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Why rent a car in Bergen?
Whether you are a great outdoors person or a culture vulture, Bergen has something for everyone. Its natural landscape is spectacular in scale – mountains, fjords, glaciers and waterfalls surround the city. But Bergen is also a vibrant urban centre, packed with history and tradition, museums, art galleries and cultural events. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the main offices of the Hanseatic League and a key trading port between Norway and the rest of Europe. Much of the history of that time is preserved in the wooden houses of Bryggen, now protected as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Entertainment options for nature lovers and sport enthusiasts abound: fjord cruising, mountain and glacier hiking, skiing in excellent terrains, white water rafting, fishing. The best way to make the best of your visit in Fjord Norway is to get a rental car in Bergen.
How to get to and around Bergen?
The nearest airport to Bergen is Bergen Airport Flesland,13 miles from the centre.
From Bergen, road access is easy to travel on to Oslo or Drammen (approximately a seven-hour drive to either), where you can try salmon fishing in the Drammenselva river or visit Drammen Theatre, one of Norway’s oldest. Three hours and 20 minutes by road towards the south of Bergen takes gets you to Haugesund, with its Viking roots. Every year in August it hosts the Norwegian International Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals in Scandinavia, as well as a jazz festival.
Stavanger, known for its oil and energy industries, is less than five hours south of Bergen. In 2008 it was named the European Capital of Culture and to this day offers a wide range of museums and cultural events.
Driving three and a half hours northeast of Bergen to Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, and have a day hiking in the surrounding mountains or take a fjord cruise. From the other side of the fjord, take the steepest and most stunning train journey in the world on the Flam Railway, travelling 12 and a half miles from ocean level in Flam up to the mountaintop stop at Myrdal station, 2,800 feet above sea level.
Two and a half hours south of Bergen is Hardangerfjord, the second longest fjord in Norway. Hardangar is known as Norway’s largest supplier of fruit and berries. In late summer and autumn, you can buy fruit from farmer stands along the road.
For a rafting and kayaking experience in the river Sjoa, drive eight hours northeast of Bergen to Otta.
Tips and tricks for driving in Norway
When you rent a car in a Scandinavian country, you will almost always be allocated a car with manual transmission. If you are not comfortable with this, specify that you want an automatic one when booking and be prepared to pay more. International driving licences are recognised but not required. To drive a hire car in Norway, you must be older than 18.
Norway is one of the safest places in the world to drive but rules are strictly enforced, so don’t take your chances. Always wear seatbelts, and don’t sound the horn unless it is an emergency. Never pass a red light, even if the traffic is clear. Headlights are mandatory 24 hours a day. If you stop along a road, switch to parking mode. Cars coming from the right have priority. At a roundabout give way to vehicles already there. Trams always have right of way. Overtake only when necessary and absolutely safe.
Norway has 18 designated National Tourist Routes, 10 of which in Fjord Norway. They are dream roads for foreign visitors, that run though the wildest and most scenic routes. Best of all, each comes with a map highlighting the best viewing points, places for resting, eating, refuelling, as well as accommodation. Get a map from your accommodation, the tourist information office or a bookshop.
Ready to plan your Bergen city break?
To start planning your trip to Bergen and other parts of Norway, check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!
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