A visit to the Västerbottens Museum in Umeå, Sweden

After breakfast at the Stora Hotellet in Umeå, we set off on our second full day exploring the Vasterbotten region. Our first stop was the Västerbottens Museum, which is located in the outskirts of Umeå.

The Västerbottens Museum covers the cultural history of Västerbotten. While there are also indoor exhibits, during the summer months, much of the grounds consists of an outdoor folk museum. Since it was a gorgeous day, we stayed mostly outside.

Our guide took us around the farm, telling us that the theme to this summer’s special exhibitions was “Poverty vs. Wealth”. A theme like this is interesting, as it takes special care to show that throughout history, people of different classes have always lived very differently. History is not just the experience of the well-off, but of everyone in a society.

We visited a schoolhouse, where we wrote on chalkboards that we could then clean with rabbit’s foot erasers. They worked surprisingly well.

There were Sami huts set up.

The food hut was raised to keep animals out.

The outdoor folk museum is gives visitors a nice glimpse into traditional everyday life. We baked fresh bread called mjukkaka.

One of the fields had sheep, which visitors could feed. There were other farm animals as well.

We also practiced animal roping.

Visiting the Västerbottens Museum is a great way to experience traditional rural life in Sweden, especially during the summer. It’s one of just three museums of this type in Sweden, making it a popular destination. Some historic museums such as this can often feel like a Disneyland, where everything feels fake, but the Västerbottens Museum felt genuine, with people dressed up, making things, telling stories, and singing. It’s a nice way to learn about traditional Swedish & Sami life when visiting Umeå.

Disclosure: My visit to Umeå/Västerbotten was a TBEX press trip sponsored by Visit Umeå & Visit Sweden. All opinions are 100% my own.

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