Apartments vs Hotel in Bergen?

Nov 29th, 2009, 01:40 PM
  #1  
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Apartments vs Hotel in Bergen?

Hello! I have the Clarion Hotel Admiral booked for three nights in early April. There are apartments available that would basically save us the equivalent of one night's stay so they are worth considering. Anyone have experience renting an apartment for a 3 day stay?
samejia is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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From my Norway trip report:

We stayed at the Bergen Guesthouse for three nights for 1350 NOK (paid in cash), which turns out to be about $70 per night. We arrived in the train station around 8 p.m., it was deserted and the shops were closing. We found a taxi and he could not find the address and for some reason did not want to use the phone number we had for the B&B. But we eventually got there. The room was small but spotless with a standard size double bed and Ikea like furniture for the little that there was. The W.C. was down the hall and the shower was in the laundry room. The B&B is in an alley a 5 minute walk from Bryggen at a normal pace, more like 15 for us, in one of the oldest sections of Bergen. Contact person Mats K. Nordvik, [email protected], +47 411 40 349.

The owners clearly had more than one dwelling in the area, so they might even have an apartment for rent.
Michael is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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We have not stayed in an apartment in Bergen but we stayed in the sister hotel of Clarion Hotel Admiral, which is the Clarion Hotel Havnekontoret. The room we had was good-size, clean and very quiet. Breakfast (buffet, quite plentiful)was included in the rate as well as an evening light dinner....salads, cold pasta and some hor d'oeuvres. Because of this, we did not need to eat out at night and that was a big savings!!
JoyC is offline  
Dec 1st, 2009, 10:53 AM
  #4  
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Thank you for your replies. The Clarion Admiral rate includes a free breakfast. Our rate right now for the 3 nights is $724. I checked with Mats Nordvik on the rates for his apartment. It will be the equivalent of $581 for the 3 nights. So, the question is would I be spending the difference in the two of $143 dollars for breakfast. I certainly hope not! The apartment has two bedrooms and would give us a lot more space. I'm leaning in that direction. This apartment is bigger than the other two that I did find. Thanks for the lead. I have emailed to see if the rate would be cheaper if I paid in full upfront like many of the hotels do. We'd have to give a deposit of 800NOK ($142) to book the apartment.
samejia is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:45 AM
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From my soon to be posted trip report... we stayed at a nice apartment for two days. Was around $300 for a 1br for two nights:

Bergen is reasonably easy to navigate and after one wrong turn, we managed to find our lodging at the Kjellersmauet Gjestehus. The guesthouse consists of a few apartments in an old house on a little cobblestone street. It’s all pretty cool. Parking and luggage dropoff can be a bit of a pain. Need to find someplace to dump the luggage, have someone watch it and then put the car in the underground garage (just around the corner).

The owner, Sonja, is very friendly and helped out with some local recommendations. The location is great and the attic apartment that we had was very cozy (fully equipped kitchen, tv, etc.). There is a little SPAR grocery just across the street and you can walk to just about everywhere.

We headed out to the Café Opera for dinner. It’s a nice little coffee shop/restaurant with a pretty eclectic menu. We had a bowl of ‘game’ soup which consisted of a light cream soup with some vegetables and reindeer, bread/butter, a salad, and a falafel plate. Together will a beer, the bill was around $50. Expensive, but pretty good for Bergen and the food was very good.

We then headed out for a walk around town. There are lots of pedestrian walking malls and there were a ton of people on the street (it was a Sunday night… not sure if people actually go to work on Monday mornings!). Stopped to get a couple of pastries at Deli di Luca… very good chocolate buns. Generally just a very nice evening.

DAY 3 – BERGEN

While my wife got ready in the morning, I headed up to get some food. Stopped at the local SPAR and got bread, butter and jam for breakfast along with some cheese, salami and fruit for our lunch picnic. We had breakfast at the apartment and headed out.

We walked through town past the fish market. It’s a very small market and there’s not much to recommend about it. I’m not sure why it gets the publicity it does and even the locals seem to think it’s kind of lame. From there, we headed to the tram and rode up the Floyen. It was a nice sunny day (a rarity in Bergen, especially in October) and we had great view. We spent a couple of hours hiking and had our picnic. We were surprised how many locals were out and about on a weekday.

It was a very enjoyable walk around at the top, but the highlight was the walk down (you can ride down, but I don’t recommend it). The walk down starts out in the woods but after the first couple of switchbacks, you can head off onto the neighborhood streets. There are tons of winding alleys, hidden staircases and little courtyards. There is a neat variety of buildings and it has a really nice feel.

Back at the botton we stopped in at Godt Brod, a small bakery chain in the city. We had a really good cinnamon pastry and Norwegian hot chocolate. Imagine a soda fountain glass of steamed milk with a pool of good quality melted chocolate at the bottom. Served with a straw and a stirrer, you just mix and drink. Very different than the Paris style hot chocolate and (in my opinion) even better.

From there we walked over to the Bryggen area. It’s a neat area though does have a bit of a touristy feel to it. Wandering the alleys of the area gives a better feel for it that the postcard view of the tourist shops out front. From there we wandered around the Rosencrantz tower area and the old fortifications and then over to St. Mary’s church. From there we wandered through some of the shopping areas, over to the University of Bergen area and then back to the apartment. In all, Bergen is a very nice city for just wandering.

For dinner, we headed out to Pingvinen. It’s a small place about 5 blocks from the apartment that I had seen reviewed a few places. It’s definitely a local hangout and we were the only tourists that I could see. It probably only seats about 25 (with about 8 of those at the bar). It has a good local vibe without trying to be overly hip. The menu is written on a chalkboard and has almost exclusively ‘Norwegian’ dishes. The staff was very friendly and the waitress was happy to translate (though some of the items didn’t seem to translate well to English). We ended up sharing a bowl of fish soup with bread a butter and a plate of Norwegian meatballs (served with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, smashed peas (good!) and lingonberry jam) along with a large local draft beer (there was plenty of food and we didn’t quite finish all of the potatoes or peas). All of the food was excellent (and everything coming out of the kitchen looked good) and the total was under $50. I’d highly recommend the place. It is small, so I could see getting in during high season being something of an issue.
astein12 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Astein12, thank you for sharing your trip report. I actually did check into the guesthouse you stayed in. It was either not available or couldn't accommodate 4 of us. I sent out a lot of inquiries for apartments. We'll be arriving in the afternoon on Easter Sunday. The plan now is ride up the Floyen and eat dinner there if the restaurant is open. Many restaurants will be closed on Easter. We will be doing the Norway in a Nutshell on our first full day there and then will wander around as you did on our second full day. I built in an extra day since we were arriving when everything was closed and I wanted to have a down day after the nutshell before we head to Kiruna, Sweden for some winter adventures. Sounds like you really enjoyed Bergen. I'm hoping it won't rain the entire time. I will take note of your restaurant tips. Pingvinen sounded neat. Do you think it's ok to bring a 7 year old there for dinner?
samejia is offline  
Dec 4th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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Oh, astein12, I did recognize your name from my other itinerary post. Appreciate the additional information!
samejia is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Pingvinen has a bit of a bar atmosphere (mostly pub tables), but there wss one or two kids there when we went and I think you'd be fine. It's just down the street from Cafe Opera, so you could check it out first and then make a decision.

Cafe Opera would definitely be fine for kids.
astein12 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Hi! I live in Bergen, and strongly recomend Pingvinen (the Penguin)with your 7 year old. Table reservation, - it is very popular

When I have guests from out of town, we always eat lunch at Madame Bergen. They serve the traditional Bergen fish soup, and is a beloved part of everyday life here. Located near "Galleriet". It is not a restaurant - be warned. Just a very autentic place.

Cafe Opera is just another cafe, been there many many times. It's nice, but nothing I recomend for a Bergen experience

If your 7 year old need some entertainment, there is a science center http://www.vilvite.no/english/ that is a lot of fun.
Loveling is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Astein12, thanks for your opinion about the Pingvinen. Loveling, it's nice to hear from a resident in Bergen We will be coming on Easter so I know it will be difficult finding a restaurant that is open. I was thinking we might have to eat up on the floyen since that's open. I will most certainly be sure to make a reservation for Pingvinen and check out Madame Bergen. Not sure how much my kids will like fish soup. I'm not very adventureous with food either
samejia is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Loveling and Astein12
We will be in Bergen in July. Could you share more specifically where the Pingvinen is located? We will be staying at the Skansen Pensjonat. I believe the pension is near the Funicular Station - Floibanen. Would this bar - restaurant - be convenient for our location?
Is there an address for the Pingvinen?
Thank in advance for any help.
nannibray is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 09:10 PM
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From the funicular station you must cross the center of town in a straight line to get to Pingvinen. But the easiest thing is to Google map the restaurant's address and get directions from your residence.
Michael is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Michael is dead on... map it out on Google. Basically, it's a nice 10 - 15 minute walk. You can walk up the pedestrial shopping mall area, then it's a right turn and a couple of blocks.
astein12 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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sameja: Just came across this thread. To add to your choices of reasonable restaurants...a few years ago we discovered a small family-run restaurant during our long walks around town. Seems it would also be perfect for the 7-year old. It is in the vicinity of the Floibanen (funicular), on Kong Oskar's Gate,..name "Vangbunnen's"...less than $40 for two, with salmon steaks, assorted cooked vegetables, good choice of desserts.

I hesitate to mention that there is a McDonald's, also in the Floibanen area..probably the most unusual one you've ever seen...(probably can get a reindeer burger...I know you can in Helsinki's McDonalds)...but I salute the locals for doing their best to camouflage it...here are two pix.

http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/BergenPix#

They will enlarge on "slde show"

I highly recommend the short bus trip to Troldhaugen ("Hill of the Trolls"...Edvard Grieg's idylically located home). Busses leave frequently form the bus terminal. It's a scenic 15 minute walk from where the bus leaves you.

Stu
tower is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Thanks everyone!
I googled EARTH it and worked great! Should have thought of that!
Nannibray
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Dec 12th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Tower,

Lots of laughs on the McD's. It is a very unusual building for your typical American fast food. We didn't go in, but after walking back down the hill, we were talking on the corner trying to decide what to do next.

An friendly, and obviously American, heard us and stopped to say Hello (not many American tourists around in October). She was saying that they ate at that McD's a lot because the couldn't afford much else in Bergen.
astein12 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 09:29 AM
  #17  
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Everyone, thanks for the additional restaurant advice. I'm afraid we'll probably have to venture into McD's at least once. I think my older daughter wants to try a McD's in all the countries she visits while she's studying abroad. I can't make fun of her because I still have the apple pie wrapper from when I attended the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal. And, my first meal in Germany where I lived for 3 years was at the McD's. Must have been the jet lag
samejia is offline  

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