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Norwegian Vikings

Ship builders and state founders
The vibes of the Vikings are strong in Norway, with Viking history, museums, tours, villages and other experiences in a surprising number of places around the country.
Two Vikings in front of the Viking chieftains longhouse at Lofotr Viking Museum, Norway
Lofotr Viking Museum in Lofoten.
Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik / Lofotr Vikingmuseum

What would have been the equivalent of high-tech a thousand years ago? The fast-moving Viking ships, perhaps? These advanced constructions helped to build cultural coherence in Europe, and they were also crucial in the process of unifying the Norse tribes into a state.

The Vikings put their mark on northern Europe forever, and the many remains of their culture can transform any holiday into an adventure.

Viking history and culture

The Viking period began in the year of 793 with the attack on the Lindisfarne monastery in England, which is the first known Viking raid. The occasion that marks the end of their glory days is the killing of king Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.

Viking throne with man and woman dressed as vikings in the Lofotr Viking Museum in Lofoten, Northern Norway
Photo: CH /

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Viking warriors

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Peaceful tradesmen and mead drinkers

The Vikings are mostly known for their relentless robbing, and rightly so. At the same time, many of them lived peacefully as traders and farmers, and many expeditions were based on barter deals. Those who stayed away from seafaring robbery to work from home supported their families by simple farming activities. Their daily life might have been tough and demanding, but it was not without joy. The most well-known Viking drink is mead (“mjød” in Norwegian), an alcoholic beer-like brew sweetened by honey.

The end of the Viking age

The explorers brought their cultural identity to continental Europe, but they also imported foreign cultures, languages and knowledge. By the 1100s, the Vikings were weakened due to domestic disputes and resistance from other European countries, which had painfully learnt to defend themselves against attacks by building fortified targets.

Viking ships

Top speed? On a good day, the rowers could move at around 15 to 17 knots.

The swiftness of the Viking ships is key to understanding how these warriors could gain such a sudden and surprising momentum. Their maritime innovations provided a link between northern and southern Europe, which had a strong effect on the continent.

The construction

The architecture of the Vikings’ archetypical vessels, known as longships, was adopted by several other cultures and influenced ship construction for centuries. In general, overlapping planks of oak were nailed together and protected by layers of tarred wool and sometimes animal hair.

The secret behind the fast-moving longships was the long, narrow body, kept stable by a keel. Light enough to be carried, it was designed for speed and easy navigation in shallow waters. The longship was double-ended, allowing it to reverse direction without the need to turn around. This was a significant advantage in a sea filled with concealed icebergs and sea ice.

Longships had oars along almost the entire length of the boat, and later versions combined rowing power with sailing power.

Gokstad ship in The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
Photo: Johan Berge /

The usage

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The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo

Here, you can walk around the world’s best preserved Viking vessels and smell the scent of the tar of the Oseberg ship, the Gokstad ship, and the Tune ship.

Female power

What about women’s rights in Viking history?

Well, women are said to have had a stronger position in Viking society than in most other parts of Europe. They usually had the right to divorce, and if their spouse passed away, they would inherit him and could keep his belongings. In part, they were protected by law against sexual harassment and a woman was respected as the head of the farm when her husband was away, which he could be for a long time. Today’s growing appeal of the Viking culture is not only based on the image of them as relentless sea warriors, but also because of the way they lived and developed a new and more modern society.

Take advantage of top offers

See our selection of trusted companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

Go on a Viking tour

Visit historical sites, take a sea voyage in a Viking ship, or go all the way and be a Viking for a day.

Viking experiences
Museum on the Bygdøy peninsula with the world's best-preserved Viking ships and finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. The… Read more
The Viking Ship Museum
Midgard vikingsenter is situated near the Borre burial mounds, which form one of Norway's most important cultural heritage sites. This historical… Read more
Midgard vikingsenter
Experience the Oseberg ship The world's most important discovery from the Viking era was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904; The discovery… Read more
The Viking Ship Saga Oseberg
Viking House is a groundbreaking concept. For the first time, we get a Virtual Reality based world-class visitor centre to tell the Viking history of… Read more
Viking House
Stay in high-standard apartments or comfortable rooms. With our personal service and informal atmosphere, we are confident that you will enjoy your… Read more
Hamar Hostel Vikingskipet
The Viking Farm is situated in beautiful natural surroundings on the island of Bukkøy and is accessible on foot with a 10 minute walk from the… Read more
The Viking Settlement
The Viking settlement is situated in beautiful natural surroundings on the island of Bukkøy and is accessible on foot with a 10 minute walk… Read more
Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes - a feeling of being back in the Viking Age
Hamar Hostel offers conference facilities for both small and large groups. Our meeting facilities include rooms which seats 28 and 30 persons… Read more
Hamar Hostel Vikingskipet
Vikingegarden Maurenga is situated approx. 2 km west of Gardermoen. The building, interior and food, etc., are all based on the Viking theme. Read more
Vikingegarden Maurenga
An impressive reconstruction of the largest house that has been found dating back to the Viking Age. Read more
Lofotr Vikingmuseum
A guided tour through Aalesund with a historical review of the time when Chieftain Rollo, son of the local Earl Ragnvald, lived at Sunnmøre.… Read more
Rollo's Footsteps - the ultimate Viking tour
The Vikingship Gaia, a replica of the Gokstad ship, was built in Sunnmøre in 1990. The ship is 23.55 metres long and 5.25 metres wide with a height of… Read more
The Vikingship Gaia
The Viking Planet resurrects the Viking times with VR-technology, holograms, interactive screens and 270-degrees films. At this digital museum you can… Read more
The Viking Planet
Simple, tasty and hearty! Enjoy soup cooked in the big iron pan over the fireplace in the chieftains hall. Read more
The Vikings` warm lunch
Travel back to the age of the Vikings and discover what life was really like back in the day. Catch a glimpse inside the Viking kingdom and experience… Read more
In the Homeland of the Vikings
The Saga Siglar Hall - Documentation Centre The remains of the shipwrecked Saga Siglar and Oseberg ships are displayed in the Saga Siglar Hall. Films… Read more
Saga Siglar Hallen - Viking documentation Centre
Simple, tasty and hearty! Enjoy a lambsoup cooked in the big iron pan over the fireplace in the chieftains hall. Read more
Enjoy lambsoup at Lofotr Viking Museum
Janheim is a  local centre focusing on the cultural landscape and history of Jøa. The viking long house Janheim is a 26 meter long… Read more
Janheim - viking /iron age longhouse on Jøa
Travel a thousand years back and experience how it was to be a Viking! Read more
Njardarheimr - Gudvangen Viking Village
The world’s most important discovery from the Viking era was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904, The famous Oseberg Viking ship. The… Read more
Discover the viking spirit along The North Sea Road, from Kristiansand in Southern Norway to Haugesund at the west coast, by car, bicycle and foot. Read more
North Sea Road - Drive the Viking path
Explore the Viking village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen! "Njardarheimr" means the home dedicated to the northern god Njord. Viking valley is… Read more
Viking Village Njardarheimr
Kaupang Viking town is open during the summer season. Learn about the history of the Vikings' life in Kaupang town. Read more
Kaupang Viking Town
Historic day trip for groups Join us on an exciting journey and discover the secrets of Nidarosdomen combined with "etargilde" in the long house… Read more
"Olav - Viking and Saintly King"
Welcome to Viking Conference Centre - the meeting room with the best views in Stavanger. The arena is perfect for get-togethers, teambuilding and… Read more
Viking Conference Centre
With fantastic views of water, waterfalls, mountains, fjord, and glaciers, you will find Vikinghaug Apartments in Odda. The guests live in large,… Read more
Vikinghaug Apartments
Enjoy a nice drink, alone or with friends. In a lovely atmosphere indoors, or outside on our beautiful balcony. We have billiards, darts, chess and… Read more
The Irish Viking
Feel the magic and the thrill of the ceremony of sacrifice to the Gods to avoid Ragnarok – the Last Days! Will Volva the Prophetess make signs… Read more
Viking feast & Northern light
"Gildehallen" - The Viking Hall, is a reconstruction of one of the Viking Age's large halls. It is newly found imprint of such halls in Borre, and it… Read more
Gildehallen - The Viking Hall
Winter FjordSafari | Snowshoe hike & Ægir Viking Dinner Combine a Winter Fjordsafari or a Snowshoe hike with a dinner at Ægir Brewpub.… Read more
Winter Fjordsafari & Ægir Viking Taste
Do you want to explore the Viking History? For a real Viking experience; Rogaland has several historical sites and places that can be linked to the… Read more
The Viking Experience
The trip begins by minibus along the Aurlandfjord and up to the spectacular viewpoint Stegastein, 650 meters above main sea level. Along the way your… Read more
Snowshoe hike & Ægir Viking dinner
In the center of Tromsø you will find the Enter Viking Hotel. Read more
Enter Tromsø Viking Hotel
This is a wonderful ride in an ancient cultural landscape with fascinating geology. We start at Hov, ride down to the beach before continuing towards… Read more
Viking Tour - Horseback riding on Icelandic Horses in Lofoten
A RIB takes you on a trip to Harstads archipelago to see the empire of famous Viking Chieftain, Tore Hund. Read more
Viking Chieftain Tore Hunds Empire
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS
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