Bryggen and Nordnes
Bryggen, the wharf running right by the harbor on the northern side, is the first stop on most tourists' itinerary and loaded with history. Here you'll find the colorful wooden Hanseatic merchant houses that gave the area its name. Bergenhus, the medieval fortress, guards the entrance to the harbor. Head to the top of Fløyen, one of the seven hills surrounding the city, via Fløibanen (funicular). There are plenty of small, cozy shops and atmospheric restaurants around here, so make sure you explore the back streets too. Nordnes, on the opposite, southern side of the harbor, is mainly a residential area but features a great aquarium within walking distance of the fish market.