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“Brilliant family day out, much added since 2009 review” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Birka and Hovgarden

Birka and Hovgarden
Bjorko | Ekerö, Bjorko, Sweden
+46 8 120 040 00
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Bjorko
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Here at Bjorko, in the middle of lake Malaren, Birka town was based during the 750's and is today known as Sweden's first city. To this day there are visible traces of the people who were born and who lived and died here. Today Birka is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and has several important ruins and offers seasonal reenactments of Viking life. Birka is also a beautiful island with a historical landscape, perfect for a stroll or a refreshing swim. Restaurant Sarimner offers meals and drinks and the museum gives you an insight the the life of the Vikings that lived here.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Brilliant family day out, much added since 2009 review”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

We have just arrived back from a fantastic day trip out to Birka with our sons aged 8 and 5. We were nearly put off by the review from 2009 saying that you had to use your imagination a lot as there was not a lot to see as we worried the boys might be bored. We needn't have worried. the site has clearly been developed further since 2009. our guide Andreas was an archaeologist also working as a guide to Birka. He was extremely knowledgeable and culd elaborate on any subject if questioned further, but kept things concise and amusing so the boys didn't get bored. He accompanied the boat from Stockholm pointing out sites of interest and giving some Viking background history along the way and was also in full Viking period costume, which added to the excitement for the boys. The trip out by boat took abut 1h 45min and passed breathtaking islands with some beautiful old houses and boats to admire. The island of Bjorko would be worth the trip in itself with spectacular views and nice little beaches. However there are now some reproduction houses and Viking boats to look at in addition to the remains of the Birka settlement, which is really just a filed and the remains of the city wall to see. However there are burial mounds to see and you should definitely take the guided tour as this really brought it all to life. It was exciting enough for the children not to get bored and as it was outdoors and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful day, younger ones can run about and jump on the rocks and burial mounds if they have had enough of listening. The museum is small but interesting and well presented. Many of the treasures of Birka have been moved to the historical museum in Stockholm for security. The cafe is good with stunning views of the bay. Our favourite activity in the Stockholm area so far, a definite must see for any Viking mad kids. Lots of very viscous Mosquitos when we visited so take your insect repellant.

Visited June 2011
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29 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“get in touch with your inner Viking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2010

After visiting the amazing Vasamuseum in Stockholm, a day trip to Birka (Björkö in Swedish) rounds out a Viking weekend. Ferry leaves from Stadshusbron, not far from the train station.

Ferry schedule during the summer dep 9:30a, arr Birka 11:15a. http://www.stromma.se/en/Skargard/Stromma-Kanalbolaget/Day-cruises/Birka/

Buy ticket on board, 295 SEK round trip. Very pleasant on the upper deck, enjoying view of beautiful summer homes on the various islands. Drinks & snacks available. Good small museum on the island, pleasant walks, small beach and a cafe near the deck where simple lunches available. Very informative and entertaining 1h tour of Viking settlement site on Birka by an archeologist in Swedish ~11:30-12:30, which the guide then repeats in English from 1-2p. He'll announce the timings. The Vikings sailed their wooden boats throughout Europe and to the Middle East. Birka, which seems like quite an out-of-the-way spot, was a major trading center in the 8th & 9th centuries. A lot of Swedes are on board, so it's not just a foreign tourist outing. The Swedes slather their young blond children with sunscreen, then they play on the little beach.Ferry departs for Stockholm 2:45p, arriving 4:30p.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ronneby, Sweden
Top Contributor
369 reviews 369 reviews
233 attraction reviews
Reviews in 129 cities Reviews in 129 cities
259 helpful votes 259 helpful votes
“A nice walk and a nice museum”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2009

This place demands that yuo use your imagination since there isn't any really visible remains to see except that you'll see the remains of the city wall and a burial area. However, the museum is interesting with big dioramas picturing the city as it once was. Summertime, you might also run into live displays, ship builders and more. The rid to the island is also nice and the guides are very knowable. The viking feeling is there all the time, so it's a well spent day to visit Birka.

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Edison, NJ
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Birka By Boat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2006

We had a nice day trip to Birka, a reconstucted Viking village and authentic burial mounds, via tour boat, which is docked near City Hall. The trip is smooth since the route is actually across the lake and takes about 1 3/4 hours. A guide narrates in both Swedish and English, pointing out landmarks along the way and telling of the folk lore and history. At Birka there is a 20 minute film, a small museum, cafe, small reconstucted village where children can do native crafts and activities ( a fee is charged for each). You can self - tour the burial mound area or join a guide on a 1 hour tour. There is also a dramatization tour which we didn't go on due to lack of time. A boat comes 4 hours after it let us off to go back.

The only bad thing was that the area near the burial mounds is almost covered with sheep excrement so you constantly have to watch where you are walking. We only say 4 sheep that day but it looked like 200 should have been there. Yuck!

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