Scandinavian countries start in Denmark. Over the years, a lot has changed. Formerly famed for its fearsome warriors, the Vikings, it is today a tranquil modern nation where cutting-edge architecture coexists with historical structures. You may visit palaces and castles in Denmark, the country of Hans Christian Andersen, where perhaps some of his fairy stories actually did come true. Below is a list of the top destinations in Denmark.
The saying “You’re not getting old, you’re getting better” is a fitting description of Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. Ribe, a town in Jutland, was established as a Viking marketplace in 700, and it has the oldest town hall in the nation. Although it was constructed in 1496, it wasn’t used as a town hall until 1709.
From its charming half-timbered medieval structures to Ribe Cathedral, the first Christian church in Denmark, there is much to see at Ribe. In the summer, you can tour the area with the night watchman or learn more about its Viking history. The ecological gem Wadden Sea National Park is close by.
A nation as far north as Denmark might not seem to have a Riviera, yet it has. Gilleleje, a charming fishing village on the North Sea at the top of Zealand, serves as the centre of the Danish Riviera. During World War II, fishermen made effective use of their boats to evade German occupiers and smuggle Danish Jews into Sweden, which was only 25 kilometres (15 miles) away.
The neighbourhood museum has further information about these initiatives. Gilleleje, a 14th-century settlement, is lovely and picturesque, offering countless photo opportunities. Take a stroll through the city, watch the daily fish auction in the morning, and pay a visit to Kierkegaard’s monument, the founder of existential philosophy.
One of the most well-known castles in the world, Kronborg, which served as the location for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is located in Elsinore, also known as Helsingr. Here, the play has been presented yearly for 80 years. A fortification and a chapel surrounded by convents were built a century before the founding of the former medieval fishing hamlet.
Today, it is a thriving port city. Han, a statue that was placed in the harbour in 2012, is compared to the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. The castle, the maritime museum, and the statue of Holger Danske, a legendary figure who fought against Charlemagne, are among the top attractions.
Another historic Danish city, Aalborg, has evolved over time into a major industrial and cultural (with a focus on cultural) hub. It is well-known for its theatre, symphony, and opera, as well as for the Aalborg Carnival, the biggest carnival festival in Scandinavia.
The city is also well-known for its half-timbered homes, the former royal palace Aalborghus Castle from the 16th century, and the 14th-century Budolfi Church, which was constructed on the remains of an earlier Viking church. Two historic homes stand out: the half-timbered, sandstone residence of Mayor Jrgen Olufsun from the 17th century and Jens Bang’s 17th-century Dutch Renaissance home, which has been a pharmacy for 300 years.
One of Denmark’s early capitals, Roskilde, is situated 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of Copenhagen, the country’s present capital. It is one of the oldest cities in Denmark and the location of numerous royal tombs. The first brick Gothic cathedral in Scandinavia, Roskilde Cathedral, houses their royal graves. It was built in the 12th century.
The Viking Ship Museum, which houses the remnants of five Viking ships that were sunk to defend Roskilde from maritime attackers, is another important site. The Roskilde Jars, three enormous jars that mark the city’s 1,000th anniversary, and the royal palace, which is now an art gallery, are two other attractions you might want to check out. The Roskilde Festival, a significant rock music festival, takes place here in late June or early July.
The northernmost city of Denmark, Skagen, serves as both the nation’s principal fishing port and one of the most visited locations in Denmark, drawing two million tourists a year. Impressionist painters loved painting the picturesque seascapes, long sandy beaches, and fishermen in this beautiful community in the 19th century.
Early 1900s Danish monarchy spent their summers here; Skagen still draws affluent visitors today, including sailors from all around Scandinavia. Try some herring here since Skagen, where the Baltic and North Seas converge, is known for its herring fishery. One of Denmark’s oldest lighthouses is located in the city.
Bornholm, a Baltic Sea island that is closer to the borders of Poland and Sweden than Denmark, is well-known for its glass and pottery. Four of the island’s historic churches are circular, and several villages have charming windmills.
The island, which was controlled by both the Germans and the Soviets during World War II, is renowned for its breathtaking landscape, which includes beaches, forested mountains, rocky sea cliffs, and lush valleys. From Sweden and Denmark, ferries can take you there. Both Neolithic sun temples and medieval forts can be found here. Hornet Flight, a thriller by Ken Follett, was similarly set in Bornholm.
Odense, which means “Odin’s sanctuary,” is better known for other things than for providing a haven for devotees of this Norse god. There are numerous statues and sculptures of Hans Christian Andersen’s characters scattered across the city because it is both his birthplace and childhood home. The sweet dessert marzipan is a notable export from Denmark’s third-largest city.
Additionally, many of its attractions are a visual pleasure for visitors. On the list are a former Viking stronghold, the Funen Village Museum, which depicts Andersen’s time there, Funen’s Abbey, one of Denmark’s oldest art galleries, and Saint Canute’s Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century.
Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark, with a population of 330,000. It began as a Viking settlement that was fortified in the eighth century. Since ancient times, Aarhus has served as a major trading hub and is renowned for its thriving music scene. An international jazz festival of eight days is held in the city every year.
Architecturally, it’s a fascinating city with influences from the Vikings to the present. The inner city is where you may find the oldest, best-preserved residences. The Aarhus Cathedral, the city’s longest and tallest church, dominates the urban landscape.
The majority of visitors will start their trip to Denmark in Copenhagen, the capital and largest city of the country. And rightly so, given that Copenhagen is a dynamic city with lots to offer. The country’s cultural and financial hub is currently located in the ancient Viking fishing community.
The Little Mermaid, a bronze monument based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and Tivoli Gardens, the most popular amusement park in Scandinavia, are the two main reasons that tourists travel to Copenhagen. Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighbourhood is famous for its Dutch Renaissance architecture, and the city’s horizontal terrain is punctuated by some attractive castles and ancient churches.