Leave modern Stockholm behind while observing old Nordic traditions brought to life at one of the oldest outdoor museums in the world.
Enjoy the Skansen, which was established in 1891 and is now one of the world’s oldest open-air museums. Artur Hazelius, a Swedish teacher and scholar, spent nearly 10 years buying over 150 buildings from Swedish villages, taking them apart and shipping them to Djurgården Island for reassembly. His objective was to preserve traditional customs and occupations before they were lost to changing times. Explore re-creations ranging from 16th-century farms to a 19th-century traditional town complete with detailed displays of shops and workplaces typical for the craftsmen and merchants of the time.
Wander the streets and alleys of the village to find a bakery, a glass-blowing workshop, an 18th-century wooden church and numerous farm buildings. Plan to spend plenty of time to listen to narrators in traditional costumes share tales of their lives and social conditions in the period. Watch them churn butter, grow tobacco or fashion silver by hand just as their Swedish ancestors did 200 years earlier.
Find native and exotic animal species at the museum’s open-air zoo with wolves, elk, and reindeer among the 75 Nordic species. Snakes, baboons, crocodiles and parrots represent warmer climates at the Skansen Aquarium.
Stay in historic mode and have a snack at an 18th-century tavern. Try the Swedish buffet known as smörgåsbord, an extensive sampling of cheeses, salads, hot and cold meats and preserved fish. There are actually five dining spots to choose from at Skansen.
The museum hosts cultural events throughout the year. Dance around a maypole or listen to live music or storytelling at the three-day Midsummer festival in mid-June. Throughout December, visit the weekend Christmas market, a Skansen tradition for more than 100 years. Purchase handicrafts for gifts or simply enjoy Nordic food and drink while youngsters dance around the Christmas tree or make decorations.
Walk 30 minutes from the city centre to reach Skansen on Djurgården Island or take public transport. Buses and trams stop at the museum entrance and ferries travel from Gamla Stan. There is limited pay-and-display parking.
Visit the Skansen any day of the year. Check the website for fees, opening times and special events.