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“Great guides, amazing history”

Birka and Hovgarden
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Birka the Viking City - Boat and Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Bjorko
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Here at Bjorko, in the middle of lake Malaren, Birka town was based during the 750's and is today known as Sweden's first city. To this day there are visible traces of the people who were born and who lived and died here. Today Birka is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and has several important ruins and offers seasonal reenactments of Viking life. Birka is also a beautiful island with a historical landscape, perfect for a stroll or a refreshing swim. Restaurant Sarimner offers meals and drinks and the museum gives you an insight the the life of the Vikings that lived here.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
96 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Great guides, amazing history”
Reviewed 25 September 2013

This place should be visited for all Viking lovers as the guides truly gives you an insight in how it was to live as a Viking, what that meant to the families of the Viking and all facts surrounding this exciting time in history. The guides are archeologists with the Viking time as speciality and their true and genuine interest in giving you the what we can determine, is the true story is remarcable. A few tips and advices for you though before going:
1. Guiding is only done in Swedish and English and it is more than recommendable to visit this island with a guide. (Unless you have a brilliant imagination!) The Viking time happened before medieval times so hence, there are no ruins of old houses and such, however the island have some 3000 graves from that time. And how they were buried...I suggest you take the tour to find out more!
2. Bring your own food. Food on the boat is expensive.
3. Take the time to check out the museum, it's cute and a huge effort has been put in to make it as detailed as possible. Don't expect any old findings to be on display, they are all at Nordiska Museumet in Stockholm.

Enjoy! It's a very nice day-trip! Kudos to the guides, they truly are great!

Visited September 2013
9 Thank LaValiente777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
114 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Not much to see in September”
Reviewed 14 September 2013 via mobile

I must point out that I visited the island in september, when the summer activities and the viking market was over. When I was there there were no 'vikings' on the island and the village was empty, and all houses were closed. There was no viking boat either. The museum was nice, and there is a guided tour too. I'm sure Birka is much more interesting during the summer, but don't expect too much in september. The sheeps are funny though, they are everywhere.

Visited September 2013
5 Thank Balazs M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
69 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Birka or Mälaren.....”
Reviewed 11 September 2013

....difficult to say which part was more enthusiastic, the 2 hour cruise in lake Mälaren or the 3 hour visit on Birka. I would say that they complemented each other almost to perfection. On the way out you can enjoy the stories of the guide while having breakfast with a "köttbullsmacka" and a coffe. On the island you will be brought back in time with the guided tour and a visit to the vikingvillage and to the interactive museum. Watch out where you step as there are cows and sheeps roaming free on the island........
Going back to Sthlm you will enjoy the scenery as well as a good-tasting lunch, the prices are fairly high but that is normal for Sweden (2 adults and 1 child), we paid around SEK 600, but the quality is well worth it.
If you are in Stockholm during the summer months this excursion is a MUST

Visited September 2013
3 Thank Steffo73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netanya, HaMerkaz, Israel
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A dream come true! A nordic must!”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

I am in love with Nordic history and culture and Birka has that to spare!

The cruise to the island is around an hour and 45 minutes, but it passes some amazing views of the islands, and in a good sunny day (like we had) you can have a lot of beautiful pictures and just a really nice and calm start for the day.

The guided tour was very informative and interesting and took us through some very beautiful scenic landscapes on the island and very nice photo places!

The restored town was very beautiful and authentic and you really feel like you are placed in a different epic era in time!

The museum was rather small but had amazingly detailed models of the village and life in that time and place.

The souvenir shop was the best souvenir shop I've seen. It had a collection of cool and beautiful yet not tacky items that really gives you a memento of that adventure while keeping it authentic and unique!

And finally, the guides are super nice! I've contacted one of them prior to the visit to get more information about the trip and he was super nice and answered all my questions and when we arrived there and met him, he even had a surprise for me and gave me a few minutes to wear the actual clothes, shield, spear and helmet of real vikings so I could take some pictures with them...And that was a dream come true! (which you can see on my FB profile pictures lol).

So in conclusion, this was an epic adventure and I really recommend it to anyone who loves the Nordic culture and loves to feel inside an epic era!:)

Visited July 2013
6 Thank Nir A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great trip with kids”
Reviewed 2 June 2013

We really enjoyed our trip to Birka and found it tremendously evocative of the Viking period. Our three kids had a great time and the fact that you can walk all over the site definitely kept them engaged. Parents enjoyed it too and learnt quite a bit!. A couple of tips: you can swim on the beach, so be prepared for that. Also the trip is quite long (2 hours on the boat each way) so bring entertainment. It's also really worth following up the trip with a visit to Historiska Museet in Stockholm where many of the artefacts are actually kept.

Visited May 2013
4 Thank Sandy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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