Are you thinking about going for a vacation on the Scandinavian side in Northern Europe? If Norway or Sweden is too far away or too cold for you, here is the ideal option: Denmark, the country of the Little Mermaid!
Denmark is a small Scandinavian country, consisting of a peninsula (Jutland) and a myriad of small islands. Thanks to the Øresund bridge, a real technical and architectural wonder, it is connected to Sweden. It is worth mentioning that historically, the Scandinavian countries have been very close to each other.
When looking for what to do in Denmark, there is no lack of activities despite the modest size of the kingdom, and there are many splendid places to discover to make the most of your stay in the country.
Despite its not-so-big size, Denmark offers an enormous variety of cultural, natural, and culinary highlights and sights. We’ve put together a list of the most beautiful places to see in Denmark and the top activities to do there. Ready to embark on one of the best trips of your life?
Whether you’re looking for tourist highlights or peaceful places to recharge your batteries with your family, we’ve selected some of the most beautiful places to visit in Denmark and fun things to do as well. Let’s get started!
Top Places to Visit in Denmark
Copenhagen: The Colorful Port City
The capital Copenhagen is certainly the most famous city in the country and definitely worth a long stay. As a port city, it offers numerous attractions and is especially famous for its colorful houses against the backdrop of the water.
The city has several must-see sights like the famous Little Mermaid statue, the Church of the Redeemer, or the National Museum, to name a few.
Copenhagen is a perfect destination to get to know the “typical” Denmark. The metropolis on the largest island of the country, Zealand, regularly makes its way to the top of the list of the most livable cities in the world. Visiting Copenhagen is one of the best things to do in Denmark; your trip won’t be complete without making a stop there!
Aarhus: European Capital of Culture
As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is often overshadowed by Copenhagen. Yet Aarhus was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2017, and the city is truly one of the best places to visit in Denmark.
The city is literally in the middle of the mainland in Central Jutland; but still has a coastal section on the Baltic Sea. Aarhus is often called “the little mainland sister” of Copenhagen.
A canal runs through the middle of the city, along the street Åboulevarden, which is the hub for residents and visitors alike. Here, there are tons of good restaurants and cafes inviting you to linger in one of the liveliest places in Denmark.
But there are many other sights that you should not miss in Aarhus like the colorful old town Latinerkvartere, the impressive ARoS art museum, which is very famous in Europe and has an original architecture with an exceptional panorama of the city in the rainbow.
There are also the trendy station district Frederiksbjerg, the Aarhus Street Food, the architectural wonder Aarhus Ø quarter, the famous cobblestone street Møllestien, and the open-air museum Den Gamle By.
As you can see, there is no shortage of highlights in Denmark’s second-largest city, and a trip to Aarhus is a must for every traveler in Denmark.
On the west coast of Jutland, you will find Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. Ribe is one of Denmark’s most important cities, especially in historical terms. For a long time, Ribe had the most important port on the North Sea, which attracted Vikings as well as merchants, kings, and bishops. In the Middle Ages, it developed into a flourishing trading town.
These times are long gone, and Ribe is nowadays rather captivating with its provincial sleepiness. Nevertheless, the traces of the past cannot be overlooked, as it is also considered the best-preserved medieval town in the country.
If you are looking for history and originality in Denmark, you will find it here among the warped houses in cobblestone streets. A walk through the city is a must, as well as a visit to the cathedral, the old harbor, and the Viking Museum.
Åalborg: The Young City of Jutland
A relatively young but still the fourth largest city in Denmark is Åalborg. In contrast to Ribe, you won’t find any medieval flair here. But you will find many cultural offers, numerous opportunities for shopping or leisure activities and a vibrant nightlife.
You won’t get bored in Åalborg even if you spend a long time in the modern city. While in the city, a short detour is worthwhile to get a picture of the impressive harbor front or to stroll along the waterfront. Here you can see historic sailing ships or taste Danish specialties in hip restaurants.
As the second-largest city in Jutland, Åalborg is only a short distance from some of the most popular tourist spots, making it an excellent place for a day trip. Also, make sure not to miss the city’s great attractions and sights like the port of Åalborg, the shore of the Limfjord, Limfjordsbroen, the harbor promenade, the amusement park of Karolinelund, and the Åalborg Monastery.
And these are just a few of the many must-sees sights in the city! See, we told you, you won’t get bored in Åalborg!
Skagen – Danish North
At the northern end of Denmark is the harbor town of Skagen. It is known and loved for its beauty and its unique, almost magical flair. The northernmost city of Denmark is characterized by the fish trade and has the largest Danish port.
This is where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet, forming a unique landscape, which is subject to constant change, and that is precisely why it is so fascinating. The city itself is enchanting with its silence and naturalness.
In Skagen, instead of an urban city, you will find a tranquil village with the iconic white stripes on the roofs and numerous sights in the surrounding area, which you can explore perfectly by bike. The idyllic place is one of the best places in Denmark.
Odense: The Up-And-Coming Metropolis
As a lively and up-and-coming metropolis, Odense attracts mainly young tourists who are looking for hip cafes or exclusive nightlife options here. At the same time, Odense is also considered a cycling capital and, with its historic city center, a real insider tip.
The third-largest city in Denmark is also worth a visit if you are looking for culture and history. Here you can stroll through historical alleys, admire colorful houses, visit the port, which is characterized by modernity and the past, or simply indulge your palate at street food markets. Odense is a perfect destination for a one-day trip while you are in Denmark.
In the beautiful Baltic Sea island of Lolland, you can expect dream beaches and fjords, species-rich lakes, rivers, and beech forests, which are easily accessible thanks to the well-maintained cycling and hiking trails. On your exploration tours, you will surely come across one or the other runestone as well as magnificent castles.
The charming towns on the islands are bursting with a medieval flair, coziness, and great museums: stroll in Nakskov through the oldest pedestrian zone of the Nordic Kingdom, take a historic train ride in Maribo or visit the Lalandia Badeland and the amber workshop in Rödby.
After visiting Nysted, take a detour to the nearby Medieval Center and Aalholm Castle – for 800 years, the building has towered over the Nysted Fjord and overlooked the landscapes of Lolland.
The charming fishing village of Vorupør is located between the Limfjord and the North Sea coast in the Thy area. Vorupør is perfect for those looking for relaxation and tranquility on vacation. Strolling through the charming resort, you will feel the soothing deceleration.
You can also unwind in the region’s species-rich nature reserve. Vorupör is located in Jutland on the North Sea and the so-called sea section “Cold Hawaii.” Besides the surfing area, you will also find great fishing spots in Vorupör. After all, Denmark is also known for its abundance of fish.
Binderup Strand: Fun For The Whole Family!
Binderup Strand is one of the most beautiful beaches in Denmark. The vacation paradise in South Jutland on the Little Belt is ideal for idyllic vacation home trips with the whole family. The cottage area is very close to the sea so that you can enjoy your beach vacation without long detours!
The water here is so shallow that even young children can play around safely. It is not for nothing that the beach is considered one of the most child-friendly in Jutland!
But also, away from the sea you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy your vacation in the fresh air. Extensive beech forests invite you to take relaxing walks and let the stress of everyday life quickly fade into oblivion.
From many vacation apartments, you have a great view over the Baltic Sea to Funen, and the sunrises on the beach….they are something out of this world!
You can also spend a beach vacation with Caribbean flair in Denmark; yes, you read that right! This is especially possible at “Palmestranden.” As the name suggests, it’s a sprawling sandy beach lined with nearly 100 palm trees, and more of the trees with South Seas charm are planted every year. Palmestranden is also perfect for families with children and has a stone seawall that acts as a breakwater.
The Danish Vistas
It’s not just the cities that make the country such a great destination, but also the landscapes. Because if there’s one thing Denmark doesn’t lack, it’s breathtaking nature. The Danes are particularly proud of this, and travelers can see for themselves the beautiful Danish landscapes, basically everywhere in the country!
Between fine sandy beaches and steep chalk cliffs, there are many beautiful and varied regions to explore.
National Park Thy
Positioned in Northwest Jutland, this is the oldest national park in Denmark, which was placed under protection in 2007 and covered a total of 24,370 hectares. Accordingly, there is much to discover here, for example, dune landscapes, forests, and lakes.
National Park Thy is simply magnificent, and it is well-known for having dune and heath landscapes that will take your breath away with their beauty. Also, there are more than 200 lakes of various sizes with crystal-clear waters, around which, in addition to red deer, many different species of plants and animals, as well as countless birds, live.
The national park is a bird sanctuary, and it is one of the most important resting places for migratory birds in Northern Europe.
Mols Bjerge National Park
During your vacation in Denmark, you should also visit the Mols Bjerge National Park, which is located in the east of the country on the Jutlandic peninsula in the area called Djursland. At 18,000 hectares, it is slightly smaller than Thy National Park, and the two reserves are also very different in terms of landscape.
In the Mols Bjerge National Park, you will find extensive grassland and heath areas, which are interspersed with forests as well as lakes. There are some coastal areas as well, which serve as a habitat for rare plants such as the sand strawflower, the pasque flower, or the chickweed.
The national park is also popular for its variety of butterflies, and lizards which can be found in unusual abundance too. But it is best known for its hills, as the name Mols Bjerge (Mols Hills) suggests. The Mols Hills are up to 137 meters high and date back to the last ice age!
The Wadden Sea National Park
The Wadden Sea National Park is another protected area, very close to the German border on the Danish part of the Wadden Sea. The park is famous for its migratory birds that stop here and its many picturesque landscapes.
Denmark has many national parks, and the Wadden Sea National Park is undoubtedly among the most beautiful ones of them, so don’t miss a trip there when you come to visit Denmark!
The Møns Klint
In Danish, Møns Klint means “cliffs of Møn,” these splendid chalky cliffs are located along the eastern coast of the island of Møn, in the east of the country. These breathtaking natural beauties are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Denmark.
The Møns Klint are very popular among tourists and are one of the must-see sights in the country. In addition, the island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, which makes it an excellent place to walk if the Møns Klint makes you want to walk around.
One of the most famous sights in Denmark is definitely Stevns Klint, a cliff with a height of up to 41 meters, which stretches along the Baltic Sea for 15 kilometers. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014.
The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse
Considered as one of the country’s symbols, the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse is located near Rubjerg. The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse lit up the North Sea coast for the first time… in December 1900! Lovers of wide-open spaces and sunsets will be delighted by this postcard setting. The area is a major touristic attraction, and we highly recommend climbing to the top of the lighthouse!
You can discover beautiful hiking trails winding through the dunes and leading the most adventurous to breathtaking whitish cliffs. The place, easily accessible thanks to a judiciously placed parking lot, is particularly suitable for bike rides or simply for walks with your family or friends!
Best Things To Do In Denmark
Eat Hot Dogs
Try the best hotdogs in the country at Annie’s Kiosk in Kruså/ Sønderhav while enjoying the view of the Ox Islands and the Flensburg Fjord. Of course, the hotdog is ordered with “Røde Pølser” (a type of red, boiled pork sausage) and onions!
Marvel at Crown Jewels
Marvel at the magnificent gold glittering crown jewels at the Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen and then watch the “Vagtparade” from the beautiful castle park, the relieving of the guards of Rosenborg as well Amalienborg.
Wadden Sea Tour
Sink up to your knees in the mud and watch the lugworms dig the typical u-shaped tubes on a Wadden Sea tour on Rømø.
Visit the Theme Park In Legoland
The Billund Resort is a theme park that not only makes children’s hearts beat faster. The Billund Resort is Denmark’s largest and most famous theme park. More than 60 million Lego bricks were used to build the many attractions in the park; do we need to say more?
Marvel at Fish
Visit the largest aquarium in Northern Europe in Hirtshals and watch the unique moonfish. The aquarium has a capacity of 4.5 million liters of seawater. It houses a variety of other unusual species in addition to the moonfish, which grows up to three meters and weighs two tons.
Immerse yourself in Denmark’s early history and relive the battle near Düppeler Mill on the Düppeler Schanze battlefield from 1864. On April 18, the decisive battle between Germany and Denmark took place here. The Prussians won the battle and Denmark lost the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.
Standing with one foot in the North Sea and the other foot in the Baltic Sea. In Grenen, the Kattegat and Skagerrak meet, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea join. Depending on the weather, the headland in front of Grenen is sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. The clash of the seas is a unique natural spectacle!
Enjoy the Beach and the Sun
Feel the sun’s warm rays on your skin and the country’s finest white sandy beach under your feet in Dueodde on Bornholm. Nowhere else is there as much sun as here, and nowhere else is the sand as the Caribbean and perfect as in Dueodde: pack your swimwear, buy Danish soft ice cream and spend the summer on the beach! And if you like it more action-packed, you can enjoy the sun while surfing at Klitmøller.
Feel like a real Viking at the Ribe VikingeCenter. The four-square-kilometer open-air museum offers a number of original buildings and sights from the time of the Vikings. The culture, as well as the traditions of the Vikings, are vividly explained, and of course, the obligatory Viking helmet can be purchased in the museum. Especially on summer days a great fun for the whole family!