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Beautiful Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city, is one of the most popular ports of call on a cruise up the fjords. Step off the ship into the medieval Bryggen wharf area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, where small boats line the harbor and wooden gabled buildings stand proud along the waterfront. Bergen’s rich maritime tradition goes back nearly 1,000 years, including the years the town played an important part in the Hanseatic League, the trading empire that dominated maritime commerce in the region between the 14th and 18th centuries. The city is one of Europe’s oldest settlements, and its cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways lead to emerald-green parks, medieval cathedrals and stone fortresses that kept enemies at bay centuries ago. It's also eminently walkable, with historic buildings and excellent markets selling everything from fish and produce to trinkets and souvenirs.
Surrounded by mountains and thick forest, and sitting halfway between Geiranger to the north and Stavanger to the south, Bergen offers plenty to do outside the city too. Whether you sign up for a guided excursion or venture out on your own, you’ll be sure to fall in love with Bergen.