Stavanger: A Profound Tour Around 18 Best Places of the Forgotten Side of Norway

Stavanger

Updated On: June 15, 2024 by   Miranne KhaledMiranne Khaled

Most travellers head to the capital cities when visiting a country for the first time. If it’s your first time in Norway, we encourage you to visit the forgotten city of Stavanger. Situated on the southwestern part of the Norwegian coast, Stavanger is a vibrant city with many magnificent places to visit.

Not only is Stavanger the third-largest city in Norway, but it’s also one of the oldest communities in the country. With roots dating back to the 12th century, it’s easy to guess how rich in history and culture the city is.

Besides being home to numerous Viking tales and sardines-laden seas, the islands host exciting musical festivals every year. Such festivals are known to be held during the summer months, especially in May and August. 

Thus, we have crafted an all-inclusive list to help your Stavanger itinerary. Whether you’re into museums, natural landscapes, or big city attractions, here’s a comprehensive guide to the ultimate attractions: 

Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

Stavanger

The Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, is one of the most prominent attractions in Stavanger. It is located in the county of Rogaland, just above Lysefjorden, and requires a short trip to reach. This tourist attraction is best known among hiking lovers. Getting on top of this steep cliff offers splendid views of the city’s vast landscapes.

Lysefjorden

Stavanger

Right below the Pulpit Rock lies the iconic Lysefjord at the eastern part of Stavanger. A trip to the Lysefjord is a magnificent experience you will never forget. This fjord is a visible mountain cleft, stretching for several kilometres and offering pleasant sightseeing. It overlooks a splendid view of bright green waters, surrounded by alluring rocky walls. If you’re not into hiking, you can rent a boat from Stavanger and embark on this journey in the waters.

The Valberg Tower (Valbergtårnet)

The Valberg Tower is one of Stavanger’s oldest buildings, located north of Market Square in the Holmen Peninsula. It’s well-preserved despite being ancient. Moreover, it was formerly a watchtower built on the city’s highest point, where a watchman lived to warn people when there was fire. Nowadays, it’s a high point where you can observe the scenic landscapes of the city.

Kjeragbolten

Stavanger

Kjeragbolten is where the most famous rock in Norway lies, the Kjerag. Lying between two mountain cliffs, the rock gained popularity among tourists. Although it is a strenuous hike and dangerous spot, many travellers risk it all for an Instagram-worthy picture. This spot is also among Stavanger’s most challenging hikes, yet many tourists flock there every year. The sightseeings offered from up there are also ones to die for.

Ledaal House

Ledaal House is a mansion in Stavanger that draws tourists from everywhere to witness the lavish life Norway’s elite used to live. It was formerly built as a summer house for the Kielland family back in 1799. Nowadays, it’s a museum that exhibits the family’s luxurious furniture and items. There are also historic gardens that feature dazzling collections of flora and trees, and it’s worth seeing.

Swords in Rock

Stavanger

Swords in Rock is a hidden attraction in Stavanger that many tourists usually miss. It’s located in the Hafrsfjord Madle neighbourhood in the southwestern part of the city. The Swords in Rock is a monument that represents serenity and freedom. It also commemorates the battle fought by Harald Harfagre to unite Norway.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum

As the name suggests, the Norwegian Petroleum Museum gives tourists a full explanation of the cycle and history of petrol. We know this may not sound compelling, but let us clarify this before you judge. These innovative museums combine history, technology, geology, and science all in one place. Several interactive methods are used to explain scientific matters to the tourists while keeping them entertained.

Flor Og Fjære

The Flor Og Fjære is an artificial garden located on the Sør-Hidle island. It features a collection of exotic plant life and lush trees between which some miniature lakes course. This garden is a great spot to tour around in tranquility and peace. There is also a restaurant inside that serves the visitors various food and beverages.

Norwegian Canning Museum

Well, it’s known worldwide that Stavanger is home to the best sardines. Not only that, but they also have the Norwegian Canning Museum to display the exciting side of sardines. Sardines are Norway’s most prevalent export goods, and their processes are exhibited within the museum. This museum is a great family destination; they dress kids as cannery workers and show them around the museum.

Stavanger Cathedral

This cathedral is the most prominent and oldest in the city, dating back to the 12th century. The Gothic-like church is located in the city centre, easily accessible by tourists and visitors everywhere. It houses several worth-seeing monuments, not to mention its magnificent interior decorations. You can also visit the Bishop’s Palace, which sits behind the cathedral and overlooks the Breiavatnet lake. 

Breidablikk Museum

Stavanger

One of the oldest historic, well-preserved buildings in Stavanger is the Breidablikk Museum. Located on Eiganes Road across the Ledaal House, the splendid villa used to be home to the Berentsen family. You can learn so much about their history from their preserved items. This museum has three floors open to visitors to delve into the art of history and architecture. The Breidablikk Park attached to the villa is another site worth visiting.

Stavanger Museum

The Stavanger Museum serves a different kind of people since it houses distinct departments featuring numerous collections. This museum houses several other museums that showcase different concepts and collections. These include the Norwegian Canning Museum, Art Museum, Norwegian Children’s Museum, Maritime Museum, and Museum of Natural History. There is just so much to explore within the same site.

Øvre Holmegate

What used to be a dull street is now the most colourful one in Norway, Øvre Holmegate. Thanks to the many artists who collaborated on this project, they turned Fargegaten Street into a vibrant and colourful area. Today, it is one of the major attractions in the city, given the splendid colourful paintings that make for a dazzling background in pictures. You can explore the shops along the street where you can purchase souvenirs or buy beverages to sip.

Stavanger Art Museum

Located a few kilometres from the city centre, the Stavanger Art Museum is an exhibition of different art collections. There’s a wide array of art collections, both Norwegian and International, and you won’t help but admire them. It’s said that Lars Hertervig’s paintings collection gained the visitor’s attention the most, given its personal and romantic nature. Since the museum is in a park, explore the area outside and observe the beautiful Lake Mosvannet lying nearby.

Iron Age Farm

The Iron Age Farm is a reconstructed area that returns to the Iron Age. This farm mimics one that used to exist many centuries ago. Visitors come here to glimpse the lives of prehistoric people and stare at a site of a bygone era. Here, you will learn a lot about how people used to live in the Iron Age. You can also attempt lighting a fire and grind grain into flour. It’s a brand new experience where you’ll discover if you could survive that era.

Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger)

Stavanger

Gamle Stavanger is also known as the old area of the city. It’s a historic area where archaic homes line the stone-paved streets. Legends have it that this neighbourhood of wooden houses is the largest one to survive. Strolling around the streets of this picturesque area feels like a tour of the past. Also, the area has several museums and galleries that you can explore.

Museum of Archaeology

Mostly, everything in Norway reminds you of the Vikings that once inhabited these lands. If this piques your interest in their history, you should visit the Museum of Archaeology. This terrific museum houses a wide array of everything that is Viking. You will observe replicas of Viking weapons, artefacts, ships, boats, and costumes. Besides that, there is also the most popular exhibit, Finn. It’s a polar bear skeleton dating back to the Ice Age. There are many fascinating tales to hear within the walls of this museum.

Utstein Abbey

Utstein Abbey is a well-maintained monastic house in the northern part of Stavanger, where many islands and islets are. It sits on the island of Klosterøy. The monastery dates back to the 13th century. Not only will you explore the abbey, but you can also explore the surrounding site. You can reach this area by taking a boat from Stavanger. On the way, you will witness numerous pleasing sights of natural landscapes.

So, please share with us what spots you like to visit in the Norwegian cities!

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