Sweden Travel: The stunning Vasa Museum should not be missed

The first view of the Vasa as you walk through the doors is arresting and breathtaking.

The massive Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628 looms stunningly overhead, shocking in its towering majesty, and makes you feel that you have been transported into the past. 

If you have the slightest interest in history, you could spend hours in this Stockholm museum. The ship itself is amazing to see, but the exhibits that surround it are equally fascinating.

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When it was recovered in 1961 just outside of Stockholm Harbor, the ship and its contents were very well preserved. It included leather shoes, clothing and other preserved personal effects, as well as weapons, tools, food and drink.

So the exhibits detail what life was like for the common sailor on board, down to what they carried in their pockets, how they ate and slept. This place is obviously a favorite with many local Swedes, who sit absorbed in games of backgammon under the ship’s looming bowsprit.

This really is a “must see” even if you normally don’t enjoy going to museums. Like with the Royal Armory and the Abba Museum, the Vasa exhibit shows how thoughtfully the Swedes tell an immersive story with a museum. If you travel to Sweden and visit Stockholm, it’s well worth a few hours of your time.

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