The coastline of southern Norway consists of one long chain of idyllic islands and skerries, all set against a backdrop of lush green forests and lakes and a mountainous and majestic inland.
In the summer, Norwegians flock to this pretty, coastal city for the sunny weather and beaches. As Norway's fifth-largest city, Kristiansand boasts a number of good museums and beautiful parks. The city also hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. In Posebyen, the old town of Kristiansand, you can view some of the original wooden structures from before 1892, when a fire destroyed much of the rest of the city. Kristiansand is an ideal place to visit with children - the city is also home to one of the country’s top attractions for kids, the Kristiansand Dyrepark.
To learn a little about the history and traditions of the region, visit the Ver-Agder Folk Museum, just a few kilometers east of town. The Ver-Agder Folk Museum is an open-air museum, showcasing a collection of historical farm and town buildings from the region. As you wander the grounds, you'll also find displays of traditional costumes and artifacts, giving you a sense for what life was like in the area during the 18th and 19th centuries.
A visit to the Kristiansand Cannon Museum is a must for those with an interest in World War II history. The Kristiansand Cannon Museum features the Vara Battery, a German artillery installation, with the world's second-largest, land-based cannon - weighing in at 337 tons. You can also explore barracks, bunkers and other WWII military exhibits.
Probably the most popular attraction in the city - especially for children - is the Kristiansand Dyrepark. The park covers nearly 150 acres and combines an amusement park with a zoo that houses animals from all over the world, including some species that are endangered. The zoo's Nordisk Vilmark (Northern Wilderness) area is a highlight of the park. You can walk across raised boardwalks over the habitats for wolves, lynx, wolverines and moose. Also worth seeing is Kardemomme by (Cardamom Town), which recreates a town from a famous children's story written by Thorbjørn Egner.
Posebyen - the Old Town
Posebyen is at the northern end of Kristiansand and features northern Europe's largest collection of low-rise wall-to-wall wooden houses. Stroll through the area and admire the charming residences and historic buildings. During the summer, you can visit the weekly market and shop for products of all kinds from stalls on the street.
What's up in Kristiansand
There are more then 25 festivals in Kristiansand every year.
Visit the museum and take a ride on the Setesdalbanen, which opened in 1896 and is still going strong.
A museum devoted to cannons.