Museums in Västerbotten

All-year round is absolutely ideal time to experience culture in all its forms, and maybe to take the opportunity to learn something new. Västerbotten has lots of museums to offer – for all ages and interests. We’ve drawn up a list of some of the best, covering the whole county. Take your time, choose the one that takes your fancy. Maybe you’ll visit more than one museum?

Guitars - The Museum

At Guitars - The Museum in Umeå, the Åhden brothers display their life’s work and burning passion. A vast collection of guitars, instruments and accessories from the early 50s to the present day. All unique in their own way and telling their very own story. The museum has more than 400 guitars, which have been owned and played by world-famous stars such as Elvis Presley and ZZ Top. Down the years, both classic American cars and valuable guitars have been exchanged and sold to enable the most spectacular guitars to take their place in the collection. Take a guided tour though the exhibition and listen to the amazing stories behind the instruments, or stroll around on your own to explore all the fascinating details. G­uitars is open Monday-Friday, and the building also houses a welcoming pub with excellent food, good drinks and live music.


Nordanå in Skellefteå
An area where culture and nature meet. This is the location of Skellefteå museu­m, a museum of cultural history where past, present and future are on display. Knowledge of life and environments in Västerbotten is collected, preserved and communicated here. In another part of Nordanå you can find Museum Anna Nordlander, MAN, named after the artist Anna Nordlander. An art museum and meeting place where art is taken as the starting point to challenge norms, gender and identity. MAN not only hosts exhibitions, it also makes appearances in public spaces. The area also houses Skellefteå Konsthall, the art gallery.


This is a place that considers issues relating to the presentation of local, national and international art, and there is a constantly changing range of exhibitions, lectures and workshops. One thing not to be missed is the Meijer collection at Nordanå, a collection of works from the 50s until the present day. The collection was donated by the Skellefteå artist Sture Meijer (born 1931). In addition to art galleries and museums, you will also find a café, restaurant, playground, farm shop and theatre in the area. A destination where time and space are easily forgotten.


Bildmuseet in Umeå is acknowledged to be one of the best in the world, and according to The Telegraph it is one of 42 museums in the world you should visit during your lifetime. The museum is located on the city’s famous artistic campus, and it both produces and displays international art. Exhibitions of architecture, design and photography are displayed in the museum’s bright rooms with views over the Ume River. The building alone is a work of art – clad in Siberian larch that is gradually fading to a shade of pale grey. Issues of existentialism, politics and philosophy form the core of the exhibitions. Entrance is free, and as a visitor you have a wide range programmes to experience. These include guided tours, lectures, films, discussions with artists and an open art workshop to produce your own creations. The ideal place for reflection, discussion and creativity.

Museum of Västerbotten
The museum is in the Gammlia area of Umeå and plays host to many exhibitions and performances. At any time, visitors can see exhibitions about textiles, Sami culture, the history of the City of Umeå, the conservation of buildings, an exhibition about skiing from the Stone Age to Stenmark, and you can also visit the farms and settlements of the region. Temporary exhibitions are hosted at regular intervals and during the autumn these include “We are Romans”, meet the people behind the myth, “We have a dream”, about courage, compassion and human rights, and “At a Distance”, nine masterpieces by the photographer Sune Jonsson. There is a creative workshop for children and as Christmas approaches there is a large Christmas market. This is a place where the whole family can learn about Västerbotten’s cultural heritage. The museum is responsible for the whole county’s cultural history, and through the regional network “All-time cooperation” the Museum of Västerbotten supports various municipal libraries and other local players in their work to recount the history of the region.


Museum of Women’s History
A quite unique museum, and the first one in Sweden to present a genuine discussion about issues of gender and power, identity and history. It describes and challenges the male norm in museums and in the production of history. The museum presents tools to understand the structures that limit conditions and opportunities in the lives of women. As a visitor you are offered new perspectives, encouraged to laugh, debate and strive for change. Exhibitions and performances vary, but maintain a clear theme of gender and power, identity and history. A visit that will definitely encourage new ideas!


Museum of Forestry in Lycksele
On a peninsula in the Ume River, in the local heritage area of Gammplatsen in Lycksele, you will find the Museum of Forestry – a museum about the history of forestry that displays, among other things, the development of technology from the axe to the harvester. There is also a large collection of artefacts, films and photographs, as well as an insect collection and a large, unique, Sami collection. Temporary exhibitions are also displayed for limited periods.

The Museum of Forestry has something for all ages: children have the chance to learn through play and discovery, and if you are old enough you can try your hand at operating a hydraulic crane, build a lumberjack’s cabin or learn about animals, nature and culture. Old foundations of buildings and camp sites bear witness to the origins of Lycksele, and in the surrounding area there are also Lapland’s botanical gardens, a nature reserve and a Sami settlement waiting to be experienced.


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