• Sweden's news in English

Sweden's Vasa sails into world's top museums list

Maddy Savage · 16 Sep 2015, 11:53

Published: 16 Sep 2015 11:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2015 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Sweden's most popular tourist attraction draws in around a million visitors each year, but until now the Vasa Museum has failed to enter the top ten list of international museums selected by users of the world's largest travel site.
The museum houses the wreckage of the country's best known ship, which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged in the 1960s. 
As most of its reviews on Tripadvisor demonstrate, even people who usually start snoozing at the words 'maritime' and 'history' tend to find the Vasa Museum a fascinating place where they are given the chance to step back in time as well as learn about some of the cutting edge techniques being used to preserve the vessel. 
“Like looking through a time machine. Stunning look into ship life and shipbuilding from a ship disaster 400 years ago,” reads one comment highlighted by the travel site in its rundown of the world's top museums.
"It's great news to be placed at number nine," the museum's director Magnus Olafsson told The Local.
"I remember last year we were placed at 13. Looking at the list, the eight museums before us are all art museums, so we are the best non-art museum in the world. That's wonderful," he added.
"It works for all kinds of people - children, older people, people interested in history and those who are not. They all find something in the museum. It [the Vasa] is breathtaking and it's a strong experience to see it".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York came top of the list, while Paris's Musée d'Orsay came second and was the highest placed museum in Europe.
Stockholm's Vasa Museum beat some of the continent's other most iconic attractions including the Acropolis Museum in Athens (placed 11th), the British Museum in London (12th) and the Accademia Gallery in Florence (14th).

The Vasa Museum came behind the Musee d'Orsay in Paris but ahead of many other European attractions. Photo: Remy de la Mauviniere/TT/AP
News of its new status came just a day after Sweden's government announced that it wanted to make state-owned museums free from 2016, as was the case the last time the Social Democrats were in power ten years ago.
But Olafsson told The Local he was not concerned that the initiative would draw visitors away from the Vasa museum, which is set to retain its entry fee of 130 kronor for adults (just under $16).
"We know from the last time that we will not lose any visitors. Actually, the number of visitors raised during that period, so I am not at all concerned."
However despite his optimism and the attraction's glowing reviews, as The Local reported earlier this year, there remains a hardcore group of tourists who cannot be converted to the concept of a museum about a sunken ship.
Story continues below…
“Why design, build and invest a fortune in an old warship that was a failure?” mused one Tripdavisor reviewer, referring to the fact that it sank minutes into its maiden voyage.
"Didn’t go in, but it seemed like a lot of money to see a ship museum. I read a book about the ship in the gift shop. Didn’t see a need to wait in a long line to see the museum," posted another.

Tourists inside the Vasa Musem. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
Top 10 museums in the world as voted by Tripadvisor users

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, New York     

Recommended admission: adults – $25, seniors – $17, students – $12; guests under 12 get in free 


2. Musee d'Orsay – Paris, France

Admission: adults, seniors, students, children – $12 each 


3. Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois        

Admission: adults – $25, seniors and students – $19 each; guests under 14 get in free


4. Museo Nacional del Prado – Madrid, Spain   

Admission: adults, seniors, students – $16 each; guests under 18 get in free


5. Musee du Louvre – Paris, France         

Admission: adults, seniors, students – $17 each; guests under 18 get in free


6. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia      

Admission: adults, seniors, students – $9 each; children get in free


7. National Gallery – London, England     

Admission: free


8. The Rijksmuseum (National Museum) – Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Admission: adults, seniors, students – $20 each; guests under 18 get in free


9. Vasa Museum – Stockholm, Sweden          

Admission: adults and seniors – $15 each, students – $12; guests under 18 get in free   


10. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) – Mexico City, Mexico     

Admission: adults and students – $4 each; seniors and children under 13 get in free

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available