My favorite thing about Skansen, Stockholm’s famous open-air museum, are the sod roof houses. Until the late 19th century, grass and flowers growing out of roof tops all over Scandinavia were a common sight, but not anymore. These houses seemed like something out of fairy tale and were a definite highlight in sprawling Skansen.
We visited Skansen as our last stop on a busy sightseeing day in July. First we went to Junibacken, then Vasa Museet, then lunch at Bla Porten, then a quick stop into Nordiska Museet and then finally Skansen! If that sounds ambitious, well, it was. But all of these attractions are located very closely together on the beautiful island of Djurgarden.
We left Skansen for last because we weren’t that excited about it, but we ended up liking it a lot more than we thought we would! Founded in 1891, it’s a collection of 150 buildings (houses, barns, churches, workshops) from all over Sweden to illustrate countryside life — plus a children’s zoo (kind of lame) and a regular zoo (much better even though we couldn’t find the reindeer). There’s also little village within it staffed with people in traditional dress acting as a blacksmith, pharmacist, storekeeper, etc., which appeals more to school-aged children and we only had a toddler who wanted to dismantle the exhibits.
Skansen is huge, and while it felt like we walked for miles, I really have no idea how much we covered. We enjoyed walking along the paths and seeing the various houses, many of which were accompanied by nice gardens or laws. An unexpected bonus was beautiful views, as much of Skansen is on a hill. If I lived in Stockholm, I could see myself visiting Skansen regularly and using it as a local park. At the very least, spend a few hours there on your trip to Stockholm.
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