What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that I’ve just been on a trip around the North Sea. One of the places I visited was the city of Stavanger, Norway’s third largest. As I was on a cruise, the visit was quite short. But based on my previous research, I already knew what to do in Stavanger, so I could enjoy every minute there.

The city is quite compact, very walkable and painfully charming. Despite its size, there’s quite a few interesting things to see in Stavanger.

What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

The city port is one of the most popular places to visit in Stavanger. Here you’ll find many cafes and restaurants and be able to watch life go by on both sides of the harbour. On the one side, there is Gamle Stavanger (old Stavanger, or simply Old Town), a bunch of white washed wooden houses with triangular shaped roofs, all very similar to each other. It’s basically a residential area. Especially seen from the top deck of my ship, the Old Town resembled a doll-house town.

What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

On the other side is the “modern” part of the city. See that I used inverted commas, for this part doesn’t seem that modern at all – which is a good thing.

This is where I spent most of my time, strolling along the cobbled streets and taking pictures of the well-preserved wooden buildings. The area abounds with bars and restaurants, and you can choose between Scandinavian cuisine and the odd Thai or Indian restaurant. Not to mention the number of Irish pubs!

What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

Something that really caught my eyes was the number of street arts you can find around here. You can find many colourful and creative graffitis everywhere. Some are quite discreet, while others are big, in your face, so to speak. And the colours… The city is bathed in paint, whether on its buildings, on its walls or even on some weird playground by the water.

What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

If you have to visit only one place, it has to be Øvre Holmegate street. Here you’ll find many vintage shops and some of the best cafes in the whole of Stavanger, as well as the most beautiful wooden houses in town, all painted in very bright colours. Whilst Old Stavanger resembles a bunch of doll houses, this street looks like a cartoon background.


1- Visit the Port of Stavanger. The harbour area, in a U-shape, is extremely pleasant and walkable – just like the rest of the city. Here you can sit at an outdoor cafe or restaurant and watch the cruise ships and small boats come and go. Bear in mind that, while the city itself is not cheap, the harbour area is much more expensive. But for the location, I think it’s worth to spend a few extra kroners.

What To Do In Stavanger and Surrounding Areas

2- The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is a place where you’ll learn the history of the “black gold” in Norway. The mineral is responsible for much of the country’s wealth and one of the reasons it voted twice not to enter the European Union. If you arrive in Stavanger by cruise ship, you’ll even spot some oil platforms just a few minutes out of town. Price: 120NOK (adults), 60NOK (children) for opening hours, please see their website.

3- Get lost on the streets of the small Old Town! This residential area is full of white wooden houses, all very well preserved.

4- Visiting Stavanger Cathedral is a must. It’s Stavanger’s oldest building, finished in 1125, also considered the year the city was founded. The cathedral standing today is a reconstruction from the 13th century, after the original one was destroyed by a fire.

O Que Fazer em Stavanger Noruega

The Pulpit Rock and the fjord. Photo: MM – CC BY-SA 2.0

5- Hike the incredible Pulpit Rock, a giant square rock overlooking the fjords. That was my number one thing to do there but, unfortunately, it didn’t materialise. Many boats departing Stavanger will take you nearby and you’ll have hike to get to the top. As you can see from the picture above, it’s really worth the effort, don’t you think? 🙂

6- Have a coffee and take many pictures on the colourful Øvre Holmegate street. It’s a popular tourist area and not cheap, but when in Norway… 🙂

Do you know Stavanger or other parts of Norway? What’s your must-do tip?

(Visited 822 times, 2 visits today)

19 Responses

    • Pedro

      Thanks, Shaun! I definitely want to go back for those, especially the Swords in the Rock. Thanks for dropping by!

  1. Kallsy Page

    Always love posts that spell it out for the readers! This was a terrific list of things to do. The pulpit rock looks breathtaking and I was very intrigued about the Petroleum Museum as my father has worked in the oil industry for over 30 years!

  2. Sarah Ricks

    Those colors are so cheerful! Reminds me of a neighborhood we saw in South Africa, and one in Buenos Aires. Such a pleasure to see bright engaging colors, drawing you in.

  3. Natalia

    It looks such a lovely town: small houses, colorful architecture. The view of the pulpit rock looks stunning! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Pedro

      It’s true, Toni. I really wish I could have hiked the Pulpit Rock. But well, it gives me another reason to return, right?

  4. Elaine Masters

    Nice! Loved the pictures. That one red house in a sea of white ones is adorable (what did the neighbors think!) The Pulpit rock is on my bucket list too.

  5. Jenna

    Stavanger looks adorable–I love the contrast between the colorful Øvre Holmegate street and the rest of the town! I’d love to do the hike to Pulpit Rock and visit Stavanger Cathedral! Great recommendations!

  6. Melissa Jones

    I’ve never really thought about going to Norway but after seeing all your gorgeous pictures I want to do more research. I love the candy coloured houses it reminds me of Iceland! Pulpit rock would have to be a must, the views look amazing! Perfect for Instagram 😉 Where did you stay?


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