Charming wooden houses, lively nightlife and a picturesque marina give Kristiansand a resort-style atmosphere. The city is one of the largest in Norway and comes to life in the summer when holidaymakers flock to bask on the sandy beach and dine at al fresco restaurants.
Things to do in Kristiansand
Known as Posebyen by locals, Kristiansand’s Old Town features postcard-perfect streets lined with cherry blossom trees and white wooden houses, some of the oldest dating back to the 1600s. In summer, Posebyen Market is brimming with stalls selling arts and crafts, antiques, flowers and food.
The excellent Sørlandets Museum charts the evolution of Norwegian art over the centuries. From traditional folk crafts to contemporary sculptures, the galleries are diverse and multifaceted. The dedicated children’s wing will engage and inspire young visitors.
The compact Bystranda Beach features a golden stretch of sand and clear, shallow water. Claim a deckchair and sunbathe on the beach or enjoy a picnic on the grassy foreshore. Next to the beach is a picturesque marina filled with luxury yachts and sailboats.
The island of Odderøya is perched just offshore and is connected to the town by a bridge. Take a stroll along the scenic paths, peer into artist studios and enjoy coffee and cake at one of the atmospheric cafes.
You can get up close with crocodiles, red pandas and other exotic animals at Kristiansand Dyrepark, one of the top family-friendly attractions in Norway. Spot giraffes, zebras and lions in the African savannah and marvel at wolves, moose and lynx in the Northern Wilderness zone.
Getting around Kristiansand
Kristiansand is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot while local buses are a fast and affordable way to get around. Parking is available throughout the city and trains run between Kristiansand and Oslo in around five hours. Oslo Airport is a four-hour drive away.