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“Great museum, especially on a Friday!”

The Swedish History Museum
Ranked #15 of 315 things to do in Stockholm
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Swedish History Museum is one of Sweden's largest museums. Tens of thousands of people come here every year to explore one of the biggest Viking exhibitions in the world, to be amazed by gold and silver treasures in the Gold Room and to marvel at the museum's unique Medieval Art. Free admission Free entry for all visitors.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We went to this museum on a Friday and it was free admission. To be honest, it would have been worth the admission fee. It was a really interesting museum with lots of great exhibits....we were there for just over an hour and we could have stayed for much longer if we had time. We looked at the Viking and prehistoric collections and what we found particularly interesting was the way in which we encouraged to think and question by the exhibits. A refreshing way to set out a museum. Definitely worth a look. Seemed good for kids, too, as lots of interactive Viking fun in the courtyard when we were there, but I think this is a temporary thing.

Thank Linzb81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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482 - 486 of 968 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2013

This museum gives an extensive picture about Swedish history and culture, sometimes in smart interactive form. I loved the messages on tolerance and coexistence. Visit the Gold Room, it contains incredible artifacts from around the country.

Thank ehegedus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

This is a very good museum that has generally well-done, modern displays of historical artifacts with a well-constructed narrative that weaves them together. The "rooms" of the prehistory section are organized around people discovered in burial sites from different periods. They do an excellent job of bringing these times to life and showing the development of human civilization. The Viking section is large and shows Viking "at home". Not the raping, pillaging Vikings on raids that you might expect, but Vikings as farmers and family. Who would have thought they cared about their personal appearance and even exported bone combs?

We were somewhat disappointed in the History of Sweden section. If you know Swedish history, it seems like a repetition of the 9th grade version. If you don't, the displays in each "room" (one room per century) don't always make sense; some of the individual displays seemed disconnected to me, and I was unable to fit them easily into the historical narrative. Later we concluded that some important connecting pieces were missing. Fortunately my partner (educated in Swedish schools) could fill in most of the blanks. To take one example, in a display on pea soup, they mention in passing "the captive Eric XIV" but never say why he was captured or ultimately poisoned.

The Gold Room has well-done displays of the most precious objects found on Swedish soil over the years. If you have limited time, I recommend starting here. The lighting in the Gold Room, though, is very poor. In the outer of two "rings", it was hard to read the signs or the information in the booklet provided and in places, hard to see the objects themselves. When we mentioned this to the guides, they said that perhaps it was for "atmosphere." if you travel with a small flashlight, bring it along.

At several places in the museum you can see impressive runestones and picture stones with instructive narratives (most of which are in Swedish and English).

Don't make the same mistake we did: plan on enough time to see everything of interest to you in one visit. We arrived early one afternoon with only 3 hours and just made it through the exhibitions on Prehistory and Vikings. We returned a second day to see the Gold Room and the History of Sweden.

The audio guide is excellent. Most but not all of the written descriptions of the objects are in English as well as Swedish. In some sections, there are booklets in Swedish or English that supplement the descriptions. Throughout the museum there are interactive computer displays, audio presentations, and videos. Some are only in Swedish, others allow you to select from a variety of languages, a video in the Gold Room has English subtitles, but a multimedia presentation on Siegfried is only in Swedish. There are daily guided tours in English.

This would be a good place to take most children. The colorful displays with moving lights and changing images would hold their interest, I think, and there are activities and areas specifically for children (try on Viking clothes, listen to stories about Viking times, etc.). In the courtyard in the summer, there are Viking crafts and games (e.g. bake Viking bread, use a bow and arrow).

There is a café-restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating with a limited menu of hot food and a 3-course special at very good prices. At different times we had the Viking plate, shrimp salad, and a hot and a cold sandwich, all very good. They stop serving hot food about 3:00, so plan accordingly if you're interested in lunch.

Lots of lockers and clean bathrooms. The museum is completely accessible to those with limited mobility. There are stairs but also elevators. If you're taking the subway, the closest stop is Karlaplan.

If you have an interest in history and have the time, I would recommend starting a visit to Sweden at the history museum. It puts a lot of the other sites (e.g. Vasa Museum) in broader historical context. You can spend the better part of a day here, with a nice break for lunch in their excellent and inexpensive café-restaurant.

1  Thank Eclipsegroupie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I am really into history and the Swedish nation has a lot to offer particularly since the founding of the dynasty by Napoleon when he appointed his general to the vacant throne. Lost to see and some fascinating exhibits

1  Thank Greg D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We spent almost 3 hours here & didn't make it past the Gold Room, Pre history & the Vikings. Apart from Prehistory every exhibit is described in English & Swedish which was terrific. In pre history there are Room Cards which are fine, the area itself is really well laid out with some extraordinary artefacts. . The Viking area is really interesting, more of life, less of the rape & pillage! The museum is well laid out the Transit Lounge idea is terrific, should stimulate the younger members, particularly enjoyed a 3D type film. Memorable Gold Room although a few more pictures/depictions would have been helpful, a bit sterile in itself. Will have to go back & finish the museum sometime.

1  Thank gillsimpson10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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