Bryggen, 5003 Bergen, Norway

Crowds flock to Bergen’s iconic Hanseatic district for an Instagram snap of the colorful houses, but there’s so much more to discover. Exploring the narrow alleyways is a must to fully appreciate what it must have been like to be a trader here during Bergen’s golden age. The Hanseatic Museum gives you the opportunity to step inside one of the buildings and experience the cramped and cold living conditions, while learning about the cod that created the area’s fortune. It’s remarkable the district is still standing at all after several fires, and careful restoration work continues to preserve these stories of the past for future generations.

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Scandinavian Port City

Bergen’s historic wharf district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been prominent since the heyday of the Hanseatic League, the regional trading group that thrived between the 1300s and 1800s. The waterfront is defined by a row of colorful wooden buildings with prominent gables and steep roofs, with the oldest dating back to the early 1700s (previous structures were destroyed in fires). Originally warehouses for storing stockfish (air-dried fish) and grains, today the buildings are a collection of museums, shops, and other businesses.

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