Calling all foodies, culture buffs and nature lovers to Stavanger

Once a coastal market town, now a bustling and colourful metropolis, Stavanger is a big tick on every traveller's bucket list. The small city, with a history stretching back to the Middle Ages, can be explored on foot. And it’s much more than a harbour, with streets disguised in funky artwork and rainbow colours, a Viking history, and a vibrant up-and-coming food scene. 

Things to Do

Discover the beauty of Norway’s fjord landscape and breathe in the sea air on a day cruise of Lysefjord, or a gentle stroll around the coast. Be sure to stop by the island of Sør-Hidle, just a short boat ride from Stavanger. Its beautifully bright, tropical gardens will add an extra pop of colour to your views over the water. If an adrenaline rush calls, take a scenic hike (in summer) to see the infamous Kjerag boulder, wedged in a mountain crevice – you can even step onto it if you’re feeling brave. A little further afield, Klosterøy island is home to Klostergården, an 11th-generation family farm. Here, meet the free-to-range animals, learn a little more about the farm’s sustainable food production or tour the brewery.

If you visit in winter, whether you’re in a restaurant or picking some fish for yourself in the Fisketorget Stavanger, expect the very best fresh seafood. With Stavanger’s up-and-coming food scene, you can while away the afternoons in cosy cafés, Michelin-star restaurants or the very best farm shops. For an abundance of local delicacies time your visit with the annual Gladmat food festival in late June – be sure to try a Komle (potato dumpling) or a famous Karamel pudding. Then, wash it all down with a coffee from one of the city’s many coffee roasters. 

The historic, white-washed streets of Gamle Stavanger, the old town, and Fargegaten, lovingly named by the locals as ‘colour street’, are a stark contrast to one another. But both are must-see spots. If you’re looking to learn some local history, take a tour of the petroleum museum or go tech-chic at Viking House in a pair of VR glasses. Whatever you do, don’t miss the eclectic city’s humming harbour – it’s Stavanger’s beating heart. 

Top Tip from SLH

For the photo opportunity of a lifetime, head to Pulpit rock. Here, take a selfie where Tom Cruise was filmed dangling by his fingertips in Mission Impossible: Fallout.