The harbour town of Kristiansund is spread out across four beautiful islands and is famous for its traditional clipfish industry. Combine a visit to the historic old town of Innlandet island with a tour of the town’s newer outer areas, which had to be rebuilt after extensive bombing during World War 2, to experience two distinctive architectural styles. The modern buildings of the new area, such as the extraordinary Kirkelandet church, also pay homage to the city’s heritage with features and shapes designed to evoke the clipfish wharves.

Kristiansund is also renowned for its annual opera festival, as well as its approximately 100 opera performances throughout the year. There is even an annual outdoor performance of “Donna Bacalao”, an opera about workers in the clipfish industry (with a hint of romance, of course).


The Norwegian Klipfish Museum – This fascinating museum is housed within an original clipfish wharf from 1749 on the island of Gomalandet, and gives an excellent insight into the beginning of the Norwegian clipfish industry. The wooden beams still smell faintly of dried fish and salt!

The Opera impulses – The opera impulses are a two-week spectacular opera festival held every February. Kristiansund’s unusual fascination with opera began with the local clipfish exporting companies, who were exposed to it on the European continent and brought their interest back home with them. Kristiansund’s classical music and theatre scene was already thriving from the early 19th century onwards. At the turn of the century local composers began writing and producing their own operas, including the famous Donna Bacalao, an opera about the local clipfish industry.