Once a picturesque port town, Stavanger has grown into one of the biggest oil hubs in Europe. Today the city blends old and new, with the charm-soaked historic district standing alongside modern enclaves. The enchanting Old Town captivates visitors with its cobblestone streets and lively café scene, while a handful of museums chart the rich history, heritage and culture of the coastal city.
Things to do in Stavanger
Stroll around Stavanger’s Old Town to get a feel for what life was like in the 18th century. The streets are lined with beautifully preserved wooden buildings, most painted white and decorated with colourful flower boxes. The waterfront is dotted with al fresco cafes and restaurants that are perfect for enjoying a leisurely lunch or sundowner.
Stavanger is home to museums covering a variety of fascinating topics. Norsk Oljemuseum spotlights the evolution of North Sea oil exploration, while Canning Museum recalls the city’s booming sardine industry. The excellent Norwegian Children’s Museum is great for families.
From chef-driven restaurants to trendy cafes, there are plenty of places to wine and dine in Stavanger. For a glimpse at where many establishments source their seafood, duck into the bustling Torget Fish Market.
Stavanger is a great launchpad for Lysefjorden, a stunning fjord surrounded by sheer granite cliffs. Boat cruises take you into the cinematic fjord, which stretches for more than 40 kilometres. The hike to Preikestolen takes you to a flat-topped rock that juts out over Lysefjorden and is one of the most photographed natural wonders in Norway.
Getting around Stavanger
Stavanger is easy to get around on foot, while buses are a fast and affordable way to get around. Parking is available throughout the city and trains run between Stavanger and Oslo in about eight hours. Oslo Airport is an eight-hour drive away.