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KRISTIANSAND

The smiling capital of the south

Scroll down for inspiration or go directly to our plan your trip page

Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Feel the light from the sun rays reflect from the whitewashed walls of Posebyen old town, the very heart of Kristiansand, and a great place to start exploring Norway’s southernmost city.

These are the biggest collection of charming wooden houses that characterizes many of the villages of Southern Norway.

Today, they are filled with quirky little shops. Warning: you will not leave empty-handed!

Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Another of the main attractions here are the white beaches. You don’t have to go far, just stroll down to the Blue Flag city beach Bystranda. It has even got palm trees!

There are few places in Norway with more hours of sun per year than Kristiansand.

And although the sea can become quite warm in the summer...

The Bystranda beach in Kristiansand .
Photo: Lisbeth Finsådal / Visit Sørlandet
The Bystranda beach in Kristiansand .
Photo: Lisbeth Finsådal / Visit Sørlandet

...you are assured a comforting 25 degrees all year round, in the Aquarama waterpark’s outdoor pool, right by the city beach.

Aquarama in Kristiansand .
Photo: Anders Martisensen / Aquarama
Aquarama in Kristiansand .
Photo: Anders Martisensen / Aquarama

The beach palms are the inspiration behind the name of the annual festival Palmesus that also takes place on Bystranda.

With 60,000 people and an international line-up, it’s Norway’s biggest beach party.

Come join us next summer!

Palmesus music festival in Kristiansand .
Photo: Palmesus
Palmesus music festival in Kristiansand .
Photo: Palmesus

You can also listen to great music of all kind in the new landmark Kilden Performing Arts Centre.

The striking building houses a theatre and a music hall with an exiting programme.

Kilden is located at Odderøya, a former naval base turned into a recreational area with an artsy vibe. Follow the sign-posted paths and have a coffee with a view or challenge yourself in the indoor climbing park Høyt & Lavt Odderøya.

Kilden, Kristiansand .
Photo: Hufton Crow
Kilden, Kristiansand .
Photo: Hufton Crow

From 2021 the impressive new art silo will be another main attraction at Odderøya. Until then you can enjoy contemporary art at the cool museum SKMU, a short stroll from Kilden.

SKMU in Kristiansand .
Photo: SKMU / Sørlandet Kunstmuseum
SKMU in Kristiansand .
Photo: SKMU / Sørlandet Kunstmuseum

Art buffs can also explore the city´s cool, urban vibe by its extensive collection of street art.

Keep looking for gigantic wall paintings and more subtle treasures on street corners.

Street art in Kristiansand .
Photo: Visit Sørlandet / Erik Engenes
Street art in Kristiansand .
Photo: Visit Sørlandet / Erik Engenes

Life in Kristiansand is also about taking things slowly and to "nyde" (enjoy) life. The lively Fiskebrygga harbour with its stunning canal scenery is a favourite among the locals, especially on a sunny day.

Cool down with an ice cream, or choose between everything from the freshest shrimps and mussels to tex mex or crossover.

Eating at Fiskebrygga in Kristiansand .
Photo: Victoria Nevland / Visit Sørlandet
Eating at Fiskebrygga in Kristiansand .
Photo: Victoria Nevland / Visit Sørlandet

Make sure you also set aside plenty of time for coffee and local freshly baked goods from bakeries like Geheb, Edgars bakery or Dampbakeriet.

Edgars bakeri in Kristiansand .
Photo: Elisabeth Høibo / Visit Sørlandet
Edgars bakeri in Kristiansand .
Photo: Elisabeth Høibo / Visit Sørlandet

Another must-do is to take the short hike from the city centre to the «hidden» gem that is the somewhat mysterious park Ravnedalen or the nearby recreational area Baneheia.

An Eden of small lakes and beautiful plants gives the perfect backdrop for a delicious homemade burger at the café Generalen.

Even more magical are the summer nights, with concerts at the café.

Ravnedalen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder
Ravnedalen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder

Kristiansand has also turned family entertainment into an art form and is declared «the children's city».

Dyreparken zoo and amusement park – which in summer also includes a big water park - is (no surprise!) on the top of all Norwegian children's bucket list.

Kardemomme by in Kristiansand .
Photo: Dyreparken
Kardemomme by in Kristiansand .
Photo: Dyreparken

It even has its own pirate, Captain Sabeltann. His most dedicated fans often stay at the popular Abra Havn pirate village hotel (voted 6th best family hotel in the world by TripAdvior users in 2017).

Family fun in Dyreparken in Kristiansand .
Photo: Lisbeth Finsådal / Visit Sørlandet
Family fun in Dyreparken in Kristiansand .
Photo: Lisbeth Finsådal / Visit Sørlandet

Another attraction well worth visiting is Kristiansand cannon museum at Møvik fortress.

The fortress was built by the German Navy during WW2, and the museum offers fascinating insights into the war’s history.

Today, the dramatic past feels close yet far away as you ride the old ammunition railway through the tranquil and idyllic scenery with panoramic views over the archipelago in Kristiansand.

Kristiansand kanonmuseum .
Photo: Steinar Furu / Kristiansand Kanonmuseum
Kristiansand kanonmuseum .
Photo: Steinar Furu / Kristiansand Kanonmuseum

You see, Kristiansand is also all about the coast. It’s impossible to pick a favourite from the thousands of islands of the archipelago. But the beauty Bragdøya is easily accessible with a ferry.

With a coastal centre, cosy cafes, a white beach and old picturesque roads and trails, this island captures the essence of a summer dream.

Bragdøya in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Bragdøya in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

The areas’ salty maritime history is also very present in the tiny, idyllic outports.

The most famous, Ny-Hellesund, has only 12(!) permanent residents. But in the summer this cosy paradise comes to life.

Ny-Hellesund in Southern Norway .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Ny-Hellesund in Southern Norway .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Imagine waking up to the sound of sea gulls in this converted wharf.

Verftet in Ny-Hellesund .
Photo: Verftet / Visit Sørlandet
Verftet in Ny-Hellesund .
Photo: Verftet / Visit Sørlandet

... and spend the day relaxing at sandy beaches or sunny rocks.

And be sure to take a hike around the island before happy hour facing the sun that almost never sets.

Ny-Hellesund in Southern Norway .
Photo: Anders Martinsen / Visit Sørlandet
Ny-Hellesund in Southern Norway .
Photo: Anders Martinsen / Visit Sørlandet

What are you waiting for?

Start planning your trip to Kristiansand

Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Posebyen in Kristiansand .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
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