Oslo is a city of culture and it is characterized by numerous museums and galleries that cover various areas of interest. The collections are dedicated mainly to contemporary art, while some put their main focus on the history of Norway, the culture of the first settlements, as well as their customs and living habits. Numerous museums have interactive rooms where visitors can experience, on an authentic boat, the northern expeditions.
If you take a walk along the Aker Brygge pier, you cannot miss the site of the Astrup Fearnlei Museum, designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. The Museum was established in 1993 and exhibits works of modern Scandinavian art. The building design depicts sails of a ship, with its glass roof, and it is located on both sides of the canal. The museum holds exhibits which vary, and their contents display leading works by renowned international and Norwegian contemporary artists.
The Historical Museum is situated in one of Norway’s most beautiful buildings, and was built in the Jugendstil fashion in Oslo. In front of the museum, there is a beautiful alée, making the building itself even more magnificent. The Museum opened its doors for the public in 1904, and the exhibits available range from the medieval period, the Viking era, ancient Egypt and ethnographic collections, to items brought from arctic and African exhibitions, as well as items depicting American and Easter Asian cultural motifs.
A visit to the Fram Museum is definitely worth your time! The Fram Museum is located in the Bygdøy Peninsula, across from the Kon Tiki Museum. The Fram is the sturdiest wooden ship, built at the end of the XIX century. It was used during Norwegian polar expeditions led by explorers Fritjof Nansen, Oto Svedrup and Roald Amundsen, and the ship still holds records for sailing the furthest North as well as South. The main Exhibit in the Fram contains descriptions in ten languages which describe three incredible expeditions that the Fram witnessed.
Another museum situated on the Bygdøy Peninsula in Oslo, the Kon Tiki Museum holds modern boats, maps, exhibits from Heyerdahl’s expedition, as well as a library containing around 8000 books. In 1947, a group of determined explorers and adventurers set sail for a historical journey over the Pacific on a raft that they had made themselves. The exhibits contain informative texts in many languages and tell the story of Heyerdahl’s life and work, from his first journey to Fatu Hiva, through his expeditions on board Kon-Tiki, Ra, Ra II, and Tigris rafts, to his journeys to the Galapagos Islands and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Tucuma in Peru.
The Viking Ship Museum is the most famous museum in Oslo and one of its biggest tourist attractions. It is situated on the Bygdøy Peninsula and it exhibits the best preserved Viking ships in the world. The ships themselves were discovered in 1867, having previously been buried for 1000 years, and they witnessed the celebrated rule of the Vikings between 800 and 1050. In the Museum, you can see three ships, the Gokstad, the Oseberg, the Tune, as well as smaller vessels, tools, fabrics and household items. The ships were one a part of traditional Viking funerals, organized only for important people. Visiting the Museum, you will learn about religious customs and the relationship Vikings had with life and death.