Copenhagen is as renowned for its bohemian vibe as it is for its many famed attractions. This makes it a hotbed of tourist attractions and draws in millions of visitors a year. That being said, the area surrounding Copenhagen has even more to offer in the way of unimaginably pristine nature, charming towns, historic castles, cliffs and more. With the aid of the excellent Danish public transportation system, these places are convenient to reach. Here’s our lowdown on the best day trips from Copenhagen.
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13 Best Day Trips from Copenhagen
Most of our favorite day trips can be done by public transport. If you are planning on doing several (or even just one) during your stay in Copenhagen, we recommend that you book your accommodation close to Copenhagen Central Station. Hotel Astoria is a reasonable mid-range hotel just outside the station.
For detailed transport connections, we suggest you check the Denmark journey planner website or download their app. In a nutshell, these are our 13 favorite day trips from Copenhagen:
- Helsingør & Kronborg Castle
- Helsingborg & Sofiero Palace
- Frederiksborg Castle
- Køge & Vallø Castle
- Cliffs of Stevns & Cliffs of Møns
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
- Bakken Amusement Park & Jægersborg Dyrehaven
- Lyngby Open Air Museum
- Odense & Egeskov Castle
Important: Please Note
If you are planning on taking any day trips to Sweden, i.e. to Malmo, Lund, or Helsingborg, you need to carry a valid ID (national ID or passport). Denmark is currently performing mandatory ID checks at the Swedish border and you will not be allowed to proceed without valid ID.
1. Helsingør & Kronborg Castle
Helsingør is a port city that occupies the narrowest point on the Øresund sound between Denmark and Sweden, which lies only 45 km north of Copenhagen. Helsingør is not only one of the best day trips from Copenhagen but also one of the best places to visit in Denmark.
The city has a long history dating back to the 13th century and during the 15th and 16th centuries, the city amassed significant wealth due to taxes levied on ships that had to pass this way. Helsingør’s Old Town has retained its medieval character through its richly colored, well-preserved architecture and cobblestone streets.
Helsingør is a compact place and a short walk around town brings home the delightful ambiance that comes from its maritime history. Although we’ve been to Helsingor numerous times Jacky and I always look forward to strolling around picturesque alleyways like Stengade and Sct. Anna Gade. There are a number of beautiful carefully restored low-slung houses and half-timbered houses to be seen. Many of these houses formerly belonged to merchants and sailors and date from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Helsingør is home to two nice museums – National Maritime Museum of Denmark and the Danish Museum of Science and Technology, which celebrate the nation’s long seafaring and industrial traditions. The Maritime Museum features interactive installations tracing the Danish maritime legacy from the Vikings to the modern-day Maersk cargo empire. Alongside maritime paraphernalia, the exhibitions explore themes including the exploitation in Denmark’s overseas colonies and the scale of shipbuilding.
When you’re visiting Helsingør, you’ll notice that there’s a large number of stores selling a cornucopia of alcohol. These aren’t here primarily for Danish use. Sweden, just a few minutes across the Øresund, has much more stringent alcohol laws and levies much higher prices for alcohol than Denmark (as do Norway and Finland). Consequently, especially on weekends during the summer, Helsingør is overrun with Swedes and Norwegians also picking up their duty-free alcohol allowances.
The most popular attraction, however, is the imposing Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and forever immortalized as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is one of the must-see attractions in Denmark. Kronborg was built between 1574 and 1585 by Frederick II in Dutch Renaissance style to replace an earlier fortress built by Erik VII of Pomerania in the 15th century. It played a fascinating role in toll collection between the 16-18th centuries, resulting in Helsingør becoming extremely prosperous.
Kronborg’s Renaissance exterior is topped by baroque green-copper spires Even though there’s no proof of Shakespeare ever visiting Kronborg, he succeeded in capturing its somber spirit. The interior is quite spartan compared to most other prominent castles but, nevertheless, quite impressive; it evokes impressions royal presence throughout. This is particularly so in the huge oak-beamed Ballroom, the largest hall of its kind in Northern Europe.
The Royal Chambers contain ornate ceiling decorations and marble fireplaces. We both enjoyed seven King’s Tapestries depicting Danish kings with verses describing their various achievements.
William Shakespeare’s now-famous tragedy Hamlet is based on the fictional Danish prince Amleth. He is not the only mythical figure who is associated with Kronborg. The eerie catacombs and dungeons beneath the castle are home to a stone statue of Ogier the Dane, a Danish folk hero. Legend has it that the moment Denmark finds itself at peril, Ogier the Dane will wake up from his slumber to defend the country.
The highlight of our four visits to the castle has certainly been witnessing a production of Hamlet live at Kronborg! Each summer during the annual Shakespeare Festival, a different company from around the world stages a Hamlet production in the castle grounds providing an unforgettable experience. Thespian stalwarts such as Gielgud and Olivier have performed here in the past.
The entrance to Kronborg Castle varies according to the time of the year, costing 145 DKK in the summer (June-August) and 95 DKK the rest of the year. You can check the opening hours here.
During December, Kronborg Castle is the host of one of Denmark’s most charming Christmas markets. You can read more about Christmas markets in Copenhagen here.
How to Get to Helsingør & Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen
Helsingør is easily reached by the regional trains departing every 20 minutes or so from Copenhagen central station. The train journey takes around 50 minutes. Once you arrive in Helsingør, Kronborg Castle is visible from the train station and is a mere 10-minute walk away.
2. Helsingborg & Sofiero Palace
The Swedish city of Helsingborg lies just 6 km across the Oresund sound opposite of Helsingor. There’s a ton of ferries carrying passengers between the two cities each day. In fact, it’s among the busiest cross-border ferry crossing in the world. Being so easy to get to Jacky and I decided to check Helsingborg out one day. The main attractions in Helsingborg are the Kärnan medieval castle tower, the Gothic St. Mary’s Church, and the Dunker Culture House.
We were immediately taken in by the small-town charm of the city. It’s a pretty town with some very nice cafés, especially on the street Kullagatan. There’s not a whole lot to see here but you can easily spend a few hours here. It was nice to walk around the Old Town, among the warren of cobbled streets. Norra and Södra Storgatan are lined with the oldest of the town’s merchants’ houses. The interior of St. Mary’s Church is surprisingly strikingly rich in style, an uncharacteristic deviation from the austerity of design adopted by most Scandinavian churches.
Watch out for the fairytale-like Neo-Gothic City Hall just outside the harbor, without any doubt the most impressive building in Helsingborg. We were both besotted with its many fabulous stained-glass windows, which tell the history of the town. You can also check out the Dunker Culture House which has some interesting exhibitions. When we went there they were hosting the museum of failed products which was quite amusing.
The Kärnan is a restored medieval tower that is the only remnant of the once-mighty Helsingborg Castle. Kärnan was constructed in the 14th century as a replacement for a 12th-century fortification that stood nearby. It’s worth a quick visit. It sits on a rocky hillock whose terrace offers scenic views of the city and Helsingor across the water.
The main reason for going to Helsingborg was to check out the Sofiero Palace. We had read that the palace gardens were named the most beautiful palace gardens in the world in 2010 so we definitely had to check it out. The gardens were absolutely amazing, with a great variety of flowers, especially the rhododendrons, which were blooming since we went over in spring. The palace itself is quite small and limited. It is still owned by the Swedish royal family who occasionally still come and stay in the upper part of the palace.
The entrance to the palace and the park is 120 SEK. Opening hours are from 10:00-18:00 (April-September) and 10:00-16:00 (October-March). In autumn and winter, only the park is open and is free to enter.
How to Get to Helsingborg & Sofiero Palace from Copenhagen
Take the regional train to Helsingor. Then, take the ferry from the adjacent Scandlines terminal to Helsingborg. There’s usually a ferry every 15 minutes and the journey only takes 20 minutes. Return tickets are 75 DKK. In order to get to Sofiero Palace from Helsingborg, take bus number 8 (direction Domsten or Hittarp).
3. Frederiksborg Castle
One of the most popular day trips from Copenhagen is the resplendent Frederiksborg Castle. It lies in the town of Hillerod, about 35 km northwest of Copenhagen. Kronborg Castle might be more famous but Jacky and I both agree that Frederiksborg Castle is superior in terms of beauty. It was built in the early decades of the 17th century in the Dutch Renaissance style and had to be rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original structure in 1859.
Frederiksborg Castle is Denmark’s marquee architectural attraction and is one of the greatest Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. This quintessential fairy tale castle, with its sweeping gables, sandstone decorations, and copper roofs and spires, was used by the kings of Denmark for over 200 years and, from 1671 to 1840, monarchs were crowned in the castle’s chapel.
Since 1878 the Frederiksborg Castle has housed the Danish Museum of National History. The museum serves as the national portrait gallery and is home to the country’s most important collection of portraits and historical paintings.
While the exhibits are important, it is the size and splendor of the actual rooms of the castle that is most interesting. The Knights’ Hall is amazing with its tapestry-draped walls, marble floor, and carved wooden ceiling. Another notable room is the Audience Chamber which features an intriguing portrait Christian V, depicted as a Roman emperor surrounded by his children.
Don’t forget to visit the chapel that, somewhat miraculously, escaped the 1859 fire virtually unscathed. Its stunning gilt pillars and high vaulted nave, with fantastically carved wooden ceilings, are a sight to behold. I was really impressed with its altar and pulpit, which are fashioned of ebony and embellished with biblical scenes.
One of the best things to see at Frederiksborg Castle is its 18th century romantic Baroque Gardens. You could easily spend an hour taking a peaceful stroll through its carefully trimmed shrubs.
The castle’s museum is open every day of the year (1st April – 31st October: 10:00-17:00) and (1st November – 31st March: 11:00-15:00). The entrance costs 75 DKK. The gardens are free to enter.
How to Get to Frederiksborg Castle from Copenhagen
Take the S-train (S-Tog) from the central station to Hillerød which is the final stop. The journey takes about 40 minutes. The castle is about a 15-20 minute walk from the station with signage along the way. You can also take buses 301 (direction Allekredsen), 302 (direction Sophienlund) from Hillerød Station and get off at the Frederiksborg Castle stop.
4. Køge & Vallø Castle
Køge is a small harbor and market town only 40 km from Copenhagen. It was first recognized as a market town in 1288 and remained an important hub for trade throughout all of the Middle Ages. Much of its medieval past can still be observed in the few remaining half-timbered houses which dot the town’s streets and alleys.
Kirkestræde is the best place in Køge to see some really photogenic half-timbered houses. They are just too pretty! The street Brogade is littered with tiny boutiques and cafes. It’s an incredibly cute town in and by itself.
The core of Køge’s medieval center is dominated by the sprawling market square, claimed to be the largest in Denmark. Two other interesting places to see in Køge are St. Nikolai Church and the Køge Museum, which chronicles the town’s history through a series of exhibits include historic furniture, coins, and costumes.
Braunstein Distillery & Brewery
One other notable point of interest in Køge is the Braunstein distillery & microbrewery. The brewery is not usually open to the public, but on the first Saturday of every month, they open their doors for an open house and tasting. With your ticket (175 DKK), you also receive a tasting card that allows you to try up to 5 of their beers and/or spirits.
We tried one of the smoky whiskeys which were strong in flavor to my liking. Personally I had my eyes on the table with the liqueurs and in particular one of the distillery’s most popular liqueurs, a beer schnapps (ølsnaps). It’s distilled from beer and stings as it goes down your throat. It wasn’t my favorite, but the bartender recommended two sweet liqueurs which Jacky and I both really enjoyed. The vanilla and the chocolate liqueurs were our favorite of the day!
Unfortunately, the tours are held only in Danish, but you can always visit their shop and pick up a nice souvenir for yourself!
If you’re as big a fan of visiting castles as we are you should definitely carry on and pay a visit to Vallø Castle. Sure, you can visit Kronborg Castle or Frederiksborg Castle. But if you want to get away from the tourist crowds and enjoy a fairy tale castle in almost complete privacy, come here instead!
Vallø Castle is a 16th-century manor house that is one of the most marvelous Renaissance buildings in Denmark. The building features two imposing towers with pointed turrets and has retained its original 16th-century style, although much of it was rebuilt following a fire in 1893. It now serves as a residence for single, divorced, and unmarried women of noble descent. It is thus unfortunately cordoned off to the general public but you can roam around the surrounding park which is very inviting indeed.
How to Get to Køge and Vallø Castle from Copenhagen
Ride the S-train from the central station to Køge which is the final stop. The journey takes about 45 minutes. Getting to Vallø Castle is not the easiest thing, I’ll admit. From Koge get on the local train (L-Tog) towards Rødvig. Get off at the stop named ‘Vallø’ and cross the tracks to the right. Then follow a seemingly endless street until you reach the castle. It’s about 1.7 km from the station to the castle and it will take you around 20 minutes on foot. Fortunately, the walk is very pleasant and not too strenuous.
I have a soft spot for Roskilde since we lived there for two years. Roskilde is the second-largest city in Zealand after Copenhagen and has a glorious history that dates back over a thousand years. Roskilde was once the leading city and capital of Denmark and there are many remnants of its illustrious past as a royal residence in the 10th century. Today, it’s a bustling town with cute little boutique stores and cafes.
All of the town’s attractions are within easy walking distance. Roskilde’s two most prominent streets, lined with shops and cafés are Skomagergade and Algade. Algade was formerly a fashionable neighborhood and there are a couple of beautiful merchants’ houses to admire on the street. Algade terminates at Stændertorvet, the town’s bustling market square where you will come face-to-face with the 1884 facade of the Town Hall, distinguished by its strange, stepped-up spires, a clock, and a small bell tower.
One other popular landmark in Roskilde is the three huge urns (each is 5 meters tall and weighs about 24 tons), erected in 1998 as part of the town’s millennium celebrations.
Roskilde Viking Ship Museum
If you’re interested in history and the Vikings, you definitely ought to pay a visit to the fascinating Viking Ship Museum. It is home to five original Viking ships that the Danes actually sank in the shallow Roskilde Fjord in order to block the sea route to the town. These vessels lay undisturbed for some 900 years until they were salvaged in 1962.
The ships are in remarkably good condition and give a good insight into Viking shipbuilding craftsmanship. The largest of them is a 30-meter long warship with the capacity to carry a crew of 70 to 80 Vikings while the best preserved is a 14-meter long merchant ship.
I love how the museum’s design, with the water-facing side entirely of glass, gives the illusion of bringing the waters of the fjord almost into the main hall. The museum also offers demos of traditional shipbuilding techniques. The best thing is that, during the summer months, visitors have the option of booking one-hour sailings aboard one of the replica ships.
The entrance to the Viking Ship Museum costs 90-130 DKK depending on the time of the year. A boat ride costs 120-160 DKK depending on the duration of the ride. You can check the opening times here.
Despite all the attractions which make Roskilde one of the best day trips from Copenhagen, Roskilde’s biggest draw is obviously the Roskilde Cathedral. Despite its exterior being more austere than attractive, this twin-spired cathedral is regarded as one of the most remarkable buildings in Denmark and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The red-brick cathedral, which was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, is the first Gothic building in the country and had a profound influence on the spread of bricks as a construction element throughout Northern Europe.
Roskilde Cathedral’s interior is dramatic indeed; uniquely styled chapels, ranging from the simplest to the most extravagant, are filled with some of the most remarkable sarcophagi you are ever likely to see. It serves as the burial place of nearly 40 of Denmark’s monarchs. The elegant alabaster sarcophagus of Margrete I as a young girl is beautiful as is the golden altarpiece, depicting scenes from the life of Christ.
There are some splendid chapels sprouting from the nave of the cathedral. Some of these like Christian IV’s chapel, St. Birgitta’s Chapel, and Frederik V’s chapel feature white alabaster sepulchers, an impressive array of art pieces and religious memorabilia. Exhibits in the Cathedral Museum, which is in the Great Hall above the Magi Chapel, chronicle the 800-year history of the church.
The entrance to Roskilde Cathedral costs 60 DKK. You can check the opening hours here.
How to Get to Roskilde from Copenhagen
Roskilde is only a 25-minute train ride from Copenhagen. Almost all regional and intercity trains heading out of Copenhagen stop at Roskilde Station. Roskilde Cathedral is a 10-minute walk from the station and is situated just beside the market square. To get to the Viking Ship Museum take bus 203 (direction Veddelev) Roskilde station and get off at the ‘Vikingeskibsmuseet’ bus stop. You can also walk from the station to the museum which takes 20-25 minutes.
Dragør is a quaint little fishing village on the island of Amager that makes it one of the best day trips from Copenhagen. It is undoubtedly one of our favorite places in Denmark and one of the top things to do if you’re in Copenhagen. It has a long history dating back to the 12th century and was a major center for the Baltic herring trade in the Middle Ages. The word “dragør” means a sandy or pebbly strip of land up which the boats were hauled and stems from the fact that for a long time Dragør had no proper harbor and the boats were simply dragged ashore.
Dragør’s harbor is chock-full of small boats, and the 18th-century village is impeccably preserved. The old town is filled with half-timbered ochre and pink cottages with steep red-tile and thatched roofs. Take a stroll through the picturesque maze of cobblestone alleys here and you’ll be transported back in time. It just oozes that old world charm.
From the harbor, you can also get one of the best views of the famous Øresund Bridge as seen from the Danish side!
It’s interesting to know that Dragor has a strong Dutch connection. In the early 16th century the Danish king Christian II invited Dutch farmers for their agricultural expertise. The farmers brought their own customs and Low-German language and their descendants continue to live here. You can still see wooden-shoed locals selling their hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils in the streets.
While you’re on Amager, you can also check out the architecturally interesting Kastrup Sea Bath as well as Den Blå Planet.
How to Get to Dragør from Copenhagen
First, take one of the trains headed to Sweden or Copenhagen Airport and get off at Tårnby station. From there board the bus 350S (direction Dragør Stationsplads) and get off at the last stop. The old town is a 5-minute walk away.
7. Cliffs of Stevns & the Cliffs of Møns
The cliffs of Stevns (Stevns Klint) is a unique fossil-rich cliff located 75 km south of Copenhagen, at the southern end of Koge Bay. The 40 meter high cliffs contain valuable geological information about the meteorite impact on the history of life on Earth. In the middle of the white chalk and limestone cliff, there is a thin, dark layer of clay, known as fish clay.
This clay supports the theory that the meteorite that hit Earth 65 million years ago, causing about half the creatures, including dinosaurs, to become extinct. Stevns Klint was made its way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2014.
Geology aside, Stevns Klint is visually compelling and showcases Danish nature at is best. For nature-lovers and hikers, the walking path along Stevns Klint is a great experience. The path runs along the edge of the cliff, offering great views. You can also descend down to the foot of the cliff and witness the fish clay layer.
There’s also an interesting Cold War Museum about 3.5 km from Stevns Klint. It’s pretty interesting but the only downside is that you can only enter with a guided tour and guided tours are in Danish only. English audio guides are available though.
Even further down south lies Møns Klint, a 6 km stretch of chalk cliffs along the eastern coast of the Danish island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. These white chalk cliffs are covered with a dense layer of dark trees and dominate the sea from a height of 128 meters at their highest point. They formed when glacial deposits were eroded by the sea. Several footpaths lead through woods to the edge of the cliffs, affording breathtaking views.
Descend the 500 odd steps or so to the craggy shore that is scattered with fossils. The magnificent milky white chalk cliffs are just overwhelming in beauty as you walk about along the shore. The image of the brilliant white cliffs against the azure water of the sea is a photographer’s delight. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Denmark and definitely ranks as my favorite site in Denmark.
Wear comfortable shoes as they will help you walk along the shore. Look out for yellow warning signs which indicate unsafe areas. Take plenty of refreshments and food as there isn’t much around both places.
How to Get to the Cliffs of Stevns & the Cliffs of Møns from Copenhagen
The only downside about both these places is that they are inconvenient to get to if you don’t have a car. Stevns Klint is the more accessible of the two by public transport. First, you have to take the S-train to Koge, then take the local train (direction Rødvig) and get off at Hårlev station. From there, take bus 252 (direction St. Heddinge St.) and get off at Højerup. From there, you walk about 10 minutes to Stevns Klint. The whole journey takes about 2 hours.
Møns Klint is really a pain to reach by public transport and is an ambitious trek. First, you have to take the regional train to Vordingborg (direction Nykøbing F). From there take bus 660 (direction Stege) and get off at Stege Rtb. Then you take bus 667 (direction Klintholm Havn) and get off at Busemarke. You’re still not done yet as it is nearly a 6 km walk to the cliffs from the bus stop. The total journey takes about 4 hours. We were very fortunate that we saw both sites as part of a field excursion.
8. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art has one of the best collections of modern art in the world. It is located in the scenic coastal town of Humlebæk about 35 km north of Copenhagen and is one of the best day trips from Copenhagen. The museum has a great permanent collection, over 3500 works by icons such as Henry Moore, Philip Guston, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Warhol among others. A visit here will prove that there is more to modern art than just “squiggly lines” 😉
In addition to the permanent collections, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art holds six to eight major exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world, including the works of new and upcoming artists as well as that of the modern masters. Louisiana places an emphasis on sculpture and a stroll around the verdant lawns of the museum’s park can be considered a romantic garden with sculptures.
Even if you don’t have a great affinity for art, it is definitely worth the visit. The combination of world-class art, nature, and architecture is unique. The architecture and the setting of the museum are just as much of an attraction. The museum’s position offers one of the most stunning views of the Nivå Bay and Sweden’s coastline.
The quality of the works of art is astonishingly good. Look out for the bronze 185 cm Big Thumb created by French artist César who was fascinated by the shape of his thumb. Picasso’s Le Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe, an homage to a famous work by Edouard Manet is another noteworthy display.
One of the highlights of our visit was the ‘Gleaming Lights of the Souls’, a permanent installation at the Louisiana Museum by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The installation consists of a single space, a 4 by 4-meter room entirely covered in mirrors. As the viewer, you stand on a little platform surrounded by water. Hanging from the ceiling are hundreds of lights which change color ever so subtly and are reflected what seems to be a million times in the room’s mirrors. It is absolutely stunning and well worth the wait.
The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 11:00-22:00, and 11:00-18:00 on weekends and holidays. The entrance costs 125 DKK.
How to Get to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art from Copenhagen
Getting to the Louisiana Museum from Copenhagen is relatively easy. From Copenhagen central station take any of the trains heading toward Helsingør and get off at Humlebæk station. Follow the signs towards the museum which is 10-15 minutes on foot.
9. Bakken Amusement Park & Jægersborg Dyrehaven
If you’re a thrill-seeker or have kids, Bakken will be one of the most popular day trips from Copenhagen. Bakken, or Dyrehavsbakken as it is actually called, is the world’s oldest amusement park still in operation. I really love it for its history, after all, Bakken wasn’t always the amusement park we know today. It started off as a recreational space for Copenhageners in the 16th century. The park began to attract visitors when a freshwater spring was discovered on its ground. The crowds then attracted vendors and entertainers which finally led to the rides we know today.
Although most people only visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, I must say I definitely prefer Bakken for several reasons. Firstly, it is much less crowded than Tivoli, especially if you visit during the week. Secondly, admission to the park is free. Yes, the rides are expensive, but so are Tivoli’s where you have to pay an entrance fee on top of the rides.
The most famous ride at Bakken is undoubtedly Rutschebanen, an original wooden roller coaster dating back to 1932. It is much scarier than it looks from the ground. We had great fun on the ride, although I lost my hat.
If you want to save some money on the rides, you should visit on Wednesday when most rides offer reduced rates. Although the rides are significantly cheaper on Wednesdays, please note that you can only pay in CASH on these days.
If you are looking for something a little quieter, pass on Bakken and continue further into the forest known as Jægersborg Dyrehave (or Dyrehaven in short). Dyrehaven is known for its enormous oak trees and a large population of deer. It is actually one of three forests and hunting grounds in North Zealand that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. The area is a popular picnic site for Copenhageners who come to relax among the beech forests and meadows crisscrossed by an alluring network of walking and cycling trails.
The deer park is fenced on all sides and is accessed through its characteristic red gates at each entrance. Although the deer are used to people and generally friendly, we strongly recommend that you do not get too close to them while they are nursing their young in the spring and summer. A good vantage point from which to view the herd is the Hermitage Hunting Lodge at the center of the park.
Jægersborg Dyrehave is also the location of the charming Hermitage Lodge. It made the list of our 11 favorite hidden castles you can visit from Copenhagen!
How to Get to Bakken Amusement Park and Dyrehaven from Copenhagen
Take the S-train which goes directly to Klampenborg station or take the regional trains headed in the direction of Helsingor or Nivå and get off at Klampenborg station. Bakken is a 10-minute walk from Klampenborg station which leads you through a tranquil forest. The only real way to get to Dyrehaven is on foot or bike. It is a straight trail through the forest that takes about 45 minutes from Klampenborg station.
10. Lyngby Open Air Museum
The Lyngby Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet) is an open-air museum situated in the northern Copenhagen suburb of Lyngby. Opened in 1897, the museum contains over 100 different buildings representing the various architectural styles and materials used throughout Scandinavia and northern Germany from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Manor houses, more austere houses, barns, windmills are featured here from the various regions of Denmark and the northern German region of South Schleswig which was formerly a part of Denmark.
The houses have been reconstructed on over 40 hectares of land surrounded by natural forests and gardens accompanied by livestock, giving the museum a more authentic feel. It is a perfect place for kids to roam for the day but equally interesting for adults. It gives you a sense of understanding of the architectural evolution and rural living conditions experienced throughout Scandinavia over 300 years.
Entrance to the museum costs 80-90 DKK depending on the season. It is open Tuesday-Sunday, from the end of March through December. You can check the opening hours here.
How to get to Lyngby Open-Air Museum from Copenhagen
Take the S-train in the direction of Hillerod and get off at Lyngby station. From there take bus 184 (direction Holte St.) and get off at Frilandsmuseet bus stop.
11. Odense & Egeskov Castle
Denmark’s third-largest city is a popular day trip from Copenhagen. Odense is the birthplace of the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen and the city has based a lot of its tourism around his popularity. Most attractions lie within the boundaries of the medieval district and you can spend a short time strolling around the pretty old town with its pastel-colored houses and cobblestone streets. Odense derives its name from the god Odin, the Norse god of war, poetry, and wisdom, who was worshipped by the Vikings.
Two of the best architecturally pleasing attractions in Odense are Odense City Hall (Odense Rådhus) and Odense Cathedral (Sankt Knuds Kirke). The imposing City Hall consists of two components, an old and a new. It was constructed between 1881 and 1883 in the Italian-Gothic style.
The history of the Odense Cathedral dates back over 900 years and it is one of the finest examples of high Gothic architecture in Denmark. The rococo pulpit, the oak royal pew, and the triptych altarpiece are all among the most beautiful medieval works in Denmark. There are also numerous chapels to view.
Other notable places of interest in Odense are the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and the author’s childhood home. We would only recommend going inside only if you’re a devoted HC Andersen fan as they are both quite small and information in English is limited.
If one were to compile a list of the most beautiful castles in Europe, Egeskov castle would certainly on that list. It is located about 30 km south of Odense. This moated fairytale-like castle is the best-preserved renaissance castle in Europe. The castle was built in the mid-16th century on oak trunks in the middle of a lake. Supposedly, it required a whole forest of trunks and the word egeskov means oak forest in Danish. Egeskov has been privately owned for generations by the Ahlfeldt-Laurvig-Bille family.
Because its a private residence, only some of the castle is open to view, including the large Banquet Hall, the refined Louis XVI furniture in the Yellow Room and the trophies in the Hunting Hall. A must-see for young girls – or those young at heart is Titania’s Palace, a splendid dollhouse with over 3,000 parts and miniature art treasures. Jacky was naturally very enthralled with Titania’s Palace.
Apart from the castle itself, there are also several museums on the premises, among them, an interesting collection of restored vintage cars and motorbikes that’s worth checking out. One of the highlights of our visit was strolling around the expansive gardens set in a huge park. We really enjoyed the labyrinthine maze and the aerial walkway that lets you get a tree-top view among the old beech trees. Plan to spend at least a morning or an afternoon at Egeskov.
Egeskov Castle is only open for a limited amount of time during the year, generally from April through October, with a special Christmas Market in November. Entrance to the castle, park, and exhibitions costs a hefty 195-225 DKK depending on the season but it’s worth the price tag. You can check the opening hours here.
How to Get to Odense & Egeskov Castle from Copenhagen
The easiest way to get to Odense is by train. Trains depart from Copenhagen central station every 20 minutes or so in the direction of Odense. The train journey takes about 75-90 minutes. Flixbus also operates several buses between Copenhagen and Odense. The journey takes 2 hours.
In order to get to Egeskov Castle from Odense, first, take the train to Kværndrup (direction Svendborg St.). From there you can either walk 2.5 km to the castle or take bus 920 (direction Faaborg) and get down at Egeskov Gade. From there the castle is a 10-minute walk.
Sweden’s third-largest city is undoubtedly one of the best day trips from Copenhagen. Discard any negatives you might have heard about Malmö and go there pronto. It is a city undergoing a radical change with plenty of interesting sights. Among its many sights you can wander around the picturesque old town, enjoy a peaceful afternoon in one of the city’s lush parks, dine in one of its many restaurants, and admire its blend of architectural styles.
The thing I love about Malmö is that it has the relaxed atmosphere of a small town but the amenities of a big city. We really enjoyed walking around the old town admiring the historic buildings and half-timbered houses. Stortorget is the major point of interest in the old town and is home to a number of elaborate buildings. The most notable of these buildings is the 16th century City Hall (Rådhus) and it sports a Dutch Renaissance style exterior.
To the south of the town hall, have a look inside Apoteket Lejonet (Lion Pharmacy), the exterior of the building features gargoyles and the rich interior is a busy mix of inlaid woods, carvings, and etched glass. The crumbling, step-gabled red-brick Jörgen Kocks Hus is another attraction in the square and was once the home of the sixteenth-century mayor and master of the Danish mint, Jörgen Kock.
The Gothic St Peter’s Church is Malmö’s main cathedral. Its design was strongly influenced by St Mary’s Church in Lübeck, Germany. The tower of this red crick cathedral is a familiar sight in the city skyline. The interior of the cathedral is home to a beautifully ornamented, Renaissance-style gilded altar. The pulpit dating from 1599 is in sandstone and black limestone.
Malmö is known for its many beautiful parks that are worth visiting. Three of the most famous parks in Malmö are Kungsparken, Slottsparken, and Pildammsparken. Kungsparken (King’s Park) is the oldest park in the city and was built in the late 1860s and early 1870s on grounds that belonged to Malmöhus Castle. It consists of a meandering channel running through the park that is surrounded by classic sculptures and huge trees of all sorts. The lawns invite visitors to sit or lie down and enjoy the tranquility while watching the world go by.
Outside the old town, Malmö has a couple of great museums that are worth visiting. The Moderna Museet has a great collection of modern and contemporary art and the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Dalí are well represented. Malmöhus Castle, the centerpiece of the museums, is the oldest preserved Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. It now houses several of Malmö’s major museums within its historic walls, including the City Museum and the Natural History Museum
To see some great modern architecture in Malmö, check out the Turning Torso, the tallest building in the Nordics and the Emporia shopping mall.. The Turning Torso is the tallest building in Scandinavia and this sleek, twisting tower of steel curves 90° clockwise as it rises to a height of 190m above the ground.
How to Get to Malmö from Copenhagen
Hop on any of the Sweden bound trains departing from Copenhagen central station. The journey to Malmö takes 40 minutes. Flixbus also operates regular services to Malmö from Copenhagen, although the journey time is almost double that of the train.
Just 20 km north of Malmo lies Lund, one of Sweden’s oldest cities. Lund is primarily known for two things – its university which is the largest in the Nordics and its impressive 12th-century Romanesque cathedral which is the most visited church in Sweden. With medieval streets lined with an assortment of architectural styles, the buzz of student life, and a rich array of cafés and restaurants, Lund is an enchanting little city.
The magnificent Lund Cathedral (Domkyrkan) is an imposing twin-towered, gray-sandstone edifice that dominates the city skyline. As a typical Romanesque building, the Lund Cathedral is distinctly dark, with only small windows to allow sunshine to pass through. The interior of the cathedral is quite spartan, save from several striking features, such as the elaborately carved fourteenth-century choir stalls depicting Old Testament scenes, and the grotesque carvings hidden beneath the seats.
The most enjoyable aspect of the cathedral is the vividly colored astronomical clock which depicts days, weeks, and even courses of the moon and the sun in the zodiac. If you’re here at noon or 15:00, you’ll be treated to a parade of knights jousting on horseback and trumpets blowing a medieval fanfare. The dimly lit crypt is home to two columns that are gripped by intriguing stone figures – one of a man, another of a woman and a child. The entrance to the cathedral is free. You can check the opening hours here.
One of the things we loved while roaming around Lund were the lovely Botanical Gardens, which are as much a venue for picnicking and chilling out as a botanical experience. You can come across a wide range of flora here including some Far Eastern paper mulberry trees and the massive tulip trees. Another place worth seeing is Lund University’s library building, that has a gorgeous ivy-clad facade.
Lund has one very good museum in the form of Kulturen, the world’s second-oldest open-air museum after Skansen in Stockholm. It is easy to spend a few hours just ambling around this privately owned open-air museum, with perfectly preserved streets, cottages, farms, merchants’ houses, gardens, and even churches brought from seven Swedish regions and encompassing as many centuries.
How to Get to Lund from Copenhagen
Getting to Lund from Copenhagen is fairly straight-forward. You can catch a direct train from Copenhagen Central Station to Lund Central. Trains depart every 20 minutes or so. The journey to Lund takes 50 minutes. Flixbus also operates regular services to Lund from Copenhagen, although the journey time is almost double that of the train.
Now, what do you think? What are your favorite day trips from Copenhagen? Any place we missed on this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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