With its more then 70 museums, the Royal Opera and Ballet, 57 theatres, two dance theatres, 96 cinemas, several concert halls, 66 churches and 129 art galleries Stockholm is generally considered to be the cultural capital of Scandinavia. Indeed Stockholm’s subway system has been hailed as “the world’s longest art gallery”.
Read about current events on the Stockholm Visitors Board's web page:
Culture in Stockholm is funded by the City, by the state and by private institutions and individuals. The Culture Specialist Committee/Culture administration is responsible for supporting the Museum of the City of Stockholm, the Medieval Museum, Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm’s City Library), Kulturskolan (The Culture School), Kulturhuset (The Culture Centre), Liljevalchs Konsthall (Liljevalch Art Gallery Museum) and Konstkansliet (The Stockholm City Arts Council) as well as free cultural activities within the city and venues for non-profit organisations.
Read more on the Culture Administration's web page:
The State and the County of Stockholm also support the Opera House, The Royal Dramatic Theatre, Dansens hus, The National Museum, The Modern Museum and the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Kulturhuset opened in 1974 during a period of enthusiasm for tearing down old buildings and replacing them with concrete-and-glass constructions. It houses shops, internet cafés, a library devoted to comics and graphic novels, and performance spaces with a packed calendar of exhibitions, dance, theatre, and films. Three million visitors pass through here annually.
The Modern Museum, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, is on Skeppsholmen island and displays works by Picasso, Munch, Warhol, Tinguely, Pollock, and De Chirico, as well as major temporary exhibitions.
Perhaps not Europe's most beautiful palace, the Royal Palace, official home of King Carl XVI, is however one of the largest and was inspired by Versailles. Located in Gamla Stan it is noted for its perfectly preserved theatre dating from 1766, Chinese pavilions, and gardens in English and baroque styles. Closed Mondays September to May and most of January.
No trip to Stockholm would be complete without a visit to the Vasa Museum, which is Scandinavia's most visited museum, and houses the warship Vasa - the only intact 17th century ship in the world. Surrounding the ship are several permanent exhibitions, cinemas, a shop and a restaurant.
Fans of 20th-century Swedish architecture shouldn't miss the Stadsbiblioteket in Vasastan, the city's main library. Designed by Gunnar Asplund and completed in 1928, it is a perfect example of Nordic Classicism.
The National Museum stands in a beautiful location, just across the water from Old Town. The collection includes works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Picasso, as well as one of the world's greatest collections of 18th-century French art. The permanent display, Design 1900–2000, gives you a great overview of twentieth century Scandinavian design.
If you have kids Skansen, the world's first open-air museum, is a must. It features historic Swedish houses (dismantled and then reassembled on site) with museum employees in period costume. There's also a zoo with typical Scandinavian animals, as well as various cafés and restaurants.