The pulpit rock (Preikestolen) is one of the most popular attraction of Norway. A huge, flat cliff overlooking a breathtaking scenery of the Lysefjord attracts many visitors looking for an adventure in this Scandinavian country. To get there, before a long hike up to the cliff, you need to reach the nearby town of Stavanger.
Besides the famous cliff, the town itself is really worth exploring, its charming, wooden architecture is different from that of modern Oslo. It's Norway at its best. It's very clean and neat, surrounded by fjords, full of parks and cozy little streets. After (or before) climbing the pulpit rock, give yourself one or two days of free time to visit Stavanger.
How to get to Stavanger
The easiest and quickest option is to take a flight from Oslo. However, it maybe a bit costly, if you are on a budget, you might try an overnight train. You can find and book the trains online on Norwegian Railway Website.
When you are reading about Stavanger, you probably are looking for information on how to get to the pulpit rock. It's very easy, first you need to take a ferry to Tau and then a bus will take you to the trail leading to the pulpit rock. I described all the details here.
What to see in Stavanger
Stavanger is not a big town so it's easy to walk around. There's a nice park with fountains in the center, many birds visit it so it's a pleasure to watch them. It was even nicer for me as I spent all afternoon drying my clothes in the sun as I got completely soaked at the trail to the pulpit rock.
Rainbow streets and wooden houses
What surprised me in Stavanger the most, was the architecture. Not only were all the wooden houses truly beautiful and really well maintained but also the streets in the very center were so colorful that somehow they reminded me of some Southern European or even South American towns where every house has a different, distinctive hue. It looks nice and joyful in contrast to the often gloomy skies over Norway.
The town is full of amazing restaurants and cafes, however the prices are less amazing, I would say, they are astronomical! For a decent two-course meal for one person you must pay around 50 EUR/70 USD!
The waterfront in Stavanger is also a nice place to have a stroll. You can admire all the ships and ferries that come and go from the Harbour and also, the architecture is beautiful. Although the town is close to the main tourist attraction in Norway, it does feel local and it makes you realize that actually this part of Europe is still kind of off the beaten path.
In Stavanger, you can admire the oldest and one of the best preserved medieval cathedrals in Norway. Stavanger Domkirke, as it's called in Norwegian, dates back to as early as the eleventh century. Built in stone, in Gothic style, it was rebuilt in the seventeenth century and it lost much of its medieval looks.
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