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Why You Should Visit my Hometown, Stavanger (Norway)

As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to grow up and move away from my hometown. A boring, old-fashioned city with bad climate. How anyone could possibly fall in love with that place, was beyond me. But times have changed. Now I fall in love with my hometown again and again, every time I come back to visit. Let me introduce you to Stavanger, a charming little gem in the southwest of Norway.

The city is primarily known as the Norwegian oil capital, which has shaped the identity of the city in many ways. For example, one of the main tourist attractions in the city is the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, the local hockeyteam is called “Stavanger Oilers” and the city’s nickname is “Oljebyen” which means “Oil city”.

But there’s more to Stavanger than that. The region is blessed with spectacular nature. Visit the beautiful Norwegian fjords, Kiragg mountain and the pulpit rock. And when you’re done hiking or finished your tour with the Lysefjord sightseeing cruise, there’s plenty of cozy coffee shops where you can go to relax with a good cup of coffee in Stavanger city. Norwegians love their coffee, and they take their coffee-culture very seriously. Don’t forget to order one of the local pastries like kanelbolle (cinnamon roll), skolebolle/skolebrød (bun with egg cream) or solskinnsbolle (cinnamon roll with egg cream) to go with your beverage – to get the true Scandinavian coffee-break experience. 

Take a stroll along the picturesque Old Town, where all the houses are itty bitty and painted white. Visit the little galleries and charming boutiques and imagine you’re back in the early 1900s. Here you’ll also find the Norwegian Canning Museum, which displays a typical factory from the 1920s.

And for a completely modern approach, visit Øvre Holmegate, more familiarly known as “Fargegata” (Colorstreet). This colorful neighborhood is home to some of the most chic bars, cafes and boutiques in the city and is a joy to visit. It’s a good spot to take some cool Instagram snapshots too!

Dining in Stavanger can be expensive, but totally worth it – as long as you select your restaurant wisely. My personal favorite is the Renaa restaurants, Re-naa; a gourmet restaurant which has been recognized for its excellence and awarded with a Michelin-star, and Renaa: Matbaren, which is the cheaper option – but with the same, high quality and a relaxing atmosphere. Another favorite is Døgnvill – Bar & Burger, for when I want a delicious gourmet burger accompanied by a tasty milkshake.

Should you check out the nightlife in Stavanger? If you want an awesome night out, yes! Believe it or not – and this is coming from someone who has lived in Oslo (the capital) too – I’m not the first person to say that Stavanger has better bars and clubs than many other Norwegian cities. And most of them are centered around the port! Check out Checkpoint Charlie , Gnu , Chevy’s and Folken if you wanna hit up the indie/rock/metal scene. If you’d rather dance the night away to the beats of the latest house/pop music, check out Alf&Werner , Hall Toll or Hexagon. If you prefer dancing to a more underground style of electronica and indie music, check out Cementen. If you just wanna hang out and drink craft beers in a more relaxed and mature atmosphere, Cardinal is the place for you. Or Circus , if you want a beer bar with a younger vibe.

The best time to visit Stavanger is between May and September. Every year in late July, there’s the annual food festival Gladmat (which is great fun if you’re a foodie) and the Tattoo Convention (for the alternative crowd). Next year – in May – there will be a wine festival too!

So what are you waiting for?

Visit my hometown in Norway. Visit Stavanger!

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25 comments on “Why You Should Visit my Hometown, Stavanger (Norway)

  1. nomadepicureans

    Oh wow! We read so much about Oslo and Bergen and even Tromsø that people often forget about Stavanger. I’d love to visit one day 🙂 Have you been to the petroleum museum? It sounds kinda interesting!

    Jacky 🌞

  2. yogawinetravel

    Wow your hometown looks so incredibly charming! I too am starting to fall in love with my hometown (Hong Kong) again and explore a bit more – isn’t it funny how that happens?

    • It really is funny how you need to move away from a place in order to fall in love with it properly. I guess it’s because we start seeing it through the eyes of a tourist – kind of 🙂

  3. Your home town sounds and looks amazing! I love the colourful buildings. Sounds like there is lots to do there too and great that it is close to spectacular nature 🙂 I would love to visit Norway one day

  4. Love the photo of the houses! And I think it comes with maturity to love places that bring forth comfort 🙂 Norway is one of our must-travel places and hope to see some of these in person!

  5. Your hometown is beautiful! I haven’t been to Norway yet, but it’s definitely somewhere I want to go to.
    I would definitely check out the night life if I visit 😀

  6. The pictures of Stavanger are mesmerizing… I had never heard of it before and now I’m so glad you’ve introduced me to it. Also, your upcoming events caught my eye, if you’re Cologne and need a hand (drinking buddy) with the Glühwein let me know! 🙂

    • If you decide to go to Stavanger – or anywhere else in the southwest of Norway – let me know and I’ll share some more tips 🙂
      I’m going to Cologne with my boyfriend and my in-laws, but it would be fun to meet up over some glühwein at the market 😀

  7. Cute city, those streets look so appealing! It would be interesting to visit a petrol museum, it would be my first hehe.
    Ps. I am super curious – how do you pronounce this combination of letters – LJ? We have it in Croatian and we say is like double L in Spanish.

    • The petroleum museum is fun 😀 hmm that’s a random question. Haha. Well, for example, the city Ljubljana – I pronounce it iubliana. No idea if that’s correct, but that’s how I do it. I can’t think of any Norwegian words with that combination of letters. But in Swedish they use it. I think they pronounce it like I do.

  8. I haven’t been to Norway yet but your hometown looks really pretty! I love hearing about different places. I had only ever considered going to Oslo but now I think I would like to take a look around some smaller towns too.

    • It is! Personally I prefer the smaller towns – although Stavanger is actually the 4th biggest city in Norway but just has more of a small-town feel to it. You should visit! Also check out small towns like Risør, Kragerø, Røros, Ålesund 🙂

  9. I did not know Norwegians took their coffee so seriously! After seeing the pics I am seriously convinced that my home town is boring!!! This is no where near boring. Stavanger is beautiful. Nice photos.

  10. I did not know Norwegians took their coffee so seriously! After seeing the pics I am seriously convinced that my home town is boring!!! This is no where near boring. Stavanger is beautiful. Nice photos

  11. Whoop whoop 🙂 I moved to Stavanger last year (never visited before) and it’s such a nice town. A lot of tourists then to skip Stavanger and head to the bigger towns but i think everyone should spend a couple of days just chilling out here as well!
    And yes, Gladmat is great!

  12. Can`t believe you are from Stavanger!! This place is on the top of my list of places I want to see in Norway. It looks like an amazing place. Thank you for showing more of your hometown, it makes me more excited to go there!

  13. Ååå du kommer fra Stavanger! Eg har bodd der for ett år i ’13-’14 hos en norsk familie og gikk på Bergeland vgs haha.
    Hjemmebyen din e veldig fint og eg elsker å reise tilbake av og til. 🙂

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