Stavanger

Stavanger is the fourth largest city of Norway with a population of 126,021 within city proper as of January 1, 2011. It is in the south-western coast of the country. The urban area of Stavanger stretches across many neighboring municipalities, making it the third largest city in Norway by total urban population with 197 852 inhabitants as of January 1, 2011.

Get in

City map stavanger
Stavanger as seen from Breiavatnet

By plane

Stavanger Airport, Sola (IATA: SVG) is a 20 minute drive from Stavanger. There are frequent domestic services to other major cities in Norway, as well as some services to minor cities and towns. Discounted domestic plane tickets are usually available at reasonable prices if booked well in advance, even during the summer vacation (although frequencies may be reduced). SAS and KLM serve Stavanger multiple times daily from their hubs at Copenhagen and Amsterdam respectively. AirBaltic flies to their hub at Riga twice a week. SAS and British Airways each operate 2 daily flights to Stavanger from London-Heathrow. Norwegian Air Shuttle has 1 daily flight to London-Gatwick. SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle also operate less frequent flights to a number of other European destinations, including Berlin, Warsaw and leisure destinations in Southern Europe, popular among Norwegians, such as Alicante and Malaga.

Airport Shuttle Buses (120 kr one way, 180 kr return, 90 kr child/student/senior/military personnel, 23 minutes) run to downtown Stavanger every 20 minutes (30 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays). Bus line number 9, direction Stavanger (33 kr, 40 minutes) runs every 30 minutes (60 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays) weekdays daytime and is cheaper, but slower. Only ONE piece of luggage allowed. Make sure to board the bus in the right direction, or you might end up in Sandnes instead. When returning to the airport, make note of the fact that not all departures on line 9 go all the way to the airport. Search the schedule for the ones that do .

Haugesund Airport, Karmøy (IATA: HAU) (occasionally referred to as Helganes instead of Karmøy) is served by Ryanair from a couple of international destinations, including three times weekly from London-Stansted. Public transport to Stavanger is available through Nor-Way Kystbussen (see section "By bus") which corresponds with the airport coach that departs Haugesund Airport after every Ryanair arrival. Through ticket 180 kr. Traveling from Haugesund Airport to Stavanger should take around two hours (private car)/three hours (airport coach + Kystbussen). There is a ferry crossing on the way, charging 95 kr if you bring a private vehicle up to 6 m.

By train

In addition to providing a scenic route, train travel may be a cheap alternative to flying with prices starting from kr 249 one way for discounted tickets booked well in advance. Tickets are made available for sale three months before departure. About 8 hours with NSB's train from Oslo via Kristiansand. Reservation is not obligatory on long distance routes. The main train station is located next to the bus terminal. Long distance tickets can be bought at the counter or over the internet, while tickets for local trains can be bought at the main station in Stavanger, at vending machines, or from the conductor. There is a 40 kr surcharge when buying ticket from the conductor if you board the train from a station with a vending machine. The trains are modern and spacious. The trains to Oslo follow the coast. Sleeping compartments with two beds are available on the night train for a fee of kr 850.

By bus

Long distance bus services depart from the downtown bus station. Unless you qualify for certain discounts (student, senior, military etc.) or travel at times when discounted air or train tickets are hard to come by, bus travel is relatively expensive compared to travel by plane or train. It is however often the best alternative for getting "off the beaten track" without renting a car. Lavprisekspressen have a route along the coastal highway to Oslo(8 hours), calling at Kristiansand, Arendal, Sandefjord and others along the road. Booking in advance is mandatory for Lavprisekspressen. Nor-Way Bussekspress operates two routes from Stavanger: Kystbussen runs to Bergen and stops in Haugesund. Departures many times a day. Sør-Vestekspressen runs to Kristiansand. It is possible to catch a connecting bus onward to Oslo

By car

E39 from Kristiansand or Bergen.

By boat

Some smaller places in the inner fjords in Rogaland have a boat service. Service along the coast from/to Haugesund and Bergen has been discontinued.

Get around

By bus

Public transportation in Stavanger is mainly by bus and works smoothly. The web page of the public transportation company has a very helpful journey planner (Kolumbus A single ticket will cost kr 33-73 depending on how many zones you travel although it can be used again within your last zone within a certain time limit. A better option might be to buy a day-pass for kr 85 (90 with necessary card), which can be used unlimited until midnight. In addition, you can buy the 3-day pass which costs kr 145. One and two-week passes are also available. Buses in the city center can be caught at the main bus terminal and at stops around the city lake, Breiavannet. The airport shuttle bus is very expensive (kr 120 one-way, kr 180 return) and if you are heading to a location outside the centre it may be more worthwhile to take a taxi. However, on workdays bus no. 9 which travels half-hourly between the airport and the city center, is a much cheaper option than the airport shuttle bus (kr 33 one-way) if having only ONE piece of luggage. Buses are modern and most have areas for wheelchairs and baby carriages.

By train

Local trains connect the city center to the southern parts of the city and to the towns and villages further south. There are departures to Sandnes (kr 49, 16 minutes) every 15 minutes during daytime.

By taxi

Stavanger has different taxi companies, all charging high rates. A typical daytime rate is 35 kr flagfall, 7 kr/started 500 meter and 8 kr/started minute, minimum 110 kr total payable. Expect a surcharge of about 25 % in evening/night/Saturday and a surcharge of about 45 % for Sunday. You can use credit cards to pay through the taxi meters. During weekends there can be long lines for taxis in downtown area. Try walking out of the city centre and hailing a vacant cab on its way back to downtown.

See

Oil museum, view from seaside
Gamle Stavanger
Stavanger Cathedral

Do

The seasons control what to do in Stavanger. Stavanger has a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. Summers features periods of warm and nice weather, although they sometimes can be rainy. Winters usually mean more rain than snow in Stavanger, although going into the mountains will ensure snow.

Buy

Pewter serving utensils at several shops in town that will also sell other tourist things. They are pretty to look at, coming in several different designs, and practical to use. The cheese slicer (ostehovel) is most traditional, and the fish server (fiskespade) is something rarely seen outside of Norway.

There is a Sunday-open grocery store, "Bunnpris", in Nedre Holmegate 11, nearby the Petroleum Museum and Fargegaten ("The coloured street")

Eat

Stavanger is considered a great place for foodies, with a range of good restaurants and an annual food fair that fills up the harbour area for a week-end each summer. Eating out is generally not cheap, like everywhere in Norway. If you're on a budget you should go for the smaller ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Thai). Several excellent places exist for the traveller on an expense account - or if you want to spoil yourself or a loved one: Try Tango, NB Sørensens (upstairs restaurant) or Renaa.

Drink

Stavanger has a varied and exciting nightlife, concentrated around Vågen (the bay) or a stones throw away. Even weekday nightlife is more vibrant in Stavanger than in most towns in Norway. The eastern rim of the bay gets the afternoon sun, and is the prime setting for an outdoor beer -weather allowing.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under NOK 600
Mid-range NOK 600-1100
Splurge Over NOK 1100

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Hotels in class **** generally allow a 15-25% discount when booking a room with check-in Friday/check-out Sunday or a booking for minimum three nights during July.

Close to the airport/the Sola Beach should be mentioned:

Stay safe

Stavanger is generally considered a very safe city. The local police force are efficient, usually speak good English and have a strong presence in the downtown area at weekends. Call 112 in an emergency.

During weekends, the small downtown area tend to fill up with intoxicated people. Be careful when wandering around this area late at night, as a some people may have had a few too many to drink.

Be careful taking a taxi alone if you are a girl, as there have been reports of a rise in numbers of violent rapes related to cab drivers. Always stay in groups when walking or taking a taxi home from the city center on weekends. Night busses run after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, but have higher fares than during the day.

Cope

Go next

To get to the top, follow the marked path for 2 - 2.5 hours from the Preikestolhytta, where food and accommodation is available, 1.5 - 2 hours for the return walk. Buses meet many of the Stavanger to Tau ferries during the summer, through ferry+coach tickets available from Tide Reiser (can be bought onboard the ferry), or buy your own ferry ticket and then for the local Boreal bus to the lodge. Costs around NOK 250. Total travelling time one way (less the climb) from Stavanger harbour is 1 hour 10 minutes. If you opt to go by your own car, there is a NOK 100 parking fee.

If the climb sounds too rough, you can take a fjordcruise, leaving the harbour most days at noon and returning 3,5 hours later, NOK 450. If you want to both cruise and hike, there's also a 10am summer cruise + hike option which first cruises through Lysefjord then a bus takes you to hike Pulpit rock, NOK 750.

Routes through Stavanger

Bergen Leirvik  N  S  Sandnes Kristiansand


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