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The county of Hordaland in western Norway is home to Bergen, the country’s second largest city and a lively and thriving cultural centre. Famed for its music and arts scene, the city has been home to a number of Norway’s most successful musicians and bands. Outside of the city - often known as the gateway to the fjords - the Hordaland region boasts stunning natural beauty. The Seven Mountains surround Bergen and further afield you’ll discover the rugged North Sea coast, with its huge U-shaped fjords and incredible scenery.
Bryggen - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bryggen is located to the north side of the bay. Its wooden houses have been well preserved, despite fire and neglect over the centuries, giving you a feel for what it must have been like when this was an important Hanseatic trading outpost.
Downtown Bergen - Home to the fish market and a number of important museums, including the Bergen Art Museum, this is the main cultural and commercial hub of the city.
Nordhordland - An area to the north of the region and home to Fedje, Austrheim and Lindas. Huge fjords and inlets create some truly stunning scenery to explore.
Hardanger and Voss - Located slightly inland from Bergen, water still dominates the region. Visit Eidfjord, a picturesque village at the inner end of Hardangerfjord.
With an arts and culture scene of a city much larger in size, Bergen punches well above its weight. A former capital and European trading post, it’s also brimful of history to explore. Wander the fish market, visit the aquarium and take a ride on the Floibanen funicular in the downtown area. Or head to the Bergenhus Fortress, one of the oldest and best preserved in Norway, dating back to the 11th century. Explore the reconstructed wooden town at Gamle Bergen or head further inland into the Hardanger and Voss region to discover traditional villages.
Bergen’s flourishing music scene means there are plenty of festivals to attend throughout the year. The Bergen Jazzforum and Bergen Live are just two of the biggest. There are plenty of theatre and opera events to check out too. If weather permits (it can rain a lot in Bergen) head to the beach. The water can be surprisingly warm, thanks to the currents, and it’s always incredibly fresh and clean. If you want to get out of the city, Bergen is surrounded by mountains where you can spend the day hiking. The Byfjellene city mountains have a good network of paths and the Seven Mountains that surround the city offer some incredible views.