A country where old-fashioned charm and a fairytale atmosphere exist harmoniously with innovative design and an amazing music scene, Denmark offers you the best of both worlds.
This Scandinavian treasure features regularly on the list of the happiest and most livable nations on the planet, most often thanks to the quintessential hygge that flows throughout the country’s cities, towns, and villages. If you’ve never heard of it before, the much-prized hygge is a unique Danish trait that means getting all warm and cozy.
There are so many striking landmarks, exciting attractions, and cool activities here that you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Denmark. From world-famous mermaid statues and impressive castles with sprawling gardens to magical national parks and quirky towns within towns, whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find it here.
With such a huge choice of things to do, it can be tricky to know where to begin. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Denmark. Add these fun activities and attractions to your Denmark bucket list, and you’re sure to have a fantastic time exploring the hygge capital of the world!
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25 Fun and Unique Things to do in Denmark
1. See Where LEGO was Invented at the LEGO House
No matter how old you are, one of the coolest things to do in Denmark is to visit the LEGO House in Billund. This bright and colorful family attraction is the birthplace of the iconic LEGO brick and guarantees a fun day out for everyone.
If you’re short on cash, you’ll love the many admission-free zones. You can explore nine themed playgrounds, three open-air squares, and the 50-foot-tall Tree of Life without handing over a single penny.
If you do have some money to spare, you can check out the Experience Zones. Each of these zones represents one of LEGO’s classic colors – yellow for emotions, blue for cognitive challenges, green for role-playing, and red for creativity. There’s also a section where you can find out all about the history of LEGO and the people involved in its creation.
Don’t pass up the chance to visit MINI CHEF! This one-of-a-kind restaurant is run by mini figures and robots built out of LEGO!
2. Snap a Pic of Copenhagen’s Iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ Statue
Despite its small size, Denmark’s most famous attraction is a modest statue known as the Little Mermaid. Perched on a rock in the sea, just off the shore in Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid has been mesmerizing visitors since it was originally unveiled in 1913.
The famous statue was designed by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen as a tribute to the well-known Little Mermaid fairytale, written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It’s the same story that inspired the classic Disney movie.
Although it’s in the country’s capital, the Little Mermaid is hidden well away from the city center in Lanegline. You’ll find it in a peaceful park where you can wander when you need a break from hectic cosmopolitan life.
While you’re in the park, keep an eye out for the really tall benches. They’re a thought-provoking art installation that demonstrates how high the surrounding water will rise if nothing is done about climate change.
3. Discover the Wadden Sea National Park
The Wadden Sea National Park is one of the best things to see in Denmark. The largest national park in the country, this colossal natural attraction encompasses the Wadden Sea Islands, the Wadden Sea, Varde Ådal, Skallingen, and the area surrounding Marbæk, in addition to some of the mainland.
Take your time as you explore, and you’ll come across rugged wetlands, unspoiled beaches, fresh bodies of water, and saltwater environments. Thanks to its prestigious position, the Wadden Sea National Park is an excellent place to spot all kinds of birds, as well as cute spotted seals.
Not just a place for nature lovers, the national park is also home to a number of historic attractions. Swing by the Ribe Viking Museum to discover the collection of original artifacts and reconstructed settlements. You can wander around this living history museum and find out what daily life was like for local people centuries ago through hands-on activities.
4. Explore the Setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’
Denmark is home to a number of magnificent castles and Kronborg Castle is one of the best. Not only is this place a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s also the setting of Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet. Even if you’ve never seen a single Shakespeare play, the castle is so remarkable that it’s definitely worth visiting.
Most of the castle you can see today dates back to 1640, although there were originally many more castles built on the same spot that are much older. The most recent renovations took place in 1924, but they don’t take away from the historic, imposing atmosphere of the fortress.
Explore the South Wing, and you’ll discover the Castle Chapel. This part of the fortress survived a fire in 1629 and boasts a marvelous Renaissance interior with intricate German wooden carvings.
The other wings of the castle are also worth checking out. The North Wing is where you’ll find the great Ballroom, also known as the Knights’ Hall. Move over to the West Wing, and you’ll have the chance to admire exquisite tapestries.
5. Treat All Your Senses with Smørrebrød
When you need a break from all the Denmark sightseeing, stop by a local cafe or restaurant and order yourself some smørrebrød. These classic open-faced sandwiches are a treat for all your senses – not just your taste buds!
More like works of art than lunch, smørrebrød comes in countless variations. So no matter how fussy you are, you’re guaranteed to find something you like. Some of the most popular combinations include:
- Roast beef with crispy fried onions and remoulade
- Pickled herring smothered in a creamy curry sauce
- Eggs and shrimp in a mayonnaise and lemon dressing
- Liver pate with red beets or pickles
They’re usually displayed in glass cabinets and, although they may seem a bit pricey, they’re always piled high with toppings and artistically put together. Visit Schønnemann for some of the best smørrebrød in the country. This restaurant is one of the oldest in Copenhagen and dishes up a huge range of organic, freshly-made smørrebrød every day!
6. Open Your Mind at Aarhus Festuge
Denmark is well known for its amazing music festivals. Although it’s not quite as loud and lively as some, the annual Festuge, which takes place in Aarhus, is absolutely worth checking out. This 10-day arts and culture festival first started in 1965 and has been taking place every August and September ever since.
There’s always a fantastic events program, jam-packed with all kinds of activities and shows. From concerts by local bands, dance recitals, art displays, and documentaries to cultural workshops, theatrical performances, museum exhibits, and delicious food, there’s always something for everyone here.
The dates of the festival change each year, as do the locations. So make sure you check the website to find out what’s going on before you make any commitments. Don’t worry about not understanding what’s going on. International artists and performers take to the stage, too, and a number of events are hosted in English.
7. Check Out a Buried Church
You’ll find one of the most unique things to do in Denmark in the seaside region of Skagen. Hidden away in this peaceful part of the country is Den Tilsandede Kirke, also known as the sand-buried church.
This unique church is dedicated to Saint Laurence, the saint of seafarers, and was completed in the 14th century. Hundreds of years ago, it was the biggest church in the area. But around the 17th century, the surrounding sands began to blow over and around the church, covering most of it up.
Den Tilsandede Kirke was finally closed in 1795 when the sand coverage got so bad that the church could no longer be used. Sand has continued to blow over it, so much so that you can only see the top of the main tower poking out of the dunes today.
While you won’t see any spectacular stained-glass windows or dramatic frescoes, the church is still worth visiting. It’s not every day you get to see a church almost completely buried in the sand!
8. Spend the Day at the Vikingeskibsmuseet
The Viking Ship Museum, also known as the Vikingeskibsmuseet, in Roskilde is one of the best places in Denmark to learn about how the Vikings built their impressive boats. The museum is home to several authentic Viking vessels that modern shipbuilders are attempting to repair and restore.
Take a look around the museum, and you’ll find all kinds of fascinating exhibits focused on the Viking Age and the important role that maritime life played in the survival and culture of local people.
The Viking Ship Hall is one of the most impressive parts of the museum. Here you’ll discover five ships that were once used by the Vikings as a barrier on the Roskilde Fjord. You can also see some amazing artifacts that were discovered during underwater excavations and restored.
Don’t miss out on the “Climb Abroad” experience. Here you have the chance to experience what life was really like onboard a Viking ship. There are even costumes for you to get dressed up in if you really want to immerse yourself!
9. Take a Walk Around a Viking Burial Ground
For some of the best sights in Denmark, take a trip to Lindholm Høje. This important Viking burial ground was completely covered by sand for centuries. While this kept the fascinating site hidden, it also protected the graves and markings, leaving them in excellent condition today.
The gravesites you see here date back to the Viking and Iron ages. There are more than 600 individual graves on the site, as well as around 150 ships delicately carved out of stone. To the north of the burial site, you’ll find a small village that boasts centuries-old wells, fences, and houses in amazing condition.
To see even more remarkable artifacts, visit the Lindholm Høje Museum. Here you’ll find some of the most interesting pieces that were discovered at the burial ground, as well as 3D animations, drawings, panoramas, and reconstructions that really bring history to life.
10. Chill Out in Freetown Christiania
Freetown Christiania is one of the coolest, quirkiest parts of Copenhagen. While it may be located in the center of Denmark’s capital, just a short walk over the river in Christianshavn, Freetown Christiania is worlds away from anywhere else in the country.
The area was once a military barracks but was taken over by hippies, anarchists, and squatters in the 1970s, when the military left. The people who took over transformed it into a semi-independent commune where everyone lives by a unique moral code.
Freetown Christiania became a peaceful haven for writers, musicians, artists, bohemians, and radical political thinkers. Take a look around, and you’ll see thought-provoking artwork, eye-catching sculptures, and people selling handmade jewelry.
You’ll also see a number of people selling cannabis. Although it’s technically illegal (you can’t buy/sell cannabis anywhere legally in Denmark), local authorities seem to turn a blind eye when it goes on here. Step into a bar or a café, and you’ll be greeted by a thick cloud of smoke!
11. Rock Out at the Rock Festival
One of the most fun things to do in Denmark is to take part in Roskilde’s Rock Festival. This festival takes place over eight days and attracts around 130,000 visitors, all excited to see the 180 acts take to the stage. The festival was started in 1971 by two high school students, and it’s been growing ever since.
The festival usually takes place in July, with a fantastic selection of local and international artists. One of the best things about the music festival is that all the money goes to charity, so you know you’re doing a good deed! Roskilde is just 20 miles from Copenhagen, so you can easily swing by when you’re visiting the capital.
If you want to get the most out of the festival, you can camp onsite. You get free access to the campsite with your ticket, although it’s pretty basic. If you’d rather have something a bit more comfortable, check out the special camping options instead.
12. Experience a Living History Museum at Den Gamle By
Den Gamle By is an engrossing living history museum in Aarhus that helps you find out what it was like to live in three different times in history. The museum is divided into three sections, one representing Denmark in 1974, one representing it in the 1920s, and one representing it in the mid-19th century.
No detail has been spared in making the neighborhoods look just like they would have all that time ago. Everything from the architecture and businesses to the roads and family homes has been perfectly replicated to look just right. You’ll even see members of staff walking around in period clothing, acting as people did back then.
If you move through the areas chronologically, you’ll have a great idea of how life has changed over time. You’ll also discover some age-old traditions which have been sacred since they were first established.
13. Fall in Love with Stegt Flæsk Med Persillesauce
When you’re feeling hungry, one of the best things to do in Denmark is to find a local restaurant and order a great big plate of stegt flæsk med persillesauce. This classic Danish dish literally translates as pork belly with parsley sauce, but it tastes so much better than it sounds.
Stegt flæsk med persillesauce is the national dish of Denmark and has been enjoyed by locals since 1890 – that’s how good it is! It’s made from thick pieces of pork belly which are pan-fried until golden brown and crispy. The pork is served with fluffy boiled potatoes covered in a creamy bechamel and parsley sauce.
Restaurant Klubben is one of the best places in Denmark for stegt flæsk med persillesauce. This Copenhagen eatery dishes up generous portions of the classic meal and serves them with sweet red beets.
14. Drive Over Øresund Bridge
If you’re planning on renting a car in Denmark, you’ve got to take a drive over Øresund Bridge. Driving over a bridge may not sound like a great way to spend some time, but just wait until you see this bridge!
Øresund Bridge connects Denmark to neighboring Sweden and stretches on for an impressive five miles over the shimmering water. It’s the longest bridge in Europe and is where you’ll find some of the very best views in all of the country. As well as the dazzling ocean, you can see both Sweden and Denmark at the same time.
If you’re not planning on renting a car during your vacation, you don’t have to miss out. The bridge is a combined motorway and railway bridge, so you can hop on a train to admire the view, too. The journey takes 35 minutes, giving you plenty of time to snap pictures along the way.
15. Explore the Stunningly Stylish Nyhavn
Exploring the beautiful Nyhavn is one of the top things to do in Denmark. A stylish, glamorous waterside city, Copenhagen’s Nyhavn is teeming with colorful houses, cute cafes, fancy boutiques, and charming canal walks.
Most of the houses here are centuries old, giving the place a real historic feel. The area was built in the 17th century and is home to many ancient schooners and ships, some of which have been transformed into cafes, bars, and restaurants. Climb onboard and imagine what it was like to be a sailor while you sip your favorite drink.
Nyhavn is one of the most expensive parts of Denmark, but the high price tags are worth it. The chic coffee shops use the very finest beans, the sweet-smelling cafes make their goodies freshly each morning, and the views you find around here are almost too stunning to be true.
16. Learn All About the Famous Author at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum
If you liked fairytales when you were young, you’ll love the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. The Danish author spent his whole life in Denmark, and his magical tales are woven into the fabric of local society.
The museum dates back to 1908 and dives into the writer’s work and life. The fascinating exhibits offer all kinds of thoughtful insights into Andersen’s life through his own artwork and sketches, as well as mementos and artifacts.
So you can really get a feel for what the man was like, there are also interactive installations and listening posts that bring the author’s words to life. Explore the main domed hall, and you’ll see countless scenes from Andersen’s autobiography, Story of My Life.
To learn more, head southwest of Odense Cathedral. Here you’ll find Munkemøllestræde, Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home (Andersen’s Barndomshjem). This house is also part of the museum and is included in your ticket price.
17. Unleash Your Cultural Side in the Night of Culture
One of the must-do things in Denmark is to check out the Night of Culture. An annual event that takes place each October, this captivating festival opens up a world of possibilities to everyone in Copenhagen.
For one night only, more than 300 cultural sites across the capital open their doors to visitors after hours. Churches, art galleries, museums, exhibition halls, humanitarian organizations, cultural institutions, and more invite you to come in and take a look around – all for free!
As a special treat, some locations which are usually closed to the public are open, too, giving you the chance to explore hidden parts most visitors never get to see. Discovering secret rooms, clandestine towers, and mysterious basements is great fun. So you don’t have to leave until you’re ready, you’ll find bars, cafes, restaurants, and food trucks serving well into the night.
The dates and locations change each year. So make sure you check the website to find out what’s going on and where.
18. Gaze at the Wild Horses in Langeland
Denmark may not be known for its wildlife, but if you head out to Langeland, you’ll have the chance to spot majestic wild horses running free in their natural habitat. This peaceful part of the country is hugely popular with locals. It provides a great place to get away from hectic city life and enjoy some of Denmark’s quintessential hygge!
The best place to spot horses here is from a small hill called Ørnehøj. This provides you with a great view of the horses’ favorite place to run, relax, play, and graze. There are so many of them you’re almost certain to see at least a few.
For a truly magical experience, plan your trip for late spring or early summer. This is the time of year when many female horses will have recently given birth, and you’ll be able to see them taking care of their foals.
19. Have a Fun-Filled Day at Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is without a doubt one of the top Denmark attractions. Located in the center of Copenhagen, this traditional theme park is a fantastic place to go for some old-fashioned fun with a hint of nostalgia.
The theme park first opened in 1843, making it the third-oldest in the world. It’s grown more popular since the day it launched, and it was even the inspiration for Disney World!
As you’d expect from such a popular theme park, Tivoli Gardens boasts a great number of amusement park rides, roller coasters, and traditional fairground features. When you need a break from all the high-speed fun, you’ll find plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can chill out and re-energize.
Tivoli Gardens is so much more than a simple theme park. The grounds are also home to a five-star hotel, concert hall, and pantomime theater. In summer, it hosts family-friendly outdoor music festivals.
20. Step Back in Time at Frilandsmuseet
If you want to forget about modern life and immerse yourself in a simpler time, spend the day at Frilandsmuseet in Copenhagen. Part of the Danish National Museum, this charming attraction covers 86 acres of agricultural buildings, original farmhouses, traditional dwellings, and traditional mills from centuries ago.
One of the most interesting parts of Frilandsmuseet is the resident animals. As you wander around, you’ll come across loads of ancient breeds of domestic animals that you just don’t see today. They’re really friendly, so you can get pretty close.
Other interesting parts of the attraction include beautifully manicured gardens and grandiose houses from Schleswig-Holstein and Sweden. There are loads of cute picnic areas dotted throughout Frilandsmuseet, so bring lunch with you and enjoy it al fresco.
For an experience you’ll never forget, you can even ride a horse-drawn carriage around the open-air museum! Exciting events are held throughout the year, so check the website to see what’s going on during your vacation.
21. Gorge on Medister Pølse
Sausage, also known as pølse, plays a huge role in Danish cuisine, and trying all the different kinds is one of the best things to do in Denmark. The most traditional sausage is called medister pølse and tastes absolutely amazing.
It’s a lightly spiced pork and suet sausage that forms a huge coil. It’s boiled until tender, then pan-fried whole until the outside is crisp and delicious. The local sausage has a wonderfully deep, rich flavor with hints of spice and smoke. And it’s such a popular type of sausage that you’ll find it available everywhere, from street food kiosks and cafes to top-end restaurants.
It can be served in loads of different ways, too. Some people enjoy it on its own, others eat it as an open-faced sandwich on Danish rye bread with pickled red cabbage, and others savor it with boiled potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Den Okologiske Polsemand is the very best place to get medister pølse in Copenhagen. Here it’s served in a bun like a hot dog with all kinds of delicious toppings to choose from.
22. Wander Around the Island of Bornholm
When you’re in need of some peace and quiet, spend the day on the Island of Bornholm. This charming and traditional island is set in the Baltic Sea and is known among locals for its beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, exciting cycling trails, and stunning walking routes. It’s the perfect place to go when you need to get away from it all.
As well as being a nature retreat, the Island of Bornholm is also home to a number of popular tourist attractions. The Hammershus Castle Ruins are definitely worth checking out. They date back to the mid-13th century and are still in pretty good condition, considering how old they are.
You’ll also find several museums on the island, including the Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum) in Gudhjem. The building itself looks like a work of art and is perched over the water with views of Christianso. Take a look around and you’ll discover an excellent collection of fine art and sculptures.
23. Treat Your Taste Buds at the Torvehallerne Food Market
If you love trying new things, a trip to Torvehallerne Food Market in Copenhagen is something you’ve got to add to your list of Denmark activities. An amazing place for foodies, this gourmet market is where you can find practically every type of food in the world.
From sweet vegan chocolates and gorgeous local smørrebrød to flavor-packed Indian curries and some of the very best coffee you’ve ever tasted, whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here!
It’s tempting to buy the very first thing you see (or smell!), but then you may miss out on something even better. We recommend you practice some serious self-control and walk around the food market before deciding what to buy.
If you’ve got a kitchen in your accommodation, you’re in luck. The Torvehallerne Food Market also serves a wide range of fresh ingredients, herbs, spices, wines, and oils you can use to make all kinds of delicious meals.
24. See Every Color of the Rainbow at the Odense Flower Festival
If you’re planning on visiting Denmark in the summer, you’ve got to check out the Odense Flower Festival. One of the brightest and most vibrant festivals of the year, this event sees Denmark’s third major city come to life with all kinds of beautiful floral decorations.
Every inch of the city is covered in colorful flowers, which are at their finest in summer. As well as the decoration, the festival also includes art displays, flower wreath workshops, florist contests, and edible flower tastings. There are also loads of flowers and bouquets for sale if you’d like to spruce up your hotel room.
Odense is the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen, and the festival pays homage to him with cute flower animations that depict his famous fairytales. In 2022, the festival also included a special after-dark section that allowed you to walk through exhibitions lit up with UV lights. Fingers crossed it will return for future festivals!
25. Say Hello to the ‘Men at Sea’
You’ll find one of the quirkiest things to do in Denmark in Esbjerg. Head down to Sædding Beach and opposite the Fisheries and Maritime Museum, you’ll spot something that will make you double-take. At the top of a hill stands four 30-foot-tall alabaster giants that look remarkably out of place.
Known as the Men at Sea, this one-of-a-kind statue was created in 1995 by Danish artist Svend Wiig. The idea behind the permanent art installation was to provide powerful giants who could guard the coastline. It was also designed to make people think about the way people and nature co-exist.
Due to their sheer size and lack of detail, they have an eerie, almost Egyptian-like feel to them. They all look identical from afar. But when you get up close, you can notice subtle differences between the four. The statues are so loved in Denmark that they’ve never been attacked with graffiti, so you should always be able to admire them as they were meant to be.
There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Denmark. What’s your favorite thing to do in Denmark?
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