Arendal is a sleepy picturesque town near the southern tip of Norway. This quintessential Norwegian village is posted with colorful buildings, and brick-lined streets that run right to the harbor’s edge. Like elsewhere in Norway, Arendal is a town that manages to combine its history of the shore and sea into a unique blend that creates its identity. In this town guests will see many small museums, and historic churches. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Arendal!
1. Vitensenteret Sørlandet
Located right near the Galtesund waterway is the Vitensenteret Sorlandet, a science center that is a fun experience for children and adults alike. The center has exhibits that feature, mathematics, health, energy sources, and maritime technologies. Guests can experience various experiments, and interactive activities within each exhibit that aim to teach guests important knowledge for the future. The center is also host to various programs during school breaks, as well as birthday parties and other private events. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm, and from Saturday to Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. Admission tickets are free for guests under the age of 2, 10.55 USD for children and adults, 8.79 USD for a third ticket, and 9.38 USD for students.
Address: Kystveien 2, 4836 Arendal, Norway
2. Trinity Church
Located right in the historic center of Arendal is the Trinity Church, a 285-foot high (87 meters) church that towers above the rest of the town. The church’s name is the Church of Holy Trinity, and is matched with the neo-Gothic architecture style. The church was consecrated in 1888, and is actually the 3rd church of its name in the city as the first two were demolished. The Holy Trinity Church is home to the 4th largest pipe organ in all of Norway. The German-Roman style organ, originally built in Germany, has round 3900 pipes that range from 1 inch (4 millimeters) to 22 feet (7 meters) high. The church is open from Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 am to 3:30 pm during the summer months, which is usually from June to August.
Address: Friergangen 2, 4836 Arendal, Norway
Website: Trinity Church
3. Merdøgård Museum
Located about a 15 minute drive, and short ferry ride to one of the outer island of Merdø, is the Merdøgård Museum. On this quaint island travellers can get an idea of what the simple coastal life of older Norway was like. The island was once a very important port in the Sorlandet area that had a customs station, school, post office, and more. The island has a great combination of sand beaches and rock shores that make for very photogenic scenery. The museum on Merdøgård is a small farm, whose main building dates back to 1736. The museum provides hourly tours during the summer seasons. Guests should know that the ferry to the island costs about 5.33 USD (one-way). Take in this tiny islands beauty on a lovely afternoon and get a glimpse of older Norway.
Address: Merdo, Arendal 4818, Norway
4. Eydehavn Museum
About a 15 minute drive north up the Rv410 is the Eydenhaven Museum. This small museum features exhibits about the local industrial and working history of the area. There are two special features of the local businesses: Arendal Smelting (AS), and The Norwegian Nitridaktieselskap. Another exhibit, Maren’s Memories, shows guests the daily life on the farm Helle at Neskilen during the turn of the 20th century. The walking exhibit through the streets of Eydehavn is technically a part of this museum, and allows guests to learn about local history through the streets named after historical people. Previous guests were very happy with how interesting and personable the museum is. They got to learn a lot about this town’s role as a working class city and its impact on the country of Norway.
Address: Nesgata 11, 4810 Eydehavn, Norway
5. Hove and Spornes
Hove and Sporns is a recreational area on the island of Tromoy, which sits just off Arendal’s coast. The natural beauty of the park is enhanced differently during each season. It’s a beautiful coastal park, with both sandy beaches as well as rocky shores. Guests enjoy walking and hiking through the park and enjoying the calm and peaceful scenery.
Hove and Spornes
Address: Hoveveien 100, 4818 Færvik, Norway
6. Bjellanstrand Gard
Bjekkanstrand Gard is a community farm also located on Tromøya Island, towards the northern end. The farm has been operational since the 1600s, and since 1996 it has been home to a café, rose garden, and therapy garden. The farm makes a great setting for weddings, and the food provided is some of the best in the area. The owners want this place to be somewhere guests can come to relax and unwind. It a time to appreciate simple pleasures and reinvigorate spirits.
Address: Bjellandveien 87 | Faervik, Arendal 4818, Norway
Website: Bjellanstrand Gard (in Norwegian)
7. Kløcker's House
Right in the center of the historical area is Kløcker’s House - Arendal Museum a local museum that depicts the life of a wealthy family that lived there in Arendal past. Parts of the house are from the 1600s, and some of the furniture dates back to the 1800s. Also at the museum is the old village shop, which sells old-fashioned candy, jams, periodicals, and photos. To add to the museum’s quirkiness, it is also home to the world’s largest collection of model ships displayed in glass bottles. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm, and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Often the museum updates any hours of operation on their Facebook page, so it’s a good idea to check there if you intend to stop by.
Address: Nedre Tyholmsvei 14, 4836 Arendal, Norway
Website: Kløcker’s House
8. Eat in lush gardens at the Bjellandstrand Gard
The Bjellandstrand Gard brings beautiful lush gardens and a playground for the kids. There are rabbits for them to look at as well. Most importantly, the food in the restaurant is wonderful. You may eat indoors or enjoy the outdoor area. Combine it with your exploration of the nearby nature trails. It’s set on a farm that also offers horseback riding, swimming, and kayaking.
There is a buffet upstairs, and you’ll find a creperie set in the gardens. Enjoy the roses as you dine on French cuisine or try their delicious homemade cakes. The coffee and waffles is also a nice sweet treat.
Address: Bjellandveien 87 | Faervik, Arendal 4818, Norway
Website: Bjellandstrand Gard
9. Browse the artworks at Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall
Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall is a large former textile factory that was constructed in the 1800s. The gallery has special functions and even concerts five times every year, plus a permanent collection of contemporary art. These are taken from the leading artists in the country. They offer guided tours for groups, and children can attend a teaching programme.
There is free entrance and the exhibitions open in the afternoons every day except Mondays. If you are an art-lover, the gallery is well worth visiting for a few hours. The nice surroundings are aesthetic and pleasing as well.
Address: Oddenveien 5, Arendal 4847, Norway
Website: Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall
Town of fantasy
Time in Arendal seems slower, and certainly not in a bad way. The lifestyle of the town is that which endorses the simple life, taking the time to enjoy friends, family, good food, and beautiful scenery. Guests should come here to rejuvenate themselves and find something new in the small and meandering streets of this town from Norway’s past.
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