{Sweden} Göteborgs Stadsmuseum

April 25, 2016

Kids in Museums, Sweden

100 Museums Challenge: Museum No.20


Writing about the utterly amazing Världskulturmuseet I introduced to you in my last post is a hard act to follow, but I wanted to tell you about some of the other museums we visited in Göteborg. Since it was a family holiday, our museum choices were all strongly influenced by which museums sounded the most child friendly. I really like visiting city museums when I go to a new place for the first time, since it’s a great way to get an introduction and overview to the city in question, so I was delighted to discover that the Gothenburg City Museum – or Göteborgs Stadsmuseum – included a child centred gallery known as the Children’s Museum. We could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.


I knew that if we started at the Children’s Museum, we would stand little chance of seeing anything else, so we first headed to some of the other exhibitions, starting with Urbanum, which takes “a fresh look at the city” from its earliest beginnings to the present day. There were a couple of interactives included, such as facial recognition screen which merges your face with architectural elements to create new robot like faces – as you can see from the photo below, #MuseumBoy had an excessive amount of fun doing this! Urbanum runs until March 2021.


Next we headed to the permanent galleries showing life in Gothenburg in the 1700s and 1800s. There were a few room settings, old oil paintings, and the usual array of artefacts relating to everyday life in ‘the olden days’, from household and personal items, to weaving looms and ships models relating to work and trade. Again, there were a few interactive elements included for kids, such as a ‘find the animals hidden in the gallery’ challenge, and a little corner for dressing up.



And, of course, we had to go and see the Viking exhibit, which includes the remnants of an original Viking ship. In fact, despite the hour or so we subsequently spent in the Children’s Museum, when reflecting on our visit at the end of the day, #MuseumBoy said the Viking ship had been his favourite part of the museum. He was still talking about it days later!


After lunch, we headed to our main destination, the Children’s Museum. As a side note, the museum does have a cafe and restaurant, but you are free to bring your own food to the picnic area (and, as we later discovered, the Children’s Museum has an additional picnic area too, complete with microwave for warming up baby food). We felt a little underprepared with our sandwiches, as we watched Swedish family after family unpack their uber-sized picnic bags and dish up everything from spaghetti bolognese with cheese and salad, to pancakes with several toppings. We noticed this in other museums too, as the week went by, most of which seemed to have a picnic area including highchairs and microwaves.


Anyway, back to the Children’s Museum. After our experience at the Världskulturmuseet, which had done such a great job of integrating original artefacts in to the children’s gallery, the Children’s Museum at the Stadsmuseum seemed a bit disconnected from the collections. There were no artefacts at all on display, but I loved the look of the gallery, all of which was designed to look like a miniature city, and they did integrate some historical photographs in to the design. Overall, it was a really lovely space to just let the kids run free and have a good play. Especially as it was absolutely pouring with rain that day!


We all took our turn behind the counter of the cafe, serving each other cinnamon buns the size of our heads. #MuseumBaby developed quite an attachment to the plastic corn cob – there were a few tears when we eventually had to leave it behind. Some of the toy food used in the gallery was also in sale in the museum shop which, by the way, is right up there on my list of ‘best museum shops of 2016’. It was probably a good thing we didn’t have much space for souvenirs in our suitcases.


In the shadow of some building site cranes, there was endless enjoyment to be had playing in building blocks, or crawling in and out of spaces which looked like giant building blocks themselves.



Climbing the ‘skyscraper’ was one of #MuseumBoy’s favourite parts of the gallery!



#MuseumBaby’s favourite part was the slide – he can’t talk yet, but this is his way of telling us “catch me!” Though he’s a bit of a daredevil, and if you’re not quick enough he’ll just thrown himself recklessly down the slide anyway.


The replica of one of Gothenburg’s iconic blue trams was a hot commodity!

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On our way out of the museum, we stopped in another of the temporary exhibitions, which was all about Gothenburg’s music scene from 1955 until 2018 (the exhibition runs until January 2018). The “historic journey through popular music’s Gothenburg” presents both individual artists as well as groups, that have had a major impact on the city’s music scene. There is loads of film footage to watch and music to listen too. The boys both loved listening to some of the ‘juke boxes’ over big headphones, and also the dancing booth where you could watch demonstrations and copy the steps for different dance styles. And, once again, I really loved the design of this exhibition. How cool would it be to have space for a dining area like the one below!

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Göteborgs Stadsmuseum is open Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays). Exact opening times can be found on the museum website. Admission is free for under 25s, and it was only 40 SEK (just over 4 Euros) per adult, which actually gets you an annual pass valid not only here but also in four other museums in Gothenburg. Even if you’re just visiting on holiday and not making use of the annual pass for the rest of the year, that’s a fantastic deal! Especially as it included two other museums we wanted to see anyway. Whether you’re visiting with kids or without, Göteborgs Stadsmuseum definitely comes highly recommended!

Edit: I’m linking this post to the monthly #CulturedKids linky over at Nell Heshram’s The Pigeon Pair and Me. Each month, anyone can link up a post on her blog, about a culture related family experience they’ve written about. Additionally, Nell will be highlighting upcoming ‘not be be missed’ events or featuring other arts and culture bloggers. I’ve chosen this post, since this is where we were this time last year for our Easter holidays, and Gothenburg remains one of the best family destinations we’ve ever visited, due in part to it’s fantastic, family friendly museums! (07/04/2017)

the Pigeon Pair and Me
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11 Responses to “{Sweden} Göteborgs Stadsmuseum”

  1. Jonny (daisythebus) Says:

    This looks like a varied and richly engaging museum for adults and kids alike. How funny that your baby developed an attachment to the corn on the cob! (Ours sometimes did bizarre and funny things like that too). There is a fair chance that we’ll be in Gothenburg for a day later this year, so I’m definitely pinning this one for future use – thanks!! #CulturedKids


  2. Tots2Travel Says:

    Everything looks so modern, clean, informative and tempting. Thanks for the heads up. #culturedkids


  3. Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) Says:

    I loved your description of the organised Swedes, with their portable lunches! The Stadsmuseum sounds like a good day out,even if you were spoiled by the Världskulturmuseet. If the kids can roam and play, it ends up a much more relaxed visit….thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids!


  4. tots2travel Says:

    Looks so modern, engaging and interactive.


  5. Jenny (The Little Adventurer) Says:

    What a lovely looking museum – and so great that they have an area specifically for children. I also love the picnic areas that so many European museums seem to have – but I also need to up my picnic packing game!


  6. Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays Says:

    I think I would be tempted to have excessive amounts of fun with the interactive elements of the Urbanum and the junior CWs certainly would #CulturedKids



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