Buy tickets online – it doesn't save you money, but you can skip the queue, which can be a bonus during the busy periods (summer and major holidays). Also, be sure to check the weather forecast, because Swedish weather is notoriously volatile, at any time of year! And it's a good idea to browse the Skansen website ahead of your visit, to see what activities, performances, etc. are happening.
Good to know
Skansen is a great place to experience any traditional celebrations and holidays, such as Midsummer, Walpurgis Night, Christmas, or New Year's Eve. But be aware that these days can often be the busiest times – meaning large crowds – as well.
Recommended time of the year
The museum is open year round and has its charms in any season. However, admission is slightly lower during October, November and December.
About This Day
A visit to Skansen is like getting a fully immersive cultural experience all in one place. Skansen for kids, Skansen for adults, there's something for everyone. It’s the kind of destination that even local families visit regularly. You'll get to see Nordic animals in their natural habitat and visit shops and craftsmen's workshops preserved from the turn of the century. Kids will love Lil' Skansen, which combines play areas with a petting zoo. Ice cream is aplenty and there might even be concerts or performances happening while you're there. You'll be surrounded by beautiful Swedish nature, followed by incredible views of the city from the deck of the ferry. And you won't be disappointed when rounding off the day with a buttery pastry at Fabrique for your fika in the beautiful Old Town.
Skansen calls itself the world's oldest open-air museum, but in reality, it's much more – it's not only a museum but also a zoo, aquarium, mini-amusement park, performance space, a cultural hub and home to numerous cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, located on beautiful grounds that make for an idyllic setting to stroll and soak up the best of Swedish nature. The museum portion contains five centuries of Swedish history, represented in historical buildings, houses, farms and gardens, and populated with authentic craftspeople, such as blacksmiths, weavers and carpenters. It's a great interactive way for kids and adults alike to learn about how life in Sweden used to be. A large part of the grounds houses a variety of Nordic animals living in natural habitats, which is always fascinating. And a highlight is always Lil' Skansen, a special area designed for kids that includes play areas, a giant serpent-shaped slide, petting zoos and daily theater and sing-along performances.
DIRECTIONS Take Tram #7 from Kungsträdgården, which stops right outside Skansen. Alternatively, take Bus 69 or 76 and get off at Djurgårdsbron, cross the bridge into Djurgården, and it is an easy 10-minute walk straight ahead along the main road. Skansen will be on your left-hand side. From the city center, it's also a lovely walk/bike ride along Strandvägen, which takes you along the waterfront with views of Old Town and Skeppsholmen. There are bike paths separated from car traffic the entire way – with hotdog and ice cream kiosks conveniently located on this route, in case you need to stop for a break.
TIP While most activities/vendors at Skansen (and in Stockholm in general) accept credit cards, it's a good idea to bring a bit of cash, just in case. For example, up until recently, the pony rides only accepted cash, and while it was only a small amount (50 kr), it could be a hassle to try to find a cash machine.
Fabrique is one the best bakeries in town – and is especially known for its delicious cardamom buns – which can't be missed. They also serve sandwiches, coffee and pastries – the perfect place for a typical Swedish "fika" (coffee break).
DIRECTIONS The best way to get from Djurgården to the Old Town is with the Djurgården ferry. When you exit Skansen, cross the main road (Djurgårdsvägen), and almost directly across the road, you will see the big amusement park Gröna Lund. Walk down this street (Allmänna gränd) towards the waterfront. At the end of the road, you'll see the ferry terminal. It's a very inexpensive ride (the same as bus/subway fare) and gives you the best views of the city. The boat takes you to the Slussen terminal, then just cross the main road (Skeppsbron), and it's less than a 10-minute walk through charming cobblestone streets to the cafe.
TIP The cafe isn't very big, but if there is no seating available, you can always just pick up something to go.