Free museums in Stockholm

„Another reason to visit the German Church is that it is free. I know what traveling to Stockholm is all about!“ – was the advice our guide of the Free Walking Tour in Stockholm gave us. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to visit the church because of its strange working hours. However, we did visit a lot of free museums.

German Church in Stockholm, Sweden

So, if you are wondering what cheap or free thing you can do while in Stockholm, here are some suggestions:

History Museum (Historiska Museet)

The History Museum in Stockholm offers a walk through history and has a completely free entry.

the entrance to the free Historic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
a free walk through Stockholm's history
History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
free History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

It goes without saying that there is a lot about vikings there, too!

viking's toilets in the History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
viking's toilets in the History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Guess where these doors are leading to!

The museum really makes you a part of history. Going through so many years at that pace can be really tiring. Historiska Museet is one of the favorite places of baby boomers visiting Stockholm.

sleeping in the History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
The calm music from the headphones can make you want to close your eyes for just a second…

Ethnographic Museum (Ethnografiska Museet)

I had a good feeling about this museum from the previous evening when we were making our plans for the next day. It turned out I was not only right about how cool it would be, but it also gave us some unexpected surprises.

It might not be very big, but it is thoughtfully made and has a lot of exhibits. (In order to contain them all some of them are put into cabinets. See the photos below.)

cool free Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, Sweden
cool free Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

However, we almost missed the best part of the museum. Good thing that Mimi is curious and decided to see what is in the corridor that says “Playground”.

kids station in the cool free Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

This part of the museum is supposedly for kids, but we had great fun there too. We also learned a lot about the tolerance of the Swedish people.

fun free Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
fun free Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet)

After the visit to the Ethnographic Museum we were full of energy and positive emotions. It was time to visit the Maritime Museum that is really close and also completely free. There we were once again surprised. We found a lot of maps, pictures, photos, reproductions of ships, submarines, boats and more.

free Maritime Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
free Maritime Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

We are so excited about all of this that we spend a lot of time there and it is almost the end of the working day for the museum. We are just about to leave, when we see that there is a second floor! We have to be extremely quick in exploring it.

second floor of the free Maritime Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Coming out of the Maritime Museum we are welcomed by a magnificent sunset. (I know it is not a museum by itself, but it is still a free thing to do in Stockholm.)

sunset over ice in Stockholm, Sweden
sunset over ice in Stockholm, Sweden
sunset over ice in Stockholm, Sweden

The fourth day of our stay in Stockholm was really the day of the free museums for us! That’s why we start by going to the Skeppsholmen Island (or as I like to call it – The Free Museum Island). There we plan to visit the Swedish Center for Architecture, Moderna Museet, and the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (Östasiatiska Museet). On our way to the island, we are supposed to visit the National Museum. However, it turned out it is under some heavy reconstruction and we couldn’t enter.

Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (Östasiatiska Museet).

free Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden
free Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden

Searching for the Swedish Center of Architecture

It turned out we had found it, but it was not what we expected. There was actually just a cafe and a few rooms, that looked like workshops. To get to them you need to go behind the kitchen of a restaurant. I don’t think there is anything worth seeing there.

Moderna Museet

Our last free museum on this island is Moderna Museet.

All out of nowhere in front of us is a long queue of people staying outside in the cold. They are in front of the museum but are not waiting to get inside it. There is something else going on.

queue in front of the free Moderna Museet in Stockholm

What is happening? Since this island is not a very big one earlier this day we were going by this place and there was literally nobody there. Where did all of these people come from? After a short research, we discovered that Marina Abramovic has a performance in Stockholm at this time. All these people are waiting to get involved in it!

There was no way we can get into that, the queue was growing by the second. (Despite all this Mimi decided to pretend she didn’t know what was happening and get in one of the halls of the performance. It was unsuccessful. Too bad.) However, we did visit the Museum of modern art and even watched a part of the free projection of the documentary movie about Marina Abramovic. Since the art is really modern we will not put photos from there here. It has to be experienced.

The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet) and The Royal Armory (Livrustkammaren)

free and cheap museums in Stockholm, Sweden
free and cheap museums in Stockholm, Sweden
free and cheap museums in Stockholm, Sweden

So these were the free museums we visited during our stay in Stockholm. One thing made an impression on us as a common ground between all of them. They are doing everything they can to attract visitors. Almost every museum has a place for kids and offers different attractions for them. Also there is usually a restaurant or a cafe.

innovative museums in Stockholm, Sweden

P.S. Some more info and tips

Leaving aside all of their pros, the free museums of Stockholm have some cons, too. The biggest one is that in some of them there is lack of English signs. At least we got better with our Swedish language skills…

Some consider Stockholm’s subway stations as an art gallery. Visiting them is practically free since you need a travel card to get around the city anyway. So Stockholm’s subway stations can be added to this list of free museums.

Other than that we have to say that some of the other museums in Stockholm are free on Wednesdays between 5 and 8 p.m. My guess is that then there are big crowds, but it must be still worth it if you want to save some money. This special offer goes for the Vasa Museet and Nordic Museet, so you should definitely check it out. (Visit at least Vasa Museet, Nordic Museet didn’t impress us much from the inside.)

visiting Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
From the outside Nordic Museum looks great.
trip to Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
Vasa Museum is really cool from the inside as well.

So, this was our journey through the free and cheap museum in Stockholm. Which one is your favorite museum in the city? Here’s our (non-free) 3-day Stockholm itinerary.

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9 Responses

  1. Such a comprehensive list of museums in Stockholm. It is an expensive city so good to know there is plenty to do without spending a fortune. Also good to know ahead of time that Wednesday evening should be set aside for museum exploring. Enjoyed reading the post, the photos, and appreciated the information for my next trip there.

    • Petya Yakimova

      Great! Let us know if you enjoyed these museums when you visit Stockholm next time. 🙂

  2. Stockholm has some wonderful museums. Thanks for such a good list of all of the free ones. Love all the pictures so I know what to expect in this beautiful city 🙂

    • Petya Yakimova

      Glad you liked it. Hope you get the chance to visit Stockholm! 🙂

  3. Milijana

    This list shows how an expensive city like Stockholm can be cheap for tourist. Thanks for all given info, really valuable!

    • Petya Yakimova

      So happy you liked it! We are firm believers that if you really try hard no destination is too expensive and too far from reach.

  4. I would visit every single museum you’ve mentioned. Having all of them in one city is a bliss 🙂

    • Petya Yakimova

      It really is. 🙂

  5. […] Stockholm on a budget – check out free museums in the […]