11 amazing places to visit in Denmark
From moving deserts and colliding seas to charming island towns and rolling green landscapes, these stunning sights will have you itching to discover the wonders of Denmark.
It might be a small country, but what Denmark lacks in size it more than makes up for in incredible places to explore.
Whether you’re an active thrill-seeker looking for a new hiking spot with jaw-dropping views, a city-breaker in search of something a little more laid-back, or a family ready for some fun-filled Scandinavian adventures, Denmark has something in store for you.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, opening hours and availability of activities could be affected. Remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
1. Man Meets the Sea, Esbjerg
This gigantic sculpture on the southwest coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula was built was built for the 100th anniversary of Esbjerg’s independence as a municipality.
The four seated men, each a whopping nine metres tall and made of white concrete, is one of the area’s biggest tourist attractions, and has greeted fishermen and visitors to Esbjerg by sea since its unveiling on 28 October 1995. On a clear day, the enormous monument can be seen from up to 10 kilometres away.
It’s said that the sculptor, Svend Wiig Hansen, wanted to portray the meeting of pure, unspoilt mankind and nature.
Fly to Billund and drive for about 50 minutes
Nicknamed ‘The City of Smiles’, this is one of the best places to visit in Denmark if you’re looking for a city break with a truly local feel.
Aarhus (pronounced ‘or-hoose’) is actually Denmark’s second largest city, but has more of a cosy neighbourhood feel to it. It’s one of Lonely Planet’s top European destinations, thanks to its mix of historic landmarks and modern attractions. And that’s not to mention the top cuisine, great shopping and arts and culture on offer.
Situated on the Jutland peninsula’s east coast, the open-air old town museum, Den Gamle By, is home to centuries-old half-timbered houses. In stark contrast, at the iconic harbour, architecture buffs can marvel at the unique ‘Iceberg’ residential buildings.
The ARoS art museum in Aarhus is one of the largest museums in Northern Europe, and shows global contemporary works, while the underground Viking Museum explores early local history.
Find out more about what to see and do in Aarhus at www.visitaarhus.com.
3. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
Looking for a getaway with a touch of much-needed fun and adventure? Look no further than Tivoli Gardens, the Danish capital’s no.1 amusement park.
Dating all the way back in 1843, this theme park has everything you could want for the perfect day out: white-knuckle rides, lush gardens, live performances, activities for the little ones, and a ton of gourmet restaurants. It’s the perfect place to spend a day or two with the family while visiting Denmark.
The summer programme at Tivoli Gardens is jam-packed with events, including world-class dance performances from the mesmerising Tivoli Ballet Theatre, open-air movies, firework displays every Saturday until September, and a variety of kids’ shows and pantomimes.
In the run-up to Christmas, Tivoli is transformed into one of Europe’s best Christmas markets, complete with a myriad of twinkling lights, an abundance of tasty fare, and plenty of exciting gifts, getting you right in the mood for the festive season.
The park has implemented a range of new safety measures to comply with the most current COVID-19 recommendations from the authorities. Find out more about the measures and what to see and do at Tivoli in our post on visiting Tivoli Gardens.
Tip: You earn 15% CashPoints when you book your Tivoli Gardens tickets with Norwegian Reward.
Fly to Copenhagen
4. Skagen, Frederikshavn
When looking for cool places to visit in Denmark, the country’s northernmost town, Skagen, should definitely be on your list.
Located on the tip of the Jutland peninsula, Skagen is a colourful seaside playground of traditional yellow houses, with bustling cultural life and spectacular nature.
Visitors to Skagen can spend a day on one of the white sand beaches, enjoying a trip to Scandinavia’s only teddy bear museum or take part in a spot of rare birdwatching.
And for a truly amazing sight, a journey up to Grenen sandbar, the northernmost point in Denmark, is a must. Here, the Kattegat sea and the Skagerrak Straight (part of the North Sea) meet in a clash of waves visible to the eye. Swimming is strictly prohibited due to the powerful currents, but it’s one of the only places in the world where you can put one foot in one sea and the other foot in another.
Fly to Aalborg and drive for around 1.5 hours
5. Råbjerg Mile, Skagen
On your way up to Skagen, make sure to stop off at Northern Europe’s largest migrating sand dune: Råbjerg Mile.
Also known as the ‘Danish desert’, this enormous mass of sand moves a staggering 15 metres per year. The dune is about one kilometre long and one kilometre wide, and measures around 40 kilometres in height. The hike to the top of the dune is tiring but the impressive views are well worth it.
The dune was first formed around 300 years ago and is expected to cover the main road to Skagen within a century or two. You can even see evidence of whole buildings being engulfed by the moving sand over time at the Sand-Covered Church (Den Tilsandede Kirke).
This 14th-century church was once the largest in Northern Jutland, but thanks to the migrating sand, by the 1700s, the congregation had to dig their way into the church when they wanted to attend services. Today, only the church tower is visible.
Fly to Aalborg and drive for around 1 hour 15 minutes
6. Odense, Funen Island
Another place to visit in Denmark for a fun-packed weekend is the city of Odense, birthplace of beloved fairy tale writer, Hans Christian Andersen.
Located on the island of Funen, just 75 minutes from Copenhagen, a trip to the cobbled streets of this historic city is perfect for a couples’ getaway or a family break.
Here you can follow in H.C. Andersen’s footsteps and visit important landmarks from his life, such as his tiny yellow childhood home and former school.
And if the colourful characters from his stories which are peppered throughout the streets aren’t enough, you can also dive deeper into his imaginative world at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which plays host to a unique collection of his belongings and paper cuttings.
There’s plenty more to see and do in Odense, such as visiting the antique market, enjoying a coffee and a traditional ‘smørrebrød’ (open sandwich) at one of the many cosy cafés, and exploring the parks and gardens of Denmark’s greenest city.
7. Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød
This breathtaking 17th century castle is one of the most famous castles in Denmark. Located on no less than three islands surrounded by a lake and magnificent gardens, it’s a truly spectacular sight.
What’s more, it’s only 40 minutes by car from Copenhagen, making it easy to reach on a day trip from the Danish capital.
The largest Renaissance complex in the Nordic region, this magnificent castle is packed with impressive features such as the Neptune Fountain and the Marble Gallery of the King’s Wing, all designed to show off the wealth and status of King Christian IV who built the castle.
Frederiksborg Castle is also home the Museum of National History, a beautiful, richly-adorned chapel, and stunning gardens, including a Baroque garden with straight lines and perfectly manicured box plants, and a romantic landscape garden with meandering paths and small lakes.
Tip: You can book a tour of the castle with GetYourGuide and earn CashPoints at the same time!
Fly to Copenhagen
If you’re a fan of castles and fancy living like royalty for a weekend, head to Hvedholm Slotshotel in Faaborg, where you can book a night in one of the luxurious four-poster bed rooms. Find out more in our post on Europe’s castle hotels.
The little Baltic island of Bornholm is an ideal place to spend a few days of your visit to Denmark.
Here, you can soak up the laid-back island life, enjoy the exquisite culinary culture and get back to nature along the breathtaking coastline.
A trip to Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortification, Hammershus Castle ruins, is essential when on Bornholm. It’s the island’s largest attraction, and what’s more, it’s free to visit.
There are plenty of action-packed activities to get stuck into on Bornholm including surfing, abseiling, kayaking, mountain biking and diving. And for the most adventurous among you, the island offers more than 400 secured climbing trails, from coastal cliffs and rift valleys to working and disused quarries.
Fancy sinking your teeth into some delicious Danish delights? Bornholm plays host to a variety of diverse gastronomic hotspots, including what could be the world’s only Michelin-starred beach shack at Dueodde Beach. You can also get a true taste of Bornholm when paying a visit to one of the traditional white smokehouses, many of which still produce delicious smoked herring.
Find out more about what to see and do on Bornholm.
Fly to Copenhagen, drive about 1 hour to Ystad in Sweden and take the fast ferry. Total travelling time from Copenhagen: about 2.5 – 3 hours.
Tip: Find out what else can tickle your taste buds on your trip to Denmark with our post on weird Nordic foods you’ve probably never heard of!
9. Mols Bjerge National Park, Syddjurs
Protected natural areas meet historical sites at this massive national park in the Jutland region of Denmark.
There’s so much to experience here, and lovers of the great outdoors will be spoilt for choice with the activities on offer from hiking, biking and sailing to snorkelling, horse riding and fishing.
One of the most popular excursions to enjoy is the Mols Bjerge Trail where visitors can hike their way around 60 km of hilly landscapes lined with white beaches, and dotted with historical monuments, charming villages and varying scenery.
If discovering history is more your thing, then a trip to Kalø Castle Ruins is a good option. Here you can walk along the oldest medieval paved road in Denmark which leads to the ruins of a 700-year-old castle.
10. LEGOLAND Billund
This is one of the top things to do in Denmark for the whole family. With everything from high-speed rides and interactive experiences to kids’ rock climbing and a mini world built entirely out of Lego, there is plenty here to keep everyone entertained for days.
Like Tivoli, the LEGOLAND amusement park has also introduced a series of initiatives to ensure a fun and safe experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s more, you can choose to stay on site at the park at the Hotel LEGOLAND with its themed rooms, the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, complete with princess royal chambers and dragon knight royal rooms, or at the LEGOLAND Holiday Village, which has plenty outdoor activities for the little ones, including a petting zoo.
Find out more about what’s on offer at the LEGOLAND Billund website.
Fly to Billund
The only way to get to the small island of Ærø is by boat, so visiting this charming place in Denmark is an adventure in itself.
Visiting the island in summer is a real treat as galleries, farm shops and flea markets open, ice-cream stores are in full swing, and the sandy beach of Vesterstrand, with its colourful beach huts and crystal-clear waters, is teeming with life.
That said, there’s also plenty to do in the cooler months of the year, such as taking a trip to the Marstal Maritime Museum, which displays over 130 ships in bottles. You could also wander through the picturesque cobbled streets and brightly-painted houses of Ærøskøbing, which is said to be the most well-preserved town of the 18th century in Denmark.
You can also enjoy a spot of world-class fishing on Ærø or visit one of the many pretty Romanesque churches on the island, some of which date back to the Middle Ages.
Fly to Copenhagen, drive to Svendborg, then take the ferry. Total travelling time from Copenhagen: about 3.5 hours.