After a very restful sleep we filled up on breakfast in the hope that we would not need to buy lunch. We did and surprisingly it only set us back $40. We decided to forgo paying for public transport and instead use the hop-on, hop-off bus that was covered in our Stockholm Pass. We took the bus over to Djurgården which contains many of Stockholm’s famous museums including the Abba Museum and the Vasa Museum. We managed to spend the day at Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum) and Vasa Museet (Vasa Museum).
The Nordic Museum is situated in a cathedralesque building built in the late 18th Century with the purpose of a museum in mind. It covers Swedish culture and ethnography and while we were there we saw exhibitions on fashion, housing interiors, toys and the Sami culture from the 17th Century to present. We then headed over to the Vasa Museum – the highlight of our stay in Stockholm.
The Vasa Museum holds the ship Vasa which sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628. After laying on the seabed for 300 years, she was eventually rediscovered and emerged 95% in-tact. There are even parts of the sail on display in the museum! The Vasa is a research project for future preservation techniques and has already had a new humidity system implemented to prevent degredation. The ship is measured to indicate how much it is moving and whether there are any adverse effects.
That night we ate at our Boatel and shared a pizza.
On our last day in Stockholm we took stock of our travel options to the airport later that evening. Upon carefully considering time, effort and price, we decided that a taxi would be the best value and easiest option (no stairs to drag our suitcases up). We left our luggage at the Boatel and headed out to break-even on our Stockholm passes.
Our first stop was the Spirit Museum. Stockholm, being the home of Absolut Vodka we thought the Spririt Museum would be a must see. The first exhibition at the museum consisted of cabinets of everyday objects – nothing to do with alcohol at all. The second exhibition as put together by a local comic-strip artist. Slightly more geared towards alcohol however not what we were expecting. We probably didn’t get the full effect of this exhibition considering the comic strip components were in Swedish. We finally reached the good part – spirits! The exhibition was interactive, lots of smelling different types of spirits and even a bar quiz! However the exhibition quickly took the form of an anti-drinking campaign and that’s when we decided to head on to the next museum.
Next on our list was Skansen, a traditional out-door museum/theme park. It was at this point that we began to wonder why the park was even open. Most of the attractions were closed and the Scandinavian animals as part of the zoo were barely seen. We did have a lovely stroll through the children’s zoo and got to see some very cute domesticated pigs. After a quick walk around the park we high-tailed it out of there and headed over to Gamla Stan.
After lunch we headed to the Nobel Museum which although smaller than expected was worth a visit. Fun fact – The banquet after the Nobel Prize Ceremonies are held at the Stockholm City Hall and the menu is different each year. At the City Hall restaurant you can order any of the Nobel banquets served since 1908! The Nobel diplomas that the recipients receive are also re-designed each year.
After the Nobel Museum and a quick trip around the Royal Palace apartments we decided that we had just broken-even on our Stockholm passes and called it a day. Back at the Boatel we had 4 hours until our flight to Heathrow and this is when things began to go awry. Lucky for us we always leave more than enough time to get to the airport but that is a story in itself.
Our thoughts on Stockholm? It really is a beautiful city however the sheer cost of everything (mostly food) will make us rethink another visit to Sweden. That said, it could be done cheaper if you have access to a kitchen to make all of your own food.