Set on the site of a major Viking settlement, Jorvik Viking Centre whisks visitors back in time to ninth-century England. Glass floors reveal remnants of the original village uncovered by archaeologists in the 1970s, while a train ride takes passengers past detailed diorama-style displays that recreate typical scenes from Viking life—complete with animatronic figures, a soundtrack, and more.
The Jorvik Viking Centre offers an engaging experiential history lesson for visitors of all ages, bringing the Viking story to life through immersive and interactive exhibits that allow travelers to try their hand at virtual excavations of their own. Visitors take self-guided tours of the center, with interactive displays, commentary, and live guides in Viking dress, providing information along the way. The center can be reached via hop-on hop-off tour buses of York. Some York sightseeing passes include free entry to the attraction.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Allow at least one hour to properly explore the Jorvik Viking Centre.
- Tickets are available at the door, but it’s worth booking in advance to avoid lines during peak times.
How to Get There
The Jorvik Viking Centre is located inside Coppergate Shopping Centre in York’s city center. Lots of local bus routes (10, 10a, 16, 24, 25, 26, 36, 42, 45, 46, X46, X47, 412, and 415) run to Piccadilly, which is just a short 2-minute walk away from the attraction.
When to Get There
Lines form at the Jorvik Viking Centre, especially on summer weekends and during school vacations. Arrive early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the crowds.
The Sounds, Sights, and Smells of Viking-Age York
Among the Jorvik Viking Centre’s most famous artifacts is the Lloyds Bank coprolite, a fully intact 7-inch (18-centimeter) fossilized Viking excrement. Not only does the center showcase objects unearthed in the dig, but it also presents a multisensory reimagining of Viking life. Listen carefully and you will hear the animatronic characters at Jorvik speaking Old Norse. Smells, designed to resemble those that would have been present in ninth-century Jorvik, waft through the air.