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Bergen is the gateway to the Norway’s coastal fjords.

Easy to reach from Oslo by plane or train, it’s the jumping-off point for many visitors to Norway who want to see the beautiful coastline. It also happens to be a sister city of one of the places I’ve called home: Seattle. (Seattleites may find the weather familiar—Bergen is notoriously rainy, but when the sun comes out, it’s absolutely magic in that hearts-in-your-eyes Disneyland kind of way.) Whether Bergen is your destination or just a stop along the way for your trip, this city has a lot to offer. So grab a cup of strong coffee, put on some Kings of Convenience, and kick back as I take you on a virtual stroll through the cobbled streets.


Husfliden is my favorite spot in Bergen for yarn, as it’s the retail branch of the Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association (and the store contains much more than just yarn).

I’d suggest heading for the shop on Vågsallemenning which is a proper Husfliden store, rather than the one located at Bryggen, the famous wharf.

While the Bryggen shop does have some handknit sweaters for sale, it’s much more like a tourist shop full of trinkets of ugly troll figurines and glittery keychains). Husfliden on Vågsallemenning has two floors, with yarn both downstairs and upstairs. Being part of the Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association, they specialize in Norwegian brands.

Modellstrikk is a beautiful little shop that’s fairly centrally located.

They also primarily carry Norwegian brands, but a few foreign brands can be found here as well. The samples in the shop are always lovely and provide a nice cross section of both simple knits with a modern aesthetic alongside more traditional pieces, both of which are popular in Norway today.


While it’s technically not within Bergen itself, the first museum I mention must absolutely be the Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum in Salhus.

It’s a short drive from the city center, and also accessible by bus for those traveling without a car. This museum began its life as a wool factory in 1859 and was turned into a museum in 2001—and it is once again a working factory.

In its heyday, not only was wool prepared and spun into yarn here, but knitted fabric was also made by machine and finished pieces were cut and sewn together, all under one roof—most unusual.

Make sure to get there in time for the guided tour (in English!) and stay afterwards for waffles or cake in the café space, which is bright and airy with a view of the water. You can also take home some souvenir yarn, spun by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and then plied at the museum, or one of the Salhus sweaters made there.

Also worth a visit while in Bergen is the sprawling complex of art museums, KODE.

The city center complex consists of four museum buildings spanning a wide variety of architectural styles and was the Norwegian museum association’s museum of the year in 2014. The range of stuff to see at these museums is too immense to name here, but if you like art, craft, or design (we’re all raising our hands, right?), you’ll find something of interest here.

Coffee and Food

As in Oslo, it’s easy to find good coffee in Bergen. My first choice is always Bergen Kaffebrenneri whose coffee is as good as their logo.

Their café located on Kong Oscars gate (“Bergen Kaffebrenneri Vågen”) is quite central and very cozy.

The organic bakery chain Godt Brød is always a good place to stop when you need a quick break.

With coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches, snacks, and free wifi, it’s the ideal place for weary travelers to rest their feet. You’ll find these located all over Bergen.

Pingvinen, or the penguin, is one of Bergen’s icons.

This is your spot if you’re interested in trying some traditional Norwegian food in a cozy atmosphere. It’s one of those places the locals always tell visitors they should go.


When the weather’s fine, you’ll find the whole city outdoors. Bergen’s location tucked up into the bottom of the surrounding mountains makes it absolutely beautiful from many different vantage points, but here are a few of my favorite sunny day spots.

Taking the funicular up Fløyen with the funicular Fløibanen is absolutely worth the trip, though you can hike up the mountain as well. There’s a large viewing platform and a café/gift shop at the top, and if you’re not ready to come down right away, there are plenty of approachable hiking trails to explore while you’re up there. On a clear day, the view over the city is incredible.

Nordnes Park, located on the water at the end of the Nordnes peninsula, is a gorgeous spot on a sunny day with large, shady trees and a seawater pool for swimming. Nordnes itself is a particularly picturesque area of Bergen, so it’s worth walking out to the park if you can. This would be one of my picks for an outdoor knitting spot on a sunny day.

Other Points of Interest

Bergen’s famous wharf, Bryggen, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and rightly so.

Lining the old waterfront, the colorful crooked wooden buildings give way to a tiny network of pedestrian alleys.

These buildings are a relic of the days of the Hanseatic League, but they now house all sorts of small businesses, including artists and craftspeople.

Bergen’s also a great city for secondhand/vintage shopping. There are lots of antique stores around, but for vintage clothing, Vintage Sisters is a great choice. A little further out of town (but accessible by public transit), the intriguing Ane Blich House carries a mix of new designer clothes as well as vintage clothing and home items. The prices may not be thrift store prices but the finds are likely to be a little bit more unusual.


A Note About A Knitter’s Weekend

Each piece in our series A Knitter’s Weekend is written by a knitter with local knowledge and a personal point of view. If you have additional places or information you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it—please leave a comment. And if you have plans to visit Bergen, be sure to save this article in your MDK account

About The Author

Dianna lives in Trondheim, Norway, where she is working on a PhD in Educational Studies. In her spare time she’s a knitwear designer, photographer, and writer. Her work has appeared in Pom Pom QuarterlyKnitscene magazine, Interweave Knits, and Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People. Keep up with Dianna’s travels, knitting designs, and writing at her blog, Paper Tiger. And if you’re interested in baking, you can also find her at


  • Thank you, Dianna, for a nice introduction to the country of Norway. This reminds me of one of the NYT’s 36 Hours articles, but with a delightful colorful, artistic slant. If I ever head that way, I’ll be sure to plan my trip with your story as my guide.

  • Wish I had known all of this before last December, when I spent the day in Bergen at the beginning of a coastal cruise. We were there on a Sunday, and much of my research told me that lots of businesses were closed anyway. We were there on a beautiful day; walked along the harbor and generally had a fun (though yarn-free) time. And I did get to shop for some yarn in Alësund the next day…

  • How did you know I would be in Bergen for a few days this summer?! This is *thrilling*–you have saved me so much time! Thank you!!

  • I love Norway and would love to return! In early March 1973 I took a “snogtog” (I think that’s what it was called) from Oslo to Bergen – and was amazed to see people cross-country skiing to meet the train in the snowy central part of the country. Norway is where I understood what the color “ice blue” actually means!

  • Nice! Since my daughter lives in Bergen, I’ve made it my second home for the past decade. I’ve seen shops come and go, but my favorite exists at the train station. Yes, inside the train station! It’s called Norwegian Spirit and is most convenient for me with a great inventory and range of fibers.
    Alas, retailers are closed on Sunday except in the harbor area (for tourists). Most places have websites or Facebook pages!

    • Yes, it’s a lovely shop!

  • Was in Bergen last summer. Wish I had read this before I went. I think I need to go back!

  • We went to Norway last summer – it was amazing! We took an unforgettable cruise through the fjords. Go if you can – you won’t regret it. I would love to see Bergen next time!

  • Very interesting! Wish I’d had the info on knitting/yarn shops when we were there. Wonderful descriptions!!

    • I visited Bergen many years ago when I was a poor college student! Thank you so much for the memories. I still have an umbrella I bought there. You know you’re in a place that gets a lot of rain when there is an umbrella shop on every corner!

  • Wonderful knitting wool shop n the street behind Augustin Hotel. Strikke Lykke..Strandgarten.

  • Trip of a lifetime in 2011. For those who are crazy for color, a must place to visit is Oleana.

  • My knitting group has already committed to a trip to France. I saw this and it would be a trip we all could commit to next year. Will you revisit and offer this trip again? We have 15 women who love to travel and knit
    Carol Heid

  • Hi Dianna – thanks for this article, so useful and I thouroughly enjoyed exploring Bergen! We organise a large-scale international Knitting Festival in Inverness called Loch Ness Knit Fest – We’ve love to have you involved in some way. Please email if this is something you’d consider! Many thanks – Katie

  • Excited to read your article. My best friend from Missouri and I left March 1 to Bergen where we boarded the MS Trollfjord for a 10 day knitting cruise with Arne & Carlos. We had many stops and ended up in Kirkenes where we got off the ship. We flew from there to Oslo to head home on March 10. I had met Arne & Carlos last November where I was able to take 3 classes with them in Maryland (United States). They are so much fun! We just had the greatest time and I loved Norway and someday would love to go back. Sitting on my mantel is a replica of the colorful shops in Bergen.

  • I just got back from Bergen and your information was SO helpful! I spent way too much money at Husfliden and also at another store which is completely worth visiting – Strikkelykke. It’s in the center of the city on a lovely cobblestone pedestrian only street with lots of lovely shops. It has, I think, the entire line of Rauma Garn and a lot of other brands as well. The lady working there spoke wonderful English and was very kind and helpful.

    If you venture further north in Norway, Tromsø has a very well stocked store – Snarby Strikkestudio. There are two stores, one has yarn and knitting supplies, the other has mainly sweaters and other items for sale. Also worth a look is Lanullva. Not a yarn shop but they have lovely knitted merino base layers. Also a gem is Wabi Sabi, a jewelry store founded and run by two ladies. We met one of them when we went and their jewelry is gorgeous.

    Even further north in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the northernmost chocolatier in the world, Fruene, also has a cafe with delicious food, desserts and freshly made iced tea that my husband LOVED. They also have quite a bit of yarn, sample sweaters, felted wool slippers, handmade soaps and other handmade goods. It’s a lovely place with knitting nights every other Thursday. The chocolates I brought home for friends and family were tremendous hits.

  • Thank you, I am heading to Bergen on a cruise and will definitely check out one of the stores.

  • You completed some nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most persons will consent with your blog.

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