Kristiansand – the exciting capital of southern Norway

Kristiansand – the exciting capital of southern Norway

Kristiansand is known as the "city of children" but offers a wealth of experiences for holidaymakers of all ages, whether it's nature, art, rides, museums, gourmet experiences or shopping.

Just over two hours by boat from Denmark lies the southern Norwegian gem of Kristiansand. Whether you're a family with children craving action and entertainment or travelling as a couple or group of friends, the city has something for everyone. We bring you a selection of the city's many offers.

Feel the wings of history

Go on a journey through time and visit one of Kristiansand's exciting museums. Just outside Kristiansand, you can ride the Setesdals Railway, more than 100 years old and powered by steam locomotives, and at the nearby open–air museum you can experience life in Norway as far back as 1580.

The area's more recent – and dramatic – history can be experienced at the former naval base on Odderøya or at the Kristiansand Cannon Museum from World War Two, home to one of the world's largest cannons.

Immerse yourself in Kristiansand's cultural life

Kristiansand is home to a number of cultural centres and art exhibitions. Kilden Theatre and Concert Hall is one of Norway's most exciting environments for professional performing arts and music and houses the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Kilden Theatre as well as Kilden Opera and Kilden Culture.

In summer, Ravnedalen Nature Park hosts outdoor concerts, and the city is also home to plenty of art, both outdoors in the form of a string of impressive street art pieces and indoors at Kristiansand Kunsthall, which has regular exhibitions of local, national and international artists.

Discover nature by land and sea

If you want a real Norwegian nature experience on your holiday in Kristiansand, a boat trip through the archipelago is a must. One of the area's tourist favourites is the sightseeing tour through the archipelago between Kristiansand and the pretty little village of Lillesand, where you can wander through the narrow, historic streets and feel Norwegian coastal culture up close.

By land, the area offers a wealth of beautiful natural areas such as Odderøya, Baneheia, Jegersberg and Ravnedalen Nature Park, and if you fancy a dip, visit the city beach in Kristiansand or one of the many other local beaches, many of which have blue flags.

Holiday pampering for young and old

If you have children on holiday, Dyrehaven Kristiansand and Hakkebakkeskoven are often high on their wish list, but the area also offers Sørland's largest climbing park Høyt & Lavt Kristiansand, excellent areas for diving and action–packed sea or river rafting.

If you also want to treat your parents to some culinary delights, end the day at the Fiskebrygga fish market or one of the many first–class restaurants and cafés in Kristiansand city centre.

Stayingat one of the beautiful Thon hotels

In Kristiansand, you can look forward to staying at one of the Thon chain's lovely hotels, Thon Hotel Parken or Thon Hotel Norge, both centrally located in the city. This means you have many of Kristiansand's sights, experiences and eateries within a short walk.

The hotels are also within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal, so you can easily get there on foot if you choose to travel to Norway without a car.

Your guide to a great holiday in Kristiansand

Below you can read more about things to do, see and do in Kristiansand and find inspiration for your holiday in our travel articles about the area.