Address: Main entrance at Djurgårdsvägen, Djurgården, Stockholm
Skansen is a Sweden in miniature where they want to show how people lived and worked in different parts of Sweden through different times. Here you will find houses, animals, plants and of course, people in timelike costumes that show their craftsmanship. One can say Skansen is one big outdoor museum with a zoo.
It was Arthur Hazelius who founded Skansen in 1891. It makes it the world's oldest open-air museum. King Karl XIV Johan had built a fortress ("skans") here in the past and that´s how Skansen got its name. After various expansions over the years, todays Skansen is about 30 hectare (2012).
At Skansen they wanted to have real houses from around Sweden, so they moved historical buildings from the countryside into Skansen. There are houses from 1700 and 1800 and even as old as from the 1400s. Skansen's oldest building is Vastveitloftet which comes from Norway and is derived from the 1300s. But when it was moved here in 1901 Sweden and Norway were in union with each other.
People were also important and initially they put out life-size dolls to populate the houses. But today it is the "real" people in timelike costumes that represent the residents and working population. That is great, because then you can also talk to them and ask questions about how it was in past days.
Pre-buy your entry ticket to Skansen. Stay as long as you like during the opening hours.
Christmas market: Sat-Sun, Nov 25 - Dec 17, 2017
Skansen season: Open all year
(free entrance on Christmas Eve Dec 24)
Skansen is Stockholm's only zoo. The focus is on both wild and tame Nordic animals but there are also more exotic animals. Most animals live in their enclosures but there are also wild animals as rabbits, squirrels and birds around Skansen. Among the tame domestic animals you will find reindeer, lowland cattle (cows), goats, sheep, chickens and the beautiful Ardennes horses. In old days Ardennes horses were common on Swedish farms before the tractor made its entrance. The horse has larger physique than normal horses and are incredibly strong and willing to work.
Among wild Nordic animals you will find wolves, bears, wolverines, moose, fox and wild pigs and others.
In 2012 they also opened Lill-Skansen for the kids who can get acquainted with the animals.
At Skansen, you will find among others:
Seglora church from 1730
The church comes from Seglora parish in Västergötland. In 1901 it was threatened by demolition and then sold to Skansen. 1918 the beautiful wooden church was put in place.
The Mora farm 1700-1800s
The Mora house is Skansen's first building. It was put here in 1891. At the Mora farm you can see how a farm in Dalarna could look like in the 1800s and what kind of work the did.
The Soldier cottage 1800s
A Soldier cottage were common in all corners of Sweden for several hundred years. Parishes would keep the soldier with a simple soldier cottage for him and his family.
Sing-along at Skansen - Sollidenscenen
A summer tradition is the Sing-along at Skansen. Those who watch the TV broadcasts or the once who are in place at Skansen sing along with the opening song - Stockholm in my heart. 1979 was the first televised season and then with Bosse Larsson as the host. Now (2016) Sanna Nielsen is the host. In the past, Lasse Berghagen, Anders Lundin, Petra Marklund and Måns Zelmerlöw have been the hosts.
Artists that have performed at Skansen is among others, Thore Skogman, Sickan Carlsson, Lill-Babs, Dr. Alban, Tommy Körberg, Robert Wells, Lill Lindfors, Carola and also foreign artists. In 2001 Ricky Martin was here and he did what all the other guests did, went out among the audience and sang and the crowd cheered.
As early as 10 AM when Skansen opens, the first visitors comes to get a good spot in front of the stage. That the show does not begin until 8 PM at night makes no difference. You who are at Skansen for the live performances usually get an extra half-hour show.
New Years Eve at Skansen
Since 1895 it is a tradition to ring in the New Year at the stroke of midnight. Television will broadcast live from the Solliden scene between the hours. 23:10 to 00:10. The poem New Year bells has been read by among others Jan Malmsjö.
Christmas market at Skansen
Another tradition is the Christmas market held in November-december. It has been held here since Christmas 1903. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas with good food, candy, drinks, Christmas decorations and wonderful smells.
Swedish National Day - June 6th
A full day of celebration at Skansen. Music, dance, children's theater, and the National Day Concert. The Royal Family usually also attend the National Day celebrations, which also TV-broadcasts.