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From Vikings to Munch: A tour of Oslo’s museums

13 September 2019

One of the many things that I have quickly grown to love from living in Norway is the transport system. For £40 a month, I can travel anywhere on bus, tram, metro, and even ferry in Oslo with Ruter – the main travel service here. This means visiting the tourist attractions is incredibly easy to get to and do.

Whilst I may be living here for the time being, I am still a tourist and as a student of UiO, I get the privileged of doing many of the tourist attractions free as they are often curated by the university. Now, although I have no managed to visit all of the primary museums and galleries that Oslo has to offer, I wanted to share my experience of the ones that I have visited thus far.

Naturhistorisk Museum

Sars’ gt. 1, 0562 Oslo

It does not matter how many Natural History Museums I visit, I will never say no to visiting another one. Yes, there will be the generic things but there will always be something different that the museum has to offer. With Oslo’s Naturhistorisk Museum, that different something was definitely the human brain. I cannot say that I have ever been confronted with that outside of a horror film before!

The layout of the Zoologisk exhibit is expertly done, with stunning layouts of fossils, bones, crystals, moon dust and taxidermy wildlife to display history from different habitats. It is impressive and compact but when I was inside, it felt like I was in there for an eternity. Whilst I have singled out the brain, there were many other things that I’d implore you to discover for yourself.

The Botanical Garden

Sars’ gt. 1, 0562 Oslo

Home to over five-thousand plant species, the Botanical Garden is an extension of and surrounds the Naturhistorisk Museum. It is a free wonderland open to all to spend hours wandering, marvelling and, for me, taking antihistamines.

I was lucky on the day that I chose to visit the garden as the weather illuminated the beauty of all the plants. I did not quite believe the website when it promoted over five-thousand plant species but the curators have placed a small label beside every single one that I lost count almost instantly.

This would be perfect for the sunnier months to witness the plants, herbs and flowers in full bloom.

Kulturhistorisk: The Viking Ship Museum

Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo

The most exciting attraction for tourists of Norway is to visit the remains of the Gokstad, Tune and Oseberg viking ships as well as other items discovered in tombs. It is an incredible interactive experience that is free to UiO students that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Oslo.


Tøyengata 53, 0578 Oslo

Perhaps the second prolific tourist attraction of Oslo is the museum dedicated to Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch – most famous for his painting The Scream for which I was lucky enough to travel to the very spot that he painted it (pictured below). Unfortuantely The Scream was hibernating when I visited but it was a chance to really discover Munch’s work and revel in the evolution of his journey with colour.

(This will be updated when I revisit when The Scream is on display.)

Did I convince you to visit these wonderful places?

I still need to visit the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art so I will update this when I have found the time to visit – hopefully soon!