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Top Rated Attractions in Oslo

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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.

Fram Museum

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.

Viking Ship Museum

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.

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.

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.

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.

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