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Best Museums in Oslo

By: Cityseeker
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Historical Museum

The building, housing a humongous collection of artifacts reflecting Norway's history during the medieval and pre-historic ages, is internationally known as one of Norway's best examples of Jugend or Art Nouveau architecture. The museum houses galleries on ethnographic findings, antiques, mummies and coins. Each section will give you a new perspective on a different aspect of Norwegian culture. If you have an Oslo pass then admission is free.

Oslo, Norway
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Nobel Peace Center

Nestled in Oslo's southeastern frontier that overlooks the azure waters of the Pipervika, the Nobel Peace Center seeks to create a lasting legacy for the prize laureates beyond ceremonial award function. Inaugurated by the king of Norway Harald V in the year 2005, the center occupies a historic train station with a beautiful facade. Interactive exhibits and innovative use of technology characterize the center's temporary exhibitions persuading visitors to contemplate on a slew of topics related to ideas of war and peace. At the heart of the center is The Nobel Field, a striking permanent installation that is a beautiful tribute to all the Nobel laureates and their stories. Other prominent highlights include the Magical Book, which offers an intriguing insight into the life of Alfred Nobel, and The Peace Cloud, an installation that pays tribute to all the laureates thus far.

Oslo, Norway
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Film Museum

Film Museum is located in Filmens Hus (House of Film), together with other institutions related to the Norwegian film industry. The museum's goal is to give an insight into the history of Norwegian films and cinema. Some of the puppets from Norwegian director Ivo Caprino's animated films are exhibited here, and you can watch little snippets of Norwegian films. You can also visit the Kinematografteateret cinema, where historical films are shown non-stop. Call ahead to book a guided tour for your group.

Oslo, Norway
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The Ibsen Museum

Henrik Ibsen's apartment, where the famous Norwegian author lived from 1895 until his death in 1906, has been restored and transformed into a museum. The study contains his original furniture and belongings, and the rest of the apartment has been restored to its original appearance. Throughout the year, The Ibsen Museum arranges lectures and theatrical performances, with a new program every spring and autumn. There are also temporary exhibitions. In order to gain entry to the apartment you must be on a guided tour. Tours begin on an hourly basis, and last for approximately thirty minutes.

Oslo, Norway
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Norway's Resistance Museum

Situated within the walls of the beautiful Akershus Fortress in an over 300 year-old, half-timbered house, this permanent exhibition takes you through the history of the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II. Small models of many of the encounters, particularly during 1940, along with many authentic photos, equipment, and documents from the war-torn era are on display as well. Guided tours for groups are available if booked ahead of time.

Oslo, Norway
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Akershus Castle

This striking waterside fortress was originally conceived as an opulent royal residence, but later fortified for military needs. The magnificent Akershus Fortress was originally built in the 1290s to guard Oslo's vulnerable eastern waterfront against invaders while accommodating the royal family of Norway. Over the years it has performed crucial roles like operating as the country's primary military base and seat of the government with distinction; however these days it is mainly used for hosting important official functions. Some of the fortress' most popular attractions include Akershus Castle church, the armory door and the royal mausoleum where King Haakon VII and Olav V were buried alongside Queen Maud and Märtha.

Oslo, Norway
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Astrup Fearnley Museum

Originally founded in 1993 at Dronningens Gate, this modern museum features a series of temporary and permanent exhibitions by Norwegian and international artists from the post-war era. The permanent collection includes Anselm Kieferen's sculpture, The High Priestess/Zweistromland, a monumental bookshelf with a good collection of books made of lead, and one of Damien Hirst's best-known pieces, Mother and Child Divided. Towards the end of 2012, Astrup Fearnley Museum shifted its location to Oslo's Tjuvholmen neighborhood. Call ahead for more information.

Oslo, Norway
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Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo

Naturhistorisk Museum is one of several museums located within the Botanical Gardens. A ten-meter (33-foot) skeleton of the dinosaur Iguanodon bids you welcome when you enter. This museum offers permanent exhibitions on four to 500 million year-old fossils from the Oslo area, as well as copies of dinosaur footprints from Spitsbergen. On the first floor there is a saurian exhibition. Drop by in their gift store to check their selection of books and garden plants.

Oslo, Norway
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Zoological Museum

The Zoological Museum is placed within the Botanical Gardens at Tyen. The exhibition mainly concentrates on Norwegian animal life, but there are also lots of animals exhibited in all sizes and from all parts of the world on the first floor. The museum is popular with families, but the systematic part should also be of interest to a more mature public. Nice café in the garden. Their web pages are a useful source of information on events.

Oslo, Norway
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Munch Museum

Edvard Munch's works were donated to the city of Oslo after his death in 1944 and the museum was purpose-built in 1963. The collection contains thousands of Munch's works, including half of his paintings, all of his surviving etchings, as well as several graphics and a few biographical items. In the basement, an exhibition of letters, photographs and other mementos gives fascinating insight into the painter's life. Guided tours are given. Within the museum there is Café Munch and a shop with everything from simple prints to giant inflatable Scream figures.

Oslo, Norway
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Vigeland Museum

This building was constructed under the direction of Oslo Municipality in the early 1920s as a home and studio for sculptor Gustav Vigeland. After his death in 1943, it was rebuilt as a museum. Most of his drawings, sketches, letters, sculptures and models are exhibited here. There is also a series of photographs from the work and construction of the central sculpture in Vigelandsparken, Monolitten. A primary focus of Vigeland Museum is to present a collection of three dimensional art, including sculptures and video-based works. A small museum shop resides here as well.

Oslo, Norway
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Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Norsk Folkemuseum, the open-air museum that has been giving visitors a peek into a life-sized past for over a century, contains more than 150 authentic buildings from different regions. The buildings date from as far back as medieval times, including the 13th-century Gol Stave Church. The permanent exhibition features sections on handicrafts, traditional clothing and the culture of the Sami people. A souvenir shop, cafe and restaurant are located on the grounds.

Oslo, Norway
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