Getting around Stavanger
Stavanger and its environs are covered by an extensive bus, car ferry and Hurtigbåt passenger ferry network that is coordinated by Kolumbus (tel: 177; www.kolumbus.no). There are frequent Hurtigbåt fast passenger boats to the islands of Byøyene, Usken and Hommersåk close to Stavanger. There’s also a ferry service to Vassøy, departing every hour from early morning until late in the evening. These boats leave from the Fiskepiren terminal in Stavanger.
Various kinds of travel cards and passes are available from Kolumbus. Flexipass allows unlimited bus travel for 30 days within Stavanger and its surroundings. The Combipass offers the same but includes all local ferries.
There are many taxi ranks throughout Stavanger, but the two busiest are at the train and bus stations. Recommended taxi companies include Stavanger Taxi (tel: 5190 9090), Norges Taxi (tel: 08000) and Rogaland Taxi (tel: 9572 1226). Tipping is not expected, though most passengers round the fare up.
Driving round Stavanger is easy enough, though parts of the downtown core are pedestrianised. On-street parking is difficult, but not impossible, and there are several central car parks, including one behind the bus station and another beside the main harbour, Vågen. An electronic toll charge is levied on all vehicles entering the city via car number plates.
Several car hire companies operate in Stavanger, including Avis (tel: 5171 8950; www.avis.com) and Budget (tel: 5169 6090; www.budget.com), which are both based at the airport. Hertz (tel: 5152 0000; www.hertz.com) and Europcar (tel: 5165 1090; www.europcar.com) are located both at the airport and at Olav V's Gate 13 in the city.
There is currently no bicycle hire available in Stavanger, which is a pity as several of the city’s smaller attractions are widely dispersed. In neighbouring Sandnes, however, visitors can rent bikes from Spinn, a cycle shop at Vågsgata 22 (tel: 5197 5555). Spinn also supplies around 100 bikes to the Sandnes tourist office, which arranges short-term rentals for free. The terrain in and around Stavanger is reasonably flat and easy to negotiate by bike.