A Travel Price Comparison for Norway Lofoten Islands vs. Bergen for Couples, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Lofoten Islands and Bergen can help you decide which place is right for you.

Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Islands is a charming, quaint, and spectacular archipelago. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Bergen

Bergen is a laid back, nostalgic, and friendly city. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Lofoten Islands and Bergen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Lofoten Islands. Although Lofoten Islands and Bergen are both popular with visitors, Lofoten Islands has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Lofoten Islands is more popular for its food, beaches, historical sights, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Bergen is known for its nightlife, shopping, and small town charm. Lofoten Islands is popular for its dramatic mountain peaks, beautiful fjords, remote setting, and colorful houses. It is also home to The Svolvær Goat Trail. Bergen is popular for its breathtaking fjords, classic wooden houses, and surrounding mountain beauty.

How is Lofoten Islands different from Bergen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bergen and Lofoten Islands. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Plenty of people visit the good sights and museums in both Lofoten Islands and Bergen.

Lofoten Islands offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. The charming towns often have local museums that highlight the region's history and culture. The Lofoten War Memorial Museum is in the town of Svolvaer. The Lofotr Viking Museum is on the island of Vestvågøy and the Lofoten Museum is in Kabelvåg.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Bergen. There are some interesting local museums such as the Hanseatic Museum, the Edvard Grieg Museum, and the KODE Museums.


Is the Food Better in Lofoten Islands or Bergen? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Bergen is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Lofoten Islands is an experience not to be missed. Fish and lamb are both common at most restaurants in the area. The food is fresh, delicious, and filling, and although it's expensive, it's also high quality and uniquely local.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Bergen. The city's economy has long been centered around the fish trade and even today you'll find cod, shellfish, trout, and salmon on most menus. Sheep and mutton are also popular. Desserts and coffee are also a big part of the local culture.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Nightlife?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Bergen is very good for nightlife and partying. However, Lofoten Islands is not a good archipelago for its evening party scene.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bergen. It's a small city without a huge nightlife district, but there are bars and clubs in Bryggen and Old Bulls Plass. The city has enough students to keep things lively and fun.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Lofoten Islands. Some towns have local bars and pubs that are fun places to grab a drink.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Beaches?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is notable for the beach. However, Bergen is not a beach destination.

Lofoten Islands is considered a top beach destination. Most people don't think of the Arctic when they think about beaches, but these islands have long sandy beaches that meet blue waters. They're tucked in between valleys and mountains and offer a surreal Arctic landscape.

Bergen is not a beach destination.


Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for its Old Town?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is notable for its historic old town charm. Also, Bergen is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Lofoten Islands. The islands are filled with well-preserved fishing villages that are charming and quaint.

Bergen is a good destination for visiting its old town. The wooden buildings and compact streets have a quaint and nostalgic atmosphere.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Hiking?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is very popular for the nearby hiking options. However, Bergen is not a hiking destination.

People visit Lofoten Islands specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. It's remote setting and dramatic scenery lead to some truly breathtaking hikes. You'll find trails that pass by beautiful beaches, climb spectacular peaks, and wander through the beautiful countryside. Reinebringen, Horseid Beach, and Bunes Beach are among the favorite hikes in the area.

Bergen is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Bergen is a well-known place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Lofoten Islands is not as famous, but is still a good archipelago to visit for its shopping areas.

Bergen is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city center is filled with specialty boutiques as well as larger department stores. Shopping has long been a large part of the economy and you'll enjoy exploring the diversity of retail options.

Lofoten Islands has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are quirky local shops that sell local art, food, and merchandise.


Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Families?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Lofoten Islands or Bergen.

Lofoten Islands is a very kid-friendly archipelago. Outdoor adventures await at this breathtaking archipelago. There's kayaking, hiking, whale watch, and even a few Viking museums that the kids will enjoy.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Bergen. There are some interesting educational opportunities for kids including the Bergen Aquarium, VilVite Science Centre, and Experience Bryggen. Other fun activities include Vannkanten Waterworld and the Fløibanen Funicular.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Couples?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is very popular for couples. Also, Bergen is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Lofoten Islands makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Stunning views, dramatic fjords, and world class outdoor adventures make this an amazing romantic destination for couples. If you enjoy the outdoors and adventure activities, then there is no shortage of opportunities to explore here.

Bergen makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many romantic activities near town like swimming in the fjords and walking through the parks. There are also spas and music concerts to enjoy.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Lofoten Islands is notable for backpackers. Also, Bergen is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Lofoten Islands is a very popular archipelago for backpackers and budget travelers. There are plenty of hostels around but transportation can be a bit tricky.

Bergen is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a few hostels and guesthouses around town where backpackers can meet other travelers.


Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Students?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Bergen is very good for students. However, Lofoten Islands is not popular with students.

Bergen is a good city to visit for students. It's a very student-friendly city with many activities and a laid back atmosphere. The university facilities are spread out around town and the locals are welcoming and helpful.

Lofoten Islands is not popular with students.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Bergen is a well-known place for its public transit. However, Lofoten Islands is not a good archipelago for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Bergen can get you to some places easily. For the areas that are outside of the city center, you can take a local bus or the light rail to access them. These services are operated by Skyss.

Public transit is mostly limited in Lofoten Islands. There are buses and ferries, but the service is limited, although reliable.

Is Lofoten Islands or Bergen a more walkable city?

Lofoten Islands
Bergen

Bergen is a well-known place for its high level of walkability. However, Lofoten Islands is not a good archipelago for its ease of walking around.

Bergen is a very walkable city. The city center is flat and compact enough that it's fun to explore on foot.

Lofoten Islands is not a very walkable archipelago. Although the area is filled with hikes, you really must have a car if you hope to explore it with flexibility and accessibility.


For even more information, also check out Is Lofoten Islands Worth Visiting? and Is Bergen Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bergen or Lofoten Islands?

How long in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Lofoten Islands and Bergen. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Lofoten Islands than in Bergen. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Lofoten Islands, and 1-3 days is enough time in Bergen.

Families should spend more time in Lofoten Islands than Bergen. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Lofoten Islands, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Lofoten Islands than Bergen. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Lofoten Islands that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Lofoten Islands than Bergen if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Lofoten Islands.


  • How many days in Lofoten Islands or Bergen? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lofoten Islands 4-7 
    Bergen 1-3

One day in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Lofoten Islands. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The nostalgic destination of Bergen offers nightlife and food. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Lofoten Islands is a great place to explore. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The city of Bergen offers food and shopping. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Five days in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lofoten Islands. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Bergen is a great place to explore. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the remote destination of Lofoten Islands. This archipelago offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Bergen. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to Norway, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Oslo, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Norway, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Norway.


Which place is cheaper, Bergen or Lofoten Islands?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Lofoten Islands is $53, while the average daily cost in Bergen is $108. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lofoten Islands and Bergen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lofoten Islands $7.12
    Bergen $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lofoten Islands $14
    Bergen $134
Compare Hotels in Lofoten Islands and Bergen

Looking for a hotel in Lofoten Islands or Bergen? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Lofoten Islands


Hotels in Bergen


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bergen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lofoten Islands $11
    Bergen $9.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bergen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bergen:

  • Private Transfer from Bergen City Hotels to Flam Cruise Port: $49
  • Private Transfer from Bergen Flesland Airport to Flam Port: $49
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Bergen Cruise Port to Bergen City by Sedan: $80
  • Departure Private Transfer from Bergen City to Bergen Cruise Port by Sedan: $80
  • Private Transfer from Bergen Airport to City Center: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Bergen Cruise Port to Bergen city by luxury van: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer from Bergen City to Bergen Cruise Port by luxury van: $92
  • Private Transfer From Bergen Hotel to Bergen Airport: $94
  • Private Transfer From Bergen Airport to City Centre: $94
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Bergen Airport BGO to Bergen by business sedan: $98
  • Departure Private Transfer from Bergen to Bergen Airport BGO by business sedan: $98
  • Bergen International Airport: Private One Way Transfer: $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Lofoten Islands or Bergen?

Prices for flights to both Bergen and Lofoten Islands change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lofoten Islands $34
    Bergen $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bergen

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bergen.

  • Guided Fishing Tour with Outdoor Cooking: $181

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lofoten Islands $24
    Bergen $16

Tours and Activities in Lofoten Islands

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lofoten Islands are as follows:

  • Small-Group Cultural Walking Tour of Skrova: $33
  • Winter Half Day Kayak Tour: $93
  • Sea Kayak Guided Tours on Skrova Island: $116
  • From Leknes port: Special Summer Guided Tour of Lofoten : $127

Tours and Activities in Bergen

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bergen are as follows:

  • Free Walking Tour Bergen NORDIC FREEDOM TOURS: $1.37
  • Explore Bergen with Passionate Tour Guides: $3.20
  • Bergen Golden Circle Fjortour by Minibus: $5.00
  • Walk with a witch: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Off the Beaten Track in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Bergen University District: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Walk with a Witch in 16th Century A Self-Guided Fictional Tour: $6.99
  • Bergen's Landmarks and History: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Pocket Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Pocket Bryggen: A Self-Guided Audio tour in Bergen: $8.99
  • Pocket Bergen A Self-guided Tour to the Unesco Site of Bryggen: $8.99
  • Bergen 3-Hour Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lofoten Islands $0.72
    Bergen $6.87


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lofoten Islands and Bergen, we can see that Bergen is more expensive. And not only is Lofoten Islands much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lofoten Islands would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lofoten Islands and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bergen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bergen than you might in Lofoten Islands.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Lofoten Islands Expensive? and Is Bergen Expensive?.