Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet)
At the Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet) you can learn about the history of a 17th-century battleship, from its creation to its rescue and preservation. In 1628 the Vasa battleship set sail from Stockholm’s harbor on its maiden voyage; however, it capsized just minutes after departure. Over 300 years later, marine archeologists rescued the ship and in 1990 made it a public museum.
Start your visit by watching a short movie that gives a brief history of the Vasa ship. Check the museum’s official website for a schedule of screenings in English.
There are 11 exhibition areas to see. Go to the His Majesty’s Ship exhibition to see a painting that depicts the ship’s large arsenal and a model that explains why it sank. In the Face to Face exhibition you’ll find skeletons of some of the crew members. Multimedia displays provide information about their roles onboard and physical conditions. Learn about the clothes worn by the crew and the food eaten on the ship in the Life Onboard area.
Don’t miss the Salvaging exhibition, which tells the story of the ship’s discovery and rescue. Look for the equipment used by Anders Franzén when he rediscovered the ship in 1956, including a homemade echo sounding device. In the Imagery of Power room, see displays of 700 restored sculptures, including lions, gods and mermaids.
At the rear of the museum is the Vasa Garden. Here, you can learn about the vegetables, flowers and medicinal herbs used by the Vasa’s crew and Swedish farmers.
Located on Djurgården, the Vasa Museum is close to Stockholm’s major attractions. It’s a 30-minute walk from Central Station. There’s a pay-and-display parking lot but it fills quickly with tour buses. Public transportation, such as bus and tram, provides a more convenient option.
Vasa Museum is open daily, except for select public holidays. See the museum’s official website for full details. Admission is free for visitors under 18. Free guided tours in English are available throughout the year. Alternatively, download a free audio guide to your mobile phone from the museum’s official website.