Monday, 22 October 2018

The port of Kristiansand - things to do on a cruise stop

What to do in Kristiansand on a cruise stop

On our recent cruise to the Norwegian Fjords with Disney we stopped for the day in Kristiansand, Norway. Kristiansand is the fifth largest city in Norway, and it's a popular spot for tourists. The cruise ship dock is close to the centre of town, and it's a very walkable city.

If you have a day to explore Kristiansand, I would recommend taking a walking tour of the city. If you stop a few times on the way it will take you several hours, and there is plenty to see. I used this printable map with a suggested walking route, and we were given a copy of a very similar map as we left the ship.

We started our visit at the Fish Market. Mia is always asking what my favourite colour is and I never know what to say, but having visited Kristansand I've decided that it's the beautiful yellow ochre that is characteristic of many of the buildings here and elsewhere in Norway. It looks so lovely against a bright blue sky. The fish market is quite small and aimed more at locals, as cruise ship passengers aren't going to be buying fish to take back aboard, but it's interesting to have a quick look around and see what's on offer.

Kristiansand fish market

Then we followed the path around next to the harbour. The walk takes you through some lovely park areas with fountains and flower beds and you can admire all the boats out in the marina.

Kristiansand park on the harbour

There are also several playgrounds along this stretch and we spent quite some time here. The children always love a playground in a different country where the equipment is different to home.

Kristiansand playground

We also stopped for a while at the Beach, a wide and almost empty stretch of sand with some lovely views out to sea. We collected sea glass and the children played in the sand.

Kristiansand beach


On our way to the beach we passed Christiansholm Fortress, built in 1672 to defend the city. It's quite small but rather pretty and guided tours can be arranged. The views across are lovely and it felt so peaceful.

Kristiansand headland and fortress

As we continued around the headland there was quite a lot of construction going on, from the look of it mainly luxury apartments. There's also a sea swimming pool with a viewing area and steps down, although it was a little cold for swimming when we visited! As we walked along the river north of the city I kept stopping as I heard loud splashing in the water, it wasn't until we reached an information sign that I discovered it was salmon, and we stopped for a while to eat our lunch and look out for them.

Then we headed down through the Old Town and into the centre. We stopped to admire the Cathedral and had a quick peek inside, before stopping in some of the inevitable souvenir shops to spend the children's pocket money. 

Kristiansand cathedral

Before heading back to the ship we took a short walk up to Odder√łya, a formal naval base and now a recreational area. You can take a longer walk if you choose for views of the harbour and fortress, or just take a quick stroll. On our way back down we stopped to see the boats at the Museum Harbour, a free attraction with some historic boats to look at and information signs.

Kristiansand free ship museum

We really liked Kristiansand, and it was the perfect place to spend a few hours exploring. If you don't fancy travelling further afield or doing a guided excursion it's really easy to find your own way around and there's plenty to keep you entertained for several hours.

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