Top 7 Things to do in Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger is such a beautiful city, situated along the western coast of Norway, there’s no reason not to visit. Whilst it can be very cold, it’s full of stunning buildings, quirky cafes and plenty of shops – just to mention a few things to do in Stavanger. When it comes to local attractions, you won’t be bored… there are various museums, monuments and activities to keep you busy. I’m happy to say, jetting off to Stavanger, Norway for my 20th country was a great idea.

Stavanger, Norway

If you love small cities with beautiful buildings and plenty of things to see and do keeping you busy, then Stavanger is a great idea for your next adventure. Stavanger Airport, Sola is a short 17-minute journey to the city centre. Arranging accommodation in the city is ideal to help minimise costs.

Once arrived in the centre, there are various places to grab a bite of food, but don’t spend too long drooling over the mouth-watering menus as there are lots of things to do in Stavanger that you should consider adding to your itinerary.

Dining out in Stavanger right near the harbour is just one of many things to do in Stavanger.

The best things to do in Stavanger

1 – Take a walk around Gamle Stavanger

Walking around the streets in Gamle Stavanger
Walking around the streets in Gamle Stavanger

One of my favourite things to do in Stavanger is walking around streets in Gamle. There are around 250 buildings mostly small wooden cottages. These beautiful houses were built in the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century. A walk around Gamle Stavanger will keep you clicking away with your camera.

Gamle Stavanger
One of the best free things to do in Stavanger is walking around the streets in Gamle.

2 – Visit the beautiful Stavanger Cathedral

A visit to Norway’s oldest cathedral, Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger domkirke) is a must. It’s a beautiful church and is situated in the centre of the city. It was built around the 1100s and finished around 1150.

Stavanger Cathedral
Stavanger Cathedral

Don’t just admire the exterior, take a step inside and see the stunning interior for yourself.

Interior Stavanger Cathedral
The Stavanger Cathedral makes it to the top things to do in Stavanger due to it’s beautiful exterior and stunning interior.

3 – Dine at the local restaurants

Whenever I visit a new country, I’m always keen to try out different restaurants and see what they have to offer. In Stavanger, there’s plenty of options. Take a walk along the harbour and you’ll come across a various restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

Local restaurants in Stavanger
Local restaurants in Stavanger

4 – Have fun at The GeoPark

The GeoPark is situated right near the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and is constructed and developed from objects from the oil industry. Designed by the Architects Helen & Hard and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, this park was built for youngsters offering a variety of activities from skating, climbing, graffiti art to performances, concerts, dance and classes.

The GeoPark is full of many activities making it great for youngsters. Situated right beside the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, this one of many things to do in Stavanger.

5 – Hop on a fast ferry from Stavanger

If there’s one thing you must do when visiting Stavanger, that’s hopping on a fast ferry to the fjords. What an amazing experience and memories made from this trip. Head on over to the harbour in Stavanger and you’ll find the tour agency Rodne Fjord Cruise. Book a ticket and you’ll soon be off exploring the stunning fjords.

Rodne Fjord Cruise
Rodne Fjord Cruise

Tickets cost NOK 470 (£43) for adults, NOK 300 (£27) for children and from NOK 1 300 (£120) for families. This experience is a must if you visit Stavanger.

6 – Take a stroll from Stavanger to Breidablikk Mansion

Whilst it’s not directly in the city centre, a short walk to and you’ll come across the best-preserved mansion house in Norway. Built-in wood by architect Henrik Nissen in 1881, this stunning mansion has a beautiful exterior and incredible interior. The owner of the mansion was one of the leading businessmen in Stavanger at that time, merchant and shipowner Lars Berentsen.

Breidablikk Mansion
Breidablikk Mansion

The mansion is open to the public and offers an interesting insight into what lifestyle for the middle-class in Norway was like at the end of the 1800s.

7 – Take in the beautiful view of Stavanger city from Valandstarnet

I love a good view of a city and when I found out there’s a place called Valandstarnet just a short walk from the centre, I had to go there. I arrived at around 15:30, just in time to see the sunset and admire the views of the entire city, surrounding fjords and islands. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll come across an old water tower/fire watch tower, a few benches and plenty of areas to walk around the park.

A view of Stavanger city
A view of Stavanger city

Over to you…

So those are my top 7 recommendations for things to do in Stavanger. I’d love to know what you have done, or would find interesting to do whilst in Stavanger. Unfortunately, I was only there for a few days, however, the majority of these attractions can be done in a single day or spread out over a few.

Things to do in Stavanger


Smart Hotel Forus, Norway – Hotel Review

Smart Hotel Forus Exterior View

Thinking of planning a city-getaway to Norway? With plenty to do in Stavanger and budget-friendly accommodation available such as Smart Hotel Forus, there’s no reason not to. Your search ends here for affordable accommodation in the city centre.

Hotel Name: Smart Hotel Forus
Star Rating: ***
Location: Luramyrveien 12, 4313 Sandnes
Rooms: 155 rooms
Top Tip: For breakfast, try out the natural yoghurt with mixed fruit, it’s delicious!

Smart Hotel Forus

Lobby @ Smart Hotel Forus
Lobby @ Smart Hotel Forus

If you’re wanting to visit Norway and take in the beautiful views, amazing attractions and incredible fjords, Stavanger is the perfect location. Smart Hotel Forus is situated not far from the city centre, a 14-minute taxi will get you there before you know it.

Whilst being a budget-friendly hotel, all rooms have everything needed for a comfortable and smart stay. Each and every room is equipped with a bathroom including shower, very (very) comfy beds, large pillows, work-desk, free WIFI and a flat-screen TV.

Other services available at the hotel include;

  • Scandinavian breakfast and buffet dinners
  • Free parking
  • Free bicycle rentals (from June to September)
  • Car rentals
  • Late checkouts


Stavanger is well known for the incredible fjords and the popular Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen). With the beautiful city streets and attractions all close by, staying at Smart Hotel Forus gives you access to all major attractions within a short distance.

You’ll be able to relax and unwind in a quiet location with plenty of dining options nearby including Domino’s for those pizza lovers out there. The hotel is also situated right next to Kvadrat, Rogaland’s largest shopping mall with a total of 170 stores, 60 of which are clothes, shoes and fashion related.

Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger, Norway

After checking in at Smart Hotel Forus which was extremely simple and very quick, I proceeded to my room on the fourth floor, room 430. I was greeted with a very nice welcome gift which made the evening even better after a busy day at work and then, of course, the flight to Norway.

Due to the location of the hotel being situated a little out from the centre, you will be required to use transportation. The friendly and very helpful staff at Smart Hotel Forus are more than happy to help with booking a Taxi.

Smart Superior Room

Smart Superior Room
Smart Superior Room

For my visit to Stavanger, I stayed in the Smart Superior room at the hotel. This room accommodates up to two people with a 140cm queen-size mattress. After stepping into the room, whilst it was quite small, it certainly does have the basics for a comfortable weekend away. The hotel room consisted of the usual room facilities;

  • Flat Screen TV
  • Free WIFI
  • Climate Control
  • Minifridge
  • Shower

The only thing that I was concerned with, just like any traveller would be, is that there was no safe in the room.

Other than that, I’m happy to report, the hotel came equipped with the basic needs for a short city break stay.

Dining at Smart Hotel Forus

The hotel offers both breakfast and dinner every-day of the week. For breakfast, it’s a Scandinavian buffet every day, Monday- Friday: 5.00 a.m. – 10.00 a.m and Saturday- Sunday: 6.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.

Breakfast at Smart Hotel Forus
Breakfast at Smart Hotel Forus

The price of breakfast is 125 NOK, however, if you book directly with the hotel you will receive complimentary breakfast.

Breakfast at Smart Hotel Forus
Breakfast at Smart Hotel Forus

For dinner, it’s an evening buffet which is open from 5 p.m.- 9 p.m Monday-Thursday and on Sunday’s it’s a pizza buffet.

All facilities and services:

  • Free WIFI
  • Free Parking
  • Car Rentals
  • Free Bicycle Hires
  • 24/7 Reception
  • Free Late Checkouts
  • Laundry
  • Sporting Events


  • Quick and easy check-in and check-out
  • Room included the basic needs for a budget hotel
  • Beds were extremely comfy
  • The hotel is located 10km from the city center of Stavanger, 4km from down town Sandnes and 10km from Sola airport
  • Location is great, but will require transport to visit Stavanger
  • Good choice of food for breakfast
  • Free bicycle hire
  • Free late checkout


  • No safe in the room
  • Not many plug sockets available in the room (Usually one spare under the bed near the wall)
  • WIFI can be a little slow when utilising in room

The wrap up:

If you’re looking to make the most of Stavanger, exploring the local attractions and not be situated directly in the centre with everything going on, then Smart Hotel Forus is the perfect hotel. With cheap accommodation, high quality, simplicity and comfort, you will be able to enjoy Stavanger on a budget and create memorable experiences. The staff at the hotel are very friendly and will do whatever they can to make your stay the best it can be.

Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger, Norway

Disclosure: My stay was hosted by Smart Hotel, but all views are my own and reflect my stay accurately.

Duration: 2 nights, Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th February 2018