Although we loved visiting the museums in Oslo with the kids we also visited the fabulous silver mine museum in Kongsberg Norway with the kids and took the tour down in the mines as well. Travelling with our Norweign friends we split up in the mine and they took the tour in Norweign whilst we had our tour in English and German at the same time!
Kongsberg – Norway
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Kongsberg or the Kings Mountain is around about 2hrs west by train from Oslo and really beautiful.
The railway station is in the centre of the town and from there you can get public transport to the museum or travel by taxi.
It’s also easy to go by road in Norway and the road networks are well marked on the maps.
It’s very alpine looking and green. There are lots of rivers and lakes including some that you can swim in during the summer. In the winter there is a small ski resort locally and it does snow ALOT!
Founded as a mining community in the 17th century Kongsberg was once the largest industrial area in Norway.
Kongsberg Silver Mine Museum
The mining museum is approximately 8km from the centre of Kongsberg in the area called Saggrenda.
There is a car park at the location that you can then walk from up to the mining museum.
Cost of the Museum
We bought a family ticket for us at the museum however you can get adult, child and senior citizens.
A family ticket covered the 4 of us for 480 Krone around about £44 or $55 (at the time of going to press – June 2019 please check exchange rates and current prices before visiting the link to the website is above).
The admission price included a trip on the mine train but we did ay extra from some of the Additional Activities mentioned below.
Facilities at the Silver Mine
There is a cafe which serves delicious food, there were sandwiches and more snack like items as well as a sit-down menu.
We ate off the snack menu and enjoyed tasting the Norweign Sandwiches.
What you do need to be aware of like anywhere in Norway it is more expensive than the UK so budget accordingly.
What do you need to bring when visiting the museum
As on the trip you go around about 2km into the mountain via the mine train it is a good idea to bring a warm jacket with you.
We borrowed down jackets for the kids from our friends to keep them warm and wore sweaters and our waterproof jackets ourselves.
Our friends who had visited with their kids also recommended that we bring a torch with us for each child as the mine train can be a little dark.
Silver Mine Museum Mine Train
Please note that children under 3 at the time we visited weren’t allowed in the mine
The highlight of our visit was heading down on the mine train into one of the many areas of the silver mines around Kongsberg.
You are provided with ear plugs to wear during your journey and we heavily suggest that you do wear them as the mine train is very loud.
The carriages are unlike carriages we have travelled on before – they are a tight fit and you will become very familiar with the people sitting next to you and as it was recommended by our friends the torch did help the kids feel more comfortable in them.
Once you are in the mine it really opens up and is much more spacious than I thought it would be.
Tours of the Silver Mine
When we arrived at the bottom all the mine train passengers were divided into groups – Norweign speakers and then those that spoke English and/or German.
For the kids, there was a treasure hunt collecting small polished quartz as they went around from the treasure chests that could then be exchanged for a coin that they “mint” themselves when they exit.
Our guide then took this group around switching easily between the two languages as we explored the mine.
We were taught about the history of the mine, how the machine developed over time and even shown some of the old machinery that was still in place.
The kids before enjoyed it and learnt about the mining in Norway.
Other Activities at Kongsberg Silver Mine to Do with Kids
Going into the mine on the mine train isn’t the only thing to do with kids at the Silver Mine Museum.
There is an activity area. At the start there is the minting of their coin.
I loved that we could then keep the quartz (these have started to form a collecting of rocks from around the world that my kids are keeping!) that they collected in the mine.
After that for a fee you can pan for silver.
As well as mining silver a lot of the rivers around the area have silver in them and at one time much like people panned for gold in the USA they did for silver in Norway.
Although this is a staged panning where you are guaranteed to find some silver it was fun.
The kids learnt to swirl the pans so that the finer sand was removed with the water and the heavier silver would sink to the bottom.
As they found the silver it was placed in a small jar that they could then take home.
Kids Thoughts on KongsBerg Silver Mine
As always our kids give their thoughts on it. Check out what they liked and disliked about the experience and would want to do again.
T’s Review of the Silver Mine at Kongsberg
I really like going deep underground in the mine. When I was little I was too scared to do one in Wales but this time it wasn’t scary and really interesting. The gems that we collected were great and I loved making my coin at the end.
I didn’t much like the mine train even though I liked the mine but not the train. It was loud and cramped.
I want to go back because I want to see our friends again and they live nearby. Maybe next time I can buy some more rocks and gems for my collection from the gift shop.
J’s Review of Kongsberg Silver Mine
I didn’t like the train – even with ear plugs in it was really loud but once in the mine it was interesting.
There was an LED display on the mines and they were HUGE!
But the best bit. Was panning for silver. I want to go back and get more but it would probably be better to do it in a river. I imagine that would take longer though than in the activity centre there.
Visiting Norway With Kids
Although Kongsberg has a few other attractions and activities which when we return to visit our friends I’m sure we will explore we did get to do a little more exploring in Norway.
We visited Oslo for 8hrs and spent the time exploring some of the museums – find our top 3 which include the Viking Ship Museum which includes 3 ships and artefacts in our Best Museums to visit with Kids in Oslo.
Where to stay Near Kongsberg Silver Mines when visiting with Kids
Check out these amazing deals from Booking.com to stay locally to explore the mines and Kongsberg which is a really lovely town in Norway.
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Kongsberg Silver Mine with Kids in Norway
The kids and we loved this museum. From the mine train that takes you 2km in the mountains to the learn to pan for silver (extra cost for this activity). Having visited mines elsewhere with the kids we thought that the guides, treasure trail for them to collect gems and the extra activities you can take part in were well thought out and the kids love their quartz and coin keepsakes. The mine is a lot colder than outside so remember to bring you coats and our eldest said that the actual journey in he didn’t like that much as it was very noisy even with the ear plugs.
The food was delicious but as with everything in Norway it was considerably more expensive than we would normally pay for food when travelling. We would recommend either budgeting for this difference in cost or visiting a supermarket and packing yourself a picnic. There is a supermarket on the road from Kongsberg to the mine.
- Great guides that speak multiple languages to guide you around the mine and teach you some of the history
- Treasure hunt with quartz for the kids that they then get to mint their own coin with
- Extra activities (even with the cost) these were fun and the kids learnt to pan for silver
- The food is in keeping with the cost of Norway but visiting from the UK it is expensive
- Without a coat it would have been very cold on the mine train and within the mine.
- The ear plugs do work but if you are sensitive to noise the mine train is loud and pretty cramped