Tourist’s guide to Skansen – Ethnographic Open Air Museum

Skansen is an open-air museum in Stockholm. This is a small village, visiting which, as if you take a fascinating journey through Sweden. The theme park houses are typical for all regions of the country. The museum has been operating since 1891, before there was the Skansen estate. It was bought by Arthur Hazelius, who wished to build a folklore museum, which has no analogues. If you find yourself in Stockholm, you do not have time to travel freely around the country, visit the Skansen Museum, where more than 150 exhibits are collected – estates of the 18-19th centuries, souvenir shops, workshops, a zoo and even a funicular.

Skansen Entrance

general information

The museum has a variety of craft shops. Guests can look at the work of glassblowers, potters, bakers, tanners. To recreate the color of the old village in the park, actors in national costumes are involved, and the scents of fresh pastries are in the air.

Old Swedes Houses

Skansen Park (Stockholm) is a picturesque interesting ethnographic museum, where there is a forge, a temple, vegetable gardens with medicinal herbs, a zoo in which animals live in conditions as close to natural as possible.

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How the park appeared

At the beginning of the 19th century, on the island of Djurgarden, John Burgman founded the estate, and landed a beautiful garden around. The attraction was called Skansen, because there was a fortification nearby, and in the local language the castle sounds – skans.

Skansen, 1904

At the end of the 19th century, Arthur Hazelius bought the estate to create a folk theme museum on this site. The park officially opened on October 11, 1891.

Skansen in Sweden is the oldest museum in the capital, located on the street. Here houses are collected from all over the country, themed complexes – bakeries, various workshops are recreated. The most active attraction developed during the first two decades. During this time, buildings from all regions, as well as animals for the zoo, were brought to the park.

What to see in the museum

Today, the museum features more than 150 buildings that showcase the life of people of different eras and classes. Guides in national costumes work in each house, so guests can not only view exhibits, but also listen to fascinating stories.

Performance in one of the houses

Another Skansen attraction in Stockholm is the zoo. Not far from the entrance is the Biological Museum, in the park there is an Aquarium.

Interesting fact! In Skansen, events are held dedicated to different holidays – Walpurgis Night, Christmas. Particular attention is paid to the holiday invented by the founder of the park – Swedish Flag Day.

City of Skansen

The park recreated the Swedish quarters of the period of 18-20 centuries. Almost all the workshops and craft shops were moved to Skansen from the Söder region. The life of peasants living in the northern regions of Sweden is shown in the estates of Elvrus and Delsbu.

Good to know! In Delsbu, a festive table is served for tourists every Christmas.

If you are interested in how local aristocrats lived, take a walk in the Skugaholm estate, and a garden is planted around. The Sami camp demonstrates the lifestyle of the indigenous people of the north of the country. In the park is the temple of Seglura, dating from the 18th century. This is a popular place in Sweden – couples come here to hold a wedding ceremony.

The hut in the museum

You can clearly see the traditions of the people of Sweden in Skansen during holidays and celebrations. On a grand scale, locals celebrate Walpurgis Night – light a large fire, arrange round dances, sing songs. Festive events last three days. By the number of guests this holiday is comparable only to Christmas events.

Interesting fact! The guidebooks depict a model of Skansen. It can be seen in the park. Before the travelers the whole museum opens, as if in the palm of your hand.

The site of the folklore museum where the city of Skansen is built is a historical settlement of craftsmen. Everything is as realistic as possible here – wooden residential houses, streets paved with paving stones. The attraction is located on a hill, from where a fascinating view comes out. Climbing the hillside, tourists pass along a shop where they sell wooden utensils and other clay products.

Workshop in Skansen

In the glassblower workshop, you can clearly see how the master creates glass products and even try to make a small souvenir with your own hands.

Good to know! In small, cozy courtyards you can sit on benches and relax.

Another interesting place in the city of Skansen is the cafe and the tobacco museum. Here, real tobacco is grown on the beds. Visually, young plants are no different from ordinary radishes.

Observation deck and cable car Skansen

From the height of the observation deck you can see all of Stockholm. Before tourists is the Museum of the Northern Countries. Below, a blue tram rides from the center of the capital to Skansen. In the distance you can see the temple, consecrated in honor of the monarch Oscar II.

Skansen Observation Deck

Having admired the views of Stockholm, guests of the park find themselves in the Rose Garden, from where the path leads to the apiary. A little far away is a strange building resembling a chapel, or maybe a romantic gazebo. The building looks weightless, and the colonnade decorates the upper part. If you go further down the path, past the gazebo, you will find yourself next to the funicular, where you can go down the hill and again get into the lower tier of Skansen.

Funicular in Skansen Park

If you enter the park through the Hazelius gate, you will immediately find yourself near the funicular stop and you can climb to the observation deck.

Good to know! Unlike the park, which operates all year round, the funicular can be used only for several months – in the warm season.

Skansen Zoo

Undoubtedly, this is a favorite vacation spot for children. Different animals are collected in aviaries, the most natural conditions are created for them, you can watch sheep, moose, wolves. A special aviary has been equipped for bears, where shady relaxation areas and a playground with sports equipment are equipped.

Skansen Zoo

There is a northern owl – a brave bird and a bit narcissistic. She examines the guests so carefully that she seems to like to pose.

Bison at the zoo

Bison live in the menagerie. In Sweden, these animals are not found, they disappeared after the Bronze Age. For a long time, animals lived only in zoos. The park has created the most comfortable conditions for bison. Wild boars live with them in the aviary.

Restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops

The Skansen Museum has a dozen thematic cafes and restaurants, here you can try to choose a menu for every taste.

Bakery has been operating since 1870
  • Smokehouse Restaurant offers a selection of smoked and fried fish.
  • Gubbhyllan Cafe is located at the foot of the hill, next to the funicular, it is one of the oldest establishments in the park, it serves delicious cakes, pastries and coffee.
  • Petissan Café is located in Skansen’s city blocks. Here they prepare the most delicious cookies with coffee.
  • Bakery Bakery has been operating since 1870. Here, baked bread, rolls and cookies according to old recipes. You can recognize the bakery by the gilded sign of the baker, hung at the entrance, above the door.

Good to know! There are places where you can have a picnic in the park – with comfortable hammocks, surrounded by trees and flowers.

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Practical information

Bus number 44

If you go towards Skansen along the Stockholm embankment, a fascinating walk will take about half an hour. Also, the tram and bus number 44, a stop at the entrance follows the park. From the Slussen metro station, the park can be reached on a comfortable steamer in just a quarter of an hour.

Good to know! If you travel by your own car, be prepared for certain difficulties with parking in the center of Stockholm.

Museum Address: Djurgardsslatten 49-51.

The museum’s work schedule changes depending on the time of the year, in the summer you can visit the attraction at such hours:

  • from 10-00 to 20-00;
  • Hazelius gate and funicular close at 17-00;
  • The aquarium is open until 19-00;
  • The zoo accepts guests until 18-00.
Map of the Skansen Museum

In winter, the Skansen Museum in Stockholm closes earlier, so it’s better to check the current schedule on the official site of the attraction –

Interesting fact! The park looks especially festive on Christmas Eve – houses, shops, streets are decorated with lanterns.

The cost of entering the Skansen Museum also depends on the time of year. In summer, the price of a full ticket is 195 kroons, for students and for pensioners – 175 kroons, and for children (from 4 to 15 years) – 60 kroons.

What does Skansen look like in Stockholm? Take a look.

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