National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (Nasjonalmuseet)

#7 in Best Things To Do in Oslo
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (Nasjonalmuseet) picture
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Key Info

Universitetsgata 13


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Established in 2003, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design is actually a merger of four formerly separate museums. Only the National Gallery, Villa Stenersen, Mellomstasjonen (the information center) and The National Museum – Architecture remain open to the public as the property works toward opening a new, larger facility in downtown's Vestbanen train station. In each of these buildings, travelers can admire extensive collections about art and architecture. Noteworthy items include Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and "Madonna" paintings.

All three buildings earn praise for their exhibits, but it's the National Gallery that woos the bulk of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design's visitors. Travelers say the museum's iconic Munch pieces can't be missed but also recommend perusing the other paintings, sculptures and drawings displayed inside. Lines to view "The Scream" can get long, especially in the afternoon on summer days, so consider arriving early. To save even more time, purchase your ticket in advance on Ticketmaster's National Gallery page.

Passes for the National Gallery and The National Museum – Architecture, which cover one day of entry to both attractions, cost 120 kroner (less than $15) for adults and 60 kroner (roughly $7.50) for seniors and students. A pass for only The National Museum – Architecture incurs a charge of 30 or 50 kroner (or between $3.50 and $6.50). Kids 17 and younger get in for free. Visiting hours vary by building, but the National Gallery and The National Museum – Architecture are generally open from 10 or 11 a.m. or noon to 5, 6 or 7 p.m. All of the larger complex's facilities are closed on Mondays, and Villa Stenersen does not welcome visitors between January and April.

Gift shops, cafes and restrooms are available in most of the complex's structures. Locations vary by building: The National Museum – Architecture is just east of Akershus Fortress, the National Gallery is located one block northeast of Karl Johans gate, Mellomstasjonen resides next door to the Nobel Peace Center and Villa Stenersen sits less than a mile north of Vigeland Park. Bus, tram and/or T-bane stops are available within walking distance of all four facilities. For more information, visit the attraction's website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Oslo Fjord

Occupying 766 square miles, Oslo Fjord attracts Oslo residents and tourists in droves, especially during the warmer months. Water vistas are available from many parts of the city, including popular attractions like the Oslo Opera House and Akershus Fortress. You can also opt to hit the water in a canoe or kayak, but to get the full experience, consider signing up for an Oslo Fjord cruise. Sightseeing and fishing excursions are available on everything from inflatable boats (known as RIBs) to sailboats and yachts to ferries throughout the year.

Traveler-approved cruise operators include RIB Oslo and Norway Yacht Charter, but the cheapest and most popular way to explore the fjord is via a tour with Båtservice Sightseeing. Affiliated with Norway Yacht Charter, this ferry company offers several fjord tour options, such as a two-hour daytime sightseeing excursion and three-hour crab-, jazz- and blues-themed cruises. Previous visitors suggest booking the evening boat tour, which includes three hours of sailing and a highly regarded all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet. But remember to bring extra money for drinks and a jacket if you plan on sitting outside.

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