Guide to Stavanger and the Preikestolen rock hike
The Preikestolen rock hike has become very famous for its gravity defying stance and incrediblke views over the fjord below. The closest town nearby is Stavanger, the fourth largest city in Norway which in itself is lovely to stay in as a base to the hike and many others.
Getting to Stavanger
From overseas or other cities in Norway, you can fly to Stavanger International airport. From here you can take the Flybussen bus to the city, taking around 20minutes. You can buy a ticket on board.
From Oslo, you can take the NSB train in around 8 hours. If you book early you can get the ‘minipris’ tickets which are the cheap tickets available, and can be 250NOK ($50).
From Bergen, you can take the Kystbussen bus in 5 hours. Again, the further you book in advance the cheaper it is and is usually around 160NOK ($30).
Where to stay
There are several hostels and hotels in the town centre, which is situated around the harbour. However if you find a cheaper place in the suburbs don’t stress, the bus systems are pretty regularly from the city. However a one way fare is 31NOK ($5.50), so depending on how often you go downtown it might not be saving that much.
I couch surfed about 5km out of town in the military base which was an awesome and very different experience!
What to do
1. Preikestolen rock hike. This is the famous ‘Pulpit rock’ hike that is absolutely breath taking. There is a gravity defying flat rock 700m above sea level that dangles over a beautiful fjord.
This is a day trip from Stavanger and a MUST DO! You can buy the tickets at the Tourist Office in the town centre for 150NOK ($30). You meet at the pier downtown and take a 40minute ferry (which you pay for onboard) followed by a 20minute bus ride that takes you to the bottom of the hike.
They say it takes 2hrs each way, but unless you’re walking at snail pace with poles it should take you 1.5hrs up and 1hr or so back (the way back is obviously downhill). For solo travelers, it’s a very easy hike to do by yourself as there are plenty of people to chat to on the way if you wish.
Remember that there’s no rush- buses leave to go back up until 730pm in summer, so take your time and take photos along the way at many beautiful view points. Once you get there you will want to stay forever, it’s like sitting inside a postcard!
Once you reach the flat rock, continue up onto the next area of rock face. This is where you get the amazing view of the rock and the fjord together.
Remember to take lots of water, some warm clothes as it can get windy up the top, and some snacks!
2. Check out the beautiful lake in the city centre with picturesque houses on the other side- another postcard image!
3. Walk down to the harbour and see the action. In July there is a great food festival that brings thousands to town, with hundreds of multicultural food stands down both sides. This is where all the cafes, bars and views are.
Head to the harbour for some good bars. There is always something open no matter what night of the week- on a Wednesday we went out until 3am to several different places. Some bars have beer pong tables set up which is awesome fun and a good way to meet people.
How long to stay
I would allow a day in the town to walk around and enjoy the harbour. If you plan on doing any hikes (there are many to do that are breath taking, but you MUST do Preikestolen) I would allow a day for each one on top of this.
For more information check out Lonely Planet’s guide by clicking below.