Getting around in Stavanger is straightforward and convenient for expats. The city has a well-run bus system and a well-maintained and extensive road network. There are also ferries that connect Stavanger with other coastal landmarks.
Public transport in Stavanger
The public transport system is considered reliable and efficient, and there are plenty of bus and ferry routes to choose from. Buses and some ferries can be paid for with a prepaid Kolumbus card.
The bus system is operated by Kolumbus, under supervision of the Rogaland County Council, and the extensive bus network connects the city centre with residential neighbourhoods, shopping areas and popular landmarks. The buses are modern and comfortable and have low-floor access to make boarding and disembarking easier.
The buses run every day, with reduced service on Sundays and public holidays. The schedule and routes are available online on the Kolumbus website as well as on their mobile app. The fare can be paid in cash, by bank card or using a prepaid Kolumbus card.
Stavanger's train station is conveniently situated in the city centre right next to the main bus terminal. This is the terminus of the Stavanger–Oslo route, which meanders the southern coast of Norway over the course of eight to nine hours. There is also a popular route between Stavanger and Sandnes with a train every 15 minutes.
The train and bus schedules are coordinated to ensure efficient travel between the two modes of transport, and the two fares were made identical for passengers' convenience.
Ferries in Stavanger are an important mode of transport for the residents of the city and surrounding areas as well as for tourists visiting the region. They provide a link between the city centre and the nearby islands, which are popular destinations for outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing. There are a few ferry private ferry operators, but there are also ferries operated by the public transport company Kolumbus.
The ferries can transport both passengers and vehicles, which makes it convenient for those who want to explore the islands by car. They are also equipped with facilities such as restrooms, seating areas, and vending machines. Some ferries also have a restaurant or café on board.
Taxis in Stavanger
There are a few different taxi companies in Stavanger, and they all charge high fares. Additionally, surcharges may apply during off-peak times. Taxi fares are set both by distance and time. Taxis can be hailed on the street, or passengers can phone ahead to book one. Taxis can also be booked by an e-hailing app.
Besides taxi services, expats can use ride-sharing services like Uber and Bolt in Stavanger. The local ride-sharing apps like Getaround and Moveabout are widely used and worth trying out.
Driving in Stavanger
Driving is a common mode of private transportation in Stavanger due to the city's excellent road and motorway infrastructure. The majority of people in the city and surrounds commute by car, and there are a variety of parking facilities in the city centre and throughout the area. Traffic can become an issue during peak hours, so it is crucial to plan ahead and leave extra time for travel at these times.
It is worth mentioning that Norway has stringent driving regulations, including a 50 mile-per-hour (80km/h) speed limit and a 0.02 percent alcohol limit, with strict fines for violating traffic laws.
Cycling in Stavanger
Kolumbus also offers shared e-cycles which are docked at or near bus stations. These can be accessed through the Kolumbus Billett mobile app. Passengers can use these bicycles for free for up to 15 minutes as long as they have a valid public transport ticket. Outside of that, e-bikes can be rented.
Stavanger has safe and well-developed cycling infrastructure, and a comprehensive map of the cycling routes can be downloaded from the city's website. Notably, cyclists and pedestrians will have to share the path at times. The city of Stavanger has a strong cycling culture, with annual events hosted by its cycling clubs. The city also hosts the annual Vasaloppet, a cycling race on the nearby island of Rennesoy.
Walking in Stavanger
Walking in Stavanger is a popular way to explore the city and surrounds. There are extensive sidewalks and pedestrian-only streets, and the historic old town is an excellent place to stroll around and window-shop. There are several parks and green spaces to visit as well. The surrounding fjords and nearby islands have many walking and hiking trails as well.