Visiting the Viking Ship Museum means getting a first-hand experience of the incredible craftmanship, artistry, and maritime acumen it took for the Vikings to achieve their many feats. Experience the world of the Vikings for free with your Copenhagen City Pass.
The pride and joy of the museum are five Viking Skuldelev ships, remodeled after original finds that are a must-see for anyone interested in Vikings, sailing, or ships.
What makes the museum, located in Roskilde, some 30 kilometers outside of Copenhagen, so particularly fascinating and unique is its dedication to the preservation and teaching of traditional tools and work techniques. When five Viking ships belonging to different classes dating back to the 11th century were found outside of the small town of Skuldelev in 1962, the museum decided to not just preserve and exhibit the remains. Instead, skilled craftsmen of all trades reconstructed the ships using the same tools and methods the original builders would have used.
Today, these and a number of newer additions are taken out to sea on a regular basis to constantly learn more about the way the ships were used and sailed. The museum’s craftsmen are busy with projects virtually all year round, so that visitors can get a direct sense of what is means to build ships using the methods of old and can wander the boatyard while the incomparable smell of tar, fresh timber, and salt water hangs in the air.
In addition to the ships and revolving exhibitions, the Viking Ship Museum also conducts research into a number of areas related to maritime studies and archaeology. This makes the museum a truly unique environment in which researchers, sailors, and craftsmen work hand in hand to make the history of the Vikings, their ships, and their great achievements come to life.
And after enjoying the fresh sea breeze, you should not miss out on the museum’s culinary offers. Both the adjoining café and restaurant serve traditional food with a modern twist that can even be enjoyed with a spectacular view across the water. And what better way to discover history than through the sea, the smell of timber, and great food?