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You maybe know the city of Stavanger as the oil capital of Norway. Or maybe as the city closest to Preikestolen. But did you know that Stavanger also is Norway's most colourful city and a real hotspot for street art? This gem at the west coast has so much more to offer than what you might expect and I'm so glad to be able to call it my home.
In this article, I'll take you on a visual tour around the street art in town and explain why a street art walk is the best way to really get to know Stavanger!
Stavanger is Norway's street art capital thanks to the NuArt Festival. This (non-profit) international street art festival was established in 2001 and, since then, has been hosted in the first week of September each year. It aims to gather artists from all over the world to create new street art in the city and, more importantly, to create a discourse about art.
During the festival, you'll be able to attend workshops, movie screenings, art talks, exhibitions and performances, and, of course, also watch how new street art is in the making.
NuArt is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world and is even hosted in Stavanger's twin city Aberdeen this year for the second time. NuArt Aberdeen takes places from 12th to 15th April while NuArt Stavanger is hosted from 6th to 9th September 2018.
Where to find street art in Stavanger
Stavanger might be Norway's third biggest city but as all places in the country, it's rather small and cosy compared to other major cities in Europe. The city centre is walkable and a simple stroll along the heart of town will already reveal some of the city's most famous pieces - if you watch out for them that is!
If you'd like to get that Instagram shot, however, or you'd simply like to see that one piece of street art you've seen around somewhere but don't know where it's located exactly, you can download the NuArt iPhone App here. It will give you the exact address of all street art pieces in the city, together with information about the artist and about when the piece was created.
You'll even be able to find information about murals that no longer exist so that you don't have to walk around town on an endless hunt after that one piece you really wanted to see, even though it's already been abolished a long time ago...
There also is a NuArt gallery in town where you'll be able to find changing temporary exhibitions, as well as a shop where you can buy prints of former and existing NuArt street art.
How to get there: The gallery is situated in Salvågergata 10, in the pedestrian area of the city centre.
Opening hours: NuArt Gallery is open Wednesday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
Street Art Tours
If you'd like to find out more about the history of street art in Stavanger and the NuArt festival itself, as well as about the different pieces of street art and their creators, you can join a street art tour around the city in the summer months.
I went on such a tour last autumn and it was the perfect way to get to know Stavanger better, after having only lived here for a couple of weeks at that point. We explored countless of narrow alleyways and backstreets that I didn't even know existed and wouldn't have ever discovered if it weren't for the tour.
While the city does tend to be quite crowded during the summer (as it's cruise ship season), and most locals tend to avoid downtown on summer weekends, I would say that it's an amazing way to get to know what Stavanger is all about nonetheless.
People seem to always associate Stavanger with either the oil industry or Preikestolen, Kjerag - you name it - and say that there isn't much to see in the city when all they've actually explored is the old town.
I might still be in the honeymoon phase of living in a new city but trust me, Stavanger is so much more than all that and there are some really amazing gems to discover if you just open your eyes and leave the beaten track.
Basic info about Stavanger Street Art Tours: They usually take place every Saturday (between May and October) and last 90 min. Tickets cost 150 NOK for adults and 100 NOK for students (2017 prices).
More information about NuArt
You can find more information about the NuArt Festival on their website or have a look at the following articles:
- Stavanger - The City of Street Art / Scandinavian Traveler
- What You Need to Know About Street Art Festival 'NuArt' in Stavanger /
- 7 Cities to See Powerful Street Art / National Geographic
- As Seen on the Streets of Stavanger: A Street Art Guide / Blocal Travel
Which of these pieces would you love to see most in real life?
Tell me in a comment below!
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