Kristiansand, Norway's fifth-largest city, calls itself 'Norway's No 1 Holiday Resort'. That can be a bit misleading: sun-starved Norwegians do flock here in the summer, but for everyone else it serves more as a gateway to the seaside villages of Norway's southern coast and the inland region of Setesdalen. The claim also reflects a newfound confidence that has seen the city clean up its environmental act (it was until a decade ago infamous for its pollution). What Kristiansand can offer though is a lively cultural and shopping scene, great restaurants and a healthy nightlife. In addition, anyone travelling with children will more than likely find themselves cajoled into visiting the town's outstanding children's park and zoo.