The heart of Southern Norway

Sailing out of Arendal through the Galtesund strait. Photo: Port of Arendal

Why Arendal?

The city of Arendal harbours the perfect combination of historical ambiance and big city vibes. Reflected in the opulent ocean front architecture is a heritage of grandeur and The Age of Sail. A tranquil coastline with rows of charming homes and boathouses is offset by The Pollen, a vibrant string of cafes and shops only a few feet away. Timber, trade and iron ores are key words to the history of Arendal. One of the first iron works was established here, as well as shipping and timber export. It is a city surrounded by islands connected by bridges and ferry services. The Raet Maritime National Park is part of coastal Arendal and a fascinating result of rock deposits from the last Ice Age. The moraine is visible above and below the waterline and attracts diving and research teams from around world.

What to see & do in Arendal

The rolling rock beaches of Tromøy are a spectacular sight unique to the south of Norway.

The archipelago along the coast of Arendal has a particular mix of larger and smaller islets, and can be seen by foot, from a bus or experienced on board a ferry or rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The city centre offers plenty of shopping and cosy cafes. Sample local seafood on the docks like the peel-and-eat North Atlantic shrimp or a bowl of fish soup. There are bakeries and a chocolate factory all within walking distance. The glass lift provides a breathtaking view of the entire city and the surrounding islands. Climb the streets to the hills above the docks and admire the many homes and gardens and seascape views. Museums, oyster farms and flower and herb nurseries are among many other attractions in the region. A visit by boat to the island of Merdø will make you pinch your arm and dream of island living.

Who is this destination suitable for?

Arendal offers seascape views and activities for all ages. You may want to relax, go people watching at the docks or venture out of town on a variety of shore excursions available. Anyone with a particular interest in maritime history may visit a dockyard or museum, either by bus or RIB. The glass lift up to a bird’s eye view is also wheelchair accessible. The lighthouses can be reached by RIB or why not embark on a real sailboat? RIB safaris are widely available and can take you in and out of inlets for a close-up view of the many islands and rolling rock beaches. The Raet Maritime National Park is a marvel to anyone whether you have an interest in geology or simply enjoy the outdoors. With bike rentals for all ages and outdoor zipline climbing parks, there are activities for the whole family.