Along with the Kon-Tiki Museum and the open air Norwegian Folk Museum, this is another of the popular attractions at the Bygdøy complex. The extraordinary pyramidal architecture of the Fram Museum frames the most famous Norwegian polar-exploration boat of all time, the ice breaker Fram.
The Fram was already a veteran of several voyages to the Arctic before Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen gained world-wide fame for sailing her to Antarctica, where he beat the UK's Robert Scott in a race to the South Pole in 1911.
The Fram exhibition was given a thorough facelift and reopened in 2013 with a series of intense dioramas capturing the horror of the icy Arctic wastes and featuring polar bears hovering as the Fram lies trapped in the ice cap. Other exhibits include Amundsen's polar tents, navigational aids, and a recreation of his Antarctic base put together from photos and written accounts by witnesses. The highlights of a visit are boarding and exploring the ships' cramped confines as well as learning of the hardships of polar exploration through multimedia, interactive maps, and black-and-white images. Kids will love all the tales of nautical derring do and the "dark walk" simulator, in which they experience temperatures below freezing in order to understand Amundsen's ordeals.