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During my week long adventure exploring Southern Norway, I was excited to find the town of Kristiansand. Located on the southern tip of the country, the scattered islands in the water and picturesque downtown is everything you expect from a sea side Norwegian town. In this article, I share with you what to do in Kristiansand Norway and videos from my visit.

The best way to visit Kristiansand is by Hurtigruten Cruise ship. Once on shore, you can explore all of the destinations featured in this article. On a mission to discover the best of the Sourthern Ports that Hurtigruten stops at, I found this cool hike just outside of Kvadraturen – a suburb of Kristiansand.

See more videos of Norway and other locations here.

Things to do in Kristiansand

Nestled between mountains and ocean, the town of Kristiansand is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From mountain biking to kayaking, there is something fun to do for just about everyone in this town. Below are a few of my favorites from when I visited in November 2023.

Christiansholm Fortress

If you are curious about historical landmarks, check out the Christiansholm Fortress. This is one of the most iconic historical sites in Kristiansand and a must see. When I was in town there was a gala at the fortress with live music. While I was not on the guest list, I was able to see the fortress lit up and a sneak peak through the massive gated entry.

Christiansholm Fortress

History of Christiansholm Fortress

Next to the fortress there is a weathered plaque on that is nearly unreadable explaining the history of Christiansholm Fortress.

“The fortress was built on an island in the period 1652-1672 and then connected to the mainland with a 100m long bridge. The channel was so deep that even tall ships could anchor up. The channel was filled up in the 19th century. The fortress rotunda has a diameter of 50m and is surrounded by 5m thick stonewalls. The commandant had his living quarters in the inner rotunda.Although the Christiansholm Fortress was in military use for 200 years, there was only fired once from the fortress in 1907 at some Engligh Battleships. In 1669 there were 62 cannons but today only 8 bronze cannons.The fortress, roof, and other woodwork were lost in a fire in 1892. The roof was rebuilt in 1972.”

Plaque on the fortress grounds

Kvadraturen Downtown

For nightlight and great restaurants, check out Kvadraturen. Located about 10 minutes from Kristiansand’s downtown, this community seems to be the popular hangout for locals.

Map of Kirstiansand

After a big day exploring, I ate at the Skagen Pub. The fish and chips here were the best I have ever had. The fish is locally caught and sourced from the fish market (shown in the first video in this post). Unknowingly I happened to find the most popular spot in town for locals. The lively ambiance of a language I don’t understand was a great experience. I felt at home being at Skagen Pub even without knowing anyone or saying a single sentence aside from my order of “this one” [pointing to the Norwegian words for Fish & Chips] and “Carlsberg” [the most popular Danish lager].

Coastal Hikes in Kristiansand

Since riding was rained out, I found a great hike at the end of town to try out. The trail head was behind the Kristiansand Kajakklubb (kayak club).

Kirstiansand Kajakklubb

The start of the hiking trail that was easily accessible from town. The views were everything that I had imagined from a coastal Norwegian city. It was incredibly quiet on the small peninsula. On the peninsula, I felt miles outside of town after a short 20 minute walk. Having accessibility to pristine nature was one of my favorite things about Kristiansand Norway.

While weather put a stop to my goal of mountain biking in Kirstiansand, I was able to connect with local riders and hear about how it is. Just outside of town is incredible downhill riding as well as flowing cross country trails. It seems like the eBike wave has hit Norway. Many of the locals have taken to eMountain Biking as a away to expand their range.

To book your Norwegian Cruise, check out the best Norway Cruise Company, Hurtigruten. Hurtigruten specializes in expedition cruises. These trips are for those who crave adventure and want to get the most out of life.