Top things to do in Southern Norway

Top Choice Museum in Egersund

Egersund Fayancemuseum

A walkable 1.5km northeast of Egersund centre, this well-designed museum (squirrelled away in an unprepossessing shopping centre), houses the wares of Egersund Fayance, the ceramic and porcelain firm that sustained …
Top Choice Museum in Grimstad

Ibsenhuset Museum

Norway's favourite playwright, Henrik Ibsen, washed up in Grimstad in January 1844. The house where he worked as a pharmacist's apprentice, and where he lived and first cultivated his interest in writing, has been c…
Top Choice Railway in Rjukan

Gaustabanen Cable Railway

Gaustabanen runs 860m deep into the core of Gausta before a different train climbs an incredible 1040m, alongside 3500 steps at a 40-degree angle, to 1800m, just below the Gaustahytte, not far from the summit. It wa…
Top Choice Gallery in Kristiansand

Sørlandets Kunstmuseum

This exceptional regional art museum focuses on both fine and craft-based practices, and the collection includes some particularly strong contemporary work from local, Norwegian and Nordic artists. There is a bright…
Top Choice Cafe in Kristiansand

Mean Bean

Owner Steinar Svenning roasts coffee for Mean Bean and its sibling, Cuba Life, under the Mean Bean name. This wonderful high-ceilinged space has, naturally, fabulous coffee but the friendly staff here also serve up …
Top Choice Church in Notodden

Heddal Stave Church

This fairy-tale church is the largest and one of the most beautiful of Norway's 28 remaining stave churches. As always, it's constructed around Norwegian pine support pillars, 12 large ones and six smaller ones, all…
Top Choice Old Town in Fredrikstad

Gamlebyen

The timbered houses, moats, gates and drawbridge of the Fredrikstad Gamlebyen are simply enchanting. The perimeter walls, once defended by 200 cannons, now consist of grassy embankments that make for a very pleasant…
Top Choice Museum in Rjukan

Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum

This museum, 7km west of Rjukan, is in the Vemork power station, which was the world's largest when completed in 1911. These days it honours the Socialist Workers' Party, which reached the height of its Norwegian ac…
Top Choice Neo Nordic in Kristiansand

Bønder i Byen

A beautiful extended riff on Norway's spectacular produce and on the country's rural life, Bønder i Byen's menu is both gorgeous to read, with its redolent roll call of local farmers, and to eat. This is one place o…
Top Choice Seafood in Arendal

Blom Restaurant

The most upmarket of the Pollen harbour crowd, Blom provides a respite from the overfilled plates and boozy vibe that sometimes wins out at the other waterside places. Mains are elegantly traditional (instead of fis…