If you can see the top of Mount Floyen, then it is worth taking the funicular up to the top. An impressive train with glass windows and roof to be able to enjoy the view from all angles takes only 5 minutes to climb the steep mountain side. It has been taking tourists and locals alike up the hill since 1918. Once you reach the top you get the most stunning views of Bergen.
Once you have finished taking in the view you have lots of options. Norwegians and especially Bergenites are very active and you will see the locals wearing their hiking boots walking around the dozens of different trails that criss cross the mountain and also make their way back down the hill to the city center (about a 45 minute walk). If you aren’t feeling that active, just walking around the top of the hill will provide some other points of interest. Two different areas are filled with trolls. In one area they are more obvious but the other you need to go find them and they like to hide. There is a family of 5 sheep that roam free, two of which wear noisy bells, walking around eating the grass and providing more distractions. There is also a restaurant with a nice terrace at the top but they only seem to serve beer and a small selection of food just during lunch.
But if you are looking for a coffee or of course a hot chocolate, I’d recommend visiting Lille Kaffe Kompaniet that’s just one flight of stairs up the hill from the Funicular building. at the bottom of Mount Floyen, either just before you go up or right after you get down (It’s open late). I love Lille Kaffe Kompaniet. They are what all little coffee shops should be; attentive, passionate about what they do, have a fantastic and charming atmosphere, busy enough that you are not alone but not so busy that you can never get a seat. We sat outside because of the gorgeous weather. On one side is one of Bergen’s traditional narrow, cobblestoned streets lined with old white wooden 3 story houses with window boxes full of colourful flowers. On the other is the steep and windy road that goes from the Furnicular right at the bottom all the way up to the top of the hill. A steady stream of locals made their way up and down the hill while we were there, as it is one of the main walkways to get to the different levels of houses all along the hill side. Today there were two dogs on either side of the terrace, taking turns going from staring at each other and barking, and then staring at their owner’s cake and barking.
And they were right to bark because although Lille Kaffe Kompaniet is actually known for its coffee, they have the most amazing carrot cake. I have never had a carrot cake as good as theirs. It is decadent and mouthwatering without being overly sweet or heavy. I’ve had two pieces, one while sitting there and one I took away in a plastic cup. It is that good. The hot chocolate is really good too. They use 70% Valhrona chocolate melted in milk and served in a tall glass. You also have the choice of adding a hint of chili pepper to give it an extra kick, which I did, and loved.
Not surprisingly the coffee is amazing here too. This coffee shop was opened in 1996 by four university students who used their student loans to start the company. Since then it has changed ownership quite a few time with baristas and regulars joining in as owners which has kept it feeling like a family business. They usually have up to 25 different coffees in stock and several offered every day from around the world as well as local coffee roasters in Norway including the Bergen Coffee Roastery started by an ex owner of the coffee shop.
Verdict: My favourite spot in Bergen. Lille Kaffe Kompaniet, Bergen, Norway