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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 02 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Marshall

Roskilde, a city 30km west of Copenhagen, has been settled since prehistoric times, when the Vikings sailed their longboats up and down the Roskilde Fjord.

A picturesque, medieval town, it’s worth a visit in its own right, but it also boasts the world’s best Viking ship museum, holding five remarkably well-preserved Viking vessels – a deep-sea trader, merchant ship, man-of-war and longship – that were scuttled in the 11th century and discovered at the bottom of the fjord in 1962.

Once you’ve seen the original 1,000-year-old Viking ships in the hall, board and explore exact replicas on the museum harbour. You can also meet the boatbuilder and see his tools, dress like a Viking, and write your name in Runic letters.

During summer, the museum puts on boat-building and sail-making demonstrations and runs excursions on the fjord in a reconstructed Viking longship for an additional cost (but get ready to row).

Price from: £10
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Roskilde is situated 30km west of the capital and is easily accessible by frequent trains, which take roughly 30 minutes from Copenhagen’s central station. The journey by car takes roughly 45 minutes, depending on traffic; there’s plenty of parking on the outskirts of the city and next to the museum.

Every morning, there are free, 45-minute guided tours in English. See the website for the exact time.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

71 Nyhavn Hotel

Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

A stylish hotel in a grand 19th-century warehouse conversion, overlooking Copenhagen’s handsome harbour.

Official star rating:

Axel Guldsmeden

Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

Balinese-inspired eco-hotel that stands out as one of the Danish capital’s top boutique choices. Located in hip Vesterbro, five minutes from Tivoli World.

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Hotel Sanders

Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

Cosy but classy townhouse hotel tucked discreetly into a quiet street behind Nyhavn canal, mixing city centre convenience with neighbourhood appeal.

Official star rating:

Nimb Hotel

Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

Unrivalled, one-off boutique hotel overlooking Tivoli Gardens, with opulent suites and one of the city’s best rooftop pools.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

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