Vasa Museum#4 in Best Things To Do in Stockholm
On its maiden voyage in 1628, the most powerful warship in the Baltic, the Vasa, was afloat only minutes before capsizing in front of stunned onlookers in the city's harbor. Hundreds of years later, the massive, 226-foot-long ship was completely salvaged. The ship was so big that it took more than a year for it to be raised from the surface of the seabed. The Vasa has been put back together and extensively restored since then, with more than 95 percent of the ship originally intact. Thanks to this meticulous restoration, the ship is considered the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world and the oldest fully preserved warship in the world. Today, the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, drawing in more than one million visitors a year.
In addition to the majestic ship, the museum houses a number of interesting exhibits about the vessel's history, including a look into what life was like at sea during that era, stories of the people onboard and a collection of artistic relics found on the ship. But the pinnacle for travelers is touring the Vasa itself. Recent visitors were in complete awe of the ship's incredible size and were amazed at the quality of preservation down to the smallest detail. Even those who admitted the attraction wasn't initially at the top of their must-see list left the Vasa Museum with a better understanding of why this facility is considered one of the city's top attractions. And speaking of the museum's popularity, don't be surprised if you encounter long lines and crowds during Stockholm's peak season (summer).
Admission is to the Vasa Museum costs 130 kronor (about $15) for adults and is free for anyone 18 and younger. Hours vary by season. From June 1 to Aug. 31, the museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and from Sept. 1 to May 31 the museum welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. You'll find this museum on the island of Djurgården, which is a little more than a mile from the city center. To reach the museum, take the No. 7 tram, which can be found in front of Berzelii Park on Nybroplan in downtown Stockholm, to the Stockholm Nordiska Museet/Vasa stop. You can also get here by catching a ferry from Nybroplan or Slussen. For more information, check out the Vasa Museum website.
More Best Things To Do in Stockholm
#1 Gamla Stan (Old Town)
In Stockholm, travelers don't necessarily need to venture to one of the city's museums to learn about its past. Instead, stroll through Gamla Stan, the neighborhood where Stockholm itself was founded in 1252. Cobblestone streets, winding alleyways and colorful, classic architecture abound, creating a medieval atmosphere visitors can't seem to get enough of. But Gamla Stan's charming ambience isn't all the area has going for it. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's top attractions, including the Stockholm Cathedral, Parliament, the Nobel Museum (which houses exhibits about the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureates) and the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is also where you'll find Stockholm's oldest street, Köpmangatan, and Mårten Trotzigs gränd alleyway, the city's narrowest pathway at only 35 inches wide at its smallest point.
Though travelers said there are plenty of cafes, shops and attractions here, some reviewers found Gamla Stan to be a tourist trap. Visitors said restaurants are often overpriced, and some were put off by the kitschy shops that catered to tourists. However, you don't have to spend money to get the best of Gamla Stan. Many tourists enjoyed simply strolling around the area and recommended everyone do the same, as they felt the scenery was the neighborhood's best asset. Gamla Stan is completely free to stroll through and aside from the various businesses that dot the area, is open for exploration 24 hours a day. For more information, visit the Stockholm Tourism Board's website.
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