For a relatively small city, Uppsala packs a punch when it comes to museums. This has a lot to do with the combination of being home to one of Europe’s top universities, which is itself home to a number of museums, and having a history that dates back to Viking times. Here are 10 of the best museums to seek out in Sweden’s fourth-largest city.
Museum of Evolution
The Museum of Evolution is all about natural history, with more than five million specimens in the collection. There are three sections to the museum: Botany, Palaeontology and Mineralogy and Zoology. Zoology is currently undergoing renovations, but should be reopened to the public in early 2018, and all three sections of the museum are open to both researchers and the general public.
Museum of Evolution, Norbyvägen 16, Uppsala, Sweden, +16 184712739
Dedicated to the famed Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus, who is possibly the best-known Swedish scientist of all time, this museum celebrates his work on naming all flora and fauna, and also his work as a zoologist, geologist, doctor and philosopher. This is a fascinating museum that exposes you to the man himself and also to the enormous impact his work had, and continues to have, on the world.
Linnaean Museum, Svartbäcksgatan 27, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18136540
Biotopia, also known as the Biological Museum, was entirely unique when it opened more than 100 years ago, in 1910. Showing animals in dioramas in their correct environments, the museum aimed to encourage curiosity and a desire to know more about animals and nature. The dioramas remain on show today, and the exhibitions, as well as the interactive elements, have continued to grow. It’s great fun for anyone interested in the natural world.
Biotopia, Vasagatan 4, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 187276370
Uppsala Art Museum
This museum offers Swedish and international contemporary art exhibitions, as well as programmes for schools, art classes for groups, tours and much more. It’s one of the best museums in Uppsala, particularly for art lovers, and there is always something happening here, no matter what your cultural needs.
The historical collections at Gustavianum are an important part of the cultural heritage that is preserved at Uppsala University, and the museum’s mission is to make the collections available both to university students and researchers, and to the public. It’s the oldest building in the esteemed university and is essentially the university museum.
Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 184717571
The purpose of this museum is to highlight the cultural heritage and history of Uppland county. The museum is continually expanding its knowledge base in the form of scientific research, surveys and inventories, and houses collections that include photographs, texts and various other objects. If you want to know more about Uppsala and the surrounding region, this is the place for you.
Upplandsmuseet, S:t Eriks torg 10, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18169100
Gamla Uppsala Museum
Gamla Uppsala, also known as Old Uppsala, is one of Sweden’s most important historical sites, and the Old Uppsala Museum is the perfect starting place to discover more, particularly if Vikings are your thing.
Gamla Uppsala Museum, Disavägen, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18239301
House of Peace
The House of Peace (Fredens hus) features numerous exhibitions that focus on human-rights issues and various other challenges we face today, from problems that impact world stability to issues such as racism and bullying. It’s all done in an effort to promote dialogue, reflection and engagement. While many Swedes who are known for their humanitarian efforts, such as Dag Hammarsjköld and Raoul Wallenberg, are highlighted, there are educational programmes and materials that speak to a wide audience.
Uppsala University Coin Cabinet
With a collection that dates back to the 17th century, the Uppsala University Coin Cabinet is not only one of Sweden’s finest coin and medal collections, it’s also one of the few university coin cabinets in the world. The collection is made up of nearly 40,000 objects, and includes a number of extremely rare coins and medals.
This 16th-century castle has played a major role in the history of Sweden and was once the administrative centre of Uppland and the Hall of State for many years. It was also the residence of the country governor of Uppsala County, and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, spent his childhood here. The castle offers guided tours that focus on art, history and architecture and is a wonderful look at the history of the region, both recent and further in the past.
Uppsala Castle, Slottet, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 187272482
The Cathedral Museum
Uppsala Cathedral dates back to the 13th century, and in its treasury you will find artefacts dating from that period right through to those from modern times. One of the finest items on display is Queen Margareta’s golden dress, the only preserved evening gown from the middle ages in the world, and the Sture Clothes, which are the only complete collection of menswear from the Renaissance.
The Cathedral Museum, Domkyrkoplan, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 184303500