• Imagining History

Viking Trade - An Easy Guide for Kids

Updated: Oct 5

Vikings didn’t just travel to raid and claim land. They travelled to establish trading routes and make a fortune exchanging goods.

Viking Trade in the Far East ©Small Bay Ltd

Where Did They Trade?

The Vikings from Norway and Denmark often travelled West to England, Scotland and France to trade. Here they would trade amber from the Baltic area, arctic furs, animal skins and walrus tusks.

The Vikings from Sweden often went East along rivers to Russia and as far South as Constantinople. In Constantinople they would frequently trade slaves in exchange for silk and spices. Other imported items included Arabic silver, coins, fruits and wines.

Trading Weights to Measure Silver

Exchanging Goods

Early Viking traders would barter and exchange their goods for other items. But as Viking trade and travel increased, they started to obtain more silver and coins to do trade with instead.

In the Viking established trade towns they used weights to make sure that everyone paid enough silver for the goods they were buying.

Trade Cities

The Vikings established trade cities and marketing towns to sell off the items they acquired from their travels around the globe.

In Scandinavia this included places such as Birka, Hedeby and Skiringsal. Both Vikings and international traders would come from miles around to buy anything from clothing to imported food.

Soon, Viking craftsmen and blacksmiths would seize the opportunity by settling in these areas and plying their trade. Their workshops produced a variety of weaponry and armour, tableware and pottery, jewellery, clothing and more.

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