If you’re looking for a true Viking experience when visiting Stockholm, you might want to consider not taking off your blinders until you’ve reached one of the spots that offers a proper picture of this part of Sweden’s history. One of those spots is a newly opened restaurant: Sweden’s first Viking eatery.
Aifur is the name of the restaurant that might have the potential to establish itself as an antipode to the image of the Viking era that has so far prevailed in many of the more central areas of the city. An image that is not seldom substantiated by various bric-a-brac items, such as plastic Viking helmets – complete with horns.
The idea that Vikings decorated their helmets with horns, by the way, seems to be no more genuine than the plastic that the modern-day souvenirs are often made from. One of Sweden’s most renowned historians, Dick Harrison, recently scotched the idea that Vikings would have found it to be a good idea to put horns on their helmets.
“If a warrior would have aimed for the horns, the helmet would easily have suffered severe damage and the life of the Viking would have been at risk,” he wrote in a recent blog post in the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
While Aifur will surely draw on Stockholm’s Viking image, the restaurant seems to be built on a genuine interest in this period of Swedish history. One of the backers is Martin Eriksson, a Swedish artist better known as E-Type – widely known for his interest in Vikings and everything that is associated with them.
That’s something that shines through: According to a review in the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “Aifur is to be recognised for its devoted initiative, which includes both interiors and menu. We are very happy to see this genuine commitment in the middle of the garish, plastic Viking landscape that Gamla Stan [the Old Town] has been turned into.”
For cruise passengers visiting the Swedish capital, the restaurant with its long benches is conveniently situated in Stockholm’s Old Town – close to many of the cruise quays where visiting ships berth.
A good place to delve even further into this period of time is the Museum of National Antiquities, where a permanent Viking exhibition is on display.