Museum & Galleries
New Nordic or Old Danish
Copenhagen is one of the world’s hottest culinary destinations, home to visionary chefs concocting uniquely Nordic dishes. At the other end of the spectrum, old-school cafes and historic restaurants allow you to discover traditional favourites like smørrebrød (open sandwiches).
Top Marks for Design
Check out architectural show-stealers like the Black Diamond library extension and Operaen; admire town planning that makes this city so damn user-friendly; and browse museums dedicated to local output that changed the way the world designs and decorates.
Calling Culture Vultures
For a whistle-stop tour through the country’s history, nothing beats the Nationalmuseet; fine art excels at Statens Museum for Kunst and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Out of town you can ogle modern art in modern architectural marvels, then take the pulse of the current art scene in fab city galleries.
Most visitors gravitate to Helsingør’s magnificent Kronborg Slot, otherwise known as Elsinore, home of Shakespeare’s indecisive anti-hero, Hamlet. But don’t ignore Frederiksborg Slot, a glorious Dutch Renaissance–style confection. Divine Dragsholm Slot combines food and finery with aplomb.
Investigate the Viking Era
Got a thing for rugged, hirsute marauders? Be wowed by Viking ships at Roskilde, ponder the enigmatic ring fortress at Trelleborg, and get swept into the Iron Age lifestyle at the experimental archaeology centre outside Lejre.
Gorgeous white-sand beaches line the northern coast, and summer beach-goers create a sunshine-and-ice-cream vibe in favourite spots such as Hornbæk and Tisvildeleje. Coastal trails lead past Stevns Klint to a fascinating Cold War–era fortress-museum.
Møn, Falster & Lolland
Arts & Crafts
You may notice that Denmark is rather flat. So Møn’s striking white-chalk cliffs, rising 128m above a milky sea, are beloved of scenery-seekers. The cliffs are one of Denmark’s most famous landmarks – take a hike or boat trip to check them out.
Fun for the Whole Family
This island trio draws summer-sun-seeking families and there are oodles of attractions aiming to enrich the holiday experience, from interactive museums to a recreated medieval village, plus a water park, zoo and safari park.
Møn is a magnet for artists and potters, keen to tap into the inspiration offered by cliffs, coastline and clay soils. Their works are on display in various studios and galleries, and you can admire wondrous art from an altogether different era in ancient, fresco-adorned churches.
This Baltic outpost is encircled by beaches, but Dueodde justifiably hogs the limelight: a vast stretch backed by pine trees and expansive dunes. Its soft sand is so fine-grained it was once used in hourglasses and ink blotters.
The productive island is home to historic fish smokehouses, first-class organic produce, a brace of fine-dining restaurants (Kadeau is Michelin-starred), and an ever-expanding league of food artisans, creating treats from ice creams and caramels, to hams and microbrews.
More than 230km of bike trails cover main roads, forests, former train routes and beaches. There are a multitude of picturesque coastal hamlets and medieval round churches, and the excellent local food and drink are your reward for pedalling some gently undulating landscape.
To the Manor Born
Dozens of castles and manor houses dot Funen. The big daddy of them all is splendid Egeskov Slot, complete with moat and drawbridge, a doll’s house beyond compare, and summertime evening fireworks. Need more? Broholm Castle is an antique-filled moated masterpiece you can sleep in.
Once upon a Time...
A baby was born to a cobbler and a washerwoman, in 1805 in Odense. That baby went on to write fairy tales known and loved the world over. Odense honours home-grown Hans Christian Andersen in all manner of ways, including museums dedicated to the man and sculptures of his most famous stories.
This region includes a bevy of islands (90 of ‘em!), some home to people, some just to birds, rabbits and deer. Island-hopping by ferry or yacht is a salt-sprayed pleasure, as is exploring nautical-but-nice Ærø.
You want thatch-roofed houses, blooming gardens and cobblestone streets lined with boutiques, galleries and cafes? You need Ribe (Denmark’s oldest town), Møgeltønder and the island of Fanø on your itinerary. Careful, you might overdose on hygge.
Stretching along Jutland’s west coast is the marshy Wadden Sea National Park, ripe for exploration. Its tidal rhythms provide opportunities for seal-spotting, winter oyster-collecting and bountiful birdwatching.
Unlikely Designer Destinations
Admire Utzon architecture in modern Esbjerg, a brilliant design museum in suburban Kolding and, in a converted water tower in Tønder, a Wegner chair collection that will have design buffs drooling.
The Great Outdoors
Truly something for everyone: the Lake District has canoeing and rambling; the wild west coast offers first-class wind- and kitesurfing; and Rold Skov has excellent mountain biking. Aarhus is perfect for city cycling, while Djursland has long, pristine beaches.
Lego & Loads More
Did someone say Lego? Yes, Billund is the birthplace of the wondrous plastic brick. There’s also some cool kid-oriented stuff in Aarhus, Randers has a brilliant man-made rainforest, and Djursland is prime holiday turf, brimming with amusement and safari parks.
Modern Art Marvels
Modern art struts its stuff in this region – prime viewing is Your Rainbow Panorama atop Aarhus’ outstanding ARoS. You can admire gobsmacking glassworks in Ebeltoft, appreciate Asger Jorn’s repertoire in Silkeborg, and ponder conceptual art in Herning.
Mother Nature’s Finest
Visitors can witness the region’s natural beauty without needing to rough it: the shifting sands, the luminous light, the raging winds, the clashing waters. You’ll understand why artists and writers have felt inspired here.
Both the east and west coasts draw holidaymakers to long sandy stretches – sometimes windy and woolly on the west, more sheltered on the east. Northernmost Skagen combines the best of both worlds, while surfers love Løkken and Klitmøller's celebrated waves.
At the røgeri (smokehouse) in Hanstholm, the harbourside buffets of Sæby, the chic restaurants of Skagen and the smart menus around Aalborg, you’re left in little doubt – seafood is king here. And it’s a worthy monarch, fresh as can be.