Visiting Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger is a classic example of old meeting new in Norway. Old Stavanger in the city center possesses a supremely charming collection of 18th and 19th century wooden buildings, while modern Stavanger is commonly referred to as petroleum capital of Norway. Stavanger has a population of around 121,000 as of 2008.

Stavanger has beautiful recreation areas featuring several lakes. While the average monthly temperature never drops below freezing, summertime is the best time to visit, as the people of Stavanger love their outdoor festivals, activities and attractions. It looks like there's always something happening in Stavanger, whether it be a music, food or drinking festival, or the beach volleyball tournament in summer.

The old harbor, called Vagen, is an example of the old original charm of the city. You'll see the town watchman's Tower along with many places to settle in outside and watch the ships come in and out in the busy harbor. There are also pedestrian streets for shopping, and a host of restaurants and bars on the east side of the harbor. In the evening, take a casual stroll along the Blue Promenade, named for the blue lights embedded into the ground. At the end of the harbor is the indoor fish market, as well as a farmers market by the Cathedral.

Stavanger was selected as a European Capital of Vulture for 2008, and you'll see why when you visit. Some things to see include the Stavanger Cathedral, a prime example of 12th century Gothic architecture. Also check the Ullandhaug telecomms tower for amazing views of the area. Another point of interest to check out is the City Museum, which shows the town's history as the "Herring Capital of Norway". Also to be experienced is the Iron Age village, juxtaposed amongst modern apartment buildings. For a more modern museum check out the Norwegian Petroleum Museum on the waterfront, which opened in 1999.