With over 50 museums to choose from in the Swedish capital there is something for everyone. From Vikings to Pop sensations and from technological ingenuity to a look back at life before the industrial revolution, these are the museums you don’t want to miss on your visit to Stockholm.
In de Södermalm district you’ll find the world’s largest photography museum in a converted Art Nouveau customs warehouse. Since the museums creation they have shown over 200 exhibitions from the world’s most famous photographers, including Anton Corbijn, David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz and Jimmy Nelson.
Besides showcasing amazing, ever changing photography exhibitions, Fotografiska also offers courses and workshops for those who want to improve their skills behind the lens. And on the top-floor you can enjoy great food to compliment the amazing view and gorgeous art.
The world’s first open-air museum, Skansen takes its visitors back in time to life before the industrial revolution. Located on the island of Djurgården, here you can wander among the farms and homesteads which portray traditional Swedish living between the 16th and 19th centuries, while observing crafts such as tanning, glassblowing and pottery.
Besides the open-air museum, Skansen also includes a zoo with native Scandinavian animals, including bears, wolves and European bison. And Skansen is a place where festive occasions are celebrated throughout the year – Easter, Midsummer, Lucia, Christmas, New Year and all other Swedish holidays.
Technology is so ingrained in our lives today that we tend to forget how extraordinary many of these things are. The Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, or Tekniska Museet, is a haven for gadget lovers as it highlights the most cutting-edge developments in technology.
The collection includes around 56.000 objects as well as 200.000 drawings, 400 films, 800.000 photos and much more. Current exhibitions include MegaMind, where you do the experimentation to discover new ideas, and the museum is the first stop on exhibition Moving to Mars’ world tour, with objects from NASA, ESA and SpaceX to explore possible life on Mars.
Sweden is known around the world for a couple of things. One of these is the pop group ABBA who rose to global fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with their hit song Waterloo. ABBA – The Museum is completely dedicated to the four band members, their music and their outfits.
Here you can try on ABBA’s costumes (virtually), sing, play, mix original music and become the fifth member of ABBA by performing on their large stage together with Björn, Benny, Frida and Agnetha. Keep an eye on the piano linked to the one in Benny’s studio, it starts playing whenever he does and duplicates his exact performance.
This is the place to delve into Sweden’s Viking heritage. The Viking Museum’s vivid exhibition will introduce you to these people who lived in southern Scandinavia through movies, scenery, projections, sound effects and archaeological objects.
Learn all about the Viking raids, journeys and their mastery in ship-building as well as their everyday lives at the farms. Step aboard the adventure ride Ragnfrid’s saga to follow Harald and his crew on a dramatic journey which includes plundering in the west and slave trade in the east.
Not only is this Scandinavia’s most visited non-art museum, the Vasa Museet is also one of the most unique. The maritime museum is named after the Vasa, the preserved 17th century ship that forms the centrepiece of the exhibition. The ship, which sank on its maiden voyage, was discovered in Stockholm harbour in 1961 and painstakingly restored to its former glory.
Beyond the Vasa in the main hall, the museum also has exhibits related to the archaeological findings of the ship and early 17th-century Sweden, and models portraying the construction, sinking, location and recovery of the ship. In the harbour outside the museum, four other ships can be visited: an ice breaker (1915), a lightvessel (1903), a torpedo boat (1966) and a rescue boat (1944).
As Sweden’s national museum, the Nationalmuseum is home to the country’s largest art collection, including 16.000 paintings and 30.000 objects. It has been mandated by the government to preserve cultural heritage and promote art, interest in art and knowledge of art.
The collection includes work by famous, historic artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Frans Hals and Renoir. However, there is also an extensive modern Swedish art collection, an art library open to the public and a beautiful sculpture garden.
You’ll find Sweden’s largest collection of 20th century art at the Moderna Museet. It is one of Europe’s leading museums for modern and contemporary art that collects, preserves, shares and exhibits modern art from the early 20th century and photography from 1840 and onwards.
The collection has works by Dali, Picasso and Matisse sitting alongside cutting-edge installations and sculptures. The Moderna Museet with its permanent and temporary thought-provoking exhibitions, outside sculpture garden, restaurant, café and shop can be found on Skeppsholmen across the water from the Vasa Museum.
The best place to learn about the history of Sweden is the Swedish History Museum, with 10 million objects in the collection covering 10.000 years of history all the way from the Mesolithic period to present day.
The museum, which has free entry, has one of the world’s biggest Viking exhibitions, gold and silver treasures, medieval art and unique objects from one of Sweden’s most violent wars – the Battle for Gotland in 1361. All the pieces in the collection were found in Sweden, though many have come from across the world.
If you are looking for a different take on Swedish history you’ll have to look no further than the Spritmuseum. Located between the Vasa Museum and ABBA the Museum, it is much more than a museum as it has tasting rooms, a bar, restaurant, café and shop.
The Spritmuseum is dedicated to Sweden’s complicated relationship with alcohol. The exhibition covers the history, manufacturing and consumption of all kinds of spirits as well as holiday traditions and drinking songs.