Stavanger – A Great Norwegian City Trip Surprise

This destination trip report will cover all the sights and sounds and a couple of restaurants and cafes in the city of Stavanger in Norway.

Starting my city tour

Due to my early morning train arrival in Stavanger I took it easy for the first hours of the day, spending a bit of time in the hotel sauna and swimming pool. When I felt rested enough in the late morning, it was time to finally set off to explore Stavanger.

The prime reason for heading to Stavanger in the first place, which you might recall from the introduction of this trip report, was to take the first of many business class flights on my amazing Air France ticket deal which would bring me all the way to places such as Siberia and Azerbaijan.

Even though this was the initial reason for coming all the way up to Norway in the first place, it seemed like Stavanger did look like quite a nice place to explore for a day so I happily arranged a longer stay in the city to give me enough time to explore around.


The city centre of Stavanger is basically centred around a U-shaped harbour. One side features Stavanger’s old town centre known for its trademark wooden houses, while at the other side you will find the commercial centre of the city with most of the restaurants, shops and pubs.

At the base of the U-shaped port you can find some modern office buildings, a huge park and most of the city’s hotels. Standing at the base of the harbour, I decided to first explore the old town.

stavanger harbour trip report
The base of the harbour of Stavanger. ©Paliparan

Unpredictable weather

Even though the weather was a bit gloomy when I left the Radisson hotel, with dark clouds in the sky and a cold wind from the sea blowing into my face, it did not take long before the sun started to come out.

Norway can really be unpredictable when it comes to the weather and you can literally encounter all four seasons in a single day – no matter the time of the year you are visiting.

Gamle Stavanger

The old town of Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) features 173 wooden buildings from the turn of the 18th century. The great majority of these houses are cute, whitewashed little cottages in cobblestone streets where time seems to have stood still. Besides a few boutique shops, cafes and small museums there aren’t any stellar sights as such, as it is rather the area as a whole which is the big attraction.

Gamle Stavanger is just an excellent area to stroll around, especially when you wander a bit away from the main pedestrian street on top of the hill and venture into the side streets. Some of these streets have some stunning views down towards the harbour and sea.

You can easily spend an hour or two exploring every nook and cranny of the old town. Especially on a sunny day like this, it is the perfect area to wander around aimlessly.

stavanger old town view trip report
Some of the old town streets have stunning views over the harbour and sea. ©Paliparan
cat stavanger old town
One of the feline inhabitants of the old town. ©Paliparan
stavanger museum
The Norwegian canning museum is one of the few small museums located in Stavanger’s old town. ©Paliparan
stavanger old town street
The main street of Stavanger’s old town ©Paliparan
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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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