from the counties of Hordaland and Sogn & Fjordane promote their products to locals and visiting tourists alike in the bustling centre of Bergen.
25 – 26 September
Billing itself as the ‘world's steepest race', Stoltzekleiven opp is not for the inexperienced. For forty years now Bergen's toughest and fittest competitors have raced up the rough stone stairway from Fjellveien to Sandvikspilen.
Bergen International Film Festival
25 September – 3 October
In 2019 BIFF will be celebrating 20 years of presenting films from around the globe to a local audience of cinema lovers. It has become one of the biggest and most important cinema events in Norway.
December: Pepperkakebyen is the world’s largest gingerbread town, right in the heart of Norway’s second city.
Kindergartens, schools, businesses and thousands of individuals have contributed to the annual event since its creation in 1991. Expect Bergen in miniature: houses, trains, cars and ships made from real gingerbread, and of course, plenty of opportunities to buy gingerbread too!
Did I miss anything? Let me know!