Guide / Bergen
”Bergen always has something to offer and it always manages to charm and engage”
On life in a small city with a big personality
9 Feb 2023

Who are you?

— My name is Daniela Ramos Arias. I am from Costa Rica but have lived in Norway for the past 16 years. I live with my husband Jonas, my two kids Olivia and Thomas, and our dog Mira. I am a curator and wear many hats around the city of Bergen. I work part-time at Hordaland Kunstsenter, and part-time at Kiosken. And a little bit with my independent practice. Kiosken is an interdisciplinary space for art, design and craft in the city centre of Bergen run by myself together with Ann Kristin Stølan, Siv Støldal, and Stine Aas. We curate exhibitions, have an artist in residency program, and a shop.

Kiosken’s exhibition at Älvsjö Gård during Stockholm Furniture Fair this week.

For someone who hasn’t been to Bergen, how’d you describe it?

— Bergen is a small city with a big personality. It is charming, majestic, and dynamic with a combination of mountains, forests and water, and culture all around. It has brutal weather most of the time, but as soon as the sun comes out, you forget all about it and can’t help but love it.

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Bergen: 

— There is something about how proud Bergen is of being Bergen. It does not take any ’shit’ from anyone and that is very cool! No matter the weather or time of the year, it always has something to offer and it always manages to charm and engage. That is why I have been here for so long.

”There is something about how proud Bergen is of being Bergen”

My favourite weekend routine: 

— I actually love spending the weekend at home doing all the things that I don’t usually have time to do during the week. Make pizza and watch a film with the family. But when out and about, it can be meeting with a friend to go on a gallery round and have lunch at Landmark or a coffee at Det Lille Kaffekompaniet. During the summer — and for some, during the winter as well — there are so many places to go for a swim. I love Nordnesbad where the water temperature is warm and you go to the outdoor swimming pool every day of the year.

My favourite cultural spot:

Bergen Kjøtt is slowly but steadily becoming a very nice place to be, with concerts, a bar, and an arena for conversations that push boundaries and look into subjects that we need to address. It is run by powerhouse Eva Rowson.

Bergen Kjøtt.

My favourite place for dining out:

— I love how easy-going Colonialen Snackbar is, with great wines and delicious food. Otherwise, Lola has become a big favourite. I also love Kogi, a delicious Korean restaurant hidden in Nygårdsgaten.

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

— Landmark is always a great place to meet colleagues or have a meeting. The café at Hordaland Kunstsenter is also a very good place to meet and the open space at the offices of the Bergen Assembly is always welcoming.

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

— For the last year I have been getting to know artist, producer, and musician Vilde Tuv. She is such a force! Vilde is not only producing her own music, but she also plays the instruments and sings, makes videos, and merch — by hand — as well as helps others learn how to produce music. She is super cool!

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

— I am always so happy after walking on the side of Storelugegårdsvannet, especially when the sun is shining!

My favourite hotel for a staycation: 

— I have been dreaming of staying at Bergen Børs Hotel and dining at Bare. Maybe one day!

My favourite place for fashion:

— Siv Støldal’s studio at Kiosken. It is fascinating the way she plans and works on her projects. She is deeply interested in the histories our clothes tell, and where things come from and go. I have learned a lot working beside her, and I am more interested in fashion today because of the conversations that we have.

My favourite excursion:

— Just two and a half hours away from Bergen, we have a little piece of paradise in the mountains of Hardanger at a place called Vøringsfoss. It is just the perfect getaway. During winter it is covered with white snow, perfect for lighting the chimney or going on skiing adventures. In the summer, we can go for walks and be close to nature. 

Hardanger. Photography: Visit Norway.

My favourite space for great design: 

— There’s a beautiful family-run shop not far from Kiosken called Lampemannen which has a beautiful selection of vintage lamps, as well as a curated selection of modern ones. 

My favourite example of tech innovation: 

Bioregion Institute which is a non-profit organisation looking to find new ways of becoming a bio-based society. It is a collaboration between designers, scientists, and researchers putting their heads together to find better solutions to plastic.

My favourite local media:

Verse Libre! A super cool non-profit community radio station.

My favourite thing at home: 

— Everything. My home is an oasis I share with my two kids, my husband, and my dog. It has lots of natural light. We have been collecting art and furniture for many years, which makes our house cosy and full of personality. I really love it and being from so far away, it is so important to have a place that feels like home.