Norway Christmas Markets

November 30 – December 9, 2024

Maihaugen’s Christmas Market in Lillehammer. Caroline Strømhylden/Maihaugen.
Garmo Stave Church at the Maihaugen Folk Museum in Lillehammer.
Traditional Christmas market in Oslo with falling snow.

This tour is currently full and new registrations will be put on a waiting list.

Discover Christmas in Norway! Visit Christmas Markets in Lillehammer and Oslo, learn about Norwegian Christmas traditions and folk arts, and experience Christmas koselig (coziness, warmth, and happiness.)

The tour begins in Lillehammer with a visit to Maihaugen Folk Museum, decorated for Christmas, and a famous Christmas market with shops and folk artists showing their traditional handcrafts.

Then it’s off to Oslo with stops to experience a real horse drawn sleigh ride, the Henning Master Woodcarver shop with Christmas-themed hand-carved objects and nativity sets, the world-famous Hadeland Glass Factory decorated for Christmas, and a local farm to experience an authentic julebord (Christmas dinner Norwegian style).

In Oslo, stroll through the Christmas Markets in downtown and at the Oslo Folk Museum. There will be many opportunities to enjoy local culture, visit museums, learn from local folk artists, and sample cuisine. Our final weekend in Oslo is filled with excitement of the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded every year on Dec. 10, with concerts and celebrations in anticipation of the event. 

Christmas in Norway is like no other. Join Vesterheim for this special tour of the best in Norwegian Christmas traditions.

$3495 (Land only. Airfare not included.)
$620 single supplement
Prices are subject to change without notice.

Day 1 Saturday, November 30: Lillehammer (D)

Our Christmas Traditions tour starts in Lillehammer with a welcome meeting and group dinner at the Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer in Lillehammer. Overnight at the Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer.

Day 2 Sunday December 1: Lillehammer (B, D)

The day begins at Maihaugen’s Christmas Market where you can experience the Christmas feeling in beautiful historical surroundings. Maihaugen is the largest open-air museum in Norway with more than 200 historic houses. Maihaugen’s Christmas market is a unique experience in how the holiday was celebrated in Norway in the past. The lights are lit in the historic houses, where you can immerse yourself in the old days of Christmas. Lunch on your own. Evening meal and overnight at the Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer.

Day 3 Monday December 2: Lillehammer (B, D)

Today we visit the Lillehammer Christmas Market. Lillehammer is often referred to as Norway’s best Christmas town. The old wooden buildings lining the famous pedestrian street, decorated with garlands, Christmas trees, and beautiful shopfronts, all communicate warmth and coziness. Lillehammer in this season is a magical experience in surroundings steeped in holiday spirit. Lunch on own. Evening meal and overnight at the Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer.

Day 4 Tuesday December 3: Lillehammer-Gjøvik (B, L, D)

The day begins with a trip to the Mesna Islandshestsenter for a sleigh-ride adventure in the winter forest. Picture yourself on a sleigh with bells, flaming torches, and trotting horses through the trees. After lunch we will drive to the Henning Mesterstuen to visit the famous woodcarving family and have a chance to purchase their beautiful work. In the evening we will experience a julebord, a traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner. Overnight at the Quality Hotel Strand in Gjøvik.

Day 5 Wednesday December 4: Gjøvik-Jevnaker-Oslo (B, D)

Today we drive to the world famous Hadeland Glass Factory for a morning tour. The Hadeland Christmas Market is decorated with over 50,000 lights, including 10 shops, 5 cafes, glass museum, glass cabin, and a new Christmas outlet. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon travel to Oslo for dinner and overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 6 Thursday December 5: Oslo (B, L, D)

This morning we will enjoy a four-hour morning bus tour of Oslo, including a visit to Vigeland Sculpture Park featuring over 200 sculptures. We will stop for lunch at the beautiful Holmenkollen restaurant looking out over the Oslo fjord, situated next to the world-famous ski jump. The afternoon includes a tour of the Freia Chocolate Factory, the sweetest spot in Oslo. Dinner and overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 7 Friday December 6: Oslo (B)

We begin the morning with a walking tour of the Oslo Christmas Market at Spikkersuppa in the center of the city between Parliament and the National Theater. Enjoy the rest of day exploring Oslo. Lunch and dinner on own. Overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 8 Saturday December 7: Oslo (B)

Today we travel back in time at one of the world’s largest open-air museums. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History shows how people have been living in Norway since the 16th century through modern times. In this open-air museum, you’ll find 160 historic buildings situated in beautiful surroundings. Step inside festively Christmas-decorated living rooms and houses and experience the atmosphere of Norwegian Christmas celebrations over the past 500 years. Lunch and dinner on own. Overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 9 Sunday December 8: Oslo (B, D)

Each year, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo on Dec 10. Today we will visit the Nobel Peace Museum to learn the history of the Peace Prize. We will also visit the new National Museum, the largest art museum in Scandinavia. Here you can experience older and modern art all under one roof. The afternoon will include a visit to the Oslo City Hall where the Peace Prize is awarded. Farewell banquet dinner and overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 10 Monday December 9: Oslo (B)

This morning we shuttle to the airport and depart for home.


The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.

Maximum of 35 participants
Please read “Tour Terms and Conditions”

Price Includes:
– Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
– Daily breakfast (B), 2 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)
– Ground transportation in a comfortable motor coach
– Gratuity to bus drivers
– Admission fees to museums and attractions
– Use of a personal listening device
– Vesterheim luggage tags and tour information

Please Note: The tour will involve standing, walking (including cobblestones and uneven terrain), and stairs. There may not be elevators at all sites. You will handle your own luggage at airports, and at hotels.

Reserve Your Spot on Tour

For more information about upcoming tours:

Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681, ext. 240

Tour Guide and Leader
Andrew Ellingsen

LEADER: Andrew Ellingsen

Vesterheim Director of Folk Art Education, Andrew Ellingsen is excited to regularly lead tours to Norway. Andrew is an experienced folk artist, braiding metal jewelry for several years after learning the art from Norma Refsal. He has degrees in music education from Luther College and the University of St. Thomas, and has worked as a teacher educator in courses at Southern Methodist University, the University of Memphis, and the University of St. Thomas, as well as an elementary music educator and an Instructional Coach. He brings warm and light-hearted organization to Vesterheim’s tours.