What is it?
The Fløibanen is a funicular railway in the Norwegian city of Bergen. It connects the city centre with the mountain of Fløyen, with its mountain walks and magnificent views of the city.
It is one of Bergen’s major tourist attractions and one of Norway’s most visited attractions. The line is 844 m (2,769 ft) long, covers a height difference of 302 m (991 ft), and carries over one million passengers a year.
With a rich history dating back to 1918, the funicular has stood the test of time, delighting visitors for over a century. Initially built to transport city dwellers to the scenic vantage point atop Mount Fløyen, it has evolved into a cherished cultural landmark of Bergen.
Location, duration and tickets
It is located right in the city centre, minutes away from the popular fish market. It is reachable by boat, bus and the main transportation in Bergen, which is the Light Rail. For the latter, you can get off at Kaigaten station and walk for 9 minutes.
How long does it take? Depending on speed and stops, the journey takes between 5 and 8 minutes. Bear in mind that besides being a tourist attraction, many people living on the way to the peak of the mountain take it as well.
Don’t be surprised if the queue to board takes more time than the journey itself. Bergen’s port received many cruises every year, and passengers tend to go to the funicular straight away, and maybe together.
The line has a staffed ticket office at its lower terminus and self-service ticket machines at all stops. Tickets can also be bought online, and either printed out or presented on a mobile device screen. Ticket barriers are in place at all stations, and tickets must be optically scanned to gain access to the platforms.
Tickets are available on the official website and cost Kr 160 (~USD16) for a round trip and Kr 85 (~USD 8.5) for a single. There are discounts for children and also family tickets.
Alternatively, you can hire a tour and combine the funicular with a traditional Fjord Cruise.
There are several hiking trails starting at the city centre and at different points on the way up, including at the very top. Some of them are the following
City Centre – Fløyen
The simplest one, and probably with the least effort is to ascend using the funicular and descend by the main hiking trail, from Mount Fløyen to the city centre. This is what we did and I can say it is extremely beautiful. It takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes and you get to enjoy amazing views while walking surrounded by nature.
Once in the city centre, you can get yourself a present and have a traditional cinnamon bun at Godt Brød Fløyen.
A scenic 2 km loop trail that circles the picturesque Skomakerdiket Lake. This easy-to-moderate hike begins at Mount Fløyen’s summit and meanders through lush greenery, passing tranquil ponds and babbling brooks.
This trail starts at Mount Fløyen’s summit and leads to the charming Brushytten cabin. The hike is approximately 3 km long and takes around 1-2 hours to complete, depending on one’s pace.
This trail starts near the Fløibanen Funicular’s upper station and follows an elevated path along the mountainside. As you walk, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of Bergen’s charming wooden houses, the shimmering fjords, and the distant mountains. It’s 3 km long and can be completed in around 1-2 hours.
An intermediate trail that starts near the top of the funicular and passes by Skomakerdiket, Torrfjellet under Fløyvarden and Trollskogen. It’s 4.5 km long and can be completed in around 2 hours.
This is the longest and most difficult on the list. It’s 18 km long and can be completed in around 6 – 7 hours. It is a popular and challenging hike that stretches between Mount Fløyen and Mount Ulriken, the highest of Bergen’s seven mountains.
The trail offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, fjords, and cityscape. It is recommended to pack suitable hiking gear and bring plenty of water and snacks for this adventure.
For a full list of trails and instructions visit the official website.