Norway’s fourth largest city might not be big by UK standards, but its importance as a business destination should not to be underestimated – Stavanger has become the hub for Norway’s rich petroleum industry since the discovery of North Sea oil fields in the 1960s. Visitors are likely to be welcomed by hosts that speak near-perfect English and like to get down to business on time and linger no longer than required.
The 53-room, boutique Myhregaarden Hotel (www.myhregaardenhotel.no) is located right in the city centre and combines ‘classic elegance and modern design’. All rooms have a chandelier and fireplace, for example. A complimentary evening buffet is served on weekdays. On opposite sides of the Breiavatnet lake are a couple of chain options – the Radisson Blu Atlantic and the Thon Hotel Maritim, part of the 72-strong Thon hotel group (www.thonhotels.com).
Eating out is costly in Norway so be prepared for big expense claims. The Tango Bar & Kjokken (www.tango-bk.no) on the westernside of the harbour opened in 2003 and has gained a loyal following. It serves an international menu – including excellent fresh seafood, of course – and reservations are recommended.
For a quiet afternoon coffee or post-meetings beer consider quirky Boker og Borst (bokerogborst.webs.com) on bohemian Ovre Holmegate. There’s also a wide selection of bars that line the eastern side of the harbour and are good for soaking up the atmosphere on warm, sunny evenings.
British Airways and SAS operate from London Heathrow to Stavanger Sola airport, with SAS also serving Aberdeen and Stavanger. Eastern Airways and Wideroe both operate direct services from Aberdeen and Newcastle to Stavanger, with the latter also flying from Glasgow. Norwegian operates a daily service from London Gatwick to Stavanger.
An airport bus offers a regular connection from the airport to the city with a journey time of around 20 minutes. Tickets cost £10. Taxis are also available.
Norway is one hour ahead of GMT. The currency is the Norwegian Krone. Be prepared for some of the highest prices in Europe. A beer in an average bar, for example, costs around £7 to £8. See www.visitnorway.com
Stavanger is in the heart of Norway’s fjordland, so if you have a day to spare consider a boat ride and hike to the famous Pulpit Rock that towers above the Lysefjord. In town, the quaint streets of the old town (Gamle Stavanger) and the impressive Petroleum Museum are both worth exploring.
“Do not be surprised by ‘straight talking’ in Norway as it is normal practice to be direct. Presentations should be precise and concrete and you should not make any promises that you cannot keep – your honesty will be respected”
UK Trade & Investment