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What’s in the Neighborhood

View of Olympic mountains and Ballard, Washington


  • Benjamin Massello Old Ballard

    Historic Ballard

    The National Nordic Museum is located in Ballard, Washington. The Ballard neighborhood in Seattle holds a rich maritime history with Scandinavian roots.

    To discover more about Ballard’s past and lively present, check out the Ballard Alliance.

  • Ballard Locks

    Ballard Locks

    As you walk around the Ballard community, you’ll see the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the most heavily-trafficked locks in the country. When Nordic immigrants first came to the area, their experience with fishing and boat building drew them to the Ballard waterfront. Visitors to the Ballard Locks can watch large ships, small boats, and kayaks, as well as the seasonal migrating salmon along the fish ladder in the subterranean viewing gallery. Then, stroll the paths of the city’s popular Carl S. English, Jr., Botanical Gardens, home to 500 species and 1,500 varieties of plants.

  • Stock image of brewery taps

    Food, Drink, & Entertainment

    Today, Ballard bustles with activity. The neighborhood boasts one of the best farmers’ markets in Seattle. Vibrant murals and other public art installations breathe life into what was once a traditional fishing community. Enjoy the diverse array of restaurants and shops that line the charming brick-paved Ballard Avenue. Scandinavian-inspired pastries and spirits are available in neighborhood bakeries and a distillery tasting room. Ballard Brewery District is a six-block square where one can enjoy craft beer from saisons to sours. It’s a welcoming and inclusive neighborhood with all the liveliness of the big city without the hassle. Don’t forget about our own Nordic-inspired restaurant Freya.

  • Golden Gardens Seattle sunset

    Golden Gardens Park

    A love of nature is at the heart of Nordic life and we’re lucky in the Ballard area to have Golden Gardens Park so close by. Sandcovered beaches and rugged coastline make this picturesque park a playground for people and harbor seals alike. This public park includes wetlands, beaches, hiking trails, and picnic areas, accessible by car or the Burke-Gilman Trail for cyclists, runners, and walkers. When you need a chance to reconnect with the beauty of nature, this is a great spot to wander, reflect, and enjoy the world around you.

Ballard Events

At the Museum, we host a variety of events for those interested in Nordic culture. Check out our full calendar for details.

Ballard also has several annual events that you can plan your Museum trip around. Here are just a few events that you may find interesting as you plan your visit to the area:

Visiting the Museum

When you visit the Museum, we encourage you to make Ballard part of your visit as well. It’s easily accessible by bus and has easier parking than much of the Seattle area. Ballard is a destination in its own right and a great place for travelers to eat, stay, shop, and explore.

Discover what you can expect and how to best prepare for your visit.

Further Reading

  • About the Museum

    Through our exhibits and programs, we promote Nordic themes like our connection to nature and the constant pursuit of social justice. We explore how these values inform the world today across cultures.

    Learn More
  • Hours & Directions

    The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10am – 5pm. Paid parking is available on the south side of the building.

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  • Buying Tickets

    The best way to visit the Museum is to reserve your tickets online, in-advance. While walk-ins are always welcome, securing your ticket online will guarantee your entrance.

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  • Group Tours

    Group tours are available for schools, companies, organizations, and more.

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  • Accessibility

    Our facility meets ADA-certified accessibility standards. We also have options for wheelchair loans, magnifiers available for low vision guests, and more.

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  • Freya

    Freya is a Nordic-inspired restaurant that’s the perfect spot to visit anytime you want to experience a taste of Nordic cuisine.

    Learn More