Dynamic Variation:

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
or search all of Norway

Norwegian Vikings

Viking in Flåm, Fjord Norway .
Photo: erge/Knoff/Natural Light / VisitNorway.com
Viking in Flåm, Fjord Norway .
Photo: erge/Knoff/Natural Light / VisitNorway.com

They were warriors, looters, and barbarians, yet they were also farmers, family members, traders, ship builders and lovers.

Njardarheimr, Flåm .
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik/Visitflam.com
Njardarheimr, Flåm .
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik/Visitflam.com

They crossed raging seas in elaborate ships and conquered territories far and wide.

Myklebust viking ship in Nordfjord .
Photo: Ruben Soltvedt / Fjord Norway
The Myklebust viking ship in Nordfjord .
Photo: Ruben Soltvedt / Fjord Norway

They left a strong mark on Northern Europe that will last forever.

Lofoten .
Photo: Berge / Knoff / Natural Light / visitnorway.com
Lofoten .
Photo: Berge / Knoff / Natural Light / visitnorway.com

The Viking legacy is strong in Norway, with many fascinating artefacts, museums, tours, and living villages throughout the country.

What would have been the equivalent of today's cutting edge technology a thousand years ago? The fast-moving Viking ships, perhaps? These advanced vessels helped build cultural coherence in Europe, and were crucial to unifying the Norse tribes into a state.

The Vikings put their mark on Northern Europe forever, and the many remnants of their culture can transform your holiday into an adventure.

Viking history and culture

The Viking Age began in the year of 793 with an attack on the Lindisfarne monastery in England, which is the first known Viking raid. The event that marks the end of their glory days is the slaying 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
Lofotr Viking Museum in Lofoten, Northern Norway.
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com

Raids, looting, colonisation, and trade brought the Vikings to many destinations in the known world and beyond. In the beginning, only a few seafaring Vikings survived the rough voyages, but the fleets grew over time, and there were soon hundreds of vessels known as longships. They sailed across the Baltic Sea and down Russian rivers as far as the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea to Byzantium and the Caliphate of Baghdad. Vikings were also the first Europeans to reach Greenland and North America. In fact, the Viking explorer Leiv Eiriksson arrived on the shores of North America around the year 1000, 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

Viking colonisation

The Vikings founded many cities and colonies, including Dublin in Ireland and the region of Normandy in France. Dublin was held as a significant settlement for more than three centuries. Between the years 879 and 920, Vikings colonised Iceland, which in turn became the springboard for the colonisation of Greenland. Remains of a Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland have been carbon dated to around the year 1000.

Two vikings standing in front of the main house at Lofotr Viking museum in Lofoten
Lofotr Viking museum in Lofoten.
Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik / Lofotr Vikingmuseum
Dynamic Variation:

Peaceful tradesmen and mead drinkers

The Vikings are mostly known for their relentless pillaging, 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 home supported their families through simple farming activities. Their daily life might have been tough and demanding, but was not without joy. The most well-known Viking drink is mead (mjød in Norwegian), an alcoholic beer-like brew sweetened with honey.

The end of the Viking Age

The explorers brought their cultural identity to continental Europe, while importing foreign culture, languages and knowledge. By the 1100s, the Vikings were in decline due to a combination of domestic disputes and resistance from other European countries, which had learnt the painful lesson that they needed to defend themselves against attacks by building fortifications.

Viking ships

On a good day, the rowers could move as quickly as 15 to 17 knots.

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

Innovative ship design

The design of the Vikings’ iconic vessels, called longships, was adopted by several other cultures and influenced shipbuilding for centuries. Briefly described, the method involves overlapping planks of oak that are nailed together and protected by layers of tarred wool and sometimes animal hair.

The secret behind the fast-moving longship is its long, narrow hull, 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. 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 vessel, with later versions adding sails.

Viking ship Myklebustskipet in Sagastad in Nordfjord, Fjord Norway
Viking ship Myklebustskipet in Sagastad in Nordfjord, Fjord Norway.
Photo: Ruben Soltvedt
Dynamic Variation:

Female power

What role did women play in Viking history?

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 his estate and retain ownership of his belongings. They had partial legal protection against sexual harassment. 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 fascination with Viking culture is not only based on their image as relentless seafaring warriors, but also a result of their way of life and role in developing a new and more modern society.

Explore more!

Visit the main Viking attractions in Norway – from north to south.

Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg in Lofoten .
Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik / Lofotr Vikingmuseum
Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg in Lofoten .
Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik / Lofotr Vikingmuseum

Discover more

Go on a Viking tour

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

Viking experiences
Explore the Viking Age with all senses at Norway's first digital Viking museum Read more
The Viking Planet
Viking Biking & Hiking offers tours - both by bike and on foot. Read more
Viking Biking & Hiking
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
The Viking Farm is situated on a small wooded island about a 20 minute walk from Nordvegen History Centre, which takes you through a fantastic… Read more
The Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes
Midgard Vikingsenter was opened in 2000 with the purpose of promoting Vestfold's Viking heritage. Read more
Midgard vikingsenter
Hostel with modern rooms and apartments by the Vikingskipet arena Read more
Vikingskipet Hotell og Vandrerhjem
The world's most important discovery from the Viking era was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904; The discovery of the famous Oseberg viking ship. Read more
The Viking Ship Saga Oseberg
Play like the vikings! Experiences for the whole family. At the medieval farm Stiklastadir, the children can join the play battle, you can shoot with… Read more
"Stiklestad Summer"
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 longhouse that has been found dating back to the Viking Age. Read more
Lofotr Vikingmuseum
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
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 with GuideCompaniet
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
The world's most important find from the Viking Age was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904, the famous Oseberg ship. Read more
Kaupang Viking town is open during the summer season. Learn about the history of the Vikings' life in Kaupang town. Learn something new and experience… Read more
Kaupang Viking Town
See the fjord from a bird's eye view with Snow Shoes on, and end the day on the Ægir BrewPub with Viking-inspired food and drink. Read more
Snowshoe Hike & Ægir Viking dinner
Let the family enjoy an activity together in Nordfjordeid’s unique Viking-Warrior climbing gym at Hamna Activity Centre. Hamna Activity center have… Read more
Viking Warrior | Activity center
Reconstructed settlement from the Viking Bronze Age. Fertility labyrinth, archery and story-telling. Read more
Bronseplassen Viking experiences
The Irish Viking is pub located in Haugesund city centre next to well-known statue "the fishermens". 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
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"
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
    Show Details
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    More exciting Viking experiences

    • Filters
      Filter Your Search
      TripAdvisor Symbol
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      Clear Filters
    • View
    • Sort By
    Filter Your Search
    TripAdvisor Symbol
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Clear Filters
    Back To Top

    Take advantage of top offers

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

    Your Recently Viewed Pages

    Back to top