The 9 essential things to know before you go to Jorvik Viking Festival


The JORVIK Viking Festival is a massive celebration of Norse heritage with a week-long array of free and ticketed events.

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There’s over a week of immersive entertainment

It’s nine days of Viking-lovers larping and largeing it around York with living history with authentic crafts, medieval music, and lashings of mead. You could just go for a blow-out weekend but why not go all in book a few day’s holiday to make the most of it.  

There’s no single ticket

There’s no central place to get your ticket; all the ticketed events are sold separately and sell out pretty quickly so make sure you’re on this one early.  

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Don’t let your costume let you down

True Viking fans take the getting into character bit very seriously indeed so make sure you’re kitted out in the best. There are reams of websites and online experts to help you avoid sartorial faux pas. Those Timberlands you think make you look like Ragnor? Not authentic, not cool, my friend.

Your beard doesn’t have to be homegrown

The best beard competition is one of the festival highlights; if there’s one Vikings had big b*st*rd beards. However, if you haven’t got it in you to grow your own Mr Twit style chin bush don’t panic, the competition is open to real and fake beard and all genders alike. Just turn up on the day and join in.  

The Viking Centre is authentic

Make sure you visit the centre while you’re there. They’ll tell you the smell in the Viking centre is authentic. Actually, it’s bad drains. But it all adds to the atmosphere.  

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You get to witness real life leg-wrestling

The stakes are high for the annual Strongest Viking Competition! Join us for hammer-holding, leg-wrestling, hand-to-hand combat and more – cheer on your favourite Viking champion at this family-friendly contest

You can shop like its 1024

Contrary to popular belief, Vikings weren’t all marauding berserkers. Many came to the UK shores to trade and you can transport yourself and your wallet back to the 10th century and meet traders from all over the Viking world. Explore the stalls and enjoy the excellent range of Viking goods on sale, from hand-crafted weapons to authentic jewellery and much more! Carving wooden casks, horn jewellery beading.

The Viking banquet sells out early  

The Viking feast in the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall has authentic food from the period and lashing of mead. Early bird Vikings get the goodies here. Book as soon as.  

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It all ends in a finale

The Festival finale it hands down the most magical event this side of Valhalla. Voyage through the realms of Yggdrasil beneath the giant ash that supports the universe in Norse mythology. It connects the nine worlds, Niflheim (the cold and dark land of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel), Asgard (the realm of the gods) and even Jötunheimr (the mountainous frozen land of ice giants). A story-telling spectacular in the lee of the castle.

How to get there


By train: A fifteen-minute walk from York train station into the city centre with buses available.

By road: The nearest car park is the Castle car park, just a five-minute walk away (for Sat Nav Users, Castle Car Park Postcode: YO1 9SA). FREE, secure car parking is available at York’s six Park & Ride sites, all of which make stops in the city centre.

Where to eat


The Fat Badger does no nonsense hearty meals and fine ales fit for any discerning Viking.



To book a place for the accessible area you can call the reservations team on 01904 615505

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