Sweden // Stockholm //


It’s Skansen, a ten-minute walk south along Djurgårdsvägen from the Nordiska Muséet, that most people come to Djurgården for: a vast open-air museum with 150 reconstructed buildings, from a whole town square to windmills, farms and manor houses, laid out on a region-by-region basis. Each section boasts its own daily activities – including traditional handicrafts, games and displays – that anyone can join in. Best of the buildings are the warm and functional Sámi dwellings, and the craftsmen’s workshops in the old-town quarter. You can also potter around a zoo (containing Nordic animals such as brown bears, elk and reindeer, as well as non-native species like monkeys), and an aquarium with poisonous snakes and turtles. Partly because of the attention paid to accuracy, and partly due to the admirable lack of commercialization, Skansen manages to avoid the tackiness associated with similar ventures in other countries. Even the snack bars dole out traditional foods and in winter serve up great bowls of warming soup.

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