Public art is a wonderful thing. And there’s no shortage of street art in Stavanger, Norway. Have you had the chance to see any Stavanger street art yet? If not, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the spectacular works of art around this Norwegian town.
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What’s to Love About Street Art?
Wander down a city street to find a brightly colored mural splashed across a wall. Perhaps you’ll take a peek down a narrow alleyway to find some hidden works of art. The street art might tell a story about the city. It might be a personal reflection or self expression by the artist. Perhaps it’s part of a series or theme, or it might showcase something beautiful from nature. The possibilities are endless.
In my opinion, the best thing about street art is that it’s free for everyone to enjoy. It’s not locked behind closed doors, tucked away in a private gallery, or something you need to pay admission to see. A community benefits greatly from having graffiti or street art splashed on its walls. So, grab your camera and a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and let’s go!
Stavanger Street Art is Always Changing
Like in most cities and towns with street art and murals, they’re constantly changing. It’s most obvious in places that associate their street art with festivals or active communities for public art. For instance, the popular Wynwood Walls in Miami introduces new graffiti each year during the Art Basel festival.
Glasgow actively promotes their street art with a self guided mural walking tour. Toronto is another city with amazing street art. While murals are always being added to the city’s colorful landscape, the ones at Graffiti Alley are continually changing. As there’s only so much wall space, Graffiti Alley in Toronto constantly loses old works of art, but gains brand new ones.
Much like these places, street art in Stavanger is continually changing, too. Depending on when you visit, you’ll have the chance to view some of the beautiful murals that we saw. However, they might be covered up with new ones by the time you get to Stavanger. Or, they might be gone entirely.
As you walk around town, I’m sure that you’ll see many that we missed. That’s the beauty of graffiti: sometimes you really need to hunt it down. You might be walking from one direction and miss something easily spotted from another place. Discovering Stavanger street art was one of our favorite things to do in Stavanger. (Check out our blog post about things to do in Stavanger for a self guided tour, complete with a map!)
Nuart Festival Norway
The Nuart Festival in Stavanger is an annual festival that celebrates urban culture and street art. Every year, artists from all over the world make their impression on Stavanger with graffiti art, stencil art, murals, and more. These brand new works of art are unveiled at Nuart Stavanger, and the festival is over 19 years old.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit Stavanger during the Nuart Festival, definitely go! We’d love to return to attend the festivities. If you’re visiting Stavanger on a Saturday between June and October, there are street art walking tours, hosted by Nuart Street Art Tours.
Best Places to Find Street Art Stavanger
If you’re not visiting during Nuart Stavanger, a Saturday when there are official tours, or you’re simply not a guided tour kind of person, feel free to wander around on your own. After all, the street art in Stavanger is free for everyone to enjoy anytime. Part of the fun is hunting around for the murals and graffiti, which can be found in the most unlikely of places at times.
You might like to use a map to guide you to the best street art. I don’t have a map available on my blog, but I will go into some detail about the places you can find Stavanger street art. There are some maps on the Nuart website, although they only showcase the current year’s new additions. There are so many more murals to discover. If you look at older maps (there’s this one from 2006 to 2011), some of the art might still exist…and it might also be gone.
There’s so much street art in Stavanger that you really don’t need a map to get by. If you wander around town, you’re bound to stumble into a bunch of murals and graffiti…and then stumble upon some more. We walked primarily around the cruise port, to Gamle Stavanger, and around the city center. If you have enough time, there’s so much more to discover beyond the city center, too.
Discover Stavanger Street Art by the Cruise Port
On the west side of the cruise ship port along Strandkaien, you’ll find a few murals and works of art splashed across buildings. The space mural (that reads “Stavanger” and “Houston”) is right beside a large parking lot. There are lots of Stavanger street art works in this area, so take a walk on your way to Gamle Stavanger to admire them.
Even Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) Has Some Art
While most of Gamle Stavanger consists of historic white homes decorated with colorful doors and potted plants, there’s one particular work of stencil art you should check out. It utilizes a couple of pieces of wood affixed to the wall as part of the art piece.
Øvre Holmegate or Fargegaten, the Color Street
On the street known to the locals as “Fargegaten” (Color Street), there are so many murals, graffiti, and street art all around. Wander down Øvre Holmegate to see the brightly painted houses. You’ll also notice that there’s street art on various buildings, high and low.
There’s art painted on doorways, on storefronts, and decorating the walls of businesses. Not only are the houses painted in a rainbow of colors, but there’s also fascinating art to discover, too. Don’t miss walking up and down each side street and alley for even more Stavanger street art, too.
Geopark: Street Art in an Old Industrial Site That’s Now a Park
Justin and I stumbled upon this quite randomly on our search for street art. The Geopark in Stavanger combines street art with a playground by turning a formerly industrial site into something functional. It’s the most interesting playground I’ve ever seen. It’s raw, there are pipes and tubes all over the place, and graffiti is everywhere.
As Stavanger is the main base for the oil industry in Norway, this particular area was an abandoned oil platform. As the space wasn’t being used, it was redesigned and transformed into a unique playground while retaining its history. All of the structures of the playground are made of scraps and materials from the oil industry. It’s not just for kids: Justin and I may have had a little too much fun trying to balance and run across the pipes, too.
More Murals in Stavanger Sentrum (Stavanger City Center)
No matter where you walk, you’ll probably run into some more Stavanger street art. We noticed graffiti and stencil art on pedestrian underpasses, bridges, and random walls. It’s really up to you to walk around and look up, down, forwards, backwards, and everywhere to find it.
Where to Stay in Stavanger
For a luxury property, book your stay at the Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel on the edge of Breiavatnet. With fjord and mountain views from the hotel rooms and an ideal location, the Radisson Blu Atlantic is my top pick for Stavanger. Read more reviews from fellow travelers who spent the night at this hotel.
To save money on your trip to Stavanger, spend the night at the highly rated and adorable Stavanger Bed and Breakfast. It’s just a short walk to old town, and it has free parking and complimentary Wi-Fi. Plus, you’ll enjoy a light complimentary breakfast in the morning. Read more reviews from fellow travelers who stayed at the B&B.
I recommend staying close to the city center in Stavanger for the best opportunities to check out the street art, walk around town, and pop into local museums. You’re not going to want to miss this adorable Norwegian town, and it’s the perfect addition to any Norway itinerary.