Are you ready to step back in time and experience the Viking age with your family? Here we present 11 Viking Festivals in Northern Europe you should not miss this year! Northern European Viking festivals are basically amped-up versions of Renaissance Fairs: There’s heavy mead drinking, battle reenactments and pretty intense costumes. The vikings were a powerful, revered breed — so much so that they remain a source of inspiration more than 1,000 years after their reign. We at Distrita love to tell you about all these amazing trade shows, reenactment events, famous Viking battles and much more and if you look carefully you may even see us there amongst the crowds!
Oslo Medieval Festival
Looking for a traditional Viking festival? It’s probably the most central Viking festival in the world.
Where is it? The Oslo medieval festival is located in the beautiful Akershus fortress in the middle of Oslo city centre. This festival takes you back in time to the period when Oslo became Norway’s capital.
Oslo Medieval Festival is an entertaining festival for the whole family. The festival has a genuine medieval atmosphere, with wandering jugglers, jesters, musicians and beggars; historical plays; longbow shooting and concerts with medieval songs and instruments. The festival also features a large medieval market with visiting artisans and merchants from all over Europe.
Medieval magic for the whole family at Akershus fortress!
The festival opens Friday afternoon, with a spectacular opening ceremony and an amazing flame show you will not miss!
When is the festival? The festival lasts the whole last weekend of May.
What to see?
- Great medieval market
- Concerts – Performances
- Living History
- A variety of activities for young and old.
Family tickets and festival passes are only sold in advance. It is also cheaper to buy individual tickets in advance than at the entrance.
The ticket price will increase when the festival begins. It is better to buy the festival tickets in good time in order to grab the cheapest tickets possible!
Source: VisitOslo.com and oslomiddelalderfestival.org
The video shows traditional dancing at the Fortress of Oslo during the Medieval Festival.
Viking Festival at Avaldsnes – Karmøy, Norway
The Viking Festival, Avaldsnes has become the biggest Viking Festival at the West Coast of Norway. The Viking Farm will be populated by more than 200 Vikings from all over Europe, living in their tents. The Viking Festival takes place at The Viking Farm, a 15 minute walk from the Nordvegen History Centre and the St. Olav church.
Vikings with lovely crafts will be selling their goods and there will be food for sale to tempt your taste buds.
Angry Vikings are fighting in the theater to the audience’s excitement. You can also experience other entertainers, such as storytellers and music for your senses.
You can also actively participate in archery, horseback riding, workshops and so on.
What to see:
- Battle reenactment
- Saga storytelling
- Storytelling about music
- Viking games
- Treasure Hunt
- Guided tours at the Viking Farm
- More than 200 vikings will contribute at the event
About the video:
Every year, around the second weekend in June, there is a four-day Viking Festival at the Viking Farm Avaldsnes (Norway). Then Vikings from many countries come and set up their tents between the reconstructed buildings. In this way, they want to continue the traditions from the time of the Norge Sagas, when the royal estate at Avaldsnes was a meeting place for people from many countries, and where our own traditions met cultural impulses from abroad. You will meet craftsmen, traders and sailors, people who demonstrate weapons, storytellers, jugglers, musicians – and new friends. The purpose of the event is to make the history of the Viking Age come alive in a child-and family-friendly manner.
How to get to the Viking Festival at Avaldsnes?
Other airports close to Haugesund are Stavanger airport; Sola and Bergen airport; Flesland.
Viking Festival – Hafnarfjördður, Iceland
The Viking festival is for the whole family. An amazing group of Vikings traveling from all over the world will come and celebrate with us this Viking Festival that has been arranged for more than 22 years now. These Great Vikings are storytellers, Jew´s harp performers, street artists, and musicians. Some of these artisans work in rock, some in wood, some are blacksmiths and others are warriors ready to show their strength or marksmenship with bows and the like. Hundreds of Vikings from around the country, including the group Rimmugýgur will take part in the festivities. The Viking Village is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland. It consist of a hotel and small guesthouses for friendly accommodations decorated in medieval theme, with a traditional Icelandic restaurant with several different halls and seatings. Looking forward to see you at the Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður!
What to do at this Viking Festival:
- Hundreds of Vikings that are storytellers, Jew´s harp performers, street artists, and musicians
- Storytelling in the cave
- Viking Band music concert
- Viking School for children
- Archery and axe throwing
- Viking markets and shopping
- Viking storytelling
- Viking Feast and Viking Party
About this video:
Vikings, swords, shields and beards. This is what so many people think Iceland is. And today – you’re right. Today Sorelle Amore will take you to the Viking Festival to broadcast Viking Fights and everything else medieval Iceland. You don’t want to miss this.
Sunnmøre Medieval Festival
Welcome to the Sunnmøre Medieval Festival which is arranged every second year in the beginning of June! A two-day unique folk party – located in Borgund Köpangen at the Sunnmøre Museum. At the festival arena there are plays and physical performances, sounds, smells and colors staged by gourmets, musicians, armies, archers, craftsmen, kremers and stalls with the foods and drinks of the day.
Throughout the festival, we return to the coastal town of Borgund, its greatness in the 1200s. The most important trading center between Bergen and Trondheim – a meeting place for Viking products and goods from all over the world.
Things to do and see:
- Duke’s tent
- The smith who conducts the full smith: teaching kids how to make fire
- Around 100 actors from Poland, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, squeezed a lot of local forces and will put the entire Kaupaan closer to 1,000 years back in time.
- Goose jumping
- Horse riding
- Horse riding school
- Princess school
- Viking music
- Viking dance
- Viking boats and much more
- Spectacular Viking Battle: Heavy-handed warriors will break together on the battlefield. The congress of Bergen, together with Many Free Vikings, will defend against the bishop’s troops from Trondheim.
About the video:
A flight around the Medieval Festival at Sunnmore Museum on a beautiful but windy Summer Day.
Trelleborg Viking Festival – Trelleborg, Denmark
Trelleborg Viking Festival is a huge festival with more than 1000 vikings collected to bring you 1000 years back in time! That is one viking for every year!
What to do and see at Trelleborg Viking Festival:
- Visit Cafe Trelleborg and taste delicious food inspired by Viking cooking
- Free tour of the Museum and fortress with experienced Museum guides
- Denmarks biggest Viking market place with more than 45 Trading stands, where you can buy Viking goods from skilled craftsmen
- Breathe in the scent of cook fires, watch the smiths work the bellows, or the wood carvers skills
- Activities for all ages in the Viking village of Slagløse. Every day from 10am to 4pm. Notice that you pay with Viking coins, which can be bought in the Museum shop.
- Experience 1000 Vikings, all of whom are living life as it was at a market place in the Viking age
- Free guided tours of our Viking garden by our garden guild, where you can hear about herbs from the period.
- Watch the textile ladies work with wool and make clothing
- The battle of Trelleborg with over 200 warriors. Arranged every year in the middle of July. Thursday and Friday at 1pm and Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.
If you like Viking history, I’m sure you will love Trelleborg. You have a museum, with lots of information, a lovely souvenir shop, some activities for the kids, and then when you do get out to the ruins of the fortress itself, it’s fantastic: it’s one of the Viking ring castles and it’s very well preserved. You can even see and enter a reconstructed longhouse. It’s a magical place in itself, with its marvellous surroundings and the sheep dotting the hillsides.
At this viking event you can purchase 1000’s of authentic Viking items. Such as Viking weapons, Viking jewellery, Viking clothes, Viking food and much much more. You can also watch the Viking battle which I will upload later this month, so take a look in my playlist, maybe it is already there. You can very easily spend the whole day (4-6 hours) at Trelleborg when they have the Viking market. They also have activities for kids at this event, like learning to use a bow or fight with a sword and a shield. I would recommend you visit Trelleborg when they have the Viking festival during the summer or a similar event to get the most out of your visit at Trelleborg. There is also a Viking exhibition here, but it is very very small, and it will take you about 10 min to see it all. So go visit when they have a viking event at Trelleborg.
St Olav Festival – Stiklestad, Norway
Saint Olav’s Festival in Trondheim is Norway’s biggest cultural and ecclesiastical festival and will be arranged this year for the 52nd time. Although much of St. Olav’s Festival is about, and takes place in and around Nidaros Cathedral, the entire city is put to use, resulting in public festivities and an atmosphere few other festivals have to offer.
Saint Olav’s Festival always presents an impressive program, built on a combination of concerts, talks, markets and other events.
Discover the Viking village at Stiklestad: Olsok days» – The Saint Olav Festival at Stiklestad is a festival built around the Saint Olav Drama «Game of Holy Olav». For a week in July, Stiklestad is buzzing with lectures, exhibitions, concerts, a historical market and much more! The festival is one of the biggest cultural events in Norway with more than 40 000 visitors.
THE STIKLESTADIR MARKET
The medieval market is an experience for all generations. The large areas around the Long House and Stiklastadir Farm are magically converted into a huge medieval Viking village with Merchants from home and abroad. The village presents -demonstrations, arts/crafts products and real Viking food. Put on a Viking costume and test your swordfighting or bow-and-arrow skills, or try your hand at axe throwing! It also includes theatre, storytellings, archery and other activities for children. You can see different handicrafts, the «needle binding» stiching technique from Viking times, sewing of shoes and skin rugs, forging metal and woodcarving.
THE SAINT OLAV DRAMA
This is the mother of all plays in Norway. The Saint Olav Drama is performed every year at the end of July at Scandinavia’s largest open-air stage. The Saint Olav Drama is a dramatisation of the events that occurred just prior to the Battle of Stiklestad. Despite the age of the drama (it has been performed for more than fifty years now) it still captivates the audience. The drama is re-interpreted by a different playwright every year to reinvigorate the play and attract more visitors. The drama was written by Olav Gullvåg; Paul Okkenhaug composed the music.
What to do and see at St Olav Festival:
- Swordfighting camp
- Bow-and arrow camp
- Axe Throwing camp
- The 50 year old role-play theatre show: Saint Olav Drama performed live outdoor at Scandinavia’s largest open air stage.
Some glimpses of St. Olav festival.
Moesgaard Viking Moot – Moesgård, Denmark
Come and explore the world of the Vikings at the Moesgaard Viking Moot. More than 1,300 Viking reenactors gather to make history come alive. Discover what it sounds like when over 500 warriors clash in epic battle. Witness the beauty of Icelandic horses in a large horse show and explore the numerous market booths abundant with Viking crafts. Then dine and drink like the Vikings did. Be ready to step back in time and experience the Viking age with your family.
The Moesgaard Viking Moot is one of the oldest and largest Viking markets of its kind and has taken place annually in the last weekend of July since 1977, with its signature daily Viking battles and Icelandic horse shows. It is arranged by the Moesgaard Museum of Archaeology and representatives from the Vikings.
Each year the Viking warriors, horseback riders and merchants arrive from all over the world and their vibrant camp spreads out across the beaches and fields at Moesgaard, As the Vikings don their handmade clothes, settle into their Viking tents and set about their historical crafts, trades and activities the Viking age truly comes alive.
Highlights at the Moesgaard Viking Moot:
- Many hundreds of warriors clash in epic battle to claim the legendary battlefield at Moesgaard. Four massive battles are fought where the audience can witness the live drama and intensity of mass tactical combat and skirmish played out before their eyes.
- A demonstration of Viking horsemanship and hear the thunder of the hooves, when the unique traits and talents of the Icelandic horse, the original purebred heritage horse of the Vikings, are demonstrated in a large equestrian show by the dedicated Viking horseback riders.
The Viking Moot at Moesgård Beach is an annual event, which takes place on the last weekend in July – the weekend closest to July 29, the feast day of St. Olaf. In the Middle Ages and probably in the Viking Age too, this day was a fair day in Aarhus (Aros).
Wolin Viking Festival – Wolin, Poland
The Festival of Slavs and Vikings is held annually on the first weekend of August, in the Skansen of Wolin, offering to travel back in time to the Dark Ages and to discover the life and culture of the early peoples of the Baltic States, such as Vikings, Slavs, Balts, Magyars and Russians. The idea of the festival is referred to the texts of the legendary Jómsvíkinga saga of the 13th century, which tells about the founding of Jomsborg and the Viking brotherhood of the Jomsvikings who lived there in the 10th century. The Festival attracts more than 1500 reenactors from over 20 countries, who set up their camps illustrating everyday life and customs of the ancient peoples. The visitors can experience demonstrations and workshops on early medieval crafts, cooking, the Viking ship, displays of battles on land and at sea, ancient music and staging historical events, myths and ancient rituals.
This year I especially timed my holiday to visit the Festival for the very first time and I wasn’t disappointed. Together with my young children we sailed a Viking longboat and witnessed a medieval battle. I have to say it was a highlight of my visit to Vineta.
I will definitely return in the future.
What to do at Wolin Viking Festival:
- Active sightseeing and live history lessons
- Come to the village, enter the gate
- Observe how people lived 1000 years ago and learn ancient crafts.
- One of the largest events devoted to rediscover two fascinating Baltic cultures of the Early Middle Ages, the Slavs and the Vikings, featuring over 1,500 reenactors, artists and historians from 21 countries worldwide in an accurately recreated Slavic Viking settlement, with medieval craft demonstrations, reenactments & guided tours
- The tree days festival emphasize the Middle Age battle atmosphere in the Slavic and Viking culture. Contests and simulation battles, Viking style take place side by side with traditional weapons and traditional clothing exhibitions.
Even this summer, like last year we went to Wolin especially from Sweden, my
wife, I and our young son. It was an amazing event and it was unbelievable how we were
thrown back in time at the festival.
How to get to Wolin Festival:
The Wolin Viking festival is located in the north of Poland. There are many flights to Szczecin airport. From there you can take the train REG 88720 Świnoujście (Service run by POLREGIO). The train takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Leave the train at Warnowo.
About the video: Wolin Festival is a very crucial event because it brings together two of the great Viking worlds. It brings together the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Lithuania – all of what was Central and Eastern Europe, and they connect with the very complicated western Viking Scene. These two cultures merging together, make a very interesting Viking World that is very relevant to the 21st Century vikings.
Lofotr Viking Festival – Lofotr Viking Museum, Norway
In the beautiful landscape of Lofoten and authentic surroundings, 5 days would be filled with fun experiences of the Viking age; games, market, musical performances, fighting shows, Viking ship sailing and much, much more.
What to see at Lofotr Viking Festival:
- Juggling show
- Theatre for children
- Viking ball game
- Kubb Viking game
- Fight show
- Viking Bootcamp for kids
- Fire night
- Storynight in the woods and much more
How to get to Lofotr Viking Festival:
Centrally located in Lofoten, in the north of Norway. The Lofotr Viking museum is located on the green and fertile island Vestvågøy in the middle of Lofoten. Lofoten airport and the cruise ferry Hurtigruten pier close by.
Do notice all the gorgeous handmade costumes! We’re definitely going back next year, and I will be wearing one of those viking dresses!
Tønsberg Viking Festival – Tønsberg , Norway
People want to learn more about the Viking town of Tønsberg, Norway’s oldest city. It started with the construction of a full scale archaeological replica of the Oseberg ship, “Saga Oseberg”, in full public view at the harbor in Tønsberg. They gather the Viking interest in a festival to focus on Tonsberg’s rich Viking history and create activities in the town within a Viking type of frame.
Tønsberg becomes an arena for anyone who wants to create Viking poems of the city, either in the form of events, exhibitions, performances, market activities or anything else. During a weekend, Tønsberg returns to the Viking era. Restaurants, clothing stores, pharmacies will also use the viking theme in their own way. Theater groups have Viking street theater, sports teams arrange viking games, the harbor is filled with viking ships and boats, politicians strive for things at Haugar. The Festival will present Viking inspired art, song, music, dance and theatre, and involve restaurants, volunteer organisations, shops, a Viking market, museums and others. The intention is to transform Tønsberg into a Viking town for three days. Restaurants and shops will create their own “Viking touch”. Theatre groups will perform Viking plays, sports clubs arrange Viking games, the port will be filled up with Vikings ships, politicians will meet on the two Haugar grave mounds – the original site for a Viking “thing”. Everyone is challenged to find their own Viking way of expressing themselves, and all are invited to participate.
About the video: Viking festival in Tønsberg, Norway and some details from the Saga Oseberg Viking ship. This was the last Viking festival of the year here in Norway. As always I had a great time and it was nice to meet old and new Viking friends!
Largs Viking Festival – Largs, Scotland, UK
Started in 1980 this Annual Festival marks the 1263 Battle of Largs, the last mainland battle between the Scots and Norse.
Each year the living history Viking Village is open to the public so that they can get a glimpse of what life would have been like in a 13th Century Viking Village.
Come and talk to them about their way of life; learn about how they made their clothes, weapons, jewellery and food. Ask the Vikings about their religion, beliefs, homes, crafts, ships, their homeland and why they left it…
What to do in Largs Viking Festival:
- A Scottish Food and Craft Fare – Come and enjoy a shopping experience with a difference
- Owl Magic – All the owls on show have been hand reared and are used to being handled
- Largs Labyrinth – Situated behind St Columba’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Aubery Crescent, just a short walk to the North from the Festival Site. It offers a sacred space, the chance to take a mini-pilgrimage, and to gain a new perspective. “A maze is for losing yourself in, but a labyrinth is where you may find yourself”.
How to get to Largs Viking Festival:
Largs is less than an hour from Glasgow (by road) and only 40 minutes from Glasgow International Airport (GLA).
Trains run to/from Largs hourly. For full times and days of service see Scotrail’s website.
About this video:
This video of the Largs Viking Festival 2017 illustrates how the Vikings lived in their specially reconstructed 13th Century Village. It includes a re-enactment of the Battle of Largs in 1263 and and the burning of a Viking longship. It also features a range of other events in the Festival, including live stage entertainments and special markets.
When is the next Viking festival near you?
If you would like to attend the next Viking festival near your home, you should check out this Viking Festival Calendar from JellDragon.com. Then you can plan where to go on holiday next year and combine it with a great medieval festival. I am sure you will get into the real viking spirit!
Would you like to join these Viking festivals?
We hope you found our article about Viking festivals interesting and that you got into the real viking spirit. Let us hear what you think. Would you like to join these Viking festivals in the future? Are there other Viking festivals we should have mentioned in this article? Please share this article and leave us any comments! If you can’t get enough of Vikings, you may check out one of the best Viking series on TV or play some of the best TV computer viking games.
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