The best places to live in Stavanger
Norway's fourth-largest city, Stavanger, is a picturesque and vibrant place that has maintained a small-town feel without compromising on modern amenities. The areas and suburbs in Stavanger are divided into seven boroughs. These are Eiganes/Våland, Hillevåg, Hinna, Hundvåg, Madla, Storhaug, and Tasta.
Expats looking for accommodation in Stavanger will need to consider their budget and proximity to their places of work to make their commutes as easy as possible. Those with children will also need to think about the schools in each neighbourhood, as enrolment in Norway is based on catchment areas.
Naturally, living in the city centre will attract higher rental fees, while moving to the outskirts will be more affordable.
Below are some of the most popular areas and suburbs in Stavanger.
City living in Stavanger
Located in the heart of the city, Stavanger Sentrum is perfect for young professionals, students and single expats looking for easy access to lifestyle amenities. Stavanger Sentrum is home to one of the city’s main attractions, the colourful street of Øvre Holmegate. Also in the area is an eclectic mix of restaurants, retail stores and museums. Stavanger Sentrum is3 serviced by reliable transport links, making for straightforward commutes.
Known as the Silicon Valley of Stavanger, Stavanger Øst is a previously derelict part of the city that has been revived to become one of its trendiest areas. The construction of the Innovation Dock entrepreneurial arena has kickstarted the area's culture, cultivating a lively food and art scene. Stavanger Øst is home to the Michelin-star restaurant, Sabi Omakase, and the centre for street art exhibitions, Tou Scene.
Award-winning Gamle Stavanger is the city's historic old town that has charming, well-preserved 19th-century wooden houses and narrow cobbled streets. Culture buffs moving to this area will enjoy the plethora of galleries, boutiques and trendy watering holes. Thanks to the Stavanger Maritime Museum, The Norwegian Printing Museum and The Norwegian Canning Museum, history aficionados are also catered for in Gamle Stavanger.
Family-friendly areas in Stavanger
Located in the borough of Hillevåg, Bekkefaret is a family-friendly suburb boasting sought-after amenities such as schools, sports clubs and nature reserves. Bekkefaret also has easy access to the E39 highway, which makes for painless commutes. The properties in this suburb are largely standalone and semi-detached houses, making it an attractive location for expats with children.
Eiganes offers a fantastic mix of detached family homes and large apartments, making it the perfect base for small and large expat families alike. Historically, Eiganes was mainly a residential neighbourhood for wealthy families, but this is slowly changing as there are now many middle-class expat families residing here. Owing to the abundance of restaurants, green spaces and cultural attractions such as the Breidablikk Museum and the Ledaal, parents will have no trouble keeping their tots and teens entertained in Eiganes.
Jåtten is a growing family-friendly area in Stavanger with access to excellent schools and outdoor activities. One of the main drawcards for residents is the picturesque hiking and cycling trail at Jåttåknuten hill. Sports lovers will revel in having the Viking football stadium, SR-Bank Arena, right in their backyard. It also has reliable rail services located next to the stadium, so getting around shouldn't be a hassle.
Home to the Brutt Lenke monument honouring Stavanger’s fallen oil workers, Kvernevik is one of the best neighbourhoods for raising a family in Stavanger. With four kindergartens, two schools and a sports hall, expat families will be well served here. Located at the mouth of Hafrsfjord, Kvernevik also offers plenty of opportunities for fitness enthusiasts and nature-loving expats to pursue hiking, fishing, cycling or swimming.
"Many expats like to be in Stavanger Sentrum where you can enjoy the many restaurants, shops and activities near the harbour. Families often choose to live in the areas close to the international schools. Stavanger and area is surprisingly compact and it’s not difficult to access most areas."
Read our interview with Canadian expat Jay to learn more about settling in Stavanger.
Are you an expat living in Stavanger?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Stavanger. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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