Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre

Top Tourist Attractions

The Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum and visitor attraction in York, England, containing lifelike mannequins and life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in the city. Visitors are taken through the dioramas in small carriages equipped with speakers. It was created by the York Archaeological Trust in 1984.

Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre is located within the Coppergate Shopping Centre, right in the heart of the modern city of York.


The year is AD960 and the last Viking King in Jorvik, Eric Bloodaxe, has been banished. The city is thriving with a flourishing manufacturing centre and wide trading links. There are new buildings, new people, and new stories to be told... What’s New?

  1. A New Ride experience with the sights, sounds, and of course, smells, of the Viking-Age
  2. Updated historical interpretation, showcasing the cultural ‘melting pot’ of 10th-century York
  3. The latest cutting-edge technology bringing the Viking period to life!

Hop aboard our improved ride experience and be transported back in time over 1,000 years!

Inhabited by a range of diverse and authentic characters from across the Norse world, each of these people – brought to life using the latest animatronics technology – has a complex life story grounded in world-leading research undertaken by the York Archaeological Trust and based on discoveries made in Coppergate as well as other key Viking sites.

Evidence of the Vikings can be found all around us.

from the ruins of houses to precious objects and even skeletons of Viking men and women, but one key piece of evidence that we see all the time is something we might not even realize is of Viking origin: the names of the places we live.

The People of JORVIK

The men, women, and children that we meet at JORVIK are the culmination of over forty years of rigorous academic work, positioning them within the wider historical and cultural context of the period, and all have their tales to tell…

  • The Hunter & His Dog

You will encounter The Hunter as you enter the city of Jorvik for the first time. Dressed in typical Viking fashion with a woollen tunic over a linen shirt, embellished with tablet weave. his teeth are filed and he has tattoos. He carries a bow, which is a traditional English ‘D’ bow, and what he has caught for his supper, a hare. With him is his dog, which is about the size of a modern Alsatian.

  • The Arabic Trader

Silks and a cowrie shell found in York reveal trade links with Central Asia and the Red Sea. Arab scholars such as Ibn-Fadlan recount 10th-century Norse trading expeditions to Baghdad, a major centre of the Islamic world.

  • The Slave Trader and Slave

When the Vikings came to raid the coasts of Ireland, people, along with ecclesiastical metalwork and cattle, were portable goods that could be taken off in ships. The Annals of Ulster record that in AD 821 Howth, Co. Dublin, was raided and a great booty of women was carried away. A slave trader is a rich man with expensive-looking clothing and jewellery, in contrast to the slave who is dressed very simply.

They had varied communities with different occupations like the Blacksmith, the Fishermen, the loom workers were spinning, weaving, and dyeing took place, the Leatherworkers, the Priest, etc

The Houses of JORVIK

Much of the detail about Jorvik comes from the excavation of four Viking-age house plots in the street of Coppergate. Up to the mid-10th century, the buildings in this area of Viking-age York were single-story structures, typically at least 7m (23ft) long by about 4.5m (14ft 9in) wide.

The walls themselves were made of wattle withies woven horizontally in and out of stakes set between these posts. Benches of earth contained within a revetment of wattle work sometimes ran along the side walls.

The Craft Evidence

All the industries, for which we have evidence at Jorvik, were carried out in and around the houses-cum-workshops that stood at the street frontage of each of the plots at Coppergate. Under the Vikings, Jorvik developed as an important manufacturing centre, which supplied a wide hinterland with a range of everyday items.

Shoemakers and shoe repairers plied their trade at Coppergate, and there is evidence that leather boots and shoes were made and repaired together with belts, straps, pouches, thongs, and elaborately decorated sheaths and scabbards.

Flora and Fauna of Viking-Age York

Viking-Age York was a thriving city and this was reflected in the flora and fauna which was found during the Coppergate Dig in the 1970s and 80s. Found amongst the artifacts displayed today at JORVIK Viking Centre was plenty of biological evidence, giving us an insight into the animals which lived in the city, the plants that grew, and the marine life which was also found here.


Apart from dogs, cats, and pigs inhabiting the city, there is evidence of rodent activity in the city. Black rats, wood mice, and house mice have been found as part of the Coppergate dig. However, red squirrels were also found here – albeit probably not in people’s houses!

A wide range of feathered friends has been found as part of the city’s archaeological evidence from domesticated and common birds to birds of prey.


Jorvik Viking Festival

Recognized as the largest Viking Festival in Europe, the annual JORVIK Viking Festival is a city-wide celebration of York’s Viking heritage.

The festival’s program of family-friendly events, lectures, guided walks, and battle re-enactments attract over 40,000 visitors each year from across the globe, with many returning years after year to take part and enjoy the atmosphere.

DIG – An Archaeological Adventure

In DIG’s specially designed excavation pits, rediscover some of the amazing finds that archaeologists have uncovered under the streets of York.

Touch real artifacts and work out what they would have been used for and understand how these finds explain how people lived in Roman, Viking, medieval, and Victorian times.

Barley Hall

Barley Hall is a stunning medieval townhouse once home to the Priors of Nostell and Mayor of York. Rediscovered in the 1980s under a relatively modern facade, the building has been lovingly restored to its original splendour with stunning high ceilings, and beautiful exposed timber frames and boasts a magnificent Great Hall.

City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar

City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar is the perfect introduction to the city’s historic city walls – the most complete walls of any city in the country.

York’s city walls have stood since Roman times, with the original ramparts and timber palisades replaced by stone walls in the third century AD. Visit Micklegate Bar – one of the historic gateways into the city – to discover their 2,000-year stories involving battles, imprisonment, and near destruction.


Built on the very site where archaeologists discovered over 40,000 Viking-age objects, a visit to the JORVIK Viking Centre allows students to learn about the real Viking settlement of JORVIK.


Finest quality gifts and historical replicas, from jewellery to weaponry from around the globe can be found here.

Travel back in time in our new ride experience to come face-to-face with the Viking residents of Coppergate and encounter everyday life in the year 960.