What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part TWO

Folk Art Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part TWO

These are museums you shouldn’t miss while in Stockholm. The key is to pay attention to opening hours. I was surprised to find that even though summer days are longer in Stockholm (light until about 10 or 10:30pm) that museum hours were still short, typically 10 or 11am to 5pm. I did find it a bit difficult to get to everything in a few days, but if you have 3 days, make sure you get to see these museums:

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1 – Skansen – This is an open-air museum with examples of houses and farmsteads from all over Sweden, similar concept to Williamsburg in the U.S. This is a great child friendly activity as the park has a zoo, is out doors so kids can run all over the place, and offers a lot of entertainment.

Tips for visiting Skansen:

–       The park is full of different houses that you can visit and enter to view traditional home and décor or see craftsmen at work in the glass studio, bakery (stop there for excellent taste samplings of Swedish breads), pottery, furniture making and more. To see the houses you have to get to the houses before 5pm.

–       The park itself does not close until 8pm (the main entrance is still open until 8pm, other entrances close at 4pm).

–       After 5pm when the houses close go visit the zoo and eat at one of the restaurants.

–       Check the list of activities and performances – I recommend seeing the folk dancers who wear beautiful traditional costumes.

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2 – Nationalmuseum – The National Museum hold Sweden’s largest collection of art. The museum has a collection of work by Carl Larsson and the main entrance hall is decorated with murals by the artist, as well as the upper floor murals by the staircase. (Read more about Carl Larsson in another blog post coming soon!). The museum also has an excellent museum store.

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3 – Nordiska Museum – If you are interested in traditional crafts, furniture, and costumes, this is a must see museum. Allow for a couple of hours to visit the museum which has a great collection and I highly recommend the museum café as well! Pop into the museum shop for a souvenir – great books on fashion and a nice collection of children’s toys and books.

* TipRecommended day itinerary for Stockholm –  The Nordiska museum is close to Skansen and the Vasa Museum. In order to economize your time I recommend going to the Vasa Museum just when it opens, then going to the Nordiska Museum (including lunch in the museum cafe) and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at Skansen. This is a feasible itinerary for a day in Stockholm but you do have to watch the clock to make sure you get it all in.

Read about the Vasa Museum in “Stockholm – Museums Part One”

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4 – City Hall of Stockholm – This building is supposed to be spectacular, and I say supposed to be because I unfortunately did not make it to City Hall on my visit. The City Hall has a red tower that has lent to it becoming a distinctive landmark, built in the early1900’s. You can only visit the City Hall with a guided tour.

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** To see more photos of Stockholm and the outdoor park of Skansen, click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part One

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part One

These are museums you shouldn’t miss while in Stockholm. The key is to pay attention to opening hours. I was surprised to find that even though summer days are longer in Stockholm (light until about 10 or 10:30pm) that museum hours were still short, typically 10 or 11am to 5pm. I did find it a bit difficult to get to everything in a few days, but if you have 3 days, make sure you get to the Vasa Museum!

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Vasa Museum – It’s not “just a boat.” This museum attracts thousands of visitors and is truly a must see. The museum displays the Vasa, a 17th century ship that sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage and to see the sheer size of the boat is astounding.

* Make sure to watch the video about the excavation of the boat.

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A few key highlights about the Vasa:

– The boat was submerged for over 300 years.

– Only 5% of what you see is not the original boat!

– Heavy cables where drawn under the boat and used to move it into shallow waters – done in 1957 when divers wore those enormous and cumbersome suits.

– The ship was lifted out of the water in 1961, 333 years after sinking!

– Conservation teams began working on the ship and it’s contents in 1962 and took 17 years to completely uncover items and carefully preserve the boat!

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*Arrive early to the museum, right when it opens. The museum is one of the main tourist attractions and tour buses galore drop off groups, seemingly all at once.

— Hours are 10 to 5 Monday-Sunday  (Open until 8 on Wednesdays).

— For updates and more information, click here and visit the official Vasa Museum website.

Stockholm, Sweden – Old Town

Stockholm, Sweden's Old Town

 

Old Town of Stockholm – what to see and do

 

1 – Old Town/Gamla Stan – This is the historical old town of Stockholm. You have to visit two churches in the Old Town and the royal palace (details below); otherwise you have to wander around and just admire the buildings. The Old Town has a few main squares with charming buildings and fountains. Seeing the old town in the late evening is best, after museums close. There are a lot of great restaurants in the Old Town as well.

 

2– Royal Palace – There are five museums/sections that you can visit of the Royal Palace. If you are interested in Baroque architecture you can visit the main palace rooms, including the Hall of State where you can see the small silver throne of Queen Kristina. You can also visit the treasury, Museum of Antiquities, Tre-Kronor Museum, and Armory. Plus you can see the changing of the guards.

 

* Tip – If your visit to Stockholm is more then a couple of days you can take an entire day to just see the palace. Personally, I only had time to make a quick run through the palace rooms and visit the chapel (walking at a quick pace and reading signs here and there, took about an hour). The palace is a good activity to do when it is raining.

 

3 – Stockholm Cathedral – The Cathedral was built in 1279 and has an interesting interior with painted archways, exposed brick, and beautiful stained glass windows. One main point of interest is the sculpture of St George slaying the Dragon located at the front of the church. The sculpture of Saint George is carved out of oak and elk antlers make the dragon look quiet spectacular (the sculpture was completed in the mid 15th century).

 

4 – The Riddarholmen Church – This church has beautiful stained glass windows with some traditional Swedish scenes. The church was built in the late 1200’s and it holds the tombs of the Swedish monarchs and aristocracy.

 

** To see more photos of Stockholm click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!