The warm, settled weather continued as we begun the day by wandering down to the metro station. From there we boarded a train to Kungsgården at the end of the Blue Line taking only 10 minutes. We strolled along the waterfront and across the Skeppsholmen bridge admiring its gilded crowns and stunning views.
After a short distance we came across ta sign for a toy museum that appeared to be built into the rock, so we went along to investigate. The Bergrummet Toy Museum adult entrance SEK 140 (£12.10) is located in an historical torpedo factory built underground. I’m always interested to seek out toy museums and this one in Stockholm contains a vast collection of toys and comics. A narrow, winding path through the cave takes visitors of all ages on a journey of sheer delight.
The Bergrummet museum has only been open for one year and its toy collection was previously located in Tidö Castle, 70 km from Stockholm. After 43 years there, it was decided to move the collection to Stockholm to enable more people to visit and share the nostalgia. The collection contains toys from the 15th century up until those we recognise today and consists of 40,000 objects that have been collected by the Von Schinkel family.
Those of you who are regular followers of my blog will already know of my love for toys and dolls and this museum which is the largest of its kind in Scandinavia is absolutely enchanting. What can be more exciting and playful than exhibiting toys in underground tunnels? The toys are imaginatively displayed with a life size car sliced in half and filled with hundreds of small toy cars.
Around another corner we found a model of a fairground carousel which bursts into life every few minutes with actions, lights and music. My husband took much pleasure in pointing out boxes of Meccano similar to those he spent many hours constructing objects with as a child.
We felt very nostalgic exploring the vast collection of teddy bears, action figures, dolls, cars and toys and its unique underground cavern setting is a joy for everyone who is young at heart. Near the exit there is a gift shop and a cafe where a variety of board games can be borrowed including Chess, Snakes and Ladders and Ludo. Just outside the entrance door are two toy cars and I couldn’t resist having a little ride before leaving this lovely, fun filled museum.
Continuing our walk around Skeppsholmen, a little further on we came to ArkDes, Sweden’s National Centre for Art and Design. As admission is free we decided to pop in for a little look around. One of the permanent exhibitions on architecture in Sweden was thought provoking as it examined why Swedish buildings look as they do. Illustrated through exhibits we were able to view construction techniques used in Sweden over the last 1,000 years. A further gallery contained architectural scale replicas of historical buildings made from wood which was interesting as they included the City Hall and Royal Palace which we had already visited and were now familiar with.
We then passed through some large glass doors and were surprised to find ourselves in the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art) which has an inter-connecting door to ArkDes. A quick look around the permanent exhibition followed which is free of charge.
It was then time for some lunch and some shopping so we headed along to Hamngatan to the flagship store of NK (Nordiska Kompaniet) which opened in 1915. This luxury department store has a beautiful central atrium with access to all six floors. I started looking at fashion and then turned my attention to Scandinavian design as I like the Nordic shades of grey and blue and the simple lines.
Before returning to our apartment we decided to view some of the artwork in Stockholm’s metro stations. Almost 90 % of the 100 stations on the 110 km network have some sort of art installation and the metro has sometimes been referred to as the world’s longest art gallery. Stations have been decorated with paintings, mosaics and even sculptures by 150 artists since the 1950’s making it one of the most unusual and beautiful underground networks. Several of the best stations are on the blue line which we have been using each day since arriving in the city so we sought out the key platforms.
We started our tour at Kungsträdgården where the station artwork has been designed around what is above ground with colours depicting the old French garden above. Hopping on the metro one station took us to T-Centralen which is Stockholm’s busiest station. The metro art here is also on its blue line where we admired walls hewn out of bedrock covered in blue leaves.
Re-joining the metro we continued to the station near our accommodation at Solna Centrum which is also listed as being one of the most beautiful stations on the network. The exposed bedrock is painted in a vivid shade of red and contains an enormous mural along the entire length of the station depicting forests, nature and the environment.
During the summer, free guided tours take place each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon visiting several metro stations. We had considered taking one of these tours ourselves but thought we had covered most of the stations already. Visitors just need to have a valid ticket for travel on that day, more details can be found on the SL travel website.
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