Bergen, Norway

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Cruising to Bergen, Norway

The gateway to the fjords

When most people think of Norway, the first things that spring to mind tend to be the majestic fjords for which the country is so famous, and of course Vikings. While you won't find any of the latter wandering around Scandinavia these days, the former remains one of the nation's top attractions, and there's no city in Norway that provides better access to the fjords than Bergen. What's more, this stunning destination is also home to some of the country's top museums and galleries, so it's a fantastic place to learn more about the colourful characters that helped shape Norway's history and culture.

Nature is a pretty big deal in these parts, with the city of Bergen being surrounded by the legendary Seven Mountains. Of these, the most easily accessible is Mount Floyen, which can be climbed from the city centre in about 45 minutes. Alternatively, if you don't fancy the hike up to the summit you could take the cable car from downtown. Once at the peak, it's an easy walk to some of the other mountains, including Mount Rundemanen and Mount Ulriken, with spectacular views of the fjords and coast as you go. Other activities that are well worth having a go at include fishing and swimming, while there are also regular boat rides out into the fjords, which are perhaps the best way to get a sense of the sheer magnificence of the local scenery.

In terms of culture, there's loads to see and do in Bergen, beginning with a stroll through the historic Bryggen quarter. Known for its brightly-coloured houses, this part of town runs parallel to the harbour and was a major centre of trade back in the 17th century, with plenty of quaint museums and cafes to be found there now.

Elsewhere, the Bergen Art Museum houses some of the finest art in all of Norway, while the Buergen Kunst Museum contains works from the likes of Picasso, Munch and Miro, as well as a host of local artists.

Bergen, Norway

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