After a visit earlier this year, Stockholm now ranks high on my “Favorite Cities” list. It’s one of those places that you just don’t get enough of the first time around. While you may be tempted to camp out in a coffee shop and delight in the art of fika the whole time, there is one Swedish treasure that you do not want to miss on your initial visit to Stockholm: The Vasa Museum.
The Vasa is a 17th century war galleon that sunk in the harbor of Stockholm on its maiden voyage on August 10, 1628. For over three hundred years, the enormous ship lay beneath the chilly Baltic waters. In 1956, researchers discovered the war ship’s location. A coalition of scientific, engineering and mariner teams worked tirelessly for the next five years to raise it from the seafloor in a historic rescue operation. Once restoration efforts were complete, the Vasa Museum was built around the royal vessel, which opened to the public in the late 1980s. Since then, millions of visitors have encountered the Vasa and journeyed back in time to 17th century Sweden.
The Vasa Museum is stationed on the northwest edge of Djurgården Island, an easily accessible location within the chain of islands that make up the city center. At times, the line to enter the museum extends well beyond the entrance doors, but it moves quickly with Scandinavian efficiency. Once inside the museum, visitors can choose to take a free guided tour or roam the floors at leisure. A 17-minute film recounts the history of the Vasa and the salvaging efforts in various languages throughout the day. I recommend allotting approximately two hours for a thorough and unhurried tour of the museum.
The Vasa’s story is one of empirical power and pride, of tragedy and horror, and of marvel and wonder – a historical tale that comes alive for thousands of visitors every year. I believe that a trip to the Vasa Museum is an exceptional experience for everyone of all ages, and it’s a museum that you’re not likely to forget anytime soon! So, when in Stockholm, please, don’t miss out on this Must-See Museum!
Hej! Have you been to Stockholm before? If so, did you make it to the Vasa Museum? Can you imagine watching this behemoth sink in front of your very eyes? Do you want to know more about the Vasa? Then, check out the Vasa Museum website.
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