City Guide Kristiansand. The Travel Guide for your trip to Norway.
Do you know a town in Southern Norway known as Norway’s Hollywood? Kristiansand is popularly known as Norway’s Hollywood, situated in the south of Norway. That’s because, it is where foreigners and tourists come from all over the world to catch the fun. Being the fifth most populated city, people cherish Kristiansand for its bright sunny days.
It’s a town that is a hub of tourist attractions and famous for party enthusiasts, solo travelers, families, and couples. The summers are long and warm, and during the summer holidays, you may not find any beach left empty.
One of a favorite holiday destination, people worldwide visit and plan to enjoy its warm weather and sightseeing. Apart from the beach, the city offers a plethora of activities to do for adults and children. During the winters, Kristiansand makes the perfect place for skiing and other winter activities.
If you are on your way to Kristiansand, this short but informative guide will help you take full advantage of your vacation in Norway.
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Location: In the county Agder, in Southern Norway
Established: In 1614
Population: 112.588 (2021)
Time zone: UTC+01:00 (CET), in the summer UTC+02:00 (CEST)
The seaport and town of southern Norway, Kristiansand, is named after Denmark’s King, Christian IV. He was the one who fortified and founded the beautiful city in 1641. The purpose of Christian IV behind building the town is to make it into a chief commercial metropolis. However, it remained an afterthought till the 19th century. Now, Kristiansand is one of the famous transportation centers and lively towns on the Oslo-Stavanger rail line.
The town provides car ferry service to Hirtshals from Skagerrak and ocean carriage service to many American and European ports. Moreover, there is Kjevik Airport that offers direct flights to Copenhagen and other Norway’s principal cities. People also recognize Kristiansand as an industrial center due to its wood, metal-processing plants, textile mills, and shipyards.
While strolling around the city, you can find some notable buildings such as the municipal theatre, the bishopric of Agder of the church of Norway, and the Lutheran cathedral. Lutheran Cathedral is the oldest church redeveloped in 1882-85 after being originated around 1685-87.
Also, there is an ancient 11th-century Odderness Church and Gimle Manor of the 18th century, regional folklore museums, and Kongsgard. Kristiansand is no short of history, which makes it a popular tourist destination.
No matter your age, Kristiansand has everything to entertain all the travelers. Let’s discuss the sights you cannot miss while visiting this enchanting town.
Posebyen: The Old Town
If old and historical building interests you that give you a glimpse of the town’s rich history, you should undoubtedly visit Posebyen.
Kristiansand’s Old Town has numerous old historical and wooden buildings, ideal for an evening stroll around the city center. You can find the Old Town’s center between Tordenskjolds gate and Tollbodgata streets. Besides, the prettiest part of the town is Gyldenloves gate.
Kristiansand’s city center is designed in an American way. The neighborhoods are situated along the hillside, which is pretty American, and block the arrangement of houses, which is Norway’s usual setting. That’s why the residents refer to this place as Kvadraturen square.
Tip: If you decide to come here, make sure to take a stroll around the Otra river during summers. You will love it.
Kristiansand Cannon Museum
Do you know which the second largest cannon constructed in the whole world is? It’s none other than Kristiansand Cannon Museum. During WWII, Kristiansand helped in the Nazi occupation, and that’s why you discover old fortresses throughout the city.
At Movik, the Cannon Museum has a bunker that enables you to enjoy a 360-degree spectacular view of the nearest island Flekkeroy and Kristiansand.
To reach the Cannon Museum, you can easily take Bus M1, which goes towards Flekkeroy. Get down at Krooden and take a 10-minute walk to the museum. Overall, it takes twenty minutes to reach the museum from the city.
Sorlandsparken combines Dryeparken, a family amusement park & zoo, and Sorlandssenteret, the biggest shopping mall in Norway. These two attractions are must-visit tourist destinations.
The zoo is situated at the east of Kristiansand, harboring more than a hundred species. You can also find an amusement park, which makes it the best place to visit with your kids.
Once characterized by old and colorful historical buildings, Fiskebrygga is now a famous place for seafood restaurants. When you visit the area, you will embrace the touch of local culture in cafes or restaurants. Also, the locals are so friendly and warm that they will make you feel grateful in all ways.
How can you not visit scenic parks on your trip to Kristiansand? Ravnedalen is one such popular tourist place which attracts tourist from across the globe. Positioned in the north of the city, the park gives birth to fresh flowers, fresh lawns, and mature trees.
You can also find a pond surrounded by spruce trees and colorful plants. Furthermore, you can enjoy a cup of coffee at the café while appreciating the beauty of the park.
Wherever you go, you cannot miss the shopping. It’s always important to explore the city’s shopping centers and take something with you as souvenirs. At Kristiansand, you will find many shopping centers offering a wide range of items from jewelry, clothes to even something artistic.
Hosting more than 200 shops, Sorlandssenteret is one of the biggest shopping centers in Norway. The shopping center offers many shops of your interest such as shoes and clothes. You can even find many eating outlets like Gehab bakery or McDonald’s.
You can find this cozy and small shopping center on a pedestrian street in Markens. Though it is small, it houses 20 stores, including Vinmonpolet, a spirit, beer, and wine store.
Amfi Vagabond is another shopping center housing 45 shops, including clothing stores, grocery stores, florists, hairdressers, liquor stores, and pet shops. Moreover, there are 400 parking spaces for you to park your car easily.
Being the largest town in Norway’s southernmost part, it is a favorite holiday destination for Norwegians as well as foreigners. Most people prefer to take a ferry from Hirtshals. It takes three hours to reach the city. Also, you can get to the town from Stavanger or Oslo by train. If you are coming from outside Northern Europe or Norway, the flight is the best and direct option.
Being a small town, it’s relatively easy to get around the city on foot. The suburbs are scattered worldwide, and there are also dedicated bike lanes on the roads. If you still wish to enjoy the transport facilities for ease of transportation, you can take advantage of bus, train, ferry, and car. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Kristiansand offers an excellent bus service where blue buses operate after every five minutes. Nettbuss Sor controls blue buses in the city.
Westbound buses usually depart from either the bus terminal or the Tollbodgata, while at Henrik Wergelands gate, you will find most eastbound buses. To visit the north of Kristiansand, you can find many buses at the bus terminal.
Taxis are quite expensive in the city. Two famous companies are offering taxi facilities include Taxi Sor and Agder Taxi.
You can take your car or rent a car in the city. Mostly, you will find the roads with single-lane except for highway. However, you may find it difficult to park the car so you should look for parking houses. Note: You will find a toll booth on the roads that lead to the town.
You can rent small boats in the city. The facility is available at several places, and there are also sightseeing boats in summer for the tourists.
If you have done all the sightseeing in Kristiansand and still left with some time from your vacation, then you should think about visiting nearby places. There are many beautiful places easy to reach from Kristiansand that can blow your mind away. So, please don’t wait and get into the details with our guide.
Just one and a half hours away from Kristiansand, Flekkefjord is a beautiful town with around 6,000 population. If you visit the town on a summer day, you will see the gleaming white wooden houses. The streets display the historic charm of the Dutch Quarter.
Even though the town is small, it offers you various opportunities for shopping. Moreover, there is a way old octagonal church with 650 seats. The church was made with wood in the 1800s. It’s a most favored place among Norwegians who want to take a break from their hectic life and enjoy peace and calmness.
Hvaler Archipelago At Fredrikstad
Hvaler Archipelago is referred to as an island of paradise. Comprised of over 833 islands, Hvaler is also known as the original Marine National Park in Norway. Unlike the Norway weather, the place receives more sunshine. Therefore, it’s the best place to relax and do recreational activities.
From Kristiansand, you get five travel options, fly, bus, train, drive, or ferry. The most recommended option is via bus as it takes about seven hours to reach the beautiful island. Take a bus from Kristiansand rutebilstasjon station to Oslo bus terminal and from there take a bus to Hvaler radhus.
Just one and half hour drive from Kristiansand, you can visit the area’s most romantic destination. That is, Lindesnes Fyr. Situated on the southernmost point of Norway, the lighthouse is beautiful in itself, and the scenery is too pleasing to the eyes.
The lighthouse is functional 24/7, but if you wish to enter the lighthouse, you need to check the opening hours before visiting.
Ski Jump Holmenkollen Near Oslo
Have you ever gotten a chance to stand on a Ski Jump and look at how the city looks from the top? If not, it’s your chance to visit Holmenkollen and see the beautiful and picturesque view of the town from your naked eyes.
Initially built in 1892, the tower has been redeveloped many times and reopened recently again in March 2010. Now, it is considered the most modern ski jump in the world. Upon entering the ski jump, you can stroll through the Ski Museum to learn about 4,000 years old history.
Being a part of the Holmenkollen National Area, you can also visit Midtubakken, the small hill which combines biathlon and cross-country stadium. If you don’t know, each winter, Holmekollen hosts FIS World Cup. Even the 1952 Olympic Games’ Nordic skiing events are held at this place.
If you are afraid to go on the top of the tower, you can have the flying experience from the ski simulator located on the museum’s exterior. You can imagine how it would feel like to go on the top of a ski jump.
Odderoya: Island and Hiking At One Place
When you are in nature’s arms, why not appreciate the beauty and go for the hike? Kristiansand has many popular places for hiking which you can explore.
Just a few kilometers away from Fiskebyrgga, you can find a beautiful island with breathtaking views. The island boasts old coastal forts, forests, and military barracks from the early seventeenth century.
The island hosts several hiking trails where each trial offers a picturesque view of the city and Skagerrak. You can also find a small café on the southern tip of the island. Apart from that, you can also check out various old forts and lighthouses.
To select the trail, you should go along the path left from the car park and keep following the trail till you see a signboard with all the information about trails and the entire island.