Let me preface this by saying that Copenhagen is a great city. It consistently ranks high for quality of life and an endless list of other positive traits. However, it is easy to spend all of your time in the greater Copenhagen area and forget that there are many other great places to see in Denmark. Here are six must-see places in Denmark that are outside the greater capital region.
Many people, myself included, are city people at heart. Aarhus, with its cobbled streets, is Denmark’s second largest city and is home to the country’s largest university. It is much more affordable than Copenhagen, making it suitable for students, while still being filled with amenities of the big city, such as excellent restaurants. It doesn’t get as much public press as Copenhagen, but it definitely deserves a mention on our list as it is considered one of the happiest cities in the world. The city even renamed itself “Aarhus” instead of the more traditionally Danish “Århus” to appeal to a more international crowd.
Located in the Baltic Sea, Bornholm lies off the coasts of Sweden and Poland, and has been fought over for centuries. In recent history, it was taken over by the Germans and then the Russians occupied it for a while after the Second World War. Today, the island (known as the Pearl of the Baltic) is fully Danish again, and is a popular summer tourist destination for Danes, Swedes, and many others who are attracted to its pristine nature and Mediterranean feel. The island is also quite famous for its various crafts, such as blown glass and textiles.
3. Møn’s Klint
Møn’s Klint is a set of cliffs located in southern Sjælland are the country’s highest cliffs. The light, chalk slope stands up to 128 metres high, and stretches for seven kilometres. Surrounded by beaches and the blue-green water of the Baltic Sea, it could easily be mistaken for some place in the Mediterranean. Although these are not far from Copenhagen, they are best reached by car.
Skagen is the northernmost point of Denmark and is renown for its white sandy beaches and delicious seafood. It holds the title of the sunniest place in Denmark with 233 hours of sunshine in July. Skagen is famous for the Skagen Painters, a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered there, attracted by Skagen’s village community, the seascapes, and its remote location away from industrialised city life. Along with its beaches, Skagen is also home to the country’s largest drifting dune, called the Råbjerg Mile.
Denmark’s oldest town, Ribe, won the title this year of Europe’s Best Small Town narrowly beating out Obidos, Portugal. This small Danish town was chosen for its picturesque qualities, well-preserved old buildings, and authenticity. Viking enthusiasts will enjoy Ribe’s rich Viking heritage, exhibited through the Ribe Viking Centre, a reconstructed Viking village which depicts Ribe in 825AD with a lively market, farmyard, and craftsmen’s workshops. Ribe is located in southwest Jutland.
6. The Danish Riviera
Yes, you read that correctly. Denmark has a riviera, and although it has never served as the setting for a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, it is still one of the best beach destinations in the country. The Danish Riviera features sandy beaches, a cloudless sky, and clear blue water Many famous Danes, such as Kierkegaard and Drachmann, have been attracted to this part of the country due to its picturesque small towns and beautiful nature. The Danish Riviera is located in Northern Sjælland – the same island that Copenhagen is located on.
It is easy to get sucked in by Copenhagen and never get the chance to see all of the amazing other locales Denmark has to offer. Fortunately, the relatively small size of Denmark makes all of these destinations a fairly easy trip from the capital region or from other parts of Europe.
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