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Arendal has gone from being a small southern village, based around seven small islands, to become the tenth largest town in Norway in terms of population. Other villages in the municipality include Tromøy, Rykene, Eydehavn, Strengereid, Kongshamn, Kilsund, and Hisøy.


Tyholmen is the old part of the town, with a number of uniquely preserved houses and buildings from 1600-1900, including the town museum and the town hall. Awarded the Europa Nostra Silver medal in 1992 for the preservation and adaption to modern use.

Tyholmen captures the identity of the town of Arendal with its rows of impressive wooden buildings along the Pollen and Rådhusgaten streets, as well as the picturesque collection of small houses at Øvre Tyholmen.

The inner harbour of Arendal is Pollen and Tyholmen, where the fish market, pubs, and restaurants are located.