StavangerNorway's fourth largest city, at 130,000 citizens. It is the largest city in, and the administrative centre of, Rogaland county in West Norway. Stavanger is the centre of the Norwegian oil industry and has the only petroleum museum in Norway. It also has a preserved old town on the west side of a charming waterfront.
Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway, and third largest metropolitan area when nearby Sandnes, Randaberg and Sola are included with a total of some 240,000 people. Stavanger is Norway's most densely populated city. Until around 1950 Stavanger was a typical industrial city with ship yards and Norway's canning capital. During the 1960s Stavanger became an economic backwater and one of the poorest cities in Norway. When the large Ekofisk offshore oil field was discovered in 1969 South-West of Stavanger a new era for the city and for the country began. The influx of oil workers, engineering firms and the estabishment of headquarters for Norway's oil industry changed the city into Norway's richest.
Stavanger is one of Norway's oldest cities and Stavanger or nearby area was a centre of power during the Viking ages. Stavanger became a catholic diocese around 1120 (when the southern part of Western Norway split from Bergen diocese) and the cathedral was founded. The first bishop was probably Reinald, a munk from Enland.
Stavanger Airport, SolaStavanger airport is the third largest in Norway and located at Sola some 15 km from central Stavanger. There are frequent domestic services to other major cities in Norway, as well as some services to minor cities and towns. Discounted domestic plane tickets are usually available at reasonable prices if booked well in advance, even during the summer vacation (although frequencies may be reduced). SAS and KLM serve Stavanger multiple times daily from their hubs at Copenhagen and Amsterdam respectively. AirBaltic flies to their hub at Riga twice a week. SAS and British Airways each operate 2 daily flights to Stavanger from London-Heathrow. Norwegian Air Shuttle has 1 daily flight to London-Gatwick. SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle also operate less frequent flights to a number of other European destinations, including Berlin, Warsaw and leisure destinations in Southern Europe, popular among Norwegians, such as Alicante and Malaga.
Airport Shuttle Buses (online 120 kr one way, 180 kr return, 90 kr child/student/senior/military personnel, 23 minutes) run to downtown Stavanger every 20 minutes (30 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays). Bus line number 42 with one transfer to 7 at Sande terrasse or 2 at Jåsund (35 kr, 40 minutes to 1 hour) runs every 30 minutes (60 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays) weekdays daytime and is cheaper, but slower. Only ONE piece of luggage allowed. Make sure to board the bus in the right direction. Search the schedule for the ones that do .
Haugesund Airport, Karmøy (HAU) (occasionally referred to as Helganes instead of Karmøy) is served by some charter flights and seasonal Ryanair flights from a couple of international destinations.
Public transport to Stavanger is available through Nor-Way Kystbussen (see section "By bus") which corresponds with the airport coach that departs Haugesund Airport after every Ryanair arrival. Through ticket 180 kr. Traveling from Haugesund Airport to Stavanger should take around two hours (private car)/three hours (airport coach + Kystbussen). There is a ferry crossing on the way, charging 95 kr if you bring a private vehicle up to 6 m.
By trainIn addition to providing a scenic route, train travel may be a cheap alternative to flying with prices starting from 249 kr one way for discounted tickets booked well in advance. Tickets are made available for sale three months before departure.
About 8 hours with NSB's train from Oslo via Kristiansand. Reservation is not obligatory on long distance routes.
Stavanger Main stationLong distance tickets can be bought at the counter or over the internet, while tickets for local trains can be bought at the main station in Stavanger, at vending machines, or from the conductor. There is a 40 kr surcharge when buying ticket from the conductor if you board the train from a station with a vending machine. The trains are modern and spacious. The trains to Oslo follow the coast. Sleeping compartments with two beds are available on the night train for a fee of 930 kr.
By busLong distance bus services depart from the downtown bus station. Unless you qualify for certain discounts (student, senior, military, etc.) or travel at times when discounted air or train tickets are hard to come by, bus travel is relatively expensive compared to travel by plane or train. It is however often the best alternative for getting "off the beaten track" without renting a car.
Lavprisekspressen have a route along the coastal highway to Oslo(8 hours), calling at Kristiansand, Arendal, Sandefjord and others along the road. Booking in advance is mandatory for Lavprisekspressen. Nor-Way Bussekspress operates two routes from Stavanger: Kystbussen runs to Bergen and stops in Haugesund. Departures many times a day. Sør-Vestekspressen runs to Kristiansand. It is possible to catch a connecting bus onward to Oslo
By carE39 from Kristiansand or Bergen.
By boatCruise ships dock at the Port of Stavanger, which has four berths, piers 1 (Strandkaien) and 2 (Skagenkaien) in the inner harbor and piers 3 and 4 in the outer harbor. The harbor area is right in town, only a five- to ten-minute walk to most downtown attractions.
Some smaller places in the inner fjords in Rogaland have boat service. Service along the coast from/to Haugesund and Bergen has been discontinued.
By footThe most scenic and interesting part of Stavanger for visitors is the waterfront area of town surrounding the inner harbor like a big "U", all of which is quite walkable. On the west side of the inner harbor is the old town with two museums. Also the Tourist Information Office in Stavanger is located at Strandkaien, next to the harbor between the cruise pier and the historic Old Stavanger. The TI office, open 08:00 - 18:00 in the summer, is a good source of free advice, brochures, maps, and wifi. On the east side is also lots of shops and restaurants, as well as the Petroleum Museum. At the bottom of the "U" is the market plaza and the Stavanger Cathedral. South of the Cathedral is the man-made Lake Breiavatnet, which separates the harbor area from the train and bus stations and more museums. To go much farther afield, some form of transportation might be useful.
By busThe local bus system in Stavanger is part of a Rogaland county bus system and works smoothly. The web page of the company that manages the bus system (Kolumbus) has a very helpful journey planner. Buses in the city center can be caught at the main bus terminal and at bus stops around the city lake, Breiavatnet. Buses are modern and most have areas for wheelchairs and baby carriages.
Rogaland county is divided into five zones (Nord-Jæren, Jæren, Dalane, Ryfylke, and Haugalandet), and Stavanger is in the Nord-Jæren zone. A single ticket will cost kr 33-73 depending on how many zones you traverse, although it can be used again within your last zone within a certain time limit. A better option might be to buy a day-pass for kr 85 (90 with necessary card), which can be used unlimited until midnight. In addition, you can buy the 3-day pass which costs kr 145. One and two-week passes are also available. The airport shuttle bus is very expensive (kr 120 one-way, kr 180 return) and if you are heading to a location outside the centre it may be more worthwhile to take a taxi. However, on workdays, bus no. 9, which travels half-hourly between the airport and the city center, is a much cheaper option than the airport shuttle bus (kr 33 one-way) if you have only one piece of luggage.
By trainLocal trains connect the city center to the southern parts of the city and to the towns and villages further south. There are departures to Sandnes (kr 49, 16 minutes) every 15 minutes during daytime.
By taxiStavanger has different taxi companies, all charging high rates. A typical daytime rate is 35 kr flagfall, 7 kr/started 500 meter and 8 kr/started minute, minimum 110 kr total payable. Expect a surcharge of about 25 % in evening/night/Saturday and a surcharge of about 45 % for Sunday. You can use credit cards to pay through the taxi meters.
During weekends there can be long lines for taxis in downtown area. Try walking out of the city centre and hailing a vacant cab on its way back to downtown.
Gamle StavangerGamle Stavanger is a well preserved slice of Norwegian history. Old winding streets and wooden houses are representative of accommodation from Stavangers days as the canning capital of Norway. Most houses in Old Stavanger are privately owned and well kept.
phone: +47 51 84 27 00address: Øvre Strandgate 88, 4005 StavangerHoused in an authentic cannery that was in operation from 1916 until 1958, the Canning Museum may not seem like the most interesting place to visit, but it is a surprisingly good little museum with a lot of hands-on exhibits. Next to the museum is the Worker's cottage, an authentic 1800s house built in regency style architecture, with the first floor interior decorated c.1920 and the second floor c.1960. Tickets are valid to all open Museums the same day in MUST, which includes the Stavanger Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Canning Museum in Old Stavanger. Stavanger Museum and the Norwegian Children’s Museum, Stavanger Art Museum next to the lake Mosvatnet, and Stavanger School Museum in Hillevåg.
address: Strandkaien 22, 4005 Stavanger.Free audio guide to take you through the entire museum, available upon request at the reception in German, English and Norwegian.
Stavanger CathedralStavanger Cathedral (romanesque style from about 1125, with later Gothic additions) is the best preserved medieval cathedral in Norway and well worth a visit. The church patron saint is Saint Svithun. The pulpit was made by Andrew Smith in the 1650s and the stained glass by Victor Sparre in 1957.
address: Kjeringholmen in central Stavanger waterfrontThe Norwegian Oil Museum is a very interesting building with fascinating information on Norway's oil industry, which got its start on Christmas eve 1969. Displays of submersibles, drilling equipment, a mock oil platform, and audio-visual presentations make for a good few hours. The museum caters to all ages.
address: Øvre HolmegateStreet with vitally coloured houses, having some of Stavangers best cafes and shops.
Museum of Archeaologyaddress: Peder Klowsgate 30 ACollection of archaeological and natural history objects from the county of Rogaland. Gives an introduction to Rogaland’s prehistory from the Stone, Bronze and Viking Ages, and up to the end of the Middle Ages. Café and museum shop.
- Stavanger Kunstmuseum (art museum, part of MUST) is on Mosvatnet Lake, only 2 km from the city center. The museum has a permanent exhibition of Norwegian art, and a rotating exhibition that is sometimes quite spectacular. Be sure to see the Lars Hertervig paintings; you'll see the landscape of the islands just north of Stavanger reflected in his work.
- A good place for a photo opportunity are the (Sverd i fjell, literally Sword in Mountain), a monument outside the centre of Stavanger, beside the Hafrsfjord. The swords themselves are massive and in the background is the fjord. The monument commemorates the battle of Hafrsfjord in the late 800s where Harald Hårfagre beat his eastern opposition and became the first King of Norway.
- Sculptures - In 2000 the mobile installation Another Place by British sculptor Anthony Gormley was placed on and off Sola beach. A few years later a new and permanent installation Broken Column, by the same artist, was placed at various locations surrounding the centre of Stavanger.
- Stavanger Botanic Garden, a botanic garden and parkland.
- Hiking and climbing around Stavanger is the best way to see the fantastic landscape. Many of the trails have been marked out by the Turistforetning with rocks bearing a red "T". Turistforening hyttes (cabins) provide simple accommodation in the mountains. Also mountain bikes can be hired and taken on the trails.
- Solastranden (Sola Beach) is a long sandy beach by the airport. It is very popular in the summer and allows for some small waves for surfing. Along the beach, in the dunes, are the remains of defences from the 1940-45 occupation. Other less populated beaches are all along the coastline although they are sometimes hard to find.
- Ice skating on Stokkavannet - In the depths of winter the government tests the ice on its lakes. Once the official word is given many Norwegians will head for the largest lake, Stokkavannet. The lake itself is located near to Madla about 20 minutes walk/5 minutes bus ride outside of Stavanger. Should the ice not be safe, and you have a compulsion to skate, another option is to visit the Siddishallen, an indoor ice-rink.
There is a Sunday-open grocery store, "Bunnpris", in Nedre Holmegate 11, nearby the Petroleum Museum and Fargegaten ("The coloured street")
phone: +47 90 40 60 70address: Pedersgata 38Probably the best sushi in Stavanger. Take-away and restaurant.
phone: +47 51 84 37 00address: Nedre Strandgate 13Considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Norway. However, they only have seafood, you will not be served meat or poultry.
phone: +47 51532828address: Øvre Holmegate 12It seats 200 people and has an additional bar. They make everything themselves, even the dough is made in house. They also serve babyback ribs.
phone: +47 51654444address: Løkkeveien 24Folken is by far the cheaper place to drink if you bring your Student Card. The music varies in both genre and loudness. Enjoy the summer in Folkens backyard!
phone: +47 51 86 04 76address: Øvre Holmegate 32Definitely the most charming little café in all of Stavanger. Really nice atmosphere and interiors. The eccentrics' favorite.
- On the western side you will find Checkpoint Charlie, a legendary hangout for rockers and students. It is also home to CCAP, a record label that hold Thomas Dybdahl and Popface in their expanding stable. Though its clientel has gradually gotten younger over the years (now around 18-22), it retains much of its old feel. 2 beers for the price of 1 on Thursdays (Lars Hertervigsgt. 5 4005 Stavanger, tel: 51532245 )
- Another bar well worth the visit is Cementen. Situated on the third floor of a concrete building alongside the bay, it has a great view of inner city Stavanger. It is easy to find, just look for the cement mixer hanging from the outside wall seven meters above its entrance. Dance floor. (Nedre Strandgt.25, 4005 Stavanger)
- For the see and be seen crowd, Taket is the place to go (Nedre Strandgt. 15, 4005 Stavanger Tel: 51 84 37 01).
- With Hall Toll the Stavanger night scene has finally gotten a taste of cosmopolitan jet set, complete with drunken bimbos, obnoxious bouncers with headsets and a separate VIP line at the entrance.
- Clubbers are advised to seek out Sting, located next to Valbergstårnet. It is a bit cramped, but they keep great DJs and the atmosphere is inviting. The first floor is cafe style, and basement is a night-club. The rooms to the right when you enter the cafè is traditionally for gay people. If you get tired from dancing there is a lounge area, Indian style, with lots of pillows to lie down on. (Valberget 3, 4006 Stavanger, Tel: 51 89 32 84, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Munken (The Munk) is a traditional bar that serves beer, wine and spirits. Crowd varies a great deal in age (22-72), often many English speakers. Usually not very loud music. Free entrance. Prostebakken -in the Alley by the Dressmann haberdashery.
phone: +47 51 84 37 00address: Nedre Strandgate 13Nåløyet is the closest thing to an everyday pub. The bar is open all days, and get packed on Fridays and Saturdays.
address: Øvre Holmegate 5Perhaps the cheapest Happy Hour in town! Tiny English style pub.
phone: +47 98204200address: Skagen 21One of the best beer pubs in Norway, with a selection of about 500 beers in bottles, and 25 beers on tap. On the second floor cocktails are also available.
phone: +47 51 53 29 71address: Tjensvoll 1B
phone: +47 97 96 67 57 (17-20 GMT+1)address: Baldersgata 7Clean, very basic room rental, one single and one double room available, sharing a bathroom, basic guest kitchen available for preparing breakfast.
phone: +47 51 54 36 36address: Henrik Ibsens gate 19Hostel of rather high standard, all bedrooms ensuite, basic guest kitchen. No alcohol allowed.
Rogalandsheimen Gjestgiveriphone: +47 51 52 01 88address: Muségata 18Typical
Stavanger BBphone: +47 51 52 25 00address: Vikedalsgata 1ATypical hotel. No rooms ensuite, all rooms with small TV sets.
phone: +47 51 51 26 00address: Armauer Hansens vei 20Hostel of very high standard, totally comparable to
phone: +47 51 53 43 27address: Madlaveien 7Typical
phone: +47 51 93 90 00address: Valberggata 1Typical
phone: +47 51 85 05 00address: Kongsgata 32Typical
address: Lagårdsveien 61Typical
phone: +47 21 61 48 00address: Bjødnabeen 2New (2011)
phone: +47 51 76 10 00address: Olav Vs gate 3
Hotels in class **** generally allow a 15-25% discount when booking a room with check-in Friday/check-out Sunday or a booking for minimum three nights during July.
Close to the airport/the Sola Beach should be mentioned:
phone: +47 51 65 04 60address: Solastrandveien 114Typical
phone: +47 51 94 30 00address: Axel Lunds vei 27
During weekends, the small downtown area tend to fill up with intoxicated people. Be careful when wandering around this area late at night, as a some people may have had a few too many to drink.
Night busses run after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, but have higher fares than during the day.
- Laundry - Renseriet Løkkeveien 73 (near Radisson Blu Royal) 51 52 30 05; Kongsgata 40 (near Thon Maritim and Lake Breiavatnet) 51 89 56 53.
- Go south, to rural areas in Jæren. Take a fast-boat to some of the islands like Usken. Go to the family theme park Kongeparken close to Ålgård.
- Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) is a massive 600 metres vertical cliff that sits on the edge of the Lysefjord. Its top is a natural lookout of several hundred square metres, almost perfectly flat, and the rock is the region's main tourist attraction, and one of the nation's landmarks.
- The Kjerag is almost double the altitude of Preikestolen but the access is more difficult. It is further into the Lysefjord. There you can find the Kjeragboltn. There is a bus that can take you there runs from Stavanger and Sandnes by Tide Reiser. It operates from mid June to the beginning of September. It is not possible to see both Kjerag and Preikestolen in one day.
- The Lysefjord runs 45 km deep underneath both these plateaus. Several options for cruising this fjord, among others Tide
If the climb sounds too rough, you can take a fjordcruise, leaving the harbour most days at noon and returning 3,5 hours later, kr 450. If you want to both cruise and hike, there's also a 10am summer cruise + hike option which first cruises through Lysefjord then a bus takes you to hike Pulpit rock, kr 850.