Norwegian Folk Museum
The Norwegian Folk Museum is the largest museum of cultural history in
Norway. Set in beautiful surroundings, it boasts fascinating exhibits
reflecting Norwegian heritage. Don’t miss the distinctive wooden
stave church dating from 1200, as well as the period costumes and Lapp
Resistance Museum at Akershus Castle
Akershus Church at DuskAkershus Castle boasts splendid dark dungeons,
luxurious upper floors, banquet halls and staterooms that are still used
for royal events. It holds the crypts of King Hakon VII and Olav V. During
WW II the Nazis used Akershus Castle as a prison and carried out many
executions here. Today the castle houses the Resistance Museum which gives
a graphic account of German occupation in Norway. The castle has beautiful
grounds and during the summer, many concerts, dances and theatrical productions
are held here.
The Kon-Tiki Museum contains the world-famous balsa-log raft that scientist
Thor Heyerdahl used in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from
Peru to Polynesia. Artefacts from the voyage include lava statues from
Easter Island and other exciting archaeological finds from East Polynesia,
Galapagos and Peru. There are also interactive touch screens with CD-ROM
facilities to guide you through the museum. Also exhibited is the papyrus
boat Ra II that Heyerdahl sailed on an experimental voyage from North
Africa to Barbados in 1970.
Vikingskiphuset (Viking Ship Museum)
The three Viking burial vessels - the Gokstad, Tune, and Oseberg - dating
from AD 800–900 can be seen here. These three ships are the best-preserved
Viking ships in the world. The Oseburg is the most impressive. It is a
20-meter-long royal ship with a dragon-shaped keel, which was found containing
royal remains. There is also a fine collection of beautiful ceremonial
sleighs, household utensils, and tools on display. It's worth spending
time checking out each of the three ships. The Oseberg was found in 1903
and in its heyday required 30 oarsmen. It's magnificently decorated with
dragon and serpent carvings and its burial chamber held the largest collection
of Viking-age artefacts ever uncovered in Scandinavia. It is thought that
this ship was purely a pleasure vessel for sailing in peaceful waters
because the wood used to build its mast was not as strong as in other
Radhuset (City Hall)
City Hall, OsloThe Oslo City Hall is universally regarded as either "aggressively
ugly" or "the pride of Norway." Visit it and make up your
own mind. Built in 1950, it houses splendid murals by some of Norway's
most respected artists. The murals depict life in Oslo during World War
II and include illustrations of the Nazi occupation. There are also tapestries,
frescoes, sculpture, and woodcarvings on display.
The Munch Museum
Art lovers would thoroughly enjoy a pilgrimage to this museum, which has
about 1,000 of the artist's paintings displayed in rotation in a large,
modern building that opened in 1963. It is beyond walking distance but
easily reached by Bus 20 or metro to Toyen. If you are just getting off
the ferry at City Hall, take the tram from there to the main train station,
and connect to the bus or subway. It's ironic that Edvard Munch is best
known for just one painting, "The Scream," and yet the rest
of his pictures, laced with existential anxiety, show the same skilled
hand at work.
Royal Palace, OsloSlottsparken (The Royal Palace Park)
Slottsparken is the park that surrounds the Royal Palace. From here you
can see the changing of the guard each day at 1:30pm. Walk through the
grounds at your leisure and admire the Royal Palace from afar, entrance
is only allowed by special invitation from the king!
Barnekunst Museum (International Children's Art Museum)
A pleasure for children and adults alike, the Barnekunst Museum houses
a vast collection of children’s drawings, paintings, ceramics, sculpture,
tapestries, and handcrafts from more than 30 countries. Children can get
involved in special workshops devoted to painting, drawing, music, and
At the next block along Karl Johans, you find the oldest university buildings
in Oslo, which were opened in 1854, a few decades after the University
of Oslo was founded in 1811. These buildings are used for administration
rather than classes because the main part of campus, which accommodates
about 30,000 students, is outside the city center.
City Hall faces the harbor, where there is a large restaurant mall, historic
sights and excursion boat services. Here you will find Aker Brygge, where
a shipyard that stood until the 1970s has now been transformed into a
wonderful place to have a meal, do a little shopping and take a stroll
along the waterfront.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
The Vigeland Sculpture Park OsloLocated in popular Frogner Park, the Vigeland
Sculpture Park is one of Oslo’s most well known attractions. Its
dramatic outdoor granite, bronze and iron sculptures portray Adolf Gustav
Vineland’s vision of the life cycle. The park is only open during
the summer and there is an outdoor swimming pool as well as an ice rink
if you are feeling energetic. The park is situated in the middle of Frognerparken,
a leafy, green park, perfect for lazing about on a sunny day. The park's
highest point, a 14m (46ft) monolith carved out of a single block of stone,
consists of 121 writhing human figures.
In front of the palace you will find the most important stage in Norway.
The building dates from 1899 and is quite beautiful inside and out with
a mix of baroque and rococo elements. The statue fronting the theater
is of Henrik Ibsen, considered to be the father of modern theater and
probably the most famous Norwegian.
Akershus Slott & Festning
This medieval castle and fortress were built in 1300 and reconstructed
several times after many attacks (including the 1563-70 War of the North).
As you wander around the castle you'll find tiny rooms where outcast nobles
were kept, in stark contrast to the far more elaborate dining halls and
staterooms on the upper floors.
Akershus was one of the sturdiest castles in northern Europe. Its unique
layout, as well as the difficult terrain, made it almost impregnable.
At the fortress you can see the changing of the guard each afternoon.
Nowadays, the fortress grounds play host to concerts and theatre productions.
This fascinating open-air museum contains around 150 buildings from different
regions, mostly dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, including one
of Norway's oldest structures, the Gol Stave Church, built early in the
13th century in Gol and moved to its present location in 1885.
Oslo's oldest buildings cover several blocks between the fortress and
the Parliament. This part of town offers a pleasant place for a stroll,
with shops, restaurants, a couple of modern art museums and historic buildings.
Oslo was destroyed by a fire in 1624 that burned the wooden village to
the ground in a single day. King Christian IV required all new houses
be built with stone or brick to make them fireproof. The king also decided
to rebuild the town closer to the fortress.
When finished with this old section, walk a couple of blocks inland to
the Oslo Cathedral, the Domkirche, built in 1697. Today it sits along
Karl Johan Gate, two blocks from the train station.
Stortorvet Square in front often hosts a colorful flower market, and
across the street is Oslo's best department store, Glas Magasinet, noted
for high-quality glass works.
Stables that once circled this square have been converted into attractive
shops and cafes. Another pedestrian mall, Torggata, extends three blocks
into another nice shopping area.