Here is a comprehensive list of the best museums in Oslo, Norway.
Norway’s capital city Oslo is not only a hub of multicultural cuisines with its fusion of Japanese, Italian, Chinese, and American restaurants. It’s also a spot for different museums covering a various range of themes and interests.
For centuries, the city’s culture remained intact despite pressures from the outside world. Some of the local beliefs and practices are remnants of the ancient Viking tradition who ruled the Scandinavian region a long time ago. It’s no wonder some structures here depict both the Viking’s unique history and culture.
What better way of understanding Norway’s traditions than visiting its different museums? In most major corners of the city, visitors can find one. Many of the museums are also a walking distance or a few minutes of drive from the main accommodations. There are also restaurants adjacent to these attractions.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Museums in Oslo You Should Visit (Norway)
- Check out these activities in Norway
- Do you want to travel around Scandinavia? Start here!
Top 10 Best Museums in Oslo You Should Visit (Norway)
1. The Norwegian Folk Museum
Nestled on the Bygdy peninsula, the Norwegian Folk Museum is an open-air museum that dates back to 1894. It is known for its extensive collection of authentic historical houses from all over Norway. Through the past century, the locals restored the buildings and moved them to the museum.
Visitors can explore most of it to see its distinct features and depictions. Staff wearing colorful costumes will offer their hospitality and friendliness by guiding you around the area and telling stories about each building and the traditional way of life. They will also take visitors to a 19th-century sweet shop so they can learn a new historical skill.
One of the oldest buildings here is a stave church dating back to the 13th-century. Moreover, there is a large apartment complex featuring the architecture of Oslo’s apartments in the past century.
2. Viking Ship Museum
Oslo is most popularly known for its Viking Ship Museum, which contains three of the most preserved Viking ships. Showcased in a purpose-built and elegant setting, these ships are known as Tune, Oseberg, and Gokstad. The ships have been buried for a millennium and were only discovered in Norway between 1967 and 1903.
Upon their discovery, the ships provided rich insights about life and death in Viking culture. Two of the ships contained three skeletons, which are two Oseberg ladies and a Gokstad man. Aside from the skeletons, the vessel also yielded intricate decorations and possessions, which visitors can also see on display.
3. The Kon Tiki Museum
Remember the six persistent men who built a raft and used it to cross the Pacific Ocean in 1947? The Kon Tiki Museum depicts this epic adventure of the men who wanted to prove that the original inhabitants of the Polynesian islands may have sailed from South America’s coast. They aim to sail from Peru to Polynesia, which covers more than 6,900 kilometers.
Aside from the fascinating journey of the men who actualized such a daunting mission, the museum also features Heyerdahl’s Ra ship journeys. Visiting the museum also correlates with the Kon-Tiki movie in 2012.
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4. Fram Polar Ship Museum
Opposite of the Kon-Tiki Museum on Bygdoy is the Fram Polar Ship Museum. It is also a walking distance from the Viking and Folk Museums. The museum features a large sea vessel called Fram.
Built in the 1890s, the ship is designed to withstand the crushing of ice as it was used during polar expeditions led by famous explorers Roald Amundsen, Otto Sverdrup, and Fridtjof Nansen.
It is considered the strongest ship of its kind, and it carries the most number of expeditions from north to south. Learn more about the ship’s fascinating stories when visiting this museum.
5. The National Museum
The National Museum hosts some of Norway’s most important collections of art and artists. Tourists, especially those who are art-savvy, will surely learn and enjoy the displays.
The museum also comprises the public art museums of Norway, such as the National Gallery, the Vigeland Museum, and the Munch Museum. Not only will visitors learn about arts but also delve deeper into the Norwegians’ creative history and culture.
6. The Museum of Oslo
How does it feel traveling back to the Middle Age history of Oslo? That’s something visitors will know when checking out this great little museum. Located at the Vigeland Park or the Frognerparken, The Museum of Oslo does not have an entrance fee.
It also lies adjacent to the iconic and new Barcode buildings and the Opera House. Outside the museum, visitors will also glimpse some of the most beautiful sights in Oslo.
7. Akershus Fortress and Castle
Akershus Fortress played a significant role in the history of Oslo since medieval times. It helped repulse various foreign invasion attempts. The site offers fascinating sights of Oslo and the iconic Oslo Fjord. Visitors will learn about the heroism and bravery of the Norwegians who defended their sovereignty.
Visitors can walk around the fortress for free. But if they wish to see the castle where the Resistance and Armed Forces Museums are located, they would have to pay a minimal fee. It’s one of the best museums in Oslo.
8. Homenkollen Ski Museum and Tower
Holmenkollen Ski Museum is considered as the oldest ski museum in the world. There’s nothing like it enjoying this popular sport while tracing its history and the rich Norwegian stories. After exploring the displays, visitors can try navigating the massive Holmenkollen ski jump on one of the mountains overlooking Oslo.
The site has been hosting competitions since the 1890s. In 2010, a more intimidating ski jumping structure was put up, and it works well for those seeking extreme adventures. Visitors here will have a feel of the life of ancient sailors looking to the North Star.
9. Norway’s Resistance Museum
Norway’s Resistance Museum pays tribute to the Norwegians’ bravery, who risked their lives defending their country from the Nazi occupation. It was built just after World War II. Aside from the resistance, the museum also depicts the narrow escape of the King and government to London.
The museum also commemorates how ordinary citizens played a role in achieving freedom. One of these incredible memories is the heavy water sabotage, which helped weaken the Nazi army and boosted the Allied Forces’ attacks and eventual victory.
10. Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology
The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology offers interactive activities for visitors. One activity will determine the person with the fastest reaction times and the best at concentrating.
It features more than 80 interactive competitions, tests, and displays where one can know more about himself/herself. The museum also offers insights about the technical and medicinal developments through the ages.
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