Mandal is a very popular holiday resort, with its mild and refreshing summer climate. It is famous for its long-stretching beaches surrounding the town. Sjøsanden (The Sea Sand) is the most famous beach, as it stretches for almost a kilometre just outside the town centre. It is frequently ranked as one of Norway's most popular beaches.
The city center is known for its charming concentration of old, white wooden houses and the Mandal river running through it.