Stavanger city is one of the oldest cities in Norway and we expect the city to be founded by Sigurd Jorsalfarer in 1125 the same year as Stavanger Cathedral. The town is small in area, well over 71 km2 and Norway's most densely populated city with more than 135,000 inhabitants (2019). The city has 16 inhabited islands and most of these have a bridge connection to the mainland. The islands in Stavanger go under the common name Byøyene.
The city's growth from a fishing port to a city of gastronomy and culture
Stavanger was a small and poor city for a long time. Population growth started in the early 1800s when herring fishing picked up off the coast. From now on, the city became expanded several times. After the herring industry, ship traffic followed before the canning industry came and made its mark on the city. Since then, oil-related activities dominated the city and the region for several years. In addition, in recent years, there's been a great increase in interest in Stavanger as a holiday destination. More and more guests are vacationing in Stavanger and the region. The city has positioned itself as a culinary city and the entire region is known as the food region in Norway. This is both because of the mild climate, giving good growth conditions, but also because you'll find the best chefs and the best restaurants in all of Norway in Stavanger. Stavanger alone has two MICHELIN Stars restaurants, and several restaurants serve high-quality cuisine. In addition, Stavanger and Sandnes were the European Capital of Culture in 2008, putting both cities on the map in terms of culture. For example, a new concert hall was opened in Stavanger in 2012, a majestic building situated right at the waterfront of Stavanger.
Transport link and hub
Stavanger had a railroad in 1878 when the Jærbanen rail between Egersund and Stavanger was opened. The Jærbanen rail was expanded to double tracks between Sandnes and Stavanger in 2009. The Jærbanen rail was linked to the Sørlandsbanen rail in 1944 and thus Stavanger had a train connection to Oslo. Stavanger has the country's oldest civilian airport. Stavanger International Airport, Sola was opened by King Haakon in 1937.
Stavanger International Airport, Sola is the first airport in Scandinavia to produce its own honey! Another fun fact - in 2026, it will perhaps be possible to fly an electric aircraft between Stavanger and Bergen!
Tunnels link the mainland with Ryfylke
Development of subsea tunnels has been a major development in the region as well as bridges, and it's possible to drive from Stavanger to the Ryfylke Islands via the Rennfast tunnel systems, as well as to drive from Stavanger to Solbakk via the Ryfast tunnel systems.
Boat and ferry
Boats and ferries are still important modes of transport for the city and the county. There are speed boats from the city centre to the surrounding islands and mainland of Ryfylke several times daily. Moreover, there are daily car ferries to Bergen and Denmark from Risavika.
Education and research
Stavanger has a university hospital, colleges and a university. The University of Stavanger was established in 2005 based on Stavanger University College. Stavanger is an international city with both a British school and an international school.
Cosy pedestrian streets with cobblestones and trade
Parts of the centre have medieval features with small and charming pedestrian streets. There is a good selection of shops and several good restaurants. Along the waterfront of Stavanger, are restaurants and bars in the former seahouses. #Fargegaten (Øvre Holmegate) is one of the famous tourist streets, in addition to the area referred to as Old Stavanger.