Step into the Home of a Genius at Sweden's Nobel Museum
At the Nobel Museum you can discover the story of Alfred Nobel, a native of Stockholm and the son of a wealthy industrialist, Nobel put his privileged education to good use by inventing dynamite! It was not an easy road to this discovery. Indeed, his brother died in one of their early experiments. A man of varied interests, Nobel was a strong believer in pacifism, and he also wrote poetry and plays. He made a will in 1895 bequeathing much of his fortune to the establishment of trust funds for the famous prizes which began in 1901 and bear his name to this day.
Each year, the 10 million kronor (about US$1.2 million) prize is given by a Swedish committee for the best accomplishments in medicine, physics, literature, and chemistry. There is also an economics prize, commonly associated with the others, that was actually devised in 1968 by the Swedish Central Bank in memory of the famous inventor. Bear in mind that the Nobel Peace Prize, in accordance with Nobel's wishes, is actually awarded from Oslo, Norway. No reason was given for the decision, but it is thought Nobel may have intended it as a gesture of cooperation between the two Nordic countries. Another museum called the Nobel Peace Center is located in Oslo.
While the Nobel Museum does partake in the delightful Swedish tradition of offering free coffee to patrons, no visit would be complete without lunch or a coffee break in the Kafe Satir. Here you can turn your chair upside down and see which famous mind has graced it (many of the Nobel winners have signed the underside of one of the café pews in recent years).
Located in the heart of Stockholm's charming old town or Gamla Stan, the Nobel Museum is also well placed for visitors looking to get a few of the main sights into one short trip. The Royal Palace and the Royal Mint, as well as some of the city's best art, are all located nearby.
When to Go to Nobel Museum
Once you're there, the Nobel Museum itself is located right on the city's Metro at Gamla Stan station, which services the red and green lines. The metro tickets are expensive (a single ticket is 20kr (US$3) but day tickets and student/OAP discounts are available.
Tickets to the museum are 70kr (US$10) for adults, but children go free and student/OAP discounts are available.
It’s best to visit the Nobel Museum in the fall, winter or spring to take advantage of the longer hours of operation. If you're there in early December, when that year's winners visit the museum, you might meet a genius or two in the flesh!
Odds n' Ends
If you're coming with children, the Nobel Museum offers a special trivia hunt for bright young things; ask at the reception desk. For the smallest eggheads (ages 3-11), there's also an interactive play room called the Bubble Chamber.
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