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Preikestolen in Stavanger at sunset

Things to do in Stavanger

Norway’s energy capital offers more than oil and gas. Urban Stavanger has existed for many thousands of years, and it was here that Harald Hårfagre united Norway into one kingdom during the Battle in Hafrsfjord in 872.

As well as a rich cultural history dating all the way back to the Viking Age, Stavanger has by far Norway's best collection of street art, a vibrant nightlife and some of Europe’s most spectacular nature attractions right on the doorstep.

Also, don't miss the city’s many culinary experiences, including Michelin restaurants, fish market, microbreweries and trendy cafes.

Food and drink

Re-naa

The Re-naa is run by the celebrity chef and long-time manager of the National Culinary Team, Svein Erik Renaa, and is the restaurant that secured Stavanger’s first Michelin star in 2016. Today, they have received yet another star, and can therefore boast of being one of Norway’s best restaurants. The tasting menu of around 20 dishes is served and presented by the chefs themselves. A rare experience!

Eg&Du

Have you heard of a caférant before? Neither have we, but Eg&Du are, according to the bosses, Norway’s first blend of café and restaurant. Here you’ll find locally sourced ingredients, outdoor dining and a good atmosphere in true Stavanger style. The caférant is run by a Rogalander with a long generational history in the industry and a North Møreing who fell for the city as a young adult and stayed there.

Bøker og Børst

Set aside few hours and have a good game of backgammon on Bøker og Børst. This is a cosy, colourful cafe with a lush and charming backyard. The entrance is located in the famous Fargegata, where the facades are painted in different pastel shades.

Fisketorget

For more than 150 years, fishmongers have been selling seafood on this site. Now the square is run as a combined shop and seafood restaurant, with 12 full-time employees. Here you’ll find everything from shrimp, crabs, lobsters and crayfish to the city’s best fish soup.

Sabi Omakase

Omakase is Japanese and means "I trust you". In other words, at an omakase restaurant, it means that you trust the chef to serve you something good. The owner of Sabi Omakase, Roger Asakil Joya, is one of Norway’s few sushi chefs, credited by the AJSA (All Japan Sushi Association), which might be hard to believe. Sabi Omakase serves only Edomae sushi, which is a kind of forefather of sushi. Well worth a visit!

Broremann Bar

Nice and classy – this is the place for cocktails! Broremann Bar is a small, atmospheric bar, with perhaps the city’s nicest backyard. The backyard is decorated as a botanical garden, with warm lighting and separate dining. This popular cocktail venue also offers cocktail tastings and birthday celebrations.

Pjolter og punsj

With numerous awards in the bag, Pjolter & Punsj has distinguished itself as one of Norway’s best cocktail bars. Here they make both classic drinks and more experimental varieties, depending on what you’re looking for. Aquavit is also a key ingredient on the menu, which may explain the extra good atmosphere.

Gladmat food festival

Norway’s largest food festival is in the centre of Stavanger. More than 250,000 visitors come here each summer, so there is little doubt that the Gladmat food festival has become a solid meeting point for foodies from all over the country. This is also a must for those who would like to expand the horizon in the kitchen.

Museums and attractions

Viking House

The Viking House is a world-class visitor centre that tells the story of Rogaland’s Viking Age through VR technology. Here you can travel back in time and experience the VR film "The First King", which depicts how Harald Hårfagre united Norway into one kingdom. You can also meet Vikings in traditional clothes and find Viking-related souvenirs in the shop.

Street art

Art enthusiasts will quickly notice that Stavanger is the city of street art. This is primarily thanks to Martyn Reed, who founded the highly respected Nu Art Festival in 2001. Since then, the street art scene has flourished in Stavanger, and you’ll find works by artists such as Roa, Herakut, Bordalo, Dot dot dot, Dolk and many more in the streets.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum

Stavanger is Norway’s largest oil city, and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum tells us how it came about. Here you can learn about how oil and gas are formed and how drilling and production take place. The building itself, designed by architects Lunde & Løvseth, is also worth the visit in itself. The architecture is a scenographic interpretation of the Norwegian bedrock, the offshore oil installations and the open coastal landscape.

Museum of Archaeology

At the University of Stavanger, you will find the Museum of Archaeology, which conducts research, management and communication. As well as learning about human conditions from another time, you can buy yourself a really good sourdough pizza in the cafe Ask and Embla.

Museum Stavanger (MUST)

One of Norway’s most interdisciplinary museums is worth a visit on the Stavanger tour. MUST consists of 14 different museums, including the Stavanger Art Museum, the Norwegian Children’s Museum, Utstein monastery, the Norwegian Canning Museum and the Norwegian Graphic Museum. In other words, there’s something for the whole travelling party!

Nature experiences

Flor & Fjære

Is it time for a little break from the city centre? Then visit this tropical oasis. Hop aboard the ferry that takes you to the island with gardens full of green plants and palm trees. The small island also has its own restaurant, which is highly praised by the locals.

Lysefjord and Preikestolen

Lysefjord is one of the southernmost fjords in Norway and over 40 kilometres long. The fjord is the gem of the Stavanger region and can be enjoyed in different ways. For the thrill-seekers, a RIB safari might be just the ticket, or how about a trip up the longest wooden staircase in the world near the idyllic village of Flørli?

The world-famous Preikestolen is also a must for nature-loving visitors. Preikestolen or the Pulpit Rock towers 604 metres above the outer part of Lysefjord and is one of the country’s most spectacular images. The main season is from April to October, and the hike takes about 4 hours to complete.

Would you like to go to Preikestolen? Have a comfortable stay at one of our hotels in Stavanger.

Kjerag and the Kjerag Bolt

For a more demanding hike in Lysefjord, we recommend the 6–7 hours (10 km) long route to Kjerag. Most of the hike is across bare mountains, but chains have been laid out so that you can hold on in steep sections. This might not be the trip for the newly converted nature lovers, but the view at the top is worth the effort for many. For the best holiday photo, we suggest you check out the Kjerag Bolt.

The Jæren beaches

No, it’s not the Maldives, nor Spain. The Jæren beaches' large sand dunes are a sight in themselves, and a great place to enjoy the sea. Along these beaches you will find Norway’s best surfing conditions, where for instance Eurosurf and Eurosurf Junior are organised annually. Young and old use the beaches for ball games, surfing, kite surfing, SUP paddling, picnics and other activities, and in the area you also get to experience exciting bird and plant life.

Sola beach

Another great beach to visit in the Stavanger area. Sola beach has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by Sunday Times and is over 2,300 metres long. The beach is shallow, making it perfect for kite surfers and windsurfers.

Get more suggestions for fun activities you can do in Stavanger at FjordTours.no

Activities in the city

Fargegaten

The cosy streets in Stavanger are characterised by old wooden houses, colourful details and cobblestones. Fargegaten is fittingly the most colourful street of them all, with a bustling nightlife full of bars, cafes and shops. The area is located on Øvre Holmegate in the centre.

Stavanger Cathedral

Stavanger Cathedral was built in the first half of the 12th century and is the oldest standing cathedral building in Norway. The majestic building faces the harbour, right in the centre of Stavanger. Beautiful architecture and exciting medieval details make the visit extra special.

Folken

Stavanger has a long rock tradition behind it, and boasts big bands such as The September When, Kaizers Orchestra and Purified in Blood. Folken is both a students culture house and concert venues, and here you can experience concerts, shows, film clubs, art exhibitions and debates.

Stavanger Botanical Garden

This is a mecca for green souls. Here you will find a variety of plants from all over the world, with more than 3,000 different species and varieties available. Stavanger Botanical Garden also has their own greenhouse, and there are a number of benches and grassy areas suitable for picnics. In addition, you get a really nice view of Jæren, Hafrsfjord and the North Sea. Free entry and open all year round.

Group activities

Rush Trampoline Park

Here you literally get a proper lift. Rush trampoline park has trampolines on the walls and floors, as well as laser traps, gladiator battles and various other games and toys. Among other things, you can try the hilarious WipeOut challenge, which tests how good you are at staying on your feet. There are only a limited number of places in the park, so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance.

Kongeparken

Stavanger is an amusing city, and Kongeparken is a favourite among local fans and enthusiastic tourists alike. Kongeparken is one of Norway’s five major amusement parks, and Rogaland’s biggest tourist attraction. Here you will find bob tracks, radio cars, carousels, roller coasters and even a separate hotel for teddy bears. A perfect place for the family, especially if you have children between 3 and 12 years.

The Jæren beaches

No, it’s not the Maldives, nor Spain. The Jæren beaches' large sand dunes are a sight in themselves, and a great place to enjoy the sea, one way or another.. Along the Jæren beaches you will find Norway’s best surfing conditions, where for instance Eurosurf and Eurosurf Junior are organised annually. Young and old use the beaches for ball games, surfing, kite surfing, SUP paddling, picnics and other activities, and in the area you also get to experience exciting bird and plant life.

Stavanger Botanical Garden

This is a mecca for green souls. Here you will find a variety of plants from all over the world, with more than 3,000 different species and varieties available. Stavanger Botanical Garden also has their own greenhouse, and there are a number of benches and grassy areas suitable for picnics. In addition, you get a really nice view of Jæren, Hafrsfjord and the North Sea. Free entry and open all year round.

Flor & Fjære

Is it time for a little break from the city centre? Then visit this tropical oasis. Hop aboard the ferry that takes you to the island with gardens full of green plants and palm trees. The small island also has its own restaurant, which is highly praised by the locals.

Lysefjord and Preikestolen

Lysefjord is one of the southernmost fjords in Norway and over 40 kilometres long. The fjord is the gem of the Stavanger region and can be enjoyed in different ways. For the thrill-seekers, a RIB safari might be just the ticket, or how about a trip up the longest wooden staircase in the world near the idyllic village of Flørli?

The world-famous Preikestolen is also a must for nature-loving visitors. Preikestolen or the Pulpit Rock towers 604 metres above the outer part of Lysefjord and is one of the country’s most spectacular images. The main season is from April to October, and the hike takes about 4 hours to complete. 

Kjerag and the Kjerag Bolt

For a more demanding hike in Lysefjord, we recommend the 6–7 hours (10 km) long route to Kjerag. Most of the hike is across bare mountains, but chains have been laid out so that you can hold on in steep sections. This might not be the trip for the newly converted nature lovers, but the view at the top is worth the effort for many. For the best holiday photo, we suggest you check out the Kjerag Bolt.

Pottemakeriet

In the heart of Stavanger’s city centre is the Pottemakeriet, a working pottery workshop and shop that also hosts pottery courses and team building evenings. Here you will meet potter Sonya Molohon, who has a craft certificate in pottery and is inspired by pottery traditions in Norway dating back to the 18th century. Courses and other events must be booked in advance.

Quest rooms

Time to challenge your mind? Quest Rooms are a form of Escape Room, where you are investigators who need to work together to solve challenges, crack codes and collect evidence. Logical thinking and collaboration skills apply here, and those who win get out first.

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