"Viking Sweden" Top 5 Page for this destination Sweden Travelogue by Sjalen

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Birka - capital of viking Sweden

The best place in Sweden if you are interested in vikings and who they were. The old viking settlement at Birka is very alive since archaeological diggings still take place every year during the summer months with new finds. The people who work with those are your guides on tours around the islands (in Swedish, English and sometimes German) with various themes. The price for the tour is included in the ticket. Most tours pass the fields with viking burial mounds and it feels a bit like walking in an outdoor church if you see what I mean.

Summertime you get there with a boat from the city centre (a scenic and guided 1 1/2 hour trip) and once there, you will find a museum with various exhibitions (starting point for tours) and shop, and a cafeteria by the jetty. If the weather is nice you can sunbathe on the tiny beach too. Just remember what time the boat leaves...

As Birka was abandoned...

when being invaded (the most probable reason), people settled in nearby Sigtuna which is today Sweden's oldest existing town. There are runestones everywhere in the streets still today and the town museum has some of the viking gems you have seen in books. It is also a nice enough town to stroll in as you can see on my VT page...

Anundshög Burial Mound

Sweden's biggest burial mound can be found just outside Västerås (see page). Here, it shares the site with several smaller mounds, five ship settings and a runestone! All so impressive that it is on the European Council's Viking Heritage Trail with the fifty most important viking sites in the world.

Live viking life yourself at Foteviken

Foteviken is a unique place in viking Scandinavia as it isn't a museum or heritage place (like Hedeby, Birka, Trelleborg or Borg) but rather a village where people live viking life during summer and where you are given guided tours by the inhabitants and can then wander around people's houses as you wish, looking at the great hall, the king's house, the catapult or the ship and many other things. Should you wish to live viking life yourself, that's no problem. Just contact them about joining the "SVEG" society, don your viking robe and live a few weeks with archery, handicrafts, house building and barbecuing evenings, sometimes even parties in the "Ting Hall". If that is too much for you, just rent a cottage outside the village and explore both viking life and the surrounding countryside.

Viking tapestries and northernmost rune stone

If you want to see some of the oldest tapestries in western Europe, go to Östersund (see page) and discover the magnificent Överhogdal viking tapestries at the Jamtli museum. Whilst there, you can also take time to see the northernmost runestone in Scandinavia, just across the bridge to Frösön island.

Rök stone

R?k has to be mentioned as it is the most famous rune stone in Sweden with its own little exhibition centre since 1991. You will find it outside ?desh?g (E4 between J?nk?ping and Link?ping) very close to where it was thought to have stood when created. It is an unusual stone in that it has an extreme amount of runes on both sides! Varin, the man who created it, must have been a wealthy and influential man.

Gotland sites

The island in the Baltic Sea has many viking treasures. Starting at the History & Archaeology museum in Visby with its unique Gotland rune stones is a good idea.

Old Uppsala

The most famous burial site in Sweden with its three huge mounds and several smaller. Old Uppsala was the centre for viking activity and Swedish history for a long time. You can visit the burial mounds and the adjacent museum and also go on guided tours in English in summer. A very fascinating place which you can read more about on my Uppsala page.

  • Page Updated Oct 2, 2005
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