Do you want to see more of the country than just Copenhagen when visiting Denmark? We have put together 6 great day trips for you that you can see in one day - go for it!
First things first, Denmark is a small county, and whether you are traveling with children, as a couple or traveling solo in the Kingdom of Denmark, you can cover a lot quite easily. It of course depends on how you want to travel, if you just want to do day trips or if you are willing and have the time to travel a bit around the country and stay in different places. Generally, public transportation and traveling as a family by train, bus or car is very easy in Denmark. Another thing that makes traveling in Denmark piece of cake, is the fact that all Danes speak English quite well – young and old. Afterall, with only 5,8 million inhabitants Danes have to learn to speak other languages but Danish (yes, that’s our language first and foremost, secondly, it’s a pastry, which we in Denmark call “pastry from Vienna” by the way J)
We have already made a blogpost on Copenhagen, with “the must see’s” of Tivoli Gardens, Royal Palace, Nyhavn, Strøget for shopping, Torvehallerne for foodies, Canal tours, the Round Tower etc., but Denmark has so much more to offer. If you stay on the island of Zealand, the most populous island in Denmark out of a total of 406 islands excluding Faroe Islands and Greenland, you have lots of exciting places waiting to be explored.
Here are 6 suggestions for day trips that can be made from Copenhagen:
"To be or not to be?"
North of Copenhagen you will find the charming Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, (Elsinore in English) where Shakespeare’s play Hamlet takes place. The castle is located right on the water facing Sweden and was built to control the cargo tax and tolls from ships passing through the Sound between Denmark and Sweden. This is a castle you want to visit. Go for a stroll all the way around it and visit the catacombs, where the legend says Holger Danske sits asleep, and he will wake up to protect Denmark, should need be! You can of course also visit inside the castle and go on a tour to learn more about Danish history and Kronborg Castle. Finally, you can visit the town of Helsingør now that you are there. It easy to get to Kronborg, with a 45 min. train ride or 35 min. by car.
Experience Modern Art in the Most Amazing Surroundings
If you travel about 10 km. south of Helsingør you will find one of our favorite museums in all of Denmark, Louisiana – Museum of Modern Art, which is a leading international museum of modern art. No matter the season of your visit, Louisiana’s surroundings are spectacular, the architecture and nature play so well together, and you will not be disappointed. Besides the permanent exhibition of over 3500 works there are 6-10 special exhibitions on annually. This is a place for the whole family, and kids are invited to make their own art or participate in one way or another with the exhibitions, not to mention the outside grounds that invites to play, run and rolling down the hills. As if this isn’t enough, Louisiana has a great café for lunch and dinner and everything in between. Don’t miss this special place! If you travel by train, you get off at Humlebæk Station and walk 10 minutes to the museum.
Learn About the Danish Vikings
Another daytrip should be made to one of the oldest cities in Denmark, Roskilde, dating back to the Viking age. Not only is it a cute city worth strolling down the pedestrian street or in the streets of the old part of Roskilde, but it’s home to the Viking Ship Museum and a UNESCO listed Gothic cathedral which is the burial site of the Danish Monarchs. If you are just slightly interested in learning more about the Vikings and see some of the well-preserved remains of Viking ships dating back to the 11th-century, excavated from the Roskilde fjord back in the 1960’s, this is a place that will fascinate all travellers with kids or without. There are workshops for the children or the whole family to take part in traditional Viking work. The two sites in Roskilde are only a 10-minute walk apart and Roskilde is very easy to get to by train from Copenhagen as it only takes around 25-30 minutes.
Go South for Some Splendid Nature
We cannot write this blogpost of daytrips from Copenhagen and places to explore in Denmark without mentioning the UNESCO site of Stevns Klint (the cliffs of Stevns) and the Stevnsfort Cold War Museum about an hour drive south of Copenhagen. The white chalk cliffs are located 5 km. east of the fishing’s village of Rødvig, to where you can take the train from Copenhagen, just over 1,5 hours. If you are traveling during the summer, Rødvig is a cute little traditional Danish town with beaches that invites for a swim, if you are up for a lovely but chilli swim in the Danish waters. There is a rocky beach and a sandy beach located on each side of the harbor.
Denmark at War?
The Stevnsfort Cold War Museum, 3 km from Rødvig, makes for a great look into a Danish modern military fortress which was in operation from 1954 to 2000. What’s special about this place is the underground system of tunnels, living quarters, command centers, hospital and even a chapel. There is no doubt that all of the family traveling to Denmark, kids and adults, will enjoy exploring the 18-20 underground system and also the tanks and canon towers above ground.
The End of Dinosaurs
Moving on another 2 km. to the village of Højerup, you find Stevns Klint, which is the best place in the world to see the traces, called Fish Clay, of the asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago, and which wiped out more than half of all life on Earth – including the dinosaurs. You can take the stairs down the 42-meter high cliffs to climb the rocks on the water and get a closer look at the different layers in the cliffs each representing different time ages on Earth. At this site you cannot miss the old church of Højerup. As sometimes happens in spring, part of the cliffs fell into the water, right where the church is located and the church lost its choir back in 1928. The church is open all year round for a quick visit. You can get a more detailed description of a visit to Stevns Klint from Oregon Girl Around the Worldright here.
Once Upon A Time in H.C. Andersen's Hometown
Moving on from the island of Zealand to the island of Funen you can visit Odense, which is about 1 hour 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen. Odense is the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen, in Denmark know as H.C. Andersen, and here you will find the all kinds of things, events and museums about H.C. Andersen and his fairytales incl. his iconic birthplace and childhood home. In Odense, which is the 3rdlargest city in Denmark, you will find many old and traditional Danish houses.
Playtime with LEGO
I’m not sure if we need to mention, LEGOLAND, in Billund. This is the original Legoland, which is built right next to the original LEGO factory of this family owned business. This is an awesome theme park, for a traveling family. There are fun rides for all ages and the very impressive miniature versions of places from Denmark and around the world built in… Lego, of course. No doubt LEGOLAND will be loved by any family traveling the word or just to Denmark – this is one of the really fun places to travel with kids. The theme park is however closed for a couple of months during the winter, so check opening hours before going. If you are willing to spend the money, you can of course stay at Lego Hotel, but it’s not cheap.
Billund with LEGOLAND is as far as we would go for a day trip from Copenhagen, anywhere further and it’s worth staying somewhere else but Copenhagen. We hope you enjoy our blogposts on daytrips from Copenhagen for traveling the world with kids or without. If you want to now more – just ask us. We are always happy to help with more tips and tricks.