The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History provides a comprehensive introduction to six centuries of social history. As well as an indoor museum displaying traditional costumes, woodcarvings and church art, the vast open-air museum brings together over 150 typical buildings from all over Norway, representing different architectural styles and different periods in its history. Together they offer a fascinating glimpse of life in the cities and countryside past and present.
The cobblestone streets of the Old Town showcase a wide range of urban architecture. Each building has its own appropriately costumed host to point out the particular features and guide you through the rooms filled with authentic furniture and artworks of the period. The apartment block includes eight individual units decorated in different styles ranging from 1879 to 2002.
The wooden stave church dates from around 1200 and is one of five medieval properties in the museum’s collection. Step inside to view its beautiful woodcarvings and religious artworks. There are also farm buildings and cottages from different centuries, all relocated from different areas of the country and painstakingly restored as closely as possible to their original condition.
In the summer the museum hosts many special events themed around Norwegian cultural history, including traditional midsummer celebrations, sheep-shearing demonstrations, food festivals, live music and dancing. Full details are published on the museum’s informative website so you can plan your visit accordingly.
Set aside at least half a day for your visit, to allow yourself plenty of time to explore the extensive outdoor exhibits as well as the museum itself. Picnic tables are provided for do-it-yourself dining, or take advantage of the on-site café for a quick and easy snack.
The museum is located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, around five kilometres from the centre of Oslo. The number 30 bus runs to the museum all year round, or during the summer months you can catch the ferry from City Hall pier. Pay parking is available opposite the main entrance. The museum is open every day of the year and there is an admission charge.