The second-largest city after Oslo, Bergen sits on Norway's rainy but temperate west coast. It's an attractive city that squeezes around a port and up steep hillsides, one of which, the Floyen, can be reached by the popular Floibanen funicular. A trading port that dates back to the Middle Ages, Bergen still retains many beautiful burghers' houses on Bryggen Street. Meeting venues in Bergen can be delightfully Old World.
Bergen's Flesland Airport (BGO), 11 miles south of the city center, has convenient connections to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London and Stockholm.
Chief among Bergen venues is its convention center, Arenum, which occupies a former shipyard. It largest hall measures more than 45.000 square feet and is able to host banquets of 1,600 persons and receptions of 3,000.
Hotel venues in Bergen include the 345-room Radisson Blu Hotel Norge, the 210-room Clarion Hotel Admiral, the 159-room Rica Hotel Bergen, the 152-room First Hotel Marin and the 131-room Grand Terminus. Of these the Radisson is a particularly fine choice, with 19 meeting rooms and a conference hall able to host 520 persons, while the Clarion is in an old, atmospheric building right on the harbor. The 254-room Scandic Bergen City has a conference center called the Magnus Barfot Kino og Konferanse Senter, which has five meeting rooms with 1,060 seats, space for events of up to 300 persons and a movie theater with a huge screen and surround sound.
Cultural institutions doubling as Bergen venues include the Grieghallen (Grieg Hall), the home of the Bergen Philharmonic, which the famous composer (and Bergen native) Edvard Grieg conducted in the 1880s. It has 1,500 seats and space for events of up to 2,000 persons. One of the composer's most famous compositions is The Hall of the Mountain King, so it stands to reason there should be an actual hall of that name here, too. Live large in the 13th-century (often remodeled) Bergenhus Fortress, which has huge, imposing arches and Hakon's Hall, named after a legendary Norwegian king; it has reception space for 400 persons, banquet space for 290 and an amazing spot on the harbor.
Reached by the funicular, Restaurant Sky:Skraperen also is known as Ulriken 643, so named because it is 643 meters (or 2,110 feet), above sea level, the highest spot in Bergen. Before 9 PM, up to 50 persons can make use of or eat in a function room, while after that watershed hour, another 50 can employ the whole restaurant and book cable cars for two for dinner. At lower altitudes are Gamle Bergen Tracteursted, which is inside the Old Bergen Museum and has 58 seats. Finally, try Bryggeloftet & Stuene, also on Bryggen, which has very traditional interior and 185 seats.