Stavanger is one of the most visited cities in Norway, and for good reason. Regardless of your age and interests, there are numerous attractions here that will fascinate and delight you.
Small town atmosphere, big town fun
Stavanger is unique in that it possesses all the features of a city. It is in fact the centre of Norway's oil industry, yet it has the feel of a small town.
The compact centre of Stavanger is evidence of this. Stroll through the narrow pedestrian-only streets and you'll forget that you're in a bustling metropolitan area. Similarly, the open-air vegetable stalls that sell the produce of local farmers give Stavanger the appearance of a market town.
Take a coffee on a quiet Sunday morning at the waterfront and this feeling persists. Having said that, Saturday nights at the waterfront and elsewhere in Stavanger are lively enough to satisfy the most enthusiastic party animal.
To help you appreciate Stavanger at its best, and to get your bearings, take one of the guided city tours. These occur throughout the summer and start at Stavanger tourist information office.
As with any city, the attractions in and around Stavanger are numerous. Among them are Stavanger domkirke (Stavanger Cathedral). This is Norway’s oldest cathedral, built between 1100 and 1150 and subsequently altered and restored.
Another attraction in Stavanger is the Broken Column series of sculptures dotted around the city. The sculptures are 23 cast iron figures created by the artist Anthony Gormley. See if you can find all 23.
The museums of Stavanger include:
Complement your visit to the Science Centre with a trip to Vitenfabriken (The Science Factory) in Sandnes outside Stavanger. Among other exhibits, the Science Factory has a fascinating planetarium and was referred to by National Geographic as a "high-tech playpen for kids of all ages."
The great outdoors
Stavanger lies on Lysefjorden. This is an area of natural beauty ideal for outdoor activities. You can hike, fish, cycle and take part in numerous nature activities, including guided kayak tours, fjord rafting and even taking a relaxing cruise down the 26-mile (42 kilometres) Lysefjord.
If you enjoy hiking up cliffs and mountains, don’t miss Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) or Kjeragbolten. Preikestolen is a cliff that towers more than 600 yards (metres) above Lysefjorden. After a steep walk, you reach a top that is almost flat and from which you have magnificent views.
Kjeragbolten is a boulder wedged between two cliffs. The boulder stands 1100 yards (1000 metres) above Lysefjord and is a popular venue for base jumping. Base jumpers throw themselves off Kjeragbolten and descend to the ground by parachute.
You can participate in more conventional outdoor sports such as skiing and snowboarding at the activity centres just outside Stavanger. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the local sandy beaches to the south of the city.
These beaches are the largest in Norway and have gained an international reputation for their cleanliness and facilities.
Book your SAS flights to Stavanger now; you're sure to have a great time. You can also book from the SAS app, which is constantly adding new destination guides with useful tips on great restaurants, shops and attractions on offer in addition to offering booking and check-in functionalities.