Six things to do in Stavanger, Norway

Norway is riddled with things to do, there are thousands of hikes and places of natural beauty to see, many cities and towns to explore and all the marine wildlife. But, this little post is going to show you the best places around Stavanger, a city in the southwestern area of Norway which blew our mind. A big shout out to Johanna and Tone, from our beautiful hotel for the weekend Eilert Smith Hotel, for helping us design this list.

Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock is the main attraction in Stavanger for sure… and it’s the main attraction for a reason. The killer cliff raises 604 meters above the water and has absolutely insane views down the fjord. This was the first thing which we did when we arrived in Norway and it was 100% our favourite.

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The hike up to the Pulpit Rock cliff is around two and a half hours. However it is not, we repeat not, a tricky hike. There are a few steep parts, but they are few and far between with a large stone paved path most the way.

The views all the way to the top are beautiful, and to be honest, it could easily take more than the two and a half hours with the ‘OMG I can’t believe how beautiful this is’ stops every few minutes. We were racing the rain – which never actually came – on our way to the top, so we stormed it in around two-hours but we allowed ourselves many more ‘OMG I can’t believe how beautiful this is’ stops on the way down.

Our advice would be to take a picnic because we spent nearly an hour and a half at the top.  Its crazy amazing up there and tied in with the three and a half hours hiking adds up to five hours, times that by 10 for all the energy you’ll be using in the hike. Yep, you’re going to need food!

Final word of warning, it is super duper windy up there. We nearly lost a hat, two coats and two heavy rucksacks a number of times, so squeeze them into cracks, weigh them down with rocks and always keep half an eye on them.

**Just a little shout out to the man who dived on our hat seconds before it was about to fall 604 meters down, we will never forget your bravery.**

Manafossen Waterfall

The was a strong second place in our favourite spots around Stavanger. Now, a much shorter hike only being two-hours as a round trip, but much harder. It isn’t a little path which you can pootle along but very slippery, vertical rock which they have nailed metal chain handrails into to help you climb. However, trust us when we say it is worth it.

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After only about twenty-minutes walking you’ll come to the most incredible view of the Manafossen Waterfall, about half way up and directly across from it. From here you can see the sheer power of the beast and the rumble is deafening. There are a number of little ledges which you can sit on an simply take in the giant.

Once you’ve gone semi-deaf you can continue your hike up around the gorge and to the top of the Manafossen Waterfall. This, although not as impressive, gives you a view back to where you were sat earlier as the water tumbles off the side into the unknown.

As we mentioned it’s not as impressive seeing the waterfall from the top. However, what drags you up there is the beautifully flat valley, squished between two mountains with a river running through. Even though you’re already pretty high up, this place is so vast it makes you feel like you are firmly on the ground.

This is a must do when in Stavanger and a slightly lesser know attraction than Pulpit Rock.

Street Art Walk

If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know street art is one of our big loves in life and oh my gosh does Stavanger have its fair share. We used a map to help us find all the key spots which we would 100% recommend. However, half the fun is then going off the designed path and seeing if you can find some new works yourself.

We loved running around the city spotting all the different pieces and towards the end we were beginning to recognise the styles of different artist and themes. On of our favourite spots in Stavanger, where there was a high concentration of art, was Stavanger Øst, known as the “young” part of Stavanger. Here we found pieces everywhere!

Also, take all the pictures because they might not be around for long.

Old Town (Gamle Stavanger)

We were lucky enough to see this in beautiful sunshine and it might be one of the most attractive places we’ve ever seen to live. It’s full of little cobbled roads, white wooden houses with adorable little flower gardens outside, briker-bracker shops with jewellery and books and coffee shops.

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We walked around the town and we’re pretty sure we covered every street, we made friends with local ginger cat and saw some beautiful views of the port from a locals point of view.

Now, when you’re in Gamle Stavanger you need to be extra respectful of the locals privacy. Obviously, being such a pretty little place they get a lot of tourists wandering around which they’re okay with, but obviously they don’t want people sticking their noses into their windows.

It’s not a huge place, so if you just want a wander half a hour should do it. However, we would recommend nipping into one of the local coffee shops for rest. There’s much worse places too be and who doesn’t love a little bit of people watching from a cafe?!

Ovre Holmegate

Another funky little place to stop for a coffee is Ovre Holmegate, a sweet multicoloured street with more trinket shops and bars. Ovre Holmegate is a bit more vibey than Gamle Stavanger. The way we would differentiate between them is Gamle Stavanger is a mid-morning coffee stop and Ovre Holmegate is a late afternoon coffee stop with whisky in it.

This little strip also has its own little collection of street art which clearly meant we just feel in love.

Eat at Tako By Fortou

Finally, the beautiful people at our hotel gave us a whole list of different places to eat in Stavanger and the one which got our vote was Tako by Fortou… who can resist the call of Mexican food!? Plus Tako is located in Stavanger Øst, where we finished our street art tour.

Tako By Fortou was a chilled but vibey little restaurant with funky decor and a decent cocktail menu. The food is little sharing plates or larger plates if you prefer and it is all delicious, especially the homemade guac!

However, if you feeling somewhere a tad different check out these places…

Downtown Stavanger;

  • Söl – Classic Nordic food and interior.
  • Fisketorget – Good selection of fish dishes which is located at the harbour.

Or you can go to Stavanger Øst which is a “young” part of Stavanger and has cool restaurants like;

  • Fortou – Streetfood in a cool, arty area of town.

A little further afield;

  • Byrkjedalstunet –  A traditional Norwegian meal of meatballs and waffles in a traditionally decorated room.
    • We went here for lunch and we weren’t blown away by the food but it was traditional and when in Norway.
      • The biggest disappointment was that the meatballs and waffles didn’t come together.

Right under your nose;

  • RE-NAA – A Michelin Star tasting menu which is actually in the hotel
    • We would have loved to have gone here but… it’s got Michelin Star prices too.

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Overall Norway is beautiful, absolutely mid-blowing and we cannot wait for our next adventure here!

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