Vasa Museum, Stockholm. The Best Museum We’ve Visited Lately

with 21 Comments

It was the last day of sightseeing of our month long Interrail trip through Europe. The next day in the morning we were leaving Stockholm to embark on a 16 hours train ride to Frankfurt that would end 4 minutes before midnight when our Interrail Passes would expire. This crazy journey rushing through 3 countries was involving two tight train changes in Copenhagen and Hamburg. To the praise of the Swedish and German rail companies, every train was in time and we managed to cross a huge distance in record time. Of course, the lady from the train information office in Stockholm advised us against taking such risk, but we had faith and that paid off. We didn’t want to leave what we consider the most beautiful city in Scandinavia one day earlier. And by staying we managed to visit one more attraction – the Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum is one quirky museum; and the best we’ve seen in a long time – partly because it is so different from any conventional museum, partly because it is smartly organized and therefore very entertaining. 

Vasa Museum is all built around one single exhibit – the wreck of the warship Vasa. It’s just that the shipwreck is one gorgeous piece of art; and it has an interesting and funny story to go with it. Well, it’s sorts of a tragicomedy.

Long story short, Vasa was built during the first part of the 17th century. In 1628 it starts it’s maiden voyage, just to sinks 1300 meters later in the middle of Stockholm harbor. End of story. Almost. 
Eventually no one is blamed for the catastrophe. Several attempts to salvage the ship are conducted, none of them successful. Not up till modern technology is brought to the scene 333 years later. Vasa is put into a  provisional museum and the current Vasa Museum is opened in 1990. And here the story really ends.

The museum provides a wealth of information about every chapter in Vasa’s history. The ship can be admired from different levels and it’s truly gorgeous and incredibly well preserved. There are free English guided tours that start every few minutes by the museum entrance. Different movies about Vasa screen every hour and models illustrating life on the ship are on display. The exhibition is so comprehensive that it hardly leaves any question unanswered. We spent almost 3 hours here. Given that it’s a museum with only one exhibit, I believe it is safe to say it really captivated us. 

Model illustrating life on the ship
Vasa Museum is in our opinion a definite must visit while in Stockholm. The entrance is included in the Stockholm Card, and it surely is one of a kind experience. 

For more Stockholm travel tips and ideas, check out VisitStockholm.com

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How to get around Europe:

One of the best ways to see Europe is by train. And the most budget-friendly way to travel by train in Europe is with an Interrail Global Pass if you are a European resident or a Eurail Global Pass if you are a non-European resident. These passes can be used in up to 30 countries and add great flexibility to any journey. 
Tailoring your grand Europe tour can be incredibly easy, and you can always opt for a country specific Eurail Pass or Interrail Pass. Want to know more about these passes? Read our practical European train-travel tips.

You can also see our month long Interrail itinerary. Have you used an Interrail Pass before or are you planning an Interrail trip in the near future? Please leave us your feedback. It means the world to us.

21 Responses

  1. Alix lion
    | Reply

    Yeah this is great museum, A 10 min Film is shown in the Entrance to explain the history of the ship and how they rebuild/renovated, Sweden. As well as there we can see beautiful artifacts and an amazing recovery. After use to visit Vasa Museum I fell it is a good way to spend a few hours.

  2. jim
    | Reply

    Nice sharing!

  3. Brandon Elijah Scott
    | Reply

    This looks brilliant – I can't wait to visit!

  4. Eurotrip Tips
    | Reply

    I loved the museum too even though I found it really hard to take good photos in there!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      I know, it's so dark inside, isn't it?

  5. Christopher Allen
    | Reply

    Great post and excellent pictures of the Vasa. I've been there twice. It's always worth a visit. There's so much to learn about this ship and its circumstances. Great museum.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      I totally agree with you. They give you more info than most museums.

  6. Wow – beautiful photos, what a fascinating museum!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      We were hooked from the moment we stepped in. We didn't expect it to be so huge.

  7. Very cool!

  8. The GypsyNesters
    | Reply

    VERY cool. The detail is amazing! -David

    • Laura
      | Reply

      We've never seen anything like it before!

  9. Fiona Maclean
    | Reply

    I love that first photo. Ummm, it makes me think of pirates of the caribbean, obviously ALL WRONG…but stuck in my head!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Haha! Still, Vasa has an equally interesting story 😛

  10. Accelerated Stall
    | Reply

    The craftsmanship and detail on those = Wow!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      It is amazing, isn't it? And so well preserved too!

  11. T.
    | Reply

    it looks so awesome! When I was in Stockholm the museum was closed 🙁

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Oh, no! Such a pity! I hope you will get to revisit soon 🙂

  12. Nick Rutten
    | Reply

    That's a very impressive boat 🙂

    When you get to the Netherlands you should visit the 'Scheepvaartsmuseum' in Amsterdam. It's amazing and looks similar to this.

    If you do, send me a message, my lil' sister is a guide there. I'll try to hook you up with a tour!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Aww, thank you, Nick! I'll take you on your offer next time I'm in Netherlands 😉

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