Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and the most popular gateway to the fjords of West Norway. The city is renowned for its great location amidst mountains, fjords, and the ocean. Steep mountains and highlands within the city offers excellent hiking opportunities. Having fostered many of Norway's greatest bands and artists, the city is also famous for its cultural life and underground/indie music scene. Bergen's unpredictable weather adds to its quirky, unmistakable charm. Bergen was Norway's main city for centuries, and many patriotic inhabitants believe it still is.
The character of Bergen is defined by its the location among steep mountains and surrounded by sea (straits and fjords). The city itself has many lakes. It is a typical Norwegian wooden town, even downtown there are notable neighborhoods of small wooden houses in various styles. In some areas wooden houses have been replaced by taller masonry structures giving the city fascinating mix of old and new. Bergen is Norway's second biggest and Bergen with suburbs account for about one third of the population of West Norway.