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Ulriksbanen: Practical Guide to the Bergen Cable Car

    The Bergen Cable Car, known to locals as Ulriksbanen, is undoubtedly one of Bergen’s most popular attractions. From the top of Mount Ulriken, which stands at an impressive 643 meters in height, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city and Byfjorden, the fjord upon which Bergen is situated. Mount Ulriken is the highest of the seven mountains that surround Bergen and offers a stunning vista of the entire valley and the picturesque mountain landscape. It serves as the primary starting point for a wide range of hikes, ranging from easy options suitable for families to more demanding multi-day treks.

    For the best perspective of the city, consider reaching the upper station of Ulriksbanen. While it’s possible to reach this point with an easy 1.5-2 hour hike from the lower station of the Bergen Cable Car, most travelers opt for a quick and scenic Ulriksbanen ride. In just 5 minutes, the cable car takes you to the summit and the trailheads of major hiking routes.

    Some confuse the Bergen Cable Car with another famous attraction, the Fløibanen Funicular, which takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen and is directly accessible from the heart of Bergen. Given the choice between the two, Ulriksbanen undoubtedly offers a more scenic experience and access to less-traveled yet remarkably beautiful paths. Situated just outside the city center, Ulriksbanen is less touristy and less crowded. Nevertheless, it’s easily accessible via a quick bus trip or light rail ride.

    In this guide to the Bergen Cable Car, you will find all the necessary information, including directions, ticket prices, operating hours, and details about the main hikes and activities on Mount Ulriken.

    Discovering Ulriksbanen: The Bergen Cable Car to Mount Ulriken

    Bergen, Norway’s picturesque gem, boasts not only historic charm but also striking natural beauty. Topping the list of must-see sights is Ulriksbanen, an aerial tramway that effortlessly transports visitors from the heart of the city to the summit of Mount Ulriken, standing tall at 643 meters above sea level. With a storied history dating back to its conception by Frithjof Meidell Andersen in 1954, this modern marvel has become an iconic way to experience the city’s panoramic vistas.

    Since its debut in 1961, Ulriksbanen‘s cable cars have been an essential mode of ascent for both locals and tourists alike, transforming the journey to the mountaintop into an memorable five-minute ride. The view from the peak is nothing short of spectacular, offering a captivating blend of urban and natural landscapes, where the city’s architecture meets the lush hillsides and the wonderful fiords. On clear days, the panorama stretches far beyond the city’s limits, providing a glimpse of Norway’s pristine beauty.

    Ulriksbanen‘s contemporary fleet of cable cars, a testament to its ongoing evolution, ensures a comfortable and convenient experience. Renovated recently, these carriages maintain a steady schedule, departing every five minutes. While tickets might not be budget-friendly, starting at NOK 365, the access they grant to the awe-inspiring sights is undoubtedly worth the investment.

    At the summit of Mount Ulriken the TV tower and a restaurant offer a backdrop for exploration and indulgence. Whether savoring traditional Norwegian fare at the drop-in café, grabbing a quick snack, or just basking in the beauty, there’s no shortage of ways to savor the moment. For adventure enthusiasts, Ulriken doubles as a hiker’s haven. A network of trails weaves across the mountain, catering to various levels of hikers, from gentle slopes to more demanding ascents. Those seeking a more challenging adventure can embark on the hike from Ulriken to Fløyen, traversing the Vidden Trail, a journey that offers both physical gratification and breathtaking views.

    ☞ Check out our guide to the best THINGS TO DO IN BERGEN

    Ulriksbanen Bergen Cable Car: Tickets and Prices

    Ticket TypePassenger TypePrice (NOK)
    One WayAdult210
    Child (4-16 years)100
    Family (2A + up to 3C)475
    Child (4-16 years)150
    Family (2A + up to 3C)830

    Please note that “A” stands for “Adult” and “C” stands for “Child” in the Family ticket type. The prices are in Norwegian Kroner (NOK).

    Times and prices are subject to change, so it is advisable to double-check on-site or on the official website. Tickets can be purchased at the on-site ticket office at the lower and upper cable car stations, or online on the Ulriksbanen official website.

    Ulriksbanen Bergen Cable Car: Operating Hours

    May – September

    • Every Day: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

    October – April

    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesday – Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    • Thursday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

    The operating hours are subject to change during Christmas, Easter, and other public holidays and events.

    Ulriksbanen Bergen Cable Car: How to Get There

    Heading to Bergen’s Ulriksbanen Cable Car? Here’s your no-nonsense guide on how to get there without any fuss. Skip the overzealous street vendors, as there’s no need to buy pre-packaged tours that take you to the bottom station of the Bergen Cable Car. Self-guided exploration is equally accessible and easy. If you can, keep your plans flexible. If the day is rainy or cloudy, I would not recommend venturing on the Bergen Cable Car, as the view from the top will not be as exciting due to possible cloud cover. If clouds blanket the southeastern mountains or if fierce winds prevail, it’s best to postpone your trip.

    To get to Ulriksbanen, you can use Bergen’s efficient light rail system to Haukeland Sjukehus (Haukeland Hospital). Double-check that you’re on the new line 2, and make sure you don’t make a mistake by taking line 1 bound for the airport. A brief stroll from the hospital will take you to the Ulriken 643 station.

    Options for the journey:

    1. Public Transport: Opt for the Bybanen (Bergen Light Rail) line 2 from the city center to Haukeland Sykehus, or take buses 5 or 6 from Festplassen, bus 12 from Olav Kyrres gate, or bus 16E from Xhibition. Get off at Haukeland Sykehus C and D, and then follow the signage – it’s just a brief 10-minute walk.
    2. Traveling by Car: For those who prefer the road, take RV. 585 toward Haukeland Hospital, make a left turn just before the Haukeland tunnel, and follow the signs up Haukelandsbakken.
    3. Ulriksbussen Shuttle Bus: Between May 1 and the end of the summer season, Ulriken 643 (Ulriksbanen) offers shuttle buses from the city center to Ulriksbanen. Board the bus near the Tourist Information adjacent to Bjerk restaurant (Torgallmenningen 1A). Buses depart approximately every half hour, on the hour and half past the hour. Prices are: NOK 100 for adults, NOK 50 for kids. Purchase your ticket as you board.

    Beyond Ulriksbanen: The Best Hikes on Mount Ulriken

    Hiking up Mount Ulriken

    For a genuine taste of the Norwegian outdoor lifestyle, immerse yourself in the hiking trails that crisscross the breathtaking landscapes of Mount Ulriken. Renowned as a cherished destination among both locals and tourists, Mount Ulriken offers an array of invigorating hikes, each unveiling the stunning beauty of Bergen’s natural allure. With a variety of trails to choose from, there’s an adventure suitable for every level of hiker. Let’s delve into some of the most popular routes that lead to the summit.

    The most favored route begins at Montana, a starting point accessible via Bus No. 12 from the city center. A short ascent uphill takes you to a network of trails, including the iconic Sherpa steps, totaling 1,333 steps. As you ascend these steps, an awe-inspiring panorama of nature unfolds, ultimately guiding you to the majestic summit of Mount Ulriken.

    Alternatively, the lower station of the Ulriken Cable Car offers a convenient start point for those seeking a leisurely hike. Accessible year-round, the cable car can be reached by taking the Bybanen (Bergen Light Rail) or bus options. Starting from the cable car entrance, the trail presents a gentle incline, initially through stairs and then onto a gravel path. While slightly longer, this route rewards hikers with captivating vistas as they tread towards the pinnacle.

    For those desiring a less strenuous option, the Skiveien trail provides a path of respite. Avoiding the stairway, this route meanders through scenic terrain, offering a change of pace for seasoned climbers. The duration of your hike varies based on your fitness level and objectives. While some accomplished hikers conquer the journey in as little as 30 minutes, a more relaxed pace generally takes around 1.5 hours from Montana. Be sure to account for extra time when hiking with children.

    Mount Ulriken‘s allure transcends seasons, with hiking opportunities available throughout the year. However, the winter months bring a glistening challenge, as snow and ice create slippery conditions that necessitate shoe spikes for safe passage. As you ascend, the ever-changing vistas unfold, granting you a breathtaking perspective of Bergen and its environs. Upon reaching the summit, revel in the option of returning via the Ulriken Cable Car or extending your adventure by embarking on the approximately 5-hour hike to Mount Fløyen.

    Hike from Ulriken to Fløyen

    For an iconic journey, embark on the hike connecting Mount Ulriken and Mount Fløyen, a beloved path among Bergen’s adventurers. Start your hike at either end, conveniently accessible via the Ulriken Cable Car or Fløibanen funicular. Between these two majestic peaks, you’ll be treated to panoramas of fjords, islands, and, on clear days, even the Folgefonna Glacier.

    The Vidden hike, commencing at the summit of Mount Ulriken, is a well-marked trail that appeals to both beginners and experienced hikers. The path winds through the terrain, and the final stretch of 1-1.5 hours along a gravel road leads to Mount Rundeman, granting a mesmerizing view of the city. At about 15 minutes before reaching Mount Fløyen, make a pit stop at Brushytten for a taste of authentic Norwegian waffles. This cozy spot, open every Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm throughout the year, provides a delightful treat popular with locals.

    Plan your hike between May and October to enjoy optimal conditions, and always check the weather forecast before setting off. Keep in mind that days become shorter after October as winter approaches. The estimated duration of the hike is around 5 hours. However, if you’re not accustomed to mountain hiking or lack suitable footwear, allow for 7-8 hours. The trail covers a distance of approximately 15 km, offering a choice between starting points and concluding at the opposite mountain. This flexibility allows for a shorter alternative using the Fløibanen or Ulriksbanen for reduced vertical ascent and descent.

    Vidden, standing at an elevation of 600-700 meters, presents a challenging hike with breathtaking rewards. Over 35 cairns mark the plateau route, while the terrain varies between rocky paths and wet sections, the enchanting vistas make it a worthwhile adventure. Be prepared for steep sections and occasional mud by wearing waterproof shoes and maintaining a reasonable fitness level. Weather conditions can affect visibility, so consult the forecast before embarking on this awe-inspiring trek across the plateau of Mount Ulriken.