Tourist’s guide to Stavanger – the oil capital of Norway

Stavanger (Norway) is one of the most beautiful cities in Scandinavia, surrounded by forests and the Norwegian Sea. This is the tourist and oil capital of the country. It is here that 80% of Norwegian oil is produced, and it is here that many tourists come who want to see the fjords.

Stavanger, Norway

general information

Stavanger city view from above

Stavanger is located in the southwest of the country. It is the fourth largest city in Norway and has about 180,000 inhabitants. The city is surrounded by fjords – the main attractions of the Norwegian Stavanger, which often put in first place in the ranking of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In the 16th century, then still a small village, Stavanger was the center of fishers, and herring was caught by tons here. But soon the fish left these places, and after it the fishermen left.

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The Norwegian city of Stavanger found a new life only in the middle of the 19th century. In Stavanger, canned food factories for the production of smoked sardines in olive oil were opened, and the city again became the center of Norway (only now industrial). But this did not last long. In the middle of the 20th century, all factories were closed, the city fell into decay again. The situation stabilized only by 1969 (it was then that oil was found in the Norwegian Sea). Since then, Stavanger has been growing and developing: new enterprises are being built, the population is increasing. Today, this city is the oil capital of Norway.

Attractions Stavanger

But the city is interesting not only in the presence of oil. Its distinguishing feature is the world famous fjords. They surround the western part of the city and are a symbol not only of Stavanger, but of Norway as a whole. Surely you have often seen pictures of these natural attractions, but did not even realize that this was a photo of Stavanger.

Luce fjord

Luce Fjord is one of the most visited natural attractions of Stavanger. This is one of the deepest and most beautiful fjords, located near the city.

Luce Fjord in Stavanger
The mountains

The hallmark of the Lysefjord is two cliffs that rise above the sea – Prekestulen (height – 600 meters) and Kierag (height – 1100 meters). You can even get to the rocks on foot – a four-kilometer stone-lined road leads to them. You can go further from the cliffs – to the mountains, where an incredible view of the valley and fjords opens. Then the total length of the route will be 16 km.

bridge over the luce fjord

Do not be afraid to get lost: in Norway, the tourism industry is developing only thanks to similar routes and cruises. Therefore, everything is done here for the convenience of foreign guests: everywhere, even in the mountains, there are tablets with inscriptions and names of the nearest settlements. In the middle of the roads you can even find whole maps with photos of the Norwegian Stavanger.


If the mountains are not your thing, you can take a day cruise around the Lucefjord. Ferries depart from Stavanger every hour, which will take you to the most beautiful places of the Lysefjord within 2 hours. Such boat trips usually end near the village of Oanes, from where tourists are taken to the lodge. Back to the city, tourists return by bus (cost – about 780 NOK).

Fjord villages
Fleurly Staircase, Norway

However, not only the fjord attracts attention. It is also worth visiting the villages located in the lowland: Forsand, Bakken, Oanes. Also note the world’s longest staircase, which consists of 4444 steps. It is located right here, near the city, and connects the Lysefjord with the top of the cliff on which the mountain lakes are located. The route is very unusual and interesting: in addition to the natural attractions of the Norwegian Stavanger, tourists can also see the ancient reservoir located at the very top of the mountain above the village of Flory.

Old city

Photo of old Stavanger

Photos of old Stavanger are fascinating – one of the most “fabulous” cities in Europe. Almost all of the buildings here are wooden, painted white or yellow. This is due to the fact that in Norway there are very few sunny days, and the inhabitants of the city are thus trying to replace the real sun.

There are modern buildings in Stavanger: for example, a fish market, the Clarion Hotel, the Victoria Hotel. Nevertheless, there are much more ancient buildings here, and for several centuries they have been pleasing to the eyes of local residents and tourists.

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On the territory of the Old Town there are many interesting monuments dedicated to outstanding Norwegians. Among them, it is worth highlighting the monument to playwright Alexander Hjelland and Andreas Jacobsen, who are among the “Great Four” of Norwegian writers.

Cathedral and monument to Alexander Hjelland

In the old town you can find an unusual sculpture of a sheep and a duck, as well as a monument dedicated to the Norwegian guard fireman. There is a sculpture in Stavanger dedicated to the Russian admiral of Norwegian descent Cornelius Kruus.

Norway’s oldest cathedral

Particular attention should be paid to Stavanger Cathedral, which is the oldest in Norway. It was built back in 1100 by order of the crusaders. The temple was built in a harsh Anglo-Norman style. Its distinctive feature is two low Gothic towers that frame the facade of an old building.

Stavanger Cathedral

Among the natural attractions of Stavanger, it is worth highlighting Lake Breyavatnet, which is located in the center of the city park.

Museum of oil

Stavanger is rightfully considered the oil capital of Norway, because there are offices of the world’s largest oil companies and special educational institutions (for example, the Rogaland Research and IRIS institutes). Here is the building of the Ministry of Energy of Norway. Therefore, it is not surprising that the most famous and visited Stavanger Museum is the only oil museum in Norway.

Norwegian Oil Museum

The futuristic museum building, which, according to the architects’ plans, should resemble mountains and oil wells, is located in the very center of the city. It is simply impossible not to notice it, because it is one of the tallest buildings in the district.

Models of oil derricks

Inside the museum is also interesting. Despite the small territory, the Norwegians were able to accommodate all the exhibits here, from oil equipment to mock-ups of plants, with the help of which they extract the country’s natural wealth. The museum has several exhibits created specifically for children.

Bathyscaphe at the Stavanger Oil Museum

The museum also has a section of “virtual reality”: a large screen is installed in one of the halls, on which a film about the inhabitants of the ocean with special sound and light effects is constantly broadcasted. A person entering such a room as if plunges into the ocean and becomes a diver.

In addition, the museum has a cinema hall in which you can see the tape “Petropolis”, as well as a hall for temporary exhibitions.

  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 19.00
  • Price: Adults – 100 CZK;
  • Children, pensioners – 50 CZK.

Monument swords in stone

The Swords in Stone Monument is located a few kilometers from Stavanger, on the shores of Lake Molebukta. It is dedicated to the battle that took place between King Harold I the Fair-haired and his opponents in 872. The monument consists of three swords. The first, the largest, is dedicated to the then victorious King of Norway, and the other two, which are smaller, to defeated opponents.

Monument swords in stone

The monument looks very original, and it is clearly visible even from the other side. As for the evening time, the monument is beautifully highlighted.

Weather and climate

Air temperature in Stavanger

Despite the fact that the Norwegian city of Stavanger is located in the north, it has a fairly mild climate. An interesting fact is that in Stavanger, unlike other Norwegian cities, snow does not always fall in winter. This is due to the warm current of the Gulf Stream.

In summer, the average temperature is +18, and in winter +2. The best time to visit the city is in the summer. If your goal is to see the fjords, then go to Norway in the spring, when the snow melts in the mountains, or in the fall. Well, ski lovers should visit Stavanger in the winter. True, before the trip, you should find out if snow has fallen.

How to get from Oslo to Stavanger

There are various ways to get from Oslo to Stavanger.

By rail
At the Oslo train station

From Oslo Central Station, trains leave for Stavanger every two hours every day. The first leaves the capital at 06.35 in the morning. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or via the Internet. The fare varies from 250 CZK (26 euros) to 500 CZK.

By bus

You can also get to Stavanger from Oslo by bus. But there is one “but”: you need to make a transplant in Kristiansand. The cost of a ticket for this route is 210 kroons, which is slightly cheaper than a train ticket.

Perhaps the bus is the most disadvantageous option for traveling from Oslo to Stavanger: the ticket price is higher enough and the speed is much lower. The only plus is the stunning Norwegian landscapes, slowly floating outside the window.

By plane
Gardermoen Airport

The distance between Stavanger and Oslo is 500 kilometers, so many tourists prefer to get here by air. All planes flying to Stavanger begin their journey at Gardermoen Airport, and the flight itself lasts only an hour. But it is also necessary to take into account the time for check-in and baggage drop-off. Therefore, traveling by air is not the fastest way to get to Stavanger, but, to my great surprise, it is not so expensive. The cheapest ticket costs 500 kroons (53 euros).

By car
Road to Stavanger

Traveling by car from Oslo to Stavanger will take approximately 7 hours. The roads in Norway are very good, so the trip will take place without incident. But it’s worth keeping in mind that there are several paid sections on the highway connecting the two cities, for which you will have to pay about 220 kroons (24 euros).

Get to other cities from Stavanger

You can get to Stavanger from the cities of Prekestulen, Bergen, Langesund by ferry companies Fjord1, Tide, Fjordline, Rødne Fjordcruise.

As for air travel, you can fly to Stavanger from Bergen or Oslo.

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Interesting Facts

Tsvetnaya street in Stavanger
Tsvetnaya street
  1. Stavanger is Norway’s richest city.
  2. The second name of Stavanger is the white city.
  3. In Stavanger there is only one street with buildings not painted white. Its name is “color”.
  4. In the entire history of Stavanger, there were more than 200 fires in the city.
  5. The approximate age of the Lysefjord is 400 million years.
  6. A traditional Norwegian dish is brown cheese made from boiled condensed milk.
  7. The economy of Stavanger in Norway stands at four “S” – herring, shipping, sprats, oil (Seld, ship, sprot, statoil).

Map of Savanger with landmarks in Russian.

What the city of Stavanger looks like from the air – watch the video.

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