Yes, there is an IKEA Museum and yes, it’s the greatest place on the face of this earth.
This was one of my more spontaneous adventures of the semester—one of my friends from my Danish class, Emma, asked on a Thursday if I wanted to go to Sweden that Sunday for this museum and by Friday afternoon (after a quick Google search) I was fully committed. So, bright and early on Sunday morning, we met at Copenhagen Central Station for the two-hour train ride into Sweden. Thank you, Europe, for being small enough that in two hours we could go from eastern Denmark to central Sweden.
The museum itself is located in Älmhult, Sweden and opened just over a year ago. Fun history trivia fact that you will probably never need but now know: the building that the museum is housed in what was the original IKEA store that opened in 1958! According to the website, the IKEA Museum serves to tell “the story of IKEA. In the past, the present, and the future”.
We went on a Sunday mid-morning and it felt like we had the museum almost entirely to ourselves. We walked through at our leisure and had one of the most exciting parts of the exhibit all to ourselves—the chance to take your picture on the set of the current catalog cover (for free!). Needless to say, this alone was worth the price of admission:
The museum walks you through the founding of IKEA and its origins to the present day. There’s exhibits on the company’s most famous furniture pieces and how its iconic style has evolved throughout time.
The basement holds a temporary exhibition; while we were there the focus was on textiles. The coolest part? A DIY station with bins of fabric, patterns, and sewing machines. Emma and I tried our hands at making aprons for Christmas presents and spent far longer than we should have before realizing that our efforts were futile without an iron. After we realized aprons were out of the question, we tried our hand at tote bags. We’re nothing if not committed. (Those didn’t work out, either).
After a lunch at—where else—the IKEA café connected to the muesum, we headed back to the train station to catch the train to Copenhagen. We saw our first snowflakes of the season while we were there, we screamed with joy, everyone stared, and it was wonderful.
Here’s to spontaneous adventures to fantastically weird places with incredible friends.