A day trip to the
Winter Olympic Games
town from 1994
Sport enthusiasts will of course remember Lillehammer because of the 1994 Olympic Games. Beyond that, you might like Maihaugen and the Sigrid Undset museum
Last update April 2019, day trip
Close to Oslo, 2 ways to get there
Lillehammer is just 2,5 hours by car from Oslo (same by train) so eventually everybody moving to Oslo will pay a visit to the town.
The drive there is actually really nice once you reach the Mjøsa lake which happens to be Norway's largest.
We can recommend to drive two different routes going to and coming from Lillehammer (starting/ending at Minnesund). It gives you a different view and the bendy road on the west shore of the lake offers a lot nice sights.
In the summer there is even an old boat for short roundtrips on the lake.
The winter olympics stadium
When approaching Lillehammer, you immediately see the ski jump up in the mountains to the East which was naturally our first stop. Well, as it was a nice warm summer day, we clearly missed the winterly atmosphere. But it must have been great to watch the ski jumpers here in a competition: the whole facility is not really that big, what gives you a rather intimate feeling - unlike Holmenkollen in Oslo what is a huge area.
We convinced ourselves to walk up the stairs right beside the ski jump for the sake of a nice view from the top and really it was: the town lies in front of you, the lake Mesna in the back, a pretty sight at clear weather.
And there are still activities going on, so check out:
A lot of museums
We could not visit the Sigrid Undset museum as it was closed that time. But to visit the home of one of Norway's Nobel Prize winners is clearly worth a visit and still on our to-do list.
We did not bother to go to the Norwegian post museum as we still have a life :-).
The Norwegian Olympic museum is probably worth a visit but was still under renovation where we were there. Now it is open again.
All in all, a great day trip in the summer and probably an even better destination for a long winter weekend when you can explore endless cross-country slopes around Lillehammer which is a safe bet regarding proper winter conditions with lots of snow.
Back in the car, we went on for a visit to the open air museum Maihaugen which exhibits over 200 old and new buildings, exhibitions, cafes etc. It was founded already 1887 and is nicely integrated into the landscape. Perfect place for both informing yourself how Norway looked like in various periods between 1850 and 1970 - or you just have a stroll with your kids.
After that we were clearly ready for coffee and ice cream and turned to the city center which is essentially one road / pedestrian zone with various shops and cafes. Small, but nice though.
One of the old houses in the Maihaugen open air museum
the reception building from Olympic Games was dismantled, moved up to Spitsbergen and serves since then as a rather nice hotel ("Svalbard Polar Hotel", Radisson group)
Points of interest close by:
Hamar with a rich Norwegian heritage
Eidsvoll where Norway´s constitutional assembly met to draft and sign the Constitution of Norway on 17 May 1814
Click on the map for opening the right clipping in google maps in a new window
Distance from Oslo
200 km / 2,5 hours by car
Open air museum "Maihaugen" maihaugen.no
Ski jump in the Olympia park
Sigrid Undset museum in Bjerkebæk
Plenty of winter sports activities (skiing, sledding etc.) possible
Overnight stay we can recommend
we didnt stay overnight - why should we? ;-)