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Stavanger kommune
—  Municipality  —

Coat of arms

Rogaland within
Stavanger within Rogaland
Coordinates (city): 58°57′48″N 5°43′8″E / 58.96333°N 5.71889°E / 58.96333; 5.71889Coordinates: 58°57′48″N 5°43′8″E / 58.96333°N 5.71889°E / 58.96333; 5.71889
Country Norway
County Rogaland
District Jæren
Municipality ID NO-1103
Administrative centre Stavanger
 - Mayor (1995) Leif Johan Sevland (Høyre)
Area (Nr. 406 in Norway)
 - Total 71 km2 (27.4 sq mi)
 - Land 68 km2 (26.3 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 - Total 121,610
 Density 1,785/km2 (4,623.1/sq mi)
 - Change (10 years) 9.5 %
 - Rank in Norway 4
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Official language form Bokmål
Norwegian demonym Siddis[1]
Data from Statistics Norway
Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1769 3,337
1951 50,617 1416.8%
1960 52,835 4.4%
1970 81,741 54.7%
1980 89,913 10.0%
1990 97,570 8.5%
2000 108,818 11.5%
2010 124,029 14.0%
2020 145,068 17.0%
2030 163,284 12.6%
Source: Statistics Norway[4][5]

About this sound Stavanger is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway. Stavanger was established as a municipality 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The then rural municipalities of Hetland and Madla merged with Stavanger 1 January 1965.

Stavanger municipality has a population of 121,610[2] (2009), but there are 189,828[3] (2009) people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the de facto third largest city in Norway. Stavanger is also the centre of the Stavanger metropolitan area which has a population of 297,569. The city is commonly referred to as the Petroleum Capital of Norway.[4]

The city is a combination of new and old influences. There is a significant foreign influence with the foreign oil interests, the NATO Joint Warfare Center and in recent years a large immigration from Eastern Europe. Norway's oldest cathedral, Stavanger domkirke, is situated in the city centre. Stavanger has several beautiful lakes, which are popular recreation areas. Breiavatnet is located in the heart of Stavanger, while Mosvatnet and Stokkavatnet are situated right outside.



The domkirke of Stavanger is the oldest cathedral in Norway.

Stavanger fulfilled an urban role prior to its status as city (1425), from around the time the Stavanger bishopric was established in the 1120s. A number of historians have argued convincingly that North-Jæren was an economic and military centre as far back as the 800-900s with the consolidation of the nation at the battle of Hafrsfjord around 872. Stavanger grew into a centre of church administration and an important south-west coast market town around 1100–1300. With the reformation in 1536, Stavanger's role as a religious centre declined, and the establishment of Kristiansand in the early 17th century led to the relocation of the bishopric. However, rich herring fisheries in the 19th century gave the city new life.

The city's history is a continuous alternation between upswings and recessions. [5]

For long periods of time its most important industries have been shipping, shipbuilding, the fish canning industry and associated subcontractors.

In 1969, a new upswing started as oil was first discovered in the North Sea. [6] After much discussion, Stavanger was chosen to be the on-shore center for the oil industry on the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and a period of hectic growth followed.[6]

Origin of the name

The Norse form of the name was Stafangr. The origin of the name has been discussed for decades, and the most used interpretation is that it originally was the name of an inlet (now called Vågen). The first element of the name is stafr m 'staff, stick'. This could refer to the form of the inlet, but also to the form of the mountain Valberget (Staven 'the staff' is a common name of high and steep mountains in Norway). The last element is angr m 'inlet, fjord'.


The coat-of-arms is based upon a seal from 1591. It shows a branch of vine (Vitis vinifera). The meaning and representation of the vine is unknown.


The boroughs of Stavanger
Stavanger city centre

Stavanger is divided into 7 boroughs.[7]

Stavanger is also partitioned into 22 parts and 218 smaller parts.

The Department of Adolescence and Quality of Life, in the municipality (Oppvekst og levekår i Stavanger kommune) has been split into 4 parts. These are independent of the borders of the boroughs. They are Eiganes and Tasta, Hinna and Hillevåg, Storhaug, Hundvåg and Madla. The Department of Labour and Wealth (Arbeids og velferdsetaten - NAV) which was opened 3 July. 2006, also uses this partitioning.


The city is located on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Norway. The climate is maritime mild temperate (marine west coast - cfb) and rather windy, with all monthly temperature averages above freezing, and precipitation 1200 mm/year. Summers are pleasant and lowland areas in and around Stavanger have the longest growing season in Norway. [8]


The oil industry is the backbone of Stavanger' economy.

Starting in the 1880s, industry grew in Stavanger, primarily based on treatment and exports of fish and fish-products. The industry was however one-sided which left it vulnerable to changes in demand and was therefore particularly hard hit by the economic depressions between World War I and World War II.

After World War II, the canning-industry hit difficulties. Increased competition from abroad and old machinery led to decrease which was only partially compensated by an increase in shipping and boat-building.

In the 1960s, exploratory oil-drilling in the North Sea changed the situation for Stavanger. It is located close to the oil-fields, and Stavanger with its good harbour and plane-connections was well-positioned to take advantage of the increased activity.

After petroleum-exploration and production became the most important business sector in the Stavanger area during the mid 1970s, business and cultural climate has changed considerably.

The largest oil company in Stavanger is mainly state-owned oil company Statoil who have their headquarters located in the suburban area of Forus, located between neighboring Sandnes and Stavanger.

The city of Stavanger is now running out of land for future development for housing and industry. To rectify this, the administration has approached the neighboring municipalities to propose a merger. This has not been welcomed by in particular Sandnes. Thus, it seems evident that the growth in the area will take place outside the boundaries of Stavanger.

The NATO Joint Warfare Centre is located at Jåttå.


Access to Stavanger is provided through the Sørlandsbanen railway, and the road E39 from Kristiansand and E39 north on the west coast, Stavanger Airport, Sola with connection to domestic and international destinations, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Aberdeen, Manchester and Copenhagen. Also, located outside Stavanger, there is a port serving international ferries to Hirtshals, Denmark. Local ferries go to Tau and Kvitsøy, while fast passenger boats go to many villages and islands between the main routes from Stavanger to Haugesund and Sauda.

Public transport

The local bus service in Stavanger is administered by Rogaland Kollektivtrafikk (RKT) under the brand name "Kolumbus"[9]. The buses are operated by Veolia. RKT administers all bus routes in Rogaland County.

In the last few years Kolumbus has revitalized it's marketing strategy with focus on the four most frequently used routes; 1, 2, 3 and 4[10]. The buses used on these routes have been upgraded with a new design to appeal to the users.[11]

On the 12th of January 2009, Kolumbus initiated an express bus service to the large commercial district Forus located south of the city. This service consists of seven direct express routes that run mornings and afternoons.[12] The express buses run from different neighbourhoods in Stavanger directly to Forus, without passing through the city centre, like all other regular routes.

The recently upgraded Jærbanen between Stavanger and Sandnes will be serviced by trains running at a frequency of 4 departures per hour from the 13th of December.[13]

The city has a number of bus services and taxis. There are two tunnel projects planned: Ryfast and Rogfast.

Stavanger by night - ferry going between Tau and Stavanger.

Distance to some cities


Stavanger has several schools for the expatriate community including the British International School of Stavanger[14] and the International School of Stavanger.[15]

Stavanger has one university, the University of Stavanger with about 8,000 students. The university was formerly a university college. It was granted status as University on 1 January 2005. [16]

The population of Stavanger has a high percentage of university educated persons, with 31.3% of those above the age of 16 having higher education, compared to the national average of 24.2% (2006 figures) [17].


European Capital of Culture 2008

An aerial view of Stavanger' city's center.

Stavanger and its region, along with Liverpool, United Kingdom, was selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2008. The Stavanger2008 vision is expressed through the concept "Open Port". This can be understood both in its English sense - "an open harbour", - and in its Norwegian meaning of "an open gate". Open Port – Openness towards the world. The region and its people is supposed to be even more open and inclusive towards art, ideas and opportunities.

Every May, Stavanger is host to MaiJazz, the Stavanger International Jazz Festival. The International Chamber Music Festival takes place every August. Stavanger was the host port of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race in 1997 and 2004.

View over Breiavatnet towards the inner harbour Vågen in Stavanger.
European Capital of Culture 2008 - Opening parade in January 2008.

Sport and Recreation

The largest local football club Viking FK, plays in the Norwegian Premier League (2010). The club plays its home matches at the football stadium, Viking Stadion, which was opened in 2004.

Stavanger Idrettsforening (Commonly referred to as SIF), currently play football in the Norwegian first division.

FK Vidar, currently play football in the Norwegian third division.

Stavanger Oilers plays in the Norwegian ice hockey elite league, GET-ligaen. The handball team Stavanger Håndball plays in the Norwegian second division.

Stavanger is the host of the 2009 beach volleyball SWATCH FIVB World Championships.


Norway is a country renowned for its love of rock and metal music. Stavanger is the home of the gothic metal bands Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, Sirenia and the singer Liv Kristine, the heavy metal band Stator and the black metal band Gehenna (band), among others. Janove Ottesen and Geir Zahl founding members of the alternative rockband Kaizers Orchestra both lived in Stavanger as well. Stavanger also has a brass band which competes regionally.


Stavanger has also been the shooting location for Norwegian movies such as Mongoland and Mannen som elsket Yngve (The Man Who Loved Yngve), which received some recognition by Variety magazine.[18]


Outdoor activities

Lysefjorden is popular for hiking. Tourists typically visit places like Prekestolen (aka the Pulpit Rock), and Kjeragbolten. Prekestolen is a massive rock overhanging the fjord (604 meters above). Kjeragbolten is a rock wedged in the cliff approx. 1000 meters above the fjord. The straight fall 1000 meters down to the fjord makes Kjerag a very popular location for BASE jumping.

Not too far from Stavanger, alpine centers are ready for skiers and snowboarders throughout the winter season. [19]

Along the coast south of Stavanger there are a number of large, sandy beaches, including at Sola is within closest reach from the city.[20]

City Centre

Old Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) is located right next to the city centre and has a collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wooden structures.

Stavanger domkirke (St. Svithun's cathedral) was built between 1100 and 1150 by the English bishop Reinald in Anglo-Norman style, and in the late 13th century a new choir was added in Gothic style, with a vaulted roof. The cathedral is the only Norwegian cathedral that is almost unchanged since the 14th century.

The city centre itself is small and intimate, with narrow streets and open spaces protected from car traffic. The open-air vegetable market is one of the very few in Norway where you can buy produce directly from local farmers every working day through the year.[citation needed]


The Stavanger Museum is also located in Old Stavanger, commemorating the city's past glory as the herring capital of Norway.[21]

The museum of Archaelogy is one of five archaeological museums in Norway. According to the Museum itself it, follows a profile of environmental archaeology and interdisciplinary study, with a scientific staff that includes representatives from archaeology, the natural sciences and modern cultural history.

The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is located at the harbour. The museum reflects the fact that Stavanger has been Norway's oil capital since oil drilling activities started in the North Sea in 1966.[22]

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Stavanger has several sister cities; they are:


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Stavanger is the fourth largest city of Norway with a population of 117 315 as of January 1, 2007. It is located in the south-western coast of the country.

Stavanger city centre
Stavanger city centre

By plane

Sola Airport (IATA: SVG) is a 20 minutes drive from Stavanger. It is a medium sized airport, but it is currently being upgraded. Tel:+47 51 658-000 To & From the Stavanger Region Map Airport Shuttle Buses [1] run to downtown Stavanger every 20 minutes, somewhat less frequent to Sandnes. Bus number 9 runs every 30 minutes weekdays daytime and is cheaper, but slower. (29 kr. 35 minutes).

By train

About 9 hours from Oslo. Reservation is obligatory. The train station is located next to the bus terminal. Long distance tickets can be bought at the counter while shorter distances can be bought from the conductor. The trains are modern and spacious. The trains to Oslo follow the coast. Many trips to, or from, Oslo will require a sleeper train.

By Bus

Two companies, Nor-Way [2] and Lavprisekspressen [3], have routes along the coastal highway E-18 all the way to Oslo(8 hours), calling at Kristiansand, Arendal, Sandefjord and others along the road.

By car

E39 from Kristiansand or Bergen.

By boat

About 4 hours from Bergen, twice daily with Tide. Tickets can be bought on the boat, but may be cheaper if bought in advance.

Get around

By bus

Public transportation in Stavanger is mainly by bus and works smoothly. A single ticket will cost from kr 23-57 depending on how many zones you travel although it can be used again within a certain time limit. A better option might be to buy a day-pass for kr 72, which can be used unlimited until midnight. In addition, you can buy the 3-day pass which costs kr 123. One and two-week passes are also available. Buses in the city center can be caught at the main bus terminal and at stops around the city lake, Breiavannet. The public transportation system, including the local trains connecting Stavanger to the greater region, is currently being expanded and incidences of temporary schedule and route changes in this period is to be expected. The airport shuttle bus is very expensive (kr 70 one-way, kr 110 return) and if you are heading to a location outside the centre it may be more worthwhile to take a taxi. However, on workdays bus no. 9 which travels half-hourly between the airport and the city center, is a much cheaper option than the airport shuttle bus (kr 28 one-way). Buses are modern and most have areas for wheelchairs and baby carriages. More information about public transportation in Stavanger and the region on the Kolumbus Website

By taxi

It is not uncommon to travel in a Mercedes or BMW when using taxis. This is a good thing once you consider that an average 15 minute journey can cost over kr 150. Night-time and weekends have special rates. You can use credit cards to pay through the taxi meters. There are several taxi companies for e.g. Stavanger Taxi and Norges Taxi (Norway's Taxi)

Stavanger Town Square
Stavanger Town Square
Roundabout close to the town square
Roundabout close to the town square
The square in front of the dome church
The square in front of the dome church
  • The Stavanger Oil Museum is a very interesting building with fascinating information on Norway's oil industry. Displays of submersibles, drilling equipment, a mock oil platform, and audio-visual presentations make for a good few hours. The museum caters for all ages.
  • The Canning Museum may not seem like the most interesting place to visit but it is a surprisingly good little museum with a lot of hands-on exhibits.
  • Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) is a well preserved slice of Norwegian history. Old winding streets and wooden houses are representative of accommodation from Stavangers days as a the canning capital of Norway. Most houses in Old Stavanger are privately owned and well kept.
  • A good place for a photo opportunity are the Three Swords (Sverd i fjell, literally Sword in Mountain), a monument outside the centre of Stavanger, beside the Hafrsfjord. The swords themselves are massive and in the background is the fjord. The monument commemorates the battle of Hafrsfjord in the late 800's where Harald Hårfagre beat his eastern opposition and became the first King of Norway.
  • Sculptures - In 2000 the mobile installation Another Place by British sculptor Anthony Gormley was placed on and off Sola beach. A few years later a new and permanent installation Broken Column[4], by the same artist, was placed at various locations surrounding the centre of Stavanger.
  • The Rogaland Kunstmuseum (art museum) is on Mosvatnet Lake, only 2 km from the city center. The museum has a permanent exhibition of Norwegian art, and a rotating exhibition that is sometimes quite spectacular. Be sure to see the Lars Hertervig paintings; you'll see the landscape of the islands just north of Stavanger reflected in his work.


The seasons control what to do in Stavanger. Summers can be very warm, although sometimes rainy, and the long days keep the temperature up. Winters usually mean snow or rain in Stavanger although going into the mountains will ensure snow.

  • Hiking and climbing around Stavanger is the best way to see the fantastic landscape. Many of the trails have been marked out by the Turistforetning with rocks bearing a red "T". Turistforening hyttes (cabins) provide simple accommodation in the mountains. Also mountain bikes can be hired and taken on the trails. Maps
  • Solastranden (Sola Beach) is a long sandy beach by the airport. It is very popular in the summer and allows for some small waves for surfing. Along the beach, in the dunes, are the remains of defences from the 1940-45 occupation. Other less populated beaches are all along the coastline although they are sometimes hard to find.
  • Ice skating on Stokkavannet - In the depths of winter the government tests the ice on its lakes. Once the official word is given many Norwegians will head for the largest lake, Stokkavannet. The lake itself is located near to Madla about 20 minutes bus ride outside of Stavanger. Should the ice not be safe, and you have a compulsion to skate, another option is to visit the Siddishallen, an indoor ice-rink.


Pewter serving utensils at several shops in town that will also sell other tourist things. They are pretty to look at, coming in several different designs, and practical to use. The cheese slicer (ostehovel) is most traditional, and the fish server (fiskespade) is something rarely seen outside of Norway.

  • Ekofisk, Nedre Strandgate 13 (Across from the fish market), +47 51525409 (fax: +47 51529922). Sells fresh fish. They make excellent fish soup; eat it there, at the little tables, or take it home for dinner. kr 55 per serving. Try the "fiskegrateng" -- a casserole with fish, macaroni, cheese, etc.  edit


Stavanger has a varied and exciting nightlife, concentrated around Vågen (the bay) or a stones throw away. Even weekday nightlife is more vibrant in Stavanger than in most towns in Norway. The eastern rim of the bay gets the afternoon sun, and is the prime setting for an outdoor beer -weather allowing.

  • Folken (Student house), Løkkeveien 24, 51654444, [5]. 11:00 - 01:30. Folken is by far the cheaper place to drink if you bring your Student Card. The music varies in both genre and loudness. Enjoy the summer in Folkens backyard! low.  edit
  • On the western side you will find Checkpoint Charlie, a legendary hangout for rockers and students. It is also home to CCAP, a record label that hold Thomas Dybdahl and Popface in their expanding stable. Though its clientel has gradually gotten younger over the years (now around 18-22), it retains much of its old feel. (Lars Hertervigsgt. 5 4005 Stavanger, tel: 51532245[6])
  • Another bar well worth the visit is Cementen. Situated on the third floor of a concrete building alongside the bay, it has a great view of inner city Stavanger. It is easy to find, just look for the cement mixer hanging from the outside wall seven meters above its entrance. The recently added dance floor has resulted in increased popularity. (Nedre Strandgt.25, 4005 Stavanger)
  • For the see and be seen crowd, Taket is the place to go (Nedre Strandgt. 15, 4005 Stavanger Tel: 51 84 37 01).
  • With Hall Toll the Stavanger night scene has finally gotten a taste of cosmopolitan jet set, complete with drunken bimbos, obnoxious bouncers with headsets and a separate VIP line at the entrance.
  • Clubbers are advised to seek out Sting , located next to Valbergstårnet. It is a bit cramped, but they keep great DJs and the atmosphere is inviting. The first floor is cafe style, and basement is a night-club. The rooms to the right when you enter the cafè is traditionally for gay people. If you get tired from dancing there is a lounge area, Indian style, with lots of pillows to lie down on.(Valberget 3, 4006 Stavanger, Tel: 51 89 32 84,[7])
  • Munken (The Munk) is a traditional bar that serves beer, wine and spirits. Crowd varies a great deal in age (22-72), often many english speakers. Usually not very loud music. Free entrance. Prostebakken -in the Alley by the Dressmann haberdashery.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under NOK 600
Mid-range NOK 600-1000
Splurge Over NOK 1000
  • Folken Bed & Breakfast, Løkkeveien 24, 515644444, [8]. checkin: 1200; checkout: 1200. Folken Bed&Breakfast is by far the most social way of spending a night or six in Stavanger. Located just a few hundred meters from the city centre, Folken Bed & Breakfast is one big dormitory with 40 beds spread around in what usually serves as Stavangers #1 venue for live music. But don't worry, the beerspills and the sweat from the last semester is cleaned up. June - August only! kr 250.  edit
  • Combined youth hostel and camping site by Mosvannet.
  • Det lille huset, [9]. Singles 450, doubles 500.  edit
  • Thompsons Bed and Breakfast, [10]. Singles 300, doubles 480.  edit
  • Stavanger Bed & Breakfast, Vikedalsgaten 1A (Just uphill from the train station), 51 56 25 00, [11]. Recently refurbished, slightly cramped, little noise isolation. Some rooms without shower and/or toilet. Light evening meal included. Singles 800, doubles 900.  edit
  • House Ryfylke, Ryfylkegata 2, +47 48122688, [12]. 10 min walk from the city center. 100% advance payment by booking. Flat 2 is situated on the second floor, has two bedrooms, spacious living-room, one bathroom, wi-fi. The owner of the house is a very nice and atentive lady kr 1300/night for a flat for Flat 2 (June 2008).  edit
  • Thon Hotel Maritim, Kongsgaten 32 [13]. Ideally situated in down town Stavanger with a view of Lake Breiavannet, and a short two- minute walk to the city's commercial and entertainment centre. A short walk to the main bus and train stations.
  • Park Inn, Lagårdsveien 61, +47 (51) 76 20 00 (, fax: +47 (51) 76 20 01).  edit
  • Laundry at the corner of Kongsgata and Breibakken, at the eastern edge of the city lake Breivatnet.

Stay safe

The Stavanger police has recommended all girls to take the bus instead of taxi. This is due to a 20 fold increase in very violent taxi rapes the last 5 years. 95 % of these have been committed by non-western immigrants.

  • Go south, to rural areas in Jæren. Take a fast-boat to some of the islands like Usken. Go to the family theme park Kongeparken close to Ålgård.
  • Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) is a massive 600 metres vertical cliff that sits on the edge of the Lysefjord. Its top is a natural lookout of several hundred square metres, almost perfectly flat, and the rock is the region's main tourist attraction, and one of the nation's landmarks.

To get to the top, follow the marked path for 1-2 hours from the Preikestolhytta[14], where food and accommodation is available. Three ferries a day corresponds with buses [15] here, -total travelling time one way (less the climb) from Stavanger harbour is 1 hour 10 minutes. Ferry NOK 50, bus NOK 65. If you opt to go by your own car, there is a NOK 80 parking fee.

If the climb sounds too rough, you can take a fjordcruise[16], leaving the harbour most days at noon and returning 3,5 hours later. NOK 350.

  • Further into the Lysefjord you can climb the Kjerag and see the Kjeragboltn.
Routes through Stavanger
BergenLeirvik  N noframe S  SandnesKristiansand
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  1. A municipality in Rogaland, Norway. The fourth-largest city in Norway.

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