Does the town of Lillehammer sound familiar? It should. It was home to the Winter Olympics in 1994, where the infamous ice-skater Tonya Harding complained of a broken shoelace after a failed first jump. Tonya Harding earned notoriety when her ex-husband hired a hit man to assault fellow Olympian Nancy Kerrigan at the Olympic trials (for those unfamiliar, the story was told in the 2017 award winning film, I, Tonya). The charming town of Lillehammer was also featured in the Netflix show, Lilyhammer that tells the story of an American gangster hiding out in this hidden gem in Norway. With its rich Olympic history, beautiful natural surroundings, fun museums and parks, Lillehammer is a popular destination for tourists. Regardless of how you’ve come to know Lillehammer, it is a small city with a lot to offer the whole family. Come with us as we explore Lillehammer.
Maihaugen Open-Air Museum
Maihaugen is one of the most visited attractions in Lillehammer. With almost 200 buildings, it is one of Northern Europe’s largest open-air museums and one of the largest cultural facilities in Norway. During the summer months one of the most popular activities are the outdoor walking plays that bring history alive. In the rural section of the museum you will see many weathered buildings that were the homes of farmers, craftsmen, and local officials. The rural section depicts the culture of the old farming communities in Norway, while “The Town” at the museum is designed to look like an inland Norwegian town in the early 1900s. Maihaugen offers a wide range of activities and experiences to explore. The museum also houses a residential area where you will find detached houses representing various decades of the 1900s. They illustrate the development of family life through time. For more information on the museum, visit the museum’s website: https://eng.maihaugen.no/
For something to delight and entertain the entire family, head over to the Hunderfossen Family Park. It is an amusement park just north of Lillehammer and one of Norway’s biggest (and most fun!) tourist attractions with over 275,000 visitors each summer. Hunderfossen has attractions that are based on Norwegian culture and traditions. So not only can you spend your day at play, but you’re sure to also learn about Norwegian culture along the way. With over 60 rides and attractions for young and old, there is something for everyone. And remember that show, Lilyhammer, we mentioned earlier? There is a really fun chase scene filmed in the park. For more information, please visit the park’s website: https://hunderfossen.no
Norwegian Road Museum
For a unique and fun afternoon, consider paying a visit to the Norwegian Road Museum. Experience road history from forest paths to motorways. This interactive museum, with 41 projectors and 28 touch-screens, has exciting narratives about a sunken Viking ship, a scene from a monastery, angry peasants, and more. The museum takes its visitors on a journey from the end of the Ice Age through the Viking Age, the Middle Ages and the Age of the Union, the start of the modern area, to the future. This fun museum also has games and activities for children of all ages in their large open-air museum. Stop in at the café for some refreshments to recharge. For more information, please visit the museums’s website: https://vegmuseum.no/
Lillehammer Olympic Park:
Lysgardsbakken Ski Jumping Area
Lysgardsbakken is a ski jumping hill in Lillehammer and is the city’s major landmark. The facility has one large (K-point 123/HS 138) and one small (K-point 90 /HS 100) ski jumping hill. Both hills are used frequently in the summer and winter months. During the summer tourists can take the chairlift from the bottom of the hill up to the Ski Jump Tower where you can enjoy beautiful views over Lillehammer. Don’t forget to stop off at the souvenir shop in the arena where you can purchase special Olympic Park souvenirs.
Lillehammer Olympic Bob & Luge Track
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Then this is the perfect activity for you. Reaching speeds up to 100km/hr, the bob & luge track takes visitors roaring down the track like Olympians. The bob and luge track is the only bob course in all of Scandinavia. The track was completed in 1992 for the 1994 Winter Olympics, where it hosted the bobsled and luge events.
Norwegian Olympic Museum
For the museum lovers among us, or fans of the Olympic Games, you won’t want to miss visiting the Olympic Museum. Touted as both a museum and experience center, here visitors learn about the Games from antiquity to modern times. Immerse yourself in the history of Norway during its time as host nation for two Winter Olympics. Relive unforgettable moments in Olympic history through the museum’s interactive installations, multimedia presentations, and Olympic items. For more information, please visit the museum’s website: https://ol.museum.no/
Lillehammer is a must-see destination for any Olympic lover as well as a great destination for families. We hope that you enjoyed exploring Lillehammer with us.