Stockholm’s answer to the Tate Modern and New York’s MoMA, Moderna Museet houses a world-class collection of modern art. Its spacious galleries are devoted to artistic endeavours from 1900 to the present day, with works by stellar names such as Dalì, Warhol and Picasso.
Located out in leafy Skeppsholmen, Moderna Museet is deceptively big. It’s well worth devoting a few hours of your time to fully explore the galleries. The excellent Architecture and Design Centre is also located in the same building, and there’s a sculpture park outside.
The most obvious place to start exploring is the museum’s permanent collection, just left of the main entrance. Natural light floods into the galleries here, and tall windows along the back walls provide views over to Djurgården and the Vasa Museum.
Among the highlights of the collection is Apollo, one of the last-ever works by Henri Matisse. Almost symmetrical and formed collage-like from pieces of coloured paper, it depicts the sun god’s face framed by tall columns.
Elsewhere, paintings, collages and sculptures show the development of art over the past 11 decades, from early modernism through to cubism, pop art and expressionism. In the galleries one floor below, temporary exhibitions feature everything from surrealist works to cinema-style video installations – often by Nordic artists.
If design is your thing, be sure not to miss visit the Architecture and Design Centre. Its huge, hangar-like main gallery regularly hosts new exhibitions (when we last visited, the theme was bicycle design).
In the smaller hall next door, an information-packed permanent exhibition looks at the role of architecture in Sweden from 2600 BC to the present day. Annotated scale models show how international influences have gradually changed the appearance of Swedish towns throughout the centuries.
If the sun is shining you can make the most of Moderna Museet’s (free) outdoor sculpture collection. More than a dozen sculptures are dotted around Skeppsholmen, most of them close to the museum itself. You can pick up a free map and guide from inside the museum’s foyer.
Worked up an appetite? Moderna Museet has a panoramic restaurant, plus an espresso bar and an excellent café with its own relaxed garden area.
Free (includes entry to the main collection and the Architecture and Design Centre).
The nearest T-bana station is Kungsträdgården. From there it’s a pleasant 1km walk southeast to the museum, crossing the Skeppsholms bridge along the way. If you’d rather not walk, take bus 65 from Vasagatan (outside Central Station) to Moderna Museet. It stops near the entrance.
+46 852 023 503
Tues–Sun 10am–6pm (until 8pm on Tues & Fri)
The museum was smaller than I expected, but still very worthwhile. Use the free wifi network to download the museum’s informative audioguide app to your phone; dozens of images, texts and short soundfiles to browse while at the the museum or later. The Djurgarden ferry from Slussen is a very nice way to arrive; it stops off 500m from the museum, SL cards valid. The whole Skeppsholmen island has free wifi hotspots with audioguide texts, see the map at the ferry landing. Another handy tip: this museum makes a great last-day stop; it has free lockers that fit large bags… Read more »