After sleeping most of our first day in Oslo, we were looking forward to exploring the city and visiting the Viking museum (Vikingskipshuset). As an avid viking fan (I mean, have you seen his beard!?), Alex was really stoked about it. With our 48-hour Oslo pass, we were able to visit the museum and ride the ferry round-trip for free. I definitely recommend getting one of the passes since it includes many attractions, museums that you actually want to see and even free transportation around the city. They also offer discounts to students and I was lucky to have my old student ID with me.
Anyways, VIKING SHIPS. It was overcast and cold that day since it was the end of September, but we bundled up and waited for the ferry at the City Hall Pier (Bygdøy). The ride to the museum takes about 15-20 minutes through the Oslo fjord to Dronningen. Make sure to sit near the windows if you can, the views of houses and old castles nearby will take your breath away.
After you arrive, you walk about 10 minutes up a hill to the museum. The museum is small, but with three giant Viking ships that were discovered, excavated and restored -- they even steamed the wood to bend it back into shape -- we were more than satisfied. Aside from the ships, they have artifacts that were found at the burial sites, including clothing, sleds and tools used by the Vikings. You learn about their burial rituals and way of living, often so different from the stereotypes we hear about them. I apologize for the grainy pictures. The museum didn't have the best lighting and the cloudy day didn't help.
Even if you are spending one day in Oslo, the museum isn't far from the centre and the train station. It's definitely worth stopping by and learning more about how these guys once ruled Scandinavia and beyond.
Learn more about the Viking museum and how to get there here. Pictures taken on September 2012.
Have you been to the Viking museum? What did you think?