Museums in Scandinavia take you back in time to the Viking age via archaeological finds and propel you into the future with some of the most break-through contemporary exhibitions going. Folklore museums give fascinating insight into the will to survive and prosper in an exacting climate.
There are 711 museums in Denmark. How are you going to pick one? The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is situated in a spacious, old park with a fine view across the sound of Sweden. It houses an exquisite collection of modern works by a stellar array of international artists. The Experimentarium is Denmark's Science Center, focusing on science and technology, environment and health and has a special Children's Pavilion for the 3-6 year-olds. Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is a living and breathing experience of what it was like to live and work in a Danish market town in the old days.
The Viking Ship Museum presents great Viking ship discoveries from all over Norway, including finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. The world's two best-preserved wooden Viking ships built in the 9th century. Small boats, sledges, carts with exceptional ornamentation, tools, harness, textiles and household utensils are all on display. The Kon-Tiki Museum houses a range of boats and artifacts from Thor Heyerdahl's expeditions. Here you can see the original Kon-Tiki raft with a 30 foot whale shark underneath, statues and a secret family cave from Easter Island, the papyrus boat Ra II, and an exciting collection of archaeological finds from Easter Island, East Polynesia, Galapagos and Peru.
There’s nothing stuffy about museums in Sweden. There are a head-spinning 400-plus museums and, as you might imagine, they exhibit antiquities, natural history, fine and industrial arts, design and others. Objects you see in Swedish museums cover everything from the diamond and gold encrusted ‘Tre Kronor’ crown jewels to surströmming (soured herring) – the pungent delicacy from this part of the world and an institution in itself. The Tanum World Heritage site includes the Vitlycke Museum, where rock carvings that are the highlight of the show depict life in Bronze Age Sweden. Artists of 3,000 years ago tell their story through 350 highly varied and richly colored groups of rock art vividly depicting people, animals, ships and sleighs, as well as hunting scenes and domestic life.
crown jewels to surströmming (soured herring)
Considering that Iceland has only 300,000 people, the number of museums and art galleries in the country is astounding. Even in the small towns and out-of-the-way fishing villages, you’ll encounter a public place dedicated to preserving the national heritage or displaying the local artists. It may be a structure in the center of town that the community has banded together to support, or it may be the house of a famous artist. The largest museums and galleries are, of course, in Reykjavik. Among the most visited are the Culture House, Einar Jonsson Museum, and the National Gallery. Though these are the major culture venues, you can find a museum or gallery to quench almost any interest, whether it’s Icelandic coins, traditional clothing, or metal working.
Deep down in the Tytyri Mine Museum in Finland, on the 110 level, you can see objects from times gone by as well as descriptions of the everyday life of the miners. The Craft Museum and National Costume Center of Finland is a specialized museum for Finnish handicrafts and industrial arts where materials and tools are available for getting to know handicraft techniques. The private collection of Gun and Military museum includes significant items from Finnish war history, especially from the Second World War. The large collection includes significant items from Finnish war history, especially from the Second World War. Old and new guns, war time items, literature and miniature models are displayed. The oldest weapons are from the 18th century.