Denmark is the southernmost and most continental of the Scandinavian countries. The country is an amazing symbiosis of cosmopolitan cities and rural tranquility. Medieval castles, jazz festivals, design exhibitions, and a Lego plastic construction toys, what else a traveler might need? Being very friendly to travelers, the Danes are linked with their northern neighbors by ties of common history, culture and are quite well-adjusted and easygoing people. Denmark regularly ranks among the happiest nations in the world. While the Danish capital is a pretty expensive city, there is a substantial countryside with a mix of sandy beaches, fjords and lovely fishing villages, which allow reducing the expenses a little bit. The relaxed friendliness of Copenhagen pervades the entire country.
The kingdom is linked to Sweden by an Oresund bridge and to Germany by a land border. Denmark is a low-lying country with wide stretches of cornfields, marshes, and woods. It has immaculate towns and villages with colorful buildings adorned with flowers. Has many great examples of half-timbered houses. While Denmark’s cultural events range from music festivals to local parades and concerts, there are numerous Viking ruins and sites, including ancient dolmens dating from the Stone Age. Denmark is recognized to be a peaceful and liberal country, with a well-organized transport network and a number of UNESCO sites.
Public transportation is very convenient in Denmark. With a relatively short distance between cities, it takes just a couple of hours to cross the country. Several internal flights connect Copenhagen with Aarhus, Aalborg, and Billund. A diverse intercity bus network allows reaching the distant areas quite easily. While all highways are toll-free in Denmark, the Great Belt Bridge and the Oresund Bridge are toll bridges.
Denmark has a well-developed bicycle culture, especially in Copenhagen and Odense. About one-fifth of all trips in the capital are made by bike, including commuting. Cycling has become really popular means of transportation in Denmark. The underground ticket price will set you back 36 DKK while traveling from Kastrup airport. Usually, you don’t need to book your seat while traveling across Denmark, but it might be required on some international routes. The buses go everywhere in Copenhagen, fares start at 24 DKK per ride. Copenhagen card allows to get free admission to most attractions, provide discounts in some restaurants and free rides. The price depends on the validity period.
Even though accommodation tends to be quite expensive in Copenhagen, with a wide variety of options, there is always to choose from. A budget hotel room starts around 590 DKK per night with a private or shared bathroom. Some budget hotels include WiFi and free breakfast, be sure to check in advance. A dorm room is still the cheapest option here and starts around 180 DKK per night and average around 240 DKK a night. Average prices outside Copenhagen tend to be even lower.
To save on accommodation, consider staying in campsites. To do that you will need Camping Key Europe pass, formerly known as Camping Card Scandinavia. For a one-night stay, you will need a transit card. Campsites are usually available from April to September, while some open all year round. Since all campsites are classified according to their quality, the typical cost for a three-star campsite is around 70 DKK. If you travel with kids or just want to hang out in nature than consider farm holidays or agritourism. Volunteering with WWOOF is great to get free accommodation in rural areas.
Street food like hot dogs, kebab, pizza or chips is the cheapest option so far in Copenhagen. Expect to pay around 30-40 DKK for snacks or 60 DKK for a combo meal at McDonald’s. Numerous bakeries offer delicious Danish pastry, usually, they serve snacks like sandwiches with a huge salad bowl for 55 DKK. Some hostels offer suitable lunch and evening meals for around 65 DKK. Traditional Danish pubs called bodegas serve food and beer at reasonable prices during lunchtime. Asian and Indian meals often start at around 68 DKK. The self-service restaurants offer meat, fish dishes that will cost around 50-90 DKK. Mid-range restaurants usually start at 200 DKK. When it comes to cooking your own food stick to the budget supermarkets like Netto and Fakta.
Book hotels with complimentary breakfast. If you stay at the hotel pick those with complimentary breakfast. It might be not as substantial as full breakfast but allows to save some money on food.
Buy food, drinks, and alcohol in supermarkets. You can save a lot of money by cooking your own food. With a weekly grocery budget of around 350 DKK (depending on your preferences) you save significant money on your food expenses. Lidl, Netto and Rema 1000 are your best friends then.
Avoid buying cookies, beer, chocolate and snacks in tourist areas. If you eager to get some cookies back home then stick to local supermarkets with lower prices.
Go cycling. For a small fee, you can feel the spirit of the country and get wherever you need.
Just walk. Copenhagen is a very compact city, with all main attractions can be visited within several days. By using numerous hiking trails around the country you get a great chance to enjoy beautiful views for free.
Get a city pass or Copenhagen Card. While the city pass allows you to save money on travel around Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Card offers free admission to more than 70 museums and attractions over the city. This card can also be used for free admission to Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle, which are outside Copenhagen.
A small town located on the island of Funen in southern Denmark is well known with its history and shipyards. Start with exploring the harbor and strolling along the embankment, which the famous Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen was fond of. Make sure to wander through the narrow streets to feel the spirit of Svendborg. With several historic sites situated within walking distance of the city center, The Saint Nicholas Church is the oldest building in Svendborg, while the Valdemars Slot, the palace that was erected by King Christian IV for his son, is still inhabited by Juel family.
The Danish capital is listed in the top 10 of my favorite European cities. Copenhagen’s charm is hard to resist. While the city is quite compact, it accommodates a number of various attractions, including historic neighborhoods and cutting-edge architecture. Copenhagen is one of the most peaceful and hospitable capitals in the world. Most travelers come here to see the Little Mermaid statue, The City Hall Square, charming Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace and the Hans Christian Andersen statue.
Just half an hour from Copenhagen, there is an ancient town of Roskilde. In the early days, when Copenhagen was a tiny village, Roskilde was a prosperous city, the most important religious center and capital of the Kingdom of Denmark. Start your journey by visiting the Roskilde Cathedral, which has been the main burial site for Danish monarchs since the 15th century. The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde has a unique collection of vessels and household items of the Viking Age. The remains of the merchant ships that were raised from the Roskilde Fjord can now be enjoyed at the main exhibit. Another reason to visit Roskilde is one of the largest summer music festivals in Europe, held annually. Roskilde Festival attracts not just Scandinavians, but people from Germany, Australia and the UK.
One of the most beautiful islands, not only in Denmark, but in the Baltic Sea. Separated from the Danish mainland by the sea, Bornholm has a totally unique atmosphere. With a large influx of tourists in summer, attracted by the sandy beaches in the south and the granite cliffs in the north, the island managed to keep its quiet lifestyle.
Be sure to visit Osterlars Church, the oldest of the island’s four round churches; Hammershus ruins of once largest medieval fortification in Scandinavia, with a stunning view of the coastline and the sea surrounding Bornholm, and the Bornholm Birds of Prey Show. Many tourists come to Bornholm to try out smoked herring with egg yolk, a traditional Danish dish. Bornholm is much closer to Sweden, so it might be convenient to get a DSB combined rail and ferry ticket to reach Ystad and then set sail for Ronne. Another option is to take a ferry from Koge.
The second-largest city in Denmark was known as a fortified Viking settlement since 770. Aarhus is a city of rich history and unique architecture. It has become an important cultural and economic center in Jutland. The Old Town (Den Gamle By), the royal summer palace of Marselisborg and Aarhus Cathedral are great places to check out. Those fond of unusual places may want to visit The Women’s Museum, the Statue of Pig that symbolizes the love of Danes to the bacon and The Viking Moot, an annual event, which takes place in July. Despite its venerable age and being the second largest city in the country, Aarhus is a youth destination in Denmark. With Aarhus University near by the city has a bustling nightlife and numerous budget pubs.
The second most popular tourist attraction in Denmark after the Little Mermaid is where William Shakespeare set his play, Hamlet. Despite the popularity of Kronborg Castle because of The Tragedy, its original purpose was far more prosaic – to charge the ships. As Kronborg is situated at the narrowest point of the Oresund strait, on a clear day there is a chance to see Sweden’s coastline. Or maybe take a ferry and visit Helsingborg, the voyage takes 20 minutes. Tickets to Kronborg castle are 90 DKK, while using the Copenhagen City Card there is no admission.
Although the Kronborg castle is more popular with tourist, I, personally, prefer a charming Frederiksborg. In my opinion, the royal residence of the Danish monarchs is far more romantic. The castle is situated on the lake archipelago, which makes Frederiksborg look like something from a fairy tale. In addition, there is a lovely garden with hedges and perfect layout. The price is 75 DKK for a single ticket. Use your Copenhagen City Card to get free admission.
The unique open-air museum, called Old Town in Aarhus that fully lives up to its name. With about 75 buildings around the museum meticulously recreates medieval Danish town, including a mill, post office, school and a theater. As Danes love reconstruct history in any ways possible, the Den Gamle By is more like an exponential replica of the period that has passed a long time ago. Apart from the historic buildings you may also enjoy people dressed in copies of historical clothes and practicing activities from another time. Be sure to visit Den Gamle By off season to get better prices or use Aarhus card to get 30% discount.
This castle is the main attraction of Funen and one of the most beautiful places in Denmark. Egeskov offers several museums such as the museum of vintage cars, where the history of transportation starting from horse-drawn carriages and steam cars to modern machines can be tracked. Museum of aircraft and clockwork toys is a neat place to check out, especially for children. Seniors will be delighted to see a large collection of goods and equipment from 1930 to 1950. With a remarkable garden around the castle is an awesome place to head to.
A huge dune near the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse occurred shortly after the lighthouse was lit in December 1900. Now the dune is still growing as the sand piling up in front of and around the lighthouse that already caused the destruction of the kitchen gardens. With no success in suppressing the sand the lighthouse was abandoned in 1968. Specialists say the lighthouse will be buried in sand or just fall into the sea within the next ten years, so be sure to see it first! The Rubjerg Knude lighthouse is located in the northern Jutland with no public transport around. Consider renting a car or a bicycle to get there.