Of the three Scandinavian countries, Denmark is the smallest among them with a history that packs a punch. Denmark is the historical homeland of the dreaded, town-raiding Vikings. Ancient monuments, rune stones, long-ships, and Viking burial mounds litter Denmark’s countryside and cities.
Contrasting the Danish history of brutality and seafaring pirates, Copenhagen, the capital, is a cosmopolitan city with a quaint country warmth. The cobblestone streets are lined with patios, shops, and boutiques – perfect for meandering through on a city tour. Everyone uses bicycles as their main mode of transportation, which is also a great way to see the city. Other popular spots to check out are Tivoli Gardens, Rosenborg Castle, the Round Tower, and the Little Mermaid.
No trip is complete without indulging in the local culinary scene. Copenhagen is home to some amazing chefs and restaurants, like the two Michelin star restaurant Noma. Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark and a fun university town, boasts of their gastronomie culinary gem Malling & Schmidt restaurant with Chef Thorsten Schmidt, who takes fine dining to new heights with locally produced and foraged foods. In the coastal towns be sure to try local fish and all the different kinds of pickled herring.
Places to Visit in Denmark
Unique Things to See and Do in Denmark
- Explore your childhood at Legoland!
- Walk underwater at the Den Blå Planet (aquarium)
- Try a real Danish pastry
- Tour the Fredericksborg Castle
- Drive across the Øresund Bridge from Sweden to Denmark
When you start researching your perfect trip to Denmark, you’ll come across some pretty interesting stuff, and most of it sounds really off-putting. So we are here to tell of some of the weird things and to persuade you to still GO!
- The Danish are rude. WRONG! They are not rude, but they are very private and non-intrusive. That means you won’t hear “Thank-you,” “You’re welcome,” or “Sorry.” The Danes keep to themselves and that means fewer English courtesies are culturally required.
- The Danish will run you down with their bikes. NOPE! They won’t aim for you, but as a tourist in a heavy bicycle-traffic country you need to learn to watch out for bikes. Especially if you are jay-walking (which they don’t’ do).
- Denmark is unusually safe. TRUE! Although there are some areas where you need to lock your bike, in the majority of the country you don’t need to. You can hang your coat by the restaurant entrance and it will still be there when you leave. You can even leave your baby outside and it will still be there too!
Danish Foods to Try
The world owes Denmark tribute for the best tasting Danishes ever. And although the pastry originated in France and was brought to Denmark by the Austrians in the late 1800s, it was the Danish adaptation that made them so divine! Danishes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with various toppings ranging from chocolate to marzipan, to nuts and preserves.
At lunch time be sure to try the revered Smørrebrød. An open faced sandwich consisting of rye bread with various toppings. The Danish love rye bread and a personal favourite is to try it with pickled herring – another must. Often the sandwiches are served with meat toppings and accompanied with vegetables like pickled beets, cucumber, or cold salad.
Pork and fish, the two main meat staples, and boiled potatoes are everywhere. One dish that is great is called Foloren hare, which is meat loaf topped with Bacon and served with boiled potatoes topped with brown sauce (gravy).
Getting Around Denmark
Denmark’s transportation system is incredibly reliable, always on time, and pretty extensive.
Buses and car rentals are options here too. Car rentals are expensive with a 25% government tax added on, and you need to book at least a couple of weeks in advance. Buses are the best way to get out to countryside towns if you’re not renting a car. Most bus stations are located by train stations and their schedules are synchronized.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Denmark
The climate is pretty consistent during the year with the summer months hovering just above 20C and the winter months dropping to 0C to -3C. Rain falls fairly evenly throughout the year, but the winter months are most humid. Bring warm clothes for a Danish winter – the cold can be bone-chilling because of the humidity. The Danish know how to be outdoors in the winter though. Don’t be surprised to find a patio filled with Danes drinking beers underneath outdoor heating lamps. The summer months are great for travellers who like warm weather and don’t want to be dripping in sweat, but for those who like the heat, carry a light sweater for the winds.
Ready to plan your visit to Denmark? Check out these popular guides and trips.