Spotlight Destination: Bergen, Norway

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Our guide recruitment manager Colin has been working very hard of late to find ToursByLocals the right guides in Norway. Last week he introduced our team to one of his recruits: Kai Ove, a long-time resident of Bergen, Norway.

If you’ve never been to Bergen, you’re going to want to go after reading about it.

Surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords, Bergen’s setting alone makes it a lovely city. Throw in a thousand-year old protected harbour, thriving cultural life and UNESCO World Heritage status, and you have one of the most stunning cities in Scandinavia.

Let’s start with the setting: Bergen is surrounded by one of the world's most spectacular tourist attractions, the Norwegian Fjords. The city is situated between the longest fjord Sognefjord to the north of Bergen and the beautiful Hardangerfjord in the south. Click on the image above for a sense of the majesty these fjords impart.

The city of Bergen is rich in history, having welcomed visitors for more than 900 years. Bryggen, the historic district, has become a symbol of Norwegian cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The old Hanseatic wharf is architecturally unique and its row of timber-framed buildings is perhaps one of the most familiar images in all of Norway. Although 61 of Bryggen's buildings are preserved and protected, they are not a museum. The district’s spectacular wooden architecture shelters a living community of shops and offices, artists' studios, crafts-people's workshops and restaurants. It’s a delightful place to wander.

In the evenings, the city's cultural offerings are rich and varied: Bergen has one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, Norway's first national theatre, a host of international festivals, plus the country’s best choirs, jazz musicians and opera singers.

Kai Ove leads walking tours of the city of Bergen, and day-long tours farther afield. If you’ve got just a day at the port in Bergen, we suggest taking advantage of Kai and his car to explore the incredible natural beauty of Western Norway’s fjords.
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