Surrounded by a cluster of rocky islets on the Skagerrak coast, Grimstad is a charming maritime town north-east of Kristiansund. It was famously home to the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and the Nobel Prize-winning author Knut Hamsun, with traces of both former residents dotting the town.
Things to do in Grimstad
Delve into Grimstad’s past at the Maritime Museum in Aust-Agder, which occupies an area that’s been home to shipyards for more than 150 years. Browse the exhibitions that detail the social, economic and cultural impacts of the town’s shipping industry, as well as the developments that have taken place in recent years. After visiting the museum, you can enjoy a stroll around the historic waterfront area of Hasseldalen.
Another museum not to miss in Grimstad is the Ibsen Museum, which occupies the old pharmacy where a 15-year-old Henrik Ibsen came to work as an apprentice. See the room where he once lived and wrote his first play, “Catilina”, before forging a career as one of the world’s most acclaimed playwrights and earning the nickname “the father of realism”.
A short boat ride from Grimstad takes you to the island of Store Grønningen and the Homborsund Lighthouse, which was first illuminated in 1879. Learn about the multiple families that used to live and work here as you explore the dwellings, boathouse and pier, then stroll through the surrounding landscape that is protected as a bird sanctuary.
Getting around Grimstad
Grimstad is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Kristiansand and just 35 minutes from Kristiansand Airport, Kvernberget, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses connect to towns and villages along the Skagerrak coast while boats access the surrounding islets. The centre of Grimstad is compact enough to explore on foot.