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White-painted wooden houses, so typical of southern Norway. Charming, narrow streets. The river in the midst of town, and beaches, forest and nature just outside the center. The town of Mandal is the epitome of the southern Norwegian summer.
Mandal, with 15 000 citizens, is the live-capital in Norway with over 300 live concerts all over town. For example every Wednesday throughout the summer there is a fantastic party atmosphere during the popular Wednesday concerts. Hundreds of people come together in the summer warmth to enjoy a beer outdoors and sing along whilst the local band plays covers from every musical genre.
The rumors about the Shellfish Festival, which always takes place on the second weekend in August, have travelled the length and breadth of Norway. The Shellfish Festival is a fantastic four days of gastronomic experiences, competitions and concerts – experience Mandal at its very best!
"Gågada", the pedestrian zone runs through the middle of town center. During the day Mandal is practically a treasure trove for shoppers. Visit the town's shopping center or wander along the charming and lively pedestrian street where you will find familiar names, as well as a range of niche shops – all of them filled with treasures just waiting to tumble into your shopping bag.
Alongside the river is the new AMFI Mandal shopping center which opened in November 2014. Here there are over 40 different shops with everything you vould want or need.
Throughout the summer there are also a small market in the town square where you can buy fruits and vegetables, clothes, arts and flowers. Make a stop at "Olivias Hus" where you can find leading brands in interior, furniture, clothes and shoes. They also have a delicious section full of tempting coffee, tea and homemade chocolates.
Mandal Museum and Vigeland house is in the middle of Mandal center. The Mandal Museum is home to southern Norway's largest exhibition on fish, which shows how techniques and equipment have developed over time in the area.
The museum also has its own art collection, including Norway's largest public collection of works by Amaldus Nielsen, probably the most famous artist from southern Norway. There are also works by other local artists such as Adolph Tidemand, Olaf Isaachsen and Gustav Vigeland.
A short drive outside the town is Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrik, a wool factory from 1894. Today the factory is a living museum with its own power station, dye house, spinning mill, weaving mill and finishing plant. They produce yarn and rugs that you can buy from the museum shop and if you go on a guided tour, you will be able to see the various machines and production processes in action.
Right outside of the town center is the beautiful Furulunden, a large nature park surrounded by over two kilometers of picturesque beaches. Furulunden is perfect for kids with playgrounds both between the trees and out in the water, and with facilitated barbeque spots it is the perfect place to spend your entire day. There is an extensive network of paths and promenades suitable for the physically disabled.
In the heart of Mandal you can take a walk up to Uranienborg, a wonderful and popular viewpoint. The name Uranienborg was given to the first "kikkerthus" (binoculars house) that was built here in 1862, as a memorial of the Russian ship 'Ingermanland' wrecked at the coast here in 1842. From here you can see all the way to Ryvingen, Norway's southernmost lighthouse, and the ships passing far out to sea. .
The coastal archipelago outside of Mandal is well worth a visit. Mandal has a lively boating scene, with the guest harbor in the middle of town and the island playground right outside. There are great opportunities for island exploration, crab fishing, or why not just drop anchor by the town's marina?
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