A portrait of Brandon Mellin.

Brandon Mellin ’08

Velkommen til Bergen, Norway! 

My name is Brandon Mellin ’08, and for the last decade, I have been a tour guide and boat captain in St. Augustine, Florida. My family and I have recently traded the oldest city in America for the heart of the fjords in Norway. Bergen offers breathtaking scenery, rich history, unique culture and delicious food. Let me show you around:

 1 | Scenery 

A scene with a river between mountains.

Bergen is nestled between seven mountains, with hiking trails ranging from leisurely to strenuous. I am biased because I live at its base, but Fløyen provides several nice routes, including a tram for those who can’t or don’t want to hike.

PRO TIP: There are restaurants and coffee shops at the summits of Ulriken and Fløyen — perfect for rewarding yourself with a coffee, ice cream or even a beer from the nearest brewery, 7fjell (7 mountain, get it?).

 2 | History 

A medieval fort.

Founded in 1070, Bergen boasts the oldest medieval fort in Norway, Bergenhus. Once the capital of Norway, Bergen continues to be the most important port city, and the city’s harbor district, Bryggen, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 3 | Culture

As the second-largest city in Norway, there are always shows, concerts and festivals going on. If the weather is less than ideal, head to the KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, the maritime museum or even see the philharmonic orchestra at historic Grieg Hall. 

PRO TIP: Purchase a Bergen pass, which gets you free public transport and free or reduced entry to many of the city’s attractions.

 4 | Food

Plates of Norwegian cuisine.

Featuring everything from Michelin-star restaurants to quaint coffee shops, Bergen is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. During the summer, the fish market is a great place to grab local fish, sausage and soft-serve. For a taste of traditional Norwegian cuisine, I recommend Pingvinlen.

PRO TIP: Reservations are a must at Pingvinlen. Get the fish pie if it’s on the menu!

 5 | And … Scenery (again) 

In a word, fjords. Bergen is situated between two of the largest fjords in Norway, Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord. A trip to Norway is not complete unless you visit one or both of these fjords. Tour companies like Rødne and Norled provide several cruises that vary in length from a few hours to a full day. Words do not do justice to the beauty you will experience on these trips!

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