How to be a Viking in Stockholm: Where to go and what to do

Want to get the full Viking experience in Stockholm? The Local has compiled a list of strapping, burly places for you to check out during your day with axe and shield.

How to be a Viking in Stockholm: Where to go and what to do
Viking for a day at the Swedish History Museum. Photo: Katarina Nimmervoll

The Swedish History Museum

Want to bathe in your curiosity of the Viking Age for little to no cost? At the Swedish History Museum, there are exhibitions and projects running that will teach you all you need to know.

The Viking exhibition itself, managed by curator Gunnar Andersson, is full of many artifacts and objects from the Viking Age. The Local recently had the privilege of talking to Andersson about the exhibition and other ones traveling the world.

“I think what people really appreciate with this exhibition is that you get to see a lot of objects, original ones, fantastic pieces of handicraft and of smithery,” he says.

The Swedish History Museum currently has two exhibitions running around the world under the name, “We Call Them Vikings”. They have been in North America, and are now in Australia and France.

READ ALSO: Viking warrior found in Sweden was a woman, researchers confirm

If you’re a newcomer to Viking culture, and you would like a more well-rounded idea of who they were (not brutal robbers with horns on their helmets), Andersson suggests that it may even be a good idea to pick up some books. His catalog, “We Call Them Vikings”, would be a great place to start – which you can find at any of the museum's Viking exhibitions traveling the world, or inside the museum itself.

For more information on the museum, click here.

Viking for a day at the Swedish History Museum. Photo: Jens Mohr

Aifur Krog and Bar

Stomp your feet, clap your hands, and bang your mug of mead against the table as you listen to live music by Aifur's very own “electronic bard”. Filling the hall with Nordic, Celtic, and folk rhythms and tunes from the Middle Ages, Aifur aims to give you an experience like Scandinavian ancestors might have had as you eat prawn soup, deer steak, boiled mussels in cream, and lamb rack lubricated in honey and garlic.

Aifur Krog & Bar is named after the Viking ship, Aifur, which hangs from the ceiling as you eat and drink in the spacious hall. Fifteen years of research have been put into making the hall’s atmosphere as close to the Viking’s as possible through the use of modern archaeological findings.

So sit back and soak in an atmosphere of hearty laughs, great beer, and “Middle Ages” staff. You may even be given a shield, axe, and helmet to make the experience surely a night to remember (if you don’t already have some of your own).

Check out their menu and event listings here.


Commonly known as Sweden’s first city, Birka is a Viking village built in the mid-late 700's at Björö on lake Mälaren, presumably to control trade in the Scandinavian region. It is also one of the fifteen sites in Sweden on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

This historical Viking settlement of, at its best, one thousand inhabitants, flourished for about two centuries until its inhabitants began to head off to Sigtuna and other settlements for mostly unknown circumstances.

On the island, there are Viking houses and a town, built just as it looked when the city flourished. There are even craftsmen that you can visit on certain dates during the summer inside the town who use the same techniques and tools that people did back then.

READ ALSO: Why these Viking burial clothes had inscriptions to Allah and Ali

There’s always something to do in Birka, whether it’s a lecture, a live musical performance, a fire show, or an archaeological excavation. Also, don’t forget to try out Café Eldrimner and Särimner Restaurant while you’re there. They will be sure to fill you with beer and mead if you give them the chance!

Birka. Photo: Ola Ericson/


Vikingaliv is dedicated solely to teaching people about Vikings. If you are dedicated to learning all you can about the era, it is dedicated to revealing the true story of the people, culture, and life of the time period.

Completed with a restaurant, shop, and multiple exhibitions, the museum surrounds you with Viking culture. Based on historical findings, the museum has even put together a journey called Ragnfrids Saga, where the participants begin following a 10th-century family from their farm to witnessing looting in the West and trade in the East.

IN PICTURES: Inside Stockholm's new Viking Museum

Be sure to pay a visit – and not just because you want to see their amazing recreations of real men and women from the Viking era!

Vikingaliv in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

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IndiskFika: The Indian dance group taking Sweden by storm

IndiskFika are a group of Indians in Sweden with a shared passion: dance. Two of the group's leaders tell The Local how they came to be finalists in Talang, one of Sweden's top TV talent shows.

IndiskFika: The Indian dance group taking Sweden by storm

“We’ve been very passionate about dance from childhood,” says co-founder Ranjithkumar Govindan, who shortens his name to Ranjith. “I’ve been dancing from childhood, like first grade. So once we got into our professional lives and career, I wanted to continue my passion.”

“Like Ranjith, I have been dancing since the age of three, ” adds Aradhana Varma, who joined the group in 2020. She’s been competing in and winning dance competitions back in her hometown of Mumbai ever since. 

With just a handful of members back in 2019, the group now numbers over 50, including dancers, videographers, choreographers, editors, and production crew, and they are still growing.

Listen to Aradhana Varna from IndiskFika on Sweden in Focus, The Local’s podcast. 

Click HERE to listen to Sweden in Focus on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Govindan says started by dancing at various events in Stockholm alongside fellow Indian dance enthusiasts before the idea came to form the troupe. “Then, one fine day, me and one of my friends, Vijay [Veeramanivanna], said ‘why don’t we do a cover song?'” he remembers. 

“He’s very passionate about camera work, cinematography. I’m very passionate about dance,” Govindan says of the collaboration. 

Their initial idea was to take advantage of their location in to shoot dance routines out in Swedish nature, in the same way that Bollywood movies sometimes shoot routines against European scenes such as Swiss mountainsides or Italian plazas. 

“Indians are very famous for movies, like Bollywood, so we wanted to do a cover video of a particular song from a movie which was going to be released. Since we are living in Sweden, we have plenty of opportunities to cover good locations and nature, so that was an idea,” he explains.

The name ‘IndiskFika’, (“Indian fika”, a fika being a Swedish term for a coffee break in the middle of the day) came from Govindan and Veeramanivanna’s wish to combine Swedish and Indian cultures. 

IndiskFika performing in the Talang talent show. Photo: TV4

“We started with five to seven people in 2019, that was the first thing we did, and we did a shoot and edited everything, then we realised that if we wanted to release it, we should have a name,” Govindan says.

“So we started thinking ‘what name should we pick for this team?’. We came up with the idea IndiskFika. Everyone knows about fika in Swedish, right?” 

Their videos, some of which have over a million views, became popular both among Indians at home and among members of the Indian community in Sweden, whose interest helped the group grow further.

More and more Indians living in Stockholm started asking to join, and soon they were doing live performances:  one at the Chalmers University in Gothenburg, and another at the Diwali celebrations held by the Västerås Indian Association. 

When the pandemic hit, IndiskFika didn’t let it stop them. They started planning a digital one-year anniversary for the group, and began looking for other groups to collaborate with. 

That was how Govindan began collaborating with Varma, who had been performing with a different dance team. “I had been performing at various events like Namaste Stockholm with a different dance team based in Stockholm since 2017, but during pandemic, everything had come to a halt since it was a tough time for all of us,” she explains.

When new people joined IndiskFika, it gave the group a new impetus. “That’s when the boost started,” Govindan remembers. “We became stronger and stronger. So, so many things happened.”

IndiskFika first came to the attention of ordinary Swedes with an article in Ingenjörenthe members’ magazine for engineering union Sveriges Ingenjörer. Many of the group’s members are IT engineers or students at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. “They did an article about us, about the engineers continuing their passion for dance, so that reached a more Swedish audience,” Govindan says. 

This led to more in-person performances, which in turn caught the eye of the producers responsible for Talang at Sweden’s broadcaster TV4.

“The Talang people said ‘we read about you and we’ve gone through all your YouTube videos, why don’t you come and participate in Talang 2022?’. The rest of the story you know. We participated in Talang, and we got a golden buzzer from David Batra in the prelims, so we went direct to the finals.”

David Batra, a Swedish comedian with an Indian father, is known for comedy series such as Kvarteret Skatan and Räkfrossa, as well as Världens sämsta indier (“World’s Worst Indian”), a series where he visits India, alongside public broadcaster SVT’s India correspondent Malin Mendel, and tries his hand at living and working in the country.

Batra is also one of four judges on Talang, whose golden buzzer meant that the dance team were awarded one of eight places in the final – four are chosen by votes and four are chosen by the Talang judges.

The group were among the top eight teams in the finals on March 18th, but for Indians in Sweden, reaching the final was a win in itself. They were invited for a fika with India’s ambassador to Sweden, where they were treated to both traditional Indian and Swedish treats.

The IndiskFika troupe on stage at TV4’s studios. Photo: TV4

Many of the group’s members work full-time alongside dancing, which can be difficult at times.

“It’s not easy to be so dedicated by spending extra effort after office hours, with hectic weekend schedules for rehearsals especially when everyone in the team has a full-time job,” Varma says. “There’s a lot of things that take place in the background from logistics to costumes, hall bookings, co-ordinating everyone’s availability, social media activities and so on.”

Like many foreigners, though, Govindan and Varma have taken their time adapting to life in Sweden. 

“All I knew about Sweden was that it was one of the cold and dark countries,” Varma says. “Eventually you start liking it, and you know, everything is worth it for the summers that you get here. The fika tradition, the amazing work/life balance, the nature, that’s the best part that we have here.”

“I didn’t have much of an idea about Sweden,” Govindan agrees. “The temperature, where I come from, throughout the year is between 25 to 40 degrees. In terms of temperature, nature, the people, everything is different.”

“India is very rich in culture, right?” Varma says when asked about the differences between Swedish and Indian culture. “We have a lot of colours and a lot of different flavours and you know, that’s the kind of performance we gave. That was the plan: to give a very energetic, powerful, and colourful performance.”