Stavanger, NorwayLocation: Europe
Old-world charm and modern style blend together beautifully in Stavanger. Located at the mouth of the Gandsfjord in southwestern Norway, this city offers fun for adventure lovers and history buffs alike.
Things to See and Do
Delve into history in Stavanger. Visit the striking Stavanger Domkirke—Norway's oldest cathedral, dating back to the early 12th century. Or, explore the picturesque, cobblestone streets of Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger), an area that flourished in the late 18th century with the growth of Stavanger's economy.
Go just outside the city to see iconic sights, like the Three Swords Monument. Here, giant, crossed Viking swords commemorate Harald Fair Hair's unification of Norway in 872 following his victory at the Battle of Hafrsfjord—making him the first king of Norway.
The city is surrounded by natural beauty. Relax on sun-kissed beaches. Go hiking in nearby mountains. For a truly adventurous experience, visit Preikestolen—or Pulpit Rock. This dramatic cliff offers sweeping views from 2,000 feet above sea level.
Local Culture and Flavor
Traditional foods in Norway are influenced by the geography of the region. Common staples at the dinner table include seafood, root vegetables, fruit, cured meats and wild game—like moose, reindeer and duck.
For a special dining experience, venture out to Flor & Fjære, a garden and restaurant on the island of Sør-Hidle, only 20 minutes by boat from Stavanger. Here, you'll enjoy scenic views of exotic plants, palm trees and the sea as you savor outstanding international cuisine. It's a true feast for the senses.
Past and Present
The history of Stavanger dates back to the Middle Ages. For hundreds of years, it was a tranquil coastal town. The economy of the city thrived from the late 1800s through World War II, thanks in part to its growing canning and fishing industries.
In 1969, the city was revitalized when oil was discovered offshore in the North Sea—bringing new wealth to the area. Today, Stavanger is a bustling sea port and a renowned leader in the oil-drilling industry.
Fun Facts & Tips
In 2008, a penguin was awarded knighthood by King Harald V of Norway. The penguin—named Sir Nils Olav—is the mascot of the Norwegian Royal Guard.