After the Anglo-Saxons, came the vicious Vikings! Join the National Geographic Kids gang as we learn to live like a Scandinavian sea-warrior, in our ten fierce facts about the Vikings…

Viking facts

1. The Vikings were famous for sailing huge distances from their home in Scandinavia between AD 800 and 1066 to raid and plunder, but they also traded with people from other countries.

2. The name ‘Viking’ means ‘a pirate raid’ in the Old Norse language.

Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Vikings primary resourceGreat for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

3. Around 500 years before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the American continent, Vikings had visited its shores, landing in what is now Canada in around AD 1000.

4. Among the many gods Vikings believed in were Thor, the god of thunder, and Loki, a cheeky mischief-maker who could shape-shift to become all different kinds of animals. What a beast!

5. The Vikings were expert boat builders and sailors. Keels – central spines along boats’ bottoms – made their 16 to 37m ‘longboats’ easy to steer, and because these were designed to float high in the water, landing on beaches was easy.

6. The Vikings were eco-pioneers – sort of! The ‘long houses’ where families lived would have turf roofs to help keep in the heat.

7. Fenrir Grayback, the werewolf in the Harry Potter books, was named after a ferocious giant wolf from ancient Viking mythology.

8. When important Vikings died, they would be placed with all their clothes, jewellery, even their animals, in a burial ship. This would either be covered with a huge mound of earth or set alight and pushed out to sea.

9. Bitter Scandinavian winters and frozen fjords didn’t stop the Vikings from tucking into their favourite food – fish! During warmer months they would hang up and dry fish to eat later.

10. Ever wondered where the word ‘berserk’ comes from? ‘Berserkers’ was the name of some terrifying Viking warriors who wore bear or wolf skins and howled in battle like wild animals!

What did you make of our fab facts about the Vikings? Let us know what you loved about them in a comment, below!

Photos and illustrations © Getty Images UK.



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  • piggy jang

    wow i woudent like to be tooken by a viking it would be so scary

  • brendan


  • happysnake

    cool it is helpful

  • hollie

    really good to learn about and exiting

  • lolunicornpuppy

    wow amazing facts

  • Jenna

    It is difficult for those of us with hearing loss to understand this because of the accent and because there are no captions. Please add captions so all kids can enjoy and learn from your videos.

  • Mike Hunt


  • TusharG13


  • jason


  • I love site

  • traz

    really good want to learn more about it

  • jertry

    good page I love it

  • I'm doing a project on Vikings for school!

  • Jolene cai


  • SEA21

    The facts and video were awesome


    this was very usefull for my homework

  • harmit

    this was very helpful

  • NGKIDZ4066

    Thank you for helping me with my viking project... I am making my own mini boat.

  • Ffionlol


  • Jayden

    It good nice fact they where beast

  • frank

    i am not ever useing this website ever agen

  • frank


  • ThePhoenix


  • ThePhoenix


  • jonn

    bad jonn

  • Anna999

    Wow thanks the facts really helped me with my homework

  • 99


  • Karategirl


  • Me


  • AmazingPhildermort

    WOWZA! this is amazing (just like me). Ive been through some really tough times in my life and i really appreciate your efforts on making all these cool articles!!11! I even made a poem: Roses are red, Poo is brown, Read this website and you wont have a frown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for all your viking love and support itz rilly koolza. p.s i love you p.p.s i dont love cheese p.p.p.s i love my mum 2 p.p.p.p.s you guys rock p.p.p.p.p.s not like a real rock like a kool rock. k bye

  • AmazingPhildermort

    i love dan!1!1!