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Destination: Viking sites in Norway; a (nearly) complete guide to the 15 most important ones.

When you set foot within the Norwegian borders, you'll quickly notice that the word 'Viking' is quite prevalent. Just consider the number of businesses: Viking Tow Trucks, Viking Window Cleaners, Viking Shoes, and so on. This suggests that Norse Viking folklore plays a lively role in modern society. That's not entirely accurate, but the visible remnants of this illustrious era are abundant in Norway in the form of countless Viking sites, museums and excavations.

An impression of the new Viking Ship Museum
Image: RAA

Therefore, for those intrigued by Vikings, Norse sagas, Viking festivals, folklore and Viking artifacts I've compiled a list of numerous places associated with them. Viking ships, burial mounds, exhibitions; the lot!

By the way, did you know that 'Viking' is actually a verb? In the case of a sea journey, you 'go Vikinging.' You are not a Viking. Well, that's a little linguistic nerd quirk.

Okay, here's a tidbit since you're here anyway. Even though it hasn't been conclusively determined, the likely reason the Norsemen sought places where there was 'something to be had' probably has to do with a massive volcano erupting on the other side of the globe. This caused a global temperature drop for several years, less sunlight, and particularly in the far north, resulted in very poor harvests. This forced them to search for places where farming was easier such as England and the west coast of France (Normandy is named after Normann or Norseman).

Now, onto the list. I've tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but forgive me if I missed something. And referring to the title of this being a nearly complete guide, has of course to do with all the yet to be uncovered sites in Norway.

Home to well-preserved Viking ships, including the Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune ships. Currently closed due to a massive extension being built. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until 2027 for the doors to open again.

Features an extensive collection of Viking artifacts, including tools, weapons, and jewelry. I found myself a little starstruck and nearly spent the entire afternoon in this museum. Especially the jewels and ornaments left a profound impression.

Tønsberg is not only Norway's oldest city (absolutely worth a visit) but also the Viking Center. In the 2000s, an enormous amount of buildings and artifacts from the Viking Age were discovered here. An impressive visitor center has been built around it and a well replicated Viking homestead was erected. Definitely worth the visit, if I may say so.

Located in the Lofoten Islands, it includes a full-size reconstruction of a Viking chieftain's longhouse. What's incredibly cool about it is that it's beautifully situated. You hardly realize it's a museum, making it easier to imagine how it looked back then. Because, oh, the surroundings are beautiful.

Known as Norway's oldest royal seat, Avaldsnes has the remains of a Viking farm and a reconstructed Viking longhouse. Besides, a part of the hilarious Norwegian series Norsemen was filmed here.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with medieval buildings that were part of the Hanseatic League, influenced by Viking trade. Now, it's not really a typical Viking place, but Norway's history as a trading nation has its roots in the Viking Age.

Site of the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030, where King Olaf II (Saint Olaf) fell. The visitor center explores Viking history. One of those events you're lucky not to have been a part of. About 10,000 deaths occurred, which was an enormous number for that time.

An open-air museum with historical buildings, including a Stave Church and a farm representing Viking-era architecture. One of my favorite museums in Oslo.

A reconstructed Viking village where visitors can experience daily life and activities. And not just fun for children, believe me.

Exhibits artifacts from medieval Bergen, showcasing Viking history in the context of the city's development. Very interesting exhibition. Especially when it rains, which happens quite often in Bergen, this is a good activity to have in reserve.

Although primarily a medieval church, it provides insights into the architecture and craftsmanship of the Viking Age. Need I say more about stave churches? This is one of the most impressive and largest stave churches within the country's borders and worth a visit.

Archaeological site of a former trading town dating back to the 8th century. I've never been there, so I can't say anything about it.

Home to a reconstructed Viking longhouse and offers insights into the Viking history of Northern Norway. This is particularly fascinating when you consider that in winter, there was hardly any light here. How on earth did they do it without flashlights?

A reconstructed Iron Age farm where visitors can experience daily life from the Viking Age. A fantastic representation of a small iron age village. Great fun for kids and adults a like.


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