The Little Big City in Norway

The Little Big City in Norway

Stavanger in Norway is a small metropolis, with a lot to offer and everything within easy reach. Norway’s former oil capital has a lot to offer all year round. When visiting the little big city in Norway you can enjoy both gastronomic delights and a varied program of events.

Stavanger’s highest point is Ullandhaugtårnet (the Ullanhaug Tower). From there you can see the mountains of Ryfylke to the west. To the north lies Ryfylke, with the legendary Lysefjord and the Pulpit Rock vantage point. Just below the tower to the west, lies Hafrsfjord, where in 872 Harald Fairhair won a great sea battle that resulted in the unification of Norway. The memorial’s Swords in Stone marks the spot where Harald Fairhair achieved his objective. In the evening sun, the three giant swords with the sea in the backgreound are a power sight.

The Little Big City in Norway
The Ullandshaug Tower in Stavanger

The wide agriculture landscape of Jæren spreads out to the south. Out towards the coast a series of long, lovely beaches stretch from Sola in the north to Brusand in the south, only interrupted by stretches of shingle.

Related: Popular Adventures in Stavanger

In Stavanger nothing is very far away. Whether you want to go to Siridalen for the skiing, chug out to the sea in Ryfylke or take a stroll along the beaches and watch the North Sea rolling in. And in many ways, the town itself is a mini-metropolis.

The Little Big City in Norway
From Vågen

The streets are lined with shops, restaurants and bars. The harbor area, Vågen, is packed with people all year round, although it is in the spring and summer that the town really shows itself to advantage. Vågen is Stavanger’s beating heart.

Along the harborside bars and restaurants pop up as the day ends. A cold beer and a bucket of fresh shrimp at Hansens Hjørnet does the trick, while you watch the world pass by.

Related: Norway’s Capital of Street Arts

The Little Big City in Norway
The Petroleum Museum

In the center of Stavanger, near Kjerringholmen, lies the Norwegian Petrolium Museum. The museum looks out over Rosenberg Shipyard, which has built many of the rigs and platforms in use in Norway’s oil fields. The museum is modern and has a lot to offer both adults and children. In addition to a presentation of Norway’s oil industry from its beginnings until today, you can also find out what it is like to work on an oilrig.

The Archeological Museum is a ten-minute walk from the town center. Here you can see a permanent exhibition showing much of the country’s history, or visit one of the special exhibitions. The temporary exhibitions are designed and built in the Museum or presented on loan from other Museums and institutions.

The Little Big City in Norway
From old Stavanger

Old Stavanger
If you want to take a short walk and are looking for a peaceful spot not far from the town center, Stavanger’s old town (Gamle Stavanger) is the place for you. This idyllic area filled with classic, wood-clad houses was only just saved for posterity during the 1970s when Stavanger underwent large-scale modernization. In the old town’s narrow cobbled streets you are shielded from all traffic. Here you can relive Stavanger as it was more than a hundred years ago. And here you can find traces of the canning industry which made Stavanger rich at the turn of the 20th century.

Related: A Touch of Paradise in Norway

The Little Big City in Norway
Shopping in Stavanger

Today, the town center, made up of pedestrian shopping streets, is a busy place all year round. The chain stores rub shoulder with small specialist boutiques, where the shopkeepers display their newest items. Here you will find the latest fashion, or second-hand 1950s memorabilia. And if the weather should be at its west-country worst, the shopping centers Stavanger Storsenter and Arkaden are good alternatives. Here you can stay warm and dry while the rain or sleet lashes down outside.

Shopping is hungry work. At Bøker og Børst you can enjoy wholesome sandwiches. But if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you are never far from a restaurant, whether you want traditional Norwegian rissoles in gravy or more international fare.

The Little Big City in Norway
From the Utopia Festival in Stavanger

A festival curiosity which deserves mention is Stavanger Wine Festival. The festival is brought together by 12 of the city’s best restaurants and some of Europe’s best wine makers, fantastic chefs and suppliers will be present. There will be a wine parade with 8 stops for tasting wine and food. The Stavanger Wine Festival runs from 4 to 7 March 2020.

4 to 10 May 2020, the Stavanger Jazz Festival (MalJazz) takes place. Over the years MalJazz has grown into one of the country’s foremost jazz festivals, presenting top international jazz artists and the best in national and local jazz.

The biggest musical festival in the region is the Utopia Festival, which follows the trends of young people presenting some of the biggest and most popular artists in pop, EDM and urban music. It takes place in the Stavanger Concert Hall’s outside area 28 to 29 August 2020.

Stavanger is known as Norway’s capital of Street Arts. Since 2001, the non-profit festival NuArt has widely been considered the world’s leading celebration of Street Art among its peers. It takes place in September.

The Little Big City in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg