Culture · Things to do · Northern Europe
March 11, 2019 Words: Bill Bradley and Noah Davis

What To Do In Kristiansand

Enjoy the walkability of this southeast Norwegian port city.


Norway's fifth-largest city is one of the best for walking. It's small enough to cover in an afternoon, but a big enough metropolis to offer food, culture, and entertainment on par with the world’s biggest cities. From the famous zoo to shopping and dining, Kristiansand has it all. Here's everything you'll need to do once you hit port.

Buy Fresh Fish at the Fiskebrygga

You know what port means? Two words: fresh seafood. Stop by Fiskebrygga, the local fish market, and grab a bag of freshly-caught prawns or mussels and dig into some crabs. You can wash it all down with a local beer at one of the many nearby restaurants, all of which sling the day’s catch.

Go to the Zoo

The Kristiansand Dyrepark (translation: Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park) covers 150 acres on the outskirts of the city. It’s the largest collection of animals in all of Norway and boasts creatures from all over the kingdom, including a special enclosure for Scandinavian animals. The numbers don’t lie, people love it: it’s the most frequently visited attraction in the country.

Shop Til You Drop in Kvadraturen

In the middle of Kristiansand sits Kvadraturen. While it’s the administrative center of Kristiansand, it’s also the city’s cultural heartbeat. The main drag, Markens Gate, is Kristiansand’s very own Fifth Avenue. And over its more than half-mile stretch you’ll find 400-plus stores and nearly 100 restaurants

Head Over to Sor Arena to Watch IK Start

Depending on what time of year your ship comes to port, make your way to Sør Arena, home of local soccer team IK Start. Even for guests who aren’t huge soccer fans, a European game is a cultural event in and of itself. The fans, the atmosphere—it’s unmatched. Sør Arena holds over 14,000 fans and offers an intimate glimpse into the wild and intoxicating world of European soccer.

Gothic Splendor of the Kristiansand Cathedral

In the city square of Kvadraturen, you’ll find the Kristiansand Cathedral. Built in 1884 and designed by the architect Henrik Thrap-Meyer, the cathedral is a sight to behold. One of the largest cathedrals in Norway, this neo-gothic landmark is open weekdays year round. A history buff? Take one of their guided tours.

Enjoy Bystranda Beach

Yes, a beach in the city. In Norway! Just southeast of downtown Kristiansand you’ll find the exquisite sand of Bystranda Beach. Pick up a game of beach volleyball. Catch a tan. Take a dip. There are restrooms, benches, and a pristinely clean strip of sand in the center of the city.

Dig In to the Finest Norwegian Cuisine At Sjøhuset Restaurant

For nearly two decades, Sjøhuset has wowed customers with its elegant fine dining. If you want the finest, freshest fish in Kristiansand—look no further. Sjøhuset is your destination. Whether you want the day’s fresh catch or a bright red lobster, Sjøhuset will tend to your pescatarian dreams. And you can take it all in with sweeping views of the water.

A civil square in Kristiansand
A plant store front in Kristiansand

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