Norsk Folkemuseum

Lonely Planet review

Norway's largest open-air museum and one of Oslo's prem-ier attractions is this folk museum. The museum includes more than 140 buildings, mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, gathered from around the country, rebuilt and organised according to region of origin. Paths wind past old barns, elevated stabbur (raised storehouses) and rough-timbered farmhouses with sod roofs sprouting wildflowers. The Gamlebyen (Old Town) section is a reproduction of an early-20th-century Norwegian town and includes a village shop and an old petrol station; in summer (daily except Saturday) you can see weaving and pottery-making demonstrations. Another highlight is the restored stave church, built around 1200 in Gol and shifted to Bygdøy in 1885. Little people will be entertained by the numerous farm animals, horse and cart rides, and other activities (some of which cost extra).

The exhibition hall located near the main entrance includes exhaustive displays on Norwegian folk art, historic toys, national costumes (including traditional clothing used for weddings, christenings and burials), domestic and farming tools and appliances, as well as visiting exhibits. However, the most interesting exhibition focuses on the life and culture of the Sami. It examines their former persecution and looks at how they have adapted to life in a modern Norway. Temporary exhibitions are often hosted and these can be as varied as church art or 1950s pop culture. Sunday is a good day to visit, as folk music and dancing is staged at 2pm (in summer).

As most of the exhibits are outdoors, it makes sense to go on a nice day!