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Holiday Travel Guide

All the sights, smells and stories of Stavanger’s once great sardine industry are kept alive in this fascinating museum.

The Norwegian Canning Museum retells the story of Stavanger’s fish-canning heritage, which up until the 1960s was the city’s prime industry. Learn about the various stages of canning, discover a collection of over 30,000 can labels and try freshly cooked sardines.

Go to the museum’s main exhibit to follow the 12 stages involved in canning sardines and fish balls. Find the machinery and equipment used for the various stages, such as salting and smoking, beheading and packing. Staff are on hand to operate the machines and give demonstrations of how they once worked. Take the time to check out the photographs that show the working conditions of canning factories in Stavanger from the 1890s to the 1960s.

The museum also has a collection of 33,000 historical sardine can labels. See a selection of these in the museum’s second floor exhibition. Don’t miss the adjoining Worker’s Cottage, a house decorated with the furniture, toys and ornamental items commonly used in the 1920s and 1960s.

Come to the museum on the first Sunday of the month to sample freshly smoked sardines cooked in traditional wood-burning ovens. You can also experience this style of cooking sardines on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the summer season.

The Norwegian Canning Museum is a five-minute walk from Stavanger’s city center. Free street parking, with a time limit, is available nearby. While you’re in the area, take a walk around the cobblestone streets of Gamle Stavanger (Old Town) to see 18th-century wooden houses.

The opening hours of the The Norwegian Canning Museum and the Worker’s Cottage vary throughout the year. Check the museum’s official website for further information. Admission to the canning museum includes entry to the Stavanger Maritime Museum and The Norwegian Printing Museum.

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