This beautiful coastal town has become a victim of its success. Oil exploration in the North Sea since the 1970s has drastically impacted this town creating runaway development and an inflated cost of living. Still Stavanger’s Old Town is beautiful and boasts some of the best-preserved wooden historic buildings in Norway, with some dating back to the 1700’s.
Two highlights in the Stavanger region are the Sola beach and the impressive Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock), named the world’s most breathtaking viewpoint. Towering 1,800 feet above the Lysefjord, Preikestolen is the most visited natural attraction in Norway.
The city of Stavanger is a university town and the center of Norway’s offshore oil industry. Fortunately the small city centre, is easy to get around in on foot. Go shopping for fantastic seafood, art galleries, and hunt for bargains in the shops. Take a stroll through Norway’s best-preserved wooden houses in the Gamle Stavanger area.
Where Your Ship Docks
Cruise ships dock at the Port Authority piers that are less than a mile from the Old Town. Often there is a shuttle bus offered that will take you to the the lake park at the top of Stavanger’s Old Town. The piers do not have a terminal or any public facilities.
Taxi service is available in central Stavanger with average fare in town being approximately 150Kr.
The city has a good bus system with frequent service. The area of central Stavanger is contained within a single bus zone, but to get to the airport takes three zones and about forty minutes. Traveling by bus requires the use of passes which offer savings over walk-on fare. A single ticket fare for the central zone costs 33kr, while it’s only 85kr for a 24-hour pass and 260kr for a 7-day pass. Keep in mind that the majority of the city’s attractions are focused on the Old Town and are very walkable.
The easiest way to buy passes is via a smartphone app, which you can load up with money or connect it to your debit/credit card. A smart card known as the Kolumbus card is also available and works in a similar way to the app. Tickets can also be bought by cash or debit/credit cards at a customer service center or at one of the ticket machines located at most bus stops around the city center. Cash only is accepted onboard buses.
Norwegian Krone (Kr) is about 8.85Kr to 1 US$. Credit cards a gladly accepted and ATM machines are readily available.
Canning Museum in Stavange – An incredibly interesting museum housed in an old cannery. Stavanger was once home to more than half of Norway’s canneries and in the 1920s they provided a majority of the town’s work. Next door is a building showing a restored workers’ cottage furnished in 1920s style.
Norsk Oljemuseum (Norway Oil Museum) -This museum explores the technical side of oil exploration and drilling, and looks at the workers whose lives are spent in the oil industry. It has exhibits that covers the history of Norwegian oil, including the Alexander Kielland tragedy of 1980, when 123 oil workers were killed, along with the 1972 decision by parliament that relocated Statoil to Stavanger.
One really popular attraction outside Stavanger is the classic hike to Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock. Preikestolen formed more than 10.000 years ago and is Norway’s iconic natural landmark standing over 1,800 feet above the fjord. From the perfectly flat top of this high cliff you will experience one of the most dramatic views in the world.
From Stavanger to visit this amazing formation will take all day. The best way to get to Pulpit Rock is to take the #100 bus and a taxi, a trip of over one hour and costs Kr 600 – Kr 750 each way. Once there the 8-kilometer hike takes about 4 hours round trip and gains almost a thousand feet in elevation.