Nesbyen has a population of about 3,500 inhabitants. It is located on the Bergen Line railroad which runs between Oslo and Bergen. Nesbyen Station was opened in 1907 when the Bergen Railway was opened to Gulsvik. Nesbyen is located on Norwegian National Road 7.
Gamle Nes is the oldest part of Nesbyen. Nesbyen was an early administrative center for Hallingdal. Mainly buildings in Gamle Nes dated to before 1900. Nesbyen is surrounded by mountains on several sides, with good roads to most mountain areas. Hallingnatten is the municipality's highest point, 1,314 meters above sea level. Hallingdal Museum, founded in 1899 and one of the oldest open air museums in Norway, is headquartered in Nesbyen. Hallingdal Museum is organized with professional, administrative and operational responsibility for the museums in Hallingdal.
Nesbyen is listed as the location with the highest recorded temperature in Norway, with a record of 35.6°C. set on 20 June 1970.
Nes kraftverk is a hydroelectric power station 4 km north of Nesbyen. The power plant was commissioned in 1967, and takes advantage of a drop of 285 meters from the Strandefjorden. The power plant is the largest and lowest in Hallingdal River watershead (Hallingdalsvassdraget). There are installed four Francis turbines of 70 MW each. The normal annual production is about 1330 GWh.
Besides intake from Strandefjorden, water is taken from the rivers Ridola, Lya and Votna. It also transferred water from the river Rukkedøla through a separate tunnel. The power plant is owned and operated by E-CO Energi.
- Olaf Øen (1925–2009), Norwegian politician for the Labour Party
- Kristin Hille Valla, Norwegian politician for the Centre Party
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