Best Museums in Sweden

Best Museums in Sweden

Sweden is as pretty as a picture, synonymous with fashion and design, and blessed with dramatic history and rich culture, so it stands to reason that its museums are world-class. From contemporary art to cutting-edge photography via Arctic life and ABBA, a visit to these carefully curated spaces will enrich any trip. Spend your days exploring one of Europe’s biggest palaces, an armada of ships, and iconic aircraft, as well as art from Rembrandt to Renoir. Discover all these things and more at the best museums in Sweden.


  1. Vasa Museum, Stockholm
  2. ABBA The Museum, Stockholm
  3. Skansen, Stockholm
  4. Fotografiska, Stockholm
  5. Moderna Museet, Stockholm
  6. The Royal Palace, Stockholm
  7. The National Museum, Stockholm
  8. Åjtte, Jokkmokk
  9. Malmö Museer, Malmö
  10. Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg
  11. Aeroseum, Gothenburg


Vasa Museum, Stockholm

Sweden is famously an island nation, with a rich seafaring heritage. So it might seem strange that one of the country’s best museums celebrates a shipwreck. Doomed 17th-century vessel Vasa sank on her maiden voyage and lay in the mud at the bottom of Stockholm harbour for hundreds of years. Now Scandinavia’s most popular non-art museum, Vasa Museum visitors will learn the fascinating story of how she was discovered, raised and painstakingly restored, as well as how she sank in the first place. In addition to marvelling at a key piece of Sweden’s history, you can dine in its shadow, learn more about the nation’s naval past and explore an array of other ships and exhibits.


ABBA The Museum, Stockholm

Gimme gimme gimme…a ticket to ABBA The Museum. This glam-pop shrine is one of the best museums in Sweden for music lovers and it’s almost impossible to emerge without having acquired a new level of love for Sweden’s biggest music export. A lot of thought has gone into the experience, and it shows. Every element is interactive and fun. Become the band’s fifth member, make a music video, grab the karaoke mic and (try to) hit those high notes, then learn the stories behind the memorabilia, the outlandish costumes, the group and its personalities. There’s even a cinema. A bonus is access to the Swedish Music Hall of Fame, which takes you on a tour through the country’s modern music, from Roxette to Robyn. This is one to plan; tickets must be bought online in advance.


Skansen, Stockholm

Often called 'Sweden in miniature', Skansen is located on the beautiful island of Djurgarden in Stockholm. The world’s first open-air museum was founded in 1891 and is a great place to learn about Swedish life between the 16th and 19th centuries. Around 150 homesteads, workshops and gardens dot the park so you can happily spend a full day here, with stops at the glassblowers' hut, the potters, the fabric weavers, and the rustic bakery, followed by an obligatory photo atop the giant painted Dala horse. And in the museum’s zoo you can see local icons like bears, wolves and elk. This museum is as educational as it is entertaining making it one of the best museums in Sweden for families with youngsters in tow.


Fotografiska, Stockholm

For some of the best views over Stockholm, nab a window table at Fotografiska’s award-winning restaurant in the Södermalm district. After enjoying the world-class food, don’t forget to peruse the world-class photography on display across the four floors of this converted customs warehouse. Rather than house a permanent collection, Fotografiska hosts four large and 20 smaller temporary exhibits at any given time, so there’s always something new to see, plus there are workshops for budding Rankins to sharpen their skills.


Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Moderna Museet, located on the beautiful Skeppsholmen island, houses Sweden’s largest collection of 20th-century art, featuring works by contemporary masters including Dali, Derkert, and Matisse. Inside the striking red building, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, visitors will also find cutting-edge installations and sculptures. The temporary and permanent exhibitions are consistently thought-provoking, and the museum has earned itself a reputation for excellence. There’s also a sister space in Malmö, should you happen to find yourself in southern Sweden.


The Royal Palace, Stockholm

Although the palace remains home to the Swedish royal family, large parts of this grandiose 16th-century property are open to the public. An UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, visitors can tour the gilded interiors of the Royal Apartments, see crowns and swords in the Treasury, and browse royal memorabilia in the Tre Kronor Museum. With more than 600 rooms, it's one of the biggest palaces in Europe. Safe to say it would be hard to see it all in one afternoon. But given the immaculate grounds and gardens create a peaceful escape from the bustle of the city, you can easily spend an entire day here.


The National Museum, Stockholm

This imposing, restored Renaissance building on the Blasieholmen Peninsula is home to the largest art collection in Sweden, including 16,000 paintings and more than 30,000 objects. It’s a treasure trove of rare paintings and sculptures, as well as antique furniture, clocks, porcelain and other design objects. It leans towards the traditional – think Rembrandt, Renoir and Degas – but there’s plenty of modern Swedish art, an excellent library and a great restaurant.

›› All our selection of the best museums in Stockholm


Åjtte, Jokkmokk

Jokkmokk is a fairy tale town located just north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, and home to Ájtte, the world’s leading museum on Sámi culture. Visiting the museum provides a fascinating insight into the people, the environment, their struggles and their survival. It’s an authentic and intriguing place to learn more about the history of this stunning area of northern Sweden. 


Malmö Museer, Malmö

Since opening in 2009, southern Sweden’s largest museum has attracted visitors from all over the world – and for good reason. Malmö Museer is home to a diverse range of collections – from the Nordic region’s oldest surviving Renaissance castle to an aquarium to a submarine. Key themes include history, technology and life on the sea and the complex hosts more than ten temporary exhibitions each year from textiles to photography. This is a day out and more.


Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg

With six floors of art from the 15th century to today, Gothenburg’s Museum of Art is home to the world’s foremost collection of Nordic painting. The museum also features many international works by the likes of Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh, and there’s a whole room dedicated to Pablo Picasso. Challenging, engaging, and always well thought out, this is one of Sweden’s foremost galleries for enjoying both local and international works, by established and up-and-coming artists.


Aeroseum, Gothenburg

Last up on our list of the best museums in Sweden is Aeroseum. This interactive aviation space is – rather dramatically – located in an enormous 1950s subterranean hanger blasted out of the rocks that was a top-secret defence facility during the Cold War so expect some strong Bond vibes here. In addition to educational exhibitions on spies, atom bombs and much more, you can check out the museum’s collection of 50 aircraft, fighter planes and helicopters. The museum is also an experience centre where you can play pilot in a flight simulator or even cure your fear of flying.

›› All our selection of the best museums in Gothenburg