If you’re considering visiting Scandinavia, our first piece of advice to you is just to do it. It’s a beautiful part of the world, full of incredible landscapes and mountains. You’ll also find that Scandinavia is full of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet; welcoming and helpful to visitors, and seemingly always going about their daily business with a big smile on their face. Once you’ve processed that advice, it’s time to talk about where you should go!
Scandinavia is arguably more popular right now than it has been for years as a tourist destination, and that’s mostly down to the success of the huge TV show ‘Vikings,’ which returns for its final season later in 2019. Although Vikings have always been a fascinating topic for children studying history at school, the television show has brought the era back to life for adults – and adults get to decide where vacation money gets spent. That’s seen Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland shoot up the list of most visited destinations.
There is of course far more to all four of these wonderful countries than just their shared Viking history, but as you clicked on an article entitled ‘The Best Viking Sites in Scandinavia’ we’ll assume you’re here for them! You’re not alone in being inspired by the brave warriors – as well as a spin-off TV show being in the works, Vikings has even hit the casinos with an official slots on mobile slots casino websites like Amigo Slots, as well as various other slots which use a Viking theme such as ‘Vikings Go Wild.’ When online slots websites use you as a way of drawing players in, you know you’ve hit the big time! Hopefully, you won’t need a win from playing mobile slots to get you to these historic Viking sites.
Aside from hosting one of the world’s greatest music festivals every year, Denmark’s Roskilde is a great place to find traces of Viking heritage. You can start by looking in the Viking Ship Museum, which was constructed after a whole five Viking ships were excavated within the area during the 1960s. Vikings didn’t surrender their ships easily, so it’s likely that the boats were sunk on purpose to block off the waterways which existed at the time, and so prevent enemy vessels from sailing close enough to Roskilde to attack it. In a plot twist, the museum turned out to be built on ground which also contained nine more buried Viking warships, including one which is over one hundred feet in length. They’re still in the process of digging it out, but you can find out how to build your own by taking a Viking boat building course while you’re here.
Getting up close and personal with the relics of the past is one way to familiarize yourself with the Viking way of life, but it might not be as much fun as experiencing it in the flesh. That’s a treat available for visitors to Gundvangen in Norway, so long as you time your trip correctly. Each July, the shores of the fjords in Gundvangen go back in time as they become Njardarheimr; a fully functional period Viking village. All the houses and structures built in the village are consistent with Viking design, and the town is packed with actors in authentic Viking dress. Battle re-enactments are a big part of the entertainment on offer as are Viking musical performances, and even the chance to wrestle a local. Who could say no to that?
If you like the idea of getting involved in Viking activities, but think battle re-enactments and wrestling with large Viking men might be a step too far, you might prefer the more gentle experience offered at Ribe in Denmark. Ribe isn’t just a relic of the Viking age; it’s the oldest inhabited town in Denmark bar none. Walking through Ribe is walking through history, with a few museums dotted around to help tell the tale of days gone by. Within Ribe’s Viking Center is a reconstruction of part of the town as it would have looked around 1300 years ago, when Viking civilization was at its peak. Each day, the center invited visitors to learn skills such as archery, or baking bread according to Viking recipes.
The other options we’ve mentioned so far offer you a few Viking exhibits within one specific location. Tonsberg in Norway is a gateway to several! The pride of Tonsberg’s Viking collection is a huge replica Viking boat, which is a perfectly-scaled replica of a genuine article found in Oseberg. It’s permanently moored here, although if you time your visit well and come to the waterside for one of the frequent special events, you may get to see it sailing. Tonsberg is where you’ll find the start of what’s known as the Vestfold Viking Trail, which is a series of Viking burial mounds and settlements running along the banks of the neighboring Oslofjord. You can enjoy a walk down the trail at any time of year, but the best time to come to Tonsberg is September, when the Viking Festival kicks into full swing. Not only do you get battle re-enactments, but you also get a full Viking fleet sailing down the fjord to look at!
Stiklestad is almost a spiritual place for Norwegians. This is the location where Olav Haraldsson, legendary king of the Vikings, met his end in 1030. Haraldsson is viewed by Christians in Norway as a martyr, and was canonized as a saint barely a year after his death, such is the importance of the role he played in bringing Christianity to the region. Stiklestad is a beautiful and very conservative town; the people here have a great love of tradition, God, and their country. The medieval stone church that stands here would have existed in medieval times, and the Stiklastadir Farm is effectively a working Viking farm site with an old longhouse. The Folk Museum, which is split into a whole thirty separate buildings, is well worth your time as well.
As you can see from the above, many of the most historic Viking sites have specific festival or event dates, during which it would be the best time to make your journey if you want to get the most out of your Viking experience. With careful planning, you should even be able to see more than one location on a single trip!