When in Oslo, a visit of the Norsk Folkemuseum is an incredibly nice experience. The Norsk Folkemuseum is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history featuring the World’s oldest open air museum. Totally worth your time!
Visit of the Norsk Folkemuseum
The Norsk Folkemuseum is one of Oslo’s premier attractions and for good reasons. Not only it is one of Europe’s largest open-air museums but it’s also the World’s oldest one as it was established in 1894. When you arrive in front of the entrance building, you really have no idea what’s awaiting you and especially how big the museum grounds are.
There are 160 historic buildings there, all from different regions of the country, which present life in Norway from circa 1500 to the present days.
You can walk amongst paths winding through farms from another time. Admire the old barns, elevated stabbur (raised storehouses) and rough-timbered farmhouses with sod roofs sprouting wildflowers and picture yourself living such a simple life surrounded by nature and beauty. You can also climb inside some of these buildings and try to stand up inside 😉
You can step into the Trondelag farmhouse from the 1950’s and have coffee with the owner. The house is very nice and the “owner” really happy to show you all the latest appliances, he bought for his “wife”. But I must say, his coffee making skills weren’t top notch!
You can walk in the 19th century old town, check out the dentist office, the pharmacy, the grocery store, the Bookbinder’s house, and admire the Chrystie Manor…
You can of course visit the exhibit center to, amongst other things, discover the life of the Sami people, the indigenous tribes inhabiting the Arctic area.
The school inside and outside
A well furnished house
There are lot’s of activities organized in every corner of the museum, like pottery and silversmith artisans showing their skills as well as folk dancers. To me, the nicest surprise was to walk into a house and be greeted by its host, dressed in traditional costumes. Those ‘hosts’ were eager to help and tell their stories and it really felt like the place was coming to life.
The Gol Stave Church
The Gol Stave Church is the first and main reason for many people to come visit the Norsk Folkemuseum. I admit, after almost 10 days on the road, and once in Oslo, I couldn’t resist the thought of finally seeing one! The rest of the museum was like cherries on a cake.
The Gol Stave church was built in the early 13th century, and as stated in it’s name, it comes from Gol, a small town in the Hallingdal region, located about 200 km North / West of Oslo. In the late 19th century, as the church was going to be demolished, it was bought by King Oscar II who financed it’s restauration and relocation to his private open-air museum, on the Bygdoy peninsula. Yes, when stepping inside the Gol church, you are stepping into Royal property as it is still owned by the reigning monarch of Norway!
The Norsk Folkemuseum café
Ok, maybe not super important, but I must still tell you that the café at the entrance of the museum is super nice, relaxing and charming at the same time. There were even vegan options so we were extremely happy!!!
We only stayed a day and a half in Olso, during our epic road trip through Vikings’ land 😉 and I’m really glad we spent a whole day on the Bygdoy peninsula because it has so much to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Oslo and don’t have time to go see the rest of the country’s wonders, a visit to the Norsk Folkemuseum is a great option. At least you’ll get to see one stave church! And that was on your BID list, right?!
Want to see more pictures of stave churches and learn more about their constructions? Check out my post on the Borgund Stave Church.
The technical bits:
The official Norsk Folkemuseum website: www.norskfolkemuseum.no
Wear comfy shoes, you’ll be walking a lot!
You can reach the museum by car or bus, but in my humble opinion, the best way to get there is to take a ferry to the Bygdoy peninsula. The short boat ride offers great views and it’s always nice to travel by boat!!
This ferry is much bigger than it looks!
Top: Leaving Olso behind
Bottom: Arriving at Bygdoy
Next, I’ll show you what the Viking Ship Museum looks like… come back soon!
Have you visited the Norse Folkemuseum?
What’s the best season to visit? And what’s your best memory?
Tell me in the comment below, don’t be shy 😉