As the fourth biggest city in Norway, Stavanger has plenty of exciting activities and attractions to offer. Not everything suits all budgets, and some experiences are quite expensive. That's when it's good to know which activities won't break the bank.

    Whether you spend a peaceful day strolling through the romantic streets, taking in some of the epic memorials to Norway's past or exploring the museums, you will find plenty of affordable things to fill your days with in Stavanger.

    1

    Stavanger Botanical Garden

    Flora for those who like it quiet

    • Families
    • Budget

    Stavanger's Botanical Garden is one of six botanical gardens in Norway, and is like an oasis of calm in the heart of the city. Explore the garden's rich and diverse range of plants from all over the world, with species split according to themes. These themes include the herb garden - with food and the senses being the common thread through the many wonderful scents.

    Next is a geographical garden, with plants organised by place, and in the perennial garden the plants are presented by colour. There’s plenty of inspiration to be had for keen gardeners. The Botanical Garden is right next door to the Sømarka Park and Garden, perfect for a stroll in nature after your visit.

    Location: Rektor Natvig-Pedersens vei 9, 4021 Stavanger, Norway

    Open:  

    Phone: +47 51 50 78 61

    Map
    2

    Old Stavanger

    A journey back in time

    • Couples
    • Budget

    West of Vågen, sandwiched between modern districts and thoroughfares, lies Old Stavanger. The narrow alleys and streets take you right back to the olden days. The wooden houses here are among Europe's best preserved, and the narrow cobbled streets surrounded by white wooden houses create a very special atmosphere. If you've spent the day exploring, this is a great place to stop for a cosy coffee or something to eat at one of the restaurants here.

    Old Stavanger may look small, and may not take more than a couple of hours to explore, but it's a great place to visit on a summer's afternoon to enjoy the cool onshore breeze. That's when Old Stavanger really comes into its own.

    Location: Øvre Strandgate, 4005 Stavanger, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    3

    Øvre Holmegate

    A colourful stretch of shops and restaurants

    • Couples
    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Budget

    Vågen splits the historic centre of Stavanger in two, and the east side, where Øvre Holmegate is located, was long regarded as the less attractive half, with fewer private gardens and more industrial areas. Yet this area has blossomed into its own unique district, especially for the locals.

    Øvre Holmegate is known as the "colour street" because the houses here are all painted in bold colours, unlike the rest of the city with its classic wooden houses painted in white. The wide choice of cafés, galleries and small cosy shops make Øvre Holmegate one of Stavanger's most popular destinations to visit, whether you have money to spend or not.

    Location: 4006 Stavanger, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    4

    Sola Beach

    Pure white sand and mild sea breezes

    • Families
    • Budget

    Sola Beach is situated in Jæren, the region southwest of Stavanger, which is especially known for beautiful agricultural areas and wonderful beaches that make you think you're in southern hemispheres.

    Sola Beach is the closest opportunity you'll get to beach life - and it's completely free. As Sola Beach is close to both the city and the airport, getting there by public transport is quick and easy. The fine, soft sand is lovely to lie on when summer is at its hottest, and is therefore very popular on sunny days.

    Location: Nordsjøvegen 299, 4053 Rege, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    5

    Stavanger Cathedral

    A beautiful and historic stone house of worship

    • Budget
    • History

    Whether you're religious or not, there's something special about stepping into an old church, and Stavanger Cathedral is one that makes you stop in awe as you enter it. The oldest parts of the building date back to the 12th century, and the cathedral has been in continuous use since the 14th century.

    As you step inside, you can't help but be impressed by its construction and the solid stones used. Unlike any other church in Norway, Stavanger Cathedral has managed to retain its appearance from the Middle Ages, so there are plenty of great photo opportunities to be had here.

    Location: Haakon VIIs gate 2, 4005 Stavanger, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 11.00-16.00. Saturday-Sunday: closed.

    Phone: +47 51 84 04 00

    Map
    6

    Skagenkaien

    The eastern side of Vågen is reminiscent of Denmark

    • Photo
    • Food
    • Budget

    Just like Bryggen in Bergen, Skagenkaien in Stavanger has a facade towards Vågen that begs to be photographed. The many pretty wooden houses look great in the summer sun, when the entire street towards the inner harbour turns into a pedestrian street.

    That's when you’ll discover plenty of fun activities that don't cost any money - whether it's just sitting on a bench or getting to enjoy a free concert.

    Location: 4006 Stavanger, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    7

    Sølvberget library and culture house

    Stavanger's beating cultural heart

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    On a rainy day, you might not feel like walking along the streets of Stavanger, but in the heart of the city lies something that won't empty your wallet: Sølvberget library. Enjoy the peace and quiet as you roam the halls, and let time drift by as you lose yourself in a good book.

    The library shares the building with Stavanger's culture house, which also features exhibitions, presentations and a cinema. Some of these activities cost money, but not enough to dent your holiday budget.

    Location: Sølvberggata 2, 4006 Stavanger, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 08.00-21.00. Saturday: 10.00-21.00. Sunday: 12.00-21.00.

    Phone: +47 51 50 74 65

    Map

    photo by Jarvin (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Swords in the Mountain

    Monument of one of the most famous Viking battles

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • History

    When Harald Hårfagre defeated a number of small kings at the battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, this was considered the culmination of his national formation and conquest of Norway as sole king. This event has an important position in the country's history, and Swords in the Mountain is the monument that commemorates this battle, close to where it took place.

    The monument itself comprises three huge iron swords that stand out from the rock just by the beach in the innermost part of Hafrsfjorden, but the feeling you get when you stand and look out over the sea where the battles took place over 1000 years ago, is far greater than a single memorial.

    Location: Møllebukta, 4044 Hafrsfjord, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    9

    Stavanger Maritime Museum

    All this for less than a tenner

    • Families
    • Photo

    Welcome to an extensive collection of objects, time pictures and experiences at Stavanger Maritime Museum, home to an extensive range of exhibits to learn about - for a very reasonable price.

    Take a trip to the children's museum to learn about growing up in different times, learn about the maritime history of the Stavanger Maritime Museum and the fishing industry at the canning museum. One ticket gives you access to all of the museum's collections. These are split into nine different areas, all of which are easily accessible by public transport or by foot from the city centre.

    Location: Muségata 16, 4010 Stavanger, Norway

    Open: Mondays: closed. Tuesday-Friday: 11.00-15.00. Thursday: 11.00-19.00. Saturday-Sunday: 11.00-16.00.

    Phone: +47 51 84 27 00

    Map

    photo by Jarvin (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Vålandstårnet

    Historical point of interest

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • History

    84 metres above the sea doesn't seem that high, but from the top of Vålandstårnet you still get a great view of the city. And that's the very reason why it was built. The tower was originally a guard house for the city's first pressure pool. Now the tower is available to hire for events, and is open on Sundays for coffee and free use of board games and pens and paper for drawing.

    You can also get a tour and a chance to go up into the tower itself.

    Location: Vålandshaugen 18, 4010 Stavanger, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday: by appointment. Sundays: 11.00-15.00.

    Phone: +47 905 08 526

    Map

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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