Grimstad is a harbor place, surrounded by many small islands. Visitors are often charmed by the white-painted wooden buildings, narrow streets, and picturesque alleyways. The archipelago outside Grimstad comprises an array of beautiful islands and islets, and many are designated recreation areas and open to the public. During summer the islands are packed with boating enthusiasts, and the guest harbour is full of tourists having arrived by sea.
Grimstad is where Henrik Ibsen spent part of his youth and wrote his first play, and it is also where Knut Hamsun lived the final years of his life. The Ibsen Museum in Grimstad is the country's oldest of its kind and comprises the pharmacy where Henrik Ibsen worked and lived.