September 26, 2015

Skansen Aquarium

Path leading up to the Aquarium from the main Skansen entrance.
I have been to Skansen many times and written about it here a few times. Skansen is one of Stockholm's most popular attractions... housing both an open air museum dedicated to Swedish traditions and historic, pastoral life as well as being the city's zoo- filled with Scandinavian animals (bears, reindeer, moose, wolves and much more). It is also where Swedes traditionally celebrate many holiday festivals from Midsummer and Walpurgis to Easter and Christmas.
Up close with lemurs.
One part of Skansen which I have never visited, until recently, is the Skansen Aquarium (Akvariet). While it is found within Skansen, it is a separate entity and has its own admission price. This is probably why I have never been there on my own (paying for Skansen and then paying for the Aquarium)... but now I was with my parents who both had a Stockholm Card (which includes admission to both Skansen and the Skansen Aquarium) so I took the opportunity.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the place. It is very well put together and you really do get close to the animals. Very close in some cases! I should probably point out that the name "aquarium" might be a bit confusing for non-Swedish speakers. While there is a section with sea life (fish, corals, sharks, etc.) there is also much more... reptiles, amphibians, monkeys, lemurs and such. Stockholm does have a proper aquarium called Aquaria, which is located not too far from Skansen.
Cute meerkats...
...and even cuter meerkat pups.
As I mentioned, it is very well put together and I can see why it is so popular with Swedish school classes. Very educational. Some highlights were the lemur enclosure, where there is no fence between you and the animals, and the meerkats. Meerkats are incredibly cute and they were even more adorable now as they had pups.
All in all, I would definitely recommend Skansen Aquarium if you are visiting with children and/or are fans of exotic wildlife. Skansen itself is great for children... they even have a petting zoo with domesticated Scandinavian animals called Lill-Skansen. Skansen is located on the island of Djurgården and to get there from the Rival Hotel, take the Djurgård ferry from nearby Slussen. They depart every 15 minutes or so and the trip just takes 10 minutes.
They even have snakes and...
...frogs, plus much more.

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