Vasa Museum is a maritime museum located on the island of Djurgården that has been opened since 1990 and is considered as the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
All aboard to the 17th century ship, the Vasa Museum
1. The history of the ship
Vasa was a warship that was meant to depart from a navy yard in Skeppsholmen, now a peninsula known as Blasieholmen, that was an important military installation. Its maiden voyage was delayed after some frustrations with the supply of guns and a change of captain. A large number of audience were watching in excitement when the ship was about to disembark on 10 August 1628. However, minutes after it was freed from the land and about to travel, Vasa lost its control and water filled the ship. Vasa was then began to sink. Luckily, most of the crew and guests managed to survived after jumping off to the water. However, 30 people were trapped inside the ship and sank together with Vasa. Among those who were dead was Captain Hans Jonsson, who was the original captain before being replaced by Söfring Hansson.
2. The recovery of Vasa
The search for Vasa was conducted in the early 1950s by Anders Franzén, a fuel engineer with a great interest in Swedish naval history. The attempt to look for Vasa did not going very well in the beginning. The clue of Vasa's whereabout first appeared on 25 August 1956, when a small piece of black oak stuck in a coring device that had been dropped into Stockholm's harbour. Franzén then positive that Vasa could be raised from the sea. He approached and persuaded people to join in the operation to take back Vasa from the sea. The first lift was then done on 20 August 1959. However, it was not an easy thing to do. Vasa could finally rose from the deep 2 years later, on 24 April 1961. Even after that, there were still a lot of things to do because many parts of Vasa were still in the sea. The recovery was then completed in 1988, and two years later, Vasa was inaugurated as a museum.
3. The exhibitions in Vasa Museum
Inside the Vasa Museum, you will see a lot of exhibitions. Some of them are the exhibition that tell the story of women in 17th century related to the sinking of Vasa, the exhibition about people that were in the ship during the tragedy and their stories, and the exhibiton about the preservation of the ship itself. You can learn more about the story from the 17th century, how the ship was restored, how the ship was now preserved, and the research that were conducted to keep the ship safe. There are some large paintings and relief map that pictured Vasa and Stockholm in 1626 to 1628 as well in another exhibition area. You can also learn more about the hearing after the catastrophe through a multimedia show in the same room.
4. Take your children learn more about sailing a ship
The Vasa museum has a new part that was designed for younger visitors called Sail a Ship adventure. This part uses a computer-based activity that will teach your children to play in a group. In order to sail the ship, there are three tasks at three different stations that must be conducted at the same time. Those tasks are hauling an anchor, setting sails and steering with the whipstaff. Once all the stations are ready, the ship will sail away along with two shots fired in quick succession - a so-called Swedish ransom. You can also teach your children more about how the ship was meant to be operated in an exhibition includes a full-scale model of a part of the upper gun deck that can be visited. You will be able to picture the everyday life on a warship, including the clothes, food, and illness.
5. Take a walk in the Vasa Museum Garden
Vasa Museum is not all about the warship. There is also a garden that can be visited in the museum area. Here, you will see vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers that were a feature of gardens in the 1600s. A good care of the garden is also done to prevent the use of pesticide by doing cultivation or using bio-carbon. The garden is a good place to take a rest after your tour inside the museum. If you are looking for inspirations for your garden, this part can also be a good reference as well. Another place that you can go to for a rest is a restaurant located inside the museum that serves hot and cold food, as well as tea and cakes or the lunch room located in the fourth level.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought on site, or by booking them online in the official website. If you want to visit other tourist attractions in Stockholm as well, then you can also save some money buy purchasing the Stockholm Pass that has included entrance fees for some spots.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you will have to go by foot. The museum provides lockers for small bag in case you don't want to bring some stuffs while you are looking around.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dresscode for visiting the Vasa Museum. If you want to take some photos with the collections, then you might consider to wear nice clothes.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Vasa Museum is in the morning or late before the museum closed. The museum is usually more crowded during weekend.
Will I Need a Guide?
You can go and explore the Vasa Museum without a guide. However, you can also go with the audio guides that are available in several languages. You can also join the free guided tours. Usually, the tour will be conducted in English or Swedish.
How To Get There?
There are several options available to get to the Vasa Museum. The easiest way is to use tram number 7 towards Waldemarsudde. Other option is by bus number 67 that stops at Nordiska museet/Vasamuseet or bus number 69 or 76 that stops at Djurgårdsbron. If you are going by metro, take the red line to Karlaplan station.