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scandinavia, open air/viking ship museums

I'm doing around three weeks in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (kind of a rushed trip, but oh well!), and I've noticed that a lot of the places I'm going (specifically Arhus, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Bergen) have open air heritage museums with regional buildings and/or a viking ship museum of some kind.

Now, I am interested in things like half timber architecture, but I think if I go to the open air museum/viking ship of every single city I might be sick of it/out of more money than necessary at the end. So, does anyone have any recommendations for which ones are the don't miss versions?

Posted by
251 posts

We have just returned from our trip. We went to Roskilde and loved it. They have recreated the five viking boats that were excavated from the bottom of the harbor. Inside the museum they show all the original fragments in a metal boat frame so you a sense of the orignal. They actually sailed the recreated warship from Roskilde to Dublin and back- They have a wonderful documentary on the voyage.

Hope you have a great trip.

Posted by
9110 posts

My favorites are the whole complex on the Bygdoy peninsula just outside of Oslo and the ship museum at Roskilde (a bit west of Copenhagen). The first is an all-day project. The second can be done in a couple of hours; it's my favorite, but I'm a boat freak.

Posted by
668 posts

The Vasa museum in STockholm is not a Viking ship, but is well worth a visit. It was a wooden warship that sank on its maiden voyage and was recently raised from the harbour and restored. The museum is in the harbour, across from teh old city and accessible by various means, but most scenically by the public boat service.

Posted by
2732 posts

I've been to the open air museums in Stockholm and
Oslo. I thought Skansen in Stockhome was the best. I'm glad I went to the one in Oslo too, because it had an old wooden stave church.

I've seen the old Viking ships in Oslo (Bygdoy peninsula) and Roskilde. I thought Oslo was better, but I liked Roskilde very much too. If you have time, go to both.

I agree with your plan to get a variety, especially on a rushed trip.

Posted by
705 posts

Just another opinion: We were in Scandinavia a year ago and enjoyed the viking ship museum in Roskilde, Denmark, and the museums in the Bygdoy neighborhood of Oslo. However, we didn't rate very high the Skansen outdoor museum in Stockholm.

Posted by
4535 posts

I've been to Skansen, the Vasa and Roskild and loved all three. The cathedral in Roskild is also well worth a visit - it is the burial place of Danish royalty going pretty far back. The Vasa is don't miss for its uniqueness.

Posted by
5638 posts

Weather and day of week can make a big difference with the open air museums.

I've been to Maihaugen (outside of Lillehammer), the Oslo open air folk museum, and Skansen. When I visited Maihaugen, they happened to have a special children's day and it was fantastic; there was folk dancing, special games, etc. I really enjoyed my visit.

I've been to Skansen at least a dozen times and I think it is great. However, if you visit Skansen in the offseason, many of the buildings don't have interpreters. Skansen is fantastic if you are able to visit on a Swedish holiday (e.g. Midsommer or for the Christmas market). In the summer, they often have special things like folk music in the evening. You might check your dates of travel on their websites to see if any of the open air museums have special events while you are there. The Skansen site has a calendar where you can choose the date and see the events for that date.

Posted by
84 posts

We went to the open-air museums in May, so there wasn't much activity. They were fine for an hour or so though. In Stockholm we really enjoyed the Vasa museum. We also liked the viking ship museum in Oslo more than the one in Roskilde, but both are worth a visit. Make sure to visit Frogner Park in Oslo.

Posted by
349 posts

I read a lot and have heard really nice reviews of the open air museum in Arhus .. I love the open museum in Arnhem Netherlands -- info for another trip