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.
Fritjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Otto Sverdrup all sailed this 100-year-old ship (called the Fram) on their daring Arctic expeditions. Covered by a uniquely-shaped building on the Bygdy peninsula, the ship lends weight to the museum's focus on Norway's crucial role in the history of Arctic exploration. Visitors can now visit the ship's interior and see all its original contents and, best of all, can be sure to leave the ship with great knowledge about marine exploration.
The brainchild of Professor Gustafson, the Viking Ship Museum or as the locals call it Vikingskipshuset, was established after a considerable number of ancient ship wrecks and archaeological findings were discovered at the legendary Nordic burial sites of Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg, and Borre during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The museum's talking point is definitively the magnificent Oseberg Ship, which was excavated in its entirety, making it extremely rare. Two more Viking ship remains apart from Oseberg form the focal point of the museum. Other things to look out for include art and artifacts from the Viking age, most of which were found as part of the wreckage. An on-site shop offers attractive souvenirs and books.
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.
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.
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.
Kunstnerforbundet Gallery is located next to the Town Hall and holds three contemporary art solo shows each month. Each show normally consists of work by two or three artists, within different media such as textiles, metal, lithography and drawings. There is also a daily sale of painting, graphic pieces and sculpture. This gem of a gallery has hosted upto more than 400 artists so far. A mecca for aspiring artists and local talent, Kunstnerforbundet Gallery's free admission policy does not fail to bring in crowds of art-enthusiasts.
This gallery primarily concentrates on older Norwegian and international art, in addition to contemporary figurative art. It is situated at less than a five-minute walk from Karl Johans Gate. If you fancy a bite during the short walk, you could consider a stop at Kaffistova, where the traditional menu perhaps complements the gallery's traditional profile.
Gallery Norske Grafikere is one of many galleries in Kvadraturen, more specifically, this lively area was the center of Oslo until the 19th Century. The gallery presents contemporary lithography and the art of print-making. There are about ten new exhibitions each year, and it is not a problem for the gallery to find artists for their numerous shows, as they are in possession of the largest collection of contemporary lithography in Norway.
Oslo Kunstforening / Oslo Fine Art Society is the oldest art exhibition space in Oslo, situated in the oldest building in Oslo (1626) in the Kvadraturen area. Oslo Kunstforening / Oslo Fine Art Society is a not for profit exhibition space, and its main goal is to support emerging Norwegian contemporary artists and present international artists that have not exhibited in Norway before. They arrange eight to nine exhibitions a year.
Tegnerforbundet Gallery is a rather busy gallery which aims to show Norwegian and international drawings. In addition to seeing temporary exhibitions, it is also possible to buy drawings from the various artists. The gallery has its own small library as well as an archive. During the year, there are 10-12 shows.
Gallery Format focuses on contemporary art and crafts, in media as diverse as glass, ceramics, textile, metal and wood. Great designs, high prices. The gallery is located near the old, disused railway station Vestbanen, with the Tourist Information Center next door. To one side of the square, Aker Brygge attracts scores of shoppers. Rådhusplassen and Akershus Festning on the other side attract visitors with their recreational and historical value.