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Situated in the far southwestern corner of Norway, the city of Stavanger has grown from an important regional centre for fishing and ship-building into the country’s fourth biggest city in the space of just a few decades. This transformation has come about on account of its role as the centre of Norway’s offshore oil industry. Nowadays, it is an up-and-coming tourist destination with a thriving cultural life, as witnessed by its status as the European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Who to Book With
Car rental is a good way to continue your travels at Stavanger Airport. Most of the major companies are represented there. You can also find smaller local firms in downtown locations. Make your trip easier by pre-booking a vehicle online via our car rental comparison website.
Best Time to Go
Stavanger has a fairly temperate maritime climate. Average temperatures in July and August are a very pleasant 18°C. It’s often windy. Winters are generally mild, with heavy snowfall a rarity in the city itself.
Need to Know Essentials
When hiring a vehicle, you will be asked to present the following documents:
- An International Driving Permit or a current DVLA driving licence
- A passport or another valid form of ID with a photograph
- The same credit card as the one used when making the reservation
- A printed copy of the confirmed reservation
Read our answers to your FAQ here.
Since certain areas in the old town are restricted to traffic, it’s best to park in one of the 3,000 parking places distributed around the city and then to use public transport to get around the centre.
Get more information on driving in Norway here.
The city centre of Stavanger has remained largely unchanged, meaning its sights, such as the cathedral and the 18th and 19th century houses of its old town, are all easily explored on foot. Local transport options in Stavanger run from buses and taxis to a range of boats and ferries.
Train services to Stavanger are provided by the Sørlandsbanen railway line which runs to Oslo (340 miles away) through Kristiansand. Local train services connect Stavanger to the neighbourhoods in the south of the conurbation.
Stavanger’s excellent local network of buses and passenger ferries comprises a number of companies operating under the auspices of the government transport agency, Kolumbus. You can catch buses in the city centre at the main bus terminal as well as at stops spread out around the city lake, Breiavannet. A variety of coach companies offers routes to both regional and national destinations.
Rodne passenger ferries and express boats provide commuter and sightseeing services in and around Stavanger as well as to other places on the country’s west coast.
Taxi services encompass both cars and mini-buses. In accordance with the city’s extremely high standard of living, tariffs tend to be exorbitant, making car rental a great alternative. It is possible to pay by credit card. There can be long queues for taxis in the downtown area at weekends. A recommended firm is Rogaland Taxi.
There’s no shortage of places to go and marvellous scenery to admire within easy driving distance of Stavanger. Ideal daytrips include visits to nearby fjords, mountain zones with great possibilities for hiking and deserted beaches.
Fjords – With this being Norway, no trip would be complete without a visit to one of the Stavanger region’s breathtakingly beautiful fjords. Hafrsfjord is situated at Jæren, close to the airport. A monument, Swords in Rock, commemorates one of the formative battles in Norwegian history in the 9th century. To the southeast, Høgsfjord is a stunning fjord that you can traverse by boat from Stavanger. Perhaps the most impressive of them all is Lysefjorden, a 26-mile long fjord with imposing rocky walls that rise up over 3,000 feet from the water. Once you’ve arrived, a marked trail taking 5 hours to hike allows access to one of Norway’s most striking natural sights.
Mountains - There’s some great hiking around Stavanger. The two best known destinations are Kjerag, sitting majestically above Lysefjord and Preikestolen, and Pulpit Rock with its spectacular views of the fjord. The area around Sandnes, a nine-mile drive to the south of Stavanger, also features superb hiking opportunities.
Sola Beach - Sola Beach (or Solastranden) is situated near to Stavanger Airport. It is one of the most popular beaches in the region and where you can practice wind and water sports. What is more, Sola golf course is found nearby. Parking is available by Sola Strand Hotel and at the southern end of the beach.
National Tourist Route Jaeren - This 25-mile long route makes for the ideal daytrip by hire car. The route takes in part of Norway’s fertile western countryside, offering open skies, rural vistas and long stretches of sandy beaches interspersed with pristine zones of dunes and sparkling salmon rivers.