This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for with each click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Whether you walk, hike, bike or ride up, exploring Mount Fløyen is one of the best things to do in Bergen, Norway. Soaring nearly 400 metres above sea level, the mountain—one of the seven peaks surrounding the city—rewards those who make the trip to the top with memorable views of Bergen sprawled out below. Enjoy a birds-eye perspective of the boat-filled harbour, historic Bryggen, and out to the North Sea which winds through the fjords. Oh, and there are even trolls.
The Mount Floyen Funicular
Those who are tight for time or not in the mood to climb will want to take the Mt Fløyen funicular. Starting from the Vetrlidsallmenningen station in the city centre near the Fish Market and Bryggen, the Fløibanen takes just eight minutes to climb 320 metres to the top (which is called Fløyfjellet) and offers different vantage points of the city along the way.
There are also three stations along the route for those who don’t mind hiking part of the trail—called Promsgate, Fjellveien and Skansemyren—but don’t be surprised if there’s a long queue. Since opening in 1918, the Fløibanen has carried nearly 50 million passengers up to Fløyfjellet, making it one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. Click here to book
RELATED: The ultimate guide to the must-see spots in Bergen, Norway
The Mount Floyen hike
While the Fløibanen is a novel way to get up the mountain, nothing beats a good old fashioned hike up, especially since that’s what Norway is famous for! The entire pathway winding from the city up to the top takes one hour to climb and only about 30 minutes on the way down, making it a manageable excursion even for those who are only in Bergen for the day (read: cruise ship passengers). Best of all, there are fantastic lookout points all the way up, allowing for plenty of photo stops and opportunities to catch your breath.
One of the first viewpoints is about five minutes into the Mt Floyen hike, in front of the old fire hall. Since the first leg of the hike twists through a neighbourhood, you’ll get a glimpse of how Bergen’s residents live, while admiring their perfectly-kept houses, million-dollar views and some rather unique landscaping.
The pathway may be steep, but it’s so well-marked and maintained that even families pushing tots in strollers can easily manage. Chances are you’ll also spot some incredibly fit Norwegians running all the way up, which is no easy feat!
The jiggly legs you’ll inevitably get from all that climbing are well worth it when you finally round the last corner and find yourself at the top, greeted with completely unobstructed views of the entire city below. Stick to the pathway to enjoy the scene in relative serenity, or put on a brave face and head over to the funicular station where hoards of crowds vie for space around the lookout platform.
Fortunately it’s not too hard to escape the throngs of tourists, as there is plenty more worth exploring at the top of Mount Fløyen. Outdoor enthusiasts may want to rent a bike and tackle one the trails which wind past lakes and into the surrounding hillside, and there are also a number of pathways for hikers to explore the Våkendalen valley, Trappefjellet peak or the ridge around Tindevann Lake. Lake Skomakendiket is also just a 10 minute stroll away, which is a great place to enjoy a picnic or rent a canoe.
Families will definitely want to check out the playgrounds at the top of Mount Fløyen, particularly Trollskogen—yes, that’s where you’ll find the trolls! The park is full of them—and this writer is particularly fond of the Pinocchio-like creature whose beady eyes, bald head and nearly-toothless grin serve to either greet or terrify the children who approach.
He’s not the only one though. In fact, there is an entire Troll Forest, complete with a cast of troll characters, the Three Billy Goats Gruff bridge, and even witches—at least according to this sign:
The Troll Forest conveniently leads to an alternate trail back down the mountain which links Fløyen to the area near the harbour. In a huge contrast to how busy the areas around the funicular can be, the quiet pathway offers great respite from the hectic pace of the city, offering a sense of stillness you won’t find anywhere else in Bergen.
The trail is like walking through an enchanted forest, where towering trees jut out from rocky cliffsides, their vibrant green leaves occasionally parting just enough to offer a glimpse of the city getting closer and closer.
Eventually you’ll find yourself deposited back on Bergen’s cobblestone streets, and one can’t help but think that a quote carved into a tree at the top of the mountain sums up the experience perfectly:
“Dagen i dag er morgendagen du drømte om i grr”
-Today is the tomorrow you dreamed about yesterday
IF YOU GO:
When to go: The Fløibanen runs year round, but the best time of year to tackle the trail is March through December.
Cost: Walking up Mount Fløyen is free, while the funicular costs NOK 90 for a return ticket.
Where to eat: Many people like to bring their own picnic to enjoy during the hike, and there is also a restaurant and cafe at the top.
Top tips: Try to get a seat at the back of the Fløibanen for the best city views. Weather can change rapidly in Bergen—particularly when you’re as high up as Mount Fløyen—so be sure to have appropriate clothing on hand including rain gear.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
- Spectacular surprises on a fjord safari in Flåm, Norway
- Norway’s Lysefjord cruise: Stavanger to Pulpit Rock Norway’s Lysefjord
- Things to do in Flåm, Norway: Cycling and the scenic Flam Railway
- 30 Norway pictures that will inspire you to pack your bags
This article was originally published in May 2017 and updated in August 2020
SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO PIN:
Those views are insane and I LOVE the troll forest — pinning for the future!
So cute hey?!
Bergen is such a picturesque city! I love the idea of hiking to a point above the city to take in the views. It reminds me of Nice, France, where we also hiked to the top of a hill that overlooked the old Nice harbor and the town. One of my favorite excursions!
That’s such a great tip to know- I’d love to visit Nice and will definitely have to do that hike when I go there!
A few years ago I had the chance to go to Bergen, but I turned it down. What a mistake! The views from Mount Floyen are stunning.
Oh no! I absolutely LOVED Norway, and especially charming Bergen. Hope you get another opportunity to go!
The view looks so fantastic, the trail is clear and looks so easy. There ar characters that await you. Perfect outdoor trip for the family. I would like to try the old fashioned way of hiking and experience Floibanen. It’s my first time to hear that. Sounds interesting.
It’s perfect for families!
Such an amazing place to go hiking. The view of Bergen from the top and the various viewpoints is breathtaking. It is nice that there is a funicular as well for those who do not want to do all the hiking or part of it.
Yes, so novel AND convenient!
Your pictures are stunning! The trail is well defined and the views are simply picturesque 🙂 Norway is high up on my Wishlist. Hiking here adds to the temptation 🙂 Surely a place for nature lovers!
Oh thanks! We were blown away by Norway, it’s a crazy gorgeous country!
Truly incredible views from the top of Mount Fløyen. I am also amazed to learn that the funicular has carried over 50 million passengers and is still in service! Trolls and witches are a thoughtful additions perhaps to get more people hike it up.
From your photos, it seems that hike to the top of Mount Fløyen is a great experience and the view from the top is breath taking! Thanks for sharing your experience!
Wow this is such a scenic hike! The views from Mount Fløyen is stunning! I’ve never been to Bergen, but if I do, I will definitely keep this in mind!
That seems like an awesome little hike to do! I’ll definitely have to add to my Norway hiking itinerary. How many days did you end up staying in Bergen?
It’s a great one! I actually was only there for one full day- managed to pack lots in!
These awesome images are describing the beauty of Mount Floyen
Hi could you cycle the same path to the top (or another route) with a road cycle?
Hmmm you know I actually don’t recall seeing anyone cycling up because it’s quite steep, but there are bike trails at the top so maybe! I’d suggest tweeting @visitnorway and hopefully they can tell you for sure!
Great thanks, I emailed Floyen and they said it is possible (but steep in some places)
Awesome! Yeah it’s a paved pathway so should be fine- just tough due to the incline. Good luck!
Will check out your other info about Bergen as will be my first time and looking for a few thing to check out or places to cycle to
I am in Bergen right now (Feb 2019). The article says that best time to hike to Floyen is between March and December. Well, I would say that right now it is just perfect timing! The weather is sunny and if clouds appear, it might snow rather than rain. You can enjoy the view from top and have great fun sledging down as a bonus!
Hahah sounds so fun! Thanks for sharing 🙂
What a beautiful photos its really a so nice place.