The Vasa Museum houses a near 400-year-old ship that remains in miraculously good condition thanks to the absence of wood-penetrating ship worms from the brackish Baltic waters it called home for centuries. It was raised in the 1950s and eventually relocated to its current location on Djurgården island.
It's an enduring hit, with the 750,355 visitors chalked up in June, July and August of this year a record for the summer period, and the numbers were no doubt helped by the museum being named among TripAdvisor's 10 best in the world for the first time in 2015.
In the 2017 edition of the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards the museum has dropped down slightly to 12th best on the planet, but is the only Scandinavian museum to feature in the list of 25, and performed better than big hitters like the iconic Louvre in Paris (13th) and the Terracotta Army in Xi'an (24th).
To decide the awards the site used an algorithm to collate the quantity and quality of reviews for museums across the world over a 12-month period.
The Vasa Museum has 24,267 reviews on the site and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. Only five percent said it was below a “very good” rating and 73 percent rated it as “excellent”.
“Like looking through a time machine. A stunning look into ship life and shipbuilding from a ship disaster 400 years ago,” said the review TripAdvisor highlighted in its awards list.
The top museum on the list was the Met in New York, while the best performing European museum was the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, which placed third.
The Vasa requires extensive preservation work to maintain, and last year The Local had the chance to step on board the royal vessel to watch some of its 5,000 rusty old bolts being swapped for newer pins that will not damage the ship's wooden frame.
Shipwrecks from the 1600s are still being discovered to this day in Sweden. In September, the wreck of four-century-old ship Scepter, which belonged to King Gustav II Adolf, was located during the renovation of the quayside on the Skeppsholmen islet in Stockholm.
Despite being “really well preserved” according to an expert, there are no plans for Scepter to become another tourist attraction like the Vasa however.