If you find yourself looking for things to do in Ålesund, Norway, I highly recommend a day at the Sunnmøre Museum. We did this museum trip totally wrong: we stopped at the end of the day, just before closing, with cranky kids. And we STILL loved it. Don’t miss this one.
The Sunnmøre Museum has 50 gorgeous acres of rolling hills covered with historical buildings, a little lake, an indoor collection, and boats, boats, and more boats. It’s a museum of Norway’s coastal culture, dating back to the Stone Age, and it has something for everyone.
There is an indoor collection with various exhibitions of tools, weapons, and clothing, but most of the museum is open-air, with over 50 preserved historic buildings scattered along the paths.
Since I have three high-energy boys, we skipped through the indoor portion pretty quick and headed outside to explore the buildings. Walking through schools, homes, and shops from hundreds of years ago was fascinating.
The biggest draw for us, though, was the collection of boats, including several Viking ships. I had to drag my husband out of there. Keeping the four-year-old from climbing into the ancient vessels was a challenge, too.
If you are into Viking history or you just love boats, the ocean, or anything maritime, this the place for you. Just don’t let your kids see the framed poster of “Viking Laws” in the gift shop, where the number one law reads “Be Brave and Aggressive.” (The other laws included being prepared and keeping the camp in order, which I’m fine with, but since my kids keep trying to sell each other stuff in my house, I don’t want “Be a Good Merchant” on the walls of my house, either!)
Sunnmøre Museum: Know Before You Go
This museum is located just a five-minute drive fromÅlesund. Dress for the weather, as you’ll spend a fair amount of time walking outside between buildings.
If you have high-energy kids, this is a great place to explore with plenty of paths to run.
The museum has relatively short hours, so don’t get fooled by the midnight sun (like we did) and show up in the afternoon; they close at 4 p.m. in the summer and 3 p.m. in the winter.
For more information and directions, visit the Sunnmøre Museum’s website.