Bergen is a compact and easy to navigate city, which is fun to stroll around with the family. Many of the most famous areas are child-friendly with pedestrian streets, green spaces and fun buildings, so the kids can enjoy the sightseeing too.

    But sometimes it's nice to let the kids run free in an environment that has been created especially for them, and there's no shortage of these in Bergen.

    1

    Bergen's Aquarium

    A favourite attraction for generations of Bergen children and visitors

    • Families

    Recent years have seen a growth in new attractions for children in Bergen, but in many of its 60+ years of existence, the Aquarium was considered the most entertaining place in central Bergen for kids. The penguins and seals just inside the entrance are as popular as ever and have in recent years been joined by otters and sea lions. The latter perform in a show, which is held twice a day.

    Inside, everything takes place around the big round hall, 'Rotunden', featuring aquariums with habitats from the Norwegian coast along the wall - which makes for a beautiful, educational and exciting experience. The cinema hall and a tropical department with a focus on reptiles create a varied experience and is a great way to finish of a fun day.

    Location: Nordnesbakken 4, 5005 Bergen, Norway

    Open: From 1 September to 30 April: Daily: 10.00-18.00 From 1 May to 31 August: Daily: 09.00-18.00

    Phone: +47 55 55 71 71

    Map
    2

    VilVite

    Technical activities for curious kids

    • Families

    Based in a former industrial hall, VilVite has plenty of space to play with - and it needs it too! Because this is where hoards of children dart from activity to activity, some of which involve giant technical devices. Take, for example, the Centrifugal Cabinet, where visitors are challenged to ride a 360-degree loop!

    Most activities are physical, such as ball pitches, wind turbines and brick building sites, allowing the kids to use both their body and mind. Virtual reality and other computerised technology are also on show, and slightly older visitors can unleash their creativity and research talent in the Skaperhagen workshop. When the children need to sit down for a bit, they can join a science show, which varies in content, but always ends with a loud bang!

    Location: Thormøhlens gate 51, 5006 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Daily: 10.15-13.15 and 14.00-17.00.

    Phone: +47 55 59 45 00

    Map

    photo by Sveter (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    3

    The climbing trail in Nygårdsparken

    High up in the city's most beautiful park

    Children today spend a lot of time sitting very still, and it can be a challenge to get them to move their bodies. That's when it's all the more important to offer them physical activity that really appeals! The 70-metre-long climbing trail in Nygårdsplassen is designed so that the entrance area is low and easily accessible for small children, with the height and degree of difficulty increasing as you move further on - between five and six metres.

    The trail is sturdy and although it is primarily intended for the 6-14 year age group, toddlers and playful adults can join in too. The area also has other play equipment available, alongside exercise equipment, making it suitable for the whole family, even those who just want to sit and watch.

    Location: Nygårdsparken, 5006 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Always open

    Phone: +47 55 56 56 90

    Map

    photo by trolvag (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Playground and climbing on Fløyen

    The children's mountain just got more exciting

    Fløyen, with Fløybanen and accessible hiking terrain, has always been known as the children's mountain. The area has sharpened its profile in recent years with the addition of a new amenity. At Fløybanen's upper station, there is a large and beautiful play area with traditional play equipment, but the real treat requires you to put on some decent walking boots and walk into the woods.

    First you meet a number of mysterious tree creatures in Trollskogen (the troll forest), and then you come to the big attraction with its climbing games on Fløysletten. This is an impressive obstacle course where kids can have a go at balancing, turning, crawling and jumping from platform to platform. The end of the trail is at the top of a four-storey tree house with strange, undulating walls.

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    Location: Fløyfjellet 5, 5014 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Always open

    Phone: +47 55 56 56 90

    Map
    5

    Høyt og Lavt

    Tree climbing up high

    Climbing trails are popular, but many want more, and those who love climbing always want to reach even greater heights to feel that rush of adrenaline. You need a high level of safety and planning for this activity, which is exactly what Høyt og Lavt provides. Here, all visitors are given a helmet and safety harness with solid carabiners that keep you secure throughout your trail. There are a dozen trails in six categories in total. According to the guides here, the majority of those who try their hand at the most difficult course need help getting back down. So it's important to be realistic when assessing your own physical shape and skill level. After a brief training session by the entrance, you'll head up to the tree tops. The trails end with a long and triumphant landing via zip wire.

    Location: Osvegen 141, 5227 Nesttun, Norway

    Open: From 10 April-18 June. Saturday and Sunday: 10.00-17.30. From 19 June to 15 August. Daily: 10.00-17.30. From 16 August to 10 October. Saturday and Sunday: 10.00-17.30.

    Phone: +47 55 10 20 00

    Map
    6

    Vannkanten Waterworld

    Water park with Norway's longest water slide

    It's quite incredible all the things you can do at Vannkanten. There's a baby pool, therapy pool, whirlpool and relaxation area, and this is just a small part of it because of course the major attraction is without a doubt the activity pool with its water slides. The longest of them is 120 metres and is equipped with music, light and a timer, so you can compete to see who is fastest.

    The Superbowl slide is shorter, but more intense, with a steep tunnel that shoots you out into a large funnel where you spin around before dropping into a pool at the bottom. A waterway leads from the activity pool to the open air - a fun experience if it's raining or snowing outside.

    Location: Loddefjordveien 2, 5171 Loddefjord, Norway

    Open: Monday: 16.00-21.00. Tuesday-Friday: 10.00-21.00. Saturday and Sunday: 10.00-18.00.

    Phone: +47 55 50 77 77

    Map

    photo by Hannob (CC0 1.0) modified

    7

    The dungeon in the Rosenkrantz tower

    Scary rooms in the depths of the fortress

    A lot of children's and young adults literature and fiction is based in ancient, atmospheric building environments such as fortresses and castles. Just think of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Heavy stone walls, dark nooks and an oppressive atmosphere spur both excitement and curiosity.

    The best example of this type of architecture in Bergen is the Rosenkrantz Tower, and the dungeon is perhaps the part of the building that appeals most to the imagination and a fascination with all things creepy. For children and keen historians, this is a place that really gets your imagination going.

    Location: Fløyfjellet 4, 5003 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 11.00-14.00. Saturday and Sunday: 12.00-15.00.

    Phone: +47 55 30 80 38 / +47 55 30 80 30

    Map
    8

    Museum of Natural History

    Old animal exhibition with a new look

    • Families
    • Budget

    The Natural History Museum has long been a popular attraction among children in Bergen, in fact for so long that the exhibits threatened to become completely out of date. The main part of the collection consists of stuffed animals and skeletons, and even well-preserved specimens lose their luster over time. The museum recently carried out a thorough renovation, and about half of the animals have been newly purchased, while the old ones that have been preserved have gained slightly fresher fur and a more alert look in their eyes.

    The animals simply look more lifelike, and the exhibition itself has been modernised and organised with both artistic sense and knowledge of the animals' living environment. The museum building itself is bright and pleasant, and the exhibition is visually engaging, so the new version of the Natural History Museum appeals to all age groups.

    Location: Muséplassen 3, 5007 Bergen, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00-16.00. Sunday: 11.00-17.00

    Phone: +47 55 58 00 00

    Map
    9

    Mountain Fortress

    A history lesson by the sea

    War is a topic that interests many children, and in different ways. On the one hand there is the wonder of the cruel and incomprehensible adult world, on the other a fascination with heroism, drama, weapons and fortresses. Fjell Fortress was built by prisoners of war under the German occupation forces during World War II, and offers a good opportunity to learn about and reflect on the topic of war and the occupation of Norway.

    The outdoor area is open to the public and consists of a bunker, cannon positions (including an anti-aircraft gun) and aisles. Guiding takes place via an app. There is also an indoor visitors' centre in the former cannon tower, with exhibitions of weapons and models and the like.

    Location: Festningsvegen, 5357 Fjell, Norway

    Open: Saturday and Sunday: 11.00-15.00.

    Phone: +47 53 00 61 23

    Map

    photo by Andreas Sandberg (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Magic Ice Bergen

    Cool bar in central Bergen

    When you enter Magic Ice, you're given a warm poncho and gloves. And you'll need them because the entire bar is made of ice, and the temperature must be kept below zero at all times.

    Bar visits are not usually an activity associated with families with children, but the ice interior creates a special sensory experience, and as well as enjoying a drink, there's also the collection of fun ice sculptures with colourful lighting - they're guaranteed to make you smile and reach for your phone. Visitors report pleasant staff who give a warm welcome in the cold surroundings.

    Location: C. Sundts gate 50, 5004 Bergen, Norway

    Open: From 15 May to 31 August: Sunday-Thursday: 11.00-23.00. Friday-Saturday: 11.00-24.00. From 1 September to 14 May: Sunday-Thursday: 16.00-21.00. Friday-Saturday: 16.00-22.00.

    Phone: +47 93 00 80 23

    Map

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