Denmark is a small country and easy to travel around, with good rail and road links. If you are staying in Copenhagen there are so many options for a day out, and you can even take the train across the Øresund Bridge for a trip to Sweden. Here are some suggestions from travel bloggers for the best day trips from Copenhagen, by train or car.
An important trading city since the age of the Vikings, Roskilde has plenty to make it a worthwhile day trip. The most important place to visit in the old capital is the Roskilde Cathedral, built in the Gothic style, and the first of its kind in Denmark. A UNESCO world heritage site, it houses the remains of many past Danish royalty.
Behind the cathedral is the Bishop’s Palace, which housed the Danish monarchs and royalty when they attended births and deaths. During the war with Britain, the British general used the palace as his headquarters.
Other things to see and do in Roskilde include: The Viking Ship Museum, The Roskilde Museum, the Ragnarock Museum (pop culture), and the Lützhøfts Købmandsgård (an old traditional grocery store). There are plenty of cafés in the downtown area, and one of the best restaurants is Bollinis (the Red House) where you can get all kinds of good food, meat and fish, and even some crepes.
Roskilde is only 34 km from Copenhagen. It is a quick 30 minutes by car, and 20-30 minutes by train.
Contributed by Corinne of Roving Vails
2. Kronborg Castle, Helsingør
Kronborg Castle dominates Helsingør (Elsinore) on the northern tip of Denmark. Also known as Elsinore Castle, it was built in 1574 by King Frederik II who wanted to make Elsinore a key fortification guarding access to and from the Baltic Sea. Its present appearance is very much the result of a rebuilding in the years 1602-1620.
Today, Kronborg is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and one of Scandinavia’s leading attractions, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet was set here, and many visitors come to see the play performed in the castle courtyard during the summer.
The exhibition in the castle tells the story of how Kronborg was transformed from a medieval fortress to a Renaissance castle, which after its rebuilding became one of northern Europe’s most imposing fortresses. It also houses an exhibition on Shakespeare and his times.
Kronborg can be reached by bus (Helsingør station) or train (Elsinore station). There are also guided tours of the castle which can be prebooked. Kronborg is open all year round from 11 am to 4 pm and can be reached within 1 hour and 20 minutes on the train from Copenhagen. Children up to 8 years old are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Contributed by Casandra of Savoteur
3. Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød
Frederiksborg Castle is situated in Hillerød, and was built in the early 17th century as the royal residence for King Christian IV. It features a Renaissance style of architecture and is surrounded by beautiful baroque gardens. It also has the biggest number of portrait paintings in Denmark.
The castle suffered heavy damage during a fire in 1859, and following its restoration, it was turned into the Museum of National History. This is a great place to learn more about Denmark. Guided tours and audio guides are available and are recommended for better understanding of the castle and its history.
The walks along Slotssøen Lake and the small forest trail are a lovely experience, especially during the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom here. You can grab a bite at some of the restaurants at Hillerød such as Spisestedet Leonora, serving amazing Scandinavian food.
Frederiksborg Castle is around 35 km from Copenhagen. The best way to get there would be by taking a train from Copenhagen Central Station to Hillerød, then walking towards the castle.
Contributed by Athul of Our Backpack Tales
4. Møns Klint
The cliffs of Møn Island are a beautiful phenomenon and an excellent destination for a day trip from Copenhagen. The chalk that makes the cliffs was formed 70 million years ago from shells and tiny creatures! Today, the chalk cliffs take up 6 km of Møn Island’s coast. They are slowly crumbling away, falling into the sea and giving it a fantastic turquoise shade.
The cliffs of Møn, also called Møns Klint, form a protected nature reserve scattered with walking and cycling paths that take you through its stunning landscape. The best way to enjoy the Møns Klint is from the water, from a kayak or on a sailing or fishing tour. Møns Klint is also one of the best places to experience a night sky with no light pollution whatsoever.
The most convenient way to get to Møns Klint from Copenhagen is by car. It is around 140 km, and will take about 1 hour 45 minutes. It is also possible to get to the island by public transport. Take a train to Vordingborg and then a bus to Møn Island. Try Praestekilde Hotel Restaurant in Stege for excellent Danish cuisine.
Contributed by Mal of Raw Mal Roams
5. Stevns Klint
Just an hour away from the capital city of Copenhagen is the beautiful area of Stevns Klint, its white chalk cliffs jutting out into the deep blue waters of the Baltic Sea. The site is of great historical and geological importance: the discovery of large concentrations of iridium here led to the theory of dinosaurs being destroyed by meteors.
This impressive history attracts visitors from all around, and fossil hunting is a popular activity for tourists. Explore the place from both the cliff top and beach to get a glimpse of nature’s wonders. The long beach hides remains of prehistoric fossils, some as much as 65 million years old. Højerup Gamle Kirke, a medieval church from the 13th century, is perched on the cliff’s edge. It provides a grand view of the cliff and the Baltic Sea from its balcony.
Stevns Klint is a famous picnic spot, and picnic tables are set up in the area. The Traktørstedet Højeruplund restaurant welcomes visitors for a delicious lunch or just a simple cup of coffee. Entrance to the site is free, but a parking fee is applicable. Public toilets are also available.
The easiest and cheapest way to reach Stevns Klint from Copenhagen is by car. If you travel by train the journey between Copenhagen Central Station and Rødvig Station takes around one and a half hours, and Stevns Klint is a five minute walk from the station.
Contributed by Ruma of The Holiday Story
6. Malmö, Sweden
Malmö is a wonderful city filled with Scandinavian architecture, sprawling green spaces, scenic squares and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. Located near the central station is St Peter’s Church, famous for its altarpiece which is one of the largest and oldest in Scandinavia. While the skyscraper of Turning Torso draws the visitor’s attention for its striking architecture, Malmö Castle is known for its historic heritage.
Make a stop at Lilla Torg to see the historical buildings and houses, while having a delicious Swedish treat in one of the many restaurants. Or enjoy drinks and traditional Scottish cuisine at Drumbar in Lilla Torg. La Grappa is another fantastic restaurant, offering outdoor seating and excellent Italian food at the centre of Lilla Torg.
Make a visit to Gamla Vastar, a picturesque neighbourhood where you can soak up the beauty of colourful houses along the cobbled streets, impressive churches and lively shopping squares. End your day trip to Malmö with a leisurely stroll along the Ribersborg Beach which also boasts excellent views of the Øresund Bridge and Turning Torso.
The most convenient way to reach Malmö is by train from Copenhagen Central Station. The journey is only 45 minutes, and the views of the Øresund Bridge are an added bonus.
Contributed by Anjali of Cheerful Trails
7. Lund, Sweden
Apart from being a charming university city with a young population, Lund also happens to be one of the oldest cities in Sweden. It was founded in the late 10th century. It has picturesque cobbled streets as well as big city attractions like good restaurants and cultural events.
The impressive Lund Cathedral, the oldest in Scandinavia, was built in traditional Romanesque style and has a unique astronomical clock, organs and an ancient crypt. Another place to visit is the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Sprawling over 20 acres, this has loads of colourful plants and flowers and is the perfect place for a picnic.
If you visit by car, there are several short scenic drives from Lund going north towards Kullaberg nature reserve and south towards Ystad with history, lavender farms, and hiking opportunities. Delicious European, Swedish and Scandinavian cuisines are available in a variety of dining places and cafés. Mat & Destillat is a high end restaurant that offers fine dining. Govindas Vegetariska is a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
Lund is just over an hour’s drive from Copenhagen. Convenient trains run every 20 minutes from Copenhagen Central station to Lund Central, and the ride takes less than an hour.
Contributed by Jan of Leisurely Drives