Kristiansand is a summer tourist destination, attracting many visitors in particular to its zoo, Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park, just east of the city. This is the second most visited attraction in Norway, after Holmenkollen, and had 925,000 visitors in 2012. Its animals, most of which are housed in natural habitats, include wolves, tigers, lions and the lynx. The zoo is open 365 days a year, while the amusement park is open during the summer season only.

Info Kristiansand


Kristiansand is a city,municipality and the county capital of Vest-Agder county in Southern Norway. Kristiansand is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway, with a population of 85,681 as of 1 January 2014.

Kristiansand is divided into five boroughs: Grim, which is located northwest in Kristiansand with a population of 15,000; Kvadraturen, which is the centrum and downtown Kristiansand with a population of 5,200; Lund, the second largest borough; Oddernes, a borough located in the west; and Vågsbygd, the largest borough with a population of 36,000, located in the southwest.

Kristiansand is connected with four main roads:European Route E18 from Oslo, Aust-Agder and covers the eastern part of Kristiansand; European route E39 from Stavanger,Flekkefjord and the coast towns and villages in Vest-Agder; Norwegian National Road 9 from Evje, Setesdal and Grim; and Norwegian National Road 41 from Telemark, northern Aust-Agder, Birkeland, Tveit and the airport Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik. Varodd Bridge is a large bridge and a part of E18, which stretches over Topdalsfjorden.

Tourism is important in Kristiansand, and the summer season is the most popular for tourists. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park is the largest zoo in Norway. It receives over 900,000 visitors every year. Markens Street is the main pedestrian street in downtown Kristiansand. Bystranda is a city beach located in Kvadraturen; in addition, Hamresanden beach is the longest beach in Kristiansand. Hamresanden Camping is a popular family camp during the summer season. The city hosts a free concert in downtown Kristiansand once every week in the summer. Outside the city is the industry park Sørlandsparken, which has Sørlandssenteret, the largest mall in Norway.

POPULATION :• City 87,446
• Urban 97,846
• Metro 155,648
FOUNDED :  1641
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official)
RELIGION :  Church of Norway 85.7%, Pentecostal 1%, Roman Catholic 1%, other Christian 2.4%, Muslim 1.8%, other 8.1%
AREA :• City 261.11 km2 (100.82 sq mi)
• Urban 25.03 km2 (9.66 sq mi)
• Metro 1,892.8 km2 (730.8 sq mi)
COORDINATES : 58°8′50″N 7°59′50″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 50.1%
 Female: 49.9%


Kristiansand is a summer tourist destination, attracting many visitors in particular to its zoo, Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park, just east of the city. This is the second most visited attraction in Norway, after Holmenkollen, and had 925,000 visitors in 2012. Its animals, most of which are housed in natural habitats, include wolves, tigers, lions and the lynx. The zoo is open 365 days a year, while the amusement park is open during the summer season only.

The Quart festival was an annual music festival that took place in Kristiansand over five days in early July. There were large stages on Odderøya and smaller venues around the city. Founded in 1991 as Qvadradurmusivalen, the festival changed its name to the more catchy Quart Festival the following year. It included internationally known performers and was also known for booking acts that later became internationally known. For several years it was the largest music festival in Norway, but beginning in summer 2007 it was challenged by the Hovefestivalen on Tromøya, Arendal, and some Oslo-based festivals. In early June 2008 the organization declared bankruptcy; the festival returned in 2009 under the name Quart, but again went bankrupt.

Kristiansand is home to many other festivals as well, running throughout the year. Protestfestival, held in September, was launched in 2000 and aims to address apathy and indifference in politics, and includes debates, concerts and lectures combined with performance art and documentaries. Protestfestival claims to attract anarchists, communists, hippies as well as conservative Christians and capitalists and to encourage communication among these radically different groups.  Others include Southern Discomfort, also in September, the Bragdøya Blues Festival in June, the Dark Season Festival in October, and Cultural Night and the International Children Film Festival in April.


Prehistory and early history

The Kristiansand area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In 1996, the well-preserved skeleton of a woman dating to approximately 6500 BC was discovered in the neighboring municipality of Søgne. This demonstrates very early habitation of the archipelago. Grauthelleren (Grathelleren), located on Fidjane, is believed to be a Stone Age settlement. The first discovery in Norway of a Sarup enclosure (a Neolithic form of ritual enclosure first identified at Sarup on the Danish island of Funen) was made in 2010 at Hamresanden and dates to c. 3400 BC. Archaeological excavations to the east of Oddernes Church have uncovered rural settlements that existed during the centuries immediately before and after the start of the common era. Together with a corresponding discovery in Rogaland, these settlements are unique in the Norwegian context; isolated farms, rather than villages, were the norm in ancient Norway. Other discoveries in grave mounds around the church, in the Lund section of the city, indicate habitation beginning c. 400 AD, and 25 cooking pits that were found immediately outside the church wall in 1907 are probably even older. One of the largest pre-Christian burial grounds in South Norway was formerly located to the south and west of the church. A royal centre is thought to have existed at Oddernes before 800, and the church was built around 1040.

Before the stone church was built, one or perhaps two wooden post churches are believed to have stood on the same spot. A few years ago, excavations were carried out under and around the runestone when it was moved to the church porch; the grave finds indicated that the churchyard must already have been unusually large in the High Middle Ages. This means that the area must have had a large population before it was reduced by the Black Death.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, there was already a busy port and a small village on the Otra at the lowest point of today's Lund neighborhood (Lahelle). Another important element in the development of Kristiansand was the harbor on the island of Flekkerøy, which was the most important on the Skagerrak beginning in the 16th century and was first fortified under King Christian III in 1555. In 1635, King Christian IV ordered his feudal seigneur, Palle Rosenkrantz, to move from Nedenes and build a royal palace on the island.

Foundation to 1900

Christian IV (renowned for having founded many towns) visited the location in 1630 and 1635, and on 5 July 1641 formally founded the town ofChristianssand on the "sand" on the opposite bank of the Torridalselva (Otra). The town was laid out in Renaissance style on a grid plan (the central section now known asKvadraturen = The Quarters), and merchants throughout Agder were commanded to move to the new town. In return, they were to receive a variety of trading privileges and a ten-year tax exemption.

In 1666, Christianssand became a garrison town and was heavily fortified. In 1682, King Christian V decided to relocate the bishopric there from Stavanger. Hence, the young city became the main city of the Christiansand Stift.

Christianssand experienced its first fire in 1734, which was devastating to the city. Later in the 18th century, after the American Revolutionary War, the town's shipbuilders experienced a boom that lasted until the Napoleonic Wars, when the continental blockade and naval warfare struck a severe blow to trade.Denmark–Norway supported France in the Wars and was therefore subjected to relentless attack by Britain, as recounted in Ibsen's Terje Vigen. Only in the 1830s did the economy begin to recover, and the growth in the Norwegian shipping industry was important for Christianssand.

Another important development during the 19th century was the foundation in 1881 of Eg Sindssygeasyl, the second central psychiatric institution in Norway (after Gaustad). The psychiatric hospital drew highly specialized doctors to the city and also provided many jobs for women.

The most recent major fire, in 1892, left half the original section of the city in ashes. It burned buildings as far as the cathedral, which had been rebuilt in brick after a previous fire in 1880.

1900 onward

With the development of hydropower in southern Norway, the city gradually developed an industrial base, particularly with the establishment in 1910 of the nickel refinery Kristiansands Nikkelraffineringsverk AS (later Falconbridge Nikkelverk, now Glencore Nikkelverk). From an economic perspective, the First World War was a good time for Kristiansand,neutral shipping city. The crises that followed with the gold standard politics of the 1920s and the world economic crisis of the 1930s were also deeply felt in a trading city like Kristiansand.

The labour movement had important pioneers in the city, and Leon Trotsky spent about a year of his exile in the archipelago offshore from Kristiansand.Arnulf Øverland took him from Randesund to Ny-Hellesund in Søgne in 1936.  In the interwar period Kristiansand was a centre for intellectuals, especially after the architect Thilo Schoder settled there in 1932.

Kristiansand was attacked by German naval forces on 9 April 1940 and occupied by a force of 800 men. Post-war construction included further development of the Lund section, and in the 1960s and 1970s Vågsbygd to the west was developed into a section with 20,000 inhabitants. In the 1980s, industry and business in the city declined. But beginning in the second half of the 1990s, business increased in momentum with the development of enterprises for marine and offshore equipment, security technology and drilling.

The older municipal archives for Kristiansand (and the former municipalities) are currently held at the Inter-Municipal Archives in Vest-Agder (IKAVA). This includes documents concerning, for example, local councils, chairmanships, poor boards, school boards and archives including among other things personal documents in the form of client records, tax records, and also school records.


The city is named for King Christian IV, who founded it on 5 July 1641. The second element, sand, refers to the sandy headland the city was built on .

The name was often written Christianssand until 1877, although the map of the mapmaker Pontoppidan from 1785 spelled the name Christiansand (single 's'). That year, an official spelling reform with the purpose of making the city names "more Norwegian" changed it to Kristianssand. Kristiansund and Kristiania, nowOslo, had their spellings changed under the same reform. Despite that, a number of businesses and associations retain the "Ch" spelling. The name was again changed to its present form, Kristiansand (single "s"), in 1889.

In 2012, the city's mayor, Arvid Grundekjøn, proposed that the city be renamed Christianssand, arguing that "Kristiansand" is grammatically meaningless and that Christianssand stands for tradition. This was not very well accepted by the locals and the mayor has not pushed this further.


The arms of Kristiansand were granted on 8 December 1909 and are based on the oldest seal of the city, dating from 1643. In 1643 King Christian IV granted the young town the right to use a seal with the Norwegian lion and the royal crown. The crown indicates that the city was founded by the king. The other major element in the arms is a tree. As the species of tree is not specified, there are several known versions with differently shaped trees. A second seal, from 1658, shows a tree with leaves and what look like pine cones.  On the base of the crown are the letters R. F. P., standing for Regna Firma Pietas, "Piety strengthens the realm"; this was Christian IV's motto. Around the seal of the city is its motto, Cavsa Triumphat Tandem Bona, "A good cause prevails in the end".


Kristiansand's climate 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. 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.

Climate data for Kristiansand

Record high °C (°F)13.9
Average high °C (°F)1.3
Average low °C (°F)−4.8
Record low °C (°F)−25.0
Source: The Weather Network


Kristiansand is strategically located on the Skagerrak, and until the opening of the Kiel Canal between the North Sea and the Baltic was very important militarily and geopolitically. This meant that for centuries it served as a military stronghold, first as Harald Fairhair's royal residence, then as a Danish-Norwegian fortress, and later as a garrison town. Kristiansand is a gateway to and from the continent, with ferry service to Denmark and a terminus of the railway line along the southern edge of South Norway.

Geologically, this part of Agder is part of the Swedo-Norwegian Base Mountain Shield, the southwestern section of the Baltic Shield, and consists of two main geological formations of Proterozoicrocks that were formed in the Gothic and later Swedo-Norwegian orogenies, with significant metamorphism during the latter. There is a substrate of 1,600–1,450 million-year-old slate, quartzite, marble and amphibolite with somehornblende gneiss, and overlaid on this acidic surface structures of both graniteand granodiorite (in general 1,250–1,000 million years old, in some places 1,550–1,480 million years old). The Bamblefelt geological area starts to the east of the municipality and extends to Grenland.

The last Swedo-Norwegian formations are evident in large formations of granite. There are also incidences of gabbro and diorite, less commonlyeclogite. The Caledonian orogeny did not affect this area. Faults run southwest-northeast. In ancient times there was a volcano off Flekkeroy, which left deposits of volcanic rock just north of central Kristiansand, on the site of the estate of Eg, now occupied by the Hospital of Southern Norway.


Christianssands Bryggeri is a producer of beer and soft drinks with a long history in the city. The brewery was established in 1859, and all products are made with spring water from the company's own spring, called Christian IVs kilde (Christian IV's spring).

Hennig-Olsen is an ice cream factory with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Kristiansand. The factory opened in 1960, but the Hennig-Olsen family has produced ice cream in Kristiansand since 1924, when Sven Hennig-Olsen started doing so in the back of his tobacco kiosk.

Glencore Nikkelverk (nickel factory) was founded in 1910 as Kristiansand Nikkelraffineringsverk A/S. The company is owned by the Anglo-Swiss company Glencore and has about 500 employees.

The Korsvik industrial area on the east side of the Kristiansandsfjord is home to companies working on drilling technology, cranes, winches and other equipment for the worldwide petroleum industry, among them National Oilwell Varco and Aker MH. Elkem, owned by China National Bluestar since 2011, operated a refining plant for ferrosilicon and microsilica at Fiskå in Vågsbygd for many years and was replaced in the beginning of the 20th century by Elkem Solar which produces polycrystalline silicon for wafers used in the solar cell industry. It has about 225 employees.

Sørlandschips is a Norwegian produced crisps brand. The potatoes often come from Denmark. Sørlandschips owned by Scandza AS and is one of Norway's most popular potato chip brands today. It has a variety of tastes and spices.

Dampbageriet is a large bakery chain based in Vest-Agder, it was established in Kristiansand in 1862 and has 4 stores in Kristiansand.

Sparebanken Sør is a savings bank serving Vest-Agder, Aust-Agder and Telemark. It was established in 1824 when Christiansand Sparebank opened up, it was one of the first in Norway.

Hennig-Olsen Iskremfabrikk is a major Norwegian ice-cream company based and started up in Kristiansand. The factory is located at Hannevika.

As a relatively large shipping town, Kristiansand was a profitable location for shipbuilders Kristiansands Mekaniske Verksted and P. Høivolds Mekaniske Verksted. At one time, shipping companies were the backbone of the local economy, but not many survive. The Rasmussen Group, previously a shipping firm, is now an investment company. Kristiansand continues to have major shipbuilding and repair facilities that support Norway's North Sea oil industry. The static inverter plant of the HVDC Cross-Skagerrak is located near Kristiansand.

Kristiansand Dyrepark is the zoo that sells most giraffe in Europe.


Sørlandsparken (The Southern Norway Park) is an industrial shopping park outside of Kristiansand city in the municipality. The park is also 17 kilometers from Lillesand. The park has an area of 670,000 m2 (7,211,820 sq ft) and over 5,000 workplaces.

The main part of the industrial park is in Kristiansand, including the mall Sørlandssenteret with 195 stores and Kristiansand Zoo, it is the largest mall and zoo in Norway. The racetrack of Southern Norway is also located in Kristiansand while IKEA is located technically in Lillesand municipality.

Others large chainstores is also located around the mall.

There are two hotels located in Sørlandsparken and some resorts nearby the zoo.

E18 goes past Sørlandsparken before continuing to downtown Kristiansand. Buses are available 6-8 times in the hours all day.

Kristiansand boroughs area (city-parts)
1VågsbygdFlekkerøy, Vågsbygd, Slettheia,Voiebyen36,281
2GrimGrim, Hellemyr, Mosby, Strai,Tinnheia16,020
3KvadraturenEg, Kvadraturen5,200
4OddernesGimlekollen, Justvik, Lund, Ålefjær30,830
5RandesundHånes, Randesund, Søm, Tveit19,080
-WestVågsbygd, Grim, Kvadraturen57,501
-EastLund, Oddernes49,910

Kristiansand is partitioned into 18 parts and 217 subparts. Kristiansand is also divided into 5 boroughs.

Kvadraturen is the city center of Kristiansand. The area belonged to the farms Eg and Grim, and was a sandy plain covered with forest, and was called Sanden or Grimsmoen. Settlements were before the city was founded focused on loading and dumps at Lund, along Otra or Torridalselven and along Topdalsfjorden by Odderøya and Flekkeroy port. Christian IV's town plan outlined the city center with 56 rectangular squares with five long blocks and eight cross streets. It was the squares along the Otra and east and west harbor, which was built first. Today Kvadraturen is a part of Kvadraturen/Eg, which has (as of 1 January 2005) 5510 inhabitants. The area Posebyen in Kvadraturen is Northern Europe's longest continuous wooden buildings. In the parts are among others Kristiansand Cathedral, Kristiansand City Hall, Wergeland Park, and the terminal for ferries to Hirtshals and Kristiansand Station is located in the parts western corner.

Vågsbygd is the largest borough of Kristiansand in Norway with approx. 36,281 inhabitants. Until 1965, Vågsbygd was a part of Oddernes municipality. The parts extends south and west of the city center of Kristiansand. From Møvig in Vågsbygd are good views to Fredriksholm Fortress and on to Flekkerøy, which is often not considered as parts of Vågsbygd. OnKroodden in Vågsbygd is Kristiansand Cannon Museum, an authentic fortress from World War II. Agriculture is largely left in Vågsbygd and replaced by residential and industrial areas. Vågsbygd has considerable industry, who has survived major changes. The largest employer is all the same Elkem Solar producing super clean Silicon for solar cells, which are located in premises that Elkem previous Ferrosilicon factory Fiskå Verk. On Andøya it established a significant and advanced mechanical industry which produces offshore and marine cranes and other marine equipment in Andøya Industrial Park. Amfi Vågsbygd is a major shopping center in Vågsbygd. Outside of Andøya in Vågsbygd is Bredalsholmen Shipyard and Preservation Centre, a Centre for protection of vessels at the former Bredalsholmen yard. Bredalsholmen Shipyard and Preservation Centre is a national hub for maintenance of museum ships and cherish worthy coastal culture, and a drydock with considerable capacity.

Lund is the second largest borough in Kristiansand with a population of 9,000 inhabitants in 2012. 14 June 1921 was the first 2.75 km ² of Lund transferred to Kristiansand and 1 January 1965 was also the rest of Lund part of Kristiansand in the municipal amalgamation. In Lund, there are traces of humans dating back to the early Iron Age, the Viking Age until the early Middle Ages various locations. There has been a settlement here since the Stone Age. During the Viking Age there was a great man's farm here. A Runestone at Oddernes church provides a connection to this farm. A large field with burial mounds formerly existed south and west of the church, and may also be associated with this farm. In 1492 robbers from the sea came and attacked Lund. This is mentioned in two letters located in the National Archives. The letters describe the attack that took place with a lot of violence against both women and men and that on both sides suffered casualties. No one know who the robbers were, but their centurion was named Per Syvertsen. The name suggests that he and his crew came from Norway or Denmark.

Indre and Ytre Randesund is located between Kvåsefjorden in Høvåg and the Topdalsfjord in Oddernes. Several small islands are situated alongside the cost of Randesund, among them Randøya and Herøya, both popular with summer tourists. The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the island, Randøen (now known as Randøya). The first part of the name is rand (Old Norse: rǫnd) which means "boundary" or "edge" and the last part of the name is sund which means "strait". The name was previously spelled Randøsund.

Tveit is a village and a former municipality in Vest-Agder county. It is located in the present-day municipality of Kristiansand. Tveit is home to Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik. Tveit is located along the lower part of the Tovdalselva river, known as Topdalselva from the border with Aust-Agder. The population of Tveit is approximately 2,900 (2014).

Internet, Comunication

Prices in Kristiansand



Milk1 liter€1.55
Tomatoes1 kg
Cheese0.5 kg€7.00
Apples1 kg€3.20
Oranges1 kg€2.90
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€2.80
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€18.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€3.60
Bread1 piece€2.20
Water1.5 l€1.90



Dinner (Low-range)for 2€52.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€75.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€11.00
Water0.33 l€2.60
Cappuccino1 cup€4.00
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€8.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€8.50
Coca-Cola0.33 l€4.50
Coctail drink1 drink€13.00



Cinema2 tickets€22.00
Gym1 month€50.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€25.00
Theatar2 tickets€105.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.08
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€11.00



Antibiotics1 pack
Tampons32 pieces€5.90
Deodorant50 ml.€3.10
Shampoo400 ml.€5.10
Toilet paper4 rolls€2.90
Toothpaste1 tube€2.80



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€100.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€36.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€92.00
Leather shoes1€85.00



Gasoline1 liter€1.50
Taxi1 km€1.70
Local Transport1 ticket€4.00

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

  • Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik.(IATA: KRS) is located 12 km (7 mi) north-east of the city. There are seven daily flights to Oslo (Gardermoen); four by SAS and three by Norwegian,Widerøe generally fly six times daily to Bergen, three times daily to Stavanger, once daily to Trondheim and three times daily to Copenhagen. KLM fly twice daily to Amsterdam. SAS also fly once a week to Alicante. When getting plane tickets, be careful not to mix Kristiansand up with the city of Kristiansund, which is much further north.

Bus connections to city centre are either city buses 35, 36, or M2 (note that the airport is not a regular stop for none of these services, so verify each departure) costing 35,- for a single ticket, or the airport bus costing 100,- one way.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Kristiansand Railway Station ("Jernbanestasjonen") (situated right 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 depart for Stavanger, while up to 6 daily trains leave for the country's capital, Oslo. The trip to Stavanger takes about 3 hours and the trip to Oslo between 4½ and 5 hours. Trains both westwards towards Stavanger and eastwards to 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.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

  • Kristiansand Busterminal (Rutebilstasjon), Vestre Strandgate 33(situated right next to the town centre, the ferry terminal, and the railway station).

The bus-connections to Oslo and the towns along the western shore of the Oslo Fjord is excellent. Nor-Way Bussexpress has 9 daily connections to 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 busses are usually just as fast as the trains to Oslo. To towns such as Larvik, Tønsberg and Sandefjord you might arrive several hours later if you go by train. There's also infrequent express bus connections to Stavanger and up along the Setesdal, with connections to 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 takes you to different ski resorts located in the hinterland and mountains. The bus terminal is located about 100 meters from the main shopping street, Markens, and right next to the ferry terminal and the train station. There's also a taxi stand here.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

Kristiansand sits along the E18 highway from Oslo. The highway changes its name to E39 when it passes Kristiansand on its way to Stavanger. Route 9 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).

Transportation - Get In

By boat

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

The port has a lot of cruise ship arrivals 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.

Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

On foot

The town's center is quite compact, which means that everything is within walking distance. Suburbs are spread over quite a large area.

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

Nettbuss Sør operates the blue 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.

Transportation - Get Around

By Car

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.

Transportation - Get Around

By Bicycle

Kristiansand is a pioneer town for a network of separate paths for cyclists. 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.

Transportation - Get Around

By taxi

Taxis are expensive. In Kristiansand, there are two major Taxi Companies:

Transportation - Get Around

By small boats

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

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






Shopping Malls

  • Markens gate(The main pedestrian street). is the main shopping street in the town center. Most of the street is pedestrianized. Most of the shops are now 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 centers Sandens, Lillemarkens and Slottet or elsewhere in Kvadraturen.
  • SørlandssenteretBarstølveien 31 (east of the town centre),  +47 38049100fax: +47 38049200, e-mail: . M-F: 10AM-9PM, Sa: 10AM-6PM. Is the largest shopping center in Northern Europe, located 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).
  • Amfi VågsbygdKirsten Flagstadsvei 32 (west of the town centre),  +47 38016011. M-F: 10AM-8PM, Sa: 10AM-6PM. Is a shopping center, about 5 minutes' drive west of town, in the Vågsbygdarea.

Specialty Stores

  • Eventyrskogen Souvenirs at Kristiansand Zoo and amusementpark
  • Souvenirs in the city centre Guide Sør, Markens gate 3 (Main street, one block away from the board walk) +47 47710074.
  • Galleri Bi-ZDronningens gate 39,  +47 38 02 53 30. Art gallery, exhibitions, sales and own framing workshop
  • HusflidenGyldenløves gate 6 A,  +47 38 07 06 95. Specialist shop for Norwegian handicrafts and design.
  • HøieSetesdalsveien 620 (At Mosby, 9km north of the town centre),  +47 38124400. Høie bedding, factory outlets.
  • StormbergBarstølveien 86 (Sørlandsparken, east of the town centre),  +47 454 15 207. Outlets for Stormberg, Norway's largest brand of outdoor wear.
  • Stil- & kvalitet - gaver (Sørlandssenteret), Barstølveien 31-35, Entrance D, first floor,  +47 95 42 86 10, e-mail:. Gift shop for those who want style and quality


Ice cream

  • Hennig-Olsen ice cream is produced in Kristiansand and 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.



  • McDonald's (1.Corner of Markens gate/Dronningens gate, 2. Sørlandssenteret). Meals are approx. 80 NOK.
  • Lotus Grillbar (Vestre Strandgate 26),  +47 38029730. Nice and affordable Chinese food. Take-away service
  • HåndverkerenRådhusgata 15 (Just beside the town hall),  +47 48887844. Restaurant house that offers affordable, traditional Norwegian food, taproom and concert venue. Sunday Buffet from NOK 189.
  • Villa MarinaØstre Strand gt. 2 a,  +47 38 12 07 21. Large selection of Italian cuisine at affordable prices Meal from NOK 199.


  • 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, you do need to go to the bar to order.
  • Slakter SørensenRådhusgata 12 (The main square), +47 38 09 91 88. The Beef - restaurant on the square
  • MåltidTollbodgata 2B (In the town centre),  +47 47833000.Intimate restaurant with a menu based on local ingredients.


  • SjøhusetØstre strandgate 12 A (Is situated on a pier near the Nupen Park), +47 38026260fax: +47 38026202. Daily: 11AM-11PM. Is Kristiansand's main seafood restaurant.
  • Pieder RoGravane 10 (By the fish market (Fiskebrygga)), +47 38100788fax: 47 38100803. M-F: 11:30AM-11PM, Sa: 4PM-11PM, Su: 1PM-11PM. Serves very nice fish dishes as well as 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.

Coffe & Drink

Mainly coffee

Sights & Landmarks

  • 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.
  • 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 favorite 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.
  • Posebyen 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 (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.
  • Vest-Agder Museum Kristiansand. is 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.
  • Kristiansand Cannon Museum (Batterie Vara) (Møvig, 8km west of the town center),  +47 38 08 50 90, e-mail: .3Feb-11May: Su:Noon-4PM, 18May-11Jun: M-W:11Am-3PM, Th-Su:11AM-5PM, 12Jun-17Aug: Daily: 11AM-6PM, 18Aug-28Sep: M-W:11Am-3PM, Th-Su:11AM-5PM, 5Oct-30Nov: Su:Noon-4PM. Here you will find the world's second largest cannon ever to be mounted on land. Mounted by the occupying German forces in 1940 to guard the shipping lanes of the Skagerrak.
  • 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.
  • Sørlandet's Art Museum (2 minutes walk from the cathedral), Skippergata 24 B,  +47 38074900. Is the an art gallery with permanent and changing exhibitions.


  • 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.
  • 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
  • Ansgar Chapel (Ansgarkapellet), Fredrik Fransonsvn. 4 (Bus M2 to Hånes senter),  +47 38106500. Every day 8AM to 10PM. 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.


  • 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.
  • Myren Mansion (Myren Gård), Myrbakken 5 (2km 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.
  • 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. There are sometimes music performances in the summer.

Things to do

  • Forests: In Kristiansand, there are many forests, never more than a short walk away. Near the town center are the areas (perfect for walking recreation or winter activities at winter time):
    • Jegersberg (East of the river Otra) A wooded area with picturesque marked trails and small, idyllic lakes.
    • Baneheia (Next to the city center) A wooded area with outstanding views of the city, lighted tracks, idyllic forest paths and opportunities for freshwater swimming in the summer season.
    • Odderøya - an island to discover next to the city center/fish market (Connected with the city center by several bridges), filled with outstanding history, culture, nature, forest, forest trails and wonderful views over the city and the archipelago. Several nice beaches, opportunities for swimming and fishing and great picnic locations. Concert venues.
  • Even if Kristiansand receives litle snow at winter time, there is popular ski-lift in Tveit, not far from the airport.
  • 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.
    • Aquarama(Tangen 8). MO, WE, TH 12AM - 9PM, TU, FR 6AM - 9PM, SA, SU 10AM- 6PM. Indoor swimming facilities, including water slide, swimming pool, hot water pool and diving towers NOK 190.
    • Badelandet (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 pool. The season lasts from April to October. NOK 129
    • Bystranda (The town beach, right next to Aquarama) is a nice sandy blue flag beach with swim pier, sun deck and palm trees - ideal for children.
    • Hamresanden (approx. 9 km east of town). Is a 3 km long, sandy blue flag beach that can be crowded on warm summer days.
  • 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-boats from the town centre, MS Blindleia or MS Bragdøya. The archipelago and the surrounding fjords is also a perfect setting for sailing and fishing
  • Bragdøya is an island in the middle of the approach to Kristiansand. Take the boat 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.
  • Diving A-dykk (at Dvergsnestangen by Kristiansand Feriesenter) offers diving tips, diving courses, wreck diving, night diving, air refilling and diving for disabled.
  • Escape Room, Henrik Wergelandsgate 53+47 45 81 79 81. In the mood to play? Play, learn, discover and solve puzzles!
  • Fishing: If you fish in the rivers in the area, you must purchase a fishing license. The rivers are rich in fish like salmon and trout. If you like to fish in the sea and deep sea fishing, 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!
  • Kilden Performing Arts Centre (The landmark building), 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

In the period 04.06. - 20.08., the Second hand market Posebyen Market is open every Saturday in Posebyen (old town).

Live music

Festivals and events

Music festivals

Until 2007, Kristiansand was the site of the Quart Festival, a multi-day music festival - the largest of its kind in Norway. Other festivals have come and after selling only 2000 tickets for the 2008 event, the festival was cancelled. In 2009, the festival is once again in full swing with bigger and bands tipped to play. The management has changed back to people that had previously made the festival a great success.

  • Odderøya live at Odderøya is an annual rock music festival consisting of individual days of concerts in June and July.
  • Palmesus, the annual music festival at the Bystranda beach in early July.
  • Måkeskrik in Bendiksbukta, also at Odderøya is an annual music festival in late July.
  • The Dark Season is an indoor annual club music festival in late October.

Constitution Day celebration

(Annually, May 17) In Kristiansand, like in most Norwegian cities, there are traditonal 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.


  • Christianssand BrygghusTollbodgata 9,  +47 41726000. - a micro-brewery and pub
  • Patrics Pub & RestaurantMarkens gate 10,  +47 40001958.Irish pub and restaurant in the city's main street
  • MøllepubenRådhusgata 15 (The basement. Connected to the restaurant Håndverkeren.),  +47 38027470. Traditional, Norwegian style pub Local bands play for dancing several nigths a week.
  • Telfords PubVestre Strandgate 7 (Connected to the Radisson Blu Caledonien Hotel). Scottish style pub, frequented mostly by an older crowd
  • Victoria PubMarkens gate 19b (Main street), +47 380748 90.English style pub in a courtyard from the main street
  • Javel PubVestre Strandgate 23,  +47 3807 09 12. English style pub
  • KickDronningens gate 8,  +47 38028330. Nightclub and stage in the heart of the city
  • Bakgården BarTollbodgata 5,  +47 38021211. Pub ("både &") and bar in the backyard next to each other
  • Harvey's SportsbarTollbodgata 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).

Things to know

Kristiansand is 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. 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).


Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park 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 theme, there are pirate ships and own pirate village. In summer there an own pirate show which for decades has attracted a large number of children.

Kristiansand has a flourishing cultural life. The city is known especially for music (for example, the symphony orchestra and several festivals) andKilden Performing Arts Centre, but there is also an art museum for the visual arts and several art galleries, cinema and theater.

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.


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

  • Vågsbygd which includes Flekkerøya, 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, Hånes, Søm and Tømmerstø.

Safety in Kristiansand

Stay Safe

Stay safe

Norway is a fairly safe country in general, and Kristiansand is no exception. Though you might want to be extra careful at night in weekends, due to occasional drunk youths stumbling around.

Safety at sea

Every year there are reports of foreign visitors that get into trouble in small boats at sea, fatal incidents also occur. Remember that life jackets are required and follow the usual marine traffic rules.

Winter conditions

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 February. In winter, watch out for icy patches, and when wandering in the forest 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

In acute illness or if accident occurs:

  • Contact Emergency Medical Services/Ambulance  113 (Emergencies only)
  • Contact Kristiansand legevakt 116 117 or +47 38 07 69 00 (Egsveien 102) 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). Open around the clock.

There are many pharmacies (apotek) in Kristiansand, that are selling medications and can give you advice on the treatment of injury and disease. Vitusapotek Elefanten (Gyldenløves gate 13) has extended opening hours.


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

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.

Very High / 9.0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

High / 7.3

Safety (Walking alone - night)

Norway - Travel guide