Oslo, capital of Norway, is one of the best cities in Europe for lovers of art and design. Oslo's museums contain world-class collections of both traditional and modern art. Best of all, Oslo's art spaces focus on design in a way you won't find even in great museum cities like Paris or Berlin.
The heart of art and design in Oslo is the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. The National Museum is divided into several different museums, each with its own specialty. The National Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art are the two major art collections within the National Museum. Both focus primarily on Norwegian art, but also hold important collections of international art.
If you are more interested in design than traditional art, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design should be your first stop. Again, the main focus is on Norway and more broadly on Europe in general, but the huge collection takes in clothing, household objects and other products from around the world. The history of design is also visible on a larger scale at the National Museum – Architecture, next door to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Bankplassen.
Two other museums outside the National Museum system are must-sees for any visitor to Oslo. The Munch Museum is based around the works left to the city of Oslo by Norway's most famous painter and printmaker, Edvard Munch. It is by far the largest and most complete collection of Munch's art anywhere in the world. A more interactive design experience can be found at the Folkemuseum. This open-air museum houses historic buildings, from a medieval wooden church to a city apartment building with apartments painstakingly recreated in the styles of different eras. The Folkemuseum is a great place to experience the styles of different eras in their original settings rather than behind museum glass.
Reaching these fine art and design collections in Oslo is easier than you think. SAS offers multiple daily departures to Oslo from the UK.