Part of the charm of Kristiansand lies in its Renaissance style, particularly of the Kvadraturen Quadrant with its formal street plans and elegant buildings. The town is also home to some of the best beaches in southern Norway, while just offshore there are small islands dotted with white houses, many of which have beautifully tended gardens.
The Christiansholm fortress on the waterfront dates from 1674 has only been used once in anger and is perfectly preserved offering great views out over the sea from the top of its two-metre thick walls. The tower of the Kristiansand Domkirke is also a great spot for seeing the town from above. As a building it is rather less attractive than the Oddernes Kirke, one of the oldest parish churches in Norway, parts of which date back nearly a thousand years.
Don't miss Posebyen, Kristiansand’s Old Town district. Posebyen is packed with tiny but very attractive traditional houses, dating from the 17th century when the city was founded by King Christian IV. Said to be the most characteristic area in Kristiansand, Posebyen is well worth a visit.