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.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
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
Google Maps pin: Bryggen
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
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.
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.
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
The maintenance of these
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.
- Hiking to Preikestolen - guide to the amazing Pulpit Rock hike
- Kjeragbolten Hike - how to hike to the epic suspended boulder above
- Trolltunga Hike - how to hike to "Trolltunga", the most famous viewpoint in Norway