Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum (Norwegian: Vikingskipshuset på Bygdøy) is located at Bygdøy in OsloNorway. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses archaeological finds from Tune, Gokstad (Sandefjord), Oseberg (Tønsberg) and the Borre mound cemetery.[1]

Oseberg Ship prow

Animal Head Post from Viking Ship Museum

Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy

Oseberg Ship in Viking Ship Museum

Bust of Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad outside Viking Ship Museum



The museum is most famous for the completely whole Oseberg ship, excavated from the largest known ship burial in the world. Other main attractions at the Viking Ship Museum are the Gokstad ship and Tune ship. Additionally, the Viking Age display includes sledges, beds, a horse cart, wood carving, tent components, buckets and other grave goods.[2][3]


In 1913, Swedish professor Gabriel Gustafson proposed a specific building to house Viking Age finds that were discovered at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The Gokstad and Oseberg ships had been stored in temporary shelters at the University of Oslo. An architectural contest was held, and Arnstein Arneberg won.

The hall for the Oseberg ship was built with funding from the Parliament of Norway, and the ship was moved from the University shelters in 1926. The halls for the ships from Gokstad and Tune were completed in 1932. Building of the last hall was delayed, partly due to the Second World War, and this hall was completed in 1957. It houses most of the other finds, mostly from Oseberg.[4]

Museum extension[edit]

On 20 December 2000 the University of Oslo had supported a proposal by the Historical Museum to move the ships and all the grave goods to a proposed new museum in Bjørvika, Oslo. There has been much debate about this suggestion, both in the museum and archaeological community as well as in the media. Opponents to the move have raised concerns that the ships are too fragile and that they will not survive the move undamaged, while proponents claim otherwise, suggesting a move could go ahead without inflicting serious damage to the finds.[5]

In 2015 the Ministry let Statsbygg announce a competition for the expansion of existing facilities at Bygdøy. The winner of the architectural competition was released the 12 April 2016, and it was the Danish firm AART architects with their proposal titled "NAUST". [6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vikingskipshuset på BygdøyVikingskipshuset på Bygdøy (Store norske leksikon)

  2. ^ Viking Ship Museum(Oslo) (in English)

  3. ^ "Vikingskipshuset". Retrieved September 1, 2017.

  4. ^ Vikingskipshuset November 8, 2009

  5. ^ The Viking ships will probably stay at Bygdøy Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine

  6. ^ "AART to add looping extension to Oslo Viking museum". aart-architects. Retrieved September 1, 2017.

Other sources[edit]

  • Brøgger, A. W. and Schetelig, H. Osebergfundet (Oslo. 1917)

  • Brøgger A.W. and Shetelig, H. Vikingskipene deres forgjenger og etterfølgere (Oslo. 1950)

  • Christensen, Arne Emil Kongsgårdens håndtverkere, Osebergdronningens grav, vår arkeologiske nasjonalskatt i nytt lys (Oslo. 1992)

  • Ingstad, Anne Stine Hva har tekstilene vært brukt til? Osebergdronningens grav (Oslo. 1992)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vikingskipshuset, Oslo.

Coordinates59°54′17.12″N 10°41′4.06″E


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The Viking Ship Museum

See the world's best preserved viking ships up close

All the viking ships at our museum were ocean going vessels before they were hauled onto land to be used in burial rituals for their wealthy owners. In the burial mounds, archeologists unearthed sceletons, beautiful wood carvings and a diverse range of artifacts from the fascinating world of the vikings.   

Open every day all week

  • 1 October to 30 April: 10:00 to 16:00

  • 1 September to 30 September: 09:00 to 18:00 (closed 1 Jan)

  • Closed: 1 January, 6 February, 13 February

Plan your visit: Ticket prices, directions and practical information

The Oseberg Viking Ship

Oseberg is richly decorated and was equipped with lavish burial gifts for the two women onboard. It took 21 years to restore the ship and the finds.

More about the Oseberg ship

The Gokstad Viking Ship

Gokstad was a fast ship, suitable for high sea voyages. The man buried in it suffered cutting blows to both legs, indicating that he died in battle. 

More about the Gokstad ship

The Tune Viking Ship

Tune was built from oak around 910 AD and had room for 24 rowers. The strong mast and lack of cargo capacity indicate a warship.

More about the Tune ship

Art and craftmanship

See all the beautifully crafted grave gifts found with the ships, ranging from everyday objects and utensils to religious artifacts with breathtaking details.

Vikings Alive

Are you ready for a different kind of museum experience? Three times every hour, you can join us for a unique visual journey into the Viking Age.

More about Vikings Alive

Museum shop and café

Visit the museum shop to find books, gifts and souvenirs related to your museum experience. There is also an outdoor summer café serving light snacks.

More about the museum shop

Two museums for the prize of one

Tickets are valid at the Viking Ship Museum and the Historical Museum for 48 hours.

Plan your visit: Ticket prices, directions and practical information

Free entry for refugees and asylum seekers

About Academic Dugnad

Free audio guides

Download our free app to get audio guides on your phone. (PS: we have wifi)

Download from iTunes
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Guided tours

There are no regular tours organized by the museum, but you will find guided tours organized by external guide services on VisitOslo.

For tour operators

To apply for a voucher agreement, please download this form.

For any questions, contact our ticket office: + 47 22 13 52 80 or

There is parking for buses in front of the museum. 

Download museum brochure


Experience Bygdøy

Download our brochure to see the other museums you can visit if you want to spend a day on the beautiful peninsula of Bygdøy.

Download the brochure

Visit the Historical Museum

Do you want to experience more history? Your ticket is valid in both museums for 48 hours!

Visit the Historical Museum

Learn more about the vikings

The Cultural History Museum in Oslo is a research museum with extensive activities. Below is a list of current projects related to the Viking Age and other resources to help you find photos and information about archeological digs, projects and finds.  

Research projects and groups

Centre for Viking-Age Studies (ViS)

Gokstad revitalised

Saving Oseberg

The Assembly Project (TAP)

Avaldsnes Royal Manor Project

Settlement and Landscape in the Iron Age


See all research projects

Further resources

The objects in our collections are registered and published online in the photographic web portal Unimus. It contains several thousand images of artifacts as well as documentation from fieldwork and conservation processes.

Unimus facilitates combined queries throughout all the Norwegian university museums' collections. 

Search photos in Unimus


There are two libraries belonging to the Cultural History Museum. Both are open to the public. 

See information about the Etnographic Library

See information about the Archeology Library

New Viking Age Museum

Within 2025, you will be able to experience the Viking Age in a new type of research museum.