The city itself is an odd combination of new and old. There is a significant foreign influence with a nearby NATO base, as well as foreign oil interests.
For tourists, the best thing to do in Stavanger is head to the hills. Two of the best day hikes in Norway (some would say in the world) are located a couple of hours out of town on the beautiful Lysefjorden[?]. Not too far from Stavanger, alpine centers are ready for skiers and snowboarders throughout winter season.
Preikestolen (aka the Pulpit Rock) is a massive rock overhanging the fjord. It's a 3-4 hour round trip hike with fabulous views. Kjeragbolten is a rock wedged in the cliff 1000 meters above the fjord. It's a more strenuous 4-5 hour hike out and a longer drive, but a spectacular look down from the rock. The free fall makes Kjerag[?] a very popular location for BASE jumping.
For the more urban minded, Old Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) is located right next to the city centre. This collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth century wooden structures is one of the finest in Northern Europe. Most houses in Old Stavanger are privately owned and maintained, and in the area you will also find the studios of a number of local artists and artisans. The Canning Museum[?] is also located in Old Stavanger, commemorating the city's past glory as the herring capital of Norway.
Every May, Stavanger is host to MaiJazz[?], the Stavanger International Jazz Festival.