I wrote this piece originally for The Blonde Abroad. You can see that piece here. It was too good not to share!
Many of the best places to visit in Denmark aren’t in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is the largest city in Denmark, with less than a million people. and by far the most visited, but if you’re up for an adventure, this post is for you!
I adore Denmark and the many places that aren't Copenhagen (although I love Copenhagen). We've had the good fortune to live out in the country and explore oodles of cool places.
If you get the chance to visit Denmark, aim for summer. The summer days can have nearly 18 hours of sunlight, and the weather is divine.
The alternative is to go for Christmas to see the famous Christmas markets. I love both seasons in Denmark. Here are my top places to visit outside of Copenhagen:
Stevns Klint is a UNESCO World Heritage site that we just discovered since the start of COVID, as I was researching outdoorsy things to do in Denmark. These white chalk cliffs stretch 11 miles and contrast the crisp blue water below.
We could have stayed here for multiple days. We enjoyed a few long walks along the cliff edge, and we found a great Airbnb in the area. If you’re looking to escape the fast-paced world, this place will soothe your soul.
So, Skagen, Denmark is the northernmost point in Denmark, where the North and Baltic Sea meet. It’s typical Danish tradition to go out into the ocean and stand with one foot in each sea. In the summer, Danes hang out on this shore all night, since the sun hardly goes down.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll come upon some seals. Also nearby is Råbjerg Mile, which is the largest migrating sand dune in Northern Europe.
Aros Art Museum
Enjoy this picturesque view from ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus. This circular walkway towers the buildings below and gives the most panoramic view of Aarhus. Established in 1859, it is the oldest art museum in Denmark, and consistently has cool new art featured, I really enjoy the Scandinavian minimalism pieces. In my free time, I often go to the coffee shop in the lobby to work and see the latest exhibitions.
Aarhus Street Food
Danish people love good food! This stop is for the foodies. When we stumbled upon it, I was got so excited. They have lots of excellent Danish food like smørrebrød and flæskesteg sandwiches.
When I’m missing home, I can also find great American cuisine and Mexican food, which can be hard to come by in Denmark. Grab a little plate of everything and find yourself a fancy cocktail, you won’t forget this place!
Tivoli, also known as Tivoli Gardens, is the second oldest amusement park in the world (in Copenhagen). Once inside the gates, it is spectacular! Each year they have it fully decorated; summer is overflowing with flowers, and winter is drizzled in sparkling Christmas lights.
Most people don’t know this, but there is a replica park in Aarhus— Tivoli Friheden! We loved the Aarhus one, there is less hype, it was cheaper, and we adored the Christmas market there last year.
We were lost and trying to find a park when we stumbled on this town, and it was such a treat. This town sits south of the Mariager Fjord.
Hanging out in Mariager is like taking a step back in time. All the cobblestone is hand-laid, the houses lean to the side, and the flowers and lush vines pour over everything. We enjoyed our Saturday afternoon here. There is a beautiful church in the middle of town that borders a cemetery, and I loved walking through the cemetery and looking at old Danish names.
Lejre is about half an hour outside of Copenhagen and has a very cozy farm town feel. This town only has about 2,000 residents, but what I love most about it is the rolling hills. The majority of the countryside in Denmark is flat and green, and Lejre is a great place to experience the Danish country.
Springtime in Lejre is the best. The fields that were once green are littered with yellow mustard flowers as far as the eye can see! If you happen to be in Denmark in the spring, March, or April, you have to drive through Lejre. This town is a great place to escape the city and find a haven in the hills.
Located in the Gisselfeld Kloster Forest, this observation tower stands 148 feet above the ground and lets you cruise through the treetops on foot. On a sunny day, it is said that if you look North, you can see all the way to Copenhagen and Malmö.
Camp Adventure was a very singular experience for me; the trees are massive, and the structure is unlike anything else I’ve been in. It’s definitely a modern take on a park.
The top is 450 feet above sea level, and as you get closer to the top, many people turn back for fear of heights. In March, we cruised to the top with a hot chocolate, it was cozy.
Randers is a small town of 60,000. I live in Randers, and for me, it feels like typical Denmark, nothing flashy, so you get a real sense of the culture.
In medieval times, it was a market city. And our iconic church downtown, St. Martins Church, was built in the 15th century. Last year I spent most of my time walking to and working from the heart of the city. The downtown area is lined with cobblestones, small Danish restaurants, and coffee shops.
You won’t find a Starbucks or any chains. But you’ll be able to find some authentic Danish food like smørrebrød, flæskesteg, and frikadeller to go along with your Danish beer — a Carlsberg or Tuborg. But don’t ask for gluten-free anything, or soy milk, they might look at you like you’re an alien.
A+ Sushi Restaurant, Aarhus
This is potentially my best-kept secret about Denmark: sushi. If you like sushi, you are going to be floored. I am not sure why, but sushi is inexpensive compared to the US.
My husband and I go to this little restaurant in Aarhus and get all you can eat sushi for $30 a person. And the sushi is exquisite! I am a sushi feen, and this place is to die for! But truly, you can find good, cheap sushi almost anywhere in Denmark.
If you like legos, or you are traveling with your husband or kids, this will be awesome. You probably didn’t know this, but legos were invented in Denmark in the 1960s. Lego is Danish “leg godt,” which means “play well” in English. The best time to visit Legoland Denmark is going to be in the summer months, so it’s warm.
The park is in an obscure location, right outside the Billund Airport. It isn’t close to much, but if you fly into Billund, it would be a great place to start your trip.
Denmark has so much to offer and has something for absolutely everyone. Experiencing Scandinavia is something everyone must do at some point.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What language is spoken in Denmark?
A. The answer is Danish. A large majority (about 86%) of Danes also speak English as a second language; it is mandatory for Danish students to learn from the first grade in the public elementary schools. Ramus is fluent in Danish!
Q: Is Denmark in the EU?
A. Yes, Denmark is one of the 27 member countries in the EU who enjoy borderless travel. That is why I’m pursuing Spanish citizenship, so I can travel freely!
The culture, food, and lifestyle are so vastly different from what we have in the US. I hope you enjoyed my insights! Have you been to Denmark? Comment below!
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