Denmark Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Euro €
🕙Time Zone: 1+ GMT
📞Phone Code: +45
✈️Best time to visit: May to September
🍴Eat: Smørrebrød (bread & meat)
🍷Drink: Pilsner beer.
🗺️Don't miss: The Little Mermaid
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Denmark is part of Scandinavia, located north of Europe but in easy reach from central Europe due to its geographical location on the continent. Like many Scandinavian countries, Denmark is a cosmopolitan and modern society with a proud history going back to the Viking Age, making it a fascinating holiday destination in Northern Europe.
Although it is often overlooked by tourists going to the major EU capitals, Denmark's rolling countryside and gleaming cities have much to offer holidaymakers.
Mainland Denmark is located on the Jutland Peninsula, with 482 islands including Zealand, Fyn, and Bornholm in the Baltic Sea making up the rest. The landscape is a patchwork of dairy farms, small towns, fishing villages, and verdant countryside, while gleaming cities like Copenhagen and Århus maintain an effortlessly chic style with Michelin-starred restaurants, buzzing nightlife, and world-class shopping.
Denmark's long history is evident in the 18th-century settlements, thousand-year-old churches, and Neolithic tombs scattered around the country; remnants of Viking settlements can be found in coastal towns like Roskilde. Denmark is often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world according to surveys, and it's easy to see why when you look at the clean streets, efficient public transport systems, and progressive social policies. For visitors, this relaxed, organised, and friendly attitude is just one aspect of a pleasant holiday in Denmark.
Getting there is easy by train or bus when travelling from nearby cities or doing a tour within the region.
The national airline is Scandinavian Airlines, which has its largest hub at the country's capital, Copenhagen. From here it's easy to fly from many European, American and Asian destinations. Travelling from within Europe it's also possible to reach the country with many low cost airlines which fly direct to either the capital or other secondary cities.
Airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair or Norwegian are worth checking if you are coming direct from Europe for the cheaper fares.
It's also possible to reach Copenhagen by ship, this being a slower option. But if you like the sea and have time to spare you can travel from Germany. You can get a ferry from Rostock to Gedser, Puttgarden to Rodby or List to Havneby.
By road it offers easy option from Germany or from Sweden. The roads and motorways are secure, well developed and the traffic is always fluid so renting a car is a good idea when visiting in Denmark and travel around the country.
Denmark has a continental climate which changes from Summer to Winter quite drastically. Summer's are rather warm, with temperatures reaching easily 25C or higher. However the rest of the year, it can be quite wet and cold. Denmark has one the highest volume of rainfall in the continent, so it's definitely advised taking an umbrella. Winter's are cold, on occasion frozen with snow and cold winds from the North being quite common. Temperatures can reach -5 in January.
The best time to discover the country is from May to September, though July and August are high season and everything can be more expensive and crowded.
Given its location, it is not surprising that fish forms an important part of Danish cuisine. Around a dozen restaurants in Denmark, hold Michelin star or 'rising star' status. Most towns have fast food outlets, and sausage (pølser) stalls also offering soft drinks and beer.
Specialities in Denmark are: Smørrebrød, a traditional lunchtime Danish dish, consisting of a slice of dark bread with butter, topped with sliced meat, fish or cheese. Danish breakfast, or "morgen-complet", consists of an assortment of breads, rolls, jam and cheese, often sliced meats, boiled eggs and warm Danish pastries.
As for drinks, Scandinavian coffee is usually drunk strong and black. Beer, famous breweries being Carlsberg and Tuborg. Most popular is pilsner (lager).
Akvavit, popularly known as schnapps, is meant to be drunk with cold food or at Christmas, preferably with a beer chaser. It is served ice cold.
Denmark is a beautiful country with pretty architecture, rich history, low landscape and a calm way of life in its cities. Making it ideal to walk around and everywhere is easy to reach. Transportation is very reliable and punctual, easy to use, understand and follow, so even if you get lost people are very friendly, helpful and speak English fluently. It was a relaxing experience to visit the capital, many visitors coming just for a weekend which is just right but travelling around the country for even more peace and quiet is recommended.
Copenhagen Tourism Information Guide
The capital of Denmark is a cool, cosmopolitan city whose citizens and atmosphere resemble more of a typical small town than capital city. Synonymous with bold architecture and cutting-edge design, Copenhagen is also a culinary pioneer. The city’s cobbled streets and windswept squares harbour host some of the best restaurants in the world.The city is one of Europe's oldest capitals with an exclusive royal touch - the monarchy in Denmark is the oldest in the world. The city offers fascinating architecture, many parks, palaces and other attractions. Come to explore the city with its history and stories or just come to relax. It's well catered for all types of travellers.
The climate of Copenhagen means that the city enjoys fairly predictable warm Danish summers and mild winter weather. During the winter months, the climate is regulated by the Atlantic Gulf Stream, which ensures that the temperatures never get too low and at nighttime hover around 0°C. Rainy weather is not uncommon in Copenhagen, whatever the time of the year.
However, grey skies and clouds are more likely during the winter, when snow and overnight frosts can even be a possibility, especially between January and February. With average daytime temperatures rarely exceed 5°C. By April, the increased light levels and plentiful sunshine, starts off the spring and temperatures quickly soar to 15°C or more. For this reason, mid-spring is becoming an increasingly popular time to visit this city.
July and August are Copenhagen's hottest months and this time is when you are most likely to experience a Danish heat wave and extremely long daylight hours. With temperatures of 20-25°C on average but it is possible to occasionally experience highs of 30°C.
Arriving at the airport and taking public transport options is the best way to get to the city centre. There are a few alternatives but the cheapest way it to go by bus or metro. The bus 5A which runs days and night takes you to the central station. Metro is the quickest way, the metro station is located in a covered, direct extension of Terminal 3. It takes 15 minutes from the airport to Nørreport Station, city centre. There is also a train station at the airport for those who are travelling to other regions of the country.
Once it the city Copenhagen offers a reliable and modern transport system. For those visiting there is the CityPass which offers unlimited travel during 24h for 80DKK (€11) or 72h for 200 DKK (€27). However the city centre is small and all the mean sights can be done by foot.
The metro in Copenhagen is small but very efficient. There are only two lines.
Below you can access the metro map for Copenhagen:
Copenhagen at a first glance might seem small, but rest assured there is plenty to see. It has a lot of history attached to it and with the Royal Family still present in Denmark there is always an air or royalty around and things are done efficiently like clockwork. Any shows, changes of guards and official acts are very popular to see. At the same time, you can relax and walk around the pretty harbour and or enjoy a cruise by boat.
The most recommended sights to see are:
- Nyhavn Harbor, which is flanked by the street of the same name. At the end of the harbor, an anchor serves as a memorial to Danish sailors who lost their lives in World War II. With its brightly painted gabled houses, many containing restaurants or cafés, it's a particularly charming part of Copenhagen which is very popular and can get very crowded at night.
- Christiansborg Palace, you find this emblematic building on the small island of Slotsholmen. The palace is the Danish seat of government. Christiansborg boasts more than 800 years of history and today, the palace is home to the Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office, and the Supreme Court. The fortifications around the palace date to the Bishop's Castle, and are as old as 1167, the ruins were discovered when the present palace was under construction. They can now be seen by visitors.
- Tivoli Gardens, dating from 1843, you'll find more than 20 attractions including a roller coaster; roundabouts; halls of mirrors; pantomime, puppet, and open-air theatres; a wealth of restaurants and cafés; flower gardens; and a Moorish-styled concert hall, which is popular to see at night. At Christmas, Tivoli becomes an extravagantly decorated wonderland. Located at Vesterbrogade 3.
- National Museum (Nationalmuseet), a collection of runic stones are on display, Romanesque and Gothic church fittings, Danish porcelain and silver, and collections of antiquities and coins. Other areas covered include Asia, Africa and Oceania as well as the culture of the Indians. Here, you'll also find the Prince's Palace (1744), a Rococo building influenced by the French style of the period. Around five-minutes stroll from the National Museum, Thorvaldsen's Museum is also worth a visit to view spectacular works from this famous Danish sculptor. Location, Vestergade 10.
- The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst), Danish art from the 1700s to the present day, as well as paintings by the Dutch Masters, Edvard Munch, and Picasso among others. Located at Solvgade 48-50.
- The Round Tower (Rundetårn), a 36-meter-high structure built as an observatory in 1642. It now also houses a small collection connected with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. A particular treat is the platform, reached by a wide spiral ramp. Located at Købmagergade 52A.
- Amalienborg Castle, a popular castle with calm waterfront gardens. The four palaces facing onto the square were originally built as homes for the nobility, but were taken over by the Royal Family after a fire at Christiansborg in 1794. The soldiers of the Royal Guard with their bearskins and blue (on festive occasions red, white, and blue) uniforms are a unique symbol of the city and offer a nice change of the guards to watch every day at midday.
- A stroll of around five minutes from Christiansborg takes you to the bustling shopping area of Strøget where you'll find a wealth of boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Strøget, a nickname from the 1800s, consists of several roads criss-crossing one another, beginning at Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) and ending at Kongens Nytorv. International brand-name stores, luxury stores and boutiques are based here. Follow Strøget street towards City Hall Square for more affordable shopping like H&M, Weekday, or Zara.
- Rosenborg Palace: It's less than 10 minutes walk from the Round Tower and now home to some of Denmark's greatest cultural treasures, the castle was originally built by Christian IV as a pleasure palace. In the basement are the Danish crown jewels and royal regalia. Exquisite porcelain is also on exhibit, including the famous Flora Danica service. Located at Øster Voldgade 4A.
- Last but not least, is probably Denmark's most famous statue, the Little Mermaid. To see it head along the waterfront from Nyhavn to Kastellet, which is the former Citadel of Frederikshavn, the oldest parts of which date from 1625. The Little Mermaid (Den lille Havfrue), is the official emblem of Copenhagen. The bronze sculpture, created in 1913, is based on a theme from one of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, which tells the tale of a mermaid who once came up out of the depths of the sea because she'd fallen in love with a prince. Sadly, as the prince didn't reciprocate, she was forced to leave the human world and return once more to the sea.
✔️Tip: Copenhagen is only a short train ride away from Malmo (Sweden), so if you have time why not hop over to this pretty town and explore further? Take the train from the city centre and within 35 minutes you will reach Malmo central station. Cost of the ticket is €10 when bought in advance.
The nightlife in Copenhagen doesn't start until late at night. Most jumpstart the evening in a variety of cafes and bars, ranging from renovated historic buildings to newly-built and fashionable eateries.
Hybrid bars are a perfect way to begin the night as they change themes and almost reinvent their venue several times in a single night. This lets visitors enjoy easy listening music and nice meals before late night DJs take over with more energetic beats. Certain areas of the city, such as Nyhavn and Boltens Gård, are long time Copenhagen nightlife districts that can always promise great venues. These often stay open until about 5am.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Copenhagen, but it's true that its prices, make the it more like a spectator walk and just browsing for many. Strøget is the longest pedestrian mall in the world, comprising five streets and over 3 Km of retail heaven.
Copenhagen's main stores can be found along here, as well as cafes to stop and refuel. At the top end of Strøget, shoppers with a deeper wallet can shop at designer labels like Prada, Chanel, and Versace, among others. Magasin du Nord, Scandinavia's largest department store, is also found in this area.
Nørrebro Flea Market on Nørrebrogade and the market on Israels Plads are the biggest and oldest flea markets in Copenhagen. They run from April to October and stock a wild variety of items, from souvenirs and antiques to ramshackle trinkets.
Lego can be scooped up cheaply, while Scandinavian Crystal and Royal Copenhagen porcelain are some of the top souvenir items to buy.
Copenhagen is well suited for everyone's pocket, from luxury hotels to budget hostels and guesthouses. It's a city which caters well for tourists and offers many services and tours. In Hotels generally it's easy to find information about the transportation and activities within the city and friendly staff, speaking in English are all on hand to help. Staying right in the city centre might be more expensive, but with a good transport network around the city, staying a little further away won't add too much time to travel. On average hotels can cost around €55 per night. If you're on a budget then hostels can cost about €25 per night, also Airbnb is recommended for private accommodation.
Copenhagen is a very easy city to visit, by its size it's easy to walk around, relax in cafes or taking a boat ride in its canals. Simply walking around, Copenhagen can be seen in a day other two. But if you want to take in more of the city, visit museums or arrange activities then a suggested 3 nights would be ideal.