A personal travel guide for adventurous young people by Lisa Love

Out-of-town excursions
Stockholm weather now:

Wednesday, 06

Birka, the Viking Town

On the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren

Phone information: 08-560 514 45
Opening hours, admission, etc: www.raa.se
World Heritage Information: www.raa.se

Take the boat from: Stadshuskajen or Klara Mälarstrand
Boat information: 08-587 140 00
Departures, fares, etc: www.strommakanalbolaget.com

If you’d like to take a trip to the age of the Vikings, but believe that time travel is impossible, a trip to Birka is probably the next best thing. Located on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren, Birka was the first real town in Sweden and had about 700 inhabitants in its heyday. Founded in the eighth century, the town died out centuries ago, and today the area around the harbor is an active archaeological dig and living museum. Like Drottningholm Palace, Birka is also a World Heritage Site.

New discoveries are being unearthed here all the time revealing ancient secrets of how the Vikings lived. Here you can meet a “blacksmith” and a “farmer” who will tell you of their make-believe lives in a long-ago era. Birka village is a summer excursion and only open between May and the middle of September. The resident actors and archaeologists don’t begin their work until the end of June and usually end their working period by the middle of August. Even if they’re not there when you visit, there’s plenty to do. After you’ve visited the museum, you can also go for a swim, for example, or have a picnic in this beautiful natural setting.

Themes vary from year to year, so don’t forget to check out the exhibition theme for the year before visiting the island.

Copyright © 2011 Lisa Christina Love. Ideas or suggestions? Please contact me.

Bookmark: Link. Chapter: Out-of-town excursions

Revised: Thursday, 7 June 2012.