Things to see in Stavanger

Tourist offices

Stavanger Tourist Information

Domkirkeplassen 3, 4006 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Tel: 5185 9200.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 0900-1600, Sat: 0900-1400
www.regionstavanger.com

Passes

There are currently no tourist passes available in Stavanger, but note that all the city’s major museums offer a joint entry policy – pay at one and you get entry into the others for free on the day of purchase.

Broken Column

British sculptor Antony Gormley has no less than 23 of his trademark life-size sculptures in and around the centre of Stavanger and together these distinctive cast-iron figures constitute ‘The Broken Column’. They aim to illustrate the various facets of the city; there’s one figure beside the cathedral, another beside the fish market on the main square, Torget.

Admission Fees: No.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Norwegian Canning Museum

A Canning Museum may not seem like much fun, but this excellent museum (Norsk Hermetikkmuseum), housed in an old sardine-canning factory, is actually very interesting. A battery of old machines has survived, but the main pull is the collection of vintage sardine tin labels, many of which are beautifully executed: some feature the Norwegian royal family, others local seamen, but the oddest are those that give the sardine human qualities – all very surreal. On busy days and holidays, the museum smokes its own sardines and very tasty they are too.

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 1100-1600 (Sept-May); Mon 1100-1600 (mid Jun-Aug).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Øvre Strandgate 88, 4010 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 4072 8470.
Norwegian Childhood Museum

This is a small museum devoted to childhood, but the main event is the activities the kids can enjoy. It varies from staging their own puppet show to painting and crafts. The museum is a folksy kind of place and it’s located inside the Kulturhus.

Opening Times: Tues-Sat 1100-1600 & Sun 1200-1700; Mon 1100-1600 during school holidays.
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Sølvberggaten 2, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 4076 9592.
Norwegian Petroleum Museum

The oil industry has played a vital part in making Norway one of the world's richest countries. This museum tells the story of the industry and explains how oil and gas were originally formed and how they are extracted, refined and used. A 3D film is shown in the cinema, and visitors can take part in a virtual trip out to the oil platforms in the North Sea.

Opening Times: Daily 1000-1900 (Jun–Aug); Mon-Sat 1000-1600, Sun 1000-1800 (Sept-May).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Kjeringholmen, 4013 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 5193 9300.
Old Stavanger

Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) is a part of the old city centre that was saved from destruction when most of the central areas were modernised after WWII. It consists of around 170 wooden houses and cottages from the late 18th century until the early 20th century. It is an excellent and very successful example of inner city conservation, especially as all the houses are inhabited and invariably beautifully maintained. The Norwegian Canning Museum is located here too.

Admission Fees: No.
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Gamle Stavanger, 4010 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger Cathedral

Stavanger’s main historical sight is its Cathedral, a handsome structure with a pair of slender towers poking high into the sky. Dating from the early 12th century, the bulk of the church is a fine example of the Romanesque style with its heavy arches and dog-tooth decoration, but it also boasts a Gothic choir. This was built by English stone masons, who were brought here to work on the church in the 13th century.

Opening Times: Daily 1100-1900 (Jun–Aug); Tues-Thurs & Sat 1100-1600 (Sept-May).
Admission Fees: No.
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Domkirkeplassen, 4006 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 5184 0400.
Stavanger Maritime Museum

This museum specialises in the maritime history of the southwest coast of Norway. It has a wide variety of objects, documents and photos that give visitors an insight into the history of shipping, ship-building and coastal culture in general. The museum also possesses two beautiful sailing ships and several smaller boats.

Opening Times: Daily 1100-1600 (Jun-Aug); Sun 1100-1600 (Sept-May).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Nedre Strandgate 17-19, 4010 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 5184 2700.
Stavanger Museum of Fine Art

This art museum is located about 20 minutes’ walk west of the centre in leafy Mosvann Park by the Mosvann Lake. It houses Norway's largest collection of works by the painter Lars Hertervig (1830-1902), along with works by Edvard Munch, Christian Krogh, Harriet Backer and other notable Norwegian artists from the last two centuries. The museum is also known for its ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions.

Opening Times: Daily 1100-1600 (June-Aug); Tues-Sun 1100-1600 (Sept-May).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Henrik Ibsens gate 55, 4021 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 5153 0900.
The Three Swords Monument at Hafrsfjord

It was at Hafrsfjord in AD 872 that Harald Hårfagre (Harold Fair Hair) fought and won the battle that would result in the eventual unification of Norway. His enemies were the independent-minded Viking chieftains who had ruled the local roost for centuries. The Three Swords Monument (Sverd I Fjell) was erected to commemorate Harald’s victory and it consists of three huge, Viking-style swords rammed into a rocky knoll. The monument was unveiled by King Olav V in 1983 and is located by the Hafrsfjord, 6km (4 miles) from the centre of Stavanger.

Admission Fees: No.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Torget

Stavanger’s wide and spacious main square Torget slopes down to the main harbour, Vågen. This is where the city’s fishing fleet once used to land its catch - as recalled by the excellent fish market - though today it’s more popular as a meeting place, where locals lick their ice creams and eat their fries to the accompaniment of street musicians and performing artists.

Admission Fees: No.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Torget, 4006 Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Utstein Monastery

One of the best preserved medieval monasteries in Norway, the assorted stone remains of Utstein Kloster are located about 40 minutes’ drive north of Stavanger, off the main road north to Bergen. It’s a lovely peaceful spot, with gorgeous gardens, and the museum provides an enjoyable insight into the lives of the monks who once lived here.

Opening Times: Tues-Sat 1000-1600, Sun 1200-1700 (mid-May to mid-Sept); Mon 1000-1600 (Jul-Aug only).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Mosterøyveien 801, 4156 Mosterøy, Stavanger, Norway
Telephone: 5172 0050.
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