One of the best ways to learn about the history and customs of the Vikings might be to travel to the Scandinavian countries and visit museums that have a lot to offer on this particular topic.
In this article, we will cover some of the most prominent Viking museums in Norway. Should you be lucky enough to visit these museums, you will definitely develop a better understanding of Viking culture and history.
Lofotr Viking Museum
The Lofoten Islands in Norway had Viking settlements more than a thousand years ago. Today, by visiting the Lofotr Viking Museum, visitors can experience how it was to live in the Viking times.
Viking longhouses, crafting activities in the summer, and authentic Viking feasts – all these elements recreate the Viking way of life for visitors and offer quality insight into how it was to live in Viking times.
Midgard Viking Center
Midgard Viking Center is located in Horten, and it presents a reconstruction of a Viking feast hall.
Some permanent exhibitions show how the Vikings used to live, together with some seminars and lectures and entertaining activities like throwing axes and archery.
Sagastad Viking Center
The recently opened Sagastad Viking Centre offers a reconstruction of the Myklebust ship (the original was burnt in the ship burial ritual) and some information about famous Viking voyages.
The Myklebust ship was probably the largest Viking ship found in Norway – it was at least 25 meters long, and according to some sources, it was even 30 meters long!
Oslo Viking Ship Museum
The Oslo Viking Ship Museum is located near the center of Oslo, on the Bygdøy peninsula. It is one of the most popular Viking museums and one of the most popular attractions in Oslo, as the three best-preserved ships from the Viking era can be seen there – the Gokstad, Tune, and Oseberg ships.
It also offers insight into the life of the Vikings since it showcases other items they used in everyday life and for warfare. However, it must also be mentioned that the museum will be closed until 2025 due to reconstruction efforts.
The Gokstad ship in the Oslo Viking Ship Museum. Source: Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo
Stiklestad Cultural Center
Stiklestad, in the county of Trøndelag, is famous for the Battle of Stiklestad in 1033 AD, which is an important event in Viking history.
After this battle, Christianity prevailed as a religion. The Christian Viking King Olaf, who participated in the battle, later became the patron saint of Norway.
The recreation of the battle is shown every year, in July, in a theatre event. At the same time, there is another event, the celebration of Olsok, with plenty of concerts, markets, food, and drinks.
Apart from that, there are 30 well-preserved buildings on the site. Together with events, music, and exhibitions, they offer an insight into the transition period after the Viking era. Visitors can also learn more about medieval Norway in general.
Museum of Archaeology, Stavanger
The Stavanger Museum of Archaeology offers insight into the daily life of the Vikings. The reconstruction of a village from the Iron Age is also part of the scientific activities and work of the museum - it is the only village of its kind in Norway.
It was built on the remains of an original village from between the 4th and 6th centuries AD. This reconstructed Viking village offers its visitors the possibility of sitting by the open fire, listening to fascinating stories, and experiencing a part of the atmosphere of "the old days."
Nordvegen History Center
The Nordvegen History Center is located in Avaldsnes, the alleged home of King Harald (also known as Harald Fairhair), who succeeded in uniting different Norwegian kingdoms under a single kingdom. He was the first Viking king of Norway.
The name of this underground museum and center comes from Nordvegen ("Northern Way"), which was an important route in Viking times.
Visitors are urged to start their exploration of Viking times in the museum, where they can watch a film about Norse beliefs. Stories of kings and other high-ranking members of society are also showcased.
After that, visitors can continue to the Viking village, where they will get more hands-on insights related to the life of the Vikings.
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