Stavanger is a vibrant and international city with many things to see and to do. It’s best to plan your time well.
One of the top attractions is Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger). This historic quarter has 173 old wooden houses, and you can wander through these narrow cobblestone streets.
1. Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger)
Stavanger's 'Old Town' (Gamle Stavanger) is an incredible collection of wooden houses that are one of Northern Europe’s largest collections. Located on the west side of the city centre, it is protected as a cultural heritage area.
The Old Town is a great place to see how people lived in the past and is a lovely place to take a stroll. It is a charming place with narrow cobblestone walkways and beautifully restored late 18th century wooden houses.
Before the oil rush, Stavanger was known as Norway's herring capital and the town built up a large canning industry that employed half the workers in town. The Norwegian Canning Museum, housed in a former canning factory, is a must visit.
Stavanger is Norway's petroleum capital, but there's more to the city than oil. Gamle Stavanger, or Old Stavanger, is a charming area of cobbled streets and wooden houses.
You'll also find the Stavanger Cathedral, Norway's oldest church. It's located within walking distance of the harbour and is well-maintained.
Another popular attraction is Valberg Tower, a former fire tower that looks out over the city. You can even go for a hike up Kjerag Mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the fjord and the mountains surrounding it.
The Lysefjord is one of the most famous fjords in Norway and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Known as the "light fjord", its name is said to be derived from light coloured granite rocks that tumble vertically into the water over 42 km (26 mi) of rocky shoreline.
Byparken is a small area of the city centre that is worth visiting for its quirky museums and art galleries. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants that offer both local and international cuisine.
The cobbled streets of Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) are a delight to wander around, especially the surviving wooden houses that are almost all white. The area is a protected conservation district, UNESCO listed, and is one of the oldest parts of the town.
The IDDIS Norwegian Graphic Museum & Norwegian Canning Museum is a colocation of two museums that tell the story of Stavanger’s printing industry and canned fish industry. Both of these industries were important for the city’s economy.
4. Stavanger Museum of Archeology
If you are a fan of history then the Stavanger Museum of Archeology is a must visit. It houses one of the best collections of Norwegian and international art dating back to 1800s.
The museum is located in a gorgeous park surrounding Lake Mosvannet a few kilometers from the city center. It also features a fascinating collection of paintings by Lars Hertervig, who painted romantic and powerful landscapes that still resonate with many visitors.
The museum is a great place to learn about the history of the region and how it has shaped the city over time. It is also a fun place for the whole family to explore and enjoy.
5. IDDIS Norwegian Graphic Museum & Norwegian Canning Museum
The IDDIS Norwegian Graphic Museum & Norwegian Canning Museum is a museum that blends printing and canning history. The two museums are part of the Museum Stavanger (MUST) family of museums, displaying exhibitions covering art, natural history and maritime and industrial history.
The main exhibit is the evolution of printed language, a strong Gutenberg vibe. It shows how the wide-scale dissemination of printed material became possible with moveable letters from 1450 onwards.