Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo

Close to the Rådhuset of Oslo and next to the Nobel peace price center you can find the wonderful building of the Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design. A combination of different collections formed in 2003 and exhibited in a brand new museum building opened in 2022. You can learn about Norwegian design and architecture, but most people will go there for the massive collection of paintings by Norwegian and international artists (the Nasjonalgalleriet). It includes works of artists like Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh and Monet.

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Holmenkollbakken, Oslo

Whether you know ski-jumping well or not, you will typically have heard about the Holmenkollen mountain at Oslo, Norway. On top of it there is the famous Holmenkollbakken ski-jumping facility, an impressive building worth visiting even if there is now snow and nobody is flying on ski down the mountain. Since 1892 ski-jumping is practiced there and a lot of championships where decided on this mountain – including the Winter Olympics of 1952. The facility was renovated 19 times and after the renovation works in 2010 it now houses 70,000 spectators.

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Yayoi Kusama, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo

To reach the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) you need to leave Oslo and and travel ten kilometres to the city of Høvikodden – an easy travel by bus #160 that you shouldn’t avoid. In a building with great views on the fjord changing exhibitions and art performances take place. The museum was opened in 1968 by shipping company owner Niels Onstad and his wife, Olympic champion Sonja Henie. The collection focusses on modern art and exhibits works of artists like Joseph Beuys or Christo; but the 4,000 works large collection also includes works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

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Seafaring island

Frammuseet, Oslo

Norway and Oslo are for sure connected to seafaring. But you don’t need to only think about the Vikings: there have also been polar expeditions starting from there and other crazy adventures with Norwegian participation took place. To learn about this part of Norwegian history you should visit the museum half-peninsula Bygdøy: it hosts three museums in one place; the Frammuseet, Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norsk Maritimt Museum.

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Salt, Oslo

When you’re walking from the Operahuset of Oslo along the fjord and the Langkaia road you will see an improvised cultural center with pyramid shaped houses, the SALT. It is a nomadic art project created in 2014 that was already set-up at Nordland and Bergen, currently it can be found at Oslo. The current allowance guarantees its perfect location until 2027, but you never know whether it is going to be extended. It hosts six stages used for a colorful mix of art and different food trucks; you can order drinks and food via smartphone and they get delivered to the tables next to the water.

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Stave church

Folkemuseet, Oslo

Norwegian stave churches are awesome: multi-level wooden, medieval churches; highly decorated and realized in a special ‘post and lintel’ structure. You can find them throughout Norway and there are only two ones outside the country: one in Hedared, Sweden and one which was moved to Karpacz, Poland. If you want to discover one at Oslo, you should visit the Folkemuseet on Bygdøy island. It is an open-air museum exhibiting buildings from all regions of Norway. The stave church there was relocated from Gol in the Viken province of Norway.

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Astrup Fearnley

Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo

The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is a must-see at Oslo for architecture lovers as well as for fans of contemporary art. But even if you would only love to enjoy great views on the neighboring Aker brygge neighborhood, have lunch at the museum restaurant or swim in the fjord at the beach in front of the museum – it is only a short walk from the city center and very worth to be done. The museum was founded in 1993 financed by the descendants of the Fearnley shipping family. The current building at the shore was opened in 2021.

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Vampiren (Edvard Munch), Munchmuseet, Oslo

Edvard Munch was a famous Norwegian painter, maybe the most important of all times. He was born in 1863 and died in 1944 at Oslo, the city he had already grown-up at. His work focusses on humans and their emotions, the maybe best-know painting is Skrik (or The Scream). It was painted in 1893 and four versions exist: two in paint, two in pastels. One of these four is privately owned, but the other three can all be seen at Oslo: one at the Nasjonalmuseet, two of them at the fantastic Munchmuseet directly next to the Operahuset. They are a real attraction for the city and people squeeze in front of them in large crowds.

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Oslo pass

Jernbanetorget, Oslo

I love to purchase tourist passes in advance. With them you typically can use public transport and visit the most important sights without paying every single time. If you get around a lot in a city it can save you a lot of money and that is quite important at Oslo as it is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. How does it work at Oslo currently? You just need to download the ‘Oslo pass‘ app from your mobile app store and within you can buy passes for different time frames. Once you arrived at Oslo you just need to activate it. The app shows two different tickets: one for public transport, one for visiting sights.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo

Gustav Vigeland was the most important sculptor of Norway. He was born in 1869 and died at Oslo in 1943; his connection to the capital city was strong: he gave the rights on his sculptures to the city administration and the city administration assured his means of subsistence. Vigeland was highly influenced by French sculptor August Rodin and his work focusses on the relationship between man and woman; maybe that’s why many people can relate to his work and enjoy seeing his sculptures.

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