Explore Viking History in Uppsala

Home of the Vikings

The stories are so colourful and exciting that it’s easy to think it’s only a mythical place. But legendary Uppsala is a real, vibrant city where the legacy of the Vikings lives on – and is yours to explore. Welcome to Uppsala of the Vikings, and a journey of discovery in more ways than one.

Cross over to the Vikings world like the real-life equivalents of mythical seafarers such as Beowulf and Ragnar Lodbrok. Walk the 1000-year-old paths of Old Uppsala. Climb the burial mounds of the old Nordic kings in Old Uppsala, and visit the sacred sites where gods like Oden and Tor were worshipped. Walk the Eriksleden pilgrimage trail to the-not-so-New Uppsala founded in 1286. Discover the treasures brought here by the Vikings. Decipher messages they left on rune stones for you and their descendants who still walk the streets.

Ages to explore

Ice Age - 9000 B.C.

Old Uppsala is an ancient site located in Sweden that has a rich history dating back to the prehistoric era. During the last ice age, Old Uppsala would have been completely covered by ice, and it was not until the ice began to recede around 12,000 years ago that humans began to inhabit the area.

Vendel Era - 540-800 A.D.

Old Uppsala became an important religious and cultural center during the Iron Age, also known as the Vendel era, named after the village just north of Uppsala. Old Uppsala is home to three large mounds, believed to be burial sites for important figures in Swedish history. These mounds, known as the Royal Mounds, are still present today and are considered to be some of the most significant archaeological sites in Sweden.

Viking Age 800-1050 A.D.

During the Viking Age Old Uppsala became even more important as a religious center. The area was home to a temple dedicated to the Norse god Odin, as well as other important deities such as Thor and Freyr. The temple was a place of pilgrimage for people from all over Scandinavia, and sacrifices were made to the gods in exchange for their favor.

The Middle Ages - 1050-1520 A.D.

The Middle Ages was a time of significant development and change in Old Uppsala. From the construction of the Uppsala Cathedral to the continued importance of the Royal Mounds, Old Uppsala played an important role in the cultural and religious life of Sweden during this period. The area's strategic location also made it an important center of trade and commerce, helping to shape the region's economy and influence.

Graves, treasures & runestones

Viking ship burials were a burial tradition in which the deceased was placed in a ship along with their belongings and then buried, often with a mound or monument to mark the site. These burials were reserved for individuals of high status, such as chieftains or wealthy individuals. The ships were often burned or buried intact, and they served as a symbol of the person’s status and importance in Viking society. The ship graves have provided valuable insights into Viking culture and technology, as well as the beliefs and practices surrounding death and the afterlife.

Mjod and open fire meals

Viking food was simple and mostly consisted of meat, fish, bread, and porridge. The Vikings also consumed dairy products such as cheese and butter, as well as fruits and vegetables when available. Mead, a fermented honey drink, was a popular alcoholic beverage among the Vikings. In Uppsala you can try it! At Odinsborg, located with a view over the mounds you can try mead yourself!


Ship burial sites in Valls Gärde

15 minutes

Distance from Uppsala Central Station - Old Uppsala Mounds


Runic stones in Uppland


Unexavated mounds in Old Uppsala

Virtual Reality

Visit Old Uppsala in the year 670 A.D

The plain that surrounded Old Uppsala around AD 650, which was adorned not only with the burial mounds but also with halls, a grand parkway, and a bustling marketplace, has now disappeared. However, a newly created Virtual Reality reconstruction enables visitors to stroll through the landscape and experience it as it once was.

Download the Augmented History app.

Download the Visir Uplandia app.

Augmented Reality

Step into history through your phone

Visir was a district of Old Uppsala that played an important role in the history of the area. The name “Visir” comes from the Old Norse word “visir,” which means “meadow.” Step into Visir through augmented reality. Download the app “Visir: Old Uppsala.

Runic stones

Runic stones provide a unique portal to the Viking age. Our region is packed with runic stones, to say the least. In fact, half of Sweden’s 2,800 known runic stones and inscriptions are located in Uppland. A cultural treasure of mandatory stops for those who want to see the whole picture of Viking history in the County of Uppsala. But you don’t need to travel far outside Uppsala – a few of them stand in the city centre as reminders of a bygone era.

If you’re finding it hard to choose which ones to see, we have listed below some of the runic stones that are worth a visit:

  • The runic stone in the University Park
  • The Vårdsätra Bondkyrka Church Parish runic stone – Lövängsvägen 8
  • The runic stone at Läby vad – Läbyvadsvägen

The Mounds of Old Uppsala

You are now at one of the most important sites of the Vikings. This is where the Asa-temple was located, and where sacrifices were made to their gods.The three large graves are called the King’s Mounds and were once attributed to the gods Odin, Thor and Freyr. For a long time, the myth lived that the mounds in Uppsala contained the remains of ancient pagan gods. Others thought the mounds were natural hills.