Bergen is the second largest city in Norway after Oslo, the country’s capital, and the hike between the two mountains Fløyen and Ulriken is one of the most popular ways to explore the area.
From the center of Bergen, visitors will most likely begin their hike from Mt. Fløyen. Although we chose to hike up the this viewpoint, the Fløibanen funicular costs about 5USD per direction and turns a steep hike though the neighborhood into a leisurely five minute ride.
Once at the top, there are beautiful views of the town sprawling into the fjord below. There’s also a cafe, so I recommend taking a stop here to refill your water bottles from the hike up and taking a quick bathroom break before moving on from the area. There’s also a playground, but I imagine that it was being used by those who did not hike their way up to this area- I was already tired!
The view was so beautiful that we completely missed the sign marking the trail as “difficult”. As we got further from the viewpoints, there were less and less people on the trail- although we did see a herd of sheep! About a half mile or so from Mt. Fløyen, we turned a corner and the view opened up into an absolutely stunning panorama of the mountains and alpine lakes.
The trail is pretty difficult, as noted, but especially for me- born and raised at sea level. There’s something really humbling about wheezing for air as Norwegian trail runners go zooming past, unbothered by the steep path and occasional rock scrambles.
Along the path, rock cairns mark the more unclear parts of the trail- and yet we still managed to get turned about in one of the more deserted areas and ended up scaling the side of a cliff like a couple of mountain goats. We did eventually find our way back to the trail, only to discover that we had somehow overshot Mt. Ulriken by a quarter of a mile.
We did eventually make it to the viewpoint- and more importantly the water fountain! This trail takes about 5-7 hours to hike, so make sure to prepare appropriately with enough water, snacks, and hiking gear! There’s another cafe at the top of Mt. Ulriken, so we picked up some more snacks before heading down.
I don’t think anything in the world could have convinced us to hike down at this point, so we chose instead to take the Ulriken Cable Car for about 10USD- though it looks like it’s close to $20 these days! The view from the cable care is stunning, and definitely worth the cost. It deposits visitors at a convenient bus stop at the base of the mountain that shuttles people back to city center at a reasonable cost.