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526km (326 miles) SE of Bergen; 342km (212 miles) SW of Oslo

The fifth-largest city in Norway, with some 75,000 inhabitants, is called Sommerbyen, or "the Summer City." We agree with this appellation, having been here on a winter visit when many of the attractions were closed for the season.

Visitors heading to Bergen and the fjord country often arrive in Norway at Kristiansand S (not to be confused with Kristiansund N in the north). The biggest city and an important port of Sørtlandet (the south coast), Kristiansand S offers the most attractions, the largest number of hotels and restaurants, and the most activities of any town along the southern coast.

Founded by King Christian in 1641, Kristiansand S is a busy port and industrial center, yet it has many charming old streets and antique houses clustered cozily together.

Kristiansand S is the largest town in the south and Norway's largest ferry port. Kvadraturen, "the quadrant," is known for its right-angled street plan that was influenced by the Renaissance period's strict adherence to form. Markens is the town's pedestrian precinct and meeting place.