Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum. It was founded in 1891 to preserve and spotlight Swedish culture—from traditional artisans at work and period Nordic lifestyles to barns with farm animals and a zoo with Nordic wildlife such as reindeer, lynx, wolves, and moose.
By Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström, AFAR Local Expert
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Skansen Outdoor Swedish History Museum
This museum reminded me a lot of the Renaissance Faire we go to with school in the fall. There were many outdoor exhibits displaying different time periods of Swedish history. We bought cloudberry jam to bring home from one of the stores in the museum. There is also a zoo, with reindeer, elk, and other animals native to Sweden. The day we were there, there was even a wedding going on at the old church in the museum! We had lunch at an outdoor restaurant, and there were peacocks walking around the tables! We were here the last day of our European cruise trip, so we really made the most of our time here and it was definitely worth the time!
You can easily spend the better part of a day roaming this huge outdoor park. Stroll through five centuries of Swedish history, exploring the reconstructed traditional buildings, then head to the zoo to visit the native wildlife, including wolves, elk and reindeer. Look out for the tree covered with pacifiers: When Swedish parents want to wean their children off them, they often suggest coming to Skansen to give them to the baby animals. It does the trick.
The island of Djurgården is to Stockholm what Central Park is to New York. This is where the locals come when they want to get out into nature and take a walk through the woods. It’s also home to some amazing attractions, including Skansen. This huge open-air museum which opened in 1891 is filled with historic Nordic buildings that have been reassembled here and a zoo with Scandinavian animals (including wolves, bears and, of course, elk). It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and a great way to spend a half day or more.
Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
+46 8 442 80 00