July 20, 2021
The Swedish capital offers over 50 museums each focussed on its own theme or subject. From art to naval history and pop music, the museums in Stockholm offer something for everyone. These are the locations you want to visit when you plan your next visit to Stockholm.
Home to the country's largest art collection, including 16,000 paintings and 30,000 objects ranging from the Middle Ages to present day. The national museum of Sweden is a must visit for anyone interested in all forms of art. You can find the recently restored Renaissance building which is home to the Nationalmuseum on the Blasieholmen peninsula.
The Nationalmuseum's collection of paintings and sculptures includes works by artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin, as well as the Swedish artists Carl Larsson, Ernst Josephson, C F Hill and Anders Zorn. There is also an impressive porcelain collection, an art library that’s second to none and a beautiful sculpture garden.
ABBA the Museum
If you were to look up what Sweden is known for than their pop music scene is near or at the top of the list. When ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, they paved the way for other Swedish acts to follow in their footsteps, though none have reached the legendary status quite like the ABBA did.
At ABBA the Museum you can sing, play, mix original music, become the fifth member of the band and virtually try on ABBA's extraordinary costumes. 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. At ABBA the Museum, you walk in and you dance out.
Across the water from the other museums on this list, in the Södermalm district, you can visit the world's largest photography museum in a converted, Art Nouveau customs warehouse. Fotografiska has no permanent collection, instead it displays constantly changing exhibits throughout the year, which means that every visit here will bring you something new to see.
Since the museums creation in 2010 they have shown over 200 exhibitions from the world’s most famous photographers, including Anton Corbijn, David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz and Jimmy Nelson. At the top floor, you'll find a restaurant which offers both delicious food and some of the best views of Stockholm.
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The Vasa was a ship which sank on its maiden voyage in the harbour of Stockholm in the 17th century and rediscovered in 1961. The Vasa Museum is named after the ship, which forms the centrepiece of the exhibition. As well as being the most visited museum in Scandinavia, it is also one of the most unique.
After the ship was rediscovered it was painstakingly restored, today Vasa is the world's best preserved 17th century ship. Other exhibits in the museum are related to the discovery of the ship with models portraying the construction, sinking, location and recovery of the ship, and early 17th-century Sweden. 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).
The island Skeppsholmen is home to Sweden's largest collection of modern 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 onwards.
The collection at the Moderna Museet includes key works by Picasso, Popova, Dalí, Oppenheim, Rauschenberg, Judd and Penn, along with works by contemporary practising artists. It covers paintings, sculptures, installations, films, drawings and prints by Swedish and international artists. The permanent and temporary exhibitions are thought-provoking and have a reputation for excellence.
If you are looking for the largest and most unique of Stockholm's museums, Skansen on the island of Djurgården is where you will want to go. The world's first open-air museum takes its visitors back in time to life before the industrial revolution. Here the past and present, animals and culture, traditions and trends meet.
The 75 acre site includes a full replica of an average 19th century town, where craftsmen in traditional dress such as tanners, shoemakers, silversmiths, bakers and glass-blowers demonstrate their skills in period surroundings. Other sights in the museum include a zoo with native animals, the Baltic Sea Science Center and the Skansen Aquarium. There are also multiple children's activities and several placed to enjoy a delicious meal.
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Not everyone would place a palace on a list of museums. However, the Royal Palace on Gamla Stan isn't quite like others, it is one of Europe's largest and most dynamic palaces. It is the official residence of the king and the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions, and it is open to the public year round.
The palace has more than 600 rooms divided between eleven floors with a state apartment facing the city and smaller living rooms facing the inner courtyard. In addition to the Royal Apartments there are three museums to visit inside the palace. The Treasury with the regalia, the Tre Kronor Museum which portrays the palace's medieval history and Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities. Each of the three museums is steeped in regal history and worthy of a visit while you are in Stockholm.
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