This award-winning collection of Viking artifacts at Bygdøy, close to the National Folk Museum, is one of Norway's most eye-opening and best-loved museums, appealing to families and history fanatics alike. Displays include Viking tools and intricate jewelry as well as elaborate hoards of grave goods, but the star of the show here is the ravishing triumverate of Viking ships beautifully displayed in stark white galleries.
The 9th-century Viking longboats were unearthed in southern Norway after centuries buried in peat. Despite their long internment, the wooden ships have been painstakingly put back together and are amazingly almost complete; first among equals is the Oseberg boat, discovered in 1903 after more than a thousand years underground. It is richly ornamented and may have been built specially for use in a burial ceremony as the remains of two bodies were found alongside the boat. A fascinating museum not to be missed, both for the skill of the marine archaeologists in piecing these boats back together and for their simple presentation.
A visit also includes entrance to the Museum of Cultural History, the Norwegian ethnographic collection, which has displays of Egyptian mummies alongside medieval decorative arts.