Jorvik Viking Centre Review + Photos

Jorvik Viking Centre is a very popular viking museum in the city of York. It is one of those city attractions that you will visit and still be talking and remember how great it was years from now.

We visited the Jorvik Viking Centre in York as part of our 3 day York pass and it was in our top 3 of the best York attractions to visit.

Jorvik Viking Centre

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Jorvik Viking Centre

The title gives a very big clue to what the Jorvik in York is all about so I am sure you don’t need too much of an introduction.

Jorvik viking centre is the biggest piece in the puzzle of visiting York and learning about the history of York especially the Viking era.

We have visited during our time in York (we only live 45 minutes from York) York Walls, DIG York, York Castle Museum and Clifford’s Tower. What the Viking Centre does is put all these places you have learnt about and then explain the roots of York’s viking era.

By visiting each of these places, you have a full knowledge of York and feel like each of these places helps you learn about a different part and then Jorvik tells the story in a different way and is a great learning curve.  

 But of course, Jorvik Viking Centre is the most popular of the York attractions, so it is important that you time it right.

The Queue For The Jorvik Centre
This is us checking out the queue to the jorvik centre earlier in the day. Its busy and you always see a big queue. Locals have told us that the queue went around the block before they started a time slot pre-booking system.

Yet I found a great way to beat the queues….

How To Beat The Queue At Jorvik Centre

Instead of booking for mid-afternoon when its busy, instead go with the last option of the day. Everybody is gone by this point and there was not a single person in front of us when we headed to the Jorvik.

We chose 5pm for this. But there was also another reason we did it.

We had other bookings and was worried that due to the queues are time would run over and then we would be late for our next attraction.

Yorvick Viking Centre

Did you notice the typo above where I have said Yorvick Viking Centre and not Jorvik Viking Centre?

There is a reason for that!

Most people type it like this into Google and social media because they write it as its pronounced.

You see instead of saying Jaw…vick it is pronounced yor…vick.

Is There A Ride In The Jorvik Viking Centre?

Yes, there is a ride at the Jorvik Viking Centre. The way the viking centre experience works is that you firstly check out the underground of the viking era and then you sit on a train ride and you are taken on a journey around York’s viking era.

You then return to a museum vibe and also get to choose your own viking coin.

But most associate the Jorvik viking museum with the train ride.

Why Does The Jorvik Centre Smell?

The Jorvik Centre smells like what the streets smelt like during the viking era. Earlier in the day before we visited The Jorvik Centre we were at DIG which is also owned by the Jorvik brand.

I was chatting to the tour guide at DIG and she pointed out that the jorvik centre used to smell a lot more than it does now, but they toned it down because a lot of people couldn’t deal with the smell so they now have a toned down version.

Though we like the smell of the Jorvik as it adds something special to the authentic experience of the Vikings time.

Getting To The York Viking Museum

So you have pre-booked your tickets for the York viking museum and now its time to visit. We recommend the York park and ride and what is brilliant about it, is that it drops off across the road from Coppergate on the Picadilly bus stop.

You can then cross the road and head into coppergate.

Coppergate is a street with loads of shops and at the bottom you will find Hole In The Wand on the left and then the Viking Museum to the right.

Arriving at York Viking Centre

Unless you chose a really quiet time to go like we did, you will need to queue outside and then when you get to the front of the queue the staff will check your slot and you can enter the museum.

The first thing we saw is what I would describe as glass see through flooring. The flooring looks fantastic, and the idea is that what you see below the glass is what real-life Victorian life was like.

We spent a few minutes here, though I was so paranoid that you would fall through it. Yes, I know its sturdy but its that feeling you have.

Then after you leave this room and head to the next area, there is a toilet to the side. This is so weird going to a toilet with sea-through flooring and really not good if you suffer from vertigo!

But we did love the idea of it and you were already getting your first hint from the smell of the Viking era.

jorge enjoying the flooring at the jorvik
Here is a pic I took of what you could see, through the clear flooring. It was so fascinating and Jorge didn’t want to leave he just wanted to look…

Jorvik Museum Train Journey

So, this is the part of the Jorvik Museum York that people are most excited about. I am adding myself to that list!

The idea here is that you go on a train journey kind of a bit like what you sit on when you go on a ghost train. Then whilst on the train it takes you on a journey through the Viking era and you get to learn a LOT about the history of The Vikings in the city of York.

But what we love most about this, is that they have the smells of the Vikings, you also have information on your screen at the same time as seeing what is going on. Then best of all, this is all based on what archaeologists have found in the area and is not just guess work.  

the train at jorvik viking centre
This was what the train looked like that we boarded. We didn’t wait long at all for the train and you then have enough room for the two of you, as well as your screen.
language options on the jorvik train
If English is not your first language they also have the screen available in several different languages and that is so nice. We also found the same on the bus tours we went on in the city too.

Then once you have selected your language (English for us) then you are ready to get going and the bars come down on your train and you will have a friendly member of staff, explaining anything you are unsure of.

Each train seats 3 people so with us having 2 kids we got a train each and the kids were in front of us. Which they loved as it meant they could be all grown up!

viking experience york train sound
Also, if you look at the back of your train seats you will see the speaks and the sound quality is very good as you go on your viking experience.
people of the river foss
You then learn about the people of the river foss and what they did and what they ate during the Viking era.

I just love the way they have used archaeologist digs to learn all about The Vikings so that it is a true account of what happened back then.

viking centre selling cabbage on the market
And just like if you entered a market today, there were men selling cabbages on their market.

You then followed as the train took you around and around and learnt so much. Though I am sure what the kids will tell you is that they got to watch a man take a poop. Because kids being kids that is what they notice!

toilets back then during the vikings
This was the man they were talking about. How the toilets were outside like this back then. They mentioned on the speaker that he probably had a grumpy look on his face as he was being watched on the toilet.

It was one of those great experiences that you are just gutted when the train has come to an end, and you are getting off.

Jorvik Museum: Almost Done

Then you get off the train and then head to see some of the artifacts that have been found as well as skeletons and so much more.

Then you arrive at the coin making area where you can watch a guy with his tools chop up silver coins. The kids were fascinated by this, and we bought them a coin each that they could take home with them.

kids coins from the jorvik museum
This is the kids coins being made. A great momento for a day trip and usually they just grab yet another teddy from a gift shop and this felt more worthwhile getting.

Then you made your way in the direction of the gift shop before heading home. Because this was a 5pm booking it was gone 6pm when we came out, so we headed straight for our park and ride and then home.

Jorvik Viking Centre Review

We liked our trip to Jorvik Viking Centre and we will be back. That is because the Jorvik York is one of the few places we visited on the York Pass where when we visited they gave us a 12 month return ticket, giving us access for a whole year.

We loved the whole experience inside of Jorvik Viking Museum from the glass floors when you first arrive to the fabulous train ride through Viking times. The kids loved having their coins made and all in all it’s a must do on your trip to York.

Our only complaint is that the info on the screen and the seeing of what is happening is too close together and you could either read or watch and it would be nice if the writing you are reading was slightly ahead of the seeing.

Jorvik Viking Centre Photos

Here are a few more photos that we took during our trip to the Viking Museum York. So that you can get an idea about what your visit is going to be like and then you can understand why I am so excited about the place!

glass flooring at jorvik
Before we went on the train, we loved how much the kids enjoyed the flooring as you first arrive, and you look down at the real Viking era.
screen text like this at jorvik
This is one of the main screen texts you will see as you go along the train at the Jorvik. I just struggled because if you read the text, you might miss something you were going past.
elderly couple jorvik viking
There are also some lovely real-life features such as just watching a couple in day-to day life and the same for many of the stops along the train route.
viking boy playing a game outside
Though I think the kids were most fascinated by watching a kid of the Viking era playing outside and then comparing it to how they play today.
couple jorvik viking centre
For me, what I loved was this fish man that was gutting the fish. They had used a real-life skull to re-create his look.
skull at viking centre york
Then once you have departed the train you can see some of the thousands of things that archaeologists have dug up in the area including this skull.

Jorvik Centre York Visitor Information

  • Where is Jorvik Viking Museum located? The Jorvik museum is located in York on coppergate in the city centre. The full address is jorvik viking centre 19 coppergate york yo1 9wt.
  • Does coppergate have parking? Yes, it does. There is an underground carpark on the side of coppergate. But its nearly always full so your backup option is the York park and ride which stops at piccadilly which is across the road from the carpark.
  • How long does it take to visit Jorvik Viking Centre? We recommend spending an hour at the Viking Museum. Though if you are visiting during busy periods you also need to add extra time for queuing before you enter.
  • Do you need to book in advance to visit Jorvik? Yes, you do need to book the viking centre in advance. The Viking Centre is the biggest tourist attraction in York and gets very busy. Plus, its their way to deal with the large crowds by operating a pre-booking system.
  • When is Jorvik Viking Centre open? The viking centre York is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Sunday. Though 5pm is not when they close, but when the last tickets can be purchased, so technically it closes around 6pm.
  • Jorvik Viking Centre tickets. The jorvik viking centre prices are very reasonable and for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids) you are looking at a spend of £43.00. Though we had the viking centre included in our York Pass.
  • What is York Pass? I have mentioned our York Pass a few times. Basically, it’s a York ticket where you have access to loads of York attractions for a set price. Kind of like when you get a special pass for theme parks. I recommend you read our York pass review here because we explain how to do it and save money as its easy to waste money on it. Plus, we run through all the attractions we did for the pass including our trip to York Viking Centre.

Pin York Viking Centre For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your York day out then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

Our Trip To Jorvik Viking Centre

You Should Plan A Visit To Jorvik Viking
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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