A few years ago, the government decreed that all museums in Stockholm would offer free entry. Unfortunately for tourists and museum-lovers alike, this did not prove to be economically feasible and the experiment was brought to an end.
Luckily, Stockholm’s museums continue to draw crowds, even if those crowds now have to pay to get in. The Stockholm tourist board boasts that the city has over 70 museums (74 to be exact). Not all of these are actually in Stockholm proper; the Sigtuna Museum for example, lies in the Viking town of Sigtuna, still in Stockholm Country, just over an hour away with public transportation (assuming you time everything right on your way from Central Station).
Of those 74 museums, most are within city limits, and for the Cheapos out there, despite the change in entrance fee policy, some are still free to the public. Many museums offer free entry to children, which, in the Stockholm museums tends to be anyone under the age of 19, although some museums think adulthood begins at 18, or even 17. (Be sure to ask before you waltz in.) Others offer discounts for students and retirees. Still others open their doors free to the public for a few hours every week. It’s not always easy to keep track.
Here’s a quick rundown of ten museums in Stockholm that are easily reachable by bus or subway. All ten are free to the public no matter your age, or the day for that matter:
1. Dansmuseet (Museum for the Performing and Visual Arts)
The Museum for the Performing and Visual Arts focuses on dance and theater from various cultures; they even offer live performances at times.
2. Forum för levande historia (The Living History Forum)
This museum provides a haunting look at crimes against humanity (the Holocaust for example) that aims to remind people of the past in order to avoid such events in the future.
This space is a gallery that works with contemporary art of various forms. They offer plenty of exhibitions as well as workshops for those interested in getting their hands dirty.
4. Haga parkmuseum (Haga Park Museum)
Quite a distance from the city center, the Haga parkmuseum describes the history and architecture of the surrounding park. The park itself is beautiful and includes the ruins of Gustav III’s unfinished castle.
The famous Kulturhuset offers temporary exhibitions throughout the year (we’ve written about it before), everything from photography, theater, and comic books. Not all exhibitions are free, but there is always something open to the public.
6. Kungliga biblioteket (National Library of Sweden)
This museum is home to the Codex Gigas, often referred to as the Devil’s Bible. Unfortunately, the Codex Gigas is not viewable by the public; however, the collection of historical documents is impressive.
You’ll have to take the bus a ways to get out here, in fact, as it’s located near an industrial shipyard. However, the location of the art museum only adds to the atmosphere and the various contemporary art exhibitions that are displayed.
8. Stockholms medeltidsmuseum (The Museum of Medieval Stockholm)
This museum offers a look at medieval Stockholm set in an underground building just a stone’s throw away from the royal castle. The only visible remains of Stockholm’s medieval city wall are located, still intact, in the museum. There is even a medieval tunnel from the museum to the castle, which is very much closed to the public.
9. Stockholms Stadsmuseum (Stockholm City Museum)
Stockholm’s City Museum provides a quick look at the history of Stockholm from the past to the contemporary issues dominating the city today. If you’re new to the city, it’s a great place to get your bearings.
10. Tullmuseum (Swedish Customs Museum)
The Tullmuseum offers plenty of exhibitions about the history of customs in Sweden. Of course, when it comes to customs, it tends to be the smuggling that is interesting, and the museum focuses much of its efforts on smuggling and anti-smuggling displays.