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Baneheia, Kristiansand
Baneheia, Kristiansand.
Photo: Hutchinson&Høibo / Visit Sørlandet
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Kristiansand is the largest city in Southern Norway and an ideal destination for a short break holiday full of adventure.

Norway's southern gateway

Kristiansand is the capital of Southern Norway and a popular holiday destination among Norwegians, not least because of the many attractions in and around the city. Kristiansand is a family-friendly city with sandy beaches, charming wooden houses and a beautiful archipelago. From here, it is easy to explore other gems along Norway's southern coastline.

A wide range of attractions

Kristiansand is the ideal destination for a short break with an attractive city centre and beautiful surrounding area. The city’s old town – known as Posebyen – is a charming area boasting a collection of beautiful white wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. Take a stroll along the narrow street and experience some of the city’s history before taking a rest at one of the many cafes in the area for a drink and something to eat. 

You will also find cultural experiences at Kilden, Kristiansand’s performing arts centre and during the summer months you can catch free concerts and other performances. Alternatively, you can visit the cannon museum and see the World’s second largest land based canon which dates back to the second world war.

Activities of any kind

Outdoor enthusiasts will find lots of good opportunities for fishing, on the open sea as well as in rivers and lakes. The fishing season is long, some places it is an activity for the whole year, though you are only allowed to catch salmon until September. 

Hiking is also a favorite local pastime, with marked trails and guided tours available all summer and autumn. Go hiking in Baneheia, a large recreational area north of the city, walk along the scenic paths of Odderøya, or take a stroll in downtown Kristiansand. The city centre is compact and easy to navigate - start for example your afternoon walk at the fish market and head towards the fountain park and the city beach before ending in Posebyen. 

Kristiansand also offers a range of fun activities that will get the adrenaline pumping, no matter how old you are. Try for example river rafting, canoe, kayak or zip-line, if you want a bit more action.

If you are planning a winter getaway, Southern Norway is definitely an option. Hovden in the Setesdal valley is the largest ski resort in Southern Norway, with 170 kilometres of cross-country trails and 34 alpine pistes of varying difficulty. There are designated areas for children and snowboarders, a ski school and lots of eateries and accommodation offers.  

A little something to look forward to...

A new restaurant is being built close to Lindesnes, a small town a bit outside Kristiansand and the southernmost point in Norway. Even though this new eatery is not scheduled for opening until 2019, it has already drawn plenty of attention to the region, not least because of the fact that it is being built under water. The name, of course, is Under, and it will be the worlds largest underwater restaurant when it opens in May next year. Pre-booking is open already.

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