Maihaugen Lillehammer

Maihaugen Lillehammer

145 / 190 NOK


4.7/5 Pros

  • Lovely scenery
  • Wide range of houses and exhibits
  • Good location Cons

  • Limited catering

Even though the former Olympic sites are what Lillehammer finally made famous, I would still rate the open air museum Maihaugen to be the key site of the Norwegian city. During my visit for the 2022 Norway vs. India Davis Cup tie, I just had to go back to this very interesting place. Here is my review.


Maihaugen – Location & Admission

Maihaugen is still located rather centrally at the East of the center of Lillehammer. Bus B7 operated to the museum, but there is also a major metered car park. In general, I recommend to install parking apps like EasyPark on your mobile while visiting Norway. Maihaugen also includes two additional museum. The Norwegian Post Museum is included in the Maihaugen admission and part of this review. The Norwegian Olympic Museum requires a separate ticket and will be reviewed separately.

The museum times and admission differ by season. June to August is the key season with daily opening from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Before and after that there is a transitional season with Monday closure and more limited times (11:00 to 16:00 and winter openings, where the museum is already closing at 15:00 on weekdays apart from Monday. December features a Christmas market with longer times. Summer tickets are 190 NOK for adults (roughly 16 EUR), while other times are 145 NOK.


Maihaugen – The Visit

The area of Maihaugen is really large. I would at least recommend to plan two and a half hours for the visit. There is a good structure and good signs. All documentation is in Norwegian and English. Before I headed into the in-fact open air museum part, I had a look into the exhibition We won the land, which is a nice illustration of the history of the country – including darker ages, as you can spot in the pictures below.


The in-fact Open Air Museum

The open air museum is split into five section. The first one I visited is The Rural Area, which is roughly reflecting the area in the 18th century. However, some buildings are significantly older. The most famous one is definitely Garmo Stave Church, which has been built in the early 1200’s, but received several upgrades. The church is part of Maihaugen since 1921. However, there are also other very interesting buildings like the large farm building Bjornstad.

This section of the museum feels to be the largest one. The section Cultural Landscape is having a stronger focus on farming and agriculture. The most beautiful landscape of the whole Maihaugen is definitely Hyttegrenda, which is reflecting living in the Norwegian mountains from earlier times mountain farming to today’s modern cabins.

Modern Houses

The next section I visited is named The Residential Area. This part of Maihaugen is also very interesting as it features example of housing of almost each decade of the 20th century. The oldest house in this section is dated as of 1915. The museum also features the former house of Queen Sonja. Built in the 1930’s, this building was originally located in Oslo, for example. The exibitions last until The house of the future built in 2001. Quite a majority of the buildings can also be explored from the inside.

Finally, The Town reflects a typical 1900 town in the Innlandet region. This section of Maihaugen also features some very interesting sights, like a historic pharmacy or train station. A key part of this area is also the historic post office, which is hosting the Norwegian Postal Museum. I really enjoyed spending some 20 minutes in the small, but very nicely done museum in the museum.


Maihaugen – Services

The reception area of the museum features a cafe and a souvenir store. Overall, it would be very favorable to have a bit more catering in the museum, though. The staff was very friendly and helpful during my visit.


Maihaugen – My View

Visiting the Maihaugen is a classic when you are in Lillehammer and the Innlandet region. And it is absolutely worth it. There are so many houses, quite a lot of them can be entered and visited. On top of that, on a sunny day, it is an amazing place with a great scenery. I definitely recommend the visit.


Flyctory in Innlandet, Norway

Here are all my postings related to the Innlandet province in Norway:


Open Air Museums

Here are all my postings about Open Air Museums:


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