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A couple in old-fashioned clothing walking down a cobblestone covered street, with children smiling in the background
Old Bergen Museum in Bergen.
Photo: Tove Breistein / Bymuseet i Bergen

Open the museum doors to these historical museums and get a blast of fresh air instead of the usual dust. Our expert sends you back in time to inhale the smells, sounds, and styles of earlier times.

    Let our picky expert introduce you to his favourite alternative historical museums. Your personal guide art historian Trond Schøning has been working as an antique expert at Blomqvist auction house in Oslo for the past 15 years.

    Schøning’s passion for rare objects helps in pointing to the places where he would bring his most demanding friends.

  • The nomads of Norway

    Glomdalsmuseet in Elverum shows the various conditions and life of Norway’s traditionally travelling population, who used to be called “tatere. The exhibition is thought-provoking with numerous examples of needlework.

  • Rare collections on display

    Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Drammen is the lifetime project of artist Morten Viskum. The “art lab” is known for its high-quality gallery that often shows private collections seldom or never before brought to the public.

  • People walking through the art gallery Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Drammen, Eastern Norway
    Photo: Rune Guneriussen
  • Suburbia explained

    Drammens Museum must be one of Norway’s best city museums. They show exceptionally good collections and exhibitions. The institution has continually acquired good objects, which makes this museum highly interesting for far more people than only the locals.

  • The untouched mansion

    Villa Breidablikk in Stavanger is a completely untouched private home from the 1880s, built by shipowner Lars Berentsen and bequeathed by his daughters to the city of Stavanger in 1954. It’s a museum that demonstrates the immense richness of details of such periodical bourgeois residences.

  • Bergen city life as it was

    Gamle Bergen Museum ranks among the most fun and interesting things to do in Norway’s second most important city. This charming, constructed stretch consists of old, wooden houses that have been saved from oblivion and destruction. Here, you’ll find activities for children and small adventures for history lovers.

  • Wooden rococo

    Damsgaard Hovedgård, also in Bergen, claims to be perhaps Europe’s best preserved wooden rococo building with original interior. The extensive restoration in the 1980s enhances the baroque-themed garden, the interior held in rococo and empire style, and the rather impressive façade.

  • The glamour of glaciers

    The Norwegian Glacier Museum near the village of Fjærland has been given a distinct architecture signed by Sverre Fehn and is an attraction in itself. The site helps Fehn stand out as one of Norway’s greatest architects of all time. The museum is the leading centre in Norway for the dissemination of knowledge with regards to glaciers and climate, and the extensive exhibition is a praise of the eternal, yet very fragile ice.

    1. The author who worshipped nature

      Hamsunsenteret on the island of Hamarøy is an homage to Knut Hamsun, one of Norwegian literature’s major classic authors, who’s work is translated into multiple languages. The architecture is the work of the recognized American architect Steven Holl. The building is located in the middle of the landscape described in several of Hamsun’s books, and cunningly placed balconies, windows, and peep-holes make you feel that you’re looking into one of his novels.

      The tales of war

      A credible newcomer to the list of Norwegian institutions that evolve around wartime history is Narvik War Museum. I recommend combining the visit with Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum in Svolvær and Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Explore Norway’s history

Offbeat historical museums
The Glomdal Museum is one of the country's largest open-air museums, and displays a four hundred year-old period of building- and living tradition in… Read more
Anno The Glomdal Museum
The mansion Breidablikk was built in wood by the architect, Henrik Nissen, in 1881. The owner was the merchant and shipowner Lars Berentsen, one of… Read more
The open-air Old Bergen Museum is a reconstructed small town consisting of around 50 wooden houses dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Read more
Old Bergen Museum - Bergen City Museum
Damsgård Country Mansion was erected in the 18th C. It is perhaps Europe's best preserved wooden Rococco building with the original interior. Read more
Damsgård Country Mansion - Bergen City Museum
The Norwegian Glacier Museum is an award-winning hands-on museum, situated in Fjærland at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. Read more
Norwegian Glacier Museum
The Hamsun Centre is located by the vicarage ruins on the banks of the Glimma River in Presteid in Hamarøy Municipality in Northern Norway Read more
The Hamsun Centre
Classic historical museums
These hints from insider Ragnhild Martine Bø will lead you to high-quality historical museums all over Norway.
Read more about the classic historical museums
The largest collection of items from pre-historic times and the Middle Ages found in Norway. Read more
The Historical Museum
Borgund Stave Church is a unique example of impressive medieval architecture and is a distinctive landmark on the tourist route to Lærdal. Read more
Borgund Stave church
Collections ranging form the Age of antiquity and the Middle Ages right up to the present day. Read more
The University Museum of Bergen - wonder and science
Eidsvollbygningen is a house full of exciting history. For Norwegians it is one of the most important national symbols, inextricably tied to the… Read more
Eidsvoll 1814 - Norwegian Center for Constitution
Kafé Standpunkt - is a modern coffeehouse inspired by the coffeehouse traditions that were established in Europe during the 17thcentury. In Madame… Read more
Cafe Standpunkt at Eidsvoll 1814
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    And if that wasn’t enough …

    Take a walk down history lane

    Explore Norway's museums in your own way. Filter your search and check out the offers below.

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