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The rain in Bergen falls mainly on the – well, everywhere. As the indisputable European capital of rainfall, Bergen is extremely likely to greet you with some kind of precipitation or other. But that shouldn’t deter you from exploring Norway’s second biggest city. There are plenty of things for you to do on a rainy day in Bergen – here are some ideas below.
As Norwegians take their coffee seriously (and consume more cups daily than any other nation in the world), you’re bound to find a cozy place to sip on great quality coffee while listening to the raindrops falling outside. Det lille Kaffekompaniet (DLK) is a great option for a cappuccino with a yummy pastry on the side, whereas Kaffemisjonen, near Bryggen Wharf, serves some serious brews. This place also teaches barista courses so you know you’re in good hands.
There’s something about stormy weather that makes a day at the spa all the more special. In Bergen, you’ll be spoiled for choice (pun intended) when it comes to spa selections. If you want to make a day trip out of it, Solstrand Hotel & Bad offers a complete wellness experience in beautiful surroundings, with endless views to the mountains and fjords (you can also try a fjord bath at their outdoor bathing jetty). If you’re looking for something in the heart of the city, Amber Spa has packages (both for individuals and for couples) that will keep you relaxed for hours and leave you feeling brand new.
Bergen knows its fashion. The city has a unique style identity, with its boutiques acting as its ambassadors. There are many must-stops on your fashion pilgrimage, but you should definitely start with T-Michael/Norwegian Rain. The dynamic duo that is Alexander Helle and T-Michael joined forces 10 years ago to design waterproof outerwear that is both stylish and practical for Bergen’s climate, and have been expanding their brand to other cities and winning awards ever since. At their flagship store you’ll also find T-Michael’s menswear that draws inspirations from sartorial traditions like the Japanese kimono.
Regn should also be on your list. A concept store with carefully curated brands that exude authentic, Scandinavian vibes like Filippa K, Samsøe Samsøe and MOSS Copenhagen, Regn also carries interior design items as well as beauty and wellness brands.
On a clear day, you’d probably take a long walk at Bryggen Wharf, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and stop at the Hanseatic Museum to learn the history of the Hanseatic League that basically shaped the city of Bergen. Or maybe you’d take a longer trip to the Edvard Grieg Museum in Troldhaugen. But don’t worry: between the four KODE Museums in the city center and the 50,000 objects they host (paintings, sculptures, installations, musical instruments, etc) you’ll have plenty of things to see and learn on a rainy day.
Bergen’s culinary scene is as prominent as its fashion scene. If you want to treat yourself to the city’s finest, you should probably head to Lysverket, located inside one of the KODE museums. Helmed by one of the finest chefs in Norway, Christopher Haatuft, at Lysverket you will taste inventive Nordic dishes made with locally foraged ingredients. Or, if you’re looking for something simpler, you can have a slice of pizza with a glass of natural wine at Hoggorm, the new pizza place the Lysverket team opened, which already has foodies singing its praises. Other interesting choices are Marg & Bein (for carnivores; their name literally means ‘marrow and bone’) and 1877, where the chefs change the menu every six weeks to make the most of the local, seasonal produce available.
Bergen’s nightlife has something for everyone. You can get your quality whisky fix at Terminus, your quality beer at Henrik Øl og Vinstove or just spend quality time at a place like No Stress. Here you can enjoy cool cocktails in a relaxed setting – so relaxed, you can also play video games with your friends.
The city’s hotel offerings are both thorough and impressive. Whether you choose to chill at a UNESCO World Heritage site (The Hanseatic Hotel is in Bryggen Wharf, right in the heart of all the action) or to stay at a place that’s connected to Edvard Grieg and will teach you the composer’s history (Opus XVI is managed by Edvard Grieg’s relatives), one thing is for sure: at the end of the rainy day, you’ll be ready for plenty more in Bergen.