Friday 5 October 2018

The port of Stavanger - things to do on a cruise stop

What to do in Stavanger on a cruise

Of all the places that we have visited while on cruises, Stavanger in Norway is one of my favourite cruise stops. Stavanger is the sixth largest city in Norway, but it's compact enough that you can easily explore on foot. The cruise ships dock in the harbour in the very centre of town, and there are a multitude of different things to see and do within easy walking distance. It's quite easy to find your way around, you will probably be given a map at the port but if not you can download one here - Stavanger tourist map.

We've stopped here twice and enjoyed our visit each time, so here are some of our favourite things to do if you have a day or longer to spend in Stavanger.

Disney Magic docked in Stavanger

The Norwegian Canning Museum

The Norwegian Canning Museum is housed in the premises of a former canning factory just a few minutes walk from the harbour, and it aims to document the part of the canning industry which based its production on fish as the raw material. You can follow the production process step by step, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved yourself as you learn about the different stages.

Norwegian Canning Museum, Stavanger

The Norwegian Petroleum Museum

This modern museum explores how oil and gas were created millions of years ago, how petroleum is found and used, and its importance to the country of Norway. There are lots of models to see, along with plenty of interactive exhibits and a play area for children - it's a really interesting museum.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum, Stavanger

Old Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger)

Old Stavanger is formed of a collection of small, white, wooden houses built around 200 years ago. Amongst them you can find craft shops and museums, including the Norwegian Canning Museum. This area is just a few steps away from where cruise ships dock, and it's a lovely place to wander and admire the pretty houses and cobbled streets.

Old Stavanger also known as Gamle Stavanger

The Geopark

Stavanger Geopark is a fantastic playground, put together using recycled materials from the oil industry. Located just outside the Petroleum Museum, children can spend hours here, and it's great to see the waste materials being re-purposed and made beautiful with colourful graffiti.

Geopark playground, Stavanger

Stavanger Cathedral

Stavanger Cathedral was built in AD 1125 and it's the best preserved medieval church in the Nordics. It's a beautiful structure located right in the centre of town.

Stavanger City Park

The city park is next to the cathedral, and is a pleasant place to spend a few minutes as you walk around the city. There's a lake, a pavilion, and plenty of trees, it's a really peaceful space.

Bandstand in Stavanger Park

Pulpit Rock

If you want to travel a little further afield, Pulpit Rock is not too far away, and it's one of the world's most spectacular viewpoints. It's a sheer rock face with a 600 metre drop into the Lysefjord below, and is a popular destination for walkers. It's a relatively easy hike, but you'll need to allow about eight hours to hike up and down including time to get there and back, so if you want to hike up it's probably best to take part in an organised excursion to make sure you are back at the ship in time.

Top of Pulpit Rock, Stavanger
Photo credit Samuel Killworth via Unsplash

Boat trip to the Lysefjord

Another way to see Pulpit Rock, albeit from down below, is by boat on a trip to the Lysefjord. There are various companies offering tours, and they will likely depart from the harbour right next to your cruise ship. An excursion will generally take around three hours, and it's a great way to see some beautiful Norwegian scenery.

I hope that you will love Stavanger as much as I do!

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