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SkansenTop 10

The “living museum” Skansen is an open-air museum, animal park and popular destination on the island Djurgården in the centre of Stockholm. Approximately 150 buildings from all regions of Sweden have been brought together here, in which traditional Swedish customs are shown and lived.

  1. The Open Air Museum
  2. The animal park
  3. Skansen for children
  4. Annual festivals in Skansen
  5. Restaurants and cafes

The Open Air Museum

The great location in the middle of Stockholm, the lovingly designed animal park with petting zoo, the large green areas and numerous playgrounds make Skansen one of the most popular destinations in Scandinavia. Every year, about 1.4 million guests from all over the world visit the museum.

As the first museum of its kind, Skansen was created in 1891 by the Swedish ethnographer Artur Hazelius (1833 – 1901), initially as part of the Nordic Museum. Covering an area of 300,000 square metres, Skansen today has the appearance of a 19th century Swedish village, with each building having a different function, representing a different social class and originating from a different region of Sweden.

The village includes a church (where real weddings and baptisms also take place), several farms with livestock of old Nordic breeds, workshops such as a smithy, a printing press , a bookbindery and a bakery.

At the Skansen open-air museum, you can learn how bread was baked in the past (Photo: Alexandra Lande / Shutterstock.com)

The animal park

The main focus of the zoo with about 300 animals is the animal world of Scandinavia: moose, bears, lynxes and wolves. However, there are also animals from other parts of the world to see (e.g. in the monkey house or the aquarium) as well as the “Lill-Skansen” petting zoo. Especially the wild animals of Northern Europe are difficult for the Swedish tourist to observe in the wild. The most likely encounter is with a moose, which is not without danger for drivers, but those who are actually interested in animals such as wolverines, brown bears or wolves can gain a first impression of their way of life at Skansen.

The aquarium is not only home to fish and other aquatic creatures, there are also reptiles, insects, spiders and calicoes. The latter are allowed to roam freely in certain areas, which sometimes leads visitors to thoroughly candy.

Skansen Zoo also has moose.

Skansen for children

The open-air museum thrives on the fact that its visitors are not only informed and entertained, but are encouraged to participate everywhere. Especially for children it is an experience to try out traditional farming and handicraft activities. Merchant shops offer products from another time, and all Skansen employees are happy to explain their work and the life they represent (almost all Swedes can do this very well in English, many also in German).

Visitors are also naturally included in the festivities. Even a short walk around the grounds reveals beautiful views of the Swedish capital and idyllic places to rest and picnic, as well as many things to experience that are otherwise only known from books or films. In order to make the way through the village easier for the visitors who visit Skansen for the first time, the museum has prepared a leaflet on its homepage also in German that lists and briefly explains the most important stations for a one or two hour tour. Especially attractive, and not only for children, are the zoo and the aquarium of Skansen.

Annual festivals in Skansen

As Skansen is dedicated to bringing Swedish traditions to life, it is important that the traditional festivals are celebrated extensively.

  • One of the highlights is Valborgsmässoafton, the evening before May 1, when students traditionally put on their caps to start the last part of the academic year. Large bonfires are lit throughout the country, similar to Easter fires, to drive away winter as well as witches and evil spirits. People usually sing, dance and celebrate until late at night. At the same time, Valborg marks the actual beginning of spring with warm and sunny days and the time when Swedes spend as many free minutes as possible outside.
  • The Midsummer Festival, Midsommar, marks the beginning of summer. Many wear the Swedish national costume, girls and women have flower wreaths in their hair, people dance around the maypole, sing and party until late at night. Now it is only dark for a few hours at night, people enjoy the light and warmth and celebrate accordingly.
  • After the festivities of autumn and harvest, Skansen is transformed into a Swedish fairyland in the run-up to Christmas. On weekends, the open-air museum is one big Christmas market, and on weekdays, the courtyards of Skansen host Julbord celebrations, traditional lavish Christmas feasts (julbord ~ Christmas table).
  • The Lucia festival on 13 December is the highlight of pre-Christmas events, especially for children. A girl dressed in white with a red sash and a wreath of candles in her hair, accompanied by a children’s choir, goes from house to house in the morning, waking the inhabitants with the traditional Lucia song (which, like the saint of the same name, originates from Italy) and distributing saffron cookies.
  • Christmas itself is of course also celebrated in Skansen – with cooking, baking and singing together.
  • New Year’s Eve also has a long tradition and is popular with Stockholmers and visitors alike. The New Year’s Eve celebration and fireworks at midnight are broadcast live on Swedish television every year.
Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/imagebank.sweden.se

Restaurants and cafes

There are numerous restaurants and cafes throughout the park, offering traditional Swedish dishes in particular.

  • Café Petissan (in the district): student café with a beautiful courtyard.
  • Stora Gungan Restaurant (in front of the upper escalator hall): 19th century style restaurant
  • Sollidens Restaurant: Restaurant with Swedish cuisine and a great view of Stockholm
  • Tre Byttor Restaurant: Summer restaurant with Swedish home cooking.
  • Bollnästorget Restaurant: Outdoor self-service snack bar.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How do I get to Skansen?

  • Bus: Take line no. 44 to the main entrance of Skansen.
  • Tram: Take line 7 to the main entrance of Skansen.
  • Boat: Take the Djurgården ferry from Slussen/Gamla Stan. From the pier at Djurgården, it takes about 5 minutes to get to Skansen's main entrance.
  • Subway: Take the red or green line to Östermalmstorg, from there take the suburban train (Norrmalmstorg stop).
  • Where can I buy tickets to Skansen?

    Tickets for Skansen Open Air Museum can easily be ordered online or purchased at the main entrances to the museum.


    • Monday: 10:00-15:00 h
    • Tuesday: 10:00-15:00 h
    • Wednesday: 10:00-15:00 h
    • Thursday: 10:00-15:00 h
    • Friday: 10:00-15:00 h
    • Saturday: 10:00-17:00 h
    • Sunday: 10:00-17:00 h

    Tickets und Preise

    Prices are significantly more expensive in the summer and on special festivals than in the low season. It is usually worth buying an annual pass for as few as 2 visits. Tip: Adults with an annual pass are always allowed to take one child (4 - 15 years) for free.
    • Single ticket adults: 140 - 220 SEK, annual ticket: 295 SEK
    • Children (4 - 15 years): 60 SEK
    • Students and seniors: 120 - 190 SEK, annual ticket 275 SEK
    • Children under 3 years get free admission
    • Free admission with the Stockholm Pass

    More Info

    AdresseDjurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Schweden
    Telefon+46 8 442 80 00