City Guide Lillehammer. The Travel Guide for your trip to Norway.
Lillehammer is a gorgeous town located in Innlandet County in Norway, a lower Gudbrandsdal. It’s a small town, with a population of only a little over 28,000 people! With a mildly humid continental climate, your experience there will be quite pleasant.
You can also enjoy the extreme cold and hot temperature by visiting Lillehammer during peak seasons. Despite it being small in size, it has so much to offer you. From their glorious churches to museums to the ski resorts, you’ll have a wonderful experience. You might end up wishing your trip was longer!
Here, we have cataloged the most beautiful experiences Lillehammer has to offer you. Read on as we explain this pretty little town and take you through its awe-inspiring destinations.
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Location: In the Innlandet Vestland, in Eastern Norway
Established: By the 1800’s
Population: 28.000 (2022)
Time zone: UTC+01:00 (CET), in the summer UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Lillehammer is not a new civilization. It has existed since the Norwegian Iron age. By the 1800s, this well-settled town had a thriving boast-worthy market. It subsequently became a merchant town in 1827, on August 7.
You will find that they have stunning architecture and the reason for that are the building bye-laws. They were enacted in 1828, and as a result, the elegance will leave you awe-struck. Most buildings have rounded corners and are more than 10 feet wide. The streets have a uniform and aesthetical construction. That must be quite a sight for all architectural enthusiasts.
To top it off, Lillehammer has hosted and continuous to host winter sporting events every year. It had hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994 and Winter Youth Olympics in 2016. It doesn’t seem inconsequential now.
Your travel itinerary will be fully packed with the various attractions in Lillehammer. So, while you’re there, you must pick and prioritize your travel plans. The beauty of the residential areas and the streets alone is enough to leave you amazed.
From museums to parks, this list can satisfy every travel enthusiast. This section has curated everything about the sites you should visit and experiences you must enjoy in Lillehammer.
The Maihaugen Museum
The Maihaugen museum counts as one of the largest open-air museums in Northern Europe, with over 200 buildings. Anders Sandvig founded it in his backyard. Interesting, right? He used to collect antique and beautiful items associated with the Norwegian culture.
Later in 1904, his collection was purchased by Lillehammer and was turned into a stunning museum. The Maihaugen Museum has three sections, and you can visit it between 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
You’ll find unique artifacts from the villages in the rural section, dated as old as the 1700s.
The historical town section tells the tales of the early 19th century. You can enjoy and educate yourself with a glorious collection of buildings there. The residential area puts forth the single-family homes for you. They were all constructed over the 20th century.
To reach this museum, you can easily book a taxi or take a bus from the Sondre gate. The tickets are also reasonably priced. The Norwegian culture has been beautifully preserved as well as displayed here, and you’ll surely take a piece of it with you.
The Lillehammer Olympic Park
As it had hosted the Olympics twice, it’s quite natural that you get to experience their Olympiaparken. After all, how many cities can pride themselves in having hosted the Olympics?
It was inaugurated after the 1994 Winter Olympics as a part of the various Olympic venues within Norway. Following are some of the integral parts of this park.
Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track
Here, you get to try your hand at the Bobsleigh and Luge track events during the Olympics. This track has hosted various World Championships like the FIL and FIBT and the 2016 Winter Olympics.
During summers, you can try the wheelbob between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can go for exhilarating activities like a raft, skeleton, or even taxi bob while in winters.
Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena
Located at a 20-30-minute uphill hiking distance from the central part of Lillehammer, it’s the original ski jumping site during the Olympics. It’s open all year and provides you an excellent vantage point to the whole town and the beautiful lake Mjøsa.
During winters, it’s open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. In summers, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, and at other times 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It’s a massive hill with a 123 K-point and another smaller one with 90 K-point.
The Norwegian Olympic Museum/ Hakon’s Hall
This location is an exquisite and stunning museum that houses a comprehensive history of the Olympics. You can find it inside Hakon’s Hall in Lillehammer, and you can take a taxi or a bus. It has more than a whopping 7000 exhibits. A few hours don’t seem enough for you, do they?
It’s renowned for the most extensive pin collection and the egg from the 1994 Olympics opening ceremony. The mesmerizing history dated from 776 BC to the modern games is on display for you here. It also houses the Olympic stamps and the inspiring videos of the Olympic medal winners.
The Norwegian Road Museum
It’s quite evident that Lillehammer is rich in terms of history and cultural preservation. The Norwegian road museum puts the history of road and transportation in Norway on display for you. It’s also an open-air museum.
The tunnel here connects you to the Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum, Norwegian Public Road Museum, and Norwegian Vehicle Museum. It makes for 5000 square meters of area in total for you to explore. You can visit and explore the petrol stations, stores amongst other areas of importance.
The Lillehammer Art Museum
Yes, Lillehammer also houses some of the best art in Norway. The Lillehammer Art Museum includes a blend of both modern as well as historical art. You will get to admire the stunning artwork of some of the best Norwegian artists.
All this artwork dates from the 1800s to the latest available in today’s times. A whopping 1500 art exhibits are on display for you in this museum. Lucky for you, it’s never too bustling so that you can enjoy the beautiful selection in peace.
The Garmo Stave Church
The existing and new parish Garmo Stave Church was built in 1879. It has a long history, as the original church was created by a Viking chieftain somewhere around 1021. The old one’s artifacts were sold-off after demolishing, and the new church still uses some of them.
It’s one of the widely visited Churches in Norway. The fascinating architecture of the church will enamor you. It may be expensive, but the wooden church with its extensive history is worthwhile.
The Nevra Ski Lift is close to Lillehammer’s central part, and you can have a blast skiing and snowboarding there. You get an 80 meters drop and a prepared downhill skiing slope.
This fun element makes it quite a learning experience for your children and yourself if you’re new to skiing.
The temperature here is also bearable for you, as they don’t use any artificial snow to add to your experience. You can visit it between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and you can also avail the services of the best ski instructors.
The Hunderfossen Familiepark
If you’re traveling with children, be sure to take them here. They will have the best time as there are several engaging activities in this amusement park. It gives you a very serene as well as joyful experience as it is amidst beautiful surroundings.
With over 60 joy rides, it’s popularly known as the fairy-tale park of Norway. You can watch the 4D princess movies as well as engage in family rafting here. They also have well-presented and designed fairy-folk tales for your children.
Since Lillehammer is located in central-eastern Norway, you’ll have no trouble reaching there. Read on to find out the various ways to get to this beautiful town. It will help you select the most convenient mode or route of travel for yourself.
It’s a small town so that you won’t get a direct flight to Lillehammer. Don’t be disheartened, though! It has a strong railway network that connects it to Oslo, the capital. You can catch hourly trains to Lillehammer from the Gardermoen airport, directly. As an alternative, you can board the NOR-WAY Bussekspress buses.
Lillehammer Skysstasjon being the main terminal, will connect you trains and buses. The Dovre Line also runs through this town, between Hamar to the north. It is considered a central Norwegian rail line, and you generally get hourly departures.
Another great and more personalized way for traveling in and around Lillehammer is by rental cars. The Oslo airport will connect you with various excellent and cost-effective rental car services.
You can take the E6 highway and it’s just a two hour drive from Oslo. Although this mode will be more time-consuming, you get to enjoy the sites and the journey in solitude on the brighter side.
The traveler and explorer within you will agree when we say that the best way to explore new places is on foot. However, if you can go for more convenient and time-saving options. Their local network of taxis and public transport like buses and trains is very efficient.
The local ski terrain makes Lillehammer one of the most enjoyable and noteworthy tourist spots. You can experience world-class winter sports activities and the unfiltered Norwegian culture in one place. Here are some of the best sites for you to visit around Lillehammer.
The Hfjell Region
To add to this, it’s also geographically close to Nordseter/Sjusjøen and Hafjell. These are two of the famous cross-country mountains. Also, you can easily travel to the fantastic Hafjell Alpine Centre from Lillehammer. There you can engage in thrilling ski sports and activities. They also have an in-house ski school, and you can engage in mountain biking if you’re adventurous.
The Mjøsa lake is one of the deepest lakes in Europe. It’s also the largest in entire Norway. About 100 km from Oslo, it is quite close to Lillehammer, and you must not miss a chance to see this lake.
What makes it even more attractive is that the shores have picturesque mountains on either side. The sight is so serene and pretty that you may want to stay there forever. It also has 20 different fish species and serves as a water-source for Lillehammer, among other parts.
You can also visit Hamar, a beautiful town, just 48 km from Lillehammer. This town is located on the Lake Mjøsa lake banks and is also quite rich in cultural values, like Lillehammer.
You can engage in fun activities like skiing, fishing, golfing, and kayaking in Hamar. Even munchkins will enjoy the city as they’ll never have a moment of boredom. They can enjoy the beaches and the recreation ground at Koigen.