Kristiansand Cruise Port Guide | 7 Best Things To Do In Port

Kristiansand Norway

Nestled along Norway’s southern coast, Kristiansand cruise port is a gateway to Kristiansand, the country’s fifth-largest city and a popular summer destination among Norwegians.

This cosmopolitan city is known for its favorable climate and is often called the “Coolest Riviera”. You can find everything in this beautiful city, from the rich history and stunning sceneries to a wide range of boutique stores, cozy cafes and restaurants. The city even has its sandy beach which gets pretty crowded in July and August!

Kristiansand’s coastline is lined with several picturesque islands and peninsulas, like Odderøya, known for its scenic hiking trails, beaches, and historic landmarks such as Odderøya Fort.

While the city center may be small, Kristiansand offers a wealth of attractions and activities to enjoy. In this article, we’ll dive into practical information about the Kristiansand cruise terminal and share the 7 best things to do in Kristiansand port.

Visit also our cruise port guides to Geirangerfjord, Haugesund, Tromso, Bergen, Stavanger, Olden, Oslo, Alesund

Kristiansand Cruise Port

Kristiansand cruise terminal is located just 1 km/0.6 miles (a 15-minute walk) from the city center, making it easily accessible on foot. The cruise ship terminal can accommodate one cruise ship at a time. Facilities such as restrooms, a tourist information center, and souvenir shops are available in the terminal area.

If the second ship is in port, which rarely happens, another dock located close by is normally used.

A bustling fish market (Fiskebrygga), shops, cafes and restaurants are within a short walk from the port. From the port, you can also easily access attractions like the Kilden Performing Arts Centre and the Art Museum that you’ll spot right from the ship.

Getting Around Kristiansand Port

  • Kristiansand is also a major transportation hub and the city has an extensive bus system that quickly links you with major attractions outside of the city center. A local bus station is easily accessible near the port and you can buy a daily bus ticket at the tourist information office at the terminal. Both cards and cash are accepted.
  • The currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone (NOK). 1 USD = 10,79 NOK; 1 EUR = 11,68 NOK; 1 GBP = 13,63 NOK. Cards are accepted almost everywhere.
  • Kristiansand hop-on hop-off bus operates when cruise ships are in port, providing a convenient way to explore the city and its surroundings. The loop takes 60 minutes and includes stops at eight locations, including the iconic Kristiansand Open-Air Museum and Kristiansand Zoo. The buses run every 30 minutes.
  • Alternatively, a tourist trolley train awaits at the pier and offers guided tours through the city center. It also serves as a shuttle service for a leisurely exploration of the city’s attractions.
  • Taxis are available however they are very expensive.
  • Explore Kristiansand tours and activities

7 Best Things To Do In Kristiansand Cruise Port

1. Kristiansand Museum

Kristiansand Open-Air Museum (aka Kristiansand Museum) lies 6 km/3.7 miles (a 10-minute drive) northeast of the port of Kristiansand. Transporting visitors back in time, this charming museum showcases old houses and artifacts that provide a glimpse into Norway’s rich history and the everyday life of its inhabitants.

Wandering through its streets, you can admire the traditional architecture and the craftsmanship of centuries-old structures. You can learn about local customs, traditions, and everyday life through informative exhibits and interactive displays.

To get to the Kristiansand Museum from the cruise port, you can take a taxi or local bus, rent a car, or join one of the organized tours. The ride to the museum typically takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic. Hop on Hop off bus also stops here, so that might be an alternative option.

Explore Kristiansand Museum tours

2. Odderøya Island

Located just off the coast of Kristiansand within walking distance from the port, Odderøya is a picturesque island known for its recreational opportunities and beautiful nature.

The island was once a military outpost and history buffs can explore the remnants of the well-preserved Odderøya Fort, which stands as a testament to its strategic importance.

Odderøya Lighthouse is another scenic spot easily recognizable by its distinctive red and white tower. The place offers fantastic views of the surrounding coastline and nearby islands.

To get to Odderøya island from the port, take a scenic walk across the bridge connecting the island to the mainland. It takes only a few minutes to reach the island. If you want to visit the fort and the lighthouse, you will need about 30 minutes.

Kristiansand Odderoya Lighthouse
Odderøya Lighthouse. Photo source: Canva Pro

3. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park

Just 14 km/8.7 miles (a 15-20 minute drive) northeast of Kristiansand cruise terminal, Kristiansand Zoo (Kristiansand Dyrepark) is an expansive wildlife park that is home to a wide range of animals from around the world, making it a must-visit destination for visitors of all ages.

Kristiansand Zoo is the largest zoo in Norway, spanning over 150 acres of lush greenery. It is home to lions, playful monkeys, giraffes, elephants and even polar bears.

Besides the animals, the park provides a variety of activities and attractions featuring thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and interactive exhibits. Educational programs on wildlife conservation and animal feeding sessions are also part of the experience.

To reach Kristiansand Zoo from the port, you can take a taxi, rent a car, or use public transportation. Hop on Hop off bus stops at the park.

Kristiansand Zoo
Kristiansand Zoo. Photo source: Canva Pro

4. Kristiansand City Sightseeing

Situated a stone’s throw from Kristiansand cruise port, the city center is a great place to explore and spend your day. Below is the list of the must-see landmarks and attractions:

4.1. Fiskebrygga (Fish Market)

Treat your taste buds to a delightful culinary experience at Fiskebrygga, Kristiansand’s vibrant fish market, located right across from the cruise terminal.

Here, you can indulge in a wide variety of local delicacies, from juicy shrimp to fresh salmon and cod, all sourced directly from the nearby waters. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast wanting to sample the freshest catches of the day or just looking to soak in the bustling ambiance of a traditional fish market, Fiskebrygga is a must-visit!

4.2. Kristiansand Cathedral

Also known as Kristiansand Domkirke, the cathedral was built in the late 19th century and boasts impressive neo-Gothic architecture. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Norway known for its soaring spires and partially wooden interior.

The cathedral is located a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal.

4.3. Posebyen (Old Town)

Posebyen is Kristiansand’s charming historic district known for beautifully preserved wooden houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You can stroll through the cobblestone streets of this picturesque neighborhood and discover quaint shops, cozy cafes and boutiques.

Browse shops offering handmade crafts, artwork, and souvenirs, or take a cup of coffee at a local café and soak in the neighborhood’s atmosphere.

You can easily reach Posebyen within a 25-minute walk from the port.

Kristiansand Fish market
The Fish Quay. Photo source: Canva Pro

4.4. Christiansholm Fortress

A small, round-shaped Christiansholm Fortress guards the entrance of Kristiansand’s harbor. It is a historic military stronghold with roots dating back to the 17th century, built to protect the city from naval attacks.

Today, you can explore the fortress and its well-preserved ramparts, cannons, and barracks, gaining insights into the city’s maritime history and military heritage. Guided tours are available in the summer.

The fort is located a 20-minute walk from the port.

Kristiansand Christiansholm Fortress
Christiansholm Fortress. Photo source: Canva Pro

5. Bystranda Beach (City Beach)

Kristiansand is one of the rare Norwegian cities that boasts a cute little beach perfect for swimming and sunbathing in the summer! Nestled next to the small harbour dominated by Christiansholm Fortress, Bystranda Beach offers a tranquil getaway from the bustling city center.

This small sandy beach is a great spot for relaxation and can get crowded in the summer (high season in June, July and August/September). It is awarded with a Blue flag and boasts crystal-clear waters perfect for a refreshing swim.

More adventurous among you should try out thrilling water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or windsurfing, which are all accessible along the beachfront.

To get to Bystranda Beach from the port, take a stroll through the city center and follow the signs to the shore. In a 20-minute walk you will get there.

6. Cannon Museum

Discover Kristiansand’s rich military heritage at the Cannon Museum, located 10 km/6 miles (a 15-minute drive) south of the Kristiansand cruise port.

Explore the museum’s intriguing collection, which includes cannons, weaponry and artifacts from many centuries and provides insight into Kristiansand’s role in regional defense and warfare.

From antique weapons to modern artillery pieces, each display offers an insight into the city’s history and the important role of Kristiansand in Norwegian military history.

To reach the Cannon Museum from the port, you can take a taxi or public bus, or book a guided tour.

7. Mineralparken

If you are into geology and nature and want to have a fun day with your loved ones, head to Mineral Parken located a 1-hour drive from the port.

Explore the minerals from all over the world and enjoy numerous activities for the whole family, from jewelry workshops, stone figure carving and geodeck cracking to treasure hunts and interactive exhibitions.

You can go ziplining and climbing over the lake in the adventure park, or go kayaking and canoeing around the lake and its charming islands. This amazing destination has it all for visitors of all ages! You can read more on the official webpage

You can get here by public bus (a longer option that is not recommended for cruise passengers), taxi, car or on a guided tour.

Visit also our cruise port guides to Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Invergordon (Inverness), Glasgow (Greenock), Tallinn, Stockholm

You may also like our cruise port guides to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Western Europe, Baltic & Scandinavia, USA & Canada, Australia & New Zealand

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