Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living history in this modern city, before continuing on to explore the wildest and loveliest fjords of Norway.
On a Norwegian scale, Bergen is a large city, but one with a small-town charm and atmosphere. Its passionately patriotic inhabitants are proud of their many-sided city and its history and cultural traditions. Many are only happy to direct visitors to their favourite local attraction, coffee-shop or restaurant.
Around 10 percent of the population in Bergen are students, which adds a fresh and youthful mood to the city’s vibe. Alongside its offerings of museums, art galleries, cultural events and dining opportunities, as well as the possibilities offered by its accessible sea and mountains, this contributes to making it a lively and vibrant city.
Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen has roots to the Viking Age and beyond. As one of the main offices of the Hanseatic League, Bergen was for several hundred years the centre of prosperous trade between Norway and the rest of Europe. Bryggen, ("The Hanseatic Wharf") is the most obvious remnant from this time, and is today home to many of the city’s restaurants, pubs, craft shops and historical museums.
Bergen is famous for the seven mountains surrounding the city centre, the Hanseatic Wharf, the fish market, and one of Norway's biggest cultural events, the Bergen International Festival, which is held there each year.