Norway’s energy capital has an international feel and a fascinating street art scene.
The country's oil HQ may not strike you as the most obvious city to visit, but Stavanger has a lot going for it. The oil wealth (known as the “black gold”) means the city has a genuine international feel to it, which is reflected in its restaurants, bars and shops.
Stavanger is a good base from which to explore the nearby Lysefjord, home to two of Norway's most famous attractions: Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten.
Preikestolen – Pulpit Rock in English – is a flat cliff top that overhangs the fjord, offering a truly remarkable view across the fjord. It's one of the most popular hikes in all of Norway. Here's one writer's recollection of the hike. Just be wary of the crack! If you don't fancy the hike and prefer to take things easy, you can explore the fjord by boat instead.
Things to do in Stavanger
The National Petroleum museum might sound like a bore but actually offers a lot to keep kids happy while the adults learn more about the industry that shaped the city. Stavanger's street art is worth exploring, as is the picturesque Old Town. The city is home to many festivals and events throughout the year. Here's our thoughts on the top sights in Stavanger.
But there's a lot more to Stavanger than first meets the eye. Don't miss the colourful street Øvre Holmegate, home to interesting cafes and shops. To stretch those legs, why not explore some of the coastal paths and beaches near Stavanger?
Where to stay
For most of the year Stavanger functions as an important business destination, so most accommodation is geared towards that market. This means that many central hotels can be both expensive and difficult to book at short notice. Overnight capacity remains a problem in and around Stavanger, so be sure to book hotels as far in advance as you can.
- Hotel review: Best Western Havly (central location)
- Hotel review: St. Svithun (budget-friendly option)
- Search all accommodations in Stavanger
Stavanger's public transport consists of public buses in and around the city, and some ferry routes to hard-to-reach places including Lysebotn, Ryfylke, Tau, Kvitsøyruten, Hjelmeland, Haugesund and the city islands. Here's our guide to getting around Stavanger.
Before you visit Oslo, here's a quick checklist of important things:
- Guidebook: The Moon Norway guidebook is the most up-to-date on the market
- Accommodation: Book your hotel in advance and save money
- Car Rental: Secure the best rates by reserving your car of choice in advance
- Travel Insurance: Don't run the risk of travelling to Norway without adequate cover
- VPN: Secure your smartphone's internet connection while you travel
- Tours & activities: Save money by pre-booking tours & activities