For a few days in summer, Bergen brings you Norway’s biggest local food festival. It’s fun for the family, with enriching activities for all ages.
Younger ones can learn about farming and fishing in Norway by riding in a mini tractor to the petting zoo and ice box of fish. Fully-grown foodies can watch and learn how master chefs prepare local delicacies.
Attendees can feast their senses on Norway’s food competition, and a buffet of samples including cod, cheese, and cider, and local salt (which was amazing). You’ll be stuffed from samples, so buy whatever you can’t fit into your belly.
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• Hotels and AirBNB opportunities are plentiful in Bergen, the second largest city in Norway.
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- International travelers will likely fly into one of Oslo’s 3 airports or Bergen Airport Flesland (19km South of the city).
- After arriving at the airport, the light-rail is recommended. It takes about 45 mins, is 37 NOK one way, and you buy your tickets at rail station kiosk.
- Search for flights below.
- Bergen is a regular stop for cruise liners sailing through Norway, one of the most expensive countries in the world. Cruising is not only cost-effective but also rewarding. It’s the best way to see the breathtaking fjords and gorgeous waterfalls that typify Norway’s landscape.
- Although cruise stops are brief, we found that our itinerary provided sufficient time for independent exploration.
- Additional tip: Consider booking shore excursions independently of cruise liners to save costs.
Matfest was a delicious, low-key way to spend an afternoon in Bergen, and we highly recommend it if you’ll be passing through. Matt loved the lamb burger and ciders he bought at the festival – his only disappointment was being unable to take some home with him! We did, however, manage to bring home some delicious sea salt that had enticed us with amazing samples.
Had we not been in a rush to get back onto our cruise ship, we would have loved to have also gone to the Greig Competition to watch piano virtuosos from around the world compete and attend free masterclasses in nearby Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s great composer, Edvard Greig. In fact, even if there was no Greig competition, we would have liked to visit Troldhaugen to see the exhibitions, and enjoy the lunchtime renditions of Greig’s compositions, which are held daily between May 1 to September 30.
What a great way to spend an afternoon! If you’re passing through Bergen, definitely drop into Matfest if – for no other reason – to try some of the fantastic local food and grab a yummy meal.
If you’re new to Norway, be warned that it is not a cheap country to dine in (or do anything else for that matter!). I paid the equivalent of about US$16 for a lamb burger from one of the vendors.
I was thrilled to see a robust cider culture at the festival as well; there were about 7 different cider producers setup and offering samples, each with their own unique style. If you enjoy hard cider from elsewhere in the world (US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand just to name a few), you’ll be comfortably at home here! Due to local laws, we couldn’t buy bottles from the festival (only samples), but we hope this will change in future years!
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