We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
Felt like I connected with my ancestors

I've done a lot of genealogical research into my Norwegian roots. The displays at the museum gave... read more

Reviewed 6 October 2018
via mobile
Went for an hour, spent three!

Lots to see and do! The exhibits are very interesting, even for one who in not of Norwegian... read more

Reviewed 1 October 2018
Madison, Wisconsin
via mobile
Read all 185 reviews
All photos (49)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good21%
  • Average3%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world and is a national center for folk-art classes.
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
520 W Water St, Decorah, IA 52101-1734
+1 563-382-9681
Most Helpful Positive Review
Reviewed 12 May 2008

Vesterheim is the coolest museum in Iowa! You learn a lot about Norwegians, Norway history, and Norway customs! There is a lot of stuff to look at! I should know, I LIVE THERE!!!!!!!!!! Come especially during Nordic Fest, not only do you get to go...More

4  Thank iowangal
Most Helpful Critical Review
Reviewed 18 November 2013

Our brief visit to the Vesterheim probably doesn't do it justice and given a choice of other things to do in downtown Decorah, IA I would probably visit again. The Museum is filled with interesting artifacts of both old Norway and from the immigrant story...More

2  Thank Phil L
Reviews (185)
Filter reviews
185 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Show reviews that mention
All reviews on display immigrant experience norwegian culture four floors nice museum gift shop outstanding museum outdoor exhibits highly recommend a visit beautiful artifacts extensive collection couple hours museum staff wood carvings two brothers historical items folk art
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 185 reviews
Reviewed 6 October 2018 via mobile

I've done a lot of genealogical research into my Norwegian roots. The displays at the museum gave that research more life enabling me to visualize the life they led both in Norway and after immigrating to northern Iowa. I especially enjoyed the tour of the...More

Thank LittlePaint
Reviewed 1 October 2018 via mobile

Lots to see and do! The exhibits are very interesting, even for one who in not of Norwegian descent! We especially enjoyed the outdoor exhibits. Our docent was very knowledgeable & engaging. Lots of interesting history.

Thank NeilM55
Reviewed 25 September 2018

Filled with historic artifacts that are tastefully explained. Even the stairwell has surprises--pictures/paintings. The special photo exhibit was outstanding.

Thank Norb W
Reviewed 19 August 2018

Immigration history, stories of individuals, and artifacts galore that would be interesting in themselves, even without the context provided by the museum. A casual visitor will find 2 hours go by very quickly here, but I could understand someone with specific Norwegian-American history interest spending...More

Thank royboycr
Reviewed 18 August 2018

Four stories of well organized artifacts ... loved that one area was open three stories to really allow you to get the scope of the boats ... and that you could view them from above. We learned several things and enjoyed wandering through each floor....More

Thank Stephanie S
Reviewed 15 August 2018

Very well done museum and store. We were there during Decorah's Nordic Fest and was special. All the outdoor exhibits and buildings were open with volunteers in period costumes. Beyond the normal Norwegian/Scandinavian souvenirs, they have a great collection of pieces by their members (wood...More

Thank 2-Lane-Traveler
Reviewed 13 August 2018

We did not visit the museum on this occasion, and we were not in town for any of the classes offered, but we did visit the store. Valuing all things Norsk, we found many things to our liking.

Thank Paulandjean
Reviewed 28 July 2018 via mobile

We were quite pleasantly surprised by this museum. The displays were beautifully done and very interesting. This was so much more extensive than we had imagined, and spent about an hour on each floor. We had a wonderful tour of the outdoor buildings, guided by...More

Thank AAFlyerRet
Reviewed 23 July 2018 via mobile

It's quite intresting how my anchestors managed to get through all this. If you're intrested in the Norwegian immigrants and their history, you should totally stop by. It might be a little boring for kids, but there are small stations and tasks they can do...More

2  Thank Ina S
Reviewed 23 July 2018

Museum has three floors of unique exhibits showing the impact of immigration from Norway to the local area. Really interesting to learn a great deal about what people experienced to move to the U.S. and their reasons to make such a courageous decision. Very much...More

Thank WhitelawK
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 5 nearby hotels
Hotel Winneshiek
256 reviews
.49 km away
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Decorah, IA
509 reviews
1.55 km away
Quality Inn & Suites Decorah
121 reviews
2.02 km away
Fairfield Inn & Suites Decorah
35 reviews
2.09 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 43 nearby restaurants
Rubaiyat Restaurant
252 reviews
.42 km away
Don Jose Family Mexican Restaurant
147 reviews
.61 km away
Mabe's Pizza
284 reviews
.55 km away
T-Bock's Sports Bar and Grill
159 reviews
.36 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 30 nearby attractions
Dunnings Spring Park
181 reviews
.66 km away
Trout Run Trail
76 reviews
.15 km away
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
101 reviews
.53 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Laur B
14 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Chuck G | Reviewed this property |
Yes, see earlier answer for good advice!
Angie S
12 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Conejogrande | Reviewed this property |
Yes, the museum is very accessible. My partner is mobility impaired and uses a scooter, and we did not have any problems.
21 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Vesterheim | Property representative |
Vesterheim's Museum Store has books about Swedish weaving that might include some patterns, but we don't sell Swedish weaving patterns alone. We also do not carry Monks cloth. You could try contacting Blue Heron Knitttery in... More