Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital and is found on the island of Zealand on the Strait of Oresund. A small part of Copenhagen stretches across to Amager, and the Oresund Bridge connects the two cities for train and car access. Copenhagen began as a Viking fishing village in the 10th-century but has been the nation’s capital since the 15th-century and was even the governing seat of the entire Nordic region under the Kalmar Union.
Today Copenhagen is heavily invested in with the city continually undergoing urban renovation and construction to modernize and improve infrastructure while maintaining their culture and history. The city is home to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, Tivoli Gardens, several castles, is said to be the home of The Little Mermaid and features a cityscape that showcases parks, museums, restaurants, and promenades. Copenhagen also serves as a great starting point for travelers wanting to take day trips to see Denmark.
1.National Aquarium Denmark, Den BlaPlanet
Den Blå Planet is the largest aquarium in northern Europe. It is located in Copenhagen, just offshore from the Oresund Strait, where plenty of beach and water activities are available. The aquarium’s main halls are within the center, where 5 “arms” lead to other parts of the aquarium. Every part of the aquarium is surrounded by water, so the guests feel like they are underwater, and sometimes, they are.
Visitors can find the Ocean Tank, the Amazonas, and the Coral Reef exhibits displaying marine life from all over the world. The entire aquarium is a labyrinth of underwater tunnels that lead to other exhibits. A gift shop and food court are on-site as well.
Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, 2770 Kastrup, Denmark
Funen Island is also called “Fyn” Island due to the Danish pronunciation of the name, and means “Denmark’s Garden Island.” Odense is the largest city on the island and provides endless amounts of adventure, exploration opportunities, historical education, restaurants, and shops. The Funen Island Archipelago is made up of over 50 smaller islands that provide unique landscapes and any outdoor activities both on land and on the water.
Visitors can see why it is named the Garden Island at the Sanderumgård Garden, Broholm Park, Egeskov Castle, Harridslevgaard Castle, and also at the 120 other manors and castles scattered all over the island. Each place has unique gardens and fairytale-like scenery. Funen Island is only a two-hour drive from Copenhagen.
The Old Town of Dragor is one of the best-preserved villages in Denmark, along with the Village of Great Magleby, which is also located in the southern tip of Amager. Dragor is found near the active harbor and features nearby beach meadows, woods, and a robust community where visitors can experience Danish culture.
Visitors wanting to learn about Danish culture and the history of Dragor can visit the Old Port, where most of the museums in town are found. Two historic forts that can be toured, and narrow streets that visitors can travel by foot or bicycle to see the low houses that are beautifully preserved from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the harbor that has been in use since the Middle Ages.
Egeskov Castle has stood for more than 460 years and is the best-preserved moat castle in all of Europe. The castle, as visitors see it today was built in 1554. Count Brockenhuus built his palace on top of oak pilings in the middle of a lake, and it is two houses connected by a thick double wall that contains hidden stairs and a water well where people could hide during a siege. In the late 19th century the castle was updated to become a farm, but restoration began in 1959 to restore the castle to its historic glory.
The castle can be toured today and features a Hunting Room, Yellow Room, Banquet Hall, and a first floor that features many commonly seen Victoria era rooms such as music rooms and sitting rooms. A loft with a toy exhibition and the infamous wooden man can also be toured along. Visitors can also see Titania’s Palace, an artisan fairy castle dollhouse, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Paper Doll.
Egeskov Gade 18, DK-5772 Kvaerndrup, Phone: +45-62-27-10-16
The Faxe Company was created in 1901 and has a long history of creating beer and soft drinks to become one of the most trusted brands in Denmark. Found on the island of Zealand, the company is recognizable for its Viking logo and is part of the second-largest brewing company in Denmark, Royal Unibrew.
The Frederiksborg Castle is found on Castle Lake in Hillerod and was constructed by King Christian IV in the early 17th century. The castle is the largest Renaissance castle in the Nordic region and is richly adorned and intricately decorated to show off the wealth and prestige of the king. Since 1878 The Museum of National History has occupied and maintained the castle.
Visitors to the museum can see more than 500 years of Danish history told through paintings, portraits, furnishings, and applied art. The Frederiksborg Castle Chapel features many original artifacts, including the Comenius organ, gold altarpiece, and the coats of arms that adorn the walls. Visitors can also tour the expansive Baroque Gardens.
Frederiksborg Castle 10, DK – 3400 Hillerød
Hven Island is a seasonal resort island in Sweden that is accessible by ferry from both Zealand Island in Denmark and Scania. There are less than 400-year-round residents on the island that is divided up into four villages. There are two historic churches found on the island which were built in the 13th century.
The popular attractions on the island include the Tycho Brahe Museum, which celebrates natural sciences and the famous Danish Scientist, the Spirit of Hven whiskey distillery, horse and buggy rides, or bicycling tourism. There are many different shops and restaurants including smokehouses that visitors can explore, as well as a campground, villas, and bed and breakfast accommodations.
The 400-year-old Kronborg Castles stands out as the crowning jewel of the promontory that divides Denmark and Sweden. The renaissance castle features spires, copper and sandstone roofs, towering columns, and is remarkably well preserved. The castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was used as a fortress for more than 300 years after being plundered by the Swedish King in 1660.
Today, more than 325,000 visitors tour the castle annually, where they can view exhibitions, explore the underground passageways, take guided tours, or participate in workshops and educational activities.
Kronborg 2 C, 3000 Helsingør (Elsinore), Phone: +45-49-21-30-78
The Legoland Billund Resort is an exciting theme park that transports families into the Lego world with over fifty rides and events throughout the year. The park is divided into nine different zones—Duplo Land, Imagination Zone, KNIGHTS’ KINGDOM, LEGOREDO Town, Miniland, LEGO NINJAGO World, Adventure Land, Pirate Land, and Polar Land.
Legoland is a resort property, and in addition to the theme park, visitors can stay in fantastic hotel properties with sophisticated amenities, including the Legoland Castle Hotel, Holiday Village, and hotel Legoland. There are also many food options, including a Burger Kitchen, Family Buffet, Grill House, Italian Pizza & Pasta, a Saloon, coffee shops, and the Knights Castle Restaurant. There are plenty of places to shop and purchase Lego toys to take home.
Nordmarksvej | DK-7190 Billund | CVR: DK36887613
, Michigan beaches
Lolland Island is one of the largest islands of Denmark and is found in the Baltic Sea. The island is known for being incredibly flat and being a leader in the sugar industry, with sugar beet being grown in Lolland for years. There are more than two dozen villages on the island today, with the largest village having just under 13,000 residents and the smallest having only 100.
Some of the best places to visit in Lolland include the Fuglsang Manor and Fuglsang Art Museum, Knuthenborg Safari Park, which is Northern Europe’s largest safari park, and a giant waterpark called Lalandia. One of the busiest attractions is the open-air museum that includes an experimental museum of living history that was built around the remnants of the Medieval town.
11.Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Just twenty-five miles from Copenhagen is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a unique attraction that combines art, landscaping, and architecture overlooking the Sound with views of Sweden. The museum curates six to ten special exhibits each year from their more than 3,500 collected works. A cultural center on-site also offers special evening programming Tuesday through Fridays.
In addition to the museum and cultural center, The Louisiana Café offers outdoor seating in the summer months and serves contemporary Danish food for lunch and dinner, as well as a variety of sandwiches.
GAMMEL STRANDVEJ 13, DK 3050 HUMLEBÆK, Phone: +45-49-19-07-19
12.Lyngby Open-Air Museum
© Marija Vujosevic/stock.adobe.com
The Open-Air Museum is known worldwide as one of the largest, and oldest, open-air museums on earth. The museum, located just a few miles from Copenhagen, stretches across more than 86 acres and contains more than 50 farms, homes, and mills from 1650-1940. The property has been landscaped with gardens and recreates the environment of the old country Denmark.
Guided tours of the Open-Air Museum are available. Visitors can also make use of the Library of Agricultural Culture and Shipping. Several special events happen at the museum annually as well, including the murder mystery dinner, a theater production, the Christmas market, and more.
Kongevejen 100, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby
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Malmo is a metropolitan city in Sweden that was one of the first cities to industrialize in Scandinavia. The city has undergone a technological transformation in recent decades and become a hub for biotech and IT companies, startups, and more with many of the graduate students of Malmo University staying in the commercial center.
Some of the best attractions to visit in Malmo include the St. Peter’s Church which was built in the 14th century, the Ribersborgs beach and open-air baths, The Western Harbor where a lively boardwalk can entertain visitors for an afternoon, or attend one of the many special events like the BUFF International Film Festival, and The Nordic Game Conference.
14.Maritime Museum of Denmark
Underneath the Culture Harbour Kronborg is the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark, which tells the vibrant history of how Denmark came to be one of the leading maritime nations in the world. The museum opened in the harbor building in 2013 but was housed in Kronborg Castle from 1915.
There are special rotating exhibitions that are curated for the museum; however, the permanent exhibits include BIG dock, The Magic Box—Shipping, shopping, and the global consumer, Our Sailors, The Gate to the World, Aboard, Navigation and World Views, and Ships of All Times. There is also a special area called The Dream Ship for small children two to ten years old.
Ny Kronborgvej 1, DK-3000 Elsinore, Phone: +45-49-21-06-85
The Danish Riviera of North Zealand Island is the perfect place to go for relaxing, countryside escapes from the metropolitan area of Copenhagen. This area of North Zealand features many cultural landmarks, museums, and stunning historic castles, as well as fishing villages and Kronborg Castle which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some of the most popular attractions in North Zealand include the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Maritime Museum of Denmark, the picturesque beaches, and Grib Forest. There are many places throughout the North Zealand area to enjoy authentic Danish cuisine and accommodations from campgrounds to five-star hotels for visitors who want to extend their stay.
© Bernd Kröger/stock.adobe.com
Nykøbing Falster began as a Medieval castle in the 12th century and served as the residence of widowed queens of Denmark after the Reformation. Today, only the ruins of one of the towers of the castle exist. Nykøbing Falster has a few noteworthy sites to see, including a wooden house that dates to 1580 that was once a temporary residence of Peter the Great, and the water tower. A cultural center with an art gallery and events space is located in the water tower.
Other attractions to help round out a day in Nykøbing Falster include the City Museum, Middle Ages Center, Ejegod Windmill, the 15th century Abbey Church, the Fire Fighting Museum, and the Guldborgsund Zoo.
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Best known for being the hometown of renowned author Hans Christian Andersen, Odense is a culturally rich and historic city where the downtown still has a 19th-century ambiance. There are many festivals throughout the year to honor the author and experience life in 19th century Denmark.
Odense has a vibrant local restaurant scene that attracts visitors from around the Nordic region. The Funen Village is another popular attraction that is an open-air museum with structures from the 18th and 19th centuries. Odin’s Odense is another attractive village that is popular with tourists and depicts life in the Iron and Viking Ages. There are also zoos, museums, and galleries to visit.
Rageleje Beach is a stretch of sandy beach with bathhouses, a boardwalk, and lifeguards during the summer season, in Denmark. The Rageleje beach is a popular place for wind and kitesurfing, and the slopes that face the water are great for paragliding over the sea. In the winter months the trails turn into toboggan runs, but during the summer trails lead past Bronze Age burial mounds.
The town of Rageleje began as a fishing village but is now a tourist resort that is busy during the summer months though the year-round population in the town is less than 800 people.
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19.The Cliffs of Mon
Some of the most dramatic natural scenery in Denmark can be witnessed from The Island of Mon, where the beautiful landscape is dotted with medieval villages, ancient churches, and artisan shops. The island is an hour and a half from Copenhagen and is a municipality of Vordingborg. The Island of Mon was also designated as the first bio reserve in Denmark by UNESCO in 2017 and features many sandy beaches, the famous market town called Stege, and the iconic white cliffs that overlook the Baltic Sea.
Some of the most popular spots visited in The Island of Mon include the churches decorated in historic frescoes, Bronze and Iron Age archaeological site and The White Cliffs of Mon that stand 128 meters tall. There is also a geological museum that details the formation of the cliffs, as well as a museum of collectibles that visitors can tour.
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20.The Deer Park
Adjacent to the famous Gripsholms Castle, visitors will find the Deer Park, a mini safari-like park where exotic and common deer species, as well as other common woodland areas roam the 54 acres of protected parkland. The park was founded in 1932 and is owned and managed by the Aarhus Municipality.
The Deer Park is free and open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset; however, visiting in June and July during newborn calf season is discouraged, as well as visiting during mating season in September through November when bucks are more likely to be aggressive.
645 30 Mariefred, Phone: +46-15-22-97-90
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21.The Six Forgotten Giants
© The Six Forgotten Giants
The Six Forgotten Giants is a unique attraction in western Copenhagen that is an open-air sculpture treasure hunt. There are six wooden sculptures made of recycled wood and constructed by volunteers that tell the first part of a famous story by Thomas Dambo, The Great Story of the Little People, and the Giant Trolls. The art installation project combines art with nature to bring visitors to natural spots in Copenhagen that are often overlooked by tourists.
A map leads visitors to each of the six locations is available online. The six giants are Teddy Friendly, Oscar Under the Bridge, Sleeping Louis, Little Tilde, Thomas on the Mountain, and Hill Top Trine.
22.Viking Ship Museum and Roskilde Cathedral
© Dan Race/stock.adobe.com
People who want an authentic Viking experience can visit the Viking Ship Museum and the impressive Gothic Roskilde Cathedral just a few miles from Copenhagen. The 12th-century cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the grandest church in Denmark. Roskilde Cathedral is the official Danish Royal Family Mausoleum and contains the remains of 39 past Kings and Queens of Denmark.
At the Viking Ship Museum, Visitors can see what remains of five recovered Viking ships and learn about the history of Vikings in Scandinavia while enjoying panoramic views of the fjord and shipbuilding boatyard. Sometimes visitors can even set sail on the reconstructed Viking ships that are docked there.
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22 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Copenhagen
- National Aquarium Denmark, Den BlaPlanet, Photo: Jordan/stock.adobe.com
- Funen Island, Photo: Iurii/stock.adobe.com
- Dragor, Photo: krugli/stock.adobe.com
- Egeskov Castle, Photo: Tomtsya/stock.adobe.com
- Faxe, Photo: naka/stock.adobe.com
- Frederiksborg Castle, Photo: fotoember/stock.adobe.com
- Hven Island, Photo: Maria/stock.adobe.com
- Kronborg Castle, Photo: mary416/stock.adobe.com
- Legoland, Photo: click_and_photo/stock.adobe.com
- Lolland, Photo: Ustun/stock.adobe.com
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Photo: murika/stock.adobe.com
- Lyngby Open-Air Museum, Photo: Marija Vujosevic/stock.adobe.com
- Malmo, Photo: Matyas Rehak/stock.adobe.com
- Maritime Museum of Denmark, Photo: dmitrimaruta/stock.adobe.com
- North Zealand, Photo: nyiragongo/stock.adobe.com
- Nykobing, Falster, Photo: Bernd Kröger/stock.adobe.com
- Odense, Photo: Alfi/stock.adobe.com
- Rageleje Beach, Photo: fotoember/stock.adobe.com
- The Cliffs of Mon, Photo: Gestur/stock.adobe.com
- The Deer Park, Photo: Pakhnyushchyy/stock.adobe.com
- The Six Forgotten Giants, Photo: The Six Forgotten Giants
- Viking Ship Museum and Roskilde Cathedral, Photo: Dan Race/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: perekotypole/stock.adobe.com