Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ABBA and VASA in Stockholm

*We received two complimentary 1-Day Stockholm Cards from the Stockholm Visitors Board for our visit.

In planning our day in Stockholm we knew there were two places that we definitely wanted to visit.
One involved a short lived boat launch and the other the music of my happy place.  

ABBA The Museum

ABBA has always been an absolute favorite.  Who doesn't love Dancing Queen?
When I'm flying I always listen to ABBA to take away the anxiety.

Once Mamma Mia came out, my love for all things Abba was just cemented. I love the movie and dance the whole way through. I've seen the stage show three times now and I'm about due for another visit.
So, of course, Abba The Museum was at the top of our my list.

Abba Museum in Stockholm Sweden

ABBA The Museum opened in May 2013.
It's an interactive look at the band from their beginnings, winning the 1974 Eurovision Contest,
the music and costumes, the divorces of the two couples and the group's eventual breakup in 1982.

Between the photos, placards, videos, exhibits and audio guide you get a lot of information,
most of it in the very open words of Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.
There is also the chance to go into a recording booth to pretend you're a Swedish pop star.
I'm afraid there might be video evidence of our tragic attempts floating out there on the web somewhere.

Abba Museum in Stockholm Sweden

The museum was a bit smaller than I expected and took less than two hours to get through,
but it was very well presented.  I was certainly moved by their stories and the music.

I might have teared up a bit as we walked across the rippling water and straight
through the last scene of Mamma Mia with I Have a Dream playing.

Thank You for the Music just put me over the edge as I signed the guest book before leaving.
(Matthew might have rolled his eyes or wiped away a tear of his own, I couldn't tell.)

Abba Museum in Stockholm Sweden

Tickets can be booked online or in person but it's important to note that they are completely cashless so be prepared to pay with a card.  Tickets are currently less than £20 (195 SEK) and the audio guide less than £5 (45 SEK).
(Admission was not included with the Stockholm Card when we visited.)
Visit the ABBA The Museum Website for more details and or if you just want to do a Singalong.

The Vasa Museum

 The other attraction that was on our list was the museum dedicated to an infamous Swedish Warship.

In 1628, after 2 years of hard work and dedication from a small army of craftsmen, this majestic ship sailed 1,400 yards into its maiden voyage before sinking straight to the bottom of the sea less than 400 feet from shore.

Apparently, there were a few miscalculations in her construction.  With everyone looking on and cheering, a gust of wind caused her to keel sharply.  She began to take on water through her gun ports and couldn't be recovered. 
Many on board that day were drowned in the sinking.

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

There were a few unsuccessful attempts to recover the ship but for the next 333 years
she sat in the mud under the cold water slowly rusting and disintegrating.
In 1961, she was raised from the silt and towed to dry dock where the conservation work began.
The modern Vasa Museum opened to the public in 1990 and that conservation work is still ongoing.

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden 
The ship is fascinating and the museum is very thorough, covering the story of the ship
as well as the lives of those involved in her construction.  It goes into detail  about life on board the ship and the politics of the timeThe story of her recovery and conservation is fascinating.  For years, they had to keep the ship wet as they worked on her but they eventually replaced the water in the wood with glycol in a process that took years. 

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

If you want to be one of the 1 million people who will visit this year,
check out The Vasa Museum website to plan your visit.   Our admission was included with our Stockholm Card but tickets at the time were about £13 (130 SEK).

Also, try to get there as early as possible.  We were some of the first people off of the cruise ship, made our way straight to the museum and walked right in.  When we were leaving a few hours later the line snaked all the way out the door and around.

Even if you can't visit Stockholm, I would recommend you spend some time on the Vasa Museum website reading about the ship and the ongoing preservation.  It's an intriguing story.

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Matthew and I really enjoyed both of these world-class museums in Stockholm.
Expecting them to take a bit longer, we didn't make any other specific plans for our day.
We still had plenty of time to visit another of the over 100 museums in Stockholm.  

We had a great afternoon exploring the Old Town, but looking back we could have made much better use of our Stockholm Cards which include admission to over 80 museums,
free public transportation (which we did use), free sightseeing tours, bonus offers and a helpful map.  Be sure to check out Visit Stockholm before your visit for everything you need to plan your time in Stockholm.

And I highly recommend that Stockholm goes on your list of places you should visit.

What was your favorite museum or attraction in Stockholm?

(PS  I'm a nominee for best travel blog.  I'd love it if you voted for me in the Avis A-List Travel Blog Awards!)


 *I received two complimentary 1-day Stockholm Cards from the Stockholm Tourists Board for our visit.
All photos, writing and opinions are 100% my own.
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


  1. I've been known to dance with my kids to ABBA! We all love their music too! The tour of the warship looks really interesting! I don't always get into museums, but these two I would definitely want to see!

  2. One of my favorite moments since I moved to Sweden was a late night at home karaoke session to ABBA with our friends! My favorite song of theirs is I'm a Marionette if you are not familiar with it I highly suggest listening to it!

  3. YES! Love Abba! In 5th grade we had to make up a song relating to science using the music from another song and my group used Dancing Queen :) Both museums look great and I would definitely love to learn more about the Vasa Ship

  4. Who doesn't love ABBA? The warship museum would be high on my list of places to visit too! Thanks, as ever, for such well presented and informative writing with fab photos!
    (Voted for you, btw)

  5. Aww! Sue, thank you so much. You just made my day!

  6. I have the Mamma Mia dvd somewhere. I think I'm going to have to dig it out and have a movie night. 

  7. I've never heard it. I'm listening to it on YouTube. Great song and lyrics. Pretty dramatic. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. They were both great and you didn't have to devote hours and hours. Have you been to see Mamma Mia yet on stage? So much fun!


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