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RISØR

Cultural vibes by the sea

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

Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Listen to the gentle sound of the waves lapping the shore and let the sun paint freckles on your nose as you stroll along the harbour.

It’s time to explore the laidback vibes of Risør. Famous not only for its quaint white-painted wooden houses and for fostering a vibrant creative scene, the town is located just over an hour from Kristiansand in Southern Norway.

Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Ahoy there!

It's a familiar refrain as you approach the guest harbour.

You can stay in your boat in the marina, or you can rent a cosy summer house in one of the alleys that overlooks the archipelago. Just remember to book well in advance.

Strandgata is home to some of Norway's most beautiful outdoor restaurants, right by the sea.

Summer in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Summer in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Risør is a compact city that is easy to cover on foot. Explore narrow streets decorated with flowers and browse for something special to take home in the city's niche shops.

Enjoy panoramic views from Risørflekken, and sign up for a historic walk with a traditional watchman.

Risør .
Photo: Christine Baglo
Risør .
Photo: Christine Baglo

You’ll want to go back to the marina eventually, though – because the white-painted houses are not the only wooden handicraft Risør is known for. They’re pretty good at boat building, too.

They even host an annual wooden boat festival: Risør trebåtfestival.

Old and new vessels lined up next to each other, the freshest seafood out there, and a sailing regatta – this is what maritime dreams are made of!

Trebåtfestivalen in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read@Visit Sørlandet
Trebåtfestivalen in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read@Visit Sørlandet

Risør is known as an art and culture city. Risør Kunstpark has two galleries and studio space where artists actively work.

Galleri Villvin in Risør .
Photo: Galleri Villvin
Galleri Villvin in Risør .
Photo: Galleri Villvin

At The Risør Chamber Music Festival in the last week of June, some of the best musicians in the world perform in various venues across the city venues – some are even hosted in private homes.

Risør Kammermusikkfest, Stangholmen .
Photo: Liv Øvland
Risør Kammermusikkfest, Stangholmen .
Photo: Liv Øvland

To experience lock rock and pop by a variety of up and coming bands, head the lighthouse music festival FyrJam by boarding the Agnes ferry to Stangholmen island.

While you’re there, you must try the chef's renowned seafood soup at the gourmet restaurant at Stangholmen lighthouse – Stangholmen bouillabaisse!

Stangholmen Fyr .
Photo: Adam Read©Visit Sørlandet
Stangholmen Fyr .
Photo: Adam Read©Visit Sørlandet

The idyllic island is also the perfect base to go kayaking through the Risør archipelago.

And you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect, secluded swimming spot.

Kayaking in Southern Norway .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com
Kayaking in Southern Norway .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com

Or do you want to go for a swim in this little saltwater pool?

The potholes at Sild provide a unique seawater dip.

Potholes at Sild .
Photo: Peder Austrud / Visit Sørlandet
Potholes at Sild .
Photo: Peder Austrud / Visit Sørlandet

You don’t need your own boat to explore the archipelago.

Go old-school! The family-friendly Lille Danmark beach at Risøya is just a short trip from Risør aboard the M/F Øisang, the oldest wooden car ferry in Norway that is still in operation.

The ferry was built at the local Moen boatyard, which is also home to the Risør Coastal Heritage Centre. Here, you can learn more about boat building, and let your kids build their own boat and fish for tiny crabs from the pier.

And speaking of shellfish …

M/F Øisang in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
M/F Øisang in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

... there is plenty of delicious fresh seafood in Risør!

The popular outdoor restaurant Risør fiskemottak doesn’t even have a set menu – just the catch of the day! It's a slo a fishmonger, so you can bring home a snack for supper or Sunday brunch if you're staying in the area. Can’t say no to that, can you?

Shrimp .
Photo: Marte Kopperud / Visitnorway.com
Shrimp .
Photo: Marte Kopperud / Visitnorway.com

At the award-winning and historic Det lille hotel, you’ll find just what you need to recharge after a day of seaside fun.

The hotel is a member of "De Historiske", a collection of Norway's most charming historic hotels and restaurants.

Det lille hotel in Risør .
Photo: BorderFreeTravels / Fredrik Bye
Det lille hotel in Risør .
Photo: BorderFreeTravels / Fredrik Bye

The treetop cabins in Gjerstad are also a must! Kids will love it.

Tree house in Gjerstad .
Photo: Frame & Work
Tree house in Gjerstad .
Photo: Frame & Work

Get up close to the creatures of the sea and explore over 500 different species at Risør Aquarium

Risør Akvarium .
Photo: Peder Austrud, Visit Sørlandet
Risør Akvarium .
Photo: Peder Austrud, Visit Sørlandet

Not ready to go home just yet?

Explore more of the quaint coast at nearby villages like Lyngør, or in the maritime national parks Jomfruland in Kragerø and Raet that runs through Arendal, Grimstad, and Tvedestrand.

Trebåtfetstivalen in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Trebåtfetstivalen in Risør .
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet

Are you dreaming of a charming small-town Christmas?

Christmas lights twinkling in the narrow streets, traditional decorations, and activities for the whole family – December in Risør is magical!

Christmas in Risør .
Photo: Bjørn Svensson
Christmas in Risør .
Photo: Bjørn Svensson

Get ready for coastal bliss!

Plan your trip to Risør today

Christmas in Risør .
Photo: Bjørn Svensson
Christmas in Risør .
Photo: Bjørn Svensson

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