Bergen must be the most underrated city in Europe. They advertise themselves as the being the gateway to the fjords, but they are so much more than that. Bergen is easily one of my favourite cities in Europe. It doesn’t necessarily compare to any of the big cities, Copenhagen, Paris or London, but it just so charming and gorgeous and overall makes for a really relaxing trip. One comes here, hopefully on a sunny day, to just wonder around the streets for hours, stopped every once in a while to sit on a terrace and enjoy the views.
If you do come, leave your fancy, high heeled shoes at home. This is the land of flats because if you are walking anywhere it will be either up or down a steep hill on cobblestone roads. We chose to spend today exploring the hill to the south of the historic district, getting lost among the colourful 18th century homes and their tiny well kept gardens. The hills don’t seem nearly as much work as they are because there is always something interesting to see, little details, another colourful house, another interesting looking alleyway.
The good news is that quite often you can stop and treat yourself to food or cakes to give you the energy to continue on with your journey. Just as the clock struck noon today we happen to stumble upon our lunch stop right on the top of the hill at a place called Klosterret. Klosterret has a very colourful terrace outside where you have views of the funicular going up and down Mount Floyen. You are surrounded by Bergen’s characteristic houses. Most importantly Klosterret claims to have the best fish soup in Bergen…and they do. They had the best fish soup I think I have ever had. It was so good and I highly recommend it.
The hot chocolate was very sweet, too sweet for my liking. But they also have a range of attractive looking cakes and there is more on the menu, made fresh on the premises, than just fish soup (although I wouldn’t look any further really). The staff/owner are incredibly friendly and it really felt like I was a local for an hour and this was my local spot for a nice quick lunch.
From here you are just a few blocks from the Bergen Aquarium which used to house the oldest captive penguin in the world (29 years old) but today still has several dozen penguins you can see up close. You can also walk around to the back of the Aquarium through a beautiful green park that brings you down to the water for incredible views.
Verdict: They do have the best fish soup in town, and probably the most colourful terrace. Klosterret, Klosterret 16, Bergen, Norway