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.
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
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
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.
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
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