Travel to Stavanger

Stavanger- Øvre Holmegate

Following on from the post on Norway, this is a guide on how to travel to Stavanger and surrounding areas. Stavanger is a quaint city near the North sea and gateway to the famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). The town centre is easily walkable and there are a number of interesting sites and museums. I recommend a visit to the Norwegian canning museum to learn about one of the major traditional industries in the area. There are also many cosy and colourful cafes to visit, especially on the Øvre Holmegate street.

Many cruise ships stop in Stavanger, and my second visit to this city was actually to meet my parents during their Disney Cruise. Their ship stopped in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Scotland, then ended up back in Dover, England.

Preikestolen view
Preikestolen view
View from Comfort Hotel Stavanger
View from Comfort Hotel Stavanger
Stavanger waterside
Stavanger waterside

Highlights

  • Walk around the old city centre, Gamle Stavanger. The houses are very charming with little gardens and cobbled roads
  • Øvre Holmegate (colour street) with cafes and cute shops
  • Take a ferry or bus to Tau to visit Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and hike the beautiful and scenic trail to the top. The views of the fjords are stunning and also a little scary. It is a long way down!
  • Norwegian Canning Museum to learn about the history of one of the most important traditional industries
  • Beautiful churches such as St Petri kirke and Stavanger domkirke
  • Stavanger Maritime Museum– very educational and it includes some of the boats in the harbour
  • The lake at Byparken is peaceful either to sit near or walk around
  • Kunstall (art museum)
  • Valberget Utsiktspunkt for a view over the harbour and city
  • Norwegian Petroleum Museum

Before you go

  • Be prepared for the weather. The winters are cold and even the summer evenings can be chilly
  • The days are incredibly long in the summer and short in the winter
  • If you get seasick, then bring or buy medication, as you will likely want to take boats to fully enjoy some highlights like the fjords
  • Alcohol is very expensive! There are also limited hours to buy it at a shop especially on weekends
  • Interesting fact- public restrooms that require payment often accept credit cards. Some of them do not accept cash!
  • Most people speak English
  • Bring a good camera if you want to capture the best of the natural sights
  • Bring good hiking shoes if you want to visit the to of Preikestolen
  • Stavanger is a small city and 2-3 days is enough to see the city and do some hiking in the area
Bus on ferry from Stavanger to Bergen
Bus on ferry from Stavanger to Bergen
Preikestolen view from the top
Preikestolen view from the top
Sunrise boat to Preikestolen
Sunrise boat to Preikestolen

Transport

  • Norwegian Airlines is a budget airline and has many flights to Norway from around Europe
  • I flew SAS from London and also KLM from Amsterdam
  • The internal trains in Norway are reliable and relatively quick, though they can be expensive
  • The bus system between cities is reliable and scenic. I took the Kystbussen from Stavanger to Bergen and the journey was about 5 hours including some ferries. The views were beautiful and I enjoyed the scenery.
  • Of course, a great way to see some natural beauty is on a boat, especially cruising through the fjords
  • In the city centre, it is easy to get around by foot. If you like hiking then there is also a lot of opportunity for that nearby

Accommodation

  • I stayed in the Comfort Hotel both of my trips. It is part of a Scandinavian chain, not to be confused with the US chain of the same name. I like the chain because they are simple, clean and usually have good breakfasts.
  • As usual I would recommend a site such as Booking.com to look at reviews and locations to choose accommodation within your budget. If you want to have the convenience of a kitchen or more space then AirBnB is a good option. I say this especially since if you’re on a budget then it is usually cheaper and you can make some of your own food.
Breakfast at Comfort Hotel Stavanger
Breakfast at Comfort Hotel Stavanger
Stavanger - fish soup
NB Sorensen – fish soup
Dinner at Egget Restaurant, Stavanger
Dinner at Egget Restaurant- green curry and mussel soup with a piece of crispy fried cod

Egget Restaurant, Stavanger
Egget Restaurant, Stavanger
Dinner at Egget Restaurant, Stavanger
Dinner at Egget Restaurant- toasted bread with fresh local tomato salsa and a crispy potato cake with crab and tomatoes
Hanekam Bar Ladies Toilets
Hanekam Bar Ladies Toilets, Stavanger

Food

As with many parts of Norway, the seafood is fresh and plentiful. For quick meals, I often had the smoked salmon sandwiches as they are delicious and easy to find. I also enjoyed Fisketorget by the Harbour.

The favourite and most memorable meal I had in Stavanger was at Egget. They use fresh ingredients and have a creative and tasty menu. The atmosphere is also very cosy and friendly. They are happy to give you beverage recommendations.

I dined with my parents at NB Sorensen and the creamy fish soup was delicious and filling! The view of the water is nice and the restaurant is convenient located. The atmosphere is bustling yet still peaceful, as long as there are not too many large cruise ships groups dining at the same time.

Fish and Cow has a simple menu and the dishes are all done well. As the name suggests there are fish and beef dishes, but also other options.

Restaurant Sol by Byparken is a cosy place with a delicious tasting menu. It is on the expensive side but a good place for a culinary treat!

One place that I have wanted to try but haven’t yet had the chance is Re-naa, a fine dining restaurant near the water. It comes recommended by friends.

A fun area to visit the cafes is on Øvre Holmegate street. My friend and I went to Hanekam bar and enjoyed their soup and coffee. Their ladies toilets are also very cool and creative. The sink is built with a drum set so it feels very trendy! And nearby Pa Kornet gastropub is also worth a visit

The Norwegian pastries are sweet and filling. I would recommend the Godt Brød chain of bakeries for consistently delicious breads and pastries.

Preikestolen hike- still mirror water
Preikestolen hike- still mirror water
Norwegian Canning Museum, Stavanger
Norwegian Canning Museum, Stavanger
Stavanger Street Art
Stavanger Street Art

FAQs

Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: No it is a small walkable city, and easy to find the places of interest.

Q: Do people speak English?

A: Yes almost everyone I met spoke English

Q: Is it a walkable city?

A: Yes the main city is walkable and if you travel just outside of the city, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking

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