Lillehammer, Norway is best known as a primary skiing destination. But during the summer, this town has other things to offer guests and visitors. The town is all about enjoying an active lifestyle and the outdoors, so you can choose from many activities for you, your friends or family. It also has interesting things to see such as the largest open-air museum in the country and much more. Here are the 10 best things to do in Lillehammer, Norway.
1. Take a walk back in time at Maihaugen Museum
Maihaugen Museum is one of Norway’s largest cultural facilities. This open-air museum has over 200 buildings inside its compound, further divided into the Rural Section, the Historic Town, and the Residential Area. Visitors, especially families with children, will enjoy spending a day in the museum. During summer months, special daily activities are organized such as the walking play that shows guests how rural life in old Norway was, guided tours about Norwegian houses, fishing in the lake or even discovering grazing animals in the compound. The idea behind Maihaugen is to give guests a glimpse of Norwegian life from the Middle Ages to the present.
Address: Maihaugvegen 1 Lillehammer
Contact Details: +47 61 28 89 00
Opening Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily, during the summer months
Website: Maihaugen Museum
2. Take a walk back in time and visit the Garmo Stave Church
Located within the Maihaugen Museum, the Garmo Stave Church is a medieval wooden church said to be constructed in 1150. It originally came from Garmo, in Oppland, and its original location is said to be where a Viking chief first built a church. The founder of Maihaugen bought the demolished church and transported all of its parts to Lillehammer. The church was reconstructed to its present place in the open-air museum from 1920 to 1921. Today, it is one of the few remaining stave churches in the country.
Garmo Stave Church
Address: Maihaugvegen 1 Lillehammer
Website: Garmo Stave Church
3. Learn about Olympic history at the Norwegian Olympic Museum
At the Norwegian Olympic Museum, visitors will not learn about the winter Olympics in Norway, but also about the history of the Olympics in the whole world, from the ancient times to present day. With its interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and original artifacts, guests will surely see how athletes prepare during the Olympics and even experience through simulators, how it feels to play a certain sport. The museum also has special sections focusing on the winter Olympics in Lillehammer and Oslo.
Norwegian Olympic Museum
Address: Maihaugvegen 1, 2609 Lillehammer
Contact Details: +47 61 28 89 00
Opening Hours: June to August - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily; September to May - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays
Admission Fees: Adults - about 16.17 USD; children - about 8 USD
Website: Norwegian Olympic Museum
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4. Get your art fix at Lillehammer Art Museum
The Lillehammer Art Museum houses over 1,500 pieces of art that are representative of Norwegian from the 1830s until the present times, which makes up the museum’s permanent collection. While these artworks are always on exhibit, the museum also organizes temporary exhibits of art from different parts of the world. During the summer months, visitors can also enjoy the museum’s Art Garden which plays upon stone and water elements. Visitors can enjoy a picnic or just a stroll around the Art Garden. The museum shop offers art books and decorative art, while the Museum Cafe serves lunch, snacks, and coffee.
Lillehammer Art Museum
Address: Stortorget 2, Postboks 264, 2602 Lillehammer
Contact Details: +47 61 05 44 60
Opening Hours: Jun 26, 2017 - Aug 13, 2017 - 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily; Aug 14, 2017 - Dec 26, 2017, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays
Website: Lillehammer Art Museum
5. Marvel at local artistry at Fabrikken AS
Fabrikken, which is actually made up of a group of creative industries which make textiles, fashion, furniture, hand blown glass and other local crafts. Visitors can watch the artists as they make their crafts in their workshops. If they want, they can also purchase crafts directly from the makers and artists. With a variety of glass artists, visitors can have their pick of beautiful works of glass art for themselves or their loved ones.
Address: Løkkegata 9, 2615 Lillehammer
Contact Details: +47 400 01 989
Opening Hours: Jun 1, 2017 - Jul 16, 2017; Jul 31, 2017 - Dec 30, 2017 - 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 12 - 3 p.m. Saturdays
Website: Fabrikken AS
6. Shop at the Lillehammer town center
Lillehammer, because of its proximity to the Mesna River, established itself as an important trading area. To this day, its town center is still bustling with its specialty shops and restaurants. The main street called Storgata is where visitors can find shops housed in well-preserved wooden buildings. Aside from the usual souvenir items, guests can possibly find unique items in this area. Because this is a walking street, guests can freely roam around the shops or grab a cup of coffee or tea in one of the many cafes.
Lillehammer town center
Address: Storgaten 49, 2609 Lillehammer
Website: Lillehammer town center
7. Admire public art: Mothership with Standing Matter by Antony Gormley
British sculptor Antony Gormley’s work called “Mothership with Standing Matter” is found in the offices of the architectural firm Snøhetta. This firm is responsible for designing several award-winning buildings such as the Lillehammer Art Museum and the New National Opera House in Oslo. Gormley is known for sculptures with the human body as his main subject. Most of his works are found in England. This particular work makes use of different materials such as iron, steel, different types of metal, granite and clay.
Mothership with Standing Matter
Address: Jernbaneparken 2609 Lillehammer
Website: Mothership with Standing Matter
8. Downhill biking at Hafjell Bike Park
If you are an adrenaline junkie, the Hafjell Bike Park is the place for you for some serious downhill biking. With its 15 trails with varying levels of difficulty, you can choose what downhill bike adventure you want to take. The park is serviced by lifts that can take you up to any one of the starting points of the trails.
Visitors can rent a variety of bikes for all ages. If biking is not your thing, you can take the gondola which takes you up to a viewpoint where there is a restaurant with quite a view. There is also a park area and play area for kids at the end station of the gondola. Hafjell is located in Øyer, which is about 16 kilometers (about 10 miles) from Lillehammer. The park’s website has all the updated information about opening hours and ticket prices, which depend on the season.
Hafjell Bike Park
Address: Hundervegen 122, 2636 Øyer
Website: Hafjell Bike Park
9. Hike to Flokofallet Falls, Lillehammer's tallest waterfall
Hiking to Lillehammer’s highest waterfall Flokofallet is quite easy and is therefore good for all ages. No special training is needed and visitors can easily find their way without a guide. The hike to the falls will offer meadow and pine forest views, and once reaching the falls, guests can marvel at its 32-meter (about 104-foot) drop. It is located near the boundary of Lillehammer and nearby towns of Moelv, Hamar, and others.
Address: Burmavegen, 2607 Vingrom
Website: Flokofallet falls
10. Taste local brews at Lillehammer Bryggeri
Lillehammer Bryggeri is a microbrewery that is proudly part of the town’s history. The brewery dates back to the 1850s but was closed in 1983. In 2006 however, the brewery opened its doors once again and now serves up its own local brews together with local delicacies. The brewery can accommodate up to 120 guests, where visitors can enjoy a beer with friends while going through memorabilia of the town and its history.
Address: Elvegata 19, 2609 Lillehammer
Contact Details: +47 95 01 91 08
Website: Lillehammer Bryggeri (in Norwegian)
Enjoy Lillehammer in the summer
Go ahead and experience Lillehammer during the summer months. You will discover that the town is best explored through its outdoor attractions with its one-of-a-kind open-air museum. The town is also full of history which you can see and feel in its museums, shops, and streets. So come and enjoy Lillehammer in the summer.
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