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Sights in Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is the capital city of Poland and is a very old and historic city that has several palaces, parks, museums, galleries, and Jewish monuments to the Warsaw rising and ghetto that are worth exploring and visiting.

  • Royal Castle—a large brick castle that served as a royal residence and housed Russian tsars before becoming the residence of the president in 1918 after Poland regained independence and includes period furniture and artwork, the Great Apartment and Great Assembly Hall with a large ceiling painting entitled The Disentanglement of Chaos, the National Hall with six large canvas paintings that depict important scenes from Polish history, and the Throne Room with sumptuous décor and 23 paintings by Bernardo Bellotto; Plac Zamkowy 4
  • Archikatedra Sw. Jana (Cathedral of St. John)—a cathedral built at the turn of the 14th century where coronations of Polish kings took place until the 18th century and where crypts containing the tombs of the last two princes of Mazovia, archbishops of Warsaw, and Polish luminaries such as 19th century novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz; Swietojanska 8
  • Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (Warsaw University Library)—a library completed in 1999 with cafes and shops on the ground floor, a roof with views of the city and the library’s interior, and a beautiful rooftop garden with brooks, paths, lawns, and benches; Dobra 56/66
  • Centrum Nauki Kopernik (Copernicus Science Center)—a science museum with interactive displays that explore various scientific disciplines such as biology, optics, and astrophysics, labs, shows, and a planetarium; Wybrzeze Kosciuszkowskie 20
  • Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski (Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle)—a castle dating back to the 18th century and reconstructed in the 1980s that hosts temporary exhibitions by Polish and international artists and has the most comprehensive permanent collection of Polish contemporary art in the country as well as an outdoor cinema, cafeteria, bookshop, and restaurant; ul. Jazdow 2
  • Galeria Zacheta (Zacheta Gallery)—an art gallery that has special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in its high-ceilinged bright halls; pl. Malachowskiego 3
  • Jewish Cemetery—a cemetery that is gradually being restored after surviving World War II that features the headstones of the creator of Esperanto, the co-founder of Warsaw Polytechnic, and the minister of the treasury during the 1864 uprising against Russian rule; Okopowa 49-51
  • Jewish Historical Institute—an institute that provides genealogical information on archival resources and the history of towns and villages where Polish Jews lived and has a museum that has a permanent collection of mementos and artifacts; Tlomackie 3/5
  • Muzeum Chopina (Ostrogski Palace)—the Chopin museum which occupies the 17th century Palac Ostrogskich that features an interactive modern display of mementos such as the last piano played by Chopin and piano recitals and lessons for children; Okolnik 1
  • Muzeum Ethnograficzne (Ethnographic Museum)—a museum with a collection of Polish folk art, crafts, and costumes from throughout Poland and ethnographic collections from around the world; Kredytowa 1
  • Muzeum Narodowe (National Museum of Warsaw)—a museum with a large collection of contemporary Polish and European paintings, Gothic icons, and antiques; al. Jerozolimskie 3
  • Muzeum Wojska Polskiego (Polish Army Museum)—a museum with exhibits of weapons, armor, and uniforms that illustrate Polish military history for the past ten centuries; al. Jerozolimskie 3
  • Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews—an innovatively designed museum that has a permanent exhibition featuring evidence from people of different eras who tell their stories, permanent and temporary exhibitions, a play-education area for children, a café, bookshop, information center, and auditorium; Mordechaja Anielewicza 6
  • Palac Czapskich (Czapski Palace)—a palace dating back to the 17th century that is now the home of the Academy of Fine Arts and was formerly the birthplace of Zygmunt Krasinski, a Polish romantic poet, and residence of Chopin in the palace mews; Krakowskie Przedmiescie 5
  • Palac Kultury I Nauki (Palace of Culture and Science)—Warsaw’s main landmark that has been a national monument since 2007 with a panoramic view of the city from the 30th floor, a swimming pool, the Museum of Science and Technology with a vintage display, and several species of animals including cats, peregrine falcons, and beehives; pl. Defilad 1
  • Palac Wilanow (Wilanow Palace)—a palace built between 1681 and 1696 by King Jan III Sobieski with a Baroque gateway and fake moat and bought at the end of the 18th century by Stanislaw Kostka Potocki who had an impressive art collection there, laid out the gardens, and opened a public museum in 1805; inside the palace there is still a lot of the original furniture and a display of 16th to 18th century Polish portraits on the first floor and outside the palace is a scenic park with pagodas, summer houses, bridges, a lake, a formal Italian garden, and a gallery of contemporary Polish art; Stanislaw Kostki-Potockiego 10/16
  • Palac Lazienkowski (Lazienki Palace)—a grand palace that is the highlight of the Park Lazienkowski with 18th century furniture and part of the art collection of King Slainslaw August Poniatowski; Agrykola 1
  • Pomnik Bohaterow Getta (Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto)—a monument dedicated to the Jewish resistance from the Warsaw ghetto, a ghetto that was razed by Nazi flamethrowers, that now marks the location of the house where the command bunker was situated; al. Zamenhofa
  • Umschlagplatz—a plaza where the rail line was that transported tens of thousands of the Warsaw ghetto’s residents to the death camp of Treblinka, 60 miles northeast of Warsaw, with a memorial gateway built in 1988 on the 45th anniversary of the Jewish resistance; Stawki at al.
  • Warsaw Rising Museum—a great museum that depicts the 1944 Rising through interactive displays such as a life-size plane, cobblestone streets, reconstructed sewers, objects, photographs, video footage, and audio recordings; Grzybowska 79

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sights in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and has a large variety of museums, churches, synagogues, and art galleries to walk through and explore.

  • Abba The Museum—a museum dedicated to Swedish pop sensations ABBA that has exhibits that highlight the band’s history from its beginnings to its breakup and enduring legacy with unique outfits worn during performances and original memorabilia along with interactive stations to sing, dance like an ABBA avatar, or perform on stage; Djurgardsv. 68
  • Fotografiska—a contemporary photography gallery in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Sodermalm waterfront with fine art photography by artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Anton Corbijn; Stadgardshammen 22
  • Grona Lund Tivoli—an amusement park with intense rides, gardens, arcades, and restaurants with the Power Tower, one of Europe’s tallest free-fall amusement park rides; Lilla Allmanna Grand 9
  • Historiska Museet (The Swedish History Museum)—a historical museum with Viking treasures and a gold room as well as other exhibitions that provide an overview of Sweden’s history; Narvav 13-17
  • Junibacken—a storybook park with a storybook house that resembles the house that Pippi Longstocking, the beloved children’s book character created by Astrid Lingren; Galarvarsv 8
  • Kungliga Slottet—a castle built on the ruins of Tre Kronor castle which burned down in 1697 with highlights including the Versailles-inspired Karl XVI Gallery and Queen Kristina’s silver throne in the Hall of State and 608 other rooms making it the world’s largest royal castle still used for its original purpose; Slottsbacken
  • Vasamuseet—the custom-designed home of the warship Vasa that sank soon after embarking on its maiden voyage in 1628 with most of the passengers aboard and was raised in 1961, reassembled, and restored with an entrance level that has a model of the ship and a theater showing a film that covers topics not seen in the exhibitions and four other levels of exhibits with salvaged artifacts, information about life on the ship, naval warfare, sculptures, and temporary exhibitions; Galarvarsvagen 14
  • Skansen—the world’s first open-air museum founded in 1891 by Arthur Hazelius to show how Swedes once lived with 150 traditional homes and exhibits including a glass-blowers’ cottage; the Nordic Zoo with elk, reindeer, brown bears, wolves, and native wildlife; staff in period costumes; a functional bakery; a bank and post office; a machine shop; botanical gardens; and Hazelius’s mansion with restaurants, cafes, and hot-dog stands throughout the park; Djugardsvagen
  • Moderna Museet—a modern art museum with a permanent collection that has paintings, sculptures, photography, video art, and installations by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Damien Hirst, Scandinavian and Russian artists, temporary exhibits, viewing rooms, children’s workshops, and hands-on events; Exercisplan 4
  • Millesgarden—the former home and studio of sculptor Carl Milles that includes a modern art gallery with rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, an outdoor sculpture garden, a museum shop, and a café; Herserudsvagen 32
  • Spritmuseum—the Museum of Spirits that is dedicated to the country’s relationship with alcohol and covers the history, manufacturing, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in addition to traditions, drinking songs, and food combinations; Djugardsvagen 38
  • Thielska Galleriet—an art gallery with a collection of works by late-19th-century and early 20th century Scandinavian artists such as Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, Ernst Josephson, and Bruno Lilijefors; Sjotullsbacken 8
  • Nordiska Museet—Sweden’s largest cultural history museum and one of its largest indoor spaces situated within a Renaissance-style castle with a collection featuring Sami objects, clothing, table settings, and the world’s largest collection of paintings by August Strindberg; Djugardsvagen 6-16
  • Medeltidsmuseet—a family-friendly museum built upon foundations from 1530 that provides visitors with the opportunity to explore reconstructions of typical homes, markets, and workshops from medieval Stockholm with hands-on and multimedia exhibits such as a 1520s-era ship, a display about Gallows Hill, and a gated tunnel; Stromparteren
  • Royal Armoury—this armory in the cellar vaults of Sweden’s palace has memorabilia from royal childhoods, coronations, weddings, and murders as well as coronation coaches and temporary exhibitions; Slottsbacken 3
  • Riddarholmskyran—a beautiful church built by Franciscan monks in the late 13th century that has served as the royal necropolis since the burial of Magnus Ladulas in 1290 and is home to the armor of the Seraphim knightly order with wall plates displaying the coats of arms of the knights; Riddarholmen
  • Nobelmuseet—a museum that provides an overview of the history of the Nobel Prizes and their recipients through displays, films, video interviews, and café chairs signed by the visiting prize recipients; Stortorget
  • Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde—a palace that belonged to Prins Eugen, a painter and prince, that includes a gallery of pieces by Eugen himself, Nordic paintings and sculptures by artists such as Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, and temporary exhibitions with the palace surrounded by gardens and a 1780s windmill; Prins Eugens vag 6
  • Medelhavsmuseet—an elegant museum with Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts and a gold room with a 4th century BC olive wreath made of gold as well as mummies and a café; Fredsgatan 2
  • Skogskyrkogarden (Woodland Cemetery)—a scenic graveyard designed by famed designers Gunnar Asplund and Sigrid Lewerentz that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and known for its functionalist buildings with Greta Garbo’s grave located within; Sockenvagen
  • Ekoparken (Royal National City Park)—the world’s first national urban park established in 1995 that stretches throughout Stockholm and into the suburbs of Solna and Lidingo and features rare plant and animal species with some that live nowhere else in Sweden
  • Kulturhuset—an arts center with galleries, workshops, a cinema, three restaurants, and libraries with international periodicals, newspapers, books, and graphic novels in a variety of languages as well as the City Theatre and Stockholm’s main visitor center; Sergels Torg
  • Hallwylska Museet—a palace completed in 1898 that was once home to an obsessive collector, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, who amassed a collection of kitchen utensils, Chinese pottery, 17th century paintings, silverware, and sculptures; Hamngatan 4
  • Ethnografiska Museet—a museum with displays on aspects of non-European cultures including temporary exhibitions and live performances with past exhibitions focusing on Afghan culture, gender norms in different cultures, and voodoo; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 34
  • Bonniers Konsthall—an art gallery with international contemporary art, a reading room, a café, art seminars, and artist conversation sessions; Torsgatan 19
  • Aquaria Vattenmuseum—this aquarium is dedicated to ecology and marine environmental issues and has seahorses, sharks, piranhas, and clownfish; Falkenbergsgatan 2
  • Nationalmuseum—Sweden’s largest art museum which is home to the country’s collection of painting, sculpture, drawings, decorative arts, and graphics from the Middle Ages to the present; Sodra Blasieholmshamnen
  • Tantolunden—one of Stockholm’s most extensive parks with an outdoor gym, play area, and walking paths; Zinkens Vag
  • Tekniska Museet—a technology-oriented museum with interactive science and technology exhibits, a room with kinetic experiments and stations to test balance, flexibility, and strength, a mining exhibit, a model railroad, inventions by women, and a climate-change game; Museivagen 7
  • Armemuseum—a museum dedicated to the drama of warfare with three floors of exhibitions featuring art, weaponry, and life-size reconstructions of horsemen, barracks, and starving civilians; Riddargatan 13
  • Wetterling Gallery—a gallery space with contemporary and multimedia art exhibitions; Kungstradgarden 3
  • Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet—a natural history museum founded in 1739 with interactive activities such as crawling through a human ear, sitting through forest fires, and mosquito chambers as well as displays of fossils, rocks, stuffed wildlife, marine life, and polar plants; Frescativagen 40
  • Sparvagsmuseet—a transport museum with 40 vehicles including antique horse-drawn carriages, vintage trams and busses, and a tunnelbana carriage; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Storkyrkan—Stockholm’s oldest building which was consecrated in 1306 and its cathedral with a Baroque exterior and a Gothic-Baroque interior with royal-box pews designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and a sculpture by German sculptor Berndt Notke entitled George and the Dragon; Trangsund 1
  • Dansmuseet—the Rolf de Mare Dance Museum that features traditional dance masks from Africa, India, and Tibet; stylish costumes from the Russian ballet; Chinese and Japanese theatre puppets; and a renowned collection of early 20th century Ballets Russes costumes; Drottninggatan 17
  • ArkDes—a museum next to Moderna Museet situated within a converted navy drill hall that focuses on architecture and design with a permanent exhibition that spans 1000 years of Swedish architecture and has an archive of 2.5 million documents, photographs, plans, drawings, and models; Exercisplan 4
  • Ostasiatiska Museet—a museum dedicated to Asian decorative arts with one of the world’s best collections of Chinese stoneware and porcelain from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties and the largest and oldest Asian library in Scandinavia; Tyghusplan
  • Strindbergsmuseet—the preserved apartment of writer and painter August Strindberg who lived in the residence for the last four years of his life with his closet, study, library with 3000 volumes, dining room, and temporary exhibits; Drottninggatan 85
  • Ulriksdals Slott—the 17th century palace home to King Gustaf VI Adolf and his family until 1973 and now has royal apartments including a drawing room, stables with Queen Kristina’s 17th century coronation carriage, and the orangery with Swedish sculptures and Mediterranean plants; Slottsallen
  • Kaknastornet—a 155-meter-tall building that houses the radio and TV broadcasting stations for the country and has a gift shop, visitor center, observation deck, restaurant, and café with views of the city and archipelago; Morka Kroken 28-30
  • Bergianska Tradgarden—a botanical garden that borders the university on one side and Brunnsviken lake on the other with rare Swedish plants, a café in the Orangeriet, and a greenhouse named after the water lily; Gustafsborgsvagen 4
  • Riddarhuset—a 17th century building situated between the Royal Palace and government buildings on the island of Riddarholm that acts as a shrine to the once powerful Swedish nobility; Riddarhustorget 10
  • Rosendals Slott—a palace that was once home to Karl XIV Johan in the 1820s and has luxurious furniture and an outdoor organic café set within gardens and greenhouses; Rosendalsvagen 49
  • Fjarilshuset—Haga Ocean—a butterfly house within a tropical environment with flying birds and butterflies, fish, and a large shark aquarium as well as temporary exhibits; Hagaparken
  • Cosmonova—a planetarium, IMAX, and 3D theater with themes such as mummies, dinosaurs, and prehistoric sea monsters; Frescativagen 40
  • Leksaksmuseet—a toy museum with all sorts of toys on display including model trains, airplanes, toy soldiers, toy robots, Barbie dolls, and stuffed animals; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Postmuseum—a postal museum that covers almost 400 years of Swedish postal history with old mail carriages, postcards, and a children’s post office; Lilla Nygatan 6
  • Swedish Museum of Performing Arts—a dramatic arts museum with an expansive collection of set designs, costumes, and musical instruments; Sibyllegatan 2
  • Kungliga Myntkabinettet—the national museum of economy with treasures such as Viking silver, the world’s oldest coin (from 625 BC), the world’s largest coin (a copper plate weighing 19.7 kilograms), and the first banknote (issued in 1661); Slottsbacken 6
  • Sjohistoriska Museet—a museum with over 1500 mini boats, exhibits that delve into Swedish shipbuilding and life on deck, and children’s activities; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 24
  • Tobaks and Tandsticksmuseum—a museum that explores the history and culture of smoking and the manufacturing of Swedish matches
  • Skansen Akvariet—an aquarium with piranhas, lemurs, and pygmy marmosets (the smallest monkeys in the world)
  • Konstakademien—the Royal Academy of Fine Arts which is an art gallery with several annual exhibitions; Fredsgatan 2

Sights in Oslo, Norway

Oslo has a rich maritime and cultural history and is particularly known for its Viking heritage. It has interesting museums and cultural attractions to explore with a sampling of these sights below.

  • Ekebergparken—a public park that looks out over the city and Oslofjord with artwork from the collection of art collector and developer Christian Ringnes with pieces by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abramovic, Jenny Holzer, and Tony Oursler; Kongsveien 23
  • Astrup Fearnley Museet—a private contemporary art museum designed by Renzo Piano with a glass sail-like roof and a collection including works by Jeff Koons, Tom Sachs, Cindy Sherman, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer, and Damien Hirst with the most famous piece being Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles; Strandpromenaden 2
  • Ibsen Museet—a house-museum with Henrik Ibsen’s former apartment that was his final residence featuring his study in the condition he left it and the bedroom where he said his last words; Henrik Ibsens Gate 26
  • Nasjonalgalleriet—an art gallery with the country’s largest collection of traditional and modern art with works by Edvard Munch including The Scream, European art by artists such as Gauguin and El Greco, and 19th century Norwegian artists such as JC Dahl and Christian Krohg; Universitetsgata 13
  • Vigelandsanlegget—an outdoor showcase of work by Norway’s beloved sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, with 212 granite and bronze pieces depicting lovers, elderly couples, crying babies, and beggars; Nobels Gate 32
  • Akerhus Festning—a fortress on the eastern side of the harbor built in 1299 to protect Oslo from outside threats and over the years it has been enlarged, modified, and tightened up its defenses and now includes a medieval castle, a fortress, and other buildings including active military installations
  • Rod Bianco—a gallery featuring boundary-pushing artwork from Norwegian and international contemporary artists; Waldemar Thranes Gate 84c
  • Vikingshipshuset—a museum with nicely restored Viking ships discovered in Oslofjord in the late 19th century with three ships displayed with few artifacts remaining; Huk Aveny 35
  • Polarship Fram Museum—a museum dedicated to an iconic ship from polar exploration, the 39-meter Fram, where visitors can explore the decks, bunk rooms, and exhibits with artifacts, maps, and pictures; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Munchmuseet—a museum dedicated to Edvard Munch with the largest collection of his work in the world including 28,000 items such as 1,100 paintings and 4,500 watercolors; Toyengata 53
  • Henie-Onstad Art Centre—a private art museum that has works by Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso; impressionist, abstract, expressionist, and contemporary Norwegian pieces; and the largest collection of Kurt Schwitters’ work made while he lived in Norway during World War II; Hovikodden
  • Norsk Folkemuseum—Norway’s largest outdoor museum with over 140 buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries gathered from around the country, rebuilt, and organized according to regional origin; farm animals; horse and cart rides; an Old Town section with a reproduction of an early 20th century Norwegian town with a village shop and old gas station; and an exhibition hall with comprehensive displays on Norwegian folk art, historic toys, national costumes, domestic and farming tools and appliances, and visiting exhibits and information on the life and culture of the Sami; Museumsveien 10
  • Royal Palace—the Norwegian royal family’s residence built for the French king Karl Johan that was not continuously occupied until King Haakon VII and Queen Maud assumed rule in 1905 and has been modernized by the current king, King Harald V; Slottsparken 1
  • Historisk Museum—three museums altogether that includes the National Antiquities Collection which has displays of Viking-era coins, jewelry, and ornaments; the only complete Viking helmet; the 9th century Hoen treasure which is the largest find in Scandinavia; and a section on medieval religious art; an Arctic exhibit; a collection of ancient Norwegian coins; and the Ethnographic Museum with rotating exhibits on Asia, Africa, and the Americas; Frederiks gate 2
  • Vigeland Museum—a museum which was built by Oslo in the 1920s as a home and studio for Gustav Vigeland in exchange for the donation of much of his work and contains statuary and monuments to public figures as well as plaster molds, woodblock prints, and sketches; Nobelsgata 32
  • Nobels Fredssenter (Nobel Peace Center)—this museum is dedicated to winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and has digital displays providing information on the lives and accomplishments of the winners, changing exhibitions on aspects of the prize and its winners, a theater that shows films on the history of the prize and its winners, and a gift shop; Radhusplassen 1
  • Oslo Cathedral—a cathedral dating back to 1697 with elaborate stained-glass windows by Emanuel Vigeland and a painted ceiling completed between 1936 and 1950 as well as a large altarpiece that is a 1748 model of The Last Supper and the Crucifixion; Stortovet 1
  • Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park—a sculpture park designed by Renzo Piano that features international contemporary art by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Ugo Rondinone, Franz West, and Ellsworth Kelly; Tjuvholmen
  • Norwegian Resistance Museum—a museum that is adjacent to a memorial for resistance fighters executed during World War II and focuses on German occupation in Norway with artifacts including underground newspapers, maps, photographs, and a wired set of dentures to receive radio broadcasts
  • Natural History Museum—a museum with a zoological collection that is filled with stuffed native wildlife, the geological-paleontological collection, and greenhouses; Sars gate 1
  • Botanical Garden—the oldest botanical garden in Norway with a scenic arboretum, a scent garden, a mountain landscape, and specimens from the Oslo fjords including four nearly extinct specimens as well as woven sculptures by Tom Hare; Sars gate 1
  • Radhus—a twin-towered town hall that is home to the city’s political administration and filled with tributes to Norwegian cultural and working life; Fridtjof Nansens plass
  • Kon-Tiki Museum—a museum dedicated to the raft Kon-Tiki which Thor Heyerdahl used to sail from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 and the totora-reed Ra-II built for a 1970 Atlantic crossing by Heyerdahl; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Norwegian Maritime Museum—a museum that depicts Norway’s relationship with the sea including its fishing and whaling industries, the seismic fleet which searches for oil and gas, shipbuilding, wreck salvaging, and pleasure craft; Bygdoynnesveien 37
  • 1857—an artist-run space in a former timber yard that is known for its collaborative curated efforts between Norwegian artists and those from Europe and beyond; Toyenbekken 12
  • Queen Sonja Art Stable—a public gallery space that was once a storage space for 50 years and was reopened as a gallery by Queen Sonja on her 80th birthday and hosts yearly exhibitions and a photograph collection collected by Queen Maud
  • Oslo City Museum—a museum situated within the 18th century Frogner Manor that adds perspective to traditional Norwegian life in the 18th century and has exhibitions about Oslo’s urban history; Frognerveien 67
  • Nasjonalbiblioteket—a modern library that has historic documents from Norway’s cultural history from 13th century manuscripts to magazines, films, and Norwegian musical scores; Henrik Ibsens Gate 110