When imagining what Norway’s second largest city would look like, I didn’t envision it as an INSTANT gateway to the majestic Norwegian outdoors.
Sure, I knew that there are mountains around Bergen and that it’s possible to go on a fjord cruise from Bergen, but I didn’t expect one of these mountains, Mt. Fløyen, to be literally sitting on the city centre’s doorstep.
Before arriving in Bergen, I’d also heard that taking the funicular up to the top of Mt. Fløyen is a popular tourist attraction. At the top of Mt. Fløyen, you have the chance to experience an impressive panoramic view of Bergen. Until I arrived in Bergen, I didn’t know that reaching the top of Mt. Fløyen to see the view would only be the beginning of an awesome outdoor adventure. From exploring mountain top lakes, scaling boulders in pursuit of more incredible views, keeping an eye out for the invisible witch, and gazing into the depths of emerald forests, there seriously was a never-ending list of things to see and do on and around Fløyen. I had set aside just over 5 hours for exploring the mountain (had to catch that Hurtigruten cruise in the evening), but I was left wanting more!
So if you’re planning to visit Bergen, Norway, today’s post is my attempt to convince you to invest more time into a trip up Mt. Fløyen. Go beyond that quick ride up and down the Fløibanen (funicular), and you’ll be blown away by spectacular adventures and views.
Not yet convinced?
Read on to check out some of my favourite sites and activities on and around Mt. Fløyen! As usual, all of the adventures suggested below are absolutely FREE.
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Hike Up Mt. Fløyen (Skip the Funicular)
When I suggested going beyond the funicular ride, I seriously meant it. If possible, hike up and down rather than taking the Fløibanen. First of all, you’ll keep your bank account happy since you’ll saving roughly €4.75 to €9.50. (When travelling on a budget in Norway, take any savings you can get). Second of all, you’ll have the chance to catch some incredibly stunning views that you’d miss out on if you took the funicular!
One of the remarkable views caught on the hike up.
And another one.
The glowing, lush, and vibrant forests are quite mesmerizing too.
The hike up Mt. Fløyen takes around 45-60 minutes. It took me a little bit longer, because I stopped every 5 minutes to snap tons of pics (as usual). It is a completely uphill hike, but it’s not too challenging. For comparison: countless families were easily pushing their baby strollers up!
The path up to Mt. Fløyen begins right next to the entrance to the funicular.
Enjoy the View from the Observation Deck at the Top
Even if you didn’t take the Fløibanen up, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the bird’s-eye view of Bergen from the platform by the funicular exit! Go ahead and look. The scenery is beyond gorgeous!
Classic panoramic view of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen’s Observation Deck.
If you happen to be hungry or thirsty, there’s a restaurant, café, and shop right by the viewing platform. Alternatively, you can pack your own refreshments to enjoy at the top.
Peek into the Troll Forest
I won’t beat around the bush here. The Troll Forest is meant for kids. It’s basically a small forest trail just behind Fløyen’s observation deck that contains carved sculptures of trolls. So why on earth am I telling you to visit the Troll Forest? Well, trolls are Scandinavian mythological creatures. According to ancient folklore, these magical beings lived on mountains (especially in rocky areas). The top of Mt. Fløyen fits troll habitat criteria perfectly. So the forest is a great place for a quick stop if you’re a fan of ancient mythology or if you want to catch a glimpse of the role trolls play in Norwegian life and culture today.
Carved trolls in the troll forest.
Walk Over to Skomakerdiket Lake
Did you know that there are a handful of small lakes on top of Mt. Fløyen? Skomakerdiket Lake (the Shoemaker’s Lake) is one of them and it’s just a short 10-minute walk away from Mt. Fløyen’s Observation Deck. It’s definitely worth a visit!
A glassy Skomakerdiket lake.
In the summer, you can rent a canoe to take out on the lake.
Find Your Inner Child on Mt. Fløyen’s Obstacle Course
Around 20 years ago, I spent a lot of time on playgrounds. (FYI: I was 6 then). Nowadays, as I attempt to be a mature adult, I don’t often give them a second glance. But then I saw Mt. Fløyen’s playground/obstacle course. That playground stopped me in my tracks. It was in the middle of a forest and there was a zipline. And the zipline was pretty long and pretty fast (by child playground standards).
What did I do?
I tried it out and had a blast. Best of all, I wasn’t the only “adult” giving it a try!
Just to clear up any confusion: the playground I’m referring too isn’t the one that’s immediately next to the Fløibanen station. It’s about a 5-minute walk from the observation deck if you follow the path towards Ulriken (another one of the mountains surrounding Bergen).
Keep Walking to Revurtjernet Lake
After acting like a silly ziplining child for a couple of minutes, I continued along the path towards Ulriken. I definitely wasn’t planning on doing the 18 km hike that afternoon, (I didn’t have the time), but I decided to give myself 1 more hour of hiking up in pursuit of more panoramic views.
After about 30 minutes of walking, I arrived at another mountain top lake – Revurtjernet Lake. It was definitely the perfect spot for a quick break! Just look at those fall colours!
Another stunningly glassy lake.
If you have some extra time, you can follow the path to visit the other side of the lake too.
Wander Off the Main Path towards Fjellhytten
With around 30 more minutes left to spare, I decided to keep heading up. The views also kept getting more and more impressive.
That’s one perfect spot for a bench.
Soon, I saw a small dirt trail branch off of the main path. The sign read “Fjellhytten.” I was intrigued by this rocky little path and the views it promised to offer, so I followed it.
The path towards Fjellhytten.
Five minutes in, I saw a couple of massive boulders off of the little path. Since I didn’t have too much time left to continue down the path, I decided to find a way up on top of the rocks and call it day. Getting ultra-muddy shoes and going down a dirt slip’n’slide has never been more worth it. #klutz
Views from the boulders.
After a couple of minutes, I managed to reconnect with my inner chicken. I realized that during the past 15 minutes, I hadn’t seen or heard another person. I had this whole hilltop to myself. As wonderful as that was, I started to think about what sorts of creatures and critters inhabit the area. Other than trolls, I really had no clue. I was out of there faster than Professor Quirrell shouting “TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!!!!!” (Now I want to have an HP marathon. Who’s joining in?). Nevertheless, experiencing this rather “secret” viewpoint was totally worth it.
Note: After descending Fløyen, I decided to research the path I had taken. While the path can take you from Blåmansveien close by Revurtjernet Lake to Fjell-Hytten cabin, it seems to be a bit of a shortcut that’s not as frequently used.
Have a Whole Day to Spend on Fløyen? Hike from Fløyen to Ulriken
If I hadn’t had a Hurtigruten ship to catch that evening and had the possibility of spending one more day in Bergen, I would have loved to have hiked along the mountain ridges from Fløyen to Ulriken. It’s a long and challenging climb (18 km), but just look at those views!
I was so impressed by existence of this amazing hike that I just had to squeeze it into this post! Click here for more information about hiking from Fløyen to Ulriken (or vice versa) on Mt. Fløyen’s site.
What to Pack for an Afternoon on Mt. Fløyen (Late Spring, Summer, and Early Autumn)
There are two things you should always remember about the weather in Bergen: it’s totally inconsistent and it’s almost always wet. A gloriously sunny and warm lunch hour and quickly turn into a cold and rainy afternoon (…even if the forecast predicts no such thing). Fortunately, if hours of rain showers aren’t on the weather forecast for the day, it usually means that they’ll pass pretty quickly. In addition to swift changes from sun to rain, temperatures can rise and fall throughout the day too. Therefore, when preparing for an afternoon on Mt. Fløyen, make sure to bring:
- Layers. Start with a T-shirt or tank and go up from there. While hiking up in the sun, I was fine with a sleeveless shirt. As soon as the sun went away, I couldn’t get my sweater on fast enough. (It also get’s a bit windy at the top).
- A Raincoat or rain cover.
- Shoes with decent grip (so you don’t have to recreate my muddy slip’n’slide experience).
- A water bottle.
Where to Stay in Bergen on a Budget
While in Bergen, I spent at night at Marken Guesthouse. It’s a super clean and airy hostel that is less than a 5-minute walk away from Bergen’s central train station. Marken Guesthouse is also less than a 10-minute walk away from Bergen’s historical downtown neighbourhood, Bryggen, and the bottom of Mt. Fløyen’s funicular. The hostel has a shared common area and kitchen, which really went a long way with helping me keep my food costs on budget. When planning a stay at Marken Guesthouse, you can choose between staying in a dorm room, triple room, single room, and even a family room. Click here to check the hostel out!
Just before the Troll Forest, you’ll encounter a handful of signs about the mountain’s “invisible witch.” Her goals and ambitions aren’t known, so don’t let your guard down around these signs.
Even though Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, it’s also a hotspot for embarking on awesome outdoor adventures. The sheer abundance of hiking opportunities in the area took me by surprise, and I totally wish that I could have visited each and every one of the city’s seven mountains (…still hung up on that Ulriken hike). If you’d like to check out other hiking and walking routes on Mt. Fløyen, click here. You can also take a look at Visit Bergen’s walking routes and guides by clicking here.
Have you visited Bergen? Would you like to spend an afternoon up on Mt. Fløyen? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!
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