Stockholm A-Z: Museum mania

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The latest museum to be added to Stockholm’s impressive stock is the Abba Museum. Located on Djurgården, the museum island, the ABBA museum celebrates the music of the notorious Swedish pop group. As it attracts a lot of visitors, it’s best to pre-book.

There are museums in Stockholm to cater for most tastes: interior design, art, Swedish history, nautical history, dance, architecture, medieval history, the Mediterranean, ethnicity, diversity, Alfred Nobel, royalty, coins, natural history, astronomy, Judaism, technology. You name it, you could spend a whole week in the museums of Stockholm and still not see them all.

Here are few highlights:

Everyone thinks they’re a photographer. But this museum helps put things into perspective. For the latest in breathtaking international photography, head to the fabulous Fotografiska on Stockholm’s harbour side. Housed in an old toll house, the museum has a good restaurant, party nights with cool music and great views of the city.

Are historical buildings and national costumes more your thing? Then take a tram out to Skansen, Stockholm’s wonderful open-air museum. Here the whole family can spend a whole day eating, listening to music and admiring the old buildings and crafts of centuries past. There’s even a small zoo hosting nordic animals. If you’re in Skansen at 8pm on a Tuesday in the summer, don’t miss the weekly televised show called Allsång på Skansen. This is one of the most popular TV shows in Sweden. Famous artists, old and young, Swedish and international perform and the show’s host encourages the audience to sing along in a huge collective choir. You don’t get much more Swedish than this, and it’s definitely worth sticking around to witness it.

Are you thrilled by the sting of modern art? Then Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art not only has a great restaurant with fantastic views but also some of the best modern paintings, sculptures and media to be seen. Located on the island of Skeppsholmen in Stockholm’s harbour, walking distance from the city. After visiting this museum, a walk around this historical island is also recommended.

Into old queens? And other royalty? Then the Royal Armoury in the cellars under the Royal Palace is the place for you. This the oldest museum in Sweden, established in 1628, and shows the history of Sweden’s royalty through arms and armours, clothing, robes, jewels, carriages and blood-stained items from murdered monarchs.

Surprisingly, there’s no Viking museum in Stockholm. However, a trip out to the lake island of Björkö, 30km from Stockholm, might satisfy that yearning. On Björkö lies the former settlement of Birka, the predecessor to Stockholm and an important point of trading for the Vikings. Today Björkö is an architectural site with a small museum housing its findings.

Fancy a drink? Then a trip to the Spritmuseum might be just the potion. Or it might put you off forever. Alcohol is also culture and this museum puts the Swedish bittersweet relationship to alcohol in focus.

For more information on all the many museums and art galleries go to http://www.stockholmmuseum.com

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