Astrid Lindgren Museum in Stockholm: Junibacken, Sweden
You can ride a train through a magical land, pay a visit to Pippi Longstocking and Emil of Lönneberga, and feel like Tom Thumb and Nils Karlsson Pyssling in Junibacken, a museum for the whole family in Stockholm where characters from Swedish fairy tales live famous and beloved all over the world. The information in this review was obtained in February 2014 and the priced are listed in Swedish kronas (1 krona equates to about 5 rubles).
Junibacken information, hours of operation, and ticket prices
Junibacken is located on Djurgarden Museum Island in the very center of Stockholm. The museum is a 30 minute walk from the Central Train Station and ten minutes from the Karlaplan underground station. A ten-minute taxi ride from the Central Train Station to Junibacken will cost you about 80 kronas. There is also bus number 69 that leaves from the train station, bus number 44 that leaves Karlaplan underground station, and you can get there from the ferry terminals on bus number 76 or through the underground. A ferry leaves Slussen terminal (where Viking Line arrives) year round as well that will take you to Junibacken.
You can drive there: 100 m from Junibacken is paid parking with a capacity of 100 spaces (costing 25 kronas per hour and they accept bank cards) and you are recommended to come a little early in the summer if you plan to find a parking place.
From May until the end of August, Junibacken is open every day and from the beginning of September until the end of April is closed on Mondays. During Christmas, from December 24th until December 26th the museum is also closed.
The ticket price to get into Junibacken in 2014 is 145 kronas for adults and 125 kronas for children between 2 and 15 years old. Children under 2 years old are admitted free of charge.
At the entrance, visitors are greeted by receptionist cashiers. You can find out what languages they speak by reading the labels fastened to their clothing in the form of little flags. Along with the ticket, they hand out a map, an event program for the day, and they let you know what time you can go for a ride on the main attraction – the magic train. Strollers are left at the entrance where there is a special parking for them and they also provide a backpack that you can rent to carry things in for the time that you are visiting the museum.
You can also get yourself a special id tag at the entrance where you can write your name and phone number (in international format) and attach it to your child’s coat just in case. If the child happens to get lost, he will have to tell the Junibacken employees and they will be able to call its parents and tell them where their child is.
What to do with your kids at Junibacken
First, visitors will find themselves at the Stories Venue where they get the chance to stop by Mumi Mama’s kitchen, pay a visit to old Petson and Findus, and have a seat on Mulle Meck’s motorcycle. Located right behind the venue is the Junibacken Gallery with illustrations of famous Swedish artists inspired by stories about Pippi, Carlson, and Emil of Lönneberga.
You can make your way through the museum by foot or, if you like, you can ride the train, but you will have to stand in line for that. It is not accepted to hold a place in line for someone else in Sweden, so the members of your group (or family) that were not standing in line will have to file all the way in the back. Before getting in the train car, you can choose one of 12 languages, in which they do tours, English or Russian for example, and after that the journey begins.
The complete darkness there is illuminated by large drawings of scenes from the books of Astrid Lindgren. The magic train takes its passengers to 6 different stories: it stops by Madicken’s and to Emil of Lönneberga’s farmstead; delves into the forest and Ronny’s, the bandit’s daughter; shrinks to the size of Nils Karlsson Carlson; and flies over Stockholm on the way to Carlson’s house, who lives on the roof. At the end, the train ends up in the magical land of Nangijala where the Brothers Lionheart await.
The magical train journey comes to an end at the Villa Villekulla venue where Pippi Longstocking used to live. Kids will be able to check out the whole house, ride down slides from the second floor, open up all the cabinets, take out the toys and dishes inside it, and even try on clothes. Tied up next to the villa is Pippi’s horse that you can take a picture on. They do kids shows every day in front of the house with music and songs in Swedish where they also do game exhibitions.
Located in the next room is a huge kids venue inspired by the stories of various Swedish writers. There they have pirate ropes, kitchens with frying pans and saucepans, and slides with ladders. While the children are playing, parents will be able to choose something at the Junibacken bookstore where they also sell toys and souvenirs.
They have activities even for the littlest kids. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, before the museum opens up, Junibacken does an exercise for children under two years old called Babyrytmik. It begins at 9:30, but you’ll need to make sure and get there early at 9:15.
Where to get a bite to eat at Junibacken
There is a restaurant café on the territory of the museum with a nice view of Stockholm, a kids menu, and a play station. At the restaurant, you can get yourself some lunch or sip some hot chocolate with a fresh pastry. They also warm up children’s food you’ve brought with you there.