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“A little for a lot”

Bryggens Museum - Bymuseet i Bergen
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Bergen Card
Ranked #13 of 138 things to do in Bergen
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Bryggens Museum allows you to experience life in medieval Bergen, and the museum has been built over the remains of the first settlement at Bryggen. The oldest buildings are from the 12th century, and the various finds have been left in the ground where they were found by the archaeologists. Bryggens Museum also hosts temporary art displays and themed exhibitions, and it is the starting place for Bryggen Guiding, which is a historic walk through Bryggen's past that goes from Bryggens Museum through the old wooden buildings to the Hanseatic Museum. Until the 15th of May, the museum is open monday until friday from 11 until 15, saturday and sunday from 12 until 16. In the season from 15 May until 31 august the museum is open every day form 10 until 16.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
384 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 303 helpful votes
“A little for a lot”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

MUSEUMS are always high on my list of things to do wherever I am in the world but a visit to Bryggens, while not an outright disappointment, certainly left me underwhelmed.
My hideous local council offices look more attractive than this museum's box-like building and the entrance fee -- from memory about £9-£10 -- was high for what was on offer.
By contrast, staff were extremely helpful and both told me about the museum and the best way to tour it.
That involves starting by descending to a series of displays where Bergen's origins are explained in quite a clever area set up around original wood foundation and building remains of early Bergen and its old tenements as well as the medieval town of Bergen from about 1300 when it was the national capital.
Commercial life is explored with sections on craftsmen's workshops such as goldsmiths and visitors can wander through cabinets displaying everything from barrels to a collection of human skulls.
It is interesting but hardly memorable and a slow walk up a ramp to higher areas where art and a shoe museum make their offering didn't vastly improve the offering.
Bergen is famous for its shoe making history but, again, this is not a mainstream subject and, while it was interesting to see examples of different footwear and read about its historical development, it was not an attention holder.
All too soon I had completed a tour of the museum, one of the fastest I have made anywhere, and it was almost with a feeling of guilt that I took my leave as if I was somehow doing the museum a dis-service by leaving too soon instead of the museum doing me a dis-service by making me feel short-changed.
There is no denying the historical content on offer in the building, but I have been to many far better museums hence my rating for the site as "poor". What it did it did well, but its range was very limited and could have offered so much more.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank singhasam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Overrated and overpriced”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This small museum is housed in a totally uninspiring and ugly brick building and costs a pricey 70 NOK to enter. As a student, when I arrived I showed the counter lady my student card to get discounted fee of 35 NOK, but she demanded that simply because my university doesn't print the card's expiry date on it, it doesn't count and I have to pay an adult fee. I thought it just wasn't fair.

The museum interior is also very dull and gloomy. There were 2 temporary exhibitions - one on nordic art and the other on shoes - on the 1st and 2nd floor while the main exhibition was in the basement. There was nothing much to see overall. The museum's best pieces are an old medieval tenement which the museum is built upon and the remains of an old hanseatic league ship, but both were rather poorly displayed. Try Aboa Vetus in Turku, and you will know what a really medieval tenement is like.

I spent about 20 minutes in the museum trying hard to make my money worth with the exhibits, but truly it didn't have much to offer. There wasn't even much on the Bryggen (and they call it the Bryggen museum!)

This lousy museum totally ruined my day. The rest of the Bryggen and Bergen was fabulous!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Singaporemania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“There is not much to see...”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

... unless of course you are a serious history fan. The building itself is new. There are some old items on display, though.

Visited April 2013
Thank Inga K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
derbyshire, uk
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very well-presented history of Bergen's past.”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This excellent museum combines the real archaeological site with easy to understand brief explanation boards, plans and filmed extracts in Norwegian and English.

Visited March 2013
Thank jezb6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

The display on Medieval Bergen was interesting but there are two 'spare' floor (temp exhibitions) we couldn't understand why they don't bring everything on the town together and bring it up to modern period

Visited March 2013
Thank YvonneNBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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