The Kon-Tiki Museum is a monument to the incredible achievements of Thor Heyerdahl, one of the most famous and greatest explorers, sailors, and Norwegians to ever have lived. Get the Oslo Card and visit the museum for free.
Thor Heyerdahl's adventurous spirit continues to fascinate visitors from all over the world to this day. For anyone even remotely interested in adventure, the ocean, and endless curiosity, this is a must-see in Oslo.
With a keen interest in the South Seas from the early days of his childhood and a background in zoology, botany, and geography, Thor Heyerdahl first rose to international prominence with his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, immortalized through an Academy Award-winning documentary that is shown every day at noon at the museum. On a hand-made raft, Heyerdahl and his crew travelled thousands of sea miles across the Pacific Ocean in what is still considered one of the most impressive open-boat voyages. Heyerdahl would continue to engage in maritime exploration, most notably on the papyrus reed boat Ra II, and to go on archaeological expeditions all over the world.
Since its opening in 1950, the museum has attracted millions of visitors and ranks as one of Oslo’s prime attractions. The museum’s exhibitions cover the entire, enormous breadth of Heyerdahl’s work and stand as a testament to his insatiable curiosity. Both Heyerdahl’s most famous vessels, the Kon-Tiki and the Ra II, are on display at the museum, so that visitors can get an incredible first-hand glimpse into what it must have meant to cross the open seas aboard these constructions.
The museum also presents Heyerdahl’s other expeditions to such diverse places as Galàpagos Islands, the Easter Island with its mysterious and fascinating statues, and Tùcume in Peru, to name but a few. To bring these to life for its visitors, the museum has installed an underwater exhibition below the Kon-Tiki raft with models of the sharks and fish that accompanied Heyerdahl and his men as well as a replica of a cave found on the Easter Island. Another special treat is Heyerdahl’s personal library of thousands of books and a biographical exhibition through which visitors get to know the man behind the myth. Stories featuring Johannes the Crab and Safi the Monkey fascinate particularly younger visitors and invite them to let their imagination run free. Located on the Bygdøy peninsula close to the center of Oslo, the museum is in close proximity to the Fram Museum as well as the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
One of the world’s greatest explorers, champions of environmental protection, and proponents of world peace, Thor Heyerdahl and his achievements are an endless source of fascination and inspiration, and the museum dedicated to him should be included on every list of what to do in Oslo.