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Bryggen – The Spectacular Colorful Houses in Bergen, Norway

Bryggen – The Spectacular Colorful Houses in Bergen, Norway

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Bryggen, Bergen’s famous wharf in Norway, is a picturesque scene of history and color. Imagine colorful wooden houses lined up with their facades a vivid mix of reds, yellows, and whites that echo the city’s deep-seated maritime roots.

Although it has a population of over 270,000 people, Bergen still feels like a quaint mountain town.

Dating back to the 14th century, the famous colorful structures at Bryggen were the center of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire.

These buildings, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are not just colorful facades; they’re a testament to Bergen’s past, from fires that ravaged but couldn’t destroy them, to the bustling trade that flowed through their ports.

How to get to Bryggen and the Colourful Houses in Bergen

Whether you're a lover of history or you're looking for an iconic holiday snap at the famous Bryggen site, you'll want to head to the waterfront promenade on the northeastern side of "Vågen".

Getting to the historical Hanseviertel Bryggen buildings is easy and can be reached by foot. It is only a few minute's walk around the harbor from the famous Fish Market.

Google Maps pin: Bryggen

Cycling at bryggen, norway

Best Time to Visit Bryggen

It's no secret that Norway can get cold - very cold. Being situated close to the Northern Sea and nestled between seven mountains, it has some unique weather conditions. Taking into account temperature and rain, the best month to visit Bergen is May. This also conveniently has the most local events to check out.

The weather in winter can be quite cold, wet, and dark. However, if you're looking to experience real Norwegian life, there's no better way to do it than in Winter. You might also get the opportunity to experience the beauty of Bergen covered in snow, which looks amazing from Mt Fløyen.

Sunset hike to mt floyen

Photographing the Colourful Houses in Bergen

There are several great vantage points of the old wooden buildings of Bryggen.

Located on a wharf just by the main harbor, you have the option of shooting several different angles. Although there may be some cars driving past, you can generally always get a good view. Below are some photos from my various trips to Bergen.

The first were taken in 2015, while the most recent was in 2023 while I was cycling across Norway.

Bryggen colourful houses in bergen norway
Bryggen buildings in norway
Old pub at bryggen, norway
Back streets of bryggen, bergen
Streets of bryggen, norway
Old buildings with green leaves, bergen
Bryggen colorful buildings, norway

Facts about Norway's Bryggen

Bryggen itself translates simply to "The Wharf". It is the old wharf of Bergen with both cultural and historical significance to the people of Bergen. T

he wharf played an important role as a trading post in the Hanseatic League trading empire as early as the 14th century.

Although there has been destruction from fires, the buildings have been maintained and rebuilt in accordance with traditional standards.

The maintenance of these colorful wooden houses has followed traditional building techniques and patterns. The few buildings remaining are a glimpse into what Bergen and the rest of Northern European port cities would have looked like.

Sunset in bergen taken from bryggen

More Norway Travel & Adventure Guides

I hope that you've enjoyed this quick guide to getting to Bryggen and photographing the colorful houses. Below are some more travel and adventure blogs that I've published for Norway.

Pinterest pin we seek travel for bergen norway colourful houses in bryggen
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.