Djurgården, more properly Södra Djurgården, is a park island in the southern Östermalm borough in Stockholm. The island makes up much of the National City Park (Nationalstadsparken), and contains many museums and leisure venues, such as Skansen, the Vasa Museum and ABBA The Museum. It should not be confused with Norra Djurgården, a park in mainland Östermalm.
The Djurgården ("The Animal Garden") island has been royal property since centuries, and had been used as a zoological garden since the 16th century. The north-western edge of the island was a shipyard from the 18th century to the 1970s. In 1891, the Skansen open-air museum was founded, as the first of its kind. As the island hosted an exhibition in 1897, several other museums and pavilions were built. Many of them have been torn down; Nordiska Museet is the largest remainder of the exhibition.
While Djurgården contains several of Stockholm's most expensive private properties, most of the island is open to the public. Though the natural and cultural environment is protected by strict laws, developments are under way to meet the expectations of travellers.
Private cars are not allowed on Djurgården during summer.
- The tram line 7, called Spårväg City, runs from the Stockholm Central Station (Norrmalm) to Djurgården, providing a scenic way to travel with ease.
- Bus #67 from Solna, through Vasastan and Östermalm.
- The Djurgården ferry[dead link] (Djurgårdsfärjan) connects Djurgården with Slussen, the transit hub between Södermalm and Gamla Stan, and Skeppsholmen, an island just opposite, belonging to the district of Norrmalm.
- 1 Visit Djurgården. Weekdays 09:00-17:00. A visitor centre which sells transport tickets and provides information. Rental of bikes, canoes, and golf carts.
The Djurgården island contains Sweden's largest cluster of museums and venues, most of them on the western part of the island, within walking distance of each other.
- 1 Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet), Galärvarvsvägen 14, ☏ . Jun-Aug: daily 08:30-18:00, Sep-May: 10:00-17:00 (W 10:00-20:00). This museum displays the Vasa, an original warship built for the Thirty Years War which sank in Stockholm Harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628, during the heyday of the Swedish Empire. Salvaged in 1961, the ship is almost wholly preserved, and is the only one of its kind and quality in the world. A must-see, especially since it is uncertain whether current methods of preservation will be able to maintain her condition in years to come. There are adequate lifts to enable travellers with motion disabilities to see all levels of the ship. The museum contains several side exhibitions: skeletons found in the ship hulk with full-scale models of the people who died, as well as wooden sculptures, the world's oldest preserved sail, computer simulations of the disastrous voyage, and other salvaged objects.
- 2 Skansen, Main entrance from Djurgårdsvägen, ☏ . 1 May-20 Jun: daily 10:00-20:00, 21 Jun-31 Aug: 10:00-22:00, shorter hours the rest of the year, but always at least 10:00-15:00. Founded in 1891, Skansen is the world's oldest open-air museum, containing a zoological garden specializing in Nordic fauna, such as moose, reindeer, bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine. It features over 150 historic buildings from previous centuries, relocated from all parts of Sweden. Museum guides in historic costumes further enhance this attraction, and demonstrate domestic crafts such as weaving, spinning, and glass blowing. The Skansen area is fairly large (700 metres across) with steep slopes and limited public transport (there is a funicular and an escalator to the upper area) so be prepared for long walks. 1-2 hours would allow a walk around the area; to see everything up close, a full day is needed. Skansen is one of few venues open during Christmas Eve, though just a few hours, with most attractions closed.
- 3 Skansen-Akvariet. Displays tropical animals such as lemurs, monkeys, snakes, spiders, fish and Cuban crocodiles. The aquarium requires an extra cover charge.
- 4 Tobacco and Match Museum. Tobaks- och tändsticksmuseet, founded in 1938, with a restaurant named Gubbhyllan. Showcases the history of tobacco from a Swedish point of view, with prominent feature of snus, the smokeless tobacco typical to Sweden, as well as safety matches, one of Sweden's most successful inventions. Included with Skansen.
- 5 Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum), Djurgårdsvägen 6-16 (On Djurgården, next to Djurgården bridge. Bus 44, 69 and 76. Tram from Sergels Torg), ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00 year round; Sep-May: also W 10:00-20:00. A museum of cultural history from 1520 to our days, in an impressive 1907 cathedral-like building on Djurgården. Exhibitions focus on Swedish handicraft, customs and traditions.
- 6 Rosendal Palace (Rosendals slott). Though the beautiful and central location, this Royal palace is little known. Guided tours during summer.
- 8 Abba The Museum, Djurgårdsvägen 68, ☏ . Mid-Jan to May, Sep to mid-Dec: M Tu F-Su 10:00-18:00, W Th 10:00-20:00; Jun to Aug: daily 09:00-20:00; 10:00-18:00; mid-Dec to Dec 21: daily 10:00-18:00. A museum of the Swedish pop band ABBA: their spectacular costumes, gold records and original items. In the same building you’ll find Pop House Hotel with 49 stylishly decorated hotel rooms and Pop House Hotel Food & Bar. It has a gift shop.
- 9 Vikingaliv, Djurgårdsvägen 48. A Viking museum opened in 2017. The main attraction is Ragnfrids saga, an 11-minute ride through dioramas depicting a Viking adventure. The ride is a bit scary; children should be at least 7 years old, and accompanied by an adult. There is also an exhibition with replicas of Viking objects. Good for visitors who want a short introduction to the Vikings and are not bothered by the cover charge or the absence of genuine artifacts. See Vikings and the Old Norse for more real-life Viking experiences.
- 10 Spirits Museum (Spritmuseum), Djurgårdsvägen 38. Displays the history of alcoholic beverages in Sweden with heavy drinking, heavy government control, and heavy taxation. The museum also contains the Absolut Art Collection, containing advertising for Absolut Vodka by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and others.
- 11 Galärvarvskyrkogården (Galley Shipyard Cemetery). Contains the memorial of the M/S Estonia (a Baltic Sea cruise ferry lost in 1994), as well as graves of prominent Swedes such as Stikkan Anderson (co-founder of ABBA, and founder of the Polar Music Award).
- 12 Friends of Handicraft (Handarbetets Vänner), Djurgårdsslätten 82–84. A handicraft studio.
- 13 Walmundsö. An archaeological site of a Viking Age farm. Very little to see; just a few stones and burial mounds are visible.
- 14 Liljevalchs ([ˈliljəˈvalks]), Djurgårdsvägen 60. A contemporary art hall, in business since 1916.
- 15 Waldemarsudde ([valdəmaʂˈɵdə]), Prins Eugens Väg 6, ☏ . F-W 11:00-17:00, Th 11:00-20:00. Prince Eugen (1865-1947), son of King Oscar II, was a revered artistic painter, and an avid art collector. His palace is now a museum housing his enormous art collection spanning the 1880-1940 period.
- 16 Thiel Gallery (Thielska Galleriet), Sjötullsbacken 8. An art gallery at the eastern edge of Djurgården, reached by bus 67.
- 1 Gröna Lund ([grønaˈlɵnd]), Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9, ☏ . Open at least noon-23:00 most days June-August, shorter hours in May and early September. Djurgården has Stockholm's only amusement park, with more or less standard attractions and games. The restaurants in the park are expensive and generally far from a culinary experience. No rides are included in the entrance fee. Adults 80 kr (90 kr from mid-June to mid-August, 150 kr from 18:00 on concert nights), ages 0-7 and over 65 for free. Rides 20-60 kr with single tickets, day pass 289 kr.
- 2 Junibacken ([ˈjʉːniˈbakən]), Galärvarvsvägen, ☏ . Jan-May: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, June: daily 10:00-17:00, July: daily 09:00-18:00, 1-15 Aug daily 09:00-18:00, 16-31 Aug daily 10:00-17:00, Sep-Dec: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson-on-the-Roof and numerous other children's books, is by far Sweden's most popular writer of children's books. Located on the island Djurgården, like many other child-friendly attractions, Junibacken could be described as an indoor theme-park dedicated to the world of her (and a few other Swedish authors') stories. Story train is destination in itself here. The place also features several large playrooms; claims to have largest bookshop for kids in the country; has a restaurant. See Astrid Lindgren tourism for related destinations.
- 3 Cirkus. Among Stockholm's largest playhouses, with 1,650 seats. Features musicals and pop concerts.
- Mamma Mia! the Party, Tyrol, Lilla Allmänna Gränd 2 (bus number 67, or the Tram to the station Liljevalchs/Gröna Lund, or by ferry on the Djurgårds ferry from Slussen on Södermalm to Allmänna Gränd). A dinner, show and after-show party where you can sing and dance with the cast to the music of ABBA. The Greek taverna from the musical and its landlord, Nikos, have been recreated in Gröna Lund amusement park on Djurgården, near the ABBA Museum. Authentic three-course Mediterranean meal; vegetarian alternatives available by ordering ahead. Buy tickets online as it sells out weeks in advance. From 1355 kr.
Most museums have souvenir shops.
Hot-dog and ice-cream stands are ubiquitous around the tourist venues. The larger museums have cafés, and some of them have seats for camping food. There are plenty of good spots for picnics, and alcohol can be consumed at most places. Otherwise, dining in Djurgården can be overpriced.
- 1 Blå Porten [bloːˈpuʈən], Djurgårdsvägen 64, ☏ . M-F 11:00-23:00, Sa Su 11:00-19:00. Blå porten, hidden in the back yard of Liljevalchs konsthall, is the one exception. Delicious food in a lush garden makes the long queues worth it. The excellent cakes and pies also makes this a good choice for a coffee break.
- 2 Sjöcaféet, Galärvarvsvägen 2. In the same building as the visitor center, with indoor and outdoor seating.
- 3 Josefina, Galärvarvsvägen 10. An outdoor restaurant at Nordiska Museet.
- 4 Solliden, Berzeliigatan 14. On Skansen, with a classical Swedish smörgåsbord served in June, July and August, and an astounding view of the inner harbour.
- 5 Villa Godthem, Rosendalsvägen 9. A secluded restaurant.
- 6 Oaxen, Beckholmsvägen 26. One star in the 2014 edition of Guide Michelin.
- 7 Tyrol, Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9. A restaurant on Gröna Lund, which stages the Mamma Mia show during spring and autumn, and offers a Christmas buffet during December.
Some of the restaurants and hotels mentioned here, have a bar. Nightlife is busiest during summer.
Despite all the visitors, Djurgården has only three hotels.
- 1 Scandic Hasselbacken, Hazeliusbacken 20, ☏ , email@example.com. A classical hotel on Djurgården. Rates from 1277 kr.
- 2 Melody Hotel, Djurgårdsvägen 68, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. In the same building as the ABBA museum, opened in 2013. This hotel should not be confused with "the other ABBA Hotel": Hotel Rival in Södermalm. Rates from 1495 kr.
- 3 Prince Van Orangiën, Beckholmsvägen 26, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: Rates from 2000 kr. A 1935 hotel ship with just six rooms, and catering from the Oaxen restaurant.
As in other heavily touristed areas, beware of pickpocketing and aggressive birds.