Stavanger is the fourth largest city of Norway with a population of 126 021 within city proper as of January 1, 2011. It is in the south-western coast of the country.
The urban area of Stavanger stretches across many neighboring municipalities, making it the third largest city in Norway by total urban population with 197 852 inhabitants as of January 1, 2011.
Stavanger Airport, Sola (IATA: SVG)  is a 20 minute drive from Stavanger. There are frequent domestic services to other major cities in Norway, as well as some services to minor cities and towns. Discounted domestic plane tickets are usually available at reasonable prices if booked well in advance, even during the summer vacation (although frequencies may be reduced).
SAS, KLM and Lufthansa serves Stavanger multiple times daily from their hubs at Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Frankfurt respectively. AirBaltic flies to their hub at Riga once daily. SAS and British Airways each operate 2 daily fligths to Stavanger from London-Heathrow. Norwegian Air Shuttle has 1 daily flight to London-Gatwick. SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle also operate less frequent flights to a number of other European destinations, including Berlin, Warsaw and leisure destinations in Southern Europe, popular among Norwegians, such as Alicante and Malaga.
Airport Shuttle Buses (100 kr one way, 150 kr return, 75 kr child/student/senior, 23 minutes)  run to downtown Stavanger every 20 minutes (30 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays). Bus line number 9, direction Stavanger (36 kr, 35-40 minutes) runs every 30 minutes (60 minutes during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas holidays) weekdays daytime and is cheaper, but slower. Only ONE piece of luggage allowed. Make sure to board the bus in the right direction, or you might end up in Sandnes instead. When returning to the airport, make note of the fact that not all departures on line 9 go all the way to the airport. Search the schedule for the ones that do .
Haugesund Airport, Karmøy (IATA: HAU)  (occasionally referred to as Helganes instead of Karmøy) is served by Ryanair from a couple of international destinations, including three times weekly from London-Stansted.
Public transport to Stavanger is available through Nor-Way Kystbussen (see section "By bus") which corresponds with the airport coach that departs Haugesund Airport after every Ryanair arrival. Through ticket 180 kr. Traveling from Haugesund Airport to Stavanger should take around two hours (private car)/three hours (airport coach + Kystbussen). There is a ferry crossing on the way, charging 95 kr if you bring a private vehicle up to 6 m.
In addition to providing a scenic route, train travel may be a cheap alternative to flying with prices starting from kr 249 one way for discounted tickets booked well in advance. Tickets are made available for sale three months before departure.
About 8 hours with NSB's  train from Oslo via Kristiansand. Reservation is obligatory on long distance routes.
The main train station is located next to the bus terminal. Long distance tickets can be bought at the counter or over the internet, while tickets for local trains can be bought at the main station in Stavanger, at vending machines, or from the conductor. There is a 40 kr surcharge when buying ticket from the conductor if you board the train from a station with a vending machine. The trains are modern and spacious. The trains to Oslo follow the coast. Sleeping compartments with two beds are available on the night train for a fee of kr 850.
Long distance bus services depart from the downtown bus station. Unless you qualify for certain discounts (student, senior, military etc) or travel at times when discounted air or train tickets are hard to come by, bus travel is relatively expensive compared to travel by plane or train. It is however often the best alternative for getting "off the beaten track" without renting a car.
Lavprisekspressen  have a route along the coastal highway to Oslo(8 hours), calling at Kristiansand, Arendal, Sandefjord and others along the road. Booking in advance is mandatory for Lavprisekspressen. Nor-Way Bussekspress  operates two routes from Stavanger: Kystbussen runs to Bergen and stops in Haugesund. Departures many times a day. Sør-Vestekspressen runs to Kristiansand. It is possible to catch a connecting bus onward to Oslo
About 4,5 hours from Bergen, stopping at Haugesund(1,5 hours) and a few smaller places. Twice daily on Flaggruten.no by Tide . Tickets can be bought on the boat at 770 kroner, but is normally cheaper if bought in advance on the internet.
Public transportation in Stavanger is mainly by bus and works smoothly. A single ticket will cost kr 26-71 depending on how many zones you travel although it can be used again within your last zone within a certain time limit. A better option might be to buy a day-pass for kr 76, which can be used unlimited until midnight. In addition, you can buy the 3-day pass which costs kr 126. 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 airport shuttle bus is very expensive (kr 95 one-way, kr 150 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 31 one-way) if having only ONE piece of luggage. Buses are modern and most have areas for wheelchairs and baby carriages.
Stavanger has different taxi companies, all charging high rates. A typical daytime rate is 35 kr flagfall, 7 kr/started 500 meter and 8 kr/started minute, minimum 110 kr total payable. Expect a surcharge of about 25 % in evening/night/Saturday and a surcharge of about 45 % for Sunday. You can use credit cards to pay through the taxi meters.
During weekends there can be long lines for taxis in downtown area. Try walking out of the city centre and hailing a vacant cab on its way back to downtown.
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 and is open 10:00-16:00 (Sundays and June-August 10:00-18:00).
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, 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.
Stavanger Cathedral. Stavanger Cathedral (romanesque style from about 1125, with later gothic additions) is the best preserved medieval cathedral in Norway and well worth a visit.edit
The seasons control what to do in Stavanger. Stavanger has a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. Summers features periods of warm and nice weather, although they sometimes can be rainy. Winters usually mean more rain than snow 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.
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 the newly built full size indoor long track speed skating arena Sørmarka Arena. There are also several ice hockey rinks at Tjensvoll, ten minutes by bus from the city centre.
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.
Stavanger is considered a great place for foodies, with a range of good restaurants and an annual food fair that fills up the harbour area for a week-end each summer. Eating out is generally not cheap, like everywhere in Norway. If you're on a budget you should go for the smaller ethnic restaurants (chinese, thai). Several excellent places exist for the traveller on an expense account - or if you want to spoil yourself or a loved one: Try Tango, NB Sørensens (upstairs restaurant) or Renaa.
Sabi Sushi, Pedersgata 38, ☎ 90 40 60 70, . Monday - Saturday 11:00-22:00, Sunday 13:00-22:00. Probably the best sushi in Stavanger. Take-away and restaurant. edit
Straen Fiskerestaurant, Nedre Strandgate 13, ☎ 51 84 37 00, . 18:00-01:30. Considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Norway. However, be aware that only have seafood, you will not be served meat or poultry. 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, . 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
Bøker og Børst (Books and Booze) (Café), Øvre Holmegate 32, ☎ 51 86 04 76, . 10:00 - 02:00. Definitely the most charming little café in all of Stavanger. Really nice atmosphere and interiors. The eccentrics' favorite. 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. 2 beers for the price of 1 on Thursdays (Lars Hertervigsgt. 5 4005 Stavanger, tel: 51532245)
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, email@example.com)
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.
Nåløyet Bar, Nedre Strandgate 13, ☎ 51 84 37 00, . Nåløyet is the closest thing to an everyday pub with some of the best bartenders in town. The bar is open all days, and get packed on Fridays and Saturdays.edit
Bar Bache, Øvre Holmegate 5, . Perhaps the cheapest Happy Hour in town! Tiny English style pub.edit
Centrum Romutleie, Baldersgata 7 (1,4 km/0,9 miles walk from bus/train station, 2 km/1,25 miles walk from city centre), ☎ +47 97 96 67 57 (17-20 GMT+1), . checkin: 17:00-21:00; checkout: 07:00-09:00. Clean, very basic room rental, one single and one double room available, sharing a bathroom, basic guest kitchen available for preparing breakfast. Single 400, double 500. edit
Mosvangen vandrerhjem, Henrik Ibsens gate 19, ☎ +47 51 54 36 36, . checkin: 16:00-22:00; checkout: 07:00-10:00. Hostel of rather high standard, all bedrooms ensuite, basic guest kitchen. No alcohol allowed. edit
Rogalandsheimen Gjestgiveri, Muségata 18 ((0,4 km/0,25 mile walk from bus/train station, 1 km/0,6 mile walk from city centre)), (fax: +47 51 53 69 36), . checkin: 16:00-22:00; checkout: 07:00-11:00. Typical **(+)-hotel. All rooms with sink, no rooms ensuite, TV lounge with free wireless internet zone. No alcohol allowed. edit
Stavanger BB, Vikedalsgata 1A ((0,6 km/0,4 mile from bus/train station, 1,2 km/0,75 mile from city centre)), ☎ +47 51 52 25 00. checkin: 16:00-22:00; checkout: 07:00-11:00. Typical **(+)-hotel. No rooms ensuite, all rooms with small TV sets. Single 750-850, double 850-890. edit
St Svithun vandrerhjem, Armauer Hansens vei 20, ☎ phone, . checkin: 16:00-22:00; checkout: 07:00-10:00. Hostel of very high standard, totally comparable to ***-hotel except making your own bed is required. All bedrooms ensuite. Nice cafe and basic guest kitchen. No alcohol allowed. edit
Stavanger Lille Hotell, Madlaveien 7 (0,6 km/0,35 miles walk from bus/train station, 1,2 km/0,75 miles walk from city centre), ☎ +47 51 53 43 27 (fax: +47 51 53 03 81), . checkin: 15:00-21:00; checkout: 08:00-11:00. Typical ***(+)-hotel. Rather large rooms with TV/DVD and high quality beds. Economy rooms smaller, not ensuite, standard **+. Single economy 770, double standard for single use 1420, double economy 940, double standard 1490, double superior 1690, prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet. edit
Havly Hotell, Valberggata 1 (heart of city centre, five minutes walk from bus/train station), ☎ +47 51 93 90 00 (fax: +47 51 93 90 01), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Typical ****(-)-hotel. Rooms with cable TV, telephone, coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, work desk, high quality beds. No alcohol allowed. single standard 1260, twin standard 1360, double standard 1360, prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet. edit
Hotel Maritim, Kongsgata 32 ((three minutes walk from bus/train station, eight minutes walk from city centre), ☎ +47 51 85 05 00, . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Typical ****-hotel. Rooms with cable TV, telephone, hair dryer, work desk double standard 1625 (single use 1325), double business 2125 (single use 1825), prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet. edit
Hotel Scandic Forus, Bjødnabeen 2, ☎ +47 21 61 48 00, . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Brand new (2011) ****-hotel. Rooms with cable TV, telephone, hair dryer, work desk. standard single/double 1690, prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet in reception area. edit
Hotel Atlantic, Olav Vs gate 3 (two minutes walk from bus/train station, five minutes walk from city centre), ☎ +47 51 76 10 00 (fax: +47 51 53 03 81), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. ****(+)-hotel, best available in town. Rooms with cable TV, telephone, hair dryer, work desk etc. Single standard 1995, single business 2495, double standard 2295, double business 2695, prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet. edit
Hotels in class **** generally allow a 15-25% discount when booking a room with check-in Friday/check-out Sunday or a booking for minimum three nights during July.
Close to the airport/the Sola Beach should be mentioned:
Himmel og hav, Solastrandveien 114 ((1,6 km/1 mile walk fron the airport, close to the Sola Beach), ☎ +47 51 65 04 60 (fax: +47 51 93 90 01), . checkin: 16:00; checkout: 12:00. Typical ***-hotel. No alcohol allowed. single standard 1100 (Fri-Sat 790), twin standard 1300 (Fri-Sat 990), prices pr Dec 2011 and incl breakfast buffet. edit
Sola Strandhotell, Axel Lunds vei 27 ((1,6 km/1 mile walk from the airport, close to the Sola Beach)), ☎ +47 51 94 30 00 (fax: +47 51 94 30 99), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. ****-hotel. Cosy rooms with cable TV, telephone, hair dryer, work desk - and a great sea view. Restaurant with high quality and price level, expect about 650 kr/person for a three-course meal (ex beverages) + coffee/tea. single standard 1850, twin-bed standard 2050, prices pr Des 2011 and incl breakfast buffet and wireless internet. edit
Stavanger is generally considered a very safe city. The local police force are efficient, usually speak good english and have a strong presence in the downtown area at weekends. Call 112 in an emergency.
During weekends, the small downtown area tend to fill up with intoxicated people. Be careful when wandering around this area late at night, as a some people may have had a few too many to drink.
Be careful taking a taxi alone if you are a girl, as there have been reports of a rise in numbers of violent rapes related to cab drivers. Always stay in groups when walking or taking a taxi home from the city center on weekends. Night busses run after midnight on fridays and saturdays, but have higher fares than during the day.
The number of streetwalking prostitutes (mostly from Nigeria according to local newspapers) have increased dramatically in recent years. They can be found everywhere in the city centre at night, giving the city the nickname "Norways prostitution capital". The prostitutes both as individuals and in groups, mostly target young and intoxicated men going home after a night on the town. They can behave quite aggressively towards any male walking by, often harassing passers- by. This can make the walk through the city centre at night an uncomfortable experience. If you are not intending to use their services, avoid eye contact and don't stop when adressed. Should a group of women start following you and shouting offers and abuse, just keep walking. Buying sex is illegal in Norway, and if caught you'll risk either heavy fines or up to one year in prison.
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 2 - 2,5 hours from the Preikestolhytta, where food and accommodation is available. Be aware that this is a very popular attraction, and that even if you're quite fit your speed will be hindered by the crowded trail. Ferries typically (but not always!) correspond with buses here; total traveling time one way (less the climb) from Stavanger harbour is 1 hour 10 minutes. Ferry from Stavanger to Tau NOK 46 (each way), then bus NOK 160 (round trip) via Tide Reiser or NOK 140 (round trip) via Boreal Transport. Be aware that these are two separate bus companies, and that if you buy a return ticket you will need to travel back to Tau via the same company. It will cost a bit more, but one should consider buying single tickets each way so you can travel back via the next bus back once you finish instead of having to wait for the other company's bus. If you opt to go by your own car, there is a NOK 100 parking fee.
The Kjerag is almost double the altitude of Preikestolen but the access is more difficult. It is further into the Lysefjord. There you can find the Kjeragbolten. There is a bus that can take you there runs from Stavanger and Sandnes by Tide Reiser. It operates from mid June to the beginning of September. It is not possible to see both Kjerag and Preikestolen in one day.
The Lysefjord runs 45 km deep underneath both these plateaus. Several options for cruising this fjord, among others Tide
If the climb sounds too rough, you can take a fjordcruise , leaving the harbour most days at noon and returning 3,5 hours later. NOK 350.