Advertisements

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
Advertisements

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

Sights in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and has an interesting history explored through museums and art galleries.

  • Arheoloski Muzej (Archaeological Museum)—a museum with exhibits that focus on prehistory to the Tartar invasion with artifacts such as the Vucedol Dove, a three-legged ceramic vessel shaped like a bird that dates back to the 4th millennium BC, and a linen piece that has the longest known text in ancient Etruscan writing; Trg Nikole Subica Zrinskog 19
  • Botanicki Vrt (Botanical Garden)—this garden was founded in 1889 as research grounds for the faculty of biology at Zagreb University and features an arboretum with English landscaping, an artificial lake, and an ornamental Japanese bridge; Marulicev trg 9a
  • Crkva Svete Katarine (St. Catherine’s Church)—this church built for the Jesuits between 1620 and 1632 has one nave, six side chapels, and a shrine with the vaults and walls decorated with pink and white stucco from 1732 and hung with 18th century illusionist paintings; Katarinin trg BB
  • Crkva Svetog Marka (St. Mark’s Church) – an old church built in the 13th century that was once the parish church of Gradec with a Baroque bell tower added in the 17th century, a steeply pitched roof decorated in multi-colored tiles to depict the coats of arms of Zagreb on the right and the kingdoms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia on the left, and in the 20th century wall paintings by Jozo Kljakovic; Trg Svetog Marka 5
  • Dvor Trakoscan (Trakoscan Castle)—a heavily visited castle that was originally built in the 14th century and remodeled in the mid-19th century by Juraj VI Draskovic whose family had owned the castle for 300 years and lived there until 1944; the interior has wood-paneled rooms in different architectural themes filled with period furniture and family portraits; located 3 miles northwest of the village of Bednja, Trakoscan 1
  • Entomoloska Zbirka (Entomological Collection)—a museum with 50,000 insect specimens; Franjevacki trg 6/I, Varazdin
  • Galerija Starih I Novih Majstora (Gallery of Old and Modern Masters)—an art museum located in the 18th century rococo Palaca Sermage (Sermage Palace) with traditional paintings by Croatian and European artists; Trg Milijenka Stancica 3, Varazdin
  • Museum of Broken Relationships—a unique museum centered around mementos of relationships that have ended with donations from around the world with featured stories including a broken toaster and sad notes; Cirilometodska 2
  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art—a gallery of paintings within the naïve art genre that was popular during the 1960s and 1970s but has declined since with works by artists such as Generalic, Mraz, Rabuzin, and Smajic; Cirilometodska 3
  • Croatian Association of Artists—a gallery designed by Ivan Mestrovic with a rotating program of exhibitions and events throughout the year that was once a mosque; Mestrovic Pavilion, Trg Zrtava Fasizma 16
  • Museum of Contemporary Art—an art museum designed by famed architect Igor Franic that has solo and themed shows as well as a permanent collection featuring 620 works by 240 artists half of which are Croatian; Avenija Dubrovnik 17
  • Maksimir Park—a wooded park that is 18 hectares that was the first public promenade in southeastern Europe and has English garden-like landscaping with alleys, lawns, and artificial lakes as well as the Bellevue Pavilion which is often photographed and a house resembling a Swiss cottage; Maksimirski perivoj bb
  • Museum Mimara—a private art collection donated by Ante Topic Mimara consisting of Ptolemaic glassware from Alexandria, delicate jade and ivory Qing dynasty ornaments, 14th century wooden crosses decorated with semi-precious stones, and a European painting collection with works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Bosch, Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, and Degas; Rooseveltov trg 5
  • Croatian State Archives—an Art Deco building with wise owls on the corners of the roof that was built in 1913 to house the royal library and land archives and is now home to the state archives and a reading room with chandeliers and a painting depicting influential Croatian figures; Marulicev trg 21
  • Galerija Klovicevi Dvori—an art gallery housed within a former Jesuit monastery that has a large roster of temporary exhibitions throughout the year with past exhibitions including pieces by Picasso and Chagall; Jezuitski trg 4
  • Lauba—a private art collection within a former textile-weaving mill that displays Croatian contemporary art from the 1950s to the present with rotating works and regularly scheduled programs including free creative workshops for children; Baruna Filipovica 23a
  • City Museum—this museum situated within the 17th century Convent of St. Claire has exhibits that illustrate the history of Zagreb with archaeological finds from the restoration of the building in the 1990s, old city plans, lithographs, documents, altar and stone masonry from the Cathedral and St. Mark’s, and socialist era paraphernalia; Opaticka 20
  • Museum of Illusion—an interesting museum with sensory activities, a slanted room, a mirror of truth, and over 70 other exhibits, hologram pictures, puzzles, and educational games; Ilica 72
  • Mestrovic Atelier—the former home of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most recognized artist, who lived in the house from 1922 to 1942; inside the home is a collection of sculptures, drawings, lithographs, and furniture; Mletacka 8
  • Art Pavilion—an art-nouveau pavilion that has rotating exhibitions of contemporary art; Trg Kralja Tomislava 22
  • Gallery of Modern Art—a gallery with works by Croatian artists from the past 200 years including 19th and 20th century artists such as Bukovac, Mihanovic, and Racic; Andrije Hebranga 1
  • Stone Gate—a shrine that was once the eastern gate to the medieval Gradec Town and has a painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus by an unknown 17th century artist; Kamenita
  • Zagreb 80s Museum—a four-room museum that illustrates Zagreb in the 1980s with reconstructions of typical lounge and kitchen interiors from the decade, a room with games with a Commodore 64 and Atari, and memorabilia; Radiceva 34, 1st floor
  • Zagreb 360 Observation Deck—an outdoor deck atop Zagreb’s tallest high-rise located on the 16th floor that provides panoramic views of the city and the street below; Ilica 1a, 16th floor
  • Ethnographic Museum—a museum located in a domed 1903 building with a collection of 70,000 items and 2,750 on display including jewelry; ceramics; musical instruments; tools; weapons; and folk costumes such as gold-embroidered scarves from Slavonia and lace from the island of Pag along with artifacts from South America, Ethiopia, China, Japan, and Australia; Mazuranicev trg 14
  • Museum of Arts and Crafts—a museum that explores craftwork from the Middle Ages to the present with ornate walnut furniture, rococo ornaments, liturgical vestments, and votive images and a collection of black and white photographs depicting Croatia until the 1950s; Trg Republike Hrvatske 10
  • Technical Museum Nikola Tesla—a science museum with steam-engine locomotives, scale models of satellites, a replica of a mine, and exhibits on agriculture, geology, energy, and transportation as well as a planetarium; Savska 18
  • Art Park—a small park that holds activities from June to October such as live-music sessions, film screenings, and mural painting sessions; off Tomiceva
  • Backo Mini Express—a model railroad displayed across 75 square meters—the largest in southeastern Europe—that runs across 1050 meters of railway lines and well-crafted scenery; Gunduliceva 4
  • Galerija Greta—a storefront gallery in an old textile shop that has rotating exhibitions with different art forms such as sound installations and video to sculpture and fine art; Ilica 92
  • Zoo Zagreb—a zoo with animals such as seals, sea lions, otters, and piranhas; Maksimir Park
  • Croatian Natural History Museum—a museum with prehistoric tools and bones excavated from the Krapina cave and exhibits that illustrate the evolution of animal and plant life in Croatia with temporary exhibits focusing on different regions; Demetrova 1

Sights in Tirana, Albania

Tirana is the capital of the former Soviet-held Albania and has some interesting museums, a cemetery, and cultural attractions.

  • Bunk’Art—a former bunker that was transformed into a history and contemporary art museum with several floors of exhibits on the modern history of Albania and contemporary artwork and furnished rooms where political figures huddled waiting for invasion; Rr Fadil Deliu
  • National Gallery of Arts—a museum that illustrates the history of Albanian painting from the early 19th century to the present with temporary exhibitions, a collection of 19th century paintings depicting scenes from daily life in Albania, and communist statues; Blvd Deshmoret e Kombit
  • National History Museum—the largest Albanian museum with most of the country’s archaeological finds and a replica of Skanderbeg’s (an Albanian nobleman and military commander who served the Ottoman Empire between 1423-1443) sword as well as information on the history of Albania from ancient Illyria to the post-Communist era; Sheshi Skenderbej
  • Dajti National Park—the most accessible mountain in Albania with a cable car that takes 15 minutes to take visitors to the top of the mountain where there are beech and pine forests and picnic areas
  • Clock Tower—a 35-meter high clock tower completed by Ottoman architects in 1822 that was for many years the tallest building in Tirana and provides great views of Sheshi Skenderbej
  • Martyrs’ Cemetery—a cemetery at the top of Rr Elbasanit where 900 citizens who died in WWII were buried with scenic views of the city and surrounding mountains
  • Palace of Culture—a white stone complex with a theatre, shops, and art galleries; Sheshi Skenderbej

Sights in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is rich in culture and history. It was formerly occupied by Nazi and Soviet forces and only became an independent country in 1991.

  • Estonian Open-Air Museum—a sprawling complex with historic Estonian buildings, a chapel dating back to 1699, and an old wooden tavern serving traditional Estonian cuisine and activities such as weaving, blacksmithing, and cooking; Vabaohumuuseumi tee 12
  • Kumu—a futuristic-looking seven story building made of limestone, glass, and copper that contains the largest collection of Estonian art in the country and rotating contemporary exhibits as well as a permanent collection featuring works from the early 18th century to the end of World War II and art from the Soviet era; A. Weizenbergi 34
  • Lennusadam—a maritime museum honoring Estonia’s extensive history with the open seas that was designed in a concrete shell frame fashion and includes a walk-through 1930s naval submarine and ice-breaker and minehunter ships outside; Vesilennuki 6
  • Kadriorg Art Museum—a Baroque palace built by Peter the Great between 1718 and 1736 that has a branch of the Estonian Art Museum that is devoted to Dutch, German, and Italian paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries and Russian works from the 18th to early 20th centuries; A. Weizenbergi 37
  • Niguliste Museum—a deconsecrated church originally built in the 13th century but was damaged by Soviet bombers in 1944 and a fire in the 1980s but has since been restored and is now home to a branch of the Estonian Art Museum devoted to religious art with artifacts such as painted altarpieces, carved tombstones, and ecclesiastical silverware; Niguliste 3
  • Great Guild Hall—a building dating back to 1410 that was once home to the Great Guild and is now the Estonian History Museum with interactive displays on Estonia, coins dating back to Viking times, military artifacts, and Estonian cultural exhibits; Pikk 17
  • Nuku—a puppet museum which has a collection that introduces the art of puppeteers from different cultures and eras through interactive exhibits and workshops; Nunne 8
  • Tallinn Botanic Garden—a lush garden with 8,000 species of plants scattered between greenhouses, themed gardens, and arboretums; Kloostrimetsa tee 52
  • Tallinn Zoo—this zoo has the world’s largest collection of mountain goats and sheep plus 350 other species of animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, bears, lynx, owls, and eagles; Paldiski mnt 145
  • Kadriorg Park—a large park commissioned by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I after his conquest of Estonia that has oak, lilac, and horse chestnut trees; a formal pond; gardens; and a playground
  • Tallinn TV Tower—a 341-meter-tall tower opened in celebration of the 1980 Olympics that has great views from the 22nd floor, interactive displays in the space-age pods, and an adventure walk; Kloostrimetsa tee 58a
  • Museum of Occupations—a museum with displays that depict the struggles and hardships of 50 years of occupations briefly under the Nazis and then by Soviets with evocative videos, photos, and artifacts; Toompea 8
  • City Museum—the main branch of the City Museum (there are ten sites overall) is located in a 14th century merchant’s house and illustrates the city’s development from its early days with displays on Estonian language, everyday life, artifacts, and cultural development; Vene 17
  • Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral—a beautiful onion-domed Russian Orthodox cathedral completed in 1900 known for its icons and frescoes; Lossi plats 10
  • Town Council Pharmacy—the oldest continually operating pharmacy in Europe once run by the same family until 1913 and featuring painted beams and a small historical display; Raekoja plats 11
  • Mikkel Museum—a former kitchen in Kadriorg Palace that now has some of the Estonian Art Museum’s collection with a small collection of paintings and porcelain; A. Weizenbergi 28
  • Estonian Museum of Natural History—a natural history museum with over 300,000 examples of the country’s plants and animals with revolving exhibitions; Lai 29a
  • Maarjamae Palace—a limestone manor house built in 1874 for a Russian count that is now home to the Estonian Film Museum, a branch of the Estonian History Museum focusing on 20th century Estonia, and a Soviet sculpture graveyard; Pirita tee 56
  • Maarjamae War Memorial—a Soviet-era monument with a bowed obelisk set within a concrete plaza with part of the complex built in 1975 as a memorial to Red Army soldiers killed fighting the Nazis; Pirita tee
  • Tallinn Museum of Orders of Knighthood—a museum featuring one of Europe’s largest collections of medals and military insignia; Kuninga 3
  • Estonian National Library—one of independent Estonia’s first public buildings designed with dolomite limestone that has frequent exhibitions on the upper floors; Tonismagi 2
  • Children’s Museum Miaamilla in Kadriorg—a small museum and activity center for children between the ages of 3 and 11 with a child-size grocery store, activity room, and café; L. Koidula 21c, Kadriorg Park
  • Architecture Museum—a museum that displays building and town models and temporary exhibitions; Ahtri 2
  • House of Peter I—a cottage that Peter the Great and Catherine I occupied during their visits to Tallinn that is filled with portraits, furniture, and artifacts from the period; Maekalda 2
  • Draakoni Gallery—a commercial gallery that has small but interesting exhibitions of contemporary art including works from many local artists; Pikk 18

 

Sights in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo is the capital of Monaco and is a beautiful city close to the ocean with museums, parks, interesting collections, and gardens.

  • Casino de Monte Carlo—a lavish casino with marble and gold décor open to visitors in the morning and for gambling after 2 pm with games such as blackjack; English and European roulette; baccarat; and poker as well as slot machines in two gambling salons; Place du Casino
  • Musee Oceanographique de Monaco—this world-renowned museum stuck to the edge of a cliff since 1910 has an aquarium with a 6-meter-deep lagoon with sharks and predators separated from tropical fish by a coral reef, two colonnaded rooms which illustrate the history of oceanography and marine biology as well as Prince Albert I’s contributions to the field, and 90 tanks overall in the aquarium with 450 Mediterranean and tropical species; Av. St-Martin
  • Jardin Exotique—a series of gardens with the world’s largest succulent and cactus collection from echinocereus to African candelabras and mazes of paths, stairs, and bridges; 62 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique
  • Palais Princier de Monaco—a palace that is the private residence of the Grimaldi family protected by the Carabiniers du Prince with a changing of the guard daily at 11:55 am and tours of the state apartments that feature lavish furniture and artwork collected by the family over the course of centuries; Place du Palais
  • Collection de Voitures Anciennes—a large car collection amassed by the late Prince Rainier beginning in the early 1950s and opened to the public in 1993 with Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, several F1 and rally race cars, and the Lexus that took the current prince to his wedding in 2011; Terrasses du Fontvielle
  • Roseraie Princesse Grace—a collection of over 4000 rose bushes next to the Parc Fontevielle that is particularly colorful in the spring; Avenue des Papalins
  • Cathedrale de Monaco—an 1875 Romanesque-Byzantine cathedral that has the graves of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace Kelly; 4 rue Colonel Bellando de Castro
  • Parc Princesse Antoinette—a park in the hills above La Condamine shaded by centenary olive trees and a family-favorite for its playground and miniature golf course
  • Nouveau Musee National de Monaco—a white villa built for an American in 1913 that is part of Nouveau Musee National de Monaco and hosts seasonal contemporary art exhibitions that are environmentally themed; 56 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique
  • Musee des Timbres et des Monnaies—a one-room museum that illustrates the history of stamps and coins minted in Monaco with an interesting stamp collection featuring stamps of Dante and Grace Kelly among others, animals, and 1950s movies; 11 Terrasses de Fontevielle
  • Eglise Ste-Devote—a 19th century chapel dedicated to the patron saint of Monaco who was brought to the church after she became a martyr in Corsica in 303 AD; 1 Rue Sainte-Devote

Sights in Chisinau, Moldova

Chisinau is the capital of Moldova, an Eastern European country once part of the Russian Empire. It has some small museums, parks, and monuments.

 

  • Parcul Catedralei and Gradina Publica Stefan Cel Mare si Sfint—two parks in the middle of the city with one park featuring the Nativity of Christ Metropolitan Cathedral that dates back to the 1830s and has a bell tower built in 1836, the main entrance with the Holy Gates, and on the northwestern side a 24-hour flower market and the other park has an entrance with a statue of Stefan who was Moldova’s greatest medieval prince; B-dul Stefan cel Mare
  • Army Museum—a museum that has a poignant exhibit on Soviet-era repression with stories of the Red Terror, famines, mass deportations, and gulag slave labor told through photos, videos, newspaper clippings, and dioramas as well as interrogation rooms and displays of propaganda posters and military uniforms; Str. Tighina 47
  • Nativity of Christ Metropolitan Cathedral—a Moldovan Orthodox church dating back to the 1830s with beautiful interior frescoes and a bell tower originally built in 1836 and rebuilt in 1997 due to it being destroyed in World War II; Parcul Catedralei
  • National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History—a museum with a life-size reproduction of the skeleton of a dinothere, an 8-ton elephant-like mammal that lived in the Pliocene epoch and dioramas that depict national customs and dress as well as exhibits on geology, botany, and zoology; Str. M Kogalniceanu 82
  • National Art Museum—an art museum with a collection of modern European art, folk art, icons, and medieval pieces as well as temporary exhibitions often focusing on local graphic artists; Str. 31 August 1989, 115
  • National Archaeology and History Museum—a museum that has archaeological artifacts from the region of Orheiul Vechi north of Chisinau including Golden Horde coins, Soviet-era weaponry, and a World War II diorama on the first floor; Str. 31 August 1989, 121a
  • Pushkin Museum—the site where Russia’s national poet, Alexander Pushkin, spent three years in exile between 1820-1823 with his tiny cottage filled with its original furniture, personal items including a portrait of Byron on his writing desk, and a three-room literary museum in the building facing the cottage documenting his dramatic life; Str. Anton Pann 19
  • Repression Memorial—a monument to the victims of mass deportation during Stalin’s rule; Aleea Garii

Sights in Valletta, Malta

Valletta is the capital of Malta and is a city with a rich cultural and military history. It is very religious with several churches and a basilica.

  • Barrakka Ta’ Fuq (Upper Barrakka Gardens)—a lookout point with a troupe of cats, greenery, and views of Grand Harbour and the Three Cities across the water; Castile Square
  • John’s Co-Cathedral—an impressive church designed by the architect Gerolamo Cassar between 1573 and 1578 with an interior renovated in the 17th century in a Maltese Baroque style with a painting of John the Baptist by Caravaggio, a long low nave with walls and pillars encrusted with rich ornamentation, marble floors, and a vault with paintings by Mattia Preti that depict events from the life of St. John the Baptist; Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Grand Master’s Palace—the former residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John and until 2015 the seat of Malta’s parliament is now home to a collection of over 5,000 suits of 16th to 18th century armor and weaponry including crossbows, muskets, swords, and pistols and the State Apartments with five rooms usually opened to the public; Pjazza San Gorg
  • National Museum of Archaeology—a museum housed within the Auberge de Provence that features exhibits that include artifacts such as stone tools dating back to 5200 BC, Phoenician amulets, and a temple model from Ta’Hagrat as well as model prehistoric figurines that were found within the area, pottery from the Bronze Age, animal figurines, and jewelry; Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Fort St. Elmo and National War Museum—this fort named after the patron saint of mariners was built in 1552 in only four months to guard the harbors on either side of the Sceberras Peninsula and was restored and reopened in 2015 with the addition of the National War Museum which covers Malta’s wartime history from 1565’s Great Siege when Turkish forces attacked the country to World War II with audiovisual displays and artifacts such as a biplane and the George Cross awarded to the country in 1942
  • City Gate—this city gate designed by Renzo Piano resembles the dimensions of the original 1633 entrance to the city giving visitors the feeling of crossing a real bridge with a frame designed to look like knights’ sabers
  • Parliament Building—this building completed by Renzo Piano in 2014 includes two massive stone volumes that are supported by stilts and photovoltaic panels on the roof which generate much of the energy required to ventilate the building and inside is the northern block which contains the parliament chamber and the southern block containing the offices of the members of parliament
  • Lascaris War Rooms—a mechanically ventilated underground tunnel complex that lies 40 meters below the Upper Barrakka Gardens that housed Great Britain’s secret command in Malta during WWII and remained in use until 1977 with a restoration completed in 2009 with the rooms laid out in their original configuration staffed by wax figures; Lascaris Ditch
  • Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck—a church honoring St. Paul who was shipwrecked in Malta in 60 AD and brought Christianity to the country with a 19th century façade and a 16th century interior with treasures such as a gilded statue of St. Paul carved in Rome in the 1650s, a golden reliquary containing bones from his wrist, and part of the column on which he was killed in Rome; Triq San Pawl
  • Carmelite Basilica—a basilica originally built in 1570 and expanded in the mid-19th century that was rebuilt between 1958-1981 after being damaged in World War II with a 42-meter-high dome and an interior with an early 17th century painting of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and red marble columns; Triq I-Arcisqof
  • Valletta Contemporary—a modern art gallery with a rotating roster of exhibitions and installations from local and international artists; 15-17 Triq il-Levant
  • MUZA—the current incarnation of Malta’s Museum of Fine Arts located in the Auberge d’Italie, a 16th-century building that was once home to Italian members of the Knights of St. John, with historic maps and paintings; Auberge d’Italie
  • Casa Rocca Piccola—a 16th century palazzo that is the family home of the 9th Marquis de Piro who currently lives there and allows visitors to see parts of his luxurious home and the family’s WWII air-raid shelters; 74 Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Malta Postal Museum—a small museum with a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the postal system of the Knights of St. John; 135 Triq-I-Arcisqof
  • Malta Contemporary Art—a space dedicated to photography, painting, mixed media, and other art exhibitions; Triq Felix
  • James’ Cavalier—a 16th century fortification transformed into an arts center with galleries, theater, and a cinema; Castille Place
  • Sacra Infermeria—located in the former 16th century hospital run by the Order of St. John, this museum has an exhibition about medieval medicine; Triq-it-Tramuntana
  • Prospettiva—an installation designed by a Maltese architect to celebrate Valletta’s distinction as the 2018 European City of Culture that merges the city’s five gates into a two-dimensional structure disassembled into planes; Glormu Cassar Avenue
  • Siege Bell Memorial—a memorial erected in 1992 that commemorates those who lost their lives during the war convoys between 1940 and 1943; St. Christopher Bastion
  • Toy Museum—a doll-sized museum with a large private collection of model toys such as tin cars from 1950s Japan, tin toys from 1912 Germany, Matchbox cars, farmyard animals, train sets, and dolls; 222 Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Triton Fountain—a grand fountain sculpted by Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap in 1959 restored and reopened early in 2018
  • National Library—a library with a classical façade erected by the Knights of St. John with book-lined shelves and occasional temporary exhibitions
  • Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial—a monument to the 2,298 members of the Commonwealth Air Force who died in World War II with no known graves
  • War Memorial—a monument to the 600 Maltese and almost one million British servicemen who died in World War I

Sights in Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and an old and very historic city with unique museums, churches, art galleries, and interesting neighborhoods to explore.

  • Church of St. Panteleimon—a church with beautiful 12th century frescoes including a Pieta similar to Giotto’s Pieta; Nerezi Village
  • Carsija—the old town neighborhood of Skopje with winding lanes filled with teahouses, mosques, craftsmen’s stores, nightlife, historic structures, and museums
  • Archaeological Museum of Macedonia—a modern museum made of Italianate-styled marble with three floors that display findings from Macedonian archaeological excavations including Byzantine treasures, 3-D reconstructions of early Macedonian faces, a replica of an early Christian basilica showing the phases of mosaic conservation, and a Phoenician royal necropolis; Bul Goce Delcev
  • Tvrdina Kale Fortress—a 6th century Byzantine and Ottoman fortress with an interior that features two miniature museums that house archaeological finds from Neolithic to Ottoman times; Samoilova
  • National Gallery of Macedonia—Skopje’s national art gallery with seven restored rooms from the former Turkish baths featuring modern Macedonian art and sculpture; Krusevska 1a
  • Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence—a museum that serves as a memorial to Macedonia’s historic occupation, land struggles, and revolutionary heroes with graphic oil paintings and physical reconstructions; Iljo Vojvodo
  • Memorial House of Mother Teresa—a futuristic-looking memorial to Mother Teresa who was born in Skopje in 1910 that includes memorabilia related to her and on the second floor a chapel with glass walls in filigree with silhouettes of doves carved into the filigree to symbolize peace; ul Makedonija 9
  • Sveti Spas Church—a partially submerged church two meters underground that dates back to the 14th century and is the most historically significant church in Skopje with a bell tower, a restored iconostasis (a wooden screen that separates the nave of the church from the altar area at the back) built in the early 19th century, and tiered carvings; Makarije Frckoski 8
  • Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia—a moving museum with displays that commemorate the Sephardic Jewish culture of Macedonia through photos, English wall texts, maps, and video with an exhibition that documents the Jewish community’s history in the Balkans ending in World War II when 98% of Macedonian Jews died in the Holocaust; Iljo Vojvoda
  • Museum of the City of Skopje—this museum is located in the old train station building where Skopje’s horrific earthquake struck on July 27, 1963, killing 1,070 people and is now an art gallery for rotating exhibitions with one area focused on the events of the earthquake through video footage and photos; St. Kiril and Methodius
  • Museum of Contemporary Art—a museum created in the aftermath of the 1963 earthquake with artists and art collections donating pieces by artists such as Picasso, Hockney, Leger, Meret Oppenheim, and Bridget Riley that is housed in a contemporary building with floor-to-ceiling windows; Samoilova 17

Sights in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City is the capital of the small country of Luxembourg and has a beautiful old church, several museums, and art galleries to explore.

  • Casemates de la Petrusse (Military Tunnels)—a former fortress that was hollowed out to form a maze of passages running for almost 15 miles below the town with ten gates controlling admittance to the walls, this was also a storage facility and place of refuge that now has two sections of the passages containing former barracks, slaughterhouses, bakeries, and a deep well open for visitors; Pl. de la Constitution
  • Cathedrale Notre-Dame—a late Gothic style cathedral with a portal sculpted by Daniel Muller of Freiburg and a beautiful Baroque organ gallery as well as a crypt that contains the tomb of the 14th century King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, John the Blind, and the tombs of the grand-ducal dynasty; Rue Notre-Dame
  • Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumunster (Neumunster Abbey Cultural Center)—the former place of worship for the Benedictines of Neumunster Abbey who were expelled when the French Revolution hit Luxembourg that served for most of the 20th century as a men’s prison but is now a major cultural center with temporary exhibitions and a Baroque church that has treasures such as a Black Madonna; 28 Rue Munster
  • Le Bock—a cliff that served as the main approach to the town dating back to Celtic and Roman times until bridges were erected with great views of the Plateau du Rham across the way, Duke Wencelas’s fortifications, barracks that are now used as a hospice for the elderly, Neumunster Abbey, and the Casemates du Bock; Montee de Clausen
  • Monument National de la Solidarite (National Monument of Unity)—this memorial to Luxembourg’s soldiers who died in World War II and those who died in the Holocaust is a stern granite and steel monument with the walls of the small chapel containing a symbolic tombstone made entirely of stained glass; Bd. FD Roosevelt at Citadelle du St-Esprit
  • Musee National D’ Histoire Naturelle (National Museum of Natural History)—this museum situated within a former women’s prison has interactive exhibits and dioramas that convey an environmental message; Rue Munster 23
  • Musee National D’ Histoire Et D’Art (National Museum of History and Art)—an art museum with great paintings by expressionist Joseph Kutter, Luxembourg’s most famous artist, and an art gallery with pieces by Cranach and Turner as well as a wonderful collection of 15th to 19th century art by artists such as Bruegel, Rembrandt, and Canaletto; Marche-aux-Poissons
  • Musee D’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean—an architectural landmark designed by I.M. Pei with an edifice made of limestone and glass with the glass shaped into pyramids, the interior has changing exhibitions by contemporary artists; Park Drai Eechelen 3
  • Musee D’ Histoire De la Ville De Luxembourg (Luxembourg City Historical Museum)—a multimedia interactive museum opened in 1996 that illustrates the development of Luxembourg City over the course of 1,000 years; Rue du St-Esprit
  • Palais Grand-Ducal (Grand-Ducal Palace)—the finest building in the city that dates back to the 16th century and has a façade inspired by the Spanish and Moorish while inside business and entertainment functions occur and a large art collection is displayed; Rue du Marche-aux-Herbes
  • Porte des Trois Tour (Gate of the Three Towers)—three turrets that are remains of the fortress with the oldest of the towers built around 1050 and during the French Revolution was the site of the guillotine; Rue Wiltheim at bd. J. Ulveling
  • Vallee de la Petrusse (Petrusse Valley)—a broad park located in the canyon of the Petrusse river with the Chapelle Saint-Quirin built into the rocks and a cave said to have been carved by Celts; between Rue de la Semois and rue St-Quirin
  • Villa Vauban—also known as the City of Luxembourg Art Gallery, this mansion is surrounded by well-tended gardens and is the home of Luxembourg City’s collection of old master paintings by artists such as Canaletto and Van Dyck; Avenue Emile Reuter 18

 

Previous Older Entries