Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Types of Solos – Active, Arty & Museum, History, Nature Solos

Norway is a beautiful country. Having visited Bergen, and Tromso, and Oslo. I have yet to explore Stavanger due to my flight being cancelled. So, with the help of our solo female community I have put together a guide of all of their recommendations of why you should visit this Norwegian city. If you’re wondering is Stavanger worth visiting? Yes it is! And I am explain why in this article. 

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Is Stavanger Safe? Norway is really safe and Stavanger has low crime rates compared to many other countries. However, like any city, it's always a good idea to take common-sense precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping an eye on your belongings, and avoiding risky areas, particularly late at night.

Is Stavanger Expensive? Yes, unfortunately. Just as anywhere else in Norway, this city is costly but you can choose budget accommodation, exploring the city on foot and finding cheaper places to eat but it is an expensive destination.

How long should you stay for – I recommend 2 nights / 3 days in Stavanger.

Where is Stavanger Norway located? Situated in Southwest Norway is the Stavanger region, a beautiful area with deep fjords, mountains and valleys.

What is Stavanger Known For? Popular with tourists and cruise ships, this region is an ideal base to explore the Lysefjord on a Lysefjord cruise, Sandnes, and Pulpit Rock, one of Norway’s must-sees. But the main reason that Stavanger is one of the places to visit in Norway is because it is the epicentre of street art, thanks to its famous street art festival called NuArt.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Make sure to explore Old Stavanger

It has history

Stavanger feels more like a big neighbourhood than a city especially due to its mix of historical traditional houses and street art. There are cobblestone streets and a beautiful harbour to stroll around which has magical views to stroll along at night. It's a charming spot where you can soak up the history and vibe of Norway in a relaxed setting.

Stavanger's Old Town is like stepping into a storybook village. Known as Gamle Stavanger, with its white 18th century timber-clad cottages and winding streets, it feels like a journey back in time. What’s special about it is that has the oldest surviving settlement of wooden houses in Northern Europe. To see these alone is worth coming here.

Then there's the Swords of Stavanger. These 32-feet swords are placed in the location of the Battle of Hafrsfjord that took place in the 9th-century. It's one of the free things to do in Stavanger and you can hop on a bus to here or walk the hour walk instead. 

If you prefer exploring Stavanger with company, you can take a customised private tour with a local instead. Note that you do have to pay extra for this walking tour if you’re solo.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

It has a famous colourful street

Øvre holmegate is one of the most colourful streets in Norway. Thanks to hairdresser Tom Kjørsvik, this pedestrianised street has been transformed from a once dull street into one of colour. Now a tourist hub, this street which is dubbed as Fargegata now boasts cosy cafes, a sewing shop, hairdressers, shops and bars.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

It has museums

The Norwegian Petroleum Museum may sound a bit boring and is a controversial topic but it does document how oil has changed Norway and gives an interactive insight into the oil and gas sector with a 3D cinema and Catastrophe room.

Or find out more about Stavanger’s sardine history at the Norwegian Canning Museum. The museum itself is an old cannery which takes you through the old sardine process. This museum is located in the old town.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Cruise along Lysefjord on a fjord cruise

It has fjords

One of the best things to do in Stavanger is to take a fjord cruise along Lysefjord, the most well-known in the region. You can hop aboard a scenic fjord cruise to Lysefjord and Preikestolen past the Hengjanefossen waterfall, and the Vagabond's Cave whilst seeing the towering Preikestolen rock formation. 

Or have a faster adventure on a guided RIB boat ride from Stavanger to Lysefjorden. As well as getting to see the famous Pulpit Rock you also cruise past Whisky Falls whilst listening to the tales of the captain. 

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Climb Pulpit Rock

It has Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock otherwise known as Preikestolen is one of the most beautiful lookouts in the world with sheer drops and dramatic views. It is one of Norway’s most iconic spots and boasts panoramic views of Lysefjorden if you choose to hike it.

To reach Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) from Stavanger, you typically take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau and then a bus from Tau to the Preikestolen trailhead. The ferry ride from Stavanger to Tau takes about 35-40 minutes, and then from Tau, you can catch a bus that will take you to the starting point of the hike to Preikestolen. The bus ride from Tau to the Preikestolen parking area takes approximately 25-30 minutes. From there, you can start your hike to the famous Preikestolen cliff.

You don’t have to hike alone though as there are several hiking tours you take with a guide such as the Preikestolen classic hike and side trail that takes you on the path less hiked away from the crowd. Or you can experience the nature before the crack of dawn on a sunrise hike complete with a breakfast in a mountain lodge at basecamp. Whichever way you choose to see it, it simply has to be on your itinerary.

Pulpit Rock isn’t the only place to hike here though. You can also find 1 hour hikes and pick up free maps and information at the Stavanger Tourist Information Office at Strandkaien 61, next to the harbour.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

It has adventure

This region attracts those seeking adventure, surfers come to ride the waves of the Jaeren beaches (these aren’t actually in Stavanger but they are along the southwestern coast).

Kayakers come to explore its waters and you can join a guided kayaking activity in Lysefjord to spot wildlife and discover the gorges whilst you paddle. If you’re planning to visit Preikestolen, you can also combine a hidden trail hike with a canoe trip on the Revsvatnet lake. 

Adrenalin seekers come to paraglide over its stunning views. Sørmarka is an area just outside Stavanger which is a popular spot for paragliding due to its open spaces and good wind conditions. If you have a desire to glide over this area, there are several paragliding clubs and companies in the region that offer tandem flights and courses for beginners.

Whatever adventure sport you are into you can find it here. Because this region is known for its salmon rivers, you can even go on a salmon safari and fish for the local catch.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

You can take day trips

Haugesund is about 70 km north of Stavanger. It’s accessible by road and ferry and one of the best ways to see it is on a Haugesund RIB safari where you also get to visit the island communities 

There’s also a famous boulder called Kjerag that you hike to in the summer months. Kjerag is the highest peak in the Lysefjord and the trail is 100 km along but you don’t have to do the multi-day hike to see the boulder. This summer day hike is just as impressive. 

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

It has world class cuisine

Stavanger is the largest city and is known for its world-class cuisine. The city boasts a variety of restaurants offering both traditional Norwegian dishes and international dishes. With its coastal location, Stavanger is particularly known for its fresh seafood, including salmon, cod, and shellfish. Stavanger also hosts an annual food festival, attracting chefs, foodies, and enthusiasts from around the world.

Eat at: Deja Vu Delikatesser – Located at the harbour you’ll find all types of European and International dishes here but its speciality is tapas. The prices are average for lunch with lunch specials. Deja Vu also serves seafood and is vegetarian friendly. Find at Verksgata 2.

Drink at: Hanekam – This bar/cafe not only has great decor and music to match but it has a really welcoming atmosphere where solos can go and relax with a drink in a chilled, quirky environment. It also serves food and has gluten-free options. Find at Oevre Holmegate 26.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Where To Stay in Stavanger

In Stavanger you’ll find a variety of 3-star and 4-star hotels as well as bed & breakfasts. There’s also the option of apartments if you prefer to cook and have your own space. Below I’ve listed recommended accommodations from our community depending on your budget. * Click here for all other Stavanger accommodation

Central Economic Stavanger – $

For a budget option in Stavanger, this hostel has everything that you need. It’s in a great location, it’s spotless and has friendly hosts. Plus being a hostel means that you may meet another traveller or two! There are female-only dorms, a kitchenette and even a hairdryer for us ladies. Check rates & availability: Central Economic Stavanger

Thon Hotel Stavanger – $$

This 3-star hotel is really close to Stavanger Station and a short walk to Stavanger Cathedral. There’s a nice hotel lounge and the staff are really friendly and helpful. Each room has a minibar, Smart TV and a desk and a delicious breakfast buffet is included in the price. * Check rates & availability: Thon Hotel Stavanger 

Hotel Victoria – $$$

For an even more comfortable stay, this 4-star Victorian hotel is situated on the waterfront with a view of the old town. It dates back to 1900 and features a cocktail bar and gym as well as views over Vagen Bay. The rooms are cosy and breakfast is also included. * Check rates & availability: Hotel Victoria

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Stavanger Tours

Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including Stavanger. Choose from a 2 hour fjord cruise and guided Preikestolen hike, or a guided hike and canoe trip. There are several hikes to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check rates and availability for all Stavanger tours

From Stavanger Airport

An airport shuttle departs every 20 minutes to Stavanger city centre and takes 30 minutes. Taxis take about 15 minutes and are the most expensive option.

Is Stavanger Worth Visiting?

Getting Around

The city centre is quite small so you can see most of the attractions just by walking. If you prefer not to be on foot, there's a sightseeing Stavanger bus that you can hop on and off. It's a great idea if you only have one day in Stavanger as the 12 stops take you around the Stavanger highlights, telling you information about each stop as you go. * Check rates and availability: Stavanger hop on bus

There are several ferry routes departing from Stavanger that connect to various destinations in Ryfylke, including Tau, Jørpeland, and other nearby islands and communities. These ferries provide both passenger and car transportation, offering scenic views of the fjords along the way.

For buses, a company called Kolumbus has various routes around the Stavanger and Sandnes area. Stavanger is also connected by bus to Oslo, Bergen and Kristiansand. To get to Oslo takes  8.5 hours. Bergen is 5 hours away.

Overall, this region is lovely and is a quiet area to visit with museums, culture and nature. And it has a welcoming atmosphere and kind, friendly people. To summarise, Is Stavanger worth visiting? Yes! Visiting Stavanger is definitely worth visiting.

More reading for Norway!

Is Stavanger worth visiting?

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