municipality of Agder county in Southern Norway
Europe > Nordic countries > Norway > Agder > Kristiansand

Kristiansand is the capital of Vest-Agder County, Norway. With 93,000 inhabitants (2019), it is the fifth largest city of Norway, and one of the southernmost ones. The city has had a cathedral since 1885, and a university since 2007. The city has many challenging offers for active tourists. There are always something to do for families, solo travelers, couples, business travellers, hikers, sea sports enthusiasts or party enthusiasts.

Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand
Along the beautiful boardwalk is the second largest fountain in Norway, designed by artist Kjell Nupen.
Kvadraturen, the city center with its distinctive checkerboard design.
Not to be confused with Kristiansund in West Norway or Kristianstad in Sweden.

Understand edit

Kristiansand is the largest city in South Norway, and is located between Oslo and Stavanger.

Kristiansand is on Norway’s southern Skagerrak coast and has long been a favourite summer holidays spot amongst Norwegians. The sea and surrounding fjords are great for recreational activities like fishing and sailing. Kristiansand is the business city and the cultural capital of Southern Norway[dead link]. Called “the coolest riviera” by the media, it is a modern city with a cosmopolitan history.

The city is also nicknamed "Norway's flower town" because of the many planted flowers that characterize downtown. Kristiansand offers many attractions and sights[dead link], many are especially aimed at families with children [dead link].

Few other cities have such a large and varied offer of accommodation as Kristiansand.

The name edit

The city was named after its founder, King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway in 1641.

The name was written "Christian(s)sand" (for "Christians sand" - meaning en:(King) "Christian's Sand") until 1877. Then, the ch was changed to k, the form was changed to "Kristianssand". The name was again changed to its present form Kristiansand in 1889. The city is sometimes called Kristiansand S, where S stands for South, to distinguish it from Kristiansund in central Norway, a name introduced by the postal service.

Location edit

Kristiansand was founded on a flat sandy moor west of the river mouth of river Otra, and gouged out by contemporary ideal town with seven streets parallel to the river, and ten streets perpendicular to these. The old town district is called Kvadraturen and street lines are the same today. King Christian IV bought the city ground of existing large farms and allowed large green areas inside the city. Baneheia and Ravnedalen are among these. Kristiansand today consists of the historic center, in addition to the suburbs.

Sørlandsparken is an area east of the town centre that consists of several large trading companies in addition to Sørlandssenteret which is the largest shopping centre in Northern Europe. The largest zoo and amusement park in Norway are here.

Orientation edit

For convenience, the city can be divided into six larger districts:

  • Søgne is the westernmost part of the municipality, which includes Langenes, Åros, Høllen, Ny-Hellesund, Tangvall and Lunde.
  • Songdalen, northwest of the city center, which includes Nodeland, Greipstad and Finsland.
  • Vågsbygd which includes Flekkerøy, west of downtown.
  • Kvaderaturen (almost square network of streets) including downtown and Posebyen.
  • Torridal north of downtown on both riverbanks of Otra which includes the areas Grim, Dalane, Strai, Mosby, Sødal and Haus.
  • Lund between the river Otra and Topdalsfjorden (E18 Varoddbrua bridges).
  • Tveit, northeast of downtown which includes Kristiansand Airport, Hamresanden and Ryen.
  • Randesund, east of Topdalsfjorden, which includes Sørlandsparken, the zoo and amusement park, Hånes, Søm, Dvergsnes and Tømmerstø.

Climate edit

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Kristiansand's climate[dead link] is characterized by differences in temperature and precipitation at the Four Seasons, but climate is fairly temperate thanks to warm air being wafted across the Atlantic from the Gulf Stream. Kristiansand usually have a lot of summer sunshine compared to most of Norway. The weather in summer makes Kristiansand to an important seaside resort for Norwegians from other locations in Norway. From June to August, the sea temperature is at levels which makes outdoor swimming comfortable. There may be heavy snowfall in winter with south-southeasterly winds (snow record at Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik is 170 cm), but the snow rarely stays long at the coast of Skagerrak.

Culture edit

European lynx in Kristiansand Zoo and Amusementpark

Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park (See below) is the second most visited tourist attraction in Norway. In addition to animals from all continents, the park offers amusements for children and adults. Pirates are a central themes, there are pirate ships and own pirate village. During the summer there is an own pirate show which for decades has attracted a large number of children.

Kristiansand has a flourishing cultural life (See what's on here [dead link]!). The city is known especially for music (for example, the symphony orchestra and several festivals) and Kilden Performing Arts Centre, but there is also an art museum for the visual arts and several art galleries, cinema and theater. Several of the cultural activities Kristiansand offers are located to Odderøya close to the city center (see do below).

IK Start is the best known football club in the city and is in the top league of Norway (their home ground is Sør Arena), in addition to sports clubs within, among others, athletics, basketball, handball, golf, badminton and ice hockey.

In Kristiansand, there are several mosques and many churches which includes Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and Pentecostal congregations.

Economy edit

As the largest city in the southernmost part of Norway, Kristiansand has an expanding export industry [dead link] that spans a wide range, from process industry, oil and gas technology, renewable energy and ICT, to fisheries and other food, bedding - and tourism.

Get in edit

Kristiansand is the southern communications center in Norway.

By plane edit

By train edit

  • 2 Kristiansand Railway Station ("Jernbanestasjonen") (next to the town centre, the ferry terminal, and the bus terminal). Regional trains connect Kristiansand to other cities and towns along the Southern Railway Line (Sørlandsbanen). Up to 8 trains daily arrive from Stavanger, while up to 6 daily trains arrive from the country's capital, Oslo. The trip to Stavanger takes about 3 hours and the trip to Oslo between 4½ and 5 hours. Trains eastwards from Stavanger and westwards from Oslo follow an inland route, meaning that travel to the towns along the coast is quite inconvenient by train. There are lots of nice forest views and rural settlements, though.    

By car edit

E18 highway by the Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park

Kristiansand sits along E18 ( ), the highway from Oslo. The highway's name changes to E39 when   passes Kristiansand on its way to Stavanger. Route   starts in Kristiansand and takes you through the natural beauty of the Setesdal Valley to Hovden and further to Haukeligrend on the Hardangervidda (Hardanger Plateau). Route   starts from the E18 east of the city center, passes great sceneries and takes you to the inland of Telemark. Take your time: parts of this route is narrow and winding.

By bus edit

  • 3 Kristiansand Busterminal (Rutebilstasjon), Vestre Strandgate 33 (next to the town centre, the ferry terminal, and the railway station (local bus ticket reservation here).

The bus connections from Oslo and the towns along the western shore of the Oslo Fjord are excellent. Nor-Way Bussexpress has 9 daily connections from Oslo, 4-7 buses while Lavprisekspressen runs twice daily. You are guaranteed a seat - if the bus is full, the bus company will add an extra bus. Lavprisekspressen provides online ticketing only. These express buses are usually just as fast as the trains from Oslo. From towns such as Larvik, Tønsberg and Sandefjord you might arrive several hours later if you go by train. There are also infrequent express bus connections from Stavanger and along the Setesdal, with connections from cities such as Bergen and Haugesund. Regional buses run frequently along the coast, from Lyngdal and Lista in the west to Arendal in the east, run by several different bus companies. In winter time there are also buses that travel between Kristansand and different ski resorts in the hinterland and mountains.

The bus terminal is about 100 m from the main shopping street, Markens, and next to the ferry terminal and the train station. There's also a taxi stand here.

By boat edit

  • 4 Kristiansand Ferry Terminal (Color Line, Fjordline and Holland Norway Lines) (next to the town centre, the railway station, and the bus terminal).   Ferry company Color Line operate car ferries from Denmark, 2 times each day (3 times on Saturday - Monday) from Hirtshals. The trip takes 3 hours and 15 minutes, with the superspeed ferry services the route. Prices soar in the summer. Fjordline compete on the same route seasonal from May to August.

By cruise ship edit

The port has a lot of cruise ship arrivals[dead link] in the summer, and is one of the biggest cruise ship ports in Norway. From the cruise ship port, is a walking distance to city centre and the boardwalk, the bus terminal, the ferry terminal and the railway station.

City of Kristiansand

Get around edit

On foot edit

The city center is quite compact, which means that everything is within walking distance.

Suburbs are spread over quite a large area.

By bus edit

Boreal operates the white city buses (surch time tables). Eastbound buses depart from the Henrik Wergeland street, while westbound buses depart from the Tollbod street or the bus terminal, but not both. Northbound buses (to Vennesla) leave from the bus terminal.

The main lines going from west to east is called the Metro bus. You can expect a bus every 5 minutes on weekdays. Service elsewhere is quite frequent during daylight hours, but the frequency drops significantly in the evenings and on weekends. Night buses operate Fridays and Saturdays.

By car edit

Most roads except the highway is just one lane each way - thus rush hour should be avoided.

Parking might be difficult in the city centre, try the parking houses. There's a toll booth on all roads leading to town.

By motorcycle edit

In the city and especially in the outskirts of the city, motorcycle often is the best mode of transport. There are many winding but picturesque country roads to explore. Follow the speed limits.

By bicycle edit

Kristiansand is a pioneer town for a network of separate paths for cyclists[dead link]. There are dedicated bike lanes along most of the main roads in the city and paths along the major roads. Kristiansand is connected to the North Sea Cycle Route (Route 1) like the neighboring coastal towns.

By taxi edit

Taxis are expensive. In Kristiansand, there are three major taxi companies:

By small boats edit

Good moorings if you have your own boat, and a nice guest marina with many facilities for visitors (1 Gjestehavna).

In the summer it is also possible to rent a small boat by Kristiansand Feriesenter Dvergsnestangen and Roligheden Camping (See below).

There are also several sight seeing boats for tourists in the summer if you want to go to sea without your own boat.

Summer boats from Pier 6 (pier just by Clarion Hotel Ernst)

See edit

Fiskebrygga, Kristiansand.
  • 1 Fiskebrygga (The Fish Quay/The Fish Market) (southwestern part of the town centre Kvadraturen). There is still a fish market here, but there are also several, mostly maritime, restaurants around the central waterfront. During summer, locals arrive in their boats and anchor up here. Lovely place for an ice cream.    
  • 2 [dead link] Kristiansand Dyrepark (Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park) (east of the town). Has a wide selection of animals in, for the most part, natural habitats. The main attractions are lions, tigers, wolves, red pandas, and a reptile house. Other activities here include a log run, a large play area, and a pirate castle with Norway's favourite pirate, Kaptein Sabeltann (Captain Sabretooth). During the summer, there are pirate shows late at night. There's also a kind of toy town called Kardemomme by (Cardamom town) which is based on a book by Norwegian children's writer Thorbjørn Egner. Adults kr 130-kr 340, children kr 110-kr 270 (depending on season) Once inside, all activities are free.    
  • 3 Posebyen. This is what's left of Kristiansand's old town. It still occupies several blocks on the eastern part of the town centre. Here you can still see small, white, single-storey, wooden houses occupy a whole block. Very peaceful just a few minutes' walk from the busy shopping streets.    
Christiansholm Fortress
  • 4 Christiansholm Fortress (at the Boardwalk). This small fortress was completed in 1672, and was for two centuries used for military purposes, as protection of the eastern port. It has only been in war once, in 1807 when the city was attacked by British Royal Navy ships. It is today used for many purposes and various events, exhibitions, concerts and conferences.    

Museums edit

  • 5 Odderøya Museumshavn, Nodeviga Marina at Odderøya, +47 38 12 03 50, . The maritime museum and port at Odderøya marks the long traditions of Kristiansand as a seafaring city. On the hill behind are some ocher and red buildings that have history as a fortress and as a plague hospital.
  • 6 Vest-Agder Museum Kristiansand, Vigeveien 22B (Bus to Bjørndalssletta), +47 38 10 26 80. An open-air-museum that consists of a mainbuilding and about 40 other buildings, collected from the counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder and Kvaderaturen, Kristiansand's old town. In the museum, you will also find miniature models of Kristiansand from late 19th century and a cafè.    
  • 7 Arkivet (Foundation with museum exhibition), Vesterveien 4, +47 38 10 74 00. M-Sa 10:00-15:00. Gestapo headquaters: This is a current centre for peace and human rights. The building has a creepy history. During World War II, the local headquarters of Gestapo was located there. Many Norwegian opponents of the horrible Nazi regime were imprisoned there and were subjected to cruel torture, some were sent on to concentration camps and many lost their lives in the struggle for resistance. The museum exhibition takes you back to the crime scene of the 1940s. Adults 80 kr, children 40 kr, families 200 kr.    
  • 8 Kristiansand Cannon Museum (Batterie Vara) (Møvig, 8 km west of the town center), +47 38 08 50 90, . 3 Feb-11 May: Su 12:00-16:00, 18 May-11 Jun: M-W 11:00-15:00, Th-Su 11:00-17:00, 12 Jun-17 Aug: daily 11:00-18:00, 18 Aug-28 Sep: M-W 11:00-15:00, Th-Su 11:00-17:00, 5 Oct-30 Nov: Su 12:00-16:00. Here you will find the world's second largest cannon mounted on land. It was mounted by the occupying German forces in 1940 to guard the shipping lanes of the Skagerrak. Here you can ride the narrow-gauge railway that once was used to draw very heavy grenades.    
  • 9 Agder Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden. and Gimle Gård are two museums, located at Gimle, east of river Otra. In the natural history museum and botanical garden you will find a collections of flora, examples of the fauna and minerals of South Norway in very lifelike exhibitions and rich minerals deposits. Gimle gård is a former mansion, now a museum.    
  • 10 Sørlandet's Art Museum (SKMU) (2 minutes walk from the cathedral), Skippergata 24 B, +47 38074900. An art gallery with permanent and changing exhibitions. Varied works of art, own children's club.    

Ships edit

  • [dead link] Sørlandet (Full rigged ship. Home port: Kristiansand), If present: Western harbor by the city center, +47 38029890. Sørlandet is the world's oldest operational tallship and a unique cultural heritage of the maritime Norway. She is available for pre-ordered guiding or even to experience sailing for the "youth" of all ages.    
  • DS Hestmanden (If present: Western harbor by the Kilden Performing Arts Centre). A merchant steamship that sailed during two world wars and is Norway's memorial to the efforts of seafarers. Kristiansand is a home port. Exhibition on board.    

Churches edit

  • 11 Kristiansand Cathedral (Kristiansand domkirke). In the Neo-Gothic style, by the square in the very center of town is one of the largest cathedrals in Norway. Beautiful inside and worth visiting.    
  • 12 [dead link] Oddernes Church (east of river Otra). The oldest church in the area was built in the 11th century. Rune stone from when the church was built is moved into this beautiful, old church    
  • 13 [dead link] Ansgar Chapel (Ansgarkapellet, St Ansgar's Chapel), Fredrik Fransonsvn. 4 (Bus M2 to Hånes senter), +47 38106500. Every day 08:00-20:00. A rare, small chapel (9x9x9 m) for those seeking silence and wonder. Triangular glass construction made by multi-artist Kjell Nupen who brings light into the chapel.

Parks edit

See also Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park (Kristiansand Dyrepark) and Agder Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, both above.
  • 14 The Boardwalk (Strandpromenaden). The boardwalk alongside the seafront in the town centre leads you through beautiful parks and passes Norway's second-largest fountain park (Otterdalsparken, also known as the Nupen Park), Christiansholm fortress from the 17th century (see above), playground for children and a public beach - Bystranda, the City Beach. The boardwalk continues along the western river bank of the river Otra (Otra elvepark) as a 40-km-long path for nature and culture.    
  • 15 Myren Mansion (Myren Gård), Myrbakken 5 (2 km west of the city center). A former mansion with houses in the best Swiss style, now a public park in English style, known for plants and trees from the more southern parts of the world, especially for the large rhododendron collection. View of the western port.
  • 16 Ravnedalen. (Ravens' Valley) is a lovely park just outside the city centre. It is surrounded with steep cliffs and presents the visitor with lush flower gardens and manicured laws perfect for picnics. If you forgot your picnic basket, there's also a café here. The peaceful idyll is usually disturbed only by an extensive bird life. But there are sometimes music performances in the summer.    

Do edit

Drageknatten viewpoint in Baneheia
  • Bird watching: Watch wild birds, such as Wryneck and Hawfinch, and seabirds, such as swans and ducks in the woodlands just in the outskirts of the city center. See also Baneheia (below).
  • Forests: In Kristiansand, there are many forests, never more than a short walk away. Near the town centre are areas for walking or winter activities at winter time:
    • 1 Jegersberg (east of the river Otra) A wooded area with picturesque marked trails and small, idyllic lakes. Cafè by lake 1 Kyrtjønn (Vaffelbua), where you get freshly baked waffles and coffee on Sundays 11:00 to 16:00.
    • 2 Baneheia (next to Ravnedalen Park and the city centre, 5 minutes walk from the main street, Markens gate). A wooded area with outstanding views of the city, very nice and idyllic ponds and lakes, jogging/hiking trails, lighted tracks and opportunities for freshwater swimming in the summer season. The forest area has an extensive bird life. Note:The best viewpoint is Drageknatten, magnificent views of the city center, the harbor and parts of the archipelago.    
  • 3 Odderøya (by the city centre, 6 minutes walk from the main street Markens gate). An island to discover next to the city center/fish market (Connected with the city center by several bridges), filled with outstanding history, abandoned cannons, remarkable culture, nature, forest, forest trails, birds and wonderful views over the city and the archipelago. Sundays: try the waffles in the cafe at the southern tip! Several nice beaches, opportunities for swimming and fishing and great picnic locations. Concert venues. Odderøya Lighthouse on the west side also offers coffee, muffins and soup in the weekends from mid June to throughout October. See also Xland indoor climbing centre below..    
  • 4Skiing: Even if Kristiansand receives litle snow at winter time, there is a popular ski-lift in Tveit, not far from the airport. If the snow is gone, there is a challenging downhill bicycle track.
Bystranda and Aquarama (gray building in the background) on a hot summer day
  • Swimming: Do not forget your swimwear, swimming possibilities are many, outdoors and indoors, in saltwater or freshwater such as the lakes 3. Stampe and Jegersbergvannet, swimming pools, beaches and rocks.
    • 5 Aquarama, (Tangen 8). M W Th 12:00-21:00, Tu Fr 06:00-21:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. Indoor swimming facilities, including water slide, swimming pool, hot water pool and diving towers. Next door there are several other rather dry sports facilities. Open all year. 190 kr.
    • 6 Badelandet Aqua Park (Connected to Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park). A waterpark, outdoor or indoor (separate ticket required). Water slides, bubble baths, coral reefs, wave pool and swimming pools. The season lasts from April to October. 129 kr.  
    • 7 Bystranda (The town beach, right next to Aquarama). A nice sandy blue flag beach with swim pier, sun deck and palm trees - ideal for children.    
    • 8 Hamresanden (approx. 9 km east of town). A 3-km-long, sandy, blue flag beach that can be crowded on warm summer days. There is also a water slide [dead link] open in the summer months. If swimming is not tempting, there is also a scenic strolling route along the beach.    
The strait "Skippergada" in the archipelago off Kristiansand
  • The beautiful archipelago off Kristiansand (Skjærgården) consists of amazing landscapes, a paradise of islands, skerries, and rocks. In the summer time, you can reach it by sight-seeing-boat from the town centre, MS Bragdøya [dead link]. The archipelago and the surrounding fjords is also a beautiful setting for sailing and fishing
  • 9 Bragdøya. An island in the middle of the approach to Kristiansand. Take the boat [dead link] over from the small port of Augland (Vågsbygd) west of the town center. Discover the island (which is mostly a green space) and experience the abandoned coastal culture at Bragdøya Coast Culture Center.    
  • 10 Høllen (Bus 40 to Hølllen brygge). An old outport, 20 minutes drive along E39 west of the city center. Take a walk in the outport and Åros beach nearby, or try your luck at fishing, and even take the sightseeing boat all year round to the even moore picturesque outport of Ny-Hellesund [dead link] where there is also a rare restaurant and guesthouse.
  • 11 Sea rafting, Torridalsveien 18A, +47 908 99 995. A fast and exhilirating experience on the wet element.
  • Diving A-dykk (at Dvergsnestangen by Kristiansand Feriesenter) offers diving tips, diving courses, wreck diving, night diving, air refilling and diving for disabled.
  • Windsurfing: Learn how to windsurf. Many opportunities for practising this sailing sport in Kristiansand.
  • Farm holiday, see the section sleep.
  • 12 Escape Room, Henrik Wergelandsgate 53, +47 45 81 79 81. In the mood to play? Play, learn, discover and solve puzzles!
  • 13 Høyt & Lavt Kristiansand (Climbing park), Gamle Mandalsvei 110 (3 km north of the city centre, bus 19 to Suldalen). Kristiansand's climbing park is by lake Grotjønn in a hiking area. 100 to 310 kr, depending on height.
  • 14 Høyt & Lavt Odderøya (Indoors activity park, Xland Adrenaline Park), Sjølystveien 27 (Odderøya), +47 458 630 00, . Every day 10:00-22:00. Inside this indoors park there are 110 different items, low and high-altitude obstacle trails, climbing walls, climbing grids, zip-coaster, zip-lines, free fall-offs and more. Attractive on rainy days.
  • Fishing: If you fish in the rivers [dead link] in the area, you must purchase a fishing licence. The rivers are rich in fish like salmon and trout. If you like to fish in the sea and deep sea fishing[dead link], there are good opportunities for that in the Kristiansand area.
  • Play golf: In Kristiansand, there are two golf clubs with their own courts, both a few kilometers outside the city centre, Bjåvann and Kristiansand Golfklubb No reason to let the golf equipment be left at home!
  • 15 Kilden Performing Arts Centre (The landmark building at the western pier of Odderøya), Sjølystveien 2 (at the quay of Odderøya), +47 90 58 11 11 (ticket service). Was opened 2012. A location for concerts, theater, and opera performances.    

Second hand market edit

In the period from early June to late August, the Second hand market Posebyen Market[dead link] is open every Saturday in Posebyen (old town).

Live music edit

Crowd gathered at the concert Tuesday at Fiskebrygga.

Music festivals edit

Until 2007, Kristiansand was the site of the Quart Festival, a multi-day music festival - the largest of its kind in Norway.

  • Palmesus, the annual music festival at the Bystranda beach in early July.
  • Måkeskrik in Bendiksbukta, also at Odderøya is an annual music festival later in July.
  • The Dark Season is an indoor annual club music festival in late October.

Constitution Day celebration edit

(Annually, May 17) In Kristiansand, like in most Norwegian cities, there are traditional parades of schoolchildren before noon and citizens after noon. In addition, Kristiansand has its own conclusion of the day, with dancing in the streets ("Tapto") and spectacular fireworks.

Learn edit

University of Agder
  • 2 University of Agder (UIA, Campus Kristiansand). Its main campus is at Gimlemoen just east of the town centre. The new campus was built at an old military camp, and the new building was finished in 2001. There are programs in nursing, teaching, languages, psychology, literature and arts, music, sports and health, mathematics and similar subjects, law, economics, social work and politics. Just a few of the classes are taught in English.    

There's also several small, private higher education schools, among them a Christian journalism school at Gimlekollen and a local departement of BI Norwegian Business School (programs for master and bachelor degree)

Work edit

  • Looking for a job in the Kristiansand area? See this website.

Buy edit

Shopping malls edit

Markens gate
  • 1 Markens gate (The main pedestrian street). The main shopping street in the city centre. Most of the street is pedestrianised. Most of the shops are chain stores, but it is still a busy and nice main shopping street. A few independent stores are still here. It's a central gathering place for most locals, and thus more than a shopping street. Markens gate is the starting point of the indoor shopping centres Sandens, Lillemarkens and Slottet or elsewhere in Kvadraturen.    
  • 2 Sørlandssenteret, Barstølveien 31 (east of the town centre), +47 38049100, fax: +47 38049200, . M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-18:00. The largest shopping centre in Northern Europe is about 10 minutes' drive east of town, in the larger Sørlandsparken area. There are many large stores in the area, and free parking (though you will have to pay road toll on the way back to Kristiansand).    
  • 3 Amfi Vågsbygd, Kirsten Flagstadsvei 32 (west of the town centre), +47 38016011. M-F 10:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-18:00. A shopping centre about 5 minutes' drive west of town, in the Vågsbygd area.    

Specialty stores edit

  • Eventyrskogen Souvenirs at Kristiansand Zoo and amusementpark
  • 4 Galleri Bi-Z, Dronningens gate 39, +47 38 02 53 30. Art gallery, exhibitions, sales and own framing workshop
  • 5 Husfliden, Gyldenløves gate 6 A, +47 38 07 06 95. Specialist shop for Norwegian handicrafts and design.
  • 6 Høie, Setesdalsveien 620 (at Mosby, 9 km north of the town centre), +47 38124400. Høie bedding, factory outlets.
  • 7 Knapstad Kunsthåndverk, Rådhusgata 3, +47 900 69 897. Crafts workshop and sale for glass blower and jeweler
  • 8 Stormberg, Barstølveien 86 (Sørlandsparken, east of the town centre), +47 454 15 207. Outlets for Stormberg, Norway's largest brand of outdoor wear.

Eat edit

Ice cream edit

  • Hennig-Olsen ice cream. Produced in Kristiansand, it is one of the largest ice cream brands in Norway. There are also several ice cream bars in the main street Markens and one on Fiskebrygga.    

Restaurants edit

Budget edit

  • McDonald's (1.Corner of Markens gate/Dronningens gate, 2. Sørlandssenteret). Meals are approx. 80 kr.
  • 2 Lotus Grillbar (Vestre Strandgate 26), +47 38029730. Nice and affordable Chinese food. Take-away service
  • 3 Håndverkeren, Rådhusgata 15 (beside the town hall), +47 48887844. Restaurant house that offers affordable, traditional Norwegian food, taproom and concert venue. Sunday buffet from 189 kr.
  • 4 La Pizza, Idunveien 13 (in the Lund area), +47 41416500, . Daily 15:00 - 22:00. Traditional Italian pizza out of a converted shipping container. 120,- NOK - 200,- NOK.

Mid-range edit

  • Egon (Chain restaurants: 1.Connected to the Thon Hotel Kristiansand, 2.Connected to Sørlandssenteret). Serves nice food for a much better price/quality ratio. All kinds of dishes available; go to the bar to order.    
  • 5 Slakter Sørensen, Markens gate 8, +47 38 09 91 88. The Beef - restaurant on the main street.
  • 6 La Famiglia, Vestre Strandgate 22, +47 22 22 90 50. Real homemade Italian food, served indoors or outdoors
  • 7 Barbarossa Restaurant Bar & Scene, Vestre Strandgate 23. Closed on Sundays, extended opening hours Fridays and Saturdays. Varied menu. Here you can order from traditional Norwegian cuisine to dishes from remote areas. For the cheapest dishes, order from the week's menu. Live music and DJ on Fridays and Saturdays,
  • 8 Bønder i byen, Rådhusgata 16, Øvre torv (at the square), +47 911 47 247. Traditional Norwegian food, meat or fish.
  • 9 Måltid, Tollbodgata 2B, +47 47833000. Intimate restaurant with a menu based on local ingredients.
  • 10 Restaurant Mother India, Markens gate 6, +47 38 02 02 07. Tasty Indian food in a basement.

Splurge edit

  • 11 Sjøhuset, Østre strandgate 12 A (Is situated on a pier near the Nupen Park), +47 38026260, fax: +47 38026202. Daily 11:00-23:00. Kristiansand's main seafood restaurant.
  • 12 Smag og Behag, Dronningens Gate 48a

4611 Kristiansand, Norge (Is situated in the old high school, Kvadraturen), +47 370 40 900. Daily 11:00-23:00. One of Kristiansand's best restaurant.

  • 13 Pieder Ro, Gravane 10 (By the fish market (Fiskebrygga)), +47 38100788, fax: +47 38100803. M-F 11:30-23:00, Sa 16:00-23:00, Su 13:00-23:00. Serves very nice fish dishes and the more traditional Norwegian dishes, excellent quality and very nice location just southwest of the city center at the small harbour area near the fish market.

Drink edit

For more information on drinking in Norway, see the section Drink (Norway)

Mainly alcohol edit

  • 1 Bakgården Bar, Tollbodgata 5, +47 38021211. Pub ("Både &") with entrance from the street and bar in the backyard (next to each other).
  • 2 Charlies Bar, Vestre Strandgate 12, +47 38 12 52 85. Central bar and meeting place.
  • 3 Christianssand Brygghus, Tollbodgata 9, +47 41726000. A micro-brewery, pub and restaurant. Barbecue from charcoal grill. Beers from 50 kr.
  • 4 Dis (Havana Etcera), Vestre Strandgt. 23, +47 38 02 96 66. A nightclub with several bars and dancing floors.
  • 5 Harvey's Sportsbar, Tollbodgata 4 (Next to Bakgården), +47 38 07 23 05. 16-03. A popular American sportsbar, with a wide range of hamburgers and live sports. A crowded place during the weekends and Thursday nights (2 for 1).
  • 6 Heidi's Bier Bar, Vestre Standgate 23, +47 930 06 980. German, Bavarian style beer bar with the party atmosphere of afterski and octoberfest.
  • 7 Javel Pub, Vestre Strandgate 23, +47 3807 09 12. English-style pub
  • 8 Kick, Dronningens gate 8, +47 38028330. Gastropub, nightclub and stage in the heart of the city
  • 9 Møllepuben ((2019: Went bankrupt and temporarily closed)), Rådhusgata 15 (The basement. Connected to the restaurant Håndverkeren.), +47 38027470. Traditional, Norwegian style pub Local bands play for dancing several nigths a week.
  • 10 Patrics Pub & Restaurant, Markens gate 10, +47 40001958. Irish pub and restaurant in the city's main street.
  • 11 Skagen, Markensgate 5. Danish style pub with "Danish" beer prices - probably the lowest in Norway.
  • 12 The Old Irish Pub, Vestre Strandgate 23, +47 48 27 09 37. Irish pub combined with a nightclub that offers live music, big screen sports and a dance floor where you can settle down.
  • 13 Telfords Pub, Vestre Strandgate 7 (Connected to the Radisson Blu Caledonien Hotel). Scottish style pub, frequented mostly by an older crowd.
  • 14 Victoria Pub, Markens gate 19b (Main street), +47 380748 90. English-style pub in a courtyard from the main street.

Alcohol in stores edit

Under Norwegian law, people over the age of 18 can buy alcoholic beverages in regular stores, only if they contain up to 3.75 volume percent alcohol. Alcoholic beverages, strong beers, wines and spirits containing more than 3.75 per cent are sold to persons over the age of 20, only at the state monopoly company Vinmonopolet, in Lillemarkens in the city center, in Amfi Vågsbygd and at Sørlandssenteret. Probably Norwegian prices are higher than you are used to. See Shopping malls.

Local brewing edit

In the Kristiansand area are much locally brewed, tasty beer. Particularly well known is the brewery Christianssands Bryggeri (CB), and there are several local producers of craft-brewed beer. The locals are proud of their local beer, and it is considered good manners to start with a brand from Agder if you are drinking beer at a bar or a pub.

Mainly coffee edit

  • Geheb is the largest chain of patisseries and cafes in Kristiansand.
  • Dampbageriet[dead link] is a minor chain of patisseries and cafes.
  • Starbucks[dead link] (Rådhusgata 10) at the main square.
  • Drømmeplassen (Skippergata 26) calls itself the dream place.

Sleep edit

Camping edit

Set up your tent or rent a cottage.

  • 1 Hamre familiecamping, Hamresandveien 1, 4656 Hamresanden (9 km east of the town centre), +47 38058787. Next to Hamresanden, the longest beach in the Kristiansand area.    
  • 2 Roligheden camping, Framnesveien 10, 4632 Kristiansand (2 km east of the town centre), +47 38096722. Near the beach and swimming facilities and not far from the town centre.

Accommodation edit

Åros edit

  • 3 Åros feriesenter, Årossanden 9 (20 km west of the city center). Motel, cabins, log cabins, camping cabins and tent positions, close to a sandy beach and swimming pool.

Dvergsnestangen edit

Hamresanden edit

  • 5 Hamresanden Resort, 4656 Hamresanden (9 km east of the town centre), +47 38 14 42 80. Offers cabins, caravan and tent sites in the summer and an all-year apartment hotel.    

Farm holidays edit

  • 6 Bondegårdsparken Hyttegrend, Rekkevollen Gård, Randesund (10 km from downtown Kristiansand, on the eastern side of town, bus 139 to Frikstad), +47 38 04 03 14. Rent a cottage or apartment in the countryside on a farm with pets [dead link]. Beach within walking distance. The quality of the facility is disputed.

Neat suits edit

  • 7 Hotel Q42 (Kristiansand Congress Center), Elvegata 11 (Down town), +47 380 44 000, . Neat suits and junior suits for 2-6 persons, suitable for families with children.

In Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park edit

Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park offers a variety of accommodation services and a motorhome camp[dead link] in the summer within the park area:

Abra Havn, entrance to the accommodation facilities

Seasonal edit

Summer accommodation June, July, August:

Hotels in Sørlandsparken edit

Approx. 12 km east of the town centre, close to Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park and the large shoppingcentre Sørlandssenteret. There is no airport hotel at Kristiansand Airport, so these are almost as close as you can get.

Hotels Downtown edit

The city center of Kristiansand is also called Kvadraturen.

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Connect edit

There are also many Wi-fi hotspots scattered around town, including many eateries, cafes and various hotels.

Stay safe edit

Norway is a fairly safe country in general, and Kristiansand is no exception, but for your safety it is advisable to take good care of your belongings. Though you might want to be extra careful at night in weekends, due to occasional drunk youths stumbling around.

Emergency numbers edit

  • Police, 112.
  • Fire, 110.
  • Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance), 113.
  • If you are unsure which emergency number to call, 112 is the central for all such and rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
    • For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800 (in country only) or Agder Police District at +47 38 13 60 00.

Safety at sea edit

Every year there are reports of foreign visitors that get into trouble in small boats at sea. In this area, fatal incidents also occur. Please note that life jackets are required and follow the usual marine traffic rules. Keep low speed in the archipelago and be sober.

Winter conditions edit

For more information on driving in winter conditions, see the Winter driving article.

In the very southernmost parts of Norway, the winters are rarely harsh but also in Kristiansand is both snow and ice in the winter months of December to March. In winter, watch out for icy patches, and when hiking in the forests beware when crossing snowy clearings — they may well be frozen lakes with snow over them, which may look safe but could crack. Finally, beware of snow and ice falling from the roofs in downtown Kristiansand, also where it is not warned.

Stay healthy edit

In acute illness or if accident occurs contact:

  • Emergency Medical Services/Ambulance, 113 (Emergencies only).
  • [dead link] Kristiansand legevakt, Egsveien 102, 116 117 (domestic), +47 38 07 69 00. Open around the clock. For minor injuries and illness (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment. But to avoid long waits, you are advised to call for an appointment first).

There are many pharmacies (apotek) in Kristiansand, that are selling medications and can give you advice on the treatment of injury and disease.

Water edit

The tap water of Kristiansand is clean and nice drinking water, so do drink tap water instead of bottled water without worries to save money.

Dangerous animals edit

There are few wild animals that can hurt. However, some people get wasp stings and tick bites. In case of complications, consult a doctor. The only poisonous snake is the common European adder. In case of an adder bite, seek medical attention immediately. Wild carnivore mammals in Norwegian fauna are so shy that few people ever come in close contact with them. Vehicles that collide with wild moose and deer represent a greater danger.

Cope edit

For more information on the most common phrases in Norwegian, see the Norwegian phrasebook article.

Kristiansand is a nice small city, and almost every Norwegian speaks English more or less fluently. Most people will respond in English to any question you may have. Some Norwegians also speak some German, due to the proximity of the language, and that they study it in school. The local Norwegian Bokmål dialect may sound like Danish.

Visa and MasterCard are normally accepted in any restaurant, taxi or store. ATMs accept all major credit and debit cards and are available in English language. The currency is Norwegian kroner (crowns).

More guidance edit

Go next edit

  • Lillesand is a pleasant, picturesque but sleepy little town 25 minutes' drive along the E18 east of Kristiansand city. The town is consisting of picturesque white wooden houses around a small harbor, which can be quite busy in summer. In June, July and August, you may experience a part of the amazing archipelago Blindleia between Kristiansand and Lillesand by the sightseeing boat MB Øya[dead link]. Return by bus.
  • Vennesla is a village, 15 km north of Kristiansand, on the banks of the river Otra. The Setesdal Line (Setesdalsbanen) is a heritage railway and railway museum that runs on the 8-km-long, wild and scenic stretch between Grovane and Røyknes stations in Vennesla, Sundays in June, July and August.

Further afield edit

  • Grimstad is a city east of Kristiansand, known as the residence of the famous Norwegian authors such as Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun, its picturesque wooden houses and for good swimming spots for families with children.
  • Arendal is the second largest city in Agder along E18 towards Oslo. The city is on a slope leading down to the famous harbor basin Pollen, perfect for a lunch. Take a small ferry with no cars to Merdø in the beautiful archipelago!
  • Evje is a village north of Kristiansand along the National Route 9 towards Setesdal. Here you can go rafting in small rivers and for those who are ineressert in geology, a visit to the Mineral Park in Evje should be mandatory.
  • Hovden is the closest major ski resort at winter time, and the starting point for hiking in the mountains in the summer time. Hovden is located at the top of Setesdal along the National Route 9, 160 kilometres (99 mi) from Kristiansand.
  • Mandal along the European route E39 is known as the hometown of the famous sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Narrow and charming streets to stroll. The Mandal river runs in the midst of town, and the sandy beach Sjøsanden is just outside the centre.
  • Lindesnes Lighthouse (Turn off the E39 west of Mandal, and follow the county road 460 to the lighthouse at the endpoint), dating back to 1656, sits at mainland Norway’s southernmost point. Worth a visit is also the lighthouse museum. The nature and the environment around the lighthouse are breathtaking.
Routes through Kristiansand
Newcastle ← (unconnected) ←  W   E  ArendalOslo
StavangerMandal  N   S    HirtshalsAalborg
HaukeliHovden  N   S  End

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