Here is a museum dedicated to the art of photography and placed, um, picture perfectly for views of Stockholm. The museum building sits along the waterfront with a view of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and the Tivoli Amusement Park. Exhibitions change throughout the year, but while I was there they had three exhibitions that were fabulously curated and equally compelling.
The exhibitions are curated in Swedish and in English—plus the museum offers guided tours of the exhibitions. In addition to photography, the building has a gift shop full of photography books and prints. A bistro on the top floor looks out over the waterfront and offers weekend brunch, wine tasting events, concerts, and in the fall and spring they even turn the space into a dance club.
If you are in Stockholm for a longer period and have an interest in improving your photography, they offer seminars and workshops by well-known professionals.
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Photography and Drinks at Fotografiska
As if a well-lighted, functional, unquestionably hip yet deliberate space (yes, like most places in Stockholm) dedicated to photography is not enough, the bistro on the top floor of Fotografiska grants you a panorama of the harbor. This you can admire while sipping a Sleepy Bulldog Pale Ale, listening to live Swedish jazz, and eyeing the ubiquity of impossibly handsome Swedes who are your neighbors.
Fotografiska is housed in an old brick building that looks like a factory, and its clean, whitewashed, modern interior seems to suggest a confluence of art and industry. Its métier is photography, and the museum is open until 11pm Thursdays through Sundays. The evenings are busy, with locals enjoying drinks, dinner, and conviviality. If only one could bottle the ambience.
We saw David LaChapelle’s Burning Beauty exhibit here. The museum's white-walled spaces provided the perfect contrast for his large, colorful works.
Fotografiska offers classes in photography. The gift shop is stocked with books concerning architecture, art, photography—all ready to inspire. And after a few drinks in the bistro as you watch the lights twinkle from the boats and ponder the meaning of the compositions or perhaps of life itself, you might be ready to declare yourself a photographer, devise a plan to immigrate to Stockholm, and, for a brief moment, imagine yourself a Swede: you know, that version of you that is a few inches taller and has a sharper jawline.
The Fotografiska museum is a great place to visit while in Stockholm, not only to see the amazing photography exhibitions taking place there, but also to check out the cafe on the third floor. Food and drinks are served all day and if you're around on a Friday night, like I was, there's even a DJ playing music to get you in the weekend mindset.
Since this photography museum opened in a converted customs house in 2010, it has housed exhibitions devoted to some of the world’s most famous photographers, including Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Mapplethorpe and more. After you’re done looking at the photos, head to the acclaimed restaurant for wonderful food and views over the water.