Stockholm is absolutely heavenly for museum lovers with the Swedish capital playing home to some of the best and most unique museums in the world. From art galleries to living history, sunken ships and pop stars there is truly something for all tastes. With over 53 museums to choose from, narrowing down to a list of the most unique and best museums in Stockholm is a challenge, but one I’ve gladly undertaken to help plan your next trip.
Once you’re up to speed with all the amazing museums in Stockholm, read my perfect three day itinerary to discover and explore the city featuring some of these wonderful attractions and much, much more!
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Tips for visiting the best museums in Stockholm
For museum buffs who can’t get enough of these fantastic Swedish museums, the Stockholm Pass or the iVenture Stockholm Pass are a fantastic way to ensure the ease of admission and saving some cash too. The Pass gives you entry to many of the museums on this list, as well as access to hop on/hop off bus and boat rides around the city.
The Vasa Museum
The Vasa Museum is one of Stockholm’s most unique experiences and for good reason is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia. The Vasa was a warship from the 17th century that sank on its first ever voyage. Miraculously, in 1961, the Vasa was recovered from the ocean floor almost intact. The Vasa Museum was opened in 1990 and since then has been wowing tourists and locals alike.
The sight of the wooden shipwreck preserved in the museum is absolutely awe-inspiring. From several different heights, visitors can take in the dark oaky hull, the intricate designs on the bow and stern and marvel at the sheer size of this ill-fated vessel.
Skansen Open Air Museum
A firm favourite, particularly with families is the living, breathing history that is visible on a visit to Skansen Open Air Museum. This makes the list of the best museums in Stockholm for its quaint replica of a whole Swedish town from the 1800s. Here, you can wander into the many buildings and watch people in traditional dress showing what life was like. Bakers will demonstrate how to make flatbread, shoemakers cobble away and glass blowers painstakingly go about their craft in Skansen whilst visitors watch on.
Skansen also has a zoo, so visitors can also see Scandinavian animals such as reindeer, bison, bears, wolverine and moose. For me, this was the first time I’d ever seen a real reindeer!
Though more an art gallery with changing exhibits than a standard museum, Fotografiska is one of my favourite museums in Stockholm. For one, it is open late at night, long after most other museums have closed, so it is a great after dinner option to explore, especially if you’re staying around Södermalm.
The museum itself is a celebration of contemporary photography with space for several different exhibits at a time. Even the building is beautiful, having been converted from a customs house from the 1900s. There’s also a lovely café with great sunset views over the water for those wanting to sit a while and enjoy.
Surely no visit to Sweden be complete without a celebration of the country’s most famous band? The ABBA Museum is a super fun time for all and is completely interactive – so you can try on the crazy ABBA costumes and even perform onstage.
The museum’s motto is “Walk In, Dance Out” which is pretty fitting. They also have a Mamma Mia! Temporary exhibit on at the moment which allows visitors to go behind the scenes of the famous movie musical.
Nobel Prize Museum
Located in the prettiest part of Stockholm, the square Stortoget in Gamla Stan, is one of Sweden’s most interesting museums – the Nobel Museum. This museum follows the history of the Nobel Prize including information about the prize’s founder, Alfred Nobel.
There are also exhibits full of personal life stories submitted by prize winners that detail their incredible achievements – truly inspiring stuff.
The UNESCO World Heritage listed Drottningholm Palace is definitely worth the trip out of town to explore. It is the best preserved of all royal castles in Sweden, which is why this particular palace makes the list of the best museums in Stockholm.
The King and Queen of Sweden live at Drottningholm to this day, however the palace is open to the public with the exception of their private residence in the southern wing. Drottningholm has beautiful gardens to explore, too, and a lovely Chinese Pavilion that brings an eastern flair to this Swedish palace.
The most enjoyable way to get to Drottningholm is to take a small ferry from Stadshuskajen (City Hall) and relax all the way to and from the palace.
Celebrating the renowned Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren, Junibacken is perfect for explorers with children and the young at heart. Junibacken houses theatre performances – many featuring characters from Astrid Lindgren’s books – and many interactive experiences for the whole family.
Of course, Lindgren’s most famous character, Pippi Longstocking, features here, with a Pippi Longstocking House set up for kids to explore. The story train at the museum also is a favourite, as during the ride Astrid Lindgren tells stories to the passengers.
The Nordic Museum in Stockholm is one of the more imposing looking buildings, with a grand turreted exterior and a large statue of a former Swedish King inside. Exhibits rotate regularly here, and the collections are so large that trying to find enough time on a short visit to Stockholm can be a challenge.
The museum features many different styles of exhibits, from Nordic fashions and design to melting ice in the Arctic as well as Swedish folk art and traditions.
Nordiska Museet is Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history, which makes it a definite contender for the best museums in Stockholm. Children (18 and under) also receive free admission to the Nordic Museum so it is definitely economical for families.
Bergrummet Toy Museum
The Bergrummet Toy Museum is a private collection of toys exhibited in an underground tunnel system beneath the island of Skeppsholmen. It is the largest toy collection in Scandinavia, so toy lovers young and old will not want to miss the chance to explore.
The museum features dolls, trains and even vintage tin toys and everything in between. And for those travelling with a group of three (grandparent, parent and child), admission is free every Tuesday.
The Modena Museet in Stockholm is an homage to Contemporary and Modern Art which houses works by both Swedish artists and renowned contemporary artists from around the world including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. This museum is also where Andy Warhol had his first solo museum exhibition in Europe.
The museum has a huge collection of over 140,000 works made up of paintings, drawings, photography and even moving images and is so big that there is also a secondary museum location in Malmo, Sweden.
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