Beautiful fjords, white beaches, and high mountains - it’s Stavanger! The city that was once designated the European Capital of Culture is home to numerous universities and research institutions. For these reasons, Stavanger has a lively ambiance, offering many shopping and dining opportunities. In 1969, Stavanger was the highest ranking city in the Norwegian economy, due to its first discovered oil field. Nowadays, Stavanger is the capital of the oil and energy industry, in Europe. But there’s plenty more to Stavanger than oil! Read this list of the best things to do in this Norwegian city.
1. Old Stavanger
Old Stavanger includes about 170 wooden buildings, dating back to the 18th century. The small, white cottages received several awards for their preservation and charm. Old Stavanger was a pilot project, carried out in Norway during the United Nations’ Architectural Heritage Year, in 1975. Old Stavanger is a picturesque area with many galleries and boutiques. There is also the Stavanger Maritime and Norwegian Canning Museum, here.
Address: 4001, Stavanger, Norway
2. Norwegian Canning Museum
Denne reklameplakaten ble laget for Stavanger Preserving ca 1910. Her skulle det reklameres for firmaets varemerke "...Posted by Norsk hermetikkmuseum on Tuesday, 25 April 2017
The Norwegian Canning Museum was built in the former canning factory, at Øvre Strandgate 88, in Old Stavanger. The museum shows an authentic factory environment and details the production of canned brisling fish balls. The canning industry in Stavanger was a significant trade, between 1890 and 1960. The exhibitions here present insight into the working conditions and environment of the canning factories. You can see the complete process here, from the arrival of the fresh fish to when the cans are ready to leave the factory.
Norwegian Canning Museum
Address: . STRANDGT. 88, 4005 STAVANGER
3. Stavanger Maritime Museum
Stavanger Maritime Museum showcases the maritime history of southwestern Norway. The vast collections display artifacts, photographs, archives, and documentation from shipping. The museum also features two sailing ships, that illustrate the maritime cultural heritage of the region.
Stavanger Maritime Museum
Address: Nedre Strandgate 17, Stavanger
Website: Stavanger Maritime Museum
4. Norwegian Petroleum Museum
The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is an insight into the creation, discovery and production of oil in this part of the world. The museum explains the whole process that oil undergoes and also the ways that it is used, after processing. The exhibition features original objects, films, and models, showing daily production, including technology and dramatic incidents.
Besides all this, there is the new “North Sea Divers” exhibition, illustrating the new project of divers, in the North Sea. The exhibition shows the hard work the divers have done. The museum also features a cinema, where you can watch 3D movies. Moreover, there is a souvenir shop and a museum café, called Bølgen & Moi, which provides a stunning sea view.
Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Address: Kjeringholmen 1A, 4006 Stavanger, Norway
Website: Norwegian Petroleum Museum
5. Pulpit Rock
One of the most famous Norway’s attractions, Pulpit Rock is a natural phenomenon, standing about 600 meters (1968.5 feet) above the Lysefjord. Pulpit Rock is one of the most photogenic places in the country, due to its spectacular views, and it was designated one of the world’s most spectacular viewpoints, by Lonely Planet. The cliff edge, in the shape of a square, has an area of about 25 square meters (269.1 square feet) and was probably shaped by the expansion of ice, about 10,000 years ago.
Address: Forsand, Stavanger 4119, Norway
Website: Pulpit Rock
6. Øvre Holmegate
Øvre Holmegate, often referred as Stavanger’s “Notting Hill”, is probably the most colorful street in Norway, or at least in Stavanger. The street was transformed into a piece of art, in 2005, when hairdresser Tom Kjørsvik came up with the idea to create something unique. The houses along the street were painted in different colors, by a scheme designed by Craig Flannagan. As you stroll along, you will find many cozy cafés, stores, and pubs.
Address: Øvre Holmegate, Stavanger / 51 85 92 00
Website: Øvre Holmegate
7. Stavanger Cathedral
This unique and charming cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Norway, that is still in use. The Romanesque church was build in the 12th century, although the exact time is not known. It was consecrated to Swithun, the Bishop of Winchester and patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. The church was originally used as the seat of the Ancient Diocese of Stavanger, until the Protestant Reformation.
The cathedral was damaged during a fire, in 1272 and then rebuilt, under Bishop Arne. The Romanesque part of the cathedral was extended and built in the Gothic style. The latest major restoration of the cathedral was conducted in 1999. The cathedral is situated right in the city center, between the harbor and Breivatnent Lake. Strolling around the cathedral can be paired up with a nice walk along the lake and the harbor area.
Address: Haakon VIIs gate 2, 4600 Stavanger, Norway
Website: Stavanger Cathedral (in Norwegian)
Solastraden is a long beach, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in length, spreading out towards the airport. As the most famous beach in Stavanger, it is undoubtedly a great spot for water sports, due to its high wind. The beach is equipped with toilets, a kiosk, dressing rooms and the Sola Strand Hotel. There is also the Sola Golf course, on the beach.
Address: Sola Beach, Stavanger 4050, Norway
A beautiful place, with sandy beaches, dunes, broken boulders and salmon rivers, the Jæren is a national touristic route, created to make Norway a more attractive destination. You can stroll along the miles of sandy beaches, specifically 41 kilometers (25.5 miles), of the spectacular natural beauty.
Address: Jaeren, Stavanger, Norway
The Valbergtårnet was erected in 1850, by the architect Chr. Grosh. The tower was used as a lodging for the guards of Stavanger, who guarded the city and alerted people, in the case of fire. The last watchman was Tobias Sandstøl, who defended Stavanger for 18 years and was mentioned in the story, “The Town of Cardamom”, by children’s book author Torbjørn Egner. There is a little museum in the tower, about the life of the guards.
Address: Valberget, Stavanger 4001, Norway
Undoubtedly, Stavanger is a city with charm and Norwegian atmosphere. The city is trendy and cultural, hosting popular events such as the MaiJazz Festival and the Chamber Music Festival. Are you coming to Stavanger for a longer period of time? Explore more attractions, like the Museum of Archaeology, the Stavanger Art Museum, Ledaal House and Lysefjord.
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