Kristiansund lies right at the ocean's edge out on the coast of Nordmøre, and the city has Norway's best and finest natural harbour right in the city centre. The area has been populated for more than 10,000 years, and one believes that the first Norwegians settled here.
Kristiansund was nearly wiped out in 1940; nearly 900 houses were demolished by fire after the town was bombed during the Second World War. The task of reconstructing the city was quickly put in motion by a group of experts within city planning and architecture, headed by Professor in architecture, Sverre Pedersen. The city the visitor encounters in 2007 has been built up over the past 50 years. The town lost its distinctive character, though traces of the old town can still be seen in the lower part of Innlandet. But the new town acquired a character on its own. Note particularly the gaily painted houses, see how Kirkelandet's city centre has turned the gables of its houses to face the street or quay; this is how the old klippfish wharves were built. Kristiansund is a clean, beautiful and open city surrounding a natural harbour.
On the North Sea coast, Kristiansund is built on four islands linked together by bridges. Sheltered by these islands, we find is Norway's finest natural harbour with three approach routes and good depth. The fishing community of Grip - still part of the town - lies 14 km off the coast.
Several flights daily to Oslo and Bergen and Stavanger. Express boat between Kristiansund and Trondheim 3 times daily. Bus service to Molde, Trondheim, Sunndal, Surnadal, Oppdal and local bus routes. Hurtigruten calls daily on its north and southbound voyage. Mainland connection to E39/Highway 70. Connected to Averøy/Atlantic Road through Atlanterhavstunnelen F 64 (underwater tunnel).
Population: about 23.000.
· Grip - island community 14 km off the coast. Accessible by boat between May and August, available for booking throughout the year; www.gripruta.no
· Sundbåten - the world's oldest public transport in continuous use, scheduled departures for harbour round trips. Also guided tours every day during summer.
· Vågen Coastal Heritage Centre with Mellemværftet, a veteran shipyard run as a museum, the Norwegian Klippfish Museum and several other museum institutions.
· Gamlebyen - the Old Town - on Innlandet with Dødeladen Café, quayside cultural institutions, Lossiusgården, etc.
· Varden with a 360° panoramic view over the area, and Kringsjå and Vanndammane park areas.
· Atlanterhavsbadet, indoor waterpark, open all year.
· Kristiansund is the gateway to the Atlantic Road on Averøy, Kristiansund's nearest neighbour to the west. Easy access to Averøy/Atlantic Road through Atlanterhavstunnelen (R64).
· Freikollen is the highest mountain with its 629 above sea level. From here one may enjoy the view of Kristiansund and the ocean, while on the other side you will have a great view of the fjords and the mountains.
· Kvalvik Fort is located at Kvalvika on the island of Frei. This is an old coastal fort from the Second World War. Bunkers and canons in beautiful surroundings. Great spots for fishing.
Kristiansund is Norway's klipfish capital. Klipfish is dry and salted cod. The city`s speciality is the dish bacalao and klipfish dishes in all the restauarants and most of the cafés in town. In addition there are snackbars that serve another of Kristiansund's specialities - real fish and chips, locally called "fishan". Kristiansund has Norway's most active supply base; the petroleum industry lies just outside the town, bringing a large number of supply vessels and special craft to the harbour, while helicopters fly in from and out to the platforms in the North Sea.
As a cultural town, Kristiansund has a great deal to offer. The opera in Kristiansund is one of two opera companies in Norway, and it puts on approx. 100 performances every year. Between 600 and 700 young people dance here. Other yearly cultural happenings are the Opera Festival Week, Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, the Klipfish Festival, the Tahiti Festival, local history in the opera "Donna Baccalao" and Kristiansund Church, Art, and Culture Festival, to mention a few.
Kristiansund has numerous hotels, one motel, two camping sites and also fishermen's cabins for rent. Several restaurants which serves good, local food such as Bacalao and "ballj". The city is known for its lively social life with several cafés, pubs/bars, several discos and its excellent shopping facilities. Many large and small shops in the pedestrian precincts and shopping areas. Shopping mall directly in the city centre.