Being a history nerd kind of makes me into a museum nerd as well. And Stockholm has plenty of museums to choose from. I decided that everyone should get a quick rundown on the best museums in Stockholm. So, without further ado, in no particular order, I present to you the five best museums in Stockholm, Sweden.
Vasamuseet (The Vasa Museum) – Just a ridiculously old ship that sank on its maiden voyage right in the harbor. Turns out the King got a little cocky and wanted too many cannons on the ship so they added another gun deck. That tipped the ship and down it went. The ship stayed down until they decided to raise it in the mid 1900s. That brought the whole thing up and stuck it in a museum. They have a movie that shows just how they did it, it’s starting to get a bit outdated but it’s pretty cool and they usually have it subtitled in all kinds of different languages. The ship is amazingly well preserved and well worth seeing and they cater to just about every language imaginable with guided tours in Swedish, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and who knows what else.
Skansen – Huge open-air museum/zoo/park. You can wander around this place all day. It has everything you could imagine. They hold dances and big events here. They have a zoo with Nordic animals. They have what I would describe as a living museum with houses and farms from different areas and time periods in Sweden complete with people walking around in traditional garb. You can watch people blowing glass, then you can go and buy what they have just made. They even have concerts on occasion during the summer. Definitely worth checking out. This is really close to Vasa too so you can hit the two of them in one trip!
Riksidrottsmuseet (The Swedish Sports History Museum) - This museum opened just a few months ago but is very impressive. They have all kinds of interesting exhibits and a film archive which is amazing. The archive has over 60 films of classic moments in Swedish sports. Only problem with the films are that they are only in Swedish with no subtitles. Everything else though is friendly to the non-Swedish speakers. They even have an interactive area which is perfect for kids. One of the cheaper museum tickets in town and it is situated along with three other museums so if you’re in a museumy mood this is the place to go.
Historiska Museet (The Museum of National Antiquities ) – Great for the history nerd. Like me. They have a really nice Viking exhibit that has all kinds of stuff ranging from skeletons, to jewelry, to Viking weapons. They also have a great religious exhibit which is interesting because of the religious history in Sweden and their Viking origins. Nice little section on St. Birgitta, one of the most famous holy women to come out of Sweden. The museum usually has some sort of events going on, this summer it was an archaeological workshop into the Viking age. They really go after that Viking Age here. I suppose they like to play it up for the tourists. The museum also has guided tours on a pretty regular basis and even does them in English.
Nationalmuseum (The Swedish Art Museum) – An amazing collection of work some of which dates back to around the 16th century. Obviously it’s also a good place to see quite a few Swedish artists. I don’t know much about art, but I do know that there are some paintings there that definitely catch my attention and make me marvel at the artistic abilities of the painters. Some pretty impressive paintings and definitely worth a trip! Plus the museum is right across the water from the castle so you can hit a few different sightseeing attractions in a short amount of time. I’m all about saving people time. Saving money I can’t help you with though.