Having lived there as an exchange student way back in 2003, I love Denmark. I feel like it’s a second home for me. During my 12months there, I was in the crowds cheering as Australian Mary Donaldson’s engagement to Crown Prince Frederik was announced, made my first snowman, went ice-skating for the first time, sailed Roskilde Fjord on a replica Viking Ship, spent many hours wandering around Roskilde where I was living and also Copenhagen, enjoyed many summer afternoons and a couple days at Christmas time at Tivoli Gardens, visited Legoland (because you’re never too old for Lego), learnt the language, made many amazing friends and went to the Scandinavian equivalent of Glastonbury at the 4 day long Roskilde Festival where I had a backstage pass (thanks Rotary!). I’ve been back quite a few times since and every time I visit I learn something new about the country. I also try to see something I haven’t previously, most recently I saw Møns Klint, white chalk cliffs similar to those at Dover, England. There is still a lot in Denmark I want to see -still on my list are Bornholm, Faroe Islands and most of Jutland.
I thought I’d share with you my top ten list of places to visit in and around Copenhagen and share some travel tips for anyone heading there!
- Head to Rosenborg Castle for a look at the Danish Crown Jewels (just remember to ask if they are all there as the royal family occasionally uses them for events and photoshoots).
- Spend some time wandering around Tivoli Gardens- a Copenhagen landmark.
- Don’t miss the Little Mermaid. This famous statue has lost it’s head twice and sits on a rock in the Harbour.
- Spend a day in Roskilde- a half-hour train ride away. Once here, you can see the Viking ship Museum, go for a Cruise on the Fjord, and see the Roskilde Cathedral where the majority of Danish royalty are laid to rest.
- Carlsberg Brewery! Learn how the beer is brewed and enjoy samples at the end.
- Hire a bicycle and enjoy the excellent bicycle paths around the city and beyond
- Amalienborg Castle is the Copenhagen residence of the Queen and Prince consort and everyday you can witness the changing of the guard. Visit the museum housed in one of the four buildings that make up the Castle.
- Take a canal tour of the City for views from a different angle
- Go to the top of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Lady’s Church) spire- it’s narrow and slow going but the views are all worth it!
- See the Copenhagen skyline from the top of Rundtårn (Round Tower) located in the heart of Central Copenhagen.
For fans of Hans Christian Andersen, head to the city of Odense where he grew up, his childhood home has been transformed into an amazing museum about his life. Odense is on the island of Fyn, about an hours train ride from Copenhagen with regular departures from the main train station (Hovedbanegård).
To see the home of Lego and visit the Danish Legoland, you’ll need to go to Billund on the Danish mainland, Jutland (Jylland in danish). To get there, you can fly to Billund directly or you can take the train to Vejle and from there take a bus to Billund. I would recommend spending a few days on Jutland, there is plenty of other things to see there, the Jelling stones, the ancient village of Ribe, Skåne (at the very tip of Jutland), beautiful coastline, as well as the cities of Aalborg and Århus.
If you’re wanting a proper Danish summer experience, you can let a holiday house in one of the many coastal towns. I stayed in Nymindegab, just north of Esbjerg on the Western Coast and stayed in a gorgeous little cottage in the middle of town. While it wasn’t the middle of summer (I was there in September for a wedding), I still walked along the beach, hired a bicycle for further exploration, saw some deer in the woods on the edge of town and enjoyed the slower pace of the town.
There is still so much that I want to see in Denmark and I love getting suggestions on what to see and do there! Email or comment any places you love that aren’t on my list!