The Vasa ship wreck

Culture and history

Stockholm’s history stretches from the beginning of the 13th century and forwards. That equals almost 800 years of culture, stories, conflicts and historical artifacts. And all of these time periods are covered by different museums and attractions.

For older history, we recommend the National Historical Museum on Östermalm which is packed with history from as far back into prehistory as we can go, via the Viking era to the Middle Ages. A stone’s throw away you’ll find the Army Museum, which will give you an authentic picture of war as experienced by the soldiers and their families from Viking times onwards. And of course – the jewel in the crown – the Vasa Museum. Located on the island of Djurgården, the museum displays the almost fully intact warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628.

For contemporary history, a visit to the Stockholm City Museum, situated in a 17th century palace next to Slussen is good place to start. From there it’s only a short walk to Gamla Stan, the oldest city district and Stockholm’s heart and birthplace. In Gamla Stan you’ll also find the Royal Palace and if you’re lucky you might catch the changing of the guards (or even the royal family!)

Another great cultural attraction is Skansen, the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden which is situated on the beautiful island of Djurgården, The many exhibits over the 75 acre site include a full replica of an average 19th-century town, in which craftsmen demonstrate their skills in period surroundings.

Want to taste some decidedly Swedish flavors? Head on over to the brand new Spritmuseum (Museum of Spirits), which is just next door to Skansen or try Östermalmshallen market hall (Stockholm’s oldest market).

Last but not least, Stockholm’s two world Unesco World Heritage sites, Drottningholm Palace and the Woodland Cemetery are definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in culture and history.