Dear Embrace fans,

Whenever you travel to dance you end up in some extraordinary corner of this beautiful world. And then it happens that you end up in the most beautifully unique of them all - BERGEN!

And of course you are here for dancing. But since you are making the effort to travel all the way to the world’s most beautiful Gateway to the Fjords, why not let your feet lead you across the wooden narrow alleyways of the the UNESCO World Heritage Hanseatic Quarters at Bryggen or wonder around the picturesque cobblestone hilly streets of the city centre. And if you have a few more days you can take the opportunity to explore the area and take in the breathtaking sights that will stay imprinted in your memory forever.

Let us inspire you with what we think might be the top 7 things to do joining Bergen Embrace next summer:

1. Hunt for the best views from Fløyen and Ulriken 

Whether you choose to spare your feet and take the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen ( or the cable car to the top of Mount Ulriken (, or you want to compensate for the amounts of prosecco during your tango weekend by hiking one or both ways, you are guaranteed a breathtaking view - as long as the top of the mountain is not covered by a wet white cloud. Pro tip - don’t let the opportunity of clear skies pass you by - take it and make the most out of it! And experiencing a sunset at 11 pm in Bergen in July is something quite magical and unforgettable indeed.

2. Viking era architecture at Fantoft Stave Church

Hop on the tram just outside the dancing venue and take the it to the stop called Fantoft and then let google maps guide you to an age when the people of Norway did not quite agree with the Christian ideals imposed on them from continental Europe and decided to keep their pagan traditions from the viking age alive in the architecture of one of the few remaining examples of a stave church. Incredibly enough, nails were not used to keep this structure together making it a historical dream come true for any LEGO fan! This came in handy both when the church was transported over 300 km away and when it had to be rebuilt after an arson in 1992. A building with a rich history ( Pro tip: Walk around the Stave Church and the hills around for the best shots.

3. Grieg’s Summer residence at Troldhaugen

We know you love Di Sarli, D’Arienzo and D’Agostino, but they loved Grieg Di Bergen - hometown to one of the most iconic romantic composers, Edvard Grieg managed to not only to give a sound to the Norwegian national identity but influence the entire European music culture bringing storytelling and genuine human emotions to the musical cultural mix. Troldhaugen - the hill of the trolls is where Edvard and his wife Nina built their swiss style villa and spent their summers inspired by the scenery to compose music that still rejoices millions today. And if you’re in the Morning Mood, take a trip to the museum, why not, in the same go as Fantoft stave church - you can use the same tram stop and have a lovely 40 minutes walk over to Troldhaugen ( Pro tip: join the lunch recital to hear his music performed with a view of the composer’s hut and the landscape that inspired him.

4. Many More Museums

And if you really need more cultural stimuli than debate of how can white shoes together with a matching white belt is still a thing or if there is such a thing as too much Troilo within a 5 hour music set, then maybe some of the bountiful array of Bergen museums can entice you for a visit. Maybe you are interested in who were the Hanseatic merchants that gave the airline that brought you to Bergen its name “Lufthansa”, or maybe you are interested in how did Norway manage to be one of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe in the 1200s with its capital in Bergen while the rest of the European kingdoms were in deep crisis, struggling to survive, for the situation only to be turned on its head half a century later. Or maybe you are curious about how much JC Dahl and many other painters managed to make Norway a beacon of culture from the dark north inspiring lovers of the fine arts for centuries. Really - it’s worth checking out the museums we have in Bergen ( Pro tip: take the Beffen to the Fisheries Museum and back to experience the world’s smallest cruise - and rent a towel for 65NOK and take a quick dip in the (still freezing cold by mediterranean standards) fjord waters at the BOD24 cafe - a memory for a lifetime that comes with bragging rights! (

5. Hardanger Cider Adventures

Drive over, get your hands on a rental or better yet, charm a local with a car. And set your GPS to Øystese, Ulvik, Ullensvang or Nå. You will not regret it! Why not, you ask? Because you will be among the early adopters of a new trend - Hardanger Apple Cider - we like to boast about it as being “Norway’s answer to Champagne” - but really it is extraordinary. The cider producers, all a new generation of well travelled farmers with Masters and PHD in chemistry, physics, economy and the sorts, and they produce their ciders together with the sommeliers of some of the world’s best restaurants on the western coast of Norway. The idyllic landscapes of Handanger and especially Sørfjord, the terroir with long chilly summer days offer the apples the opportunity to slowly ripe with low content of sugars creating a fresh intensely aromatic and sparkly cider that will simply make you an addict. And if not - you still won’t regret it. Pro tip: Look into investment opportunities - in just a few years prosecco at the milonga will be old news and everyone will be asking for another glass of  “Hardanger” ;) 

6. Norway in a Nutshell and Rallarvegen

This is an especially great opportunity if you find it convenient and cheap enough to fly to Oslo instead of Bergen. Nevermind Oslo - not worth your time (excuse the typical Bergen rivalry against the “official” capital). Jump instead on the Bergensbanen that takes you across the mountains towards Bergen on what has been often titled as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. Be on guard and quick with your camera shutter as the most impressive views will quickly be interrupted by long dark tunnels. And if you really want to take the train ride to the next level, stop in Myrdal and take the Flåmsbana to the village of Flåm and experience the Norway in a Nutshell tour ( Pro tip: If you have enough time, love cycling and you really want to experience Norwegian nature at its best, you can make the most out of your experience by stopping in Haugastøl or Finse and cycle the Rallarvegen all the way down to Flåm (

7. Guided walking tour for Bergen Embrace participants 

On Friday, 12th of July at 10.30 - 12:00 you are welcome to join us for a fun and informative walking tour of Bergen city centre with our very own local tour guide. The tour starts in front of the venue at Hotel Terminus. You will then go for a walk and find out more about what makes this city so beautiful and unique with its fascinating stories spanning roughly a millenium, with its always cosmopolitan cultural mix bringing people from across the globe together here - in Bergen! Pro tip: You can just as well rest your feet for the weekend - everyone would understand. But if you do decide to join, bring comfortable and weatherproof shoes, sunglasses and an umbrella - the typical Bergen outfit - you should always expect to experience 4 seasons within the same hour. The tour is free of charge for all Bergen Embrace participants. Sign up here: 

“But isn’t Norway incredibly expensive?” we hear you say.

If you are from Switzerland, you have no right to say such a thing. If you are from anywhere else, yes, it’s expensive, but you get a lot of value for what you pay for - in other words, it’s worth it. And don't forget that the exchange rate is can be very low for those coming from Europe and the US and there are ways to make it more affordable. 

Accommodation, transport and alcohol might be the highest costs. Hotels offer convenience and great value - incredible breakfasts that keep you not feeling hungry for the entire day while AirBnb and hostels are more affordable alternatives and private accommodation with locals (we really do try to help) is the cheapest (just remember to bring “thank you” present to your host - alcohol is common social currency in Norway). And you can always camp - in Norway you can virtually camp just about anywhere. And there are plenty of mountains and nature around. 

For transport it’s always worth looking for hubs that offer low-cost flights to Bergen (Oslo, Berlin, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Rome etc.) And then there’s alcohol. There will be a post in the facebook group for this topic, but sufficient to say that duty free in Norway is actually worth it.

“How about the weather?” you might ask.

Well, it never rains in Bergen. We simply have a lot of liquid sunshine! And if it ever bothers you, it might be just as well to remember why that is - as soon God was done creating the heavens, the earth, light, the atmosphere and dry land He created Bergen - and He was so impressed with his own creation that he wanted it to be forever clean, so He ordered Bergen to be washed every day for the rest of Eternity! 

And if that is not enough for you then these wise words might help: “Those who say that sunshine brings happiness have never danced in the rain.”

Come to Bergen! 

We love it and we think you will too!