After watching Vikings on the History Channel, I am now completely obsessed with everything — and anything — related to Vikings.
What makes more sense than heading to the former stomping grounds of this historic people to learn more about them? Stockholm, which once served as a the home of the Vikings during the Dark Ages, has roots that run deep with Viking stories. The Swedish capitol is a fantastic place to visit to expand your knowledge about the Scandinavian pirates known for their raids.
Take a (Large) Step Back in Time
Highlighting the history of Sweden, the Museum of National Antiquities has a large focus on Vikings and works to dispel the myth of them being savages. It sheds light on the true ways of the Vikings and the experiences the Nordic people had during this era. The exhibition includes stories, information on religious beliefs, their way of life and, of course, weapons.
Walk the City
In Stockholm, you can find walking tours with an expert guide that treat participants to stories of the Vikings and the role they play in the history of Sweden and the entire region. Walking tours include stops at some of the major tourist attractions, including the Royal Palace, and through the historic Old Town, Gamla Stan.
Drive Out of Town
It may not be in Stockholm, but consider a day trip to Birka, a former Viking trading outpost and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located west of the city on Island Björkö in Lake Mälaren, the area is filled with ancient ruins. Explore the excavations that have been unearthed, or hop on a boat and check out the island from the water.
If you want to rent a car, a trip outside of Stockholm and through the countryside will deliver runestones galore. These stones tell the stories of men who passed away and serve as ancient Nordic memorials.
About 90 minutes from Stockholm is Gamla Uppsala. It’s an ideal spot to explore as a day trip from Stockholm hotels. This area was used as a major religious center for the Vikings, and today you can find plenty of remnants of their culture. Open from April 1st to November 30th, Gamla Uppsala features ruins of Viking buildings and large burial mounds.
Another spot worth checking out that isn’t too far from Stockholm is Rune Kingdom, which is heavy on history, archaeology, and ruins from the Viking times. This attraction spreads around Lake Vallentuna and starts at Jarblanke’s Causeway. It includes churches, exhibitions, and a reconstruction of a Viking monument.
Eat Like a Viking
Head into Gamla Stan and visit the city’s famous Aifur Restaurant & Bar. Named after a famous Viking ship, this restaurant focus entirely on the gastronomic heritage from the time of the Vikings. The restaurant is dark and gorgeous, taking you back to the 700s with its decor and atmosphere.
Editor’s Note: This post is a part of Hipmunk’s #CityLove project.