I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a part of Denmark I hadn’t previously seen when I was invited to my friend’s wedding in Nymindegab, on the South-Western coast of Jutland.
Nymindegab is a small, former fishing village to the north of Esbjerg and is a popular town to rent a summer house and spend some time relaxing at the beach or taking advantage of the bicycle and walking trails nearby.
Just outside of Nymindegab, you can see the remnants of wartime with concrete bunkers scattered all through the sand dunes and right on the beach.
I absolutely loved spending time in this quaint village, plus I got the chance to practise my Danish with the locals! I spent a very rainy Sunday at the local Museum and enjoyed the displays on the history of the area from the Stone age to the Vikings and right up to the present. The museum is easily recognisable in the village as out front you can see a giant whale skeleton and an old wooden windmill.
On nice days, I hired a bicycle and rode up the road to Hvide Sande and spent most the rest of my few days there wandering up and down the beach, following the paths in the sand dunes and through the forest on the edge of the village. Some of the scenery reminded me of home- especially the grasses in the dunes.
It was a relaxing time although for me getting there was quite the mission! It took a two hour drive, two flights, a metro, a four hour train followed by a smaller train and finally a local bus to get from home on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia to Nymindegab, Denmark. The local bus driver was most perturbed by the Danish speaking Australian girl getting on a bus primarily used by local school kids and was concerned he was dropping me off in the wrong place!
All up I had only 6 days in Denmark (two of those were spent mostly getting to/from Nymindegab & Copenhagen Airport). I’d love to go back here and spend some more time exploring this region of Denmark!
For more information on Nymindegab and region, see here.
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!
“Lay out all your things, then take half the clothes and twice as much money.”
I don’t know about anyone else but I still find myself writing up lists on what to pack for various trips, then leaves packing until the last moment and doesn’t bother to read the list.
When I packed for a quick trip to Europe to see my friends get married, I packed the morning I was due to fly out. Given that I didn’t depart until 11pm, that seems like quite a while except that I started work at 10am and then headed to my sister’s house for dinner before she drove me to the airport which is still a good 1½ drive from her house (two hours from mine). I had to make sure I had everything I needed for the week plus a change of clothes for after I finished work in my suitcase at 9am.
I had my list of things written out and when it came to packing, I didn’t look at it. I was only going for 8 days (2 full days would be spent travelling from Australia to Denmark and back again) so I was only taking a small carry-on suitcase but I still needed to pack a nice dress for the day’s festivities, make up, and heels for partying in plus a gift for the bride and groom. I also needed to take into account the Danish weather in September. It could be pleasantly warm one day and cold the next.
I also wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do any washing so I was taking enough clothes to get me through without washing. I was pretty impressed by what I actually managed to get into the suitcase!
Here’s the list of what I took
Antler Cyberlite 56cm Suitcase (my green one is 3 years old)
Clothes, Shoes, & Accessories
(Including what I wore on the plane)
2 pairs of pants/jeans, 1 pair shorts, 1 skirt
3 cardigans, 1 jumper
one dress (I chose one based on the material- it didn’t get creased in my suitcase)
1 pair heels, 1 pair sandals, 1 pair flats
Small leather bag
I only took travel or sample sized products where possible and put others in smaller containers. I also divided everything into 2 bags, a clear one for liquids and a pink one for everything else. This meant that I could easily locate all the liquids at security without any delays or annoying the guards and didn’t have anything confiscated because it was too big.
travel or sample sized face wash, toner, & moisturiser (thanks Clinique counter at Myer)
foundation, bronzer, eye shadows and make up wipes
travel size body wash and cream
tooth brush and small tube tooth paste
hand cream- this lived in my handbag after I’d gone through security screening.
lip balm with a tint of colour
Kobo e-reader (which was sadly left on the Copenhagen- Doha flight coming home)
So looking at all that now, it looks like quite a lot of stuff but I can assure you that there was nothing that wasn’t worn or used. It also all fit comfortably into a 56cm suitcase with room to spare!
These tips are ones that I have have learnt from past mistakes or were given to me by others and work well!
Choose your clothes wisely. Think about the clothes and the climate/ weather of the place you are visiting. Seems like common sense but it’s amazing how many people turn up in the tropics with wool jumpers and believe me when I say it’s a big mistake to travel to Scotland without a rain coat! This also goes for special occasion dresses- that pretty dress you have your heart set on wearing to the wedding might not travel well (creases) and the last thing you want is to waste time trying to find somewhere to steam it or find a new one. I deliberately chose a dress made out of the scuba material that wouldn’t crease when folded in my suitcase! Also pack clothes that go with everything- fewer pieces + more outfits
Don’t take too many pairs of shoes. The wedding was the first time I’d ever packed heels for an overseas trip. Unless you know you’ll wear them more than once, they’re not worth the space!
Don’t take anything that you’d be devastated to lose. They’re best left safe at home.
Do pack a nice outfit to go out in. This could be out to dinner, a show, or a club. You still probably don’t need heels though- flats can look cute! (I really want a pair of these flats)
Avoid taking too many electronics. Unless you need that laptop for work, you can leave it behind.
Always get travel insurance! If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Seriously, needing medical help abroad can be costly and don’t want to see the hospital bill should anything bad happen.
Check the terms of the travel insurance. It might not cover all your activities or you may need extra coverage for certain items you plan on taking!
Anything I missed? Got any good tips? Let me know!