At JORVIK Viking Centre you are standing on the site of one of the most famous and astounding discoveries of modern archaeology. Between the years 1976-81 archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust, an independent educational charity, revealed the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking-Age city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago.
These incredible discoveries enabled us to build JORVIK Viking Centre on the very site where the excavations had taken place, creating a groundbreaking visitor experience where you take a journey through the reconstruction of Viking-Age streets and experience life as it would have been in 10th century York.
Travel by public transport
York is on the East Coast main line between London and Scotland. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. Trains run every half an hour, with at least 25 direct trains each week day.
Direct rail services also run to York from many of the UK’s main regional centres. York can be reached easily from all the following stations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Liverpool.
There are direct trains to and from Manchester International Airport and trains run every hour during the day.
Information on train times and prices is available by telephone from within the UK on 08457 48 49 50.
Travel by taxi
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. Park & Ride allows you to travel to York by car, park for free in secure car parks and complete your journey into the city centre by bus. A standard return fare is just £3.10. Up to three children (16 and under) can travel free of charge when accompanied by a full fare-paying adult.
Award winning car parking company Q-Park operate the Shambles car park a short walk away on Garden Place. Q-Park Shambles is a clean, well-lit and safe facility offering a range of convenient services. Pre-book your parking online and use promo-code ‘Jorvik’ and receive 10% discount on your parking. Address: Q-Park Shambles, Garden Place, York, YO1 7NT.
Path to main entrance
Though the main doors are manual, they are always kept open as long as the Centre is open. They only shut when the Centre is closed.
There are two queues to enter Jorvik: one for general admission and one for pre-booked timeslots. Timeslots can be booked online through our website (www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/) or by ringing our reservations department (1904 615505). As an added layer of security, we perform random bag searches before visitors enter the building.
**Please note that due to fire regulations, only one wheelchair user may be inside the building at a time and we have special booking slots for this. Please ring our reservations department (1904 615505) for more information and to book one of these slots.
We also offer a special "queue jump" service to visitors who are unable to stand or wait for long periods of time. Please speak to either the Viking or admissions team member on the door and they will direct you to the next available till. This "queue jump" service also applies to the queue for the ride (see later).
General admission prices are:
Child (5-16) £8.00
Family 4 (two adults, two children) £32.00
Family 5 (two adults, three children) £36.00
We offer free admission for 2 adults and 2 children to all Max card holders and carers may also visit free of charge.
Additionally, we offer a Pastport card which allows free admission to all five of our sites (DIG, Jorvik Viking Centre, Barley Hall, the Richard III Experience and the Henry VII Experience) for a year. Prices for our pastport are:
Child (5-16) £13.00
Family 4 (two adults, two children) £55.00
Family 5 (two adults, three children) £60.00
All tickets are valid for a full 12 months.
Getting around inside
Visual Impairment - General Information
Lift to all floors
Ticket/ information desk
Our Admissions area is a flat smooth surface with a lower desk area to the right as you enter. There is a lift that will take you to the start of your visit. The lowest section of the desk is 770 mm high. There are staff members posted both at the desk and at the door and are able to offer assistance.
Things to See and Do
In our Discover Coppergate area, you are standing on the site of the famous Coppergate excavation. Here, you will experience a fully immersive display taking you back to the 1970s. You will hear the stories of the archaeologists who were involved in this revolutionary excavation and helped piece together the story of the Vikings of Jorvik, where they came from, how they lived, died and where they travelled to. Beneath your feet, underneath the glass floor, is a recreation of what the archaeologists found as they were digging. You can have a go at trying to excavate, conserve, and display some of the artefacts at one of our interactive stations. Sometimes, there's even a chance to handle some real Viking artefacts from the excavation (subject to staff availability). One of our trained archaeologists will even be on hand to answer any questions that you have.
Please note that during the audio presentation, the lights dim and the sound can be very loud. Ear defenders are available, as well as a written transcript compilation of all parts of the presentation. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the audio presentation, it is not always possible to discern which part of the presentation matches up with which part of the transcript, though we are working to find a solution to this.
There is also a glass floor covering much of the area, but it is possible to avoid walking across the glass by following along the walls if you prefer. There are 22 stairs leading down to this level, as well as two landings.
Our toilets are also located in this gallery, but more on those later.
As you travel around 10th century York aboard our state-of-the-art time capsules, you will experience what it was like living in the city. You will visit the houses, workshops and backyards, re-created on the very site where they were discovered, and meet the many different people who once called Jorvik home, from Old Norse speakers descended from the Vikings of Scandinavia to Anglo-Saxons, traders from the East and new settlers from Ireland.
The sights, sounds and even the smells of the Viking Age are brought vividly back to life as you journey back 1,000 years, with more attention given to the environmental evidence from the Coppergate dig. Look out for the fauna and flora across the settlement, as well splashes of naturals dyes that were found in a backyard.
Before boarding our ride, visitors of any age may feel apprehensive. We have an iPad with a pictures of the ride available for visitors to review, and special lanterns that can be taken around the ride for anyone who needs a little more light.
All capsules are fitted with a touch screen that allows you to choose from one of several audio commentaries, including a children's commentary, an audio described commentary, and several different languages. Closed captioning is standard for the regular English commentary. Hearing loops are fitted to all of our capsules. Please let the Viking assisting you onto the ride know if you need any assistance with this.
Standard capsule dimensions:
Seat Height: 365mm
Bench Width: 350mm
Footwell Width: 395mm
Bench Length: 1390mm
Seat Back to Bar: 398mm
There are two rows of seats in each standard capsule, and each row has three seats. We do have a number of booster seats for visitors who need a little extra height.
There is one wheelchair accessible capsule; it boards from a different area than the rest of the capsules, so please let one of our staff members know if you would like to use this capsule and they will guide you to where you can board at the next available time. Large wheelchairs can sometimes struggle to get on the ride; please refer to the dimensions below. If needed, we do offer a free wheelchair that fits comfortably onto our capsule.
To board our wheelchair accessible capsule: a Viking will guide you to our "caps off" area where a member of our technical team will help you board the ride. The narrowest part of the path to our caps off area is 655mm (or 1180mm if both doors are opened), while the capsule dimensions themselves are 760mm x 880mm. For further details regarding our wheelchair capsule, please email our reservations team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you’ve explored the Viking city you have the chance to see the incredible artefacts that were discovered at Coppergate and first inspired the creation of JORVIK.
These precious 1,000 year old artefacts are displayed in newly designed galleries, allowing you to get up-close with the past and explore some of the most beautiful and rare Viking artefacts in the world, from delicate earrings and socks to frying pans and padlocks and even a fossilised Viking poo!
You will have the chance to dig deeper into the Viking story of York using the latest in cutting-edge technology located throughout the centre and the opportunity to handle real artefacts whilst talking to our friendly Viking hosts.
There is a ramp from our Discover Coppergate area to our gallery, as well as a ramp at the very end of the gallery leading to the stairs which lead to the exit. This is where boarding for our wheelchair accessible capsule takes place, and has a portable ramp that is used as part of the boarding process.
Our "pod," where Vikings and archaeologists show different Viking-age artefacts to visitors, is equipped with a hearing loop. You may even get a chance to handle some of these artefacts, as well as replicas of our more fragile finds.
Please note there are human remains on display in this area.
A radar key is available from the Viking positioned in our Discover Coppergate area, near our accessible toilet.
There are handrails on both sides of the toilet, though the set to the right of the toilet raises and lowers to be out of the way when not needed. There is also emergency pull cord and an accessible-height sink with lever taps.
Public toilets - 2
There are two seperate public toilets, also located in our Discover Coppergate gallery. These two toilets are not equipped with accessibility measurements, as they are located near the accessible toilet.
There are two ways to access the Jorvik shop:
- through the Centre: if you are exiting the Centre via the stairs (20 steps with 2 landings), this leads directly into our shop. The doorway here is 970mm wide.
- from the street: if you need to use the lift to exit the Centre, you will exit out through the admissions entrance where you came in. Our shop door is located at the end of the queue area on the right, and the door there is 1290mm wide. It is also left open as long as the shop is open, so you don't need to worry about opening it.
All of our shop staff are trained to help shoppers, so please don't hesitate to ask for anything!
Getting around outside
Customer care support
At our admissions desk, we offer:
- Ear defenders.
- Visual stories (along with Smell Map).
- Large print guides.
- Braille guides.
- Dog bowl for assistance dogs.
- Traffic light sticker (see below).
Sensory bags are also available at all our admissions desks subject to availability on the day. They contain a set of ear defenders and various tactile & visual items, some of which can be bought from our attractions shops. **PLEASE NOTE** Due to a high number of bags disappearing, you will need to leave a card at our admissions desk in order to borrow one of our sensory bags. Your card will be returned to you when you drop the sensory bag back off at the admissions desk.
Additionally, we offer lanterns for our ride, as it is much darker than other parts of the site. We also offer many interactive and hands-on learning experiences throughout the attraction.
JORVIK Viking Centre operate a sticker system for visitors with autism should you wish to participate. If you are wearing a red sticker it shows you do not wish to be approached, a yellow sticker means you would like staff to answer questions when asked, green or no sticker means you are happy to be approached and spoken to.
Though we do not have a quiet area, our tickets are valid for 12 months, so visitors who find themselves overwhelmed may leave and re-enter at any time.
Emergency evacuation procedures
Customer care support
Our team is committed to providing the best possible experience to all visitors, especially visitors with disabilities. Guide dogs are welcome throughout our attractions, and staff have undergone Blue Assist, Living Autism, and Welcome All disability awareness training. We are also in the process of training our staff members in sighted guiding (through the York Blind and Partially Sighted Society) for visitors who have visual difficulties, as well as Dementia Friends. Some of our staff have been trained in British Sign Language, and we are currently expanding this number.
Jorvik Viking Centre is a highly interactive experience through Viking York where visitors get to see, hear, and smell what life was like 1,000 years ago. By using multiple senses, we strive to make Jorvik an experience that everyone can enjoy, and are constantly working to improve our accessibility. For further information, do not hesitate to email (email@example.com) or call (01904 615505) or even stop in and speak to a member of staff.
You can also book additional assistance for your visit, available from 3pm onwards. We will provide a member of staff to accompany you around the centre to help familiarise you with the surroundings and introduce you to each area. We hope this additional assistance, at what is usually a quieter time in the attraction, will help you enjoy your visit. To book this assistance please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of your visit.
Breastfeeding is welcome at all our sites.
In addition to our static accessibility offers (such as closed captioning, hearing loops, and lifts), we also offer other personal touches for visitors with disabilities. Our highly trained staff can assist with sighted guiding for visitors with visual difficulties. We provide ear defenders and lanterns for those with sensory needs, and we have iPads with photos at various points to allow someone to see the attraction before entering to make sure that it is an experience they will enjoy.
Jorvik Viking Centre operates a traffic light sticker system for visitors should you wish to participate. If you are wearing a red sticker it shows you do not wish to be approached; a yellow sticker means you would like staff to answer questions when asked; green or no sticker means you are happy to be approached and spoken to. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like a sticker to use.
If you wish to have a visit to Jorvik tailor-made for your group, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details. We have hosted tours for the RNIB, for visitors with autism, and for visitors with learning disabilities and are happy to create a specialised tour for your group as well!
Max card holders are entitled to free admission, and all carers are admitted free of charge.