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The town of Kristiansund is situated right on the coast of the Northwest region and has magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Road as its nearest neighbour. A trip around the city's four islands, also known as ‘lands’ – Innlandet (the inland), Kirkelandet (church land), Nordlandet (north land) and Gomalandet – offer the chance to experience bustling harbour life, distinctive surroundings and unique culinary experiences.

Kristiansund goes by many names: ‘the Atlantic town’, ‘the town floating in the sea’ and ‘the town of klippfisk (salted dried cod)’. Pay this intimate and welcoming town a visit and experience its wonderful urban atmosphere. The autumn promises crisp, fresh air, and at times it even rains sideways. It’s remarkable to experience the elements in Kristiansund, right on the edge of the coast of the Northwest region, with breath-taking views of the open sea, with the Atlantic Ocean as its nearest neighbour.

Rebuilt in colour

Kristiansund is known as the ‘polychrome town’ because of its characteristic, colourful houses and built-up areas. The city was practically wiped out in 1940 and almost 900 houses burned down after the bombing during World War II. Kristiansund lost much of its distinctive old character, but you can still see traces of this bygone era when visiting the old town, situated on the lower part of Innlandet.

The city was resurrected with a new character, namely the fresh and cheerful colours that give life to today's houses. The houses at the centre of Kirkelandet have been deliberately built with their gable walls facing towards the street or quay, just as on the old klippfisk quays. It would be remiss not to mention that salted and dried cod made Kristiansund Norway's undisputed capital of klippfisk for a couple of hundred years, up until the Second World War.

Try the famous salted cod at one of the city's restaurants

Town life and activities

Kristiansund is a small town with an urban vibe, world-class food, rich cultural offerings and many activities in the town centre.

Most of the town's restaurants serve klippfisk in one form or another, such as the specialty dish fisha'n (fish and chips) as well as other popular international dishes. You can also just relax and enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafés dotted around the city centre.

Kristiansund is known as both the town of opera and the town of photography, in reference to its splendid opera programme, including the big winter Opera Festival, and the international Nordic Light Photo Festival that attracts world-class photographers.

See a concert or another event on the city stage in Kristiansund – Kulturfabrikken – situated in the charming district of Vågen. The area can be characterised as a site of homogenous cultural heritage linked to coastal culture. The shipyard that was built here in 1856 is still in operation. In the heart of Vågen, you can taste coffee from the city's very own coffee roastery several days a week and do a little shopping in the museum café.

Botanical coastal garden and other sights

The seafront is an important attraction in Kristiansund, while the town's green lungs are a lush place to visit just a short distance from the city centre. The Kringsjå/Vandndammene area is a lovely place to walk, with extraordinarily rich and varied vegetation, and is an outstanding botanical coastal garden. The area is the perfect place for activities, playing and park life, and its wide gravel paths are great for bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs.

Kirkelandet church is situated by the park and is regarded as the first truly modern church building in Norway. The church is an interesting sight as its distinctive style stands out and breaks with traditional church architecture.

Experiences in nature

The park in Kristiansund has several viewpoints, and along the paths are benches, a playground and fitness equipment. There are short walks to choose from, such as around the Vanndamman ponds, or longer trips right out to the open sea. The walk along the Havstien sea trail takes you all the way down to the seashore, while the view from the Varden viewpoint tower gives you a 360-degree view of the sea, mountains and town. The tower is open throughout the year and is free of charge.

For a bit more speed and excitement, check out the amazing skate park that has a big bowl and flybox integrated out to the street area. The Atlantic waterpark, Atlanterhavsbadet, is a place where families of all ages can get a soaking. For young children, Kristiansund is also home to Møre og Romsdal's largest indoor playground.

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