What You Need To Know

Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the third-largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway and the administrative centre of Rogaland County. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway. Stavanger’s core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city’s cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city’s population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.

Every two years, Stavanger organizes the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS), which is the second largest exhibition and conference for the energy sector. Gladmat food festival is also held each year and is considered to be one of Scandinavia’s leading food festivals. The city is also known for being one of the nation’s premier culinary clusters. Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture.

Area: 27.41 mi²
Population: 128,369 (2012)


The unit of currency in Norway is the krone (plural: kroner), which translates as “crown,” written officially as NOK. Price tags are seldom marked this way, but instead read “Kr” followed by the amount, such as Kr 10 or 10 Kr.

The Norwegian currency is the krone (plural: kroner), written as NOK. There are 100 øre in 1 krone. Bank notes are issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 kroner. Coins are issued in denominations of 50 øre, 1 krone, and 5, 10, and 20 kroner.


The climate is maritime mild temperate (marine west coast – cfb) and rather windy, with all monthly temperature averages above freezing, and precipitation 1180 mm/year. Summers are pleasant and lowland areas in and around Stavanger have after Bergen the longest growing season in Norway. However, summer temperatures are much cooler than those found further inland on the Scandinavian Peninsula, even in more northerly areas. In contrast, winter temperatures are much milder than those in Oslo and Stockholm for example.


The most widely spoken language in Norway is Norwegian. It is a North Germanic language, closely related to Swedish and Danish, all linguistic descendants of Old Norse. Norwegian is used by some 95% of the population as a first language.


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 tends to fill up with intoxicated people. Be careful when wandering around this area late at night, as 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 centre 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 addressed. 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.


Stavanger emergency medical centre (Legevakten)
The centre is open 24 hours a day for everyone who needs immediate help. Patients are requested to telephone first. During the day, however, you should contact your regular GP or call 113 when life or health are at risk. You can contact the emergency medical centre outside your GP’s ordinary working hours.

Rape crisis unit
The Stavanger emergency medical centre has a rape crisis unit which is open 24 hours a day and is free of charge for everyone.

General practitioner
under the regular GP scheme, every inhabitant in Norway is entitled to his or her own general practitioner. GPs attached to the scheme must give priority to patients on their lists. This is a voluntary scheme. If you do not wish to be part of it, you have to pay a higher user charge when you go to the doctor.

Dos And Don’ts

  • DO get outdoors especially when you are at the gateway to the rugged fjords of Norway. Carved and formed by glaciers of an era gone by, the Ice Age old Lysefjord offers all 42 kilometres of nature’s crowning glory.
  • DON’T let the sky high prices in Norway deter you from an adventure of a lifetime.
  • DO visit the Geopark or the adjacent Norwegian Petroleum Museum. Oil is one of the reasons Norway is what it is today, and Stavanger is the oil capital of Norway.
  • DO understand what Allemansrätten means as you will grow to appreciate it. Loosely translated as freedom to roam or “everyman’s right”, this term gives all the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any public land which is great to stretch the penny a little further and to fully enjoy the wilderness.
  • DON’T expect everyone to immediately understand the way you pronounce names of locations and streets. Simply have where you are headed written down to avoid getting confused

Getting Around

Public transportation in Stavanger is mainly by bus and works smoothly. 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 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. Buses are modern and most have areas for wheelchairs and baby carriages.

Local trains connect the city center to the southern parts of the city and to the towns and villages further south. There are departures to Sandnes every 15 minutes during daytime. Stavanger has different taxi companies, all charging high rates. 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.

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