Nothing can prepare you for the 172m tall 17th Century warship when you enter the Vasamuseet. This is the ultimate ‘big ship’ experience and this is the one thing that you simply cannot miss in Stockholm.
How to Get to the Vasamuseet from Stockholm City Centre
The Vasa Museum is located in Djurgården, Stockholm and the easiest way to get there from the centre of Stockholm is to take tram number 7 from Kungsträdgården towards Waldemarsudde.
I took the metro to Karlaplan station, and it’s about a 10 minute walk from there. It’s also walkable from Central Station in about 30 minutes.
Vasa Museem – Nancy Mclurr on Flickr.
The Vasa Museum is the top attraction in Stockholm on Tripadvisor.
Introducing the Vasa Warship
The Vasa was completed in 1628 and was due to set sail for it’s Maiden Voyage on 10th August 1628. It could hold 64 canons and two gun decks and was built for battle in the Thirty Years War – a European war fought between Catholics and Protestants (1618-1648).
Why Did the Vasa Sink?
Sadly, the Vasa sank within meters of leaving Stockholm – she barely got out of the harbour! The structure of the ship meant that she was too top heavy, and she quickly toppled, killing between 20-30 people on board, including some women and children who were about to disembark at the Archipelago before the battle commenced.
The King (Gustav Adolphus) was partly to blame for the inaccurate construction of the Vasa – he wanted his ship as quickly as humanly possible, and rushed the ship builders. But, of course, no one would dare to accuse the King, so the captain was arrested and accused of drunk driving! Thankfully, he was later released, and no-one really could be blamed, as the fault lay in the instability of the ship.
There are many exhibitions around the museum that explain the technicalities of the ship sinking and stories of the people involved in it’s construction.
If you’d like to read more about the Vasa and why it sank, click here.
Preserving the Vasa
The ship was found 333 years after she sank and at this time, was a miraculous 98% intact. Today, it is the worlds only preserved 17th Century ship and this is thanks to two main factors: the protection offered by the harbour and the salinity of the water.
In the 1950’s, the Vasa was salvaged by drilling holes underneath and then passing cables under to lift the ship. The Vasa is shrinking by 1mm per year, and a constant temperature of 17 degrees is maintained to preserve the ship.
Our Private Party at the Vasamuseet
As a TBEX delegate, I was lucky enough to visit the Vasa museum after hours for a private party with Champagne reception. Many thanks to the Vasamuseet and Visit Stockholm for being such generous hosts. We truly enjoyed every minute.
Tips for Visiting the Vasamuseet
- Arrive early to get good photos and avoid the crowd.
- Children 0-18 get in free.
- Current ticket price: Adults: 130 SEK Students: 100 SEK (July 2016).
- Guided tours and audio guides are available.
- If you want value for money on transport and museum entrance during your time in Stockholm, I highly recommend the Stockholm Pass.
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