Copenhagen is the coolest kid on the Nordic block. Edgier than Stockholm and worldlier than Oslo, the Danish capital gives Scandinavia the X factor. Just ask style bibles Monocle and Wallpaper magazines, which fawn over its industrial-chic bar, design and fashion scenes, and culinary revolution.
Easily the largest and most varied of all Danish regions, central Jutland encompasses dramatically different features, from the calm beaches of the sheltered east coast to the wild and woolly west coast, battered by North Sea winds. Lying in between, offering visual stimulation among the flatness, are the rolling hills and forests of the Lake District.
Denmark’s largest island offers much more than the dazzle of Copenhagen. North of the city lie some of the country’s finest beaches, quaintest fishing villages and vainest castles. Here you’ll find Helsingør’s hulking Kronborg Slot and the striking new Maritime Museum of Denmark, not to mention Hillerød’s sublimely romantic Frederiksborg Slot.
Funen (Fyn in Danish) is Denmark's proverbial middle child. Lacking Zealand's capital-city pull or Jutland's geographic dominance, it's often overlooked by visitors, who perhaps make a whistle-stop visit to Hans Christian's Andersen's birthplace and museum in the island's capital, Odense.
Southern Jutland gets its inspiration from a few sources – from the North Sea, naturally, but also a little from the south. This is the only part of Denmark connected to mainland Europe (by a 68km-long border), and in some places you can feel the historic ties with Germany.
Sure, Aarhus (oar-hus) may be Denmark’s second-largest city, but it feels more like a relaxed and friendly big town, a little bashful in the shadow of its glamorous big sister, Copenhagen. The museums and restaurants are first-rate, while the sizable student population (around 40,000) enlivens Aarhus’ parks and cobblestone streets (and fill its bars).
Woodlands and agricultural fields claim most of Funen, with surprises hiding in the rural landscape – a Viking ship slumbering in an isolated mound, the fairy-tale castle Egeskov, an enigmatic 2000-year-old passage grave. Funen’s sleepy towns curl themselves around fortified mansions and medieval houses.
Expect to fall head over heels for Møn. By far the most magical of the south islands, its most famous drawcard is its spectacular white cliffs, Møns Klint. Soft, sweeping and crowned by deep-green forest, they’re the stuff landscape paintings are made of, which possibly explains the island’s healthy headcount of artists.