Textile Tour: Bunader in Norway

May 16-28, 2025

Begin your tour in Bergen on Syttende Mai (May 17) surrounded by local residents dressed in the traditional bunad, or national costume, as they celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. Throughout the tour, you’ll learn about many kinds of traditional textiles and try your hand at several techniques. The highlight will be an intensive three-day hands-on workshop at Universitetet i Sørøst Norge in Telemark. This tour will be led by textile expert and folk art instructor, Jane Addams, who is a first-generation Norwegian American with much travel experience in the country.
Price to be announced.

Day 1 Fri., May 16: Bergen (D)
Arrive in Bergen and meet your tour mates! We will go on an orientation walk, check into the hotel, and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight at Hotel Admiral.

Day 2 Sat., May 17: Bergen (B, D)
Hip hip, hurra! Today is Norway’s Constitution Day, wander and enjoy the many festivities or catch one of several public parades and performances. Many locals will be wearing their bunader today! Lunch on your own. We will gather together for dinner at Spisekroken. Overnight at Hotel Admiral.

Day 3 Sun., May 18: Bergen (B)
In the morning, we will visit Bergen’s Hanseatic Museum to get a feel for what this city was like during the medieval trading days. Optional afternoon ride on the Fløibanen Funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen, one of Bergen’s iconic “city mountains.” Enjoy a drink and a snack at the Fløistuen Café while you take in the amazing view, then ride the funicular back down or hike back into town, (hike is around one hour.) Overnight at Hotel Admiral.

Day 4 Mon., May 19: Bergen-Leknes-Bergen (B, L)
Travel north of Bergen to scenic Nordhordland and visit an independently owned bunad atelier, Kleopatra Bunadsaum. Learn about this regional bunad and its variations as well as the network of independent handwork that goes into each garment. Enjoy an outdoor lunch (weather permitting) in this idyllic landscape. In the afternoon the bus will take us to the historic Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk for a brief tour and a shopping opportunity. Overnight at Hotel Admiral.

Days 5-8 Tues.-Fri., May 20-23: Bergen-Rauland (B, L, D)
Enjoy four days of private classes in traditional Norwegian handwork with the University of Southeastern Norway in conjunction with Rauland Academy. We will learn card weaving, colorwork knitting, and smøyg embroidery with time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy evening entertainment. We will also spend an afternoon at the West-Telemark Museum. There will be plenty of opportunities to visit Telemarkstunet, the replica Telemark farmstead with food and shopping next door to our accommodations. Overnights at the Rauland Academy.

Day 9 Sat., May 24: Rauland-Rysstad-Dalen (B, L, D)
After our final breakfast at Rauland, we will head south on a two-hour drive to the Setesdal Valley. Setesdal is one of the few regions in Norway with an uninterrupted bunad tradition. We will tour the beautiful Setesdal Museum, with both indoor and outdoor attractions. Lunch in Rysstad and dinner at the historic Dalen Hotel. Overnight at Dalen Hotel.

Day 10 Sun., May 25: Dalen-Oslo (B, L)
Today we will travel three hours to Oslo, the final city on the tour. We will enjoy an afternoon embroidery class with Barbro Storlien, published author and the chairperson of Norges Husflidslag, the Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts. Lunch at the Heddal Stavkirke Cafe. Dinner on your own in Oslo. Overnight at Hotell Bondeheimen.

Day 11 Mon., May 26: (B, D)
Enjoy a morning city tour of Oslo before heading to the Norsk Folkemuseum, a truly special open-air museum. We will have a tour and meet with collections staff for a closer look at the bunader in their care. Gather in the evening for the farewell banquet at Hotell Bondeheimen. Overnight at Hotell Bondeheimen.

Day 12 Tues., May 27: (B)
Meet with bunad historian and handwork expert Kari Anne Pedersen and traditional silversmith Hilde Nødtvedt for a private showing and presentation of their work in traditional bunad handcraft. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in Oslo. Overnight at Hotell Bondeheimen.

Day 13 Wed., May 28: (B)
Morning coach shuttle to the airport.

Reserve Your Spot on Tour

For more information about upcoming tours:

Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681, ext. 240

Vesterheim is aware of concern about the impact travel has on the environment. We are committed to encouraging travel and cultural exploration, while taking responsibility for a fair share of the environmental cost tours incur. Starting in 2025, for each tour to Norway, Vesterheim will invest in the National Philanthropic Trust: Rick Steves’ Europe Climate Smart Fund. Read more here.

Tour Guide

Guide: Jane Addams

Jane Addams is a first generation Norwegian American with a long family history in the woolen mills of Norway. She has 13 years of experience knitting traditional Norwegian colorwork. Raised in Illinois, she has spent years in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Decorah, Iowa. She vows never to live outside of the “sweater weather” zone. Jane designs Selbu mittens for yarn stores and fashion brands and enjoys studying and teaching this rich textile heritage.

Tour Leader

LEADER: Jennifer Kovarik

Jennifer has been helping to preserve and share the objects and stories in Vesterheim’s collection with people of all ages for over 25 years. As Collection Manager, she cares for the collection through activities like cataloging new acquisitions, monitoring environmental conditions in exhibit and storage areas, and facilitating loans of objects to and from the collection. Jennifer also oversees the Barnetimen preschool program and other school program at the museum. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from Luther College and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Elementary Education from Hastings College. She has led many Vesterheim tours to Norway over the last 20 years.