"Walk in. Dance out!" - Well.....I didn't....
I thought about going to "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm for a long time. I doubted that this could be a visit worth the money and after having visited it, I still have no idea whether it was incredibly great or incredibly lame. The ABBA Museum definitely is one of those that you either totally enjoy or totally be bored of. Personally I like most ABBA songs. I prefer the 60s over the 70s but ABBA did a great job and their costumes were hilarious. Of course as I'm in my 20s, I don't know as much about the group as my parents and I wanted to find out more about their story. To get this out of the way: I don't really know much more about ABBA than before I visited the museum but it was a nice entertainment for a couple of hours.
The ABBA Museum isn't your usual exhibition. It's interactive, loud and only really is fun when you're visiting with a group and had one or two shots at the entrance ;)
You enter the exhibition through a dark room where you're supposed to wait until your ears burst from the intro film they show you there. This one is the loudest in the whole exhibition and the whole locker room vibrates because of it. After that you'll be greeted by an introduction to the group members. Agnetha, Björn, Anni-Frid and Benny are presented with pictures of their teen years and a short biography.
Then it's chronologically. You get some information on how the group members developed their passion for music and how they got to know each other. In the next room it's all about the Eurovision Song Contest and Waterloo, the song they won the competition with and that made them famous. There's an except of Benny's diary who describes what happened the day before the contest, the hour before contest and the days after the contest and you can also have a look at the costumes they wore at the gig.
And then it becomes confusing. The next room consists of a remake of ABBA's summer house and their recording studio where you can record your own ABBA song in a little cabin that is not sound-proof (no I didn't record myself but it was hilarious to listen to the other visitors!). There also is a little cabin where you can practice some dance moves to "Dancing Queen" (OMG!!!).
No more information on the group. Fun only! There are some screens where you can watch a few short interviews of the group, a short film about ABBA - the puppets and a short behind the scenes clip on how they filmed the music videos. One room consists of all their costumes and LP's, another is a remake of their dressing room. Then there is a huge picture on the wall of them that was taken during their break-up phase (no information why this happened although I'd loved to find out more about that!).
Then there's a little disco where you can dance to "Dancing Queen" again and you leave the exhibition on a landing stage that was supposed to represent MAMMA MIA - The Abba Movie. And that's it. Wait. That's it? I couldn't believe it so I went back to check if there was more and yes, there was more. There also is a cinema where they show a half-an-hour Australian ABBA movie that is half fiction and half reality as they embedded real video clips from ABBA's visit to Australia. It was okay......
Oh and I also forgot about (= erased from my mind) this huge dark room where you're greeted by a staff member shouting at you ("Welcome to the ABBA concert" or something like that) because apparantly this was supposed to be an ABBA concert or a huge disco with a screen where they show excepts of ABBA concerts. Weird if you're in that room all on your own. And the shouting Swedish staff member didn't contribute to make me feel comfortable there either.....
Except from all this ABBA stuff there also is the Swedish Music Hall of Fame next to the exhibition where you can browse through Swedish music from 1920 to today. That was okay also. But nothing really amazed me. I mean I can totally see people having fun there when they're with a group and everyone does this ridiculous interactive things like singing, dancing and failing in the ABBA quiz but it's not really the museum you can visit alone or as a couple and have much fun there.
Apart from that there are a few other things I found really annoying for example the fact that you have to buy your ticket (not an open ticket, one with a specific date and time slot you plan to visit the museum) on the internet. If you fail on doing so you can of course buy the ticket at the counter but you have to pay an extra counter fee. Nice! And how am I supposed to know whether I'll make it there at 1pm or at 1.15pm? I can't control public transport!
Nevertheless the ticket costs 200SEK, so about 20€ and you have to pay an extra 5€ if you want to have an audio guide. Which you need if you're not fluent in Swedish because the information in English was just basic and if you're more comfortable in another language, you definitely have to get the guide. Another thing that may didn't bother me but that may bother a lot of people I know was the fact that the museum is completely cash-free. You HAVE to pay everything with credit card. That's fine with me as I don't carry cash with me anyway except I really have to but I know a lot of people who feel more comfortable with cash.
So yeah, it was an interesting visit and still I don't know if it's great or lame. You have to see for yourself!
How to get there:Tram from Sergels Torg (Central Station) towards Djurgarden, Stop: Gröna Lund
Entrance Fee:Adults - 195SEK / Children 7-15 with their families - 50SEK / Children 7-15 without their family (why would they??) - 145 SEK / Children 0-7 - free (those poor ones will become deaf and suffer from a severe ABBA trauma which will lead them to be afraid of people in 70s clothes for their lifetime) / Family ticket (2 adults, up to 4 children) - 520 SEK / Audio Guide 40 SEK
Highlight:Nothing particular. It's just a massive blur of noise and colours in my head.....
Pros: + YOU are ABBA's fifth member = interaction / games, sing-along, dances.... + your records and game scores will be saved on your ticket so that you can access everything at home again Cons: - it's expensive - you have to buy your ticket on the internet for a specific date and time slot, otherwise you'll pay extra - soooo noisy!! - not much information on ABBA itself / focus is on interaction
Don't forget: Your credit card - it's a cash-free museum!
Suitable for:ABBA enthusiasts / everyone above the age of 40 / everyone younger only in groups because it makes more fun that way (not because 40 year olds can't dance! No! But because they've grown up with ABBA and experienced them when they were popular! and we younger ones have no real knowledge of ABBA and apparently we don't get any in the museum) / I'd say children because they would have fun participating in the games but which child in 2014 still knows ABBA??
I still don't know what the helicopter is supposed to mean. Apparently it was shown in one of ABBA's music videos but I'd like to know which one and I'd like to see the video.....
If you're an ABBA enthusiast please tell me which video it was! And to all the others, have fun getting the Dancing Queen song out of your head again! ;)
Have a nice weekend!