In addition to the three daily trains to / from Stavanger and the four to / from Oslo, there is an overnight service. Passangers to Oslo can board in the evening and go to sleep in one of two sleeping cars parked at the station, which are connected to the Oslo train later. Likewise, when travelling from Oslo, the two Kristiansand sleepers are disconnected, and you can keep on sleeping till morning. There is no such service for people travelling to and from Stavanger, though :-(
There are 3 bus companies that runs express buses from Oslo to Kristiansand.
Sørlandsskspressen: (no booking needed)
Timetable in English
Konkurrenten: (no booking needed)
Timetable in Norwegian
Lavprisekspressen (second link from the bottom, requires booking online)
Timetable in Norwegian
The ferry connects Hanstholm in Denmark with Kristiansand in Norway. Due to the highspeed catamaran the journey lasts only two hours. Furthermore it is very cheap. A roundtrip for one passenger starts at 13€. A car begins at 25€. It is the same concept which is used by low fare airlines. The earlier you do a reservation, the cheaper it is. In summer the ferry connects the countries four times a day in each direction, off season it's two times a day.
Since the centre of Kristiansand is only 1 square kilometer its fairly easy to get around. Most hotels and places-to-see lies in or adjacent to the city centre so its no more then a 10-15 minute stroll to get from A to B. Even though the centre is quite small the distances to 'boroughs' arond the centre isn't, so if you're planning a trip out of town, take the bus. It isn't expensive and is fairly easy to understand.
Several bus companies run express routes along the coast between Stavanger - Kristiansand - Oslo. The bus terminal in Kristiansand is situated in the same area as the train station and the ferry terminal.
Nor-Way Bussekspress: http://www.nor-way.no/nbeweb/show.do?page=150;1081
There are four departures daily between Kristiansand and Hirtshals, except mondays, when there are only three: Two (one) with the car ferry M/S Christian IV (4 1/2 hours), and two with the high-speed passanger ferry F/F Silvia Ana (2 1/2 hours).
The ferry terminal is very close to the railway station. The red building on the right side of the picture is the boarding area for the overnight train, the "tube" in the background is the ferry boarding gate.
On a few occasions I took a taxi in Kristiansand, either by catching it on the roadside or calling for service.
Fast, accurate, service minded.
There is a taxi stand just across the parking area from the railway station - and the ferry harbour.
There are two competing taxi companies:
Hail them on the street or call 3802800 for "Taxi Sør" ("taxi south").
Likewise for Agder Taxi - 38002000.
The train schedule Kristiansand-Oslo as of 8 January 2005:
09:10 (arr Oslo 13:56)
14:20 (arr Oslo 18:58)
16:20 (arr Oslo 20:58)
18:20 (arr Oslo 22:58)
02:15 (arr Oslo 07:26)
07:11 (arr Krsand 11:38)
11:11 (arr Krsand 15:42)
15:11 (arr Krsand 19:42)
17:11 (arr Krsand 21:38)
22:47 (arr Krsand 03:54)
There are 6 trains to/from Stavanger daily, some of them are through trains to/from Oslo.
Cheapest fares are about NOK 400 one way Oslo-Kristiansand. More expensive, but immensely more comfortable than the bus...
At the harbour you can catch one of several ships that go to and from Newcastle and Göteborg, like the one that I did which is run by DFDS Seaways. You can stay on the ship in one of their nice cabins whilst it travels to your destination. They have all sorts of things to keep you interested on your stay like cinemas, a casino, bars, restaurants, saunas, solariums, live music and dance shows.
make sure you´ve got a free place for your car when you go by ferry from e.g. Hirtshals in Denmark. You can reserve a place via the internet.
We didn´t do this, arrived at 11 pm by car in Hirtshals at the harbour and they told us, the ship is fully booked....uff, we were startled, what to do know? Fortunately they could put us on the waiting list and finally there was a last place free for us......
If you travel by feet, there won´t be a problem.
The journey will take 6 hours.
Traveling from the south up the west coast of Norway, you must be prepaired to take many ferries.
The south coast can also be traveled by train Oslo - Stavanger.
Speedlimits (with a few exeptions) are 80/50 km/hour. There are very few freeways, so expect your average driving-time to be slower than in sentral Europe. The fines for speeding are high! (almost 300 Euro / US$)