Bergen, once the capital of Norway, is now its second-largest city. Though sometimes described as a medieval town or a quaint fishing village, Bergen in reality is much more. The university here has nearly 20,000 students and fishermen share the coastal waters with offshore drilling platforms, all of which merely adds to the charm of time spent in vacation rentals in Norway.
First founded in 1070 by King Olav Kyrre, Bergen was Norway's largest city for almost six centuries. The most distinctive feature of the town is its historic harbor, which features international ferries offering passage to Denmark, England, and the Faroe Islands.
Visitors to Bergen should be sure to see the Byrggens Museum as well as the Hanseatic Museum and the Fishing Museum, which provides information about the history of the harbor and the kinds of fish tourists are likely to see featured on local menus. Other essential attractions include the Gamlehaugen, the Bergen residence of King Harald, and the Marienkirke, which is Bergen's oldest building. At the Edvard Grieg home, Traldhaugen, visitors can learn about one of Norway's most important composers and attend daily lunch concerts featuring his greatest works.
Tourists who've had their fill of art and history will want to ride the Floibanen, a funicular railway that takes visitors up to see a magnificent view of the city below. For more outdoor adventure, try the Ulriksbanan, a cable car that takes tourists to a mountaintop view overlooking the sea.