Skansen – Five Centuries of Swedish Rural Life and Traditions

    Skansen – Five Centuries of Swedish Rural Life and Traditions

    On the island of Djurgården, just a short 30-minute walk from Stockholm’s city center, lies one of the world’s oldest open-air museums. Skansen was Arthur Hazelius’s dream to show the way of life in Sweden before the industrial era. Between 1833 and 1901 he purchased 150 historical Swedish buildings and relocated them to Stockholm’s Djurgården Island. 

    Image depicting the main entrance in Skansen
    Skansen

    The buildings came from all over Sweden and were carefully reconstructed to give visitors a good idea of how people used to live some centuries ago. You can see a full range of Swedish life from a manor house to a farm, a glass blowing shop, a blacksmiths shop, or a bakery. 

    This 75-acres park is basically a living village animated by real-life people reenacting the traditional household tasks, crafts and work in the Swedish villages.  

    Skansen also has a pretty large zoo where you can find around 75 Nordic animal species. Among these are brown bears, wolves, elk and native breeds of horses and sheep. The enclosures are pretty big and  try to imitate the animals’ natural habitat. Lots of tranquil spots to sit and enjoy the animals. There are many exotic animals, such as snakes, crocodiles, baboons and parrots.

    In summer there are many Swedish traditions celebrated here, like Walpurgis Night, Midsummer, as well as folk dancing and concerts.  In winter there they set up Christmas markets here, a tradition that has taken place annually since 1903.

    image depicting folk Swedish dances in Skansen 

    Skansen was my favorite place in Stockholm. It is not only very diverse and entertaining, but it also has an incredible view of Stockholm. It’s a great for families as there are many attractions for children, but anyone interested in Swedish history, architecture arts and crafts can spend a beautiful day here too.

    View of Stockholm from Skansen

     

    Useful information
    General advice: Skansen is a huge place, so make sure you take the entire day to enjoy everything. Also, bring comfortable shoes, lots of water if you visit it in summer. There are a few restaurants and food stalls on the premises if you want to have some lunch, or you can bring a picnic.  
    Getting there: Skansen Museum is located on the Museum Island, the island of Djurgården, which you can access by bus(67), tram (7) or ferry. Skansen is close from the city center, getting there by foot is nice walk alongside Stockholm waterfront.

    Opening hours/Tickets: The Museum is open from 10 am to 4/8pm. Check out their website as the opening hours and admissions change depending on the season. Admission price is 150 SEK for adult ticket and 100 SEK for senior/students. 

     

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