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A Getaway in the City Centre

View of boats at Skeppsholmen

Skeppsholmen is a small island in the centre of Stockholm that feels far from the busy city life. Instead, when you cross the bridge to Skeppsholmen you’ll find beautiful parks, boat yards, museums and art galleries.

Not only does this island have some of the best galleries in the city, it also has the best views around the city too. Now that I’m spending some free time in Stockholm, I’m getting the chance to enjoy all the places I always wanted to see while I was studying. So this week I went out to Skeppsholmen!

Outside the moderna museet

Moderna Museet is Stockholm’s contemporary and modern art gallery. It’s an expansive place where you can easily get lost for a day. There is a both a large permanent collection and some travelling exhibtions too. Some of my favourite pieces that I always come back for are the Salvador Dalí and Hilma af Klint paintings they have.

Gallery at Arkdes
The Main Gallery at Arkdes
Lewerentz Exhibition at Arkdes
Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life

In the same building, you’ll find Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, Arkdes. If you have any interest in architecture or want to get to know something about the history of Swedish cities, this should be your first place to go. In the main gallery is the story of Swedish architecture, where everything from pre-historic traces to the futuristic dreams are presented and teased out.

The current temporary exhibition in Arkdes is about the life and work of Sigurd Lewerentz, one of Sweden’s most famous architects. Even in architecture school in Ireland we always learned about Lewerentz’s work and so this exhibition was something that I was looking forward to for a while. It’s open until September, so anybody arriving in August might still get to see it before it closes!

Östasiatiska Museet
Sculpture Park
Sculpture Park

Just beside these galleries is the Östasiatiska Museet or the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in English. This museum is full of dark, moody rooms where you find ancient treasures from China, Japan and Korea. On three floors of exhibition space the strange spaces are built specially for the paintings, writings or art pieces they’re holding.

Just walking around Skeppsholmen is a treat in itself too. There are sculpture parks all along the streets and you can’t get better views around the city. Gamla Stan, Södermalm, Östermalm, Djurgården, the city is all around you. If you haven’t been to Stockholm before, this is a great place to start.

Me, I’ve been here a while now, but it’s still one of my favourite spots to come and have a walk around, a stroll through a gallery and coffee in the sun; to get out of the city for a day, right in the middle of it.

~ Declan