If there was an award for the most diverse and wide-ranging selection of museums and galleries, you can be sure that Stockholm museums might be on that list.
Let’s present the evidence – in one day, you could see exhibitions on ABBA, sunken ships, Viking artefacts, alcohol, rare toys and if you are more of a Stockholm museum purist – art and photography.
A city break to the Swedish capital is always going to be jam-packed with exciting things to do in Stockholm, but whether you have a few hours, or a couple of days, you won’t want to miss out on visiting at least one or two of Stockholm’s marvellous museums.
There’s around 50 museums throughout the city, so how do you figure out what museums make the ‘must-visit’ list? By taking a read of our handy guide to the best Stockholm museums of course!
What Stockholm museums are free?
There are several free Stockholm museums that you can visit which will make your krona last even longer!
Stockholm is a very cultural city and it’s a great way to enjoy art, history, culture, architecture and even natural history – all for free.
All you need to bring is a healthy appetite (not for checking out the best restaurants in Stockholm!) but for learning something new and discovering something interesting.
The history of Sweden is rich and intriguing and one of the most popular Stockholm museums that attracts millions of visitors each year is the Army Museum which is located in central Östermalm in the city.
Whilst inevitably you will see trophies and uniforms from the different battles that Sweden have fought in, you will also see personal artefacts from adults and children through Sweden’s history of both war and peace.
The exhibition takes you from the 16th century to the present day and don’t worry if you think you won’t understand what’s going on as you can listen to a handy audio guide in English completely free of charge.
Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cosmonova
Be a cosmic cat or maybe a champagne supernova with the Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cosmonova where you can explore everything that you need to know about natural history and space.
There’s a plethora of permanent exhibitions where you can learn about everything from nature and plants to the universe and planets. You can even embrace your inner David Bowie and step right into a film adventure under Cosmonova’s 760-square metre (8,000+ sq. ft.) dome.
From the evolution of humans and dinosaurs to precious stones and biodiversity, there’s certain to be an exhibition that you will hanker after. Plus, it’s one of the top Stockholm museums which really caters for all of the family too.
ABBA: The Museum
Will you ‘take a chance’ on visiting one of the most popular of Stockholm museums? The ABBA Museum is where you can indulge being a super stan of the Swedish foursome.
Expect to see lots of cool memorabilia such as tickets, photos, paraphernalia and more.
Of course, this is ABBA and there are some more unique treats on offer which includes a piano that is linked up to a piano in Benny’s private home which will play whatever tune it is playing.
You can also join in with Benny, Björn, Frida and Agnetha as the ‘fifth member’ of ABBA, as well as virtually trying on their colourful costumes, mixing some of their original music and lots more.
Did you know that one of the most visited museums in the whole of Scandinavia is the Vasa museum? It’s named after the Vasa, a preserved 17-century ship which is the museum’s centrepiece.
The Vasa sank on its maiden voyage and was originally discovered in the early ‘60s at the bottom of Stockholm harbour, now it sits pride of place in one of the most beloved Stockholm museums.
Since then dedicated teams have carefully restored the ship to its former glory and this is certainly a huge draw for visitors to the museum. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the naval history of Sweden as well as exploring an array of other ships and exhibits.
Named as the Swedish museum of the year in 2022, the Nationalmuseum on the Blasieholmen peninsula has an extensive collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
One of the best of the art-focused Stockholm museums includes over 16,000 works from acclaimed artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin amongst others as well as renowned Swedish artists like Carl Larsson, Ernst Josephson, C F Hill and Anders Zorn.
There are also a number of amazing up and coming temporary exhibitions which cover the likes of ceramics, photography, line drawings, sculpture and more.
If you are more a fan of gin than Gaugin then head on over to one of the more unusual Stockholm museums, the Spirit museum which is dedicated to all things alcoholic
Heck, (you can even enjoy a cheeky tipple whilst meandering around the museum taking in a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
You can also enjoy tasting sessions and take part in a sing-along exploring Sweden’s drinking song culture, so make sure you bring your singing chops!
There’s a great on-site bar and restaurant serving craft beer and snacks.
The Moderna Museet is one just one of the best Stockholm museums, but one of the best museums in the whole of Sweden. Think MOMA and you will be on the right track. It has one of the largest collections of 20th-century art.
You can expect to see works by the likes of Dalí, Picasso and Matisse as well as contemporary and innovative installations and sculptures that are housed within this eye-catching building.
As well as the fantastic array of permanent exhibitions, you can all expect to see an ever-evolving exhibition of compelling exhibitions and has thoroughly deserved its well-earned reputation for being one of the best Stockholm museums.