Denmark Travel Guide

This travel guide for Denmark features an overview of the top places to visit, how to get around, safety, scams, logistics, and more to help you plan your trip.

Beyond cosmopolitan Copenhagen, with its magnificent Nyhavn harbor, Amelienborg palace, winter home of Danish royalty, along with other palace and castles, world renowned food and design aesthetic, and hippie Freetown Christiana, there’s plenty of other places to explore in Denmark, making it an excellent travel choice. This country, ranked as one of the world’s happiest nations, has stunning palaces and castles scattered throughout the country, interesting museums, summer resort beaches, unique natural phenomenon that will fascinate and surprise you, and more.

This travel guide and post on Denmark are updated as of April 2022.

Top Attractions in Denmark

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is Denmark’s stylish capital and top attraction. It influences design around the world with its sleek design aesthetic, is home to record breaking restaurants, literally ranked as some of the best in the world, full of seemingly countless palaces and castles, like the Queen’s winter home, Amalienborg Palace, and Rosenborg Castle, where you can see the Danish crown jewels, and is known as the fairy tale city as it honors Danish-born Hans Christian Anderson.

And this doesn’t even include its highlight, which is colorful Nyhavn Harbor, with its variety of bars and cafes on the quay and launch point to explore the cities many canals.

Nyhaven is one of the top spotS in the Denmark Travel Guide
Nyhavn Harbor

Freetown Christiana is another must-visit in Copenhagen. This abandoned military base was taken over by squatters in the 1970’s and became an autonomous hippie haven. It’s lively and free-spirited with a variety of creative homes, art galleries, cafes, and street art.

A Gallery in Freetown Christiana in the Denmark Travel Guide
Freetown Christiana Gallery
Street art in Freetown Christiana in the Denmark Travel Guide
Freetown Christiana Street Art

Aarhaus

Aarhuas, Denmark’s second most visited location is a cozy, historic city with a wealth of attractions.

There’s the Dokk 1 Cultural center and the ultra cool condominiums called the Iceberg Buildings that sit at its Harbor. And when the Queen is not at her summer home here, you can visit the rose gardens at Marselisborg Castle.

Iceberg Buidings | Villy Fink Isaksen

ARoS Aarhaus Art Museum, one of the largest art museums in northern Europe has 9 floors of exhibits and a unique, multi-colored glass walkway on the rooftop for a 360 degree rainbow panorama of the city. In the town’s center, there’s also also Den Gamle By, which means Old Town, a living museum that brings the past back to life. This is also another foodie city, with many hip bars, cafes, and restaurants to explore. It even has a permanent street food market, Aarhaus Street Food, with 30 street kitchens and bars.

Roskilde

Roskilde is a popular day trip from Copenhagen to visit the Viking Ship Museum, which features 5 Viking ships from the 11th century that were meticulously excavated from the waters nearby. Easily reached by train it’s about a 35-minute ride. Roskilde is also renowned for its annual rock festival, one of the largest in Europe. It lasts 8 days with more than 100 acts.

Frederiksborg Castle

Located on the island of Zealand, breathtaking Frederiksborg Castle is the Danish Royal family’s spring and fall residence. This lakeside palace is worth a visit, full of history, art, and architecture, and is also home to the Museum of National History. Located in Hillerød, it’s about a 45-minute train ride northwest of Copenhagen.

Kronborg Castle

Helsingør is home to Kronborg Castle, also known as Hamlet’s castle, as it’s Elsinor in the play Hamlet. It’s about 45 minutes north of Copenhagen, or 30 minutes northeast of Hillerød by train.

Kronborg Castle | Artico2

Funnel Island

Odense, one of Denmark’s oldest cities, is on Funen Island, about a 4 hour train ride west of Copenhagen. This was the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, famous fairy tale creator and where you’ll find the H.C. Anderson House, which opened in 2021. A museum honoring his life and work.

It’s also home to yet another beautiful castle, Egeskov Castle, about 23 miles (37 km) south of Odense. One of the best preserved moat castles in Europe, Egeskov contains a beautiful garden and entertainment for the whole family with a large playground area. both making Funnen island a great family stop.

North Jutland

The northernmost part of Denmark is wild and remote, a relaxing getaway from the city with white sandy beaches, grasslands, forests, and several unique phenomenon to explore.

Skagen

Skagen, Denmark’s main fishing port, is a popular summer resort, with its harbor framed by long sandy beaches. Also known as an artists and writers colony, there are many art galleries, and museums, along with many restaurants and cafes.

Grenen | Martin Olsson

Grenen

Just north of Skagen is Grenan, on the very northern tip of the Jutland.

This is where the Skagerrak and Kattegat Seas meet, creating the long strip of sand to the left and spectacular waves as they crash together.

It’s also a protected nature reserve and wildlife haven, with a variety of birds and sunbathing seals. And if you really want to explore nature here, try hiking on some of the 18 miles (30 km) of trail at Grenensporet.

Räbjerg Mile

About 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Skagen is another interesting phenomenon. Räbjerg Mile is a 1 km wide and 1 km long sand dune with about 4 million cubic meters of sand that slowly migrates almost 50’ (15 m) northeast annually, slowly covering, then uncovering, everything in its path. This includes a church, now abandoned, with just the main tower left sticking out. At the current rate, it’s expected to cover the main road to Skagen in a century or two.

Be cautious walking here as some areas can be like walking in quicksand.

Best Time To Visit Denmark

The weather is ideal, and days are longest in June, July, and August, but these are also the busiest months. To avoid the crowds, try visiting in shoulder season in May and September.

Language of Denmark

Danish is the official language, but reportedly 86% speak english as a second language.

Denmark Money Matters

Currency: The currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone, DKK or kr. The following conversion rates are from January 1, 2024.

  • USD (1)=6.76 DKK
  • Euro (1)=7.45 DKK
  • CNY (1)=.95 DKK

Credit Cards: Credit and Debit Cards are widely accepted, especially MasterCard and Visa. American Express may only be accepted by larger establishments. Many locations require a chip card, so ask your bank for one if yours does not. There will always be places, like smaller cities and local markets, that only accept cash, so always have some Kroner on hand.

ATM’s: ATMs, called Pengeautomat here, are prevalent and easy. Most large private banks do not charge fees, but the screen will alert you to fees above and beyond fees charged by your bank. Try to use ATMs at banks, as private ATMs charge fees. ATMs at airports, hotels, and near tourist areas likely charge higher fees (convenience). Some ATMs will allow you to view the transaction in your home currency, but beware as this triggers a higher conversion fee. Always use/view local currency and do the math yourself for the best rate. Danish ATMs use 4 digit pins, so if yours is longer, change it before you travel.

Tipping: In Denmark, service charges are included in your bill by law, so tipping is not a standard practice. If you want, you can round up your bill to the next whole Euro, but it is not expected. Even in taxis.

Copenhagen

Denmark Travel Guide: Safety

Denmark is considered very safe, known as one of the safest countries in the world, but pick-pocketing and petty theft do occur. Especially in touristy areas in Copenhagen. Be extra alert in areas like Nyhaven, Kongens Nytorv, Christiana (especially after dark), Strøget street, as well as Central station and Nørreport Station. Don’t carry too much cash and always keep a close eye, or hand, on your purse or wallet.

Take normal precautions, always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Trust your instincts. If things don’t feel right, look for alternatives.

Check the latest warnings on your government website. Sign up for STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), or similar with your country. These services with alert you if an emergency does occur.

Denmark Travel Guide: Scams

Generally Denmark is safe, but there are always a few people trying to take advantage of tourists. Especially in touristy areas. Some common scams to watch out for include the following.

Strøget Street Gambling Scams

On popular Strøget street in Copenhagen, gambling games are a scam. These are the type of gaems where you guess which cup the ball is under, or which playing card is right. Don’t give into temptation as they are rigged.

Splashing Scams

If you are splashed with something and someone offers to help you clean up, be extra cautious, as this is a scam to rob you.

Fake Police

There have been reports of police asking for your ID under the guise of looking for drug dealers, then asking for a bribe. Request to see their police ID and know that real police would not ask for a bribe.

Fake Taxis

Always make sure you use an official taxi. Fake taxis sometimes hang out in areas tourists are known to drink in, then charge exorbitant prices. Look for the green ’FRI’ sign in the front window. All taxis should have a document with the driver’s photo and licence number, and use official taxi ranks.

Tampered ATM Machines

Always try to use ATMs inside, or connected to banks, as they are less likely to be tampered with. Check for hidden cameras over pin keypads, scanners that have been tampered with, and fake key pad covers. Really look at the ATM to make sure it doesn’t appear altered.

Getting Around Denmark

Getting Into Denmark

Fly

Most people arrive in Denmark at Copenhagen’s Kastrup International airport. It’s located about 6 miles (10 km) south of downtown Copenhagen.

The best way to get to Copenhagen from the airport is the train to Central Station. It departs regularly from the end of Terminal 3, taking about 15 minutes. From there you can connect to other trains, the metro, or bus to your final destiantion. The metro is another excellent option, arriving in Kongens Nytorv, also in about 15 minutes. They are both the same price. Buy your tickets from the red DSB ticket machines in Terminal 3. You need a 3-zone ticket.

A taxi is another option if you don’t want to mess with your luggage, but much more expensive.

There are also regional airports in Aalborg (in the Jutland), Aarhaus, and Billund, offering service from budget airlines.

Train

Central Station in Copenhagen is connected with the European rail network with Germany and across Øresund bridge to Sweden. From there you can connect to other trains, the metro, or bus to your final destination.

Getting Between Cities in Denmark

Train

The train is often the best way to travel to between cities. The train from Central Station to Odense is a little over an hour, to Aarhaus, about 4, and to Skagen, about 8. Roskilde is about 35 minutes, while Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castle are both about a 45-minute ride.

Fly

For Skagen, it’s worth comparing flights from Copenhagen to Aalborg, then a train or bus from there.

GoMore

GoMore is the ridesharing service in Denmark. I have not used it, but it looks similar to BlaBlaCar. You will need a local phone number, however, to use it. This means you need a local phone or a SIM card for yours.

Getting Around in Cities in Denmark

Copenhagen: Metro is the best way to get around Copenhagen.

Odense: Odense has free bright pink buses that are a conveninet way to get around.

Aarhaus: In Aarhaus, there are also free busses and a free light rail.

The Jutland: Getting around the Jutland can be a little more challenging as it is more remote. To get to Grenen from Skagen, you can taxi or bicycle. To get to Råbjerg Mile, you can taxi, which may be expensive. There is also an option to take a train to Bunken Street and taxi from there. A bicycle is also an option. It would take about 50 minutes to an hour each way.

Denmark Travel Guide: Visa Information

Denmark is in the Schengen, so operates on the Schengen Visa policy. US citizens can enter visa free for up to 90 days, then can only re-enter after an additional 90 days.

Chinese citizens need to apply for a Schengen Visa. Click here to learn more.

Denmark Travel Guide: Copenhagen Blog

Click below for more detailed information on Copenhagen.

If my travel guide has been useful in planning, or just dreaming about visiting Denmark please drop me a note below.

Safe Travels! Julie

Note: All efforts have been made to provide accurate information in the Travel Guide for Denmark, but from time to time things change. If you see something that is not right, please contact me below.

To read more about me and my personal perspectives on travel, see my about me page.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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