For me, Oslo vs Bergen isn’t an particularly shut contest. Bergen is a much more stunning and attention-grabbing metropolis, and is nearer to extra worthwhile sights than Oslo is.
With this being stated, Oslo isn’t a metropolis you may write off solely. That is very true as a result of it’s nearly definitely the place your journey to Norway will start. Even should you really feel such as you’ve reached the identical conclusion I’ve, this submit remains to be price studying. (And, extra to the purpose, Oslo can also be nonetheless price visiting, if just for a day.)
I’ll dive deeper into how to decide on Oslo or Bergen in only a bit, however first enable me to train some vainness. I visited each cities throughout my first sojourn round Norway over a decade in the past. After touchdown in Oslo on a chilly and dreary June day, I rode the prepare over the glacier to Bergen which, regardless of being often known as Europe’s rainiest metropolis, was extraordinarily sunny (albeit not heat in any respect).
Whereas I notice climate isn’t one thing you may wholly choose a spot on, the truth is that climactic circumstances over each Bergen and Oslo matched each cityscapes, and the way my time in every made me really feel. Though I’ve warmed to Oslo on subsequent journeys to Norway, the truth is that it hasn’t even come near charming me like Bergen has, even when I prefer it much more now than I did in 2012.
Learn how to Evaluate Oslo and Bergen
Issues to do
Oslo could also be gray and dreary, however there’s a good bit to do, from the beautiful Oslo Opera Home, to the traditional Akershus Fortress, to the provocative Vigelands Park. In truth, whereas Bergen’s cityscape is usually extra attention-grabbing (and definitely extra colourful), the variety of precise must-see sights could be much less. Most of what there’s to do within the metropolis facilities on exploring the Bryggen space and having fun with the view from Fløyen mountain.
An attention-grabbing reality about Oslo, as boring because it appears to the bare eye, is that it technically sits inside a fjord. Sadly, a fjord is a geographical designation, which refers back to the form of the inlet, not the sweetness or majesty of the surroundings round it. Whereas Bergen’s personal fjord isn’t fairly as spectacular because the dramatic ones inside day-trip distance of it, its magnificence is a good deal extra enchanting and…effectively, Norwegian.
Foods and drinks
Let’s be frank: Norwegian meals isn’t something to put in writing residence about; alcohol is simply too costly right here to drink at scale, except you’re cool with beer. With this being stated, in case you are in search of eclectic eating choices, I’d truly say the array of eating places in Oslo’s Aker Brygge space might be far more interesting than what you discover in central Bergen, as scrumptious because the seafood on supply in Bergen is, and as a lot character (comparatively talking) because the eateries have.
One other differentiator that will help you select between Bergen or Oslo? When you’ll must journey removed from Oslo (i.e. midway to Bergen) to get anyplace remotely stunning and attention-grabbing, a lot of Norway’s finest locations are straightforward day excursions from Bergen. These embrace, most notably, the well-known fjords of Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord, the latter of which hides the charming village of Flåm.
From Oslo, you may both take a prepare throughout the nation to Bergen, or fly north to different locations like Trondheim and Tromsø—there actually aren’t a whole lot of locations to simply proceed your journey in its basic neighborhood. From Bergen, given its location on Norway’s west coast, there are extra choices. Head south to trek Trolltunga, or north through the fjords to picturesque Alesund, itself a gateway to beautiful nature.