The world's first open-air museum (it opened in 1891), Skansen was the brainchild of scholar and folklorist Arthur Hazelius, who thought it would be a good idea to gather a little bit of every Swedish region in one place. To that end he moved more than 150 reconstructed dwellings here, which are today scattered over some 30 hectares (74 acres) of parkland. Most date from the 18th and 19th centuries, and include windmills, manor houses, blacksmith shops -- even a complete town quarter that was meticulously rebuilt. Folk costumes, culinary customs, animals, houses, workshops—nothing was too insignificant for this intellectual hoarder. He knew what he was doing, though, so the quality of the stuff is high. It's kept alive by today's staff, who reenact the life and craftmaking of yore. The Solliden stage at the museum is the outdoor venue for Sweden's most popular summertime sing-along, "Allsång på Skansen," which regularly draws around two million viewers. If you manage to get tickets to this Tuesday event, you will be treated to a rare glimpse into the modern Swedish soul.
- Frommer's Staff