Welcome to Destination Sandnes!

This website is meant to give guidance and provide useful information for tourists and visitors to Sandnes in Norway as well as for people currently living in Sandnes.


Sandnes is a city and a municipality in the county of Rogaland in Norway. It borders to the municipalities of Gjesdal, Time, Stavanger, Klepp and Sola and is the eigth largest municipality in Norway and the seventh largest city. There are close to 71.500 people living in Sandnes and the city is considered to be the fastest growing city in Norway. However, if one considers Sandnes, Stavanger, Sola and Randaberg as one large combined area, it is the third largest in the country populationwise with a conbined total of over 201.000 people per January 2012.

Nature and geography:

Sandnes is located at the inner end of the fjord Gandsfjorden and the city centre is near the Vågen which marks the bottom of the fjord. The city surrounds the fjord as well as further south from Vågen through to Ganddal. The municipality stretches across a total of 304 square kilometers of which 285 square kilometers are land and the rest is water.

From a topographic point of view, the Gandsfjord and Ganddal constitute a marked divide between the lowlands of Jæren and the rocky landscape towards the highlands and the Høgsfjorden. The highest point in Sandnes municipality is the Bynuten at 671 meters above sea level.


One can trace the earliest developments of Sandnes' settlements back around 6-7000 years. There have been discovered findings and registrations from the early 13th century from the church of Gond, now the church of Høyland. One has also found evidence to suggest settlements at Hana and Austrått around the 14th century, but no evidence has been found with regards to settlements close to today's city centre before 1664. There is evidence in an official paper from 1668 whereby eight people living at what now is the city centre of Sandnes are mentioned. These lived at the farm named Nedre Trones and were fishermen and ran a boat transport across the fjord. In a later official document from 1723 the place Sandnæs is mentioned, giving rise to the notion of the city's name. This place then grew to form a larger settlement at the northern part of the city, and it was here that Christian VII officially signed the priviledge that allowed the establishment of the brickwork factory named Sandnes Teglverk or Gamlaværket.

In 1860, Sandnes was separated from Høyland and was officially a separate municipality. Thus, the city of Sandnes celebrated it's 160th anniversary in 2010. Furthermore, in 1965, the municipality of Sandnes was widened to include parts of the old Hetland municipality with Riska and Dale as the largest parts. The remainder of Hetland was incorporated in Stavanger at the same time.

Sandnes has been widely known for it's brickwork and pottery industry. The city is located at the end of the Gandsfjorden and there is clay ground many places, in particular on the east side of the city. Businesses that have been in the brickwork or pottery industry until lately include the Gann, the Graveren and the Simonsen family. However, in later years, textile and bicycle production has been more predominant with corporations like Øglænd and Pioner being known nationally for their bicycles. In addition, the chain stores in clothes, Cubus, was established in Sandnes, along with the pizza company Dolly Dimples.

The Øglænd factory was established by Jonas Øglænd in 1892 and became the precursor to Den Beste Sykkel (DBS). In many years, the DBS-bike was the most wellknown export from Sandnes. However, the competition grew and developed and although modernisation attempts were made and technology was improved, the whole production was eventually moved abroad. Today, there is no bicycle production of significance in Sandnes but there is still a lot of activity within product development, marketing, sales and logistics. With the strong ties to the bicycle industry, Sandnes has become known as the bicycle city of Norway. Several initiatives have been taken to facilitate cycling in the city, including a widespread bike rental facility. However, the oil industry, research, computer science and general trade are the most important business areas in today's Sandnes.

Politics and society:

The current mayor of Sandnes is Stanley Wirak from the Norwegian Labour party. He has held the position since the election on the 25th of October 2011. Pål Morten Borgli (FrP) is the deputy mayor of the city. The city is however run through a cooperation between the coalition parties Arbeiderpartiet, Fremskrittspartiet, Senterpartiet, Sosialistisk Venstreparti og Pensjonistpartiet.

Sandnes partnered the municipality of Stavanger and the county of Rogaland in arranging the European cultural capital in 2008. It was also awarded the cultural municipality of the year in Rogaland in 2001 due to it's offensive towards placing emphasis on cultural aspects. Sandnes is home to a music school, a library, a museum, a culture house, cinema and the newly established knowledge center, Vitenfabrikken. The local football club, Sandnes ULF, plays their matches at Sandnes Idrettspark and is currently in the top division.

The region's largest newspaper, Stavanger Aftenblad, has an office in Sandnes and covers Sandnes alongside Stavanger. The paper is in fact printed in Sandnes. In addition, there is a local newspaper, Sandnesposten, which comes out twice a week. Other newspapers include Sandnesavisen and Rogalands Avis. There is also the local TV station, TV Vest, and the city's radio channel, Radio Sandnes.

The city weapon is the Sandnesgauk, a silver coloured local instrument on a green background. One can make four different tones on the gauk and the instrument marks the long clay production traditions that the city has. The city weapon was approved by the city council in 1972 and recognised by the state authorities in 1974. A person living in Sandnes is commonly known as a Sandnesgauk.

The municipality of Sandnes is constituted of 13 subparts and the population in these are as follows:

- Lura, 8.198 inhabitants
- Trones and the city centre, 7.608
- Stangeland, 7.460
- Malmheim and Soma, 1.556
- Sandved, 5.337
- Ganddal, 6.431
- Figgjo, 1.901
- Austrått, 7.719
- Bogafjell, 4.874
- Sviland, 1.008
- Hana, 7.775
- Høle, 1.010
- Riska, 6.786
- Other, 151


Sandnes is known to be the gate to Jæren and is centrally located between the lower and higher parts of Jæren. In addition, there is the fjord giving good access to the ocean. There are many cars in the city and car travel is a common means of transport for commuters and workers in general. During the last decades, this has become a more and more severe problem for the growing city of Sandnes. Thus, plans and initiatives have been made to improve the railroads and buslines in order to lighten the load. Both Sandnes and Stavanger have ambitions to reduce the car traffic in the region.

The city has traditions within shipping where fishing dominated the first half of the 18th century. In 1875 Sandnes got it's first bay authorities and the city docks were established soon after. Much of the city centre is along the quay from the inner end of the Gandsfjorden and out to the Norestraen. However, there is a gradual process of moving shipping activities out to the outskirst near Norestraen to facilitate the developments of new offices and apartments along with the possibility of a future bridge across the fjord.

The city highway, E39, runs through the city and northbound to Stavanger. Going south on the highway one reaches Gjesdal. However, the road net is highly overloaded at times, particularly during the rush hours. There are therefore both initiatives and approved plans to reduce the problems, including bicycle trails, developments of bus routes and improvements to the existing road net.

The airport, Stavanger airport Sola, is located approximately 12 kilometers from Sandnes and serves as the city's airport. In addition, the railroad goes straight through the city and the city station is right in the middle of Sandnes. There are trains running every 15 minutes from Sandnes to Stavanger. The city's bus company is called Kolumbus and has routes across the entire city along with buses going to Stavanger and other surrounding places.


Right from the early establishment of Sandnes the city has been known for it's good business opportunities and grew initially as an early harbour and trading place for the entire Jæren. Due to poor roads and transport possibilities from Stavanger, Sandnes became the preferred choice for trade and transport during the 16th and 17th century, and this along with the existence of the rich clay banks laid the foundations for the city's growth during the 18th century. Towards the end of the 18th century, the wool, timber and mill industries were established and later came the city's bicycle and canning industries during the 19th century. The industries grew during the last century and wellknown companies like Sandnes Uldvarefabrikk (wool), Figgjo Fajanse (ceramics) and Øglend (bicycles) dominated the business life of Sandnes.

In 1965 the municipality of Sandnes was widened to include Høyland, Høle and Riska from the old Høyland municipality, and with this Sandnes got large farm areas within it's boundaries. From the 1970s the oil industry established a growing influence on the city, both directly and indirectly with many associated supplying industries, harbour activities and administrative/economic services. At the same time, the traditional industries were starting to wind up or moving out of the city centre. Many of the old factory locations were turned into shopping malls and the city again holds a reputation for good trade opportunities with many shops close to the city centre. The city's main trade street, Langgaten, is one of Norway's longest pedestrian streets, and the shopping mall Kvadrat is one of Norway's largest.

Since the turn of the millennium the most important industries in Sandnes have been trade, the hotel and restaurant industry, services and real estate, including building services. The largest companies in Sandnes in terms of turnover have been Esso Norge, Eni Norge, Sandnes Sparebank, Gaz de France and BIS Industrier. Another important business is Statoil which, although technically not located in Sandnes, is an important employer in the region and with many of the company's offices in Sandnes.

Source: Information has been gathered from Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) with some adjustments.