When it finally opens in June 2022, the National Museum of Norway will be the largest art museum in the Nordics. Eight years in the making, the enormous space is already generating a buzz.

Oslo is continuing with its cultural evolution at a rapid pace. In just two years we've seen the opening of the imposing Munch museum (Munchmuseet), the glass-enclosed grand central library, and now we have the National Museum of Norway to look forward to when it debuts in June.

The state-owned museum is massive. It essentially houses three museums under one roof: the collections of Norway's National Gallery, its Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Decorative Arts — making it the largest art museum in the Nordics. The architecturally distinct building is part of Norway's FutureBuilt pilot program, a climate-friendly urban development project and, according to designers, it's also equipped to welcome visitors with a variety of needs.

Oslo's new Munch museum is ready to welcome visitors in its dramatic waterfront home

What's inside?

A bit of everything from older to modern art, contemporary art, architecture and design. Visitors can view approximately 5,000 works from the museum’s 400,000-piece collection, spread across two floors and nearly 90 galleries.

These include the medieval Baldishol tapestry; Chinese imperial porcelain; Dutch and Flemish landscape paintings; and works by artists such as Van Gogh, Goya, Picasso, and Manet, not to mention the latest in contemporary design and arts and crafts. Some works have not been accessible to the public for years while others have never previously been shown.

Oslo’s ambitious new library was worth the wait

NOR Baldisholteppet
Norway's national tresure the Baldisholteppet will be on display in the National Museum © Kunstner: Ukjent / National Museum of Norway

Furthermore, the museum will house a selection of Edvard Munch’s works, including the Norwegian painter’s iconic masterpiece, The Scream. 

Speaking to the Guardian, museum director Karin Hindsbo says "people will be able to see the whole history of Norwegian cultural heritage and regional cultural inheritance in a global perspective under one roof."

Special rotating exhibits will take place in the museum’s cutting-edge Light Hall, an illuminated rooftop space. Future exhibitions include work from Frida Kahlo and Wenche Selmer, as well as ones that focus on Scandinavian Design, queer culture, fairy tales and Gothic modernism.

The museum also has a cafe, several shops, and an open-air terrace that looks out over Oslo's harbor and fjord.

What's nearby?

The National Museum of Norway is centrally located on Oslo’s Rådhusplassen (city hall square), beside the Nobel Peace Prize Center. It's also within sniffing distance of the Opera House —the white marble flagship structure of Oslo's cultural revival— the glass-enclosed Deichman Library, which opened in June 2020, and the brand new Munch Museum, which are just a stone's throw away in the brand-new Bjørvika neighborhood.

When will it open?

The National Museum of Norway is slated to open on June 11, 2022. Entry and prebooked organized tours will be free of charge.

You might also like:
'The Whale' will be Norway’s next stunning visitor attraction
The best time to go to Norway
Embrace winter like a Norwegian this year by practising 'friluftsliv'

Explore related stories

Friends relaxing together at sunset lying down on mountain ridge, Senja island, Troms county, Norway


The 13 most incredible experiences in Norway

Mar 12, 2024 • 7 min read