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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kristiansand kommune
—  Municipality  —

Coat of arms

Vest-Agder within
Kristiansand within Vest-Agder
Coordinates (city): 58°10′12″N 8°0′22″E / 58.17°N 8.00611°E / 58.17; 8.00611Coordinates: 58°10′12″N 8°0′22″E / 58.17°N 8.00611°E / 58.17; 8.00611
Country Norway
County Vest-Agder
District Sørlandet
Municipality ID NO-1001
Administrative centre Kristiansand
 - Mayor (2004) Per Sigurd Sørensen (H)
Area (Nr. 287 in Norway)
 - Total 277 km2 (107 sq mi)
 - Land 259 km2 (100 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 80,109
 Density 291/km2 (753.7/sq mi)
 - Change (10 years) 10.9 %
 - Rank in Norway 6
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Official language form Bokmål
Norwegian demonym Kristiansander[1]
Data from Statistics Norway
Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1951 25,797
1960 27,760 7.6%
1970* 56,119 102.2%
1980 60,738 8.2%
1990 64,888 6.8%
2000 72,395 11.6%
2007 77,840 7.5%
2008 78,919 1.4%
2009 80,109 1.5%
Source: Statistics Norway. * merged with suburban municipalities in 1964.

About this sound Kristiansand [2] (formerly "Christianssand") is a city, municipality and the county capital of Vest-Agder county in Southern Norway. Kristiansand municipality is the 6th largest in Norway with a population of 80,109 as of 1 January 2009. The Kristiansand urban area, entirely located in the municipality, had a population of 64,930 on 1 January 2006, and is thus the 8th largest urban area in Norway.


The name

The city was named after its founder King Christian IV in 1641. The last element sand refers to the sandy headland the city was built on (see also Lillesand).

The name was written "Christian(s)sand" until 1877 - then, according to an official spelling reform (that changed ch to k), the form was changed to "Kristianssand". (See also the names Kristiansund and Kristiania that were affected by the same reform.) The name was again changed to its present form Kristiansand in 1889.


The arms were granted on 8 December 1909 and are based on the oldest seal of the city, dating from 1643. In 1643 King Christian IV (of Denmark and Norway) granted the young city 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. As the species of tree is not properly described, there are several images known with differently shaped trees. A second seal, from 1658, shows a tree with leaves and what looks like pine cones.[3]


As indicated by archeological findings in the city, the Kristiansand area has been settled at least since 400 AD. A royal farm is known to have been situated on Oddernes as early as 800, and the first church was built around 1040. The first settlements near the modern city were located further down the river, in or near what is today the borough of Lund, and at Flekkerøy, an island outside the city centre.

Kristiansand was formally founded by King Christian IV in 1641. It was created as a market town to encourage growth in a strategically significant area, providing a local economic base for construction of fortifications and population for defence of the area. The centre of Kristiansand, in layout essentially unchanged since the 17th century, is called "Kvadraturen" due to its square gridline of streets.

The city experienced its first major town fire in 1734, when large parts of the city was destroyed. Kristiansand grew into a major port during the 18th century, both due to its expanding ship building industry and its trade fleet. The city burned again in 1892. As a neutral trade port, the economy of Kristiansand thrived during World War I, but the growth stagnated due to political decisions and the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s.

Kristiansand was established as a municipality 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipalities of Oddernes, Randesund and Tveit were merged with Kristiansand on 1 January 1965.


The Quart festival, held every year at the beginning of July, is back in 2009 after financial difficulties that saw it close in 2008. As Norway’s biggest music festival, Quart has taken place in Kristiansand every July since 1991. Originally named Qvadradurmusivalen, its name was changed to the more catchy Quart Festival the following year. For several years Quart was the largest music festival in Norway, but has struggled in recent years in part due to tough competition from the Hovefestivalen in Tromøya, Arendal and some Oslo based festivals. The rock music event lasts for five days and has concerts on a big stage in Oderøya, a peninsula south of the town centre, as well as on smaller stages around the town. Quart is known for attracting famous international artists to Kristiansand each year as in addition to finding new young talents, for whom performing in Quart meant a fast and steady track to fame. Many of today’s big stars previously appeared on Quart’s smaller stages. The line-up for the revitalized Quart Festival 2009 includes world-famous stars, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Black Eyed Peas, Marilyn Manson and Placebo.

Kristiansand is a home to many other festivals as well. One of the most interesting ones is Protestfestival. It was launched in 2000 and takes place every September. Protestfestival aims to address apathy and indifference in politics, and is often referred to as "the small festival that asks the big questions". Debates, concerts and lectures are held at the festival combined with performance art and documentaries. Protestfestival claims to attract anarchists, communists, hippies as well as conservative Christians and capitalists and encourage communication among these radically different groups.

Festivals run throughout the year in Kristiansand. Some of these include the Bragdøya Blues Festival in June, the Dark Season Festival in October, Cultural Night and the International Children Film Festival in April. Kristiansand has an active music scene as well. The Kristiansand Symphonic Orchestra as well as Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are now well known after their merging in 2003. The new Concert Hall “Kilden” is planned to be finished in Kristiansand in 2011. So far concerts take place in Agder Theatre, which is also a venue for most of the other big events. South Norway’s Art Museum is also in the centre of Kristiansand. It was established in 1995 and is the second biggest regional art museum in Norway.

The museum runs an extensive programme, which includes exhibitions of the permanent collection, temporary contemporary art-exhibitions and touring exhibitions to schools and child-care initiatives. The museum is working to generate interest, engagement, knowledge and understanding of the arts, crafts and other visual arts.

Cultiva, which is a local government foundation, was established to ensure a portion of the profits made from selling shares in Agder Energy Ltd have lasting benefits to the community, with some of the money invested in cultural projects in Kristiansand. In addition, in 2007 Kristiansand won cultural funding from “Norges kulturkommune”, which was established by the Norwegian Culture Forum and is awarded every other year. Fiskebrygga, in Kristiansand, is very popular in summer. In the 1990s the area was refurbished transforming the traditional landing area for boats with restaurants and shops.

The City’s famous football team, IK Start, had their final home game at Kristiansand Stadium in 2006. As of 2007 the team has been moved to its newer facilities in South Arena. Kristiansand is also known for its handball teams (KIF and Choose Vipers), basketball (Kristiansand Pirates) and volleyball club (Grim VBK).

The zoological garden, Kristiansand Dyrepark (Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park) just east of the city, has a wide selection of animals in, for the most part, natural habitats. This includes animals such as wolves, tigers and the lynx. The Dyreparken draws many tourists and is the second most visited in Norway.

Agderforskning (Agder Research) is an interdisciplinary social science research institute based in Kristiansand. As well as broad involvement in festivals, Agderforskning is also working on projects connected to value creation in coastal culture, cultural heritage, film and travel and tourism production, cultural experience surveys, cultural activities financing, interaction and innovation processes connected to art in the workplace, cooperation in the tourism industry, experiential tourism, entrepreneurship in the music industry, and dialogue-based innovation where art, culture and commerce meet. Although strongly based in the Kristiansand and the surrounding area, their studies are far reaching; nationally, throughout Scandinavia and in Europe in the development of international research projects. More information about their most recent project on festivals is on the website

Economy and transport

Kristiansand is connected to continental Europe by air and sea. The local airport, Kjevik, is located 12 km (7 miles) east of the city and has routes to European and Norwegian cities. From the city centre, the ferry harbour has routes to Hirtshals (Denmark) and Hanstholm (Denmark). Road connections goes via E18 east to Arendal and Oslo, via E39 west to Mandal and Stavanger, and highway 9 north to Vennesla, Setesdal and Haukeli. The Sørlandsbanen railway has station in downtown Kristiansand which is a terminus station, where trains have to change direction. Trains go east to Oslo and west to Stavanger.

Kristiansand has major shipbuilding and repair facilities that support Norway's North Sea oil industry. Near Kristiansand there is the static inverter plant of the HVDC Cross-Skagerak.

Geography and climate

The river Otra runs through Kristiansand

Kristiansand and the Agder counties usually have a lot of summer sunshine compared to most of Norway. There may be heavy snowfall in winter with south-southeasterly winds (snow record at Kjevik is 170 cm), but the snow rarely stays long at the coast; see climate. In the summer most locals go to the Fish Market and Hamresanden Beach which is located near Kjevik airport (about 10 mins from the city centre). People from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the UK and other European countries also visit this beach in the summer during their travels.

Climate data for Kristiansand (1961-90)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.3
Average low °C (°F) -4.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 121
Avg. precipitation days 19 15 16 12 14 12 13 17 18 19 20 19 194
Source: World Weather Information Service[4] 2008-01-06


Picture of Kristiansand's river Otra in spring

The University of Agder's largest campus is located in Kristiansand; the university itself has about 8,000 students. Formerly a university college, it was granted status as a university on 1 September 2007. Study programs include business and economics, engineering and technology, the humanities, mathematics, nursing, teacher education, as well as fine arts.

Kristiansand is also home of one of the Norwegian School of Management's (Norwegian: Handelshøyskolen BI) campuses, in addition to The Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (Norwegian: Mediehøgskolen Gimlekollen), which offers degrees in journalism and communication.

In 2006, 27% of those above 16 years in Kristiansand had higher education, compared to the national average of 24.2%.

People from Kristiansand

External links


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Even though the names are different, Kristiansand is often noted as Kristiansand S (S for South) to distinguish it from Kristiansund, also in Norway, in such cases noted as Kristiansund N. The practice originated before postal codes were introduced, as mail sometimes was sent to the wrong city. Occasional mix-ups with the Swedish city of Kristianstad have also been known to happen.[1]
  3. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "Weather Information for Kristiansand". World Weather Information Service. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kristiansand is the capital of Vest-Agder County, Norway. By population, it is the fifth largest city of Norway. The city is sometimes called Kristiansand S, where S stands for South, to distinguish it from Kristiansund in western Norway.

Get in

By plane

Kjevik Airport (IATA: KRS) is located 12 km (7 mi) north-east of the city. SAS [1] runs 8 daily flights to Oslo, 6 to Bergen and 3 to Stavanger, as well as 3 daily flights to Copenhagen and a weekly flight to Alicante. Norwegian [2] runs 3 daily flights to Oslo. Planes from Dutch airline KLM depart twice daily for Amsterdam. There are bus connections to the town centre for every arrival, both airport buses and local buses. The airport bus costs kr 80, kr 120 return. Local buses are to the left as you exit. No 35 and 36 to city centre Kvadraturen is kr 37 (Jun 08). Taxi to Kvadraturen is kr 280/350 in weekends.

By train

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 4 1/2 to 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. The train station is situated right next to the town centre, the ferry terminal, and the bus terminal.

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 Haukeligrend on the Hardangervidda (Hardanger Plateau).

By bus

The bus-connections to Oslo and the towns along the western shore of the Oslo Fjord is excellent. Nor-Way Bussexpress [3] 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. Lavsprisekpressen 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. The bus terminal is located about 100 meters from the main shopping street, right next to the ferry terminal and the train station. There's also a taxi stand here.

By boat

Ferry company Color Line [4] 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.

Get around

Bussen Trafikkselskap AS operates the yellow and white city buses. 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. Currently, the prices are kr 20 for local travel, kr 27 for suburban routes and kr 37 for the regional routes. Night buses have their own prices. The town's center is quite compact, which means that everything is within walking distance. Suburbs are spread over quite a large area. There are dedicated bike lanes along most of the main roads. 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.

Fiskebrygga, Kristiansand.
Fiskebrygga, Kristiansand.
  • Fiskebrygga (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.  edit
  • Kristiansand Dyrepark (Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park), (East of the town), [5]. Has a wide selection of animals in, for the most part, natural habitats. The main attractions are 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.  edit
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kristiansand Cannon Museum, [6]. 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 Skagerak.  edit


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 big success.

  • University of Agder has its main campus at Gimlemoen just east of the town centre. The new campus was built at an old military camp, and the new building was finished in 2001. There are programs in nursing, teaching, languages, psychology, literature and arts, sports and health, mathematics and similar subjects, economics and politics. Just a few of the classes are taught in English.

There's also music education (both classical and pop/rock) at Musikkens hus (House of Music) in the town center. There's also several small, private higher education schools, among them a Christian journalism school at Gimlekollen.

  • Markens gate 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.
  • Sørlandssenteret, Barstølveien 31, +47 38049100 (, fax: +47 38049200). M-F: 10AM-8PM, Sa: 10AM-6PM. Is located about 10 minutes' drive east of town, in a industrial area. It is just a run-of-the-mill shopping center, but can be a godsend for shopping when the weather turns nasty.  edit
  • Egon, (Connected to the Scandic Hotel). 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.  edit
  • Sjøhuset, Østre strandgate 12 A (Is situated on a pier near the Nupen Park), +47 38026260 (fax: +47 38026202). Daily: 11AM-11PM. Is Kristiansand's main seafood restaurant.  edit
  • Pieder Ro, Gravane 10, +47 38100788 (fax: 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.  edit
  • Twist and Shout, Markens gate 13 (Next to McDonalds), +47 38108116. Downstairs bar with dance floor, main bar and tiki lounge. Beer is very expensive at all bars $10 for one beer. Good bar for a fun time on Friday and Saturday Nights.  edit
  • Harvey's Sportsbar, Tollbodgate 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).  edit


For longer stays (2 night or more) consider renting an apartment, a house or a high quality cabin. Several agencies offer reservations on houses or cabins owned by farmers or other locals. This type of accommodation is frequently more interesting than a standard hotel. Look

  • Centrum Budget Hotel, Vestre Strandgate 49, +47 38701565 (, fax: +47 38024869), [7]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: Noon. Single 495, double 595.  edit
  • Hotell Sørlandet, Droningens gate 66, +47 38125400 (), [8].  edit
  • Thon Hotel Wergeland, Kirkegata 15, +47 38172040 (, fax: +47 38027321), [9]. Situated in the heart of Kristiansand, with the Wergeland Park, the cathedral and the market as its nearest neighbours. The hotel is only one block away from Markens, the most popular shopping street in Kristiansand.  edit
  • Scandic Hotel Kristiansand, Markensgate 39, +47 21614200 (, fax: + 47 21614211), [10]. Also in the heart of Kristiansand, nice staff and breakfast is always included in your rate. Bicycles available as well as free Wi-Fi in your room, or you can check your e-mail on one of the three computers in the lobby area for free.  edit
  • Clarion Hotel Ernst, Rådhusgate 2, +47 38 12 86 00, [12]. Recently renovated hotel. It is a modern first class hotel in the heart of the city centre. The hotel was built in 1858 and has long traditions as a hotel. Each room has a characteristic of its own, they may vary in size furnishing and decorations.  edit

Stay safe

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


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).

Routes through Kristiansand
Newcastle ← (unconnected) ←  W noframe E  ArendalOslo
StavangerMandal  N noframe S  HirtshalsAalborg
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun



  1. A municipality in Vest-Agder, Norway. The sixth-largest city in Norway.


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