How To See The Best Viking Sites In Denmark

Travel Itinerary

Viewed: 1719 times
0 ratings

Profile image
Itinerary by: Dan Hill
5 months ago
Traveller
Culture-Bronze Age Culture-Castle Culture-Church Culture-Historical Building Culture-Monument Culture-Museum Culture-Prehistoric Monument Culture-Vikings Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Restaurant Exhibition-Architecture Exhibition-Handicrafts Exhibition-History Exhibition-Tour Nature-Lake Nature-Park Outdoor Events-Canoe Settlement-Community Transport-Kayak-Canoe rental Social Distance-Social distance friendly
Duration: 4 days

A 4 day road-trip around viking Denmark to visit some stunning archaeological sites, museums and reconstructions. If you're interested in learning about the vikings in Denmark, this would be 4 days well spent - although you'll also need to add an additional day to return on Day 4. A car would be the best way between the sites - as there are significant distances to cover. You'll also need to book accommodation along the route. I was inspired to write this itinerary after reading a superb book which introduced me to a number of the sites: Vikings - A History by Neil Oliver. Check it out if you can. Photo Credits: Image by Gary Chambers from Pixabay

Booking.com

Day 1

Vikings Artefacts in Copenhagen

On Day 1, we start at The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, to check out the viking exhibition and antiquities.
10:00 - 12:00
The National Museum of Denmark
Prince's Mansion, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K, Denmark
Located in central Copenhagen, The National Museum of Denmark is the nation's largest collection of Danish and foreign cultural history - with exhibits spanning 14,000 years. The museum is located near Copenhagen's main shopping street - Strøget. The permanent exhibitions on display are: 1. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities 2. Danish Prehistory (up to 1050 AD, and including the bronze age, iron age and the vikings) 3. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance 4. Danish Stories (1660-2000) 5. The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals 6. Voices from the Colonies 7. Ethnographic Collection 8. Children's Museum The museum offers a number of guided tours that are inter-changed - so check the museum's website (link on this page) to check what is available. Photo Credit: National Museum of Denmark
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Bronze Age Culture-Historical Building Culture-Museum Culture-Vikings Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Restaurant Exhibition-History Exhibition-Tour

Notes

Of particular interest to those interested in Viking history is the Danish Prehistory exhibition. Also on show until September 2020 is the Meet The Vikings exhibition - and a guided tour is also available.

12:00 - 13:00
Egtved Girl - National Museum of Denmark
Prince's Mansion, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K, Denmark
Discovered in 1921, 'Egtved Girl' is the name given to the burial remains of an 18-20 year old girl who died around 1370 BC. It was the acidic soil which was wet from the surrounding marsh-land, that had the unintended consequences of preserving her belongings for nearly 3000 years. Buried in a tree-trunk coffin, along with the remains of a cremated child, her teeth, nails, hair and some brain tissue and skin remain, along with a number of artefacts that give archaeologists incredible insight into a by-gone era. Named after the village of Egtved in south-east Denmark, it was clear that she was very well thought-of by those who buried her. Her hollowed out grave had been lined with cowhide. A comb made from a piece of animal horn was found tied to a woollen belt around her waist. She was found decorated with bronze jewellery including bracelets and an earring. The coffin was shipped to the National Museum in Copenhagen before it was opened. She was found wrapped in an ox-hide. Archaeologists know that she was buried in the summer months because yarrow flowers were also found in the coffin. Also found was a fermented drink - probably beer, honey and berries. Photo Credits: Egtvedpigen at the Danish National Museum. Photo:Tommy Hansen Image from http://www.pdfnet.dk. Photo from the Danish National Museum
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Bronze Age Culture-Museum

Notes

I've included a dedicated entry here for the Egtved Girl due to the significance of her discovery into understanding the pre-history prior to the vikings.

Day 2

Viking Ships and Reconstructions

On Day 2, I can highly recommend a visit to Sagnlandet if you'd like to check out some pre-history reconstructions from the stone age, iron age and viking age. Later, head to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde to see some viking ships uncovered in the fjord, along with a boat yard dedicated to viking reconstructions.
10:00 - 13:00
Sagnlandet Lejre - Land of Legends
Slangealleen 2, 4320 Lejre, Denmark
Originally established in 1964 as an experimental centre for the study of history and archaeology, Sagnlandet Lejre - Land of Legends - is today an outdoor historical tourist attraction. Located in Lejre, near Roskilde, in Denmark, it feels like a living museum - with staff dressed in costume, demonstrating various aspects of life from the iron age, stone age, viking age and 19th century. To get to Sagnlandet Lejre, you need to drive down twisty Danish country lanes, before finding the parking, and entering via the gift shop. Once in, if you have young children with you, you can rent a small cart at the shop to pull them around the grounds. This is not an amusement park, nor a museum - rather it is a 43 hectare piece of undulating country side. Tracks lead visitors to walk to various historical venues and activities. This is certainly somewhere that is best enjoyed in good weather. There are faithfully reconstructed houses from the stone age, iron age, viking times, and 1800s. There are wooden carved out canoes to try out on the lake - lifejackets provided! You can grind your own flour from wheat seeds using grinding stones, then add water and cook flat bread over the fire. There's a viking camps to explore, and try activities to challenge yourself with such as using a bow and arrow, or a spear to hit a target. You can help shear animals during the warmer months, and even go on a ride on a horse drawn carriage. There are herb gardens growing that show the plants grown by Danish ancestors, and much more. If you would enjoy a combination of history, practical interaction with the exhibits, and active walking through the country, then definitely check out Lejre.
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Bronze Age Culture-Historical Building Culture-Prehistoric Monument Culture-Vikings Eat & Drink-Cafe Exhibition-Architecture Exhibition-Handicrafts Exhibition-History Nature-Lake Nature-Park Outdoor Events-Canoe Settlement-Community Transport-Kayak-Canoe rental Social Distance-Social distance friendly
Standard 175.00 DKK
Kids 115.00 DKK Under 18

Notes

A visit to Sagnlandet - Land of Legends - is definitely best visited during good weather. Additionally, there are seasonal opening times - with the first opening at Easter, and finally closing in September.

Getting there

Driving time from central Copenhagen is about 45 minutes. Public transport takes about 50 minutes.

Travel time
0 hours 50 minutes
13:30 - 15:30
The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde
Vindeboder 12, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
In Skuldelev harbour next to Roskilde, in Denmark, 5 wrecked viking ships were discovered in 1962. Archaeologists determined that they had been deliberately sunk by filling them with rocks - in order to block the Roskilde Fjord for defence and control purposes. The design of the ships that were discovered has given archaeologists detailed insight into the seas that the boats were designed to sail on, their function, and sailing capabilities. From the wooden construction, the tools that were used to build the ships has been deduced, as well as the type of wood and even the specific parts of the tree was used for each element of the boat. The 5 boats - originally built between 1030 and 1040 - have been reconstructed with the best information available, and are now housed in the Viking Ship Hall - constructed specifically to house the boats in 1969. Since then, the museum has expanded considerably, and now includes a boat-yard where new viking ships are built using traditional methods. They are then put to sea (including for trips for museum guests) and can be seen floating in the Museum Harbour. In 2004, one of the boats was even sailed 1,000 miles from Roskilde to Dublin, in Ireland. Around the grounds of the museum, you can see wood that has been specifically selected for new boat construction, and you can see skilled craftsmen using traditional tools to construct boats, and even ropes from the day. The museum includes multi-media experiences, and the opportunity for guests to dress in traditional viking clothing. While there, do check out Cafe Knarr - which has superb food. Photo credits: Image by zealot666 from Pixabay
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Museum Culture-Vikings Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Restaurant Exhibition-Architecture Exhibition-Handicrafts Exhibition-History
Standard 115.00 - 150.00 DKK
Group 125.00 DKK
Students 115.00 DKK
Members 0.00 DKK
Kids 0.00 DKK Under 18

Notes

I can highly recommend grabbing some lunch, coffee or snacks in the Knarr Cafe. You'll get the most out of your visit if the weather is pleasant - as there are sometimes exhibitions and practical demonstrations regarding traditional boat building or other viking crafts outside.

Getting there

The Museum is located at the harbour front in the city of Roskilde. An easy way to get there is by car - with a large car park (free of charge) located right on the harbour. Driving time from Sagnlandet is about 20 minutes.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes

Day 3

Fortress, Burial Ship & Jelling

On Day 3, we'll make a final stop on the island of Sjælland to see a well preserved ring fortress. Crossing the bridge westward to the island of Fyn, we'll visit the world's only in-tact viking ship from a burial mound. Finally, we'll cross the Danish mainland - Jutland - to see the incredible Jelling stones and mounds - complete with viking runes.
10:00 - 12:00
Viking Fortress of Trelleborg
Trelleborg Alle 4, 4200 Slagelse, Denmark
To date, 7 viking ring fortresses have been discovered, and the fortress at Trelleborg in the west of Sjælland in Denmark is considered the best example due to its preservation. The fortress was ordered to be built by King Harald Bluetooth, around 980 AD. The inland location of this fortress seems a little odd today, but that is because of what is known as "post-glacial-rebound" - where the once swampy ground has now receded. The fortress was connected in its day to the Great Belt sea via a river, which would have supported the viking's shops. It is therefore considered possible that at least part of the role of this fortress could have been to control the Great Belt. The circular fortress of 137m diameter has 2 roads crossing through it, and meeting at the centre. Each quarter of the circle had 4 long-houses in it. In 1948, a long-house was reconstructed at the site, and still stands today. The outer walls of the fortress were constructed from 2 layers of oak beams - with stones dropped between them. Arrow heads that were found embedded in the gate and walls indicate that there was at least one battle here - and a mass burial site uncovered lends weight to this theory. Admission to the fortress is free - except during the Viking Festival, in July. Trelleborg Museum was built at the site to tell the story of the fortress - and it also houses many of the artefacts that archaeologists have uncovered at the site. The museum is open from March to October. There is an admission fee for the museum. Photo Credits: Image by Knud Erik Vinding from Pixabay By Thue C. Leibrandt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30522746
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Castle Culture-Historical Building Culture-Museum Culture-Vikings Eat & Drink-Cafe
Standard 120.00 DKK
Kids 30.00 DKK Under 18

Notes

The museum is open from March to October.

Getting there

You'll need to drive to the Trelleborg site, which is located near Slagelse, in the west of Sjælland. The E20 motorway will take you almost all the way. Driving time from central Copenhagen is about 1 hour 10 mins.

Travel time
1 hour 10 minutes
13:00 - 14:00
The Ladby Ship and Viking Museum
Vikingevej 123, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark
In 1935, at Ladby, on the island of Fyn in Denmark, the world's only known viking ship still situated in its burial mound was discovered. Buried in 925 AD, along with the King of Ladby, this 21.5 meter long and 3 meter wide ship was covered along with many of the king's possessions, including 11 horses and 3 dogs. The original anchor and chain still lie in the bow of the ship. At some point in history, the grave was plundered, and the king and many of his possessions were removed. Excavated by the National Museum of Denmark and archaeologist Poul Helweg Mikkelsen, a concrete dome was later built over the ship - funded by Mikkelsen himself. The museum exhibits the remaining findings from the grave - as well as a recreation - known as The Dead Ship, a modern day tapestry with wool from Bayeaux telling tales from the viking times, and an authentically recreated ship called the Ladby Dragon. The ship itself lies in the water - but there is no admittance aboard. Opening hours are seasonal: September - May: Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 16:00 June - August: Everyday 10:00 - 17:00 Photo Credits: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17203
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Museum Culture-Vikings
Standard 80.00 DKK
Group 70.00 DKK
Students 60.00 DKK
Kids 0.00 DKK Under 18

Getting there

It's about a 50 minute drive from Trelleborg to Ladby

Travel time
0 hours 50 minutes
15:30 - 16:30
Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church - UNESCO
Thyrasvej 1, 7300 Jelling, Denmark
The Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church, located in Jelling, central Jutland, Denmark, are collectively a World Heritage Site. The Jelling Mounds and Runic Stones were deemed to be an important example of Nordic pagan culture - whereas the church is deemed important evidence of the initial introduction of Christianity into Denmark - around the middle of the 10th century. King Gorm of Denmark, also known as Gorm the Old, or Gorm the Languid, erected the elder of the Jelling stones in honour of his wife, Thyra. When he himself died in 958, his son, Harald Bluetooth (yes - Bluetooth technology was named after him) - raised the second and larger stone, in memory of his parents. This stone is often referred to as "Denmark's birth certificate". The stones have runic inscriptions on them, and they are considered the best such examples in Denmark. Harald had inscribed on the stone for his parents, "King Harald bade this monument be made in memory of Gorm his father and Thyra his mother, that Harald who won for himself all Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christians". The mounds themselves were 11 metres high pagan burial mounds built from layered and upturned turf. Each 70 metres in diameter, the northern end of the north mound also lay toward a bronze age burial chamber. The cemetery and the small whitewashed Christian church (including at least 3 wooden predecessors) at the site have been in use for over 1,000 years. Photo Credits: Image by Erik Lyngsøe from Pixabay By Casiopeia - photo taken by Casiopeia, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=197294
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Bronze Age Culture-Church Culture-Monument Culture-Vikings Exhibition-History
Standard Free

Getting there

You'll need to drive from Ladby to Jelly. The journey takes around 90 minutes.

Travel time
1 hour 30 minutes

Day 4

Aros, Stone Ships & Fortress

On Day 4, we'll be heading north in Jutland - the mainland part of Denmark. A first stop in Aarhus to check out the small Viking Museum before heading north to the incredible Lindholm Høje to see the stone burial ships. Following that, take a trip west to see the largest known Viking circle fortress: Aggersborg.
10:15 - 11:00
The Viking Museum - Aarhus / Aros
Sankt Clemens Torv 6, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
In the second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus, a small basement Viking Museum (Vikingemuseet) lies 3 metres under ground. The museum focuses on the history of the vikings from the walled town of Aros - the viking name for modern day Aarhus. The history is built up from artefacts excavated from the very site on which the museum stands. It was during excavations in 1964, when archaeologists first got a taste of viking life in Aarhus. Pit house and viking artefacts were uncovered. The houses that were found are now painted onto the floor of the museum. The oak wall around Aros was built 10 metres hide and 2 to 3 meters wide by the Danish King Harald Bluetooth - as a countermeasure to a recent incursion by the German emperor. The museum offers a guided tour for up to 25 people for the price of 900 DKK. The museum is open from 10:15 every morning. It closes at 18:00 Monday to Friday, and 17:00 at the weekend. Photo Credits: Image from Vikingmuseet
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Museum Culture-Vikings Exhibition-History
Standard 30.00 DKK
Kids 0.00 DKK Under 18

Notes

After visiting the museum, why not grab some lunch and explore the university town of Aarhus - Denmark's second largest city.

Getting there

It's about a 1 hour drive from Jelling to Aarhus

Travel time
1 hour 0 minutes
13:00 - 14:00
Lindholm Høje - Museum and Viking Burial Site
Vendilavej 11, 9400 Nørresundby, Denmark
With a view of the city of Aalborg in Denmark, Lindholm Høje (Lindholm hill from old Norse) are several burial sites - dating back to the vikings and iron age settlements. Due to some fortunate circumstances, around 1,000 years ago, sand blew over and covered the site - leaving it perfectly preserved for modern day archaeologists. 682 graves have been found at the site, together with 150 stone ships. The lower (southern) part of the site has been dated to the viking times - around 1000-1050 AD, whereas the northern part has been dated to the iron age, or 5th century. The size of each stone ship is thought to indicate the importance of the person buried there. The graves of females were marked with a circle on the stone. Village remains have also been found at the site - which was thought to be an important crossing point over Limfjord. Glassware, arab coins and gems have been found at the site - indicating that the site was an important point for trade. In the museum, there's an exhibition about the lives of the Vikings who lived here, as well as an exhibition about life around Limfjorden. Photo Credits: By Mpravink1993 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75545978
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Monument Culture-Museum Culture-Prehistoric Monument Culture-Vikings Exhibition-History
Standard 75.00 DKK
Group 60.00 DKK
Students 60.00 DKK
Kids 0.00 DKK Under 18

Getting there

It's about a 1.5 hour drive from Aarhus to Linholm Høje.

Travel time
1 hour 30 minutes
15:00 - 16:00
Aggersborg - Viking Ring Castle
Aggersborgvej, 9670 Løgstør, Denmark
In total, seven viking ring castles have been discovered, but with a diameter of 240 metres, Aggersborg is the largest found so far. Aggersborg is also one of the largest archaeological sites in Denmark. The fort is located on Limfjord (a crossroads for trade) - in northern Jutland - where it was used to house a garrison of up to 5,000 men. The castle follows the familiar design: a wooden circular exterior wall - (around 4 metres high and a couple of metres thick), with 2 roads crossing the castle - and meeting at the centre. The roads divide the circle into quarters - and within each quarter would have resided a number of long-houses (48 in this case). Given the size of Aggersborg, smaller streets were installed in each quarter. As with the other ring castles, this one is thought to have been built during the reign of Harald Bluetooth - about 980 AD. Such was the enormity of this castle, that it is thought that it took 66 large oak trees to build it. The castle was built on a large rampart with a moat surrounding it.
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Castle Culture-Prehistoric Monument Culture-Vikings
Standard Free

Notes

Why not check out Skagen at the top of Jutland after your visit? Here, experience the meeting of the Baltic and Northern seas.

Getting there

It's about a 50 minute drive from Lindholm Høje to Aggersborg

Travel time
0 hours 50 minutes
Privacy:
public
About the author

As the founder of MapADay, I recognise the value of really useful online travel guides - written by fellow travellers. I founded MapADay to create a platform where anybody could share and promote their favourite travel itineraries - in a consistent format that travellers can easily follow. I also hope tour guides, operators, travel photographers and travel bloggers will promote their material on MapADay. I've lived in 5 different countries: UK, France, USA, Canada and now Denmark, and love exploring new places with my family - near and far.

Booking.com

Sign in to get started

  • Create your profile to get perfect matches
  • Enable Likes Comments and Bookmarks
  • Share your own places and events
  • Create and share itineraries
  • Follow your favourite contributors
  • Sign-up for personal daily events newsletter
  • Switch between Me Family or Friends profiles
Sign up for free