Esbjerg (roughly pronounced ess-be-air) has a touch of the ‘wild frontier’ about it – a new city (by Danish standards) that's grown big and affluent from oil, fishing and trading. Its business focus lies to the west, to the oilfields of the North Sea, but its ferry link with the UK ceased in 2014.
Esbjerg fails to pull heartstrings on first impressions – its silos and smokestacks hardly compete with the crooked, story-book streets of nearby Ribe. In the harbour you may see offshore drilling rigs being repaired. Away from the industrial grit, however, Esbjerg redeems itself with some quirky attractions and its easy access to the beautiful, time-warped island of Fanø, just a 12-minute ferry ride away.