Viking history and historical sites around Oslo - visitosloregion.com

History in the Oslo region

Let intriguing tales from Norway’s past become part of your journey.

The Oslo region is a perfect place to learn about Norwegian history. Remnants from the Viking age, Medieval pilgrim paths, 17th century fortified towns and unique open air museums invite you explore bygone times with all your senses.  

 

Maihugen Open Air Museum, Lillehammer
Maihugen Open Air Museum, Lillehammer
Photo: Visit Oslo Region/Didrick Stenersen

 

Traces from the Viking Age

Travelling through the Oslo region, you’ll find traces of the most distinctive characters in Norwegian history – the Vikings. The region was an important centre during the Viking Age, and unique artefacts are left to tell the stories of this captivating historic time of warfare, trade and exploration.

 

In the middle of Oslo lie the world’s best-preserved Viking ships on display, documenting the Viking’s incredible insight into ship engineering and navigation. The ships are accompanied by sledges, beds, horse carts, wood carvings and remnants of textiles that give you vivid glimpses of everyday life in the Viking age.

 

Viking at the Midtgard centre
Viking at the Midtgard centre
Photo: VisitOsloregion/Didrick Stenersen

 

Journey down to the county of Vestfold, an important hub for trade during the viking age, and you’ll find landscapes defined by viking burial mounds. The county is also home to a Viking cultural heritage center, where you can visit a Viking hall replica and try out life as a viking for a few hours.

Viking attractions

Fortresses and fortified towns

The Oslo region’s fortresses and fortified towns stand as proud fragments of Norway’s history of defense. Some have museums where you can learn about life in and around the fortresses in times of war and peace, and most of them have beautiful park areas attached.

Open air history


The Oslo region is home to some of Europe's oldest and largest open air museums, where you can stroll between farmsteads and houses from several centuries.

Marvel at the atmosphere in a dim-lit stave church, feel the characteristic smell of tar in the sod roofed log houses, or try to fit the whole family into one of the 19th century factory worker’s apartments.

Open air museums