City of Culture

Written by: Study Bergen


As Norway's second largest city, Bergen is home to several cultural institutions, renowned museums and has a thriving musical scene.

Bergen has a long history as a city of culture. Bergen fostered composers and artists such as Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Harald Sæverud, and the city is home to one of the world's oldest orchestra - Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, dating back to 1765. There have been a theatre here since "The Norwegian Theatre" was founded in 1849, where the two most famous Norwegian play writers Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Henrik Ibsen worked.

Bergen is a vibrant cultural city. Bergen-based groups like Ylvis, Enslaved, Röyksopp and Kings of Convenience have made international careers.
Several world known artists has visited Bergen, including the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen. In addition, concerts are held several times a week at the many different concert venues. Throughout the year several music festivals are held, with the Bergen International Festival, Nattjazz and Bergenfest as the largest.

You will also find a lot of museums in Bergen. KODE - The Art Museums of Bergen, include four main buildings in the city center as well as the home of the composers Edvard Grieg and Harald Sæverud. It is one of the leading museums of fine art, contemporary art and design in the Nordic region, with famous works by Edvard Munch and other Norwegian classics. The Bergen University Museum is home to the interesting Natural and Cultural History Collections. The Hanseatic Museum and the Edvard Grieg Museum are also popular.


  • Bergen Live: Host the biggest concerts with international artists at Koengen inside the medieval fortress Bergenhus.
  • Kvarteret: At the student culture house there are several concerts a week, and also a film club, student theatre, lectures and debates.
  • Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra: Experience classical music at its best in the Grieg Hall - for a student friendly price.
  • Bergen National Opera: See some of the most famous operas performed in cooperation with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Bergen Beer Festival: Enjoy craft beers brewed all over Norway in Norway's largest beer festival (autumn)
  • Bergen International Film Festival: Two weeks of short films, documentaries and sneak previews at Norway’s largest film festival (autumn)
  • Bergen International Festival: Two weeks of concerts, plays and also different public outdoor events (spring)

Read more about what you can look forward to as a student in Bergen here.


Follow us