Bergen is surrounded by mountains on one side and fjords on the other. The old port city on the west coast of Norway is the second-largest city in the country and is known for its scenic beauty and historic charm. Wander through narrow alleyways lined with 18th-century wooden buildings. Learn about 14th-century merchants or admire contemporary art in museums, then haggle for fresh seafood at the lively Torget Fishmarket.
The best way to get a feel for the city is from the top of Mount Fløyen, one of seven mountains that surround Bergen and give the city its nickname. Catch the Fløibanen Funicular from the city center to the summit, 1,050 feet (320 meters) above sea level. Look out across the mountains and over the old city center to the fjords and the sea.
The mountains around Bergen offer opportunities for hiking and picnicking in summer and cross-country skiing in winter. Hike to lakes and forests just a short trip from the city center.
Bryggen, or the Hanseatic Wharf, is a protected historic site on the water in Bergen. The foundations of the city were built here in the 11th century and many old buildings remain. The wharf is also home to several museums. Escape Bergen’s notoriously rainy weather and browse the Bryggens Museum and the Hanseatic Museum. Learn about the history of the city and life in the Middle Ages. While winters are often cold and wet, the months between May and August bring fine days and warmer weather.
Art lovers should make a beeline for the central Lake Lille Lungegardsvannet, which is surrounded by galleries. Visit the Bergen Art Museum and the Bergen Contemporary Art Centre. Children are catered for at the Aquarium, which has everything from seals to penguins to crocodiles.
A convenient system of buses, trams and trolleybuses make getting around Bergen easy. Take the Ulriken Cable Car up into the mountains. Fly in to the international airport or come by cruise ship or passenger ferry. Boats pass in and out of the port and connect the city with the surrounding fjords and coastline of Norway.