Another of the museums on Bygdøy Peninsula, the Viking Ship Museum displays a surprisingly decorative collection of Viking grave goods discovered around Oslo Fjord but is best known for the Viking ships that are elegantly displayed in pristine white galleries.
Three ninth-century longboats were excavated in southern Norway after centuries of being buried in peat. The wooden ships have been painstakingly reconstructed and – despite their lengthy incarceration – are virtually complete. The finest is the Oseberg boat, which discovered in 1903 after more than a thousand years underground. Due to its rich ornamentation, experts believe it was constructed purposefully for the burial of wealthy Vikings.
A visit to the Viking Ship Museum also includes entrance to the Norwegian ethnographic collection in the Museum of Cultural History, where artifacts include Egyptian mummies and medieval decorative arts.