This is northern Europe's largest and most impressive -- and best preserved -- settlement of old-fashioned wooden houses. In "Old Stavanger" (its English name), more than 170 buildings from the late 18th century and early 19th century are not only preserved, but also fully renovated. The houses were built with money brought back to Stavanger by seafarers who roamed the world. A walk through the narrow streets of Gamle Stavanger is one of the most memorable city experiences in southern Norway. The houses are owned partly by private residents and partly by the city itself.

To reach Old Town, go to the west side of Vågen (the harbor) and climb a steep slope overlooking Strandkaien. Once a district for the working class, the area is now gentrified and rather exclusive, and much attention is focused on these whitewashed wooden houses, often with creepers or geraniums growing in flower boxes. The dollhouse homes are separated by small terraced gardens. In the evening, lampposts from the 1890s light your way through the fog.