When visiting Oslo with kids, a day out at the museums on Bygdøy Peninsula is a must-do activity. Some of Oslo’s most popular and kid-friendly museums are located on this stretch of land adjacent to the city center, reachable by boat and bus. The museums combine Norway’s maritime history and culture of exploration with a look into everyday Norwegian life.
When planning the day, consider purchasing an Oslo Pass, which gives free entrance to a list of museums and transportation, including the boat, around the city. There are a variety of museums on Bygdøy and our favorites were the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum. We also added the Polar Ship Fram Museum, though the attention span was wandering by that time.
The Viking Ship and Kon-Tiki museums are both quick 45- to 60-minute excursions with kids. The Viking Ship Museum features well-preserved, 1,000-year-old-plus Viking burial ships filled with everything their occupants would need in the afterlife, with many of these articles on display. The Kon-Tiki museum displays the original reed raft, named Kon-Tiki, that Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific in 1947. Don’t the miss the film that accompanies the display.
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The open-air Norwegian Folk Museum is the real jewel for kids. They can run in the fields, play farmer on a tractor and get a true sense of Norway’s history by walking through “villages” with sod-roof houses and carved stave churches. Staff in period costumes are helpful and provide insightful commentary to help visitors understand who lived in the houses and what their professions might have been. The authentic feel makes the museum a hit with parents too.
The best spot for lunch options is the Norwegian Folk Museum, as the others have limited or no cafe facilities. For planning purposes, I’d recommend getting an early start on the boat to Bygdøy. After disembarking, follow the crowds walking to the Viking Museum. Afterward, walk to the Norwegian Folk Museum and plan to eat in the cute cafe. When finished, catch the local bus outside of the museum to the main area of town near the boat dock, where the Kon-Tiki and Polar Fram museums are located.
Editor’s Note: Photo by Kristi Marcelle.
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