Once the seat of Viking raiders, Denmark remains very much a maritime nation, bordered by the Baltic and the North Sea. No place in the country is more than an hour’s drive from its seashore, much of which is lined with beautiful sandy beaches. These days, the Danish Vikings have parked their ships in the museum, and along with the other Scandinavian nations, have forged a modern society. People come here to explore storybook castles or the homeland of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Foodies adore Copenhagen, as do those who are devoted to art and design. Outside the capital, many other great tourist attractions in Denmark, await the visitor.
10. Frederiksborg Palace[SEE MAP]
Situated in the middle of a lake, the impressive Frederiksborg Palace hosts the Museum of National History. The museum has existed on the site since 1878, but the castle itself was constructed during the early part of the 17th century. At that time, it was the home of King Christian IV, one of Denmark’s most well-known monarchs. Visitors can roam the halls of the castle and view the vast collection of artwork. The gardens are not to be missed. Particularly of note are the gardens that lie on the far side of a lake, which can be crossed by boat. Some of the best castle views can be had from this vantage point.
9. Oresund Bridge[SEE MAP]
This magnificent feat of engineering crosses the Øresund Strait, commonly called the Sound, between Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden. The 8 km (5 mile) long structure carries railway passengers and cars. Part bridge, part tunnel, the Øresund opened in 2000 and accommodates nearly 17,000 vehicles on a daily basis. Visitors to Denmark use the bridge as a convenient gateway to Sweden. Many come simply for the experience of crossing the bridge. Those flying in to Copenhagen shouldn’t miss the opportunity to glimpse the bridge from the air.
8. Vikingeskibsmuseet[SEE MAP]
The Viking Ship Museum at Roskilde has many highlights that fans of history find fascinating. The destination is made even more special through the inclusion of many interactive exhibits, several of which are geared toward children. Most visitors enjoy several original Viking ships that were discovered in Roskilde Fjord, though some are equally enthralled by the working boat yard where Viking shipbuilding techniques are still utilized.
7. Skagen Beaches[SEE MAP]
In a country that boasts 5,000 miles of coastline, it stands to reason that some people choose to vacation around Skagen so they can spend their days relaxing on the beach. The shoreline at Skagen is particularly lovely, windswept and desolate. The Grenen sandbar above Skagen is Denmark’s northernmost point. Many people find the light here extraordinary. It is so unusually beautiful, in fact, that a 19th century school of artists known as the Skagen Painters once concentrated all their efforts here. It’s possible to view their work at the local museum. Also of note are the Råbjerg Mile, Denmark’s biggest moving sand dune and a church that is entirely buried in sand except for the barely visible steeple.
6. Legoland Billund[SEE MAP]
This attraction is especially for the kids. Nonetheless, most adults find something to enjoy at this amusement park too. The miniland display is particularly interesting with its miniature display of many world famous buildings and places, build up of more than 50 million LEGO bricks. LEGOREDO Town appeals to guests with a wild west sense of adventure while Knights’ Kingdom sets the scene for fairy tale exploration. Certain sections of Legoland are devoted strictly to the little ones. Particularly enthusiastic visitors may want to make a reservation at the onsite hotel or holiday village.
5. Little Mermaid[SEE MAP]
The statue of The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbor at Langelinie in Denmark. Tourists visiting for the first time are often surprised by the relatively small size of the statue. The Little Mermaid statue is only 1.25 meters high and weighs around 175 kg. Designed by Edvard Eriksen, the statue was erected in 1913 to commemorate a play of the Little mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. The poor lady has lost her head several times but has each time been restored. Copenhagen officials announced that the statue may be moved further out in the harbor, as to avoid further vandalism and to prevent tourists from climbing onto it.
4. Den Gamle By[SEE MAP]
Anyone devoted to history won’t want to miss this open air museum in the city of Aarhus. Established in 1909, the museum features nearly 100 historical structures collected from all corners of Denmark. Much of the museum is constructed to resemble what a village might have looked like during the lifetime of Hans Christian Andersen. Adults and children delight in the toy museum, and few can resist the allure of costumed re-enactors demonstrating the lifestyle of a bygone era. This attraction is particularly festive during the holiday season with numerous special events occurring.
3. Kronborg Castle[SEE MAP]
Most people are more familiar with Kronborg Castle as Elsinore, the name William Shakespeare bestowed upon it in Hamlet. Kronborg has long been considered an important example of a Renaissance castle. Construction began in 1574 on a particularly strategic stretch of land on the Sound, the body of water that forms a border between Denmark and Sweden. For centuries it protected the Danish people and hosted the grand affairs of state dignitaries. Now it is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Denmark. People may choose from a variety of activities onsite. One of the most popular is a guided tour called In Halmlet’s Footsteps.
2. Bornholm[SEE MAP]
A picturesque Danish island known for its fishing and arts and crafts industry, Bornholm is located in the Baltic Sea. It rests closer to the shores of Germany, Poland and Sweden than Denmark, which gives it a unique appeal. Bornholm makes for a marvelous escape from the bustle of the larger cities, and the southern beaches are particularly popular. Tourists come to Bornholm to explore the Almindingen, which is Denmark’s third largest forest. Another top attraction is the village of Svaneke with its beautifully preserved ancient buildings and abundant art galleries. Children go wild for the nearby amusement park called Joboland.
1. Tivoli Gardens[SEE MAP]
One of Europe’s best known tourist attractions, the Tivoli Gardens was established in 1843. Pleasure gardens were all the rage at the time, and Copenhagen’s version was particularly lovely. In addition to providing a place to view gorgeous blooms, the gardens also became an important social center and a creative outlet for many performing troupes. People visit today for many of the same reasons, as well as for the numerous amusement rides, games, shops and restaurants. The site also hosts many seasonal festivals that typically draw enormous crowds.