view over the city and water of Stockholm

Travel Guide: Explore Culture Through Museums in Stockholm

Stockholm

view over the city and water of Stockholm
image source: swedlock.com

Gamla Stan

Must-visit

Gamla stan in Stockholm
Image source: zleep.com

Gamla Stan is one of Europe’s best preserved and biggest medieval towns. It is also a popular tourist attraction. This place and Riddarholmen are described as a stroll-friendly museum by the website visitstockholm.se. Here you can find many tourist attractions, good restaurants, unique cafes, attractions, bars and cute shops.

In the old district you can find interesting museums. Like the Nobel museum and the royal castle. It is the biggest castle in the world and the biggest attraction in Gamla Stan.

Enjoy a stroll on cobblestones in a cozy environment. Amongst tall and colorful buildings. Dont forget to look after the narrow and charming alleys. They can be found on the sides of the walking lane.

This is also the perfect place to buy a souvenir.

Cool to know:

  • Stockholm was established here in 1252.
  • “Mårten Trotzig” is the narrowest alley in the area. And hard to find (have a competition, who of you will find it first?)
  • The royal castle has over 600 rooms.
  • The translation of Gamla Stan is old city.
  • Frescos and vaults from medieval times can still be found (seen) behind the facades.

Guided tours:

Discover Gama Stan on a walking tour. Read more and book here

For a private tour in Gamla Stan, book here

Go on a self-guided walk with the help of an app. For more information click here

How to get here:

It is located in Södermalm, Stockholm. And one station away from the central. You can get here by public transport or by foot.

Gröna Lund

The funfair Gröna Lund in Stockholm
Image source: gronalund.com

Gröna Lund is Sweden’s most delightful funfair, according to Gröna Lunds website. They have a lot of attractions. Everything from dizzy and scary rides to high-up rides and roller coasters. Their most recent attraction (2021) is called “Monster- King of roller coasters”. And that is what the name suggests; a monster-like ride. It is a must if you are into roller coasters, since it’s one of Europe’s coolest.

There are also a lot of carnival games for you who have an eye on amazing prizes, like huge football, basketball and chocolate bars.

This is a place to spend the whole day since Gröna Lund offers beverages and food for every taste.

Check out all of the rides here.

Cool to know:

  • It is the oldest funfair in Sweden.
  • Also called “Grönan”.
  • Grönan opened for the first time in 1883.

How to get here:

Take bus number 67 from Karlaplan or the tram (number 7) from T-Centralen. It also works to take the red line with the subway to Karlaplan and walk from there (20min).

Skansen

A living museum

The entrance of the Museum Skansen in Stockholm
Image source: Victoria Landing

Skansen is a living museum where the past meets the now. And where you can experience culture, trends, traditions and animals. It is described as Sweden’s soul by their website, located in the middle of Stockholm. The museum also includes a zoo, an aquarium and a Baltic sea science center.

To see and do:

The zoo

In the zoo you have the opportunity to see wild Nordic animals, native breeds, domesticated animals and the inhabitants of the Baltic sea. Some of the wild animals that can be found here are: peacocks, reindeers, wolves, moose, otter, lynx, glutton and brown bear. Many of the domesticated animals you will see, like horses, cows, ducks and sheep are native breeds from Sweden.

The aquarium

According to Skansens website, there is always something new happening at the aquarium. They describe it more as an ark than an aquarium. Here you can get the opportunity to pet a spider. Not for you? Then you can hug a snake? If none of those sounds fun, then maybe you would prefer to take a walk amongst the animals in the rainforest. It is simply a place where you get to experience nature and animals up close.

Baltic Sea Science Center

At the Baltic sea science center, you can meet the animals under the surface. And in that way, experience the diversity of the Baltic sea.

This is a perfect place to spend the whole day, because there are restaurants and cafes in the museum. It is also an excellent excursion goal for families with children, because of the activities suitable for kids.

For current highlights, check out their website

Personal experience:

As an animal lover, I think it is exciting to see animals you usually never see that much in nature.

Interesting to know:

  • The Skansen- aquarium is also a center where they procreate small monkeys and half apes that are extinct.
  • Your visit to Skansen contributes to the conservation work of the zoo.

How to get here:

It is located at: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51. You can take the tram (line 7), bus number 67, or the ferry, called “djurgårdsfärjan”.

Vasa Museet

More than a shipwreck

Tourists on a guided tour inside the Museum of Vasa in Stockholm
Image source: vasamuseet.se

Vasamuseet is the most visited museum in Scandinavia. Its main attraction is the combat ship “Vasa”. The world’s best preserved ship from the 16th hundred. It sank on its first voyage in 1628, in Stockholm. And was salvaged 333 years later.

This is a place to learn about the history of Vasa and what meaning it brings to our time. Vasa is also accompanied with hundreds of sculptures and thousands of objects. So it’s a treasury rich in history, about the life aboard a combat ship and much more.

The garden of the museum

The garden is located at the back side of the museum, behind the plank. For you who are looking for a relaxing moment. Or for you who are searching for inspiration for your garden.

Vasamuseets restaurant

If you get hungry while you are here, you could take a break at the restaurant. It is also a good place if you would like to fika (have a coffee with a sweet). Learn more about the Swedish tradition Fika in my previous article.

For information and pictures, check out their website

Good to know:

  • Entry is free for children up to 18 years old.
  • You can download an audioguide in the language of your choice.

Drottningholms slott

a historical environment

The building and castle is called Drottningholms slott. Located in Stockholm.
Image source: kungligaslotten.se

Drottningholms Slott is a castle and home to the royal couple. It is also a world heritage site by UNESCO. This is a place you must visit if you are interested in art, history, royal interior or architecture.

Here you can also visit “Kina slott” (a pleasure palace), “slottsteatern” (the castle theater) and “Slottsparken” (the royal park) and “Götiska tornet” (a tower). Or just enjoy the beautiful environment close to the water. Feel free to take a walk through the gardens in the royal park.

More on their website

Personal experience:

I was lucky to visit the castle with my class, when I studied art history. I can say that the paintings inside the castle are very interesting. And going through the different rooms, seeing the interior is like stepping into another world. The pleasure palace “Kina slott” with its peculiar architecture is an interesting one as well.

Cool to know:

  • It is the best preserved castle of the 16th hundred century.
  • The royal family moved here in 1981.
  • “Slott” in Swedish means Castle.

How to get here:

It is located in Lovön, the municipality of Ekerö. About 10 kilometres outside of Stockholm.

You can get here by car. By boat, book your ticket here. Or take the subway to “Brommaplan” and, after that, the bus to Drottningholm.

Moderna museet

Sculptures outside of the modern museum in Stockholm.
Image source: modernamuseet.se

Moderna museet is a museum that exhibits art. The museum has one of Europe’s foremost collections of contemporary and modern art. In the collection you can find key works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Dorothea Tanning and Niki de Saint Phalle. But you can also find artworks by artists who are active today.

The collection includes: sculptures, paintings, video, movies, installations, graphics and sketches. It contains not just Swedish art but art from foreign countries as well. The artworks are dated from the 19th hundreds up until this day.

To explore the collection is an excellent way to travel through time, the ideas and the arts.

On the website you can find their current exhibitions and search for artworks or artists in the collection.

Personal experience:

I once visited the museum together with my class while I was studying art history. It is a good place to learn more about art. And it’s big, so you have enough art to explore for hours. I always feel like coming back to this museum. Because they switch artworks with others from the collection now and then.

Cool to know:

  • The funny sculptures outside of the museum at “Skeppsholmen” belong to the art collection.
  • The collection consists of 100 000 photographs, 6000 paintings, installations and sculptures. About 25 000 aquarels, sketches and graphic sheets.

How to get here:

It is located on the island “Skeppsholmen” in central Stockholm. It is easy to get here by foot, bike or by public transport.

Westfield Mall of Scandinavia

The building of the mall is called Westfield Mall of Scandinavia.
Image source: westfield.com

Westfield Mall of Scandinavia is what the name suggests. It includes 224 shops and restaurants. And offers a unique mix of exclusive and international brands, entertainment and food experiences.

At the Dining Plaza, you can find over 20 restaurants. It is Stockholms’ biggest area with restaurants.

If you are tired after all the shopping and would like to relax, the cinema is the perfect spot. Here you can find Sweden’s most impressive cinema experience. The cinema “Filmstaden Scandinavia” has 15 saloons, 4 VIP-saloons and one IMAX saloon. You can expect an experience beyond the regular with the IMAX experience. Because they have Filmstaden’s biggest screen. Be prepared to feel the movie with your whole body with its audio system.

Don’t forget you can enjoy dinner with your company, after or before the movie. At restaurant “drama”, next to the VIP-saloon.

Check out their website for open hours and more.

Cool to know:

  • The restaurants and shops are apportioned over 100 000 m2.

How to get here:

It is located at arenastaden in Solna, next to friends arena and Solna station. It takes only 7 minutes to get here from Stockholm city. You can easily get here by public transport. If you choose to drive, there are plenty of parking spots.

Abba museet

A modern museum

The avatar version of the band ABBA at the ABBA museum in Stockholm
Image source: visitsweden.com

What is Abba?

Abba was a Swedish music group that started in 1972. The members of the group were: “Benny Andersson”, “Agneta Fältskog”, “Anni-Frid Lyngstad” and “Björn Ulvaeus”. They made europop music and are currently one of the world’s most successful bands. Abba had their breakthrough when participating in the eurovision song contest in Brighton 1974, with their hit “Waterloo”. They went separate ways 11 years after they’d started the group.

Cool to know:

  • They have sold over 400 million records.

Short about the museum

The Abba museum is cool and modern. Because here you can virtually try on Abbas costumes, sing and play quizes. And if you always have dreamt of becoming their fifth member, you now can. Just get up on stage together with the avatar versions of the band. It is simply an interactive museum where you play a huge role in your own experience.

More information on their website

How to get here:

Located on Djurgårdsvägen 68. To get here, you can go by bus, train, subway, ferry or the tram (line 7).

Songs by ABBA

To prep you for the trip

  1. Honey, Honey
  2. Money, money, money
  3. Mamma Mia
  4. Dancing Queen
  5. Super Trouper
  6. Take a chance on me
  7. The winner takes it all
  8. Thank you for the music
  9. SOS
  10. Waterloo

Architecture worth seeing

Nordiska museet, Laurinska huset and Centralposthuset.
Left picture, image source: Victoria Landing
Top right, image source: digitaltmuseum.se
Bottom right, image source: wikipedia.org

The buildings on the list have been voted as the most beautiful buildings in Stockholm by the local Facebook group: “Stockholms arkitekturuppror”

The order follows most votes.

  1. Nordiska museet (top right picture, Djurgårdsvägen 6-16)
  2. Laurinska huset (bottom right picture, Bellmansgatan 4-6)
  3. Riddarhuset (Riddarhustorget 10)
  4. Stadshuset (Hantverkargatan 1)
  5. Schantzka huset (Stortorget 20)
  6. Kungliga dramatiska teatern (Nybroplan)
  7. Hotel Diplomat (Strandvägen 7C)
  8. Daneliuska huset (The entrance hall at Birger Jarlsgatan 20)
  9. Danvikshem huset (Danvikshemsvägen 8)
  10. Centralposthuset (left picture, Vasagatan 28-34)

Check out arkitekturuppropets website to see all of the buildings on the list.

Where to eat

The best view of Stockholm from the restaurant at Moderna museet

Image source: modernamuseet.se

Many of the restaurants on the list are taken from a selection of the best restaurants in Stockholm that offer a Wow- experience. Considering everything from food, staff, service and environment (number 1-9).

Number 10 is on the list because it is considered to have the best view of Stockholm, according to the Moderna museums website.

  1. Punk Royale (folkungagatan 128, Södermalm)
  2. Noi (Norrmalmstorg 2-4, City/Norrmalm)
  3. Ling Long (Riddargatan 6, Östermalm)
  4. Tak (Brunkebergstorg 4, City/Norrmalm)
  5. At Six (Brunkebergstorg 6, City/Norrmalm)
  6. Brasserie Balzac (Odengatan 26, Vasastan)
  7. L’avventura (Sveavägen 77, Vasastan)
  8. Nabo (Tegnérgatan 34, City/Vasastan)
  9. Fotgrafiska Restaurant (Stora Tullhuset Stadsgårdshamnen 22, Södermalm)
  10. The restaurant at Moderna museet (Skeppsholmen)

Source of the restaurants 1-9. And for more recommended restaurants.

Places to stay

Hotel Kungsträdgården in Stockholm.
Image source: Victoria Landing

All of the hotels on the list have received very good reviews.

  1. Hotel Hasselbacken
  2. Radisson Blu waterfront Hotel, Stockholm
  3. Radisson blu Royal Viking Hotel, Stockholm
  4. Quality Hotel Globe
  5. Clarion Hotel Amaranten
  6. Grand Hôtel Stockholm
  7. First Hotel Kungsbron
  8. Clarion Hotel Stockholm
  9. Hotel Birger Jarl
  10. Hotel Kungsträdgården

Sources: booking.com, Hotel kungsträdgården and Grand Hôtel Stockholm

Songs about Stockholm

Most of the songs below are taken from this, playlist with 100 songs about Stockholm.

Image source: spotify.com
  1. Stockholm i mitt hjärta- Lasse Berghagen
  2. Stockholmsserenad- Adolphson & Falk
  3. Sarah- Mauro Scocco
  4. Måne över Stureplan- Monica Zetterlund
  5. Sakta vi gå genom stan- Monica Zetterlund
  6. Samma vindar, samma brackor- Florence Valentin
  7. I Stockholm- Lars Winnerbäck
  8. Hotta brudar- Magnus Uggla
  9. Sthlm nights- Peg Parnevik
  10. Stockholm- Benjamin Ingrosso

How to get around

It is easy to get around Stockholm by using the subway. And it’s also a great way to enjoy art, since Stockholm subway is considered one of the longest art galleries in the world. You can read more about the stations with beautiful artwork here.

You can, of course, also take the bus, or walk shorter distances.

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