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Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and the most popular gateway to the fjords of West Norway. The city is renowned for its beautiful nature and offers excellent hiking opportunities in its immediate surroundings. Having fostered many of Norway's greatest bands and artists, the city is also famous for its cultural life and underground/indie music scene.
Bergen is located far west in Norway, sheltered from the North Sea only by a number of islands.
Except for the dense city center, which made up the entire city before 1916, Bergen is the least dense of the four largest cities in Norway. Most of the settlement inside the very wide city borders is concentrated in the western part of the municipality. The rest of the municipality is made up of mountains, as well as some farmland and smaller settlements.
Bergen is one of the most important cultural centers in Norway. The city is the home of the Bergen International Festival, Nattjazz and Bergenfest, festivals of international renown within their genres. The local symphony orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bergen Airport Flesland (BGO) is located 19 km south of the city. The main international airports with flights to Bergen are Copenhagen, London, and Amsterdam. There are also flights from various cities in the United Kingdom, Prague, Paris, Berlin, New York, various cities in Spain, and some other airports.
There is a frequent airport bus service (Norwegian: Flybussen), which takes about 30-40 minutes to downtown.
Within the city center, walking is the best way to get around. You can walk across the downtown in 20 minutes in any direction. The most central streets of the city generally have a good accessibility for the disabled.
By light rail
A light rail line runs between the city centre and southwards towards Lagunen. This is the primary means of public communication to southern parts of Bergen. The line passes the railway station, the bus station, Brann soccer stadium, the student homes at Fantoft and Nesttun along the route.
There's a number of attractions in Bergen and the surrounding areas. Surveys do, however, show that most tourists in Bergen find the atmosphere, cultural landscape and architecture more compelling than the typical sights, so pick a few things to see and spend the rest of your time in Bergen sitting down in a park or café, strolling around the city, enjoying a concert or hiking the mountains. On sunny summer days, stay downtown until late to enjoy the sunset in the north.
Bergen Art Museum. One of the largest art museums in the Nordic countries, with art from the renaissance as well as contemporary art.
The fish market. Bergen's outdoor fish market has a long history, being the historical center for fish trade. Most tourists find their way here, but with locals changing their shopping habits, the fish market today does not compare to what it once was.
The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art Nordahl Bruns gate 9. A museum of design and decorative art. Norway's largest collection of Chinese art.
St. Jørgen's Hospital is one of very few preserved leprosy hospitals from the 18th century in Northern Europe. The Leprosy Museum tells the story about the disease and its history in Norway, in addition to showing life at the hospital.
Bergen Aquarium has a nice selection of aquatic life, especially penguins and seals. Typical Norwegian aquatic life is well documented, and there is also a collection of tropical fish and animals and a shark tank with an underwater glass tunnel.
The mountains surrounding Bergen offers great hiking possibilities. There are options for anyone from those just looking for a fifteen-minute stroll in the sun to the more adventurous interested in daytrips and steep hills.
Mount Fløyen is the most central of the mountains. It is easily accessible by the funicular running from downtown, but the better fit will probably choose the 40-minutes walk up. A good compromise can be to take the funicular up and walk down.
The islands, fjords and lakes surrounding Bergen provide excellent conditions for both saltwater and fresh-water fishing. Fishing from fresh water lakes usually requires a local rod permit, even permission from the land owner. Pay attention to signs marking lakes used for drinking water.