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Top things to see and do in Stavanger

Stavanger, on the southwestern coast of Norway, offers charm in spaces. Stroll through the city to discover quirky cafes, stylish boutiques and museums, whilst admiring some of Norway’s most beautiful and best-preserved wooden buildings. Surrounded by stunning fjords, mountains and white-sand beaches, Stavanger is a beautiful place to be in both summer and winter. Read on for the top five things to do in this pretty city…

Book a trip to Stavanger here.

Gamle Stavanger

Translated to ‘Old Stavanger’ this is a small historic area in the city that offers up beautifully-restored wooden buildings – some of which date as far back as the 18th century. Originally home to sardine canning workers, Gamle Stavanger is now a protected area with more than 170 houses that have been lovingly restored. Take in the white wooden walls, cobbled streets and old-fashioned street lanterns as you truly take a step back in time to old Norway.

The Norwegian Canning Museum

OK, it doesn’t sound overly exciting. But this historic museum in Gamle Stavanger is an interesting look back at an industry that was once the heartbeat of the area. You’ll learn about the importance of the canning industry and find out just how a factory works. The museum also offers plenty of hands-on, fun activities for adults and children alike – and if you’re lucky, you may be able to taste some sardines too! This isn’t one to miss!

Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock hike)

One of the most popular hikes not just in Stavanger, but in the whole of Norway too. An unforgettable experience that is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip, this hike takes around four hours and you’ll enjoy beautiful views nearly the whole way round – with a truly phenomenal view at the very end of the route (you can see Tom Cruise hanging off the rock in a heart-stopping moment in Mission Impossible: Fallout). With a total elevation of over 1100ft, it’s important to be well-prepared and physically fit for this hike, but it’s well worth the exertion.

Flørli 4444

If the Pulpit Rock whet your whistle for hiking, why not take a try at climbing the world’s longest staircase? Done as a day trip from Stavanger, start by taking a boat trip deep into the Lysefjord before embarking on this steep climb (it’s certainly not for the light-hearted!) up to the top. As a bit of a hidden gem, there don’t tend to be many tourists here – so you can enjoy taking awe-inspiring photos to your hearts delight when you reach the top!

Stavanger Cathedral

A short walk from the harbour, this well-kept cathedral dates from the Middle Age and is the only cathedral in Norway that has been in continuous use since the 1300s. Built in Anglo-Norman style, different features have been added over the years, including a new chancel built in the Gothic style, a pulpit made by Andrew Smith in the 1650’s and stained glass by Victor Sparre in 1957. Filled with history, this is one not to miss.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum

Another museum that might not sound like the most interesting choice on the face of it, but this innovative museum combines science, technology, history and environment in an unusual building that resembles a series of oil storage drums. Interactive exhibits explore the geology of petroleum and explain why you can find so much on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. If you’re feeling daring, you can even enjoy climbing into a diver’s suit!


If a trip back in time is right up your street, don’t miss Breidablikk, which was the original Berentsen family villa when the family lived here in the 1880’s. It’s not changed much since then - you’ll find Victorian-era furniture, ceramic stoves, knick-knacks and chandeliers, as well as furnishings from different eras, including a 1950’s-era library and even a bomb shelter, installed during the beginning of WW2. You can also follow the trail from here to other historic gardens including Ledaal, Holmeegenes, and Munkehagen.

Book a trip to Stavanger here.