Denmark offers a unforgettable trip for those who love art, gastronomy and nature. The Nordic country is made up of 406 islands. Denmark is in fact made up of an outstretched tongue of land with Jutland, a smaller island called Funen, followed by Sjaelland, where, however, is the capital Copenhagen. Jutland, Funen and Sjaelland are connected together through two bridges, very impressive and suggestive to cross!
One of my last adventures was a trip to the Danish capital, Copenhagen, a hygge, hippy and happy city, a place that offers warmth and intimacy as well as a strong sense of freedom, a dip in European culture and at the same time a way to rediscover the child within us and in short is a mix of different and exciting stimuli.
Let's be clear, I have visited Copenhagen 3 times already and I was able to discover many of the beauties that the Danish capital hides, at different times of the year and during new and exciting wanderings every time. Denmark, however, has much more to offer the visitor. Here they are.
We begin with an attraction that has certainly changed my perspective on Denmark, the Marguerite Route. It is a more than 3000 km path that runs through the whole of Denmark, accompanying those who follow him in the most fascinating parts of the country, often far from the beaten track of mass tourism. The name of this route, as you can imagine, is a tribute to the Queen Margrethe of Denmark. To enjoy the best of the Itinerary, choose the trait that seems more akin to your taste and lose yourself among scenic roads, wilderness areas, windmills, cliffs overlooking the sea and charming old villages.
At Rungsted we visit the home of Karen Blixen, the famous author of "Out of Africa". It is no coincidence that his home is also furnished with lances and tribal objects. Our next stop was Helsingor and we visit the castle gardens, a park with moat with ducks and swans, and beautiful views of the castle. Inside the park is a playground. At Helsingor instead we stop at the famous Kronborg Slot, the castle of Hamlet. As soon as we get understand why Shakespeare chose this house for the exhibition of his work: the castle has a mysterious air as well as its underground, used to imprison and torture the enemies of the crown. Each room has also the statue of the Viking dormant, Holger Danske. Legend has it that if Denmark were to find in a situation of extreme danger, this giant will awaken from sleep and save his homeland.
We leave Helsingor and its castle down towards Roskilde and go up to Odden Faergehavn. From here we make the tickets and we board to Ebeltoft in North Jutland. We move to Hornbaek, a small and gracious town by the sea, playing a bit with the sands of time. We move to Roskilde at a B&B, a few kilometers outside the city. In the evening we take a stroll through the historic center to the beautiful cathedral.
I would definitely recommend a visit to Odense, the city of fairy tales that gave birth to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired some of his best fairy tales. The Danes love Andersen, and everywhere you can see statues and street names dedicated to the writer and the characters of his tales. As we turn the streets of the village we find a large public park full of paths that run along a small river and pass between huge ancient trees, a real green lung of the city where we decide to spend a pleasant time to relax and take pictures.
After a frugal lunch, we head to the Andersen museum, where we find a lot of interesting information about him. For example Andersen was a great lover of origami. In the museum you can find the original manuscripts, his notebooks and a rope! Andersen had a phobia of fire and always kept near him a rope with which he would have gone off in case of fire! For those traveling with children, right next to the museum is a toy library, dedicated to the author and his fairy tales. Nearby is also his birthplace, where he lived until the age of 14 years.
Our next stop was the museum of the Vikings in Roskilde, where we dressed up as Vikings. We move to Soro, a tiny town overlooking a series of ponds, with a really quaint old town, full of colorful houses and large pedestrian area. We stop at the playground of the town and dine in front of the lake. We move to Kerteminde for an afternoon of games on the water, and the town was really cute and quaint.
We move to Odense where we halt for the night at a Motel, a very clean hotel with a short walk from the center and a dinner in the streets of downtown.
Our first stop was Fyrtojet and obviously do not get out from there until lunch! After lunch in the city center we restart to Aarhus where we halt for the night at a villa, a beautiful structure just behind the Latin Quarter, and have dinner in the streets of this beautiful area.
Our first stop was ARoS with the spectacular floor showing the city as in a rainbow, then to Den Gamle By, an open-air museum that shows historical Denmark in which of course we could not miss a horseback ride and a snack in the bakery from 1400! We have lunch on the riverfront and restart to Aalborg where we sleep at Casa Corner, just outside the center. The structure was a little worn but had a sympathetic manager and a great breakfast. In the Evening we move to the new harbor section with live music concert and dinner in the square!
We move to Kildeparken in Aalborg with its games and music. We move to Saeby, a micro world by the sea, breathtaking colors, banquets fish and chips on the harbor and a charming center. We move to Skagen, the northernmost city in Denmark where we sleep in a fantastic apartment, fully furnished and equipped with everything. Before dinner, thanks to the wonderful weather, we arrive at Grenen, the northern point through a wonderful walk on the golden sand. We have dinner in the streets of downtown.
The Viking cemetery in Lindholm Hoje was very interesting to understand the different arrangement of stones on each tomb according to gender, age and social status of the deceased.
Skagen is a town that smells of the sea with its harbor, docks, where lie the clustered networks, the smell of stockfish worked at collection centers. Walking through the narrow streets of the port we remain speechless. Our first stop was the deserted beach in Skagen, then have a ride to the center, with the inevitable playground and have a nice lunch on the harbor with fish.
The center of Skagen is full of whimsical shops. Handcrafted candles, home accessories, marine-themed, bookshelves and small cafe. The city is also famous for its production of boat in a bottle. In every store you can find bottles of various sizes, from the microscopic to the largest, in which are stored models of ships and fishing boats. After visiting the city we head to one of the most awaited stages of this trip the Grenen beach! This beach is the northernmost end of Denmark, as well as the exact spot where the waves of the Baltic Sea collide with those of the North Sea. The emotion of walking across the two seas is indescribable!
We spend the time walking, look for shells, take photographs of the Swedish coast that can be seen in the distance. Then we decide to return to the parking area going on the famous Sandormen, half like a bus pulled by a tractor that runs through smoothly the sands of place. The sunset from the submerged lighthouse Rabjerg Knude and that stage will give us even stronger emotions in Grenen.
The Rubjerg Knude lighthouse is the last visible element of a country that was totally submerged by advancing sands. The advance is unstoppable but for now you can still sit on the roofs of houses and admire the stunning views of the North Sea! The area also partially affected by the effect of the midnight sun. We continue to have light until 10:40 in the night.
We move to Lokken where we sleep at a villa, a beautiful structure close to the center. In the evening we attend a party at the center with banquet food and beer and Danish music concert.
Lokken - Svankaer
Our first stop was the playground of Lokken and we take a stroll downtown to buy some warm clothing! We move to Klitmøller, the Cold Hawaii, for a wonderful lunch of fish and a little game in the surfer's workout. We move to the Thy National Park with a beautiful walk in the green. We move to Svankaer where we sleep in a bed and breakfast, which was located in the park and where we enjoy a dinner at home.
Today we go direct to Ringkobing to take the ferry on Thyboron canal that leads us away a bit of time, and have lunch on the harbor in Ringkobing, around the center and then move directly to the hotel.
In Billund (Jylland), a must-see is the Legoland Theme Park, a paradise of colorful bricks ideal for traveling with children or for pure holiday fun with a group of friends. All inspired by the world of LEGO. Raise your hand if you did not play there as a child! We visit the LEGOLAND and after a day of superfun in the evening we arrive in Ribe, to a B&B, a brand new facility and a two-minute walk from the historic center. The evening dinner was in a historic brewery in the center.
From Billund then it is quite easy to reach Fredericia, a very nice town to visit to immerse yourself in the most characteristic and typical Denmark. Bicycles, cargo bikes and colorful cottages will welcome you, making your trip to Denmark a continuous and exciting discovery. One hour from Billund is also the city of Ribe, the oldest in Denmark. We continue our journey and we cross the beautiful fjords of the northwest where we stop for a frugal lunch. We cross of the spots where the water comes almost to street level. Then we take the highway and arrive fast enough in Ribe.
Ribe is famous for a peculiarity with the colorful doors of houses, characterized by geometrical and elegant woodworks, often handmade. These doors were kept intact over the centuries, carrying a refined charm in the streets of modern Ribe.
Today was the day of relaxing. We come to Maribo and calmly stroll along the lake feeding the ducks and swans.
Fyn is the central island of Denmark, the second largest after Sealand, the island that is home to Copenhagen. This area of the country is appreciated for its rustic and traditional appearance, with farms and farmhouses in the green, black and white cottages with thatched roofs, ancient castles and coast overlooking the sea. If you are planning a trip on the island of Fyn, do not miss the Egeskov Castle, a Danish Renaissance masterpiece; the coastal town of Faaborg, a small town of island of Funen with houses with gabled roofs and ponds, with its picturesque old town and colorful center; and the island of Ærø, in the far south of Funen.
We find the Horne Kirke, the only round church of Funen that surprises for its inventiveness and its irregular shapes. Faaborg is indeed washed by the Baltic Sea. The point where we are is in the south and therefore highly protected from the North Sea cold currents.
We go direct to Egeskov castle again, because the journey by ferry was long enough where the beautiful park takes us throughout the day, including games, mazes, real rooms and suspension bridges was indeed a charm. In the night we sleep in a B&B outside the center and we come to the harbor to dine at a nice restaurant on the beach.
Our first stop was Vallo with its beautiful castle and its mustard-colored houses. We go direct to Koge historic town with a very articulate center around the river. We move to Copenhagen and head to our hostel, that was really nice, new, colorful and cute! The first day we go to the Andersen museum that offered a lovely journey through its fairy tales, the planetarium, and a drive through the channels starting with the sun and coming under the Flood!
We visit Christiania, which was a good experience and then ride to the center, have lunch at the park to enjoy the last moments and return to park Faelledparken and the Norrebroparken and Tivoli Gardens in the evening! The most famous attraction is definitely the Little Mermaid, located on the waterfront of the city with her eyes lost in the horizon.
Denmark Travel Tips
Copenhagen, however, is a rather expensive city so how to travel low cost, visit it and enjoy it to the maximum without spending too much money? We suggest some ways to save in Copenhagen but without too many sacrifices.
Also known as the city where cycling is almost worshiped, then why not visit it in a different way, always on two wheels, but with the cycle that is comfortable, fast and safe. Bring a map, water, some snacks and why not, a little bell to attach to your cycle to warn pedestrians of your presence and you're ready.
Remaining on the subject of fairy tales, resume your cycle and go to the Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Queen. You can see a part of the beautiful rooms and real rooms that are not used daily in this way. Continuing with the castles, a must is the Kronborg Castle, famous as a setting because of Shakespeare's Hamlet. This is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and is held every summer the Shakespeare festival right in the courtyard.
You cannot then leave out the most beautiful beach of the town, the Svanemøllen beach, with a pier of 130 meters.
Christmas in Copenhagen
Christmas in Denmark is an occasion that more or less corresponds to the term intimacy. It is not a random word. Yes, because on December 25 and the end of the year are related to hygge, which in the local language can indicate just that and is connected to a welcoming atmosphere that recreates close to loved ones. All around, between the streets and in the houses are colorful trees, candles lit and traditional songs played.
Our tour starts at City Hall Square, the Town Hall Square, where it was for few days the Christmas tree was lit. We continue along the Stroget, the pedestrian street dedicated to the longest shopping street in the world. A look should be given to the showroom of Royal Copenhagen at Amagertorv, which annually produces since 1963 a dish related to the period. Still, you can go to Kongens Nytorv, the New Royal Square and on the same square is the Royal Theater.
While residents and tourists enjoy the traditional gløgg, a spicy wine that warms up during the cold winter, you can go around stalls selling local produce and crafts.
Tivoli Gardens from November 19 to 31 December is one of the oldest amusement parks, that is transformed into a magical place with lights, gastronomic delights and seasonal fun for the whole family. There is the annual Crazy Christmas Cabaret Show, staged from November 15 in Glassalen of Tivoli. Between Christmas and New Year here is staged one of the Fireworks Festival.
Christmas Market in Nyhavn from November 15 - DECEMBER 22 is held between channels with anchored ships and kindness of the locals. We are in the place where lived for several years even Hans Christian Andersen. Among the stalls there are gifts, apple fritters, gløgg and other delights.
The alternative market is held in the Gray Hall at Christiania. For two weeks in mid-December, it offers unique crafts. Christmas Market in the Meatpacking District is held in one of the coolest neighborhoods of the capital, with ample space to the typical gastronomic specialties of the Christmas period.
Other markets not to miss is the Christmas Market in Højbro Plads between 18 November to 23 December; Christmas market at Rosendal farm that dates back to 1926 from November 21-December 23; Helsingør Market; Christmas Market in the Kronborg Castle from December 3 to 4 and 10 to 11 December, in the fictional home of Shakespeare's Hamlet, a UNESCO World Heritage; Christmas Market at Abbey Esrum from 2- 4 December.
For an original Christmas go in the land of the elves in Morkov from 12 November to 23 December that is about an hour away from Copenhagen and is a place populated by mechanical elves and a farm where is arranged ride in the woods on horse-drawn sleighs.
The Advent wreath and candles are found in any home. The first consists of four candles, lit one by one, each Sunday before Christmas, including various decorations. The candle, marks the passing of Advent, 24 signs represent the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas.
The Advent calendar load every day gifts for children and Christmas Eve dinner. You eat goose roast or crispy pork roast. Sweet is the ris à l'amande, a rice pudding with whipped cream, vanilla and almonds served with sour cherry sauce. In rice a whole almond is hidden, and the one who finds it is entitled to a special gift.
In North Jutland, among sand dunes and moorlands of heather you can stay in Skagen and Aalborg. Skagen is full of fishermen's houses, cottages and classic beach hotels and remains a romantic destination. Here the Advent calendar is alive. The 24 windows of the calendar are distributed among different buildings recognizable by spruce decorations. Every day a horse-drawn carriage through the town to accompany the little angels to open the right box.
Aalborg, however, is the largest city in northern Denmark. It boasts the presence of several Christmas markets and prepare bread and pastries in a wood oven. At Castle Voergaard he jumps back in time, between knights and noblewomen, chandeliers that illuminate the rooms of the castle and decorated trees. The second largest city of the place is Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017. In the Museum of Modern Art of the city, ARoS, there's the glass ring with the colors of the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. The market here is set up in Den Gamle By - The Old Town.
Ribe, however, is the oldest town in Denmark, still full of cobbled streets and medieval houses. Historical is also the town of Tønder with its houses in the Frisian style, and it was here that the first Danish Christmas market in 1994.
In South Jutland, however, there is the Fano island in the Wadden Sea National Park can be reached by ferry from the city of Esbjerg. Her beauty will immediately notice due to the presence of a community of villages among the most unique in Denmark.
In Funen, you can still feel the emotions of Hans Christian Andersen, who lived in these parts. In the town of Odense, there is the Hans Christian Andersen market with its load of jugglers center, cars, rides, crank organs. In Nyborg there is a Christmas market in the old royal castle of the city and many themed events related to the upcoming party.