Welcome to the Stavanger cruise port guide. Stavanger is that pleasant little city in Norway and although we say “little” with 130.000 inhabitants it still is the 3rd largest city of the country. Stavanger might be one of the oldest cities in Norway. It never used to be anything significant, but today the oil industry is the key industry in the Stavanger region and therefore the city is often referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. Stavanger at first sight might not sound like the most exciting destination on your itinerary, but you are wrong. There are lots of things to see and do right in the near area of the pier. The cutest neighboorhoods, the best the museum of the country and Norways oldest stone church are all a short stroll away from the dock. But this is not the only thing. You can choose to visit the fjords, visit the world famous pulpit rock or go for a ride through history. Discover underneath what your options are on what to see and do in Stavanger.
Travel information Norway
Official currency – Norwegian krone
Accepts Euro / US dollars – sometimes in souvenir shops
Creditcards – are widely accepted
Drives on the – right
Timezone – UTC +1
Inhabitants – 5,1 million
Official language – Norwegian and Sami
Capital city – Oslo
Kingdom of Norway
Government – Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Good day – God dag
How are you? – Hvordan har du det?
Thank you – Takk
Cruise ship – Cruiseskip
Port – Havn
Cruise Port Guide Stavanger – Norway: docked or tender
In Stavanger you are often docked although it sometimes happens that with more than 4 ships in town a ship might have to tender. For now it is a safe assumption you are docking, but double check with your front office on board. There are about 4 different docking locations in Stavanger. All are right in the city centre. You mainly dock in front of the old town or in front of the commercial town. The centre is rather small so it makes hardly any difference to you. Check the map above to see you docking possibilities. The docks usually have no facilities on them as everything is right there outside the dock gates. Usually the port does make sure that there are city maps available for you. If they are not available you can pick one up at the tourist information centre. Check out the map above to see its location. Stavanger is best to be explored by foot. It is a small town and most things are close to each other. Public transportation lacks a bit, although there is a hop on hop off bus service available.
Here are also some recommendations:
– Rent a bicycle. Do this through the tourist information near the cathedral. See map for its location.
– Take the hop on hop off bus. Although their service has not been very stable for the last couple of years so they might or might not be there. If they are you might want to consider their service if you are mobility challenged. They mainly stay in the city centre and go a little further south. They only provide services for foldable wheelchairs. You’ll find them close to the exit of the pier. Search for a small red bus.
– Taxis are usually not waiting for you by the pier. Remember that in Norway they are expensive and not widely available. Rule of thumb is that a taxi should cost +/- 700 NOK (100 USD) per hour.
– Take a cruise to the Lysefjord. These cruises leave from the tiny bay itself. See the map for its exact location.
FAQ about cruise destination Stavanger:
– How long does the hike to Pulpit Rock take? It takes 2 hours to hike up and 2 hours to hike down, but total you will need 8 hours (including hike, bus and ferry).
– Is the cruise to the Lysefjord worth it if we will visit other fjords on the itinerary. Definitely, provided your ship is not going into the Lysefjord. The Lysefjord is a special one because of its light colours what it is named after. Its quite hard to get tired of fjord and any extra one you can see is a blessing.
– How can I best explore Stavanger? Stavanger is a tiny place and you see the most by foot.
– Do the shops accept USD? Don’t count on it. Creditcard is widely accepted though.
In the city centre you will find the Maritime Museum of Stavanger where you can learn more about the history of Stavanger as fishing village and much more.
Stavanger offers 4 docking locations where cruise ships can dock. All of them are located right in front of the city center of Stavanger. For all the information we recommend you to visit the full Stavanger cruise port guide.
Stavanger is known for its white wooden houses. There is one exception to the rule: Øvre Holmegate. This is without doubt the most colourful street of Stavanger. Find many lovely stores and coffee places here.
In front of the cathedral you will find a market square where you can pick up your local souvenirs like t-shirts, local products and even reindeer skin.
At the end of the bay you will find a small builing that houses the fish market. Inside you will find all kind of fishy products from the local area. Try all kind of sausages, king crab or the famous Norwegian crab cakes.
The canning museum is located in the former canning factory. With all the fathers on sea catching fish the women and children were left behind to work in the canning factory. See here how the working conditions were and why only tiny little children hands could fill the sardines cans. Depending on where you dock the canning factory is a few minutes walk. You’ll find it is Gamla Stan “old stavanger”.
The best museum in Norway. You are missing out if you do not visit this one. It is a well presented museum that gives you everything you want to know about oil. Learn about the rigs, life in the oil industry, why can we find in front of the European coastline, how does it impact the economy and much more. Depending on where your ship docks the museum is a few minutes walk to the east.
Just out of town you will find a lake with three enormous bronze swords standing on its shore lines. These stand monument to the battle of Harfsfjord that took place here in 872. From port it is 5 km / 15 minute drive south of the port.
The city of Stavanger stands full of sculptures and statues. There is a reason why every single one of them is there. Like the one on the main square. This is Alexander Kielland. He was one of the most famous Norwegian writers in the 19th century and he was born in Stavanger.
This is the one thing that you shouldn’t miss in Stavanger. The famous pulpit rock is within your reach although it is not an easy reach. It will take you at least 8 hours and you need to be in good shape. Details will be available soon to tell you how to do it. Plan 8 hours to be able to do it!
This is the oldest stone church of Norway. It was build in 1125 when Stavanger only had 200 inhabitants. It is one of the most interesting buidlings in the country, especially because there is so much history behind it. Did you know this is the only church in the world depicting a devil? Take you time to get into the stories behind the church. The Cathedral is only a few hundred meter walk from the ship.
This is “old Stavanger” where you’ll find a 173 white washed houses from the 18th century. This used to be the poorest neighbourhood of Stavanger. The mothers and children used to work in the canning factory and the fathers were out on sea. Why were houses white? Red is the colour of copper, yellow color means you used fish oil to paint your house and if you had something to spend… you painted your house white. Gamla stan is in the city centre.
The Iron Age Farm is a reconstructed farmstead from the Migration Period. From here you’ll have a wonderful view over the surrounding area, but more importantly a better view on Iron Age life. You’ll be welcomed as a guest on the farm and the girls an boys will take you through daily life on a farm like this. They will tell you about their clothing, their animals and how to keep warm in icy cold areas like this. It is 5 km / 15 minute drive south of the port.
This is a famous fjord in Norway, known for it’s light colored rock and preikestolen. Visit this fjord by boat as there are no road going into it. Most cruise lines will offer an excursion going to the Lysefjord. You can also take a cruise leaving close from your dock to the Lysefjord. Book it on the dock or online through a company called Rodne. It is about 50 km / 1,5 hrs drive to the east although most people visit is with the sightseeing tour offered in town.
This 19th century structure is the old watchtowers and watchmens’s museum. This used to be the highest point in town and men used to stand watch here to raise the alarm whenever a fire was spotted. From here you will have a lovely view over the harbor and your ship in port. The watch tower is in the city centre.
The museum that represents archeology, natural sciences and modern cultural history. It is a very nice museum to visit, especially if you want to know more about vikings and their voyages. From port is 15, km / 20 min walk to the south.
When you see this very tiny staircase: stop. It leads from the harbor to the main square in front of the cathedral. The steps are there so that the ducks who breed outside of the city can bring their little ones back to the city in spring time. This happens every spring. When this happens the Norwegian are obligated to call the police so that the police can give the little duckies an escort over the square to the garden behind the cathedral. The steps are in the city centre.