The quality of museums in Oslo has improved steadily in recent years now that the National Museum and the Munch Museum have been given great new premises in a signal building in the centre. While this major upgrade to the visual arts has raised the city to a new international standard in terms of museum offerings, you can also take a trip out into the city's greener areas and visit good, old museums such as Bygdøy, Frogner and Tøyen. These are every bit as important if you really want to learn about the Norwegian spirit and cultural heritage.


    Technik Museum

    Norway's funniest museum?

    Younger ones like to head straight down to the action-packed lower floor of the Techniik Museum. Children are free to run around and press buttons, pull levers and start strange electronic or mechanical devices. The chemistry shows with smoke, fire and explosions are always a hit. It's about stimulating the senses and inspiring an interest in all things technical.

    Older visitors also get a lot out of the interactive exhibitions, especially those in Teknoteket, the museum's creative workshop, which involves everything that appeals to "geeks", such as data, electronics and mechanics. The traditional exhibitions display thousands of technical devices, not least vehicles of all sizes, with everything from an SAS jet to a real Apache bike.

    Location: Kjelsåsveien 143, 0491 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Friday: 09.00-16.00. Saturday-Sunday: 11.00-18.00.

    Phone: +47 22 79 60 00


    photo by Trond Strandsberg (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Nobel Peace Centre

    Get to know your Peace rize winner

    • History

    The Nobel Peace Centre is delighted to take advantage of the fact that the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize is the only annual event where the world's attention is guaranteed to be directed at Norway and Oslo. When the Peace Prize got its own museum in the old Vestbanen in 2005, it was high time. The main part of the exhibition consists of portraits of prize winners arranged in a beam of changing light.

    It is fascinating to see how different people and institutions have won the award, and informative presentations sweep through recent world history with a focus on conflict resolution and peace.

    Location: Brynjulf Bulls plass 1, 0250 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Friday: 12.00-17.00. Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-17.00.

    Phone: +47 48 30 10 00


    Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

    All about Norwegian buildings and traditions through the ages

    The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is on the green Bygdøy. It is one of Europe's largest open-air museums, with over 150 Norwegian buildings from the last half-millennium. The houses are transported here from all over the country and represent most Norwegian building types, including the most popular aspects. Perhaps the most beautiful of them all is the old Gol stave church from the 13th century with its striking wood carvings of fighting dragons in the west portal.

    The neighbouring building is a richly decorated storage cage from Telemark. Although the typical national symbols dominate with their turf roofs and ski guards, there is a wide variety of building environments here, from the magnificent to the ordinary. The museum's interior features permanent exhibitions of objects, from rose-painted pulpits to neon-colored roller skates. The main focus is on folk costumes, folk art and church art. History is brought to life through activities such as crafts and 'lefse' baking, folk music and halling dancing.

    Location: Museumsveien 10, 0287 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Daily from 11.00-16.00

    Phone: +47 22 12 37 00


    Museum of Natural History

    A venerable museum with animals from all over the world

    Several of Oslo's museums have been refurbished, and the Natural History Museum could also do with this. Currently, it is an old-fashioned "no-touching" museum, but don't let this put you off. The surroundings on Tøyen are green and pleasant, and the exhibitions in Collet's house - the only one of the three old museum buildings that are open to the public - also have their charm.

    The exhibition consists mostly of stuffed animals from around the world, split into geographical regions. Several of the environments are fun and creatively presented, and the exhibitions as a whole provide a certain insight into the world's fauna. The distant past is also represented - the beautiful casting of a tyrannosaurus rex is impressive! Changing exhibitions keep it interesting.

    Location: Sars' gate 1, 0562 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Friday: 11.00-16.00. Weekends and religious holidays 10.00-17.00

    Phone: +47 22 85 16 30


    photo by Tommy Gildseth (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    City Museum

    Life in Oslo in the near and distant past

    Stately banquet halls and fine furniture occupy large parts of the building of the City Museum, but many of the exhibits here are about everyday life in Oslo in recent centuries. The older generation in particular will enjoy seeing objects and pictures from their own youth, while the younger ones will see how much easier life was just a few decades ago, at least in a material sense.

    It might even open their eyes to the digitalisation and excess of today. Before we know it, iPhones and electric scooters will take their place at the City Museum as well. Concerts, performances and debates are often held here, so it's worth taking a look at the activity calendar when planning your visit.

    Location: Frognerveien 67, 0266 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00-16.00

    Phone: +47 23 28 41 70


    photo by Bjoertvedt (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Viking Ship Museum

    See the magnificent remains of the Viking Age

    Come and admire the world's best preserved Viking ships at the Viking Ship Museum. Viking burial customs, where important people brought entire ships and other objects for the dead, ensured that beautiful wooden structures were preserved for posterity. The Viking Ship Museum displays three such ships.

    The Oseberg ship and the associated objects clearly attract the most attention, with their detailed decoration and beautiful animal ornaments. The interior of the building is rather bare, but the lighting highlights both the broad lines and the fine details, such as the Oseberg ship's mighty bow. This is a traditional museum with stationary objects, but the sporadic projections of animated dramatisations of the Viking Age help bring history to life.

    Location: Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00 til kl. 16.00

    Phone: +47 22 85 19 00


    The Akershus Fortress and Castle

    Oslo's might army and the king's final resting place

    Akershus Fortress is Oslo's most venerable old building, and has guarded the city for over 700 years. Akershus Castle itself is a Renaissance castle built over the remains of a medieval castle. It was built in the 17th century under Christian IV, who ensured that the castle was magnificently decorated as a royal residence. While his portrait hangs in one of the halls, he is not among the deceased kings resting in the royal mausoleum in the cellar.

    On the other hand, big names such as the castle's founder Håkon Magnusson and the legendary Sigurd Jorsalfare are found here, alongside the Norwegian kings from modern times: Haakon 7 and Olav V. The fortress fell into disrepair for many years, but was extensively restored at the beginning of the last century. Today the castle is the Norwegian government's foremost venue.

    Location: Akershus Fortress, 0015 Oslo, Norway

    Open: The Fortress: Daily: 06.00-21.00 The visitor centre: 10.00-16.00 daily from September to April and 10:00-17:00 daily from May to August. The Castle: check the website

    Phone: +47 23 09 39 17


    MUNCH (Munch museum)

    Old master in wonderful new premises

    Edvard Munch was a world-class artist, and his works will finally be exhibited in premises of a deserving standard: the new Munch Museum, a large, airy and bright space with fabulous views of the city and fjord. In fact, the space may even influence the perception of Munch's art and highlight its bright and sensual sides. The modern facility, also called MUNCH, features some exciting new ways to experience this artist. Munch's own art is of course still in the centre, but the larger area allows for more facets to emerge and a greater depth to be revealed: more Munch, closer to Munch.

    The museum has a full 13 floors, so there will also be room for other artists and art forms, music, performance, films and debate. Expectations and ambitions are high: No one should leave MUNCH without feeling inspired!

    Location: Tomtekaia 32, 0191 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Daily from 10.00-16.00 (following scheduled opening in spring 2021)

    Phone: +47 23 49 35 00


    Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

    The city's vital centre for modern art keeps up with the big boys

    The Private Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art was the rebel newcomer to Oslo's museums when it opened in 1993. Even though the large institutions' new initiatives threaten to take over as "the place to be" for the art community, the Astrup Fearnley remains a firm base for the playful, controversial and saleable contemporary art.

    The building itself is a work of art designed by the famous Renzo Piano, and the combination of dynamic surroundings and engaging, current art ensures that the Astrup Fearnley Museum retains its vitality and appeal. With ever-increasing cultural offerings in the local area to attract people, everything is in place for continued audience success for the Astrup Fearnley.

    Location: Strandpromenaden 2, 0252 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Daily: 11.00-17.00, except Mondays (closed) and Thursdays (11.00-19.00)

    Phone: +47 22 93 60 60


    National Museum

    Classic Norwegian art in new surroundings

    The National Museum's new premises raise this institution to a new level. The collections are the same, but with a larger area and modern facilities, there is room for greater variety and depth, and more space and tranquility for the individual visitor. Finally, the pillars of Norwegian art come into their own. National romantic icons such as "Brudeferd i Hardanger" and "Vinternatt i Rondane" really need space around them. Space and air also allow time and peace to enjoy intimate works such as Harriet Backers' "Blue Interior" and Munch's "Scream".

    The premises make you want to spend several hours here, which means you get more of a chance to look beyond the "bestsellers" such as the above-mentioned Norwegian classics and world names such as Monet, Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

    Location: Brynjulf Bulls plass 2*, 0250 Oslo, Norway. *Temporary address until opening

    Open: Main building opens in 2022. The Mellomstasjonen Visitor Centre is open Tuesday-Sunday: 12.00-16.00

    Phone: +47 21 98 20 00


    Start planning your trip

    Back to top