Birka
The viking town


What do we know about Birka?

Excavation and research at Birka has been going on for at least 150 years. Initially, most focus was on the large number of burial mounds, but later on Birka's town area and Borg, the defense area.


We know that the city of Birka was here from about 750 to 970 but still only a small part of Birka has been excavated and much more remains to be explored.
 


Excavation of bridge foundation in 2015

Traces of extensive trade and intensive crafts have been found in the urban area. Birka's protected location in the middle of Lake Mälaren (which was then a deep bay to the Baltic Sea) had an intensive network of contacts to the east, to present-day Russia.


Via the rivers in Russia, they went all the way down to the Black Sea and the rich city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). Expensive commodities such as silk, silver and carnelian and much more were imported from there.
 

Once the goods from the east arrived in Birka, they were highly sought after. Together with local goods and handicrafts, Birka became a very rich and well-known trading place that attracted many visitors.


The fact that Birka was at the same time in the middle of the fairway to Old Uppsala, the Nordic region's most important cult and meeting place, made the city even more well-visited. On their way to and from Old Uppsala, many stopped at Birka to eat, rest, shop and get news.
 

Are there older traces of Birka?

In recent years, traces of the time before the Viking Age have been discovered, Vendel Age. Several larger hall buildings have been located northeast of the town and many unusually large cup marks in the northern part of the burial field "Hemlanden", one of the world's largest Viking-era burial fields.


No research of these sites has been performed yet. An uncertain dating, however, suggests that there may have been activity in the area as early as the 5th century.


As a visitor to Birka, I recommend that you go to Hemlanden, Kugghamn and Korshamn. It is not only beautiful and exciting areas with very few visitors, it is probably in this area that future research and new discoveries about Birka will take place.
 

The nature on Birka
Birka is a rural idyll with cows and sheep in the pastures. The forests with their grave fields are today very beautiful and peaceful with a rich flora and fauna. I recommend that you bring binoculars, a bird book and an herb book.
 

Find your peace!

If you need to change environment for a while, get fresh air and harmony in body and soul and at the same time be inspired by exciting history, Birka is the place to go.


If you go with me, I make sure you find exactly what you are looking for. I will be your personal guide even if I only take care of the crossing. With me, it is you who decides the time you want to be at Birka.
 

Ending the day at Birka with friends up on Borg on the sun-warmed cliffs at sunset is a memory for life. Don't forget the well-stocked picnic basket!
 

Visit the entire World Heritage Site!

If you go to Adelsö and then go with me over to Birka, you can see the entire World Heritage Site, both Birka and Hovgården and also the Runestone park.
(See map)


Checklist before the trip.


Well stocked picnic basket

Extra water is recommended.


Binoculars, bird book and herb book.

Birka's nature surprises so be ready.


Clothes that suit the weather.

Good shoes are important, the terrain is partly hilly.
Sun protection, rainwear, extra sweater and blanket to sit on.


Convenience at Birka

On Ångholmen on western Birka is the island's concentrated visitor area. During the tourist season, there is a toilet, restaurant, museum and Viking ship and house reconstructions here as well as children's activities and a small swimming area. If you have your own boat, there is a guest jetty. 


During the tourist season
, various activities take place on Ångholmen during the day. In the evenings, the restaurant is usually open and a few times every summer there is a wild boar barbecue with viking-inspired entertainment.


Take me to Birka!

Boat to Birka
The crossing takes place from Lindby bridge on southern Adelsö. You get an overall guide and my detailed guide booklet. The guide folder is designed so that you can easily guide yourself all over the World Heritage Site.


No time limit!

You explore Birka in peace and quiet and stay there as long as you wish. When you want to return, you book a pick-up about 30 minutes in advance.


I take 6 people in the boat and run round trips if there are more of you. Life jackets are available to borrow.


If you have your own car, you park it in the Runestone park (See map>). The walk down to the jetty is 900 meters.


Return trip

Call 30 minutes in advance for pickup.
Tel: 070-776 48 22

Price

Start fee SEK 300 + 100 per person, round trip.

Example
2 people 500 kr. (300 + 200)
5 people 800 kr. (300 + 500)


You can also book me as a guide at Birka with a supplement of SEK 1,000 / hour.


Booking

Phone: +46 70 776 48 22

E-post: kalle@runristare.se


Cancellation

You can cancel the trip at any time for no reason and free of charge.


Payment

Cash
Swish: 070-776 48 22
Paypal:
kalle@runristare.se

 

External links

Kalle Runristare >
Me and my craft as a runestone carver.

Facebook >
My Facebook page

Runstensparken >
My runestone park where old runestones are shown as new

UNESCO - Birka and Hovgården >
World Heritage Convention

Birka the viking city >
Information om restaurang, museum och evenemang på Birka.