The Vikings were traders and skilled shipbuilders. They were also ruthless sea warriors, sailing to Europe and Asia between the 7th and 11th centuries.
Skåne was an attractive Viking kingdom. King Harald Blåtand and his son Sven Tveskägg ruled for many years. It’s no coincidence that literature's most well-known Viking story about Red Orm is set here in Skåne.
Visit a living Viking city
Some of the most important remains after the Vikings have been found in Skåne. During the latter part of the 20th century many of the Vikings' castles, long houses and entire villages have been reconstructed. Visiting them today is like stepping back into the Viking Age.
Foteviken – Sweden’s only completely restored Viking village
Foteviken, just outside Höllviken in southwestern Skåne, gives you an experience of what the Vikings' everyday life was like. It’s the Nordic region's only recreated Viking city. It’s a living Viking society, built up with Viking-age materials and techniques – inhabited by Vikings and built at the time of Erik Emune who defended Skåne from the Danish in a bloody battle in 1134.
Foteviken Museum has been recommended by the Lonely Planet's editorial team and listed as one of the 500 tourist destinations you have to visit before you die. During the summer, the village is inhabited by authentic Vikings. Come and live like a Viking and try their different tasks, such as making jewellery in the smithy, dyeing thread and fabric in the tannery and making your own cheese in the barn.
The Viking Ages in Löddeköpinge
The VikingaTider archaeological theme park is in the small town of Löddeköpinge, north of Lund. A 25-hectare Viking community has been recreated with agriculture, pastures and animal husbandry. Children and adults can try Viking-age crafts and games or get a guided tour of the area. Remember to book in advance. The tour is over an hour long, and given in Swedish, English and German.
Uppåkra – one of Scandinavia’s most important trading places
Archaeologists have made southern Sweden's largest discovery from the Viking Age in Uppåkra just outside the historic town of Lund. Uppåkra was a political, economic and religious centre of power for more than 1,000 years with its peak during the Viking era, trading all over Europe.
Take a guided tour through the excavated remains of the Vikings' long houses. The tours are given in several languages and start from Uppåkra Archaeological Centre in Gamla Prästgården behind Uppåkra church. Read more and see schedule for tours and activities here.
Visit Trelleborgen – The Vikings’ fortress
The Vikings built wooden ring fortresses they called “trelleborgs". Very few remain and one of the best is a circular trelleborg at the highest point of the city of Trelleborg.
Trelleborg is a reconstruction of the former Viking castle that King Harald Blåtand erected in the 9th century and which gives the town its name. The castle is partly built on its original place and is today one of Skåne's most popular tourist destinations. Take a guided tour or stroll among the high earthen walls, the dry trench, the split log walls and feel the smell of damp wood, tar and smoke.
A popular Viking market is held here every July, staging the dramatic Battle of Trelleborg. There is a museum shop next to the castle selling crafts and souvenirs. During the summer you can visit the museum's Viking exhibition and enjoy an ice cream or cup of coffee in the café overlooking the castle. Pre-book guided tours and fins the opening hours here.
Discover Skåne’s mystical rune stones
Rune stones were engraved tributes in memory of the Vikings who died in distant lands and could not be buried at home.
Sweden is the country with the most rune stones in the world, just over 2,500. Several of which are in Skåne. The Kulturen museum in Lund displays the remaining parts of Skåne's most powerful Viking Age rune stone monument – the Hunnestads Monument. One of the stones shows a woman riding on a wolf with snakes. Many people believe it represents the giant Hyrrokkin, who rode down to Asgård to launch the god Balder's tomb ship.
If you want to explore Skåne's runic inscriptions on your own, you’ll find all info you need here.
Viking history isn’t just about bloody battles in distant lands. At home, the Nordic Vikings fought over Skåneland, which was considered one of the most desirable and attractive places to be. And anyone who has ever been to Skåne understands why. See you soon?