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Hiking Pulpit Rock: One of Norway’s Most Iconic Hikes

  • Post last modified:July 27, 2023
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Norway has some of the most breathtaking views in the world, and hiking Pulpit Rock is definitely one of them. The giant rock overlooking a cliff inside a fjord looks like something straight out of a movie, and is absolutely one for the bucket list.

Formerly known as Preikestolen, the Norwegian word translates to the "preacher's chair" from its unique shape. The cliff sits 604 meters high, with a flat top of 25 meters by 25 meters. It was one of our favorite places to photograph in all of Norway, and is definitely worth a visit!

Just like most of the incredible spots in Norway, it does require a bit of planning though. In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting Pulpit Rock. Let's dive right in!

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Where is Pulpit Rock in Norway?

Pulpit Rock is located in the south of Norway, in the county of Rogaland. It sits above the fjord "Lysefjord", and can be reached from the parking lot of Preikestolen Fjellstue.

where is Pulpit Rock located

Pulpit Rock is in the south of Norway, near Stavanger.

How Do I Get to Pulpit Rock?

Just like most of the best places to visit in Norway, it is definitely an adventure to make it to Pulpit Rock. Here is everything you need to know for getting there.

What Town is Pulpit Rock in?

Pulpit Rock is technically located in the town of Songesand. However, there is no real town or center around it, and the base is located in the middle of nowhere. The road you'll need to take there is Preikestolvegen, which you'll need to take all the way until the end. It connects to highway 523, also known as Ryflkevegen.

The closest major city to Pulpit Rock is Stavanger, which is also a beautiful city worth checking out while in Norway.

What is the Closest Airport to Pulpit Rock?

The closest airport to Pulpit Rock is Stavanger Airport, which is just 15 km south of the city, and takes 15-20 minutes in a car to get to. Pulpit Rock is then 45 minutes away from Stavanagar.

Can You Drive Up to Pulpit Rock?

Pulpit Rock can only be accessed by hiking an out-and-back trail, which is 4 km (2.5 miles) each way. The trailhead can be accessed in three different ways:

1. Rent a Car in Stavangar

This is definitely the easiest way to get to Pulpit Rock. There is actually a new tunnel, making it easier than ever to get to Pulpit Rock from Stavanger! You used to have to take a car ferry, and then a bus, but the tunnel allows people to drive to the trailhead in just 45 minutes. Just make sure not to put in Pulpit Rock into the GPS, as sometimes it brings you the wrong way. We suggest putting in Preikestolen camping or Preikestolen tourist center.

where is Pulpit Hike trailhead located

The trailhead of Pulpit Rock is different than where Google Maps shows Pulpit Rock.

Cars can be rented from the airport or from the city. We suggest getting one online in advance for the best rates and availability, especially if you are planning to go in the summer, when the area is very busy.

Rent a Car from Stavanger:

2. Take a Tour from Stavanagar

If you don't feel comfortable driving, or are traveling solo, then taking a tour will definitely be the easiest option. There are a variety of options, from ones that include breakfast, to ones that include canoeing!

Book a tour to Pulpit Rock:

3. Take a Bus from Stavangar

If you are on a tighter budget, you can also get a bus from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock. Bus tickets are 450, and have two time slots to choose from. 

From April to September the two time slots are 8 am and 10 am leaving from Stavanger and 2:00 pm or 4:00 pm departure from Pulpit Rock. You are alotted 6 hours, so can only so the 8-2 or 10-4 option. From June to August the two time slots are 9 am to 3 pm, and 11 am to 5 pm.

4. Take a Ferry to Tau + a Bus

This was originally the only way to get to Pulpit Rock, before the tunnel was built. It takes twice as long, but is still a nice option if you are looking for a more scenic and relaxing route. 

You'll first have to take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau, and then take a bus from Tau to the Pulpit rock parking lot.

Can You See Pulpit Rock Without Hiking?

Unfortunately you won't be able to see Pulpit Rock without hiking! Technically you could see the bottom of it from a boat inside the fjord, but it would truly not be the same experience.

Where Do You Park to Hike Pulpit Rock?

There are two different parking lots for Pulpit rock. The main one is located next to the Pulpit Rock tourist center, and the second one is located just up the road. We didn't get much information about the second one, but believe that it is just in case the first one is full.

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Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

Now that you know how to get to Pulpit Rock, it's time to hike! If you'd like more info, there is an info booth next to the parking lot, as well as a digital screen with stats of the hike.

digital screen at Pulpit Rock

There is a digital screen with info on it in front of the info booth.

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Pulpit Rock pin
Pulpit Rock pin
Pulpit Rock pin

The trail starts just past the gear shop below the parking lot.

starting the hike to Pulpit Rock in Norway

The start of the path is continuing straight, with the gear shop on your right.

The Hike of Pulpit Rock

The walk started by going up hill, and giving views of the water on the right hand side. You'll continue to walk up a pathway made of rocks, which isn't too difficult.

trail of Pulpit Rock
trail of Pulpit Rock
trail of Pulpit Rock

The trail starts off pretty easy, going along an area of rocks.

Once you pass the rocky section, there will then be an area of boards to walk across.

Boardwalk hiking to Pulpit Rock

The boards are the easiest part of the hike.

After the boards you find that there are steps made of rocks, going up pretty much like a steep staircase.

hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

View from the top of the steep section

The next section goes through large rocks, without too much of a change in elevation. There is a nice stop with a lake on the right, and when you see this you will actually be closer than you think!

lake Pulpit Rock
lake Pulpit Rock hike
hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

Right after you see the lake, you'll see a building, which is a cabin shelter. This is just in case you get stuck in a storm, hurt, or have any other kind of emergency.

Pulpit Rock shelter

There is shelter throughout the hike in case of an emergency.

The last part has stunning views of the greenery around to the left, and when you get here, you just have about 5-10 minutes left. This is also the area where you'll get a stunning sunset! We got to witness that on the way back.

sunset hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
sunset hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
sunset hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
sunset hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

Once you get these views you are almost there!

You'll find a walkway with locks on it, and you're just around the corner from Pulpit Rock!

hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

Arriving at Pulpit Rock

We actually were super shocked when we arrived to find only two other couples at the top. The sky was turning pink, and we basically had the place to ourselves.

hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
view from Pulpit Rock

These are the views from the top of the fjord down below.

The pictures where everyone gets the photos from are on the big rock platform just in front of Pulpit Rock, where you can really appreciate the entire cliff going into the fjord. You can also climb up the back of Pulpit Rock, and then get another cool perspective of its large square shape above.

hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway
hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

How Long Does it Take to Hike Pulpit Rock?

When we first arrived at Pulpit Rock, we were reading the signs and reviews, and most people said that the hike took two hours hours each way. We do have a bit of a faster pace, and were actually up at the top in just an hour and 10 minutes! The way back down took us around 50 minutes, for a total of 2 hours hiking, and one taking pictures and having a snack at the top.

sign of hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

The sign suggests 2 hours each way, but it took us 2 hours total.

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Amenities at Pulpit Rock

The trail itself does not have any bathrooms, or anything to eat or drink. However, the parking lot is full of amenities to keep you properly prepared for the hike!

There are restrooms with several stalls for women and men, and there is a water fountain outside the bathrooms. You will also find an info center, a restaurant, souvenir shop, cafe, and a gear shop all on site. You can also find a floating sauna, as well as some other fun activities right at the pier!

hikers cafe Pulpit Rock
hotel at Pulpit Rock
restaurant at Pulpit Rock

There are hotels, restaurants, and shops at the parking lot.

Where to Stay Near Pulpit Rock:

Want to spend the night? Well, there are actually a few different hotels at the base that you can choose from:

  • Hiker's Camp: a sustainable campground with cute dome-like cabins, Wifi, fire pit, restaurant, and electric vehicle charging station
  • Preikestolen Base Camp: guests can have a choice of a private room, camping, or hostel-styled rooms. It also includes a restaurant, meeting facilities, a bar, shared lounge, and free WiFi.
  • Vesleblu: an entire holiday home with kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, and a terrace, as well as a garden and a bar
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Hiking Pulpit Rock Price & Timetable

Hiking Pulpit Rock itself is completely free of charge. However, the parking lot for the trailhead is not. In order to park in the main lot, you will have to pay 40 NOK for two hours, or 250 NOK for anything more. As the hike takes everyone longer than 2 hours, the two hour option is really just for those getting a bite or doing another activity there, which isn't usually the case.

Pulpit Rock parking lot

There is a paid parking lot at the start of the trailhead.

Can You Hike Pulpit Hike at Night?

The parking lot for the Pulpit Rock trailhead actually closes at 10 pm, which means you won't be able to park in the main lot overnight. However, as long as you enter before 10 pm, you are fine to spend as much time as possible hiking Pulpit Rock. The gate won't open to enter, but it will open to exit, so you won't have to worry about being stuck in the lot or towed.

Alternatively, if you get there after 10 pm, you can opt to park up the road if you find any space. Just make sure that it is an area that you can safely leave your car.


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Safety at Pulpit Rock

The main picture that you'll see everyone getting at Pulpit Rock is right on the edge of a massive cliff. While many hikes that we have done with scary ledges (such as Pedra do Telegrafo or Ryten) are more of an optical illusion, the cliff at Pulpit Rock certainly is not.

In most other countries, there would be fences or barriers to keep people from the edge, but Norway keeps all of their hikes natural. We love this because it keeps the beauty of the place, and allows you to have much more creative photography!

This does come with a risk though, and it's important that you are aware of how dangerous Pulpit Rock can be. The rock itself is super sturdy, and there is definitely nothing to worry about when it comes to walking on it. Just make sure you aren't doing any crazy stunts or anything near the edge! (I simply sat on the edge, and it ended up being a huge fight between Fede and I- rightfully so). 

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Other Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Pulpit Rock

Now that you know what to expect while hiking Pulpit Rock, here are a few last things to keep in mind.

Weather Conditions at Pulpit Rock

The weather in Norway can be very hit or miss. When we went, we experienced warm temperatures and clear skies, making for a perfect visit. However, our friends had gone one week later and it was super foggy and dreary, which meant that there was very little visibility.

We suggest giving yourselves a extra day or two in the area, and monitoring the weather for hiking Pulpit Rock.

Another cool phenomenon is being able to experience a cloud inversion at Pulpit Rock. This tends to happen very early in the morning after a rainy day/night prior. If you see that it is supposed to rain one day and be clear the next, we would suggest going as early as possible that following day! While you won't get to see the turquoise waters below, it makes for a stunningly unique sunrise.

The Best Time for Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

The best time for hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway is very early in the morning, in time to see the sunrise. We did the hike around 9 pm to get to the top in time for sunset, and the lighting and the colors of the sky were just magical! 

hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

Hiking Pulpit Rock at sunset is the best for lighting and no crowds.

We did see a few people camping at the top so that they could see the sun rising behind the rock in the morning, and we definitely wish we had done the same.

The time you'll want to avoid hiking Pulpit Rock is in the late morning or early afternoon, as this is when all of the big tour groups go, and there are long lines to take photos.


How to Prepare for Hiking Pulpit Rock

Here are some of the things that you should bring while hiking Pulpit Rock:

  • A good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes
  • Light jacket for the top (if you are visiting in summer at night)
  • Tripod to take the pictures if you are alone
  • Sunscreen (if you are hiking during the day)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it is insulated)
  • Insta 360 X3 with the extra long selfie stick for drone-looking shots
  • Sandwich or snacks
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Tips for Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway

  • Make sure to use the bathroom before starting the hike.
  • Fill up your water bottle for free at the fountains next to the bathroom.
  • Go late at night or early in the morning for the best lighting and least crowds.
  • Get to the parking lot before it closes at 10 pm.
  • Bring a snack to enjoy at the top.
  • Drones aren't allows so you can leave it in your car.
  • Monitor the weather and give yourself an extra day in the area just in case.
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So are you ready to conquer one of the most popular hikes in Norway? Hiking Pulpit Rock is definitely one for the bucket list, and one you won't regret!

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