Best Museums in Stockholm

Best Museums in Stockholm

If the word ‘museum’ makes you think of draughty old buildings filled with dusty artifacts, think again. Stockholm’s museum scene is as diverse and dynamic as they come, from open-air spaces filled with wild animals to neon-lit rooms reverberating with sounds created by you. With over 50 museums to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one will quench your thirst for knowledge and leave you feeling inspired first. That’s where we come in. Our list of the best museums in Stockholm contains all you need to know about the city’s most exciting cultural institutions.


Vasa Museum

Located on the island of Djurgården, this maritime museum is home to something very special – the only intact 17th-century ship ever salvaged from the stormy Scandinavian seas. This ship belonged to the Vasa Dynasty and was Europe’s most high tech and ambitious warship when it set sail in 1628. 20 minutes later, it sunk. The curious story of Vasa’s demise is told in this museum through vibrant scale models, genuine artifacts and, of course, the ship itself. Guided English tours run every 30 minutes between 10.30am and 3.30pm daily and are a great way to learn more about Vasa’s fascinating history. Tours last around 25 minutes and the price is included in the entrance ticket fee. If you’d rather explore solo, audio-visual guides are available in multiple languages to download before your visit or on site. Vasamuseet has a restaurant serving hot and cold food, but if you’d prefer to bring a packed lunch, there’s a dedicated lunch room.


Moderna Museet

From the old to the new – Moderna Museet is Stockholm’s answer to MoMA. At this museum of modern art, marvel at the work of renowned artists such as Picasso, Warhol and Dali and prepare to be challenged by exciting pieces from up-and-coming contemporary artists. Films, photographs, sculptures and immersive experiences can all be found in this stimulating space that’s free for under 18s and anyone visiting between 6pm and 8pm on Fridays. If you’re looking to introduce your little ones to art, Moderna Museet also has several family activities on offer including baby painting workshops and puzzles for children throughout certain exhibitions. Ask at the information desk for details on what’s on during your visit. When you’ve finished exploring, refuel at the museum’s restaurant and café with views across the water.


ABBA Museum

Mamma Mia! Would you Take A Chance on the ABBA museum? Costumes, film clips and ABBA avatars – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Okay we’re done with the puns, but in all seriousness this interactive museum is a must for any pop lover, ABBA fanatic or budding superstar. Take a guided tour to learn more about the band’s history, belt your heart out at ABBA karaoke and perform alongside the famous four on the special hologram stage. The members of ABBA share their journey with you through the museum’s audio guides, created in conjunction with the screenplay writer for Mamma Mia. And if you’re lucky enough to hear the museum’s special red phone ring, don’t hesitate to answer – it’s either Benny, Björn, Agnetha or Frida on the line. There’s so much to experience at this fun and fabulous museum. Whatever you get up to, we’re sure you’ll be having the time of your life (sorry, we couldn’t resist).



This immersive museum transports you back in time to see how Swedes lived in the 19th century. Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, home to 150 historical houses and farmsteads from every part of the country. Wend your way between each building, learning what life was like in the good old days from guides in traditional dress and skilled glassblowers. Skansen is also the only open-air museum in the world to house wild animals, so keep your eyes peeled for moose, lynx, otters and seals. There’s even an aquarium where you can see crocodiles and (if you’re brave enough) pet snakes and spiders. Spread across 74 acres and offering views across the water-rich city, this is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Stockholm. Bear in mind that because of its size, a trip to Skansen is usually a full day event. Luckily, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants on site to keep you going. To get here from Stockholm city centre, hop on the number seven tram, the Djurgårdsfärjan ferry from Slussen or simply take the scenic 1.8 mile stroll.



Hit the lights and show us your jazz hands – this is one of Stockholm’s most underrated museums. Translating to the Museum of Performing Arts, Scenkonstmuseet is split into three sections: music, dance and theatre. Located inside one of Sweden’s oldest industrial buildings, you’ll find close to 50,000 objects ranging from royal ballet costumes to an oboe da caccia (woodwind instrument) that’s believed to have been used by Bach. Try on theatre masks, bust a move with a virtual dance troupe and create music in the atmospheric sound forest. This museum invites you not only to learn about performing arts but participate yourself. It is suitable for children as well as adults. When your creative juices eventually stop flowing head to Stora Baeriet, the museum’s celebrated café, for artisan breads and pastries.


National Museum

Opened to the public in 1866, this museum of art and design is on a mission to preserve cultural heritage and promote art. And they’re succeeding. In lofty rooms under ornate ceiling roses, you’ll find paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures dating from 1500 to 1900. Outside, sculptures of Norse gods Thor, Odin and Balder stand proudly alongside models of notable Swedes in a peaceful courtyard. National Museum hosts talks, guides and activities in English, as well as an app and visitor’s guide if you’d like a more in-depth exploration. You can download the app in advance but remember to bring your own headphones if you plan to use it. The museum has a dining hall serving classic Swedish cuisine, along with a café where you can purchase soups and salads.



Neither a traditional museum nor gallery, Fotografiska is a welcoming photography experience which is spread across two floors of a former customs house. Discover an array of ever-changing photographs from both established creatives and newcomers. With no permanent collection, you can rest assured that every exhibition is the freshest and most exciting contemporary going. Tickets can be bought on the door, but you’ll get a better price if you book in advance. True to its subversive nature, Fotografiska isn’t just about seeing; this creative space speaks to all your senses. There’s a Michelin Green Star restaurant serving sustainable dishes based around vegetables, along with several other eateries offering views across the water (you’ll need a ticket to get into the restaurants). In the summer, Fotografiska hosts a ‘DJs on the Veranda’ event featuring food, drinks and music in their lively outdoor space.


›› Our selection of the best museums in Sweden