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One of the most intriguing cities in Scandinavia, Denmark’s charming capital is a must-visit for so many reasons. The pretty Nyhavn harbour, the iconic Little Mermaid Statue, and the city’s food scene are just a few reasons to visit. Incredibly, Copenhagen has 15 Michelin-starred restaurants!
Even though Copenhagen is super chilled and it’s almost impossible to get stressed out here, you still might find yourself wanting a change of scenery. But how do you go about that?
That’s where we come in. Our team of travel writers have put together a list of the 15 best day trips from Denmark. There are romantic villages you can access by bike, cliffs that show evidence of a mass extinction, and a theme park made of everyone’s favourite toy, so there’ll definitely be something for you.
So, let’s check out the best day trips from Copenhagen!
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When it comes to finding the best places to stay in Copenhagen, it’s not always an easy choice. Do you want lively food and nightlife of Vesterbro? Or how about near all the tourist attractions in pretty Nyhavn? Or of course, you may want to be close (or even inside) the magical Tivoli Gardens. More on that later! Here are three of the best hotels in Copenhagen, and we’re sure one will be perfect for you!
Located in Vesterbro, Annex Copenhagen couldn’t be in a better location. You can easily explore the attractions of the city, but when it comes to day trips, the station is just a quick hop away! Rooms are colourful and comfortable, and the breakfast is worth splashing out a little extra for. This is easily the best budget hotel in Copenhagen!
Want to wake up with a view of the colourful Nyhavn Harbour? Then this is the place for you. The three star Hotel Bethel boasts a great location and it’s easy to get to the city’s main attractions on foot. If you’re travelling as a couple, this place is well worth taking a look at. According to booking.com reviews, it has a very high score from couples!
Tivoli Gardens is arguably the top tourist attraction in Denmark. What’s not up for discussion is that it’s a wonderful place to walk around, no matter what time of the year it is. The grandiose Moorish style Nimb Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Copenhagen, and a real treat. Make sure you have a drink at Nimb Bar – it’s in a historic ballroom with a log fire and chandeliers!
Best Day Trip from Copenhagen – Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle)
Best Day Trip from Copenhagen by Train – Frederiksborg Palace
Best Romantic Day Trip from Copenhagen for Couples – Dragør
Best Day Trip from Copenhagen with Kids – Legoland
Outside of Copenhagen, you won’t find a more well-known attraction than Kronborg Slot. It ticks off many things you could want from a day out – it’s beautiful, has an intriguing history, and it’s not too far away. So, it’s definitely the best day trip from Copenhagen!
Hop on the train towards Helsingør from Copenhagen Central Station and ride through the Danish countryside for 45 minutes. It’ll pass in no time! Head to Kronborg Castle which was the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. If you come at the right time of year, you may even be lucky enough to see a performance!
As well as its rich history, this UNESCO World Heritage site is in a beautiful location. You’ll be swept off your feet by the breath-taking views of Øresund Sound. If you can only do one day trip from Copenhagen, make it Kronborg Slot!
Another 45-minute rail ride from the Danish capital (although on a different train), you’ll find Frederiksborg Palace. Sometimes called a castle, sometimes a palace, this beautiful building is one of the most important buildings in Denmark.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the landscaped gardens which span across three islands. However, there’s even more when you’re inside. The palace is actually where you’ll find the Danish Museum of Natural History, a very worthwhile visit!
Inside the Palace, you’ll also find lots of priceless art and antiques on display. As Fredriksborg is quite close to Kronborg Castle, they’re often offered as a combined day trip. However, both are excellent day trips on their own!
They say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. That’s certainly the case with Malmö, just an hour away in neighbouring Sweden. The journey over the imposing Øresund Bridge and the views of the sound are enough to get the heart racing.
Once you arrive in Malmö, you’ll notice a subtle difference in the architecture. One place you can’t miss is Malmöhus Castle, the oldest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. For something completely different, the neo-futurist Turning Torso building is one of the tallest buildings in Scandinavia and was the first twisting skyscraper in the world!
A great way to see the city is by taking a canal cruise, before wandering through the streets of Stora Torget and Sodergatan!
If you’re interested in history and Vikings, you won’t want to miss this trip to Roskilde. It’s one of the easiest day trips from Copenhagen, just half an hour away by train from the city’s Central Station.
The first stop on your itinerary should be the Viking Museum. The museum displays 5 Viking ships that were discovered underwater. But they’re not just arranged in any old way. They are placed in a way that gives a jaw-dropping view of Roskilde Harbour and the fjord! Next stop should be the shipyard, where you can see reproductions of Viking and Nordic wooden ships being built.
If the Viking stuff isn’t quite enough for you, the UNESCO World Heritage cathedral should make your mind up. The brick church dates back to the 12th century and is the final resting place of a number of Danish Kings and Queens!
Odense is the 3rd biggest city in Denmark, but it doesn’t have a big city feel. It’ll only take you an hour to swap the hustle and bustle of the capital for quaint and attractive Odense.
It’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll. The pastel-coloured timbered houses line the cobblestone streets, making for some great photo opportunities!
Not only is Odense a pretty and relaxing place to visit, it has a bit of history too. In fact, this place was where one of the world’s most famous authors were born: Hans Christian Andersen. As well as visiting museums dedicated to him, you can find the locations that inspired him to write such iconic fairy tales as the Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, and The Little Mermaid!
Not yet booked? Take a look at our favorite hotels in Copenhagen!
And now for something completely different! The Cliffs of Møn (Møn Klint in Danish) are one of Denmark’s most inspiring natural wonders. Visitors may be reminded of the White Cliffs of Dover, except that these ones rise 300 feet out of the Baltic Sea!
There are some lovely paths along the top of the cliffs, and plenty of attractions along the way to keep you entertained. The area surrounding the cliffs is protected, as it’s the habitat of some rare flora and fauna.
Møn Klint are not the only cliffs you should check out around the South Sea Islands. Stevns Klint is a UNESCO World Heritage site well worth your time. Why’s that? Well, there’s evidence here of the meteorite the wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Crazy huh, considering it landed in Mexico!
Denmark is considered the 5th safest country in the world, so that’s a great start for visitors to Copenhagen. The city is generally very safe and you’re unlikely to face many issues while you’re here. To minimise the risk of any petty theft or pickpocketing, use big-city awareness and common sense. The majority of travellers to Copenhagen have nothing but positive things to say about this charming city!
Dragør is proof that you don’t need to take a bus or train, or even have your own car to take a day trip. No, all you need is a bicycle and your own two legs to make the 12km journey to one of the prettiest and most romantic day trips from Copenhagen. A perfect trip for couples!
The journey is relaxed and picturesque, and you’ll pass the Amager Fælled Moorland and the coast before you get to Dragør. There’s a harbour and plenty of thatched cottages to explore when you arrive.
You have lots of options for a romantic meal too. Head to a café or restaurant by the harbour. Or, if you’re on a budget, have a picnic overlooking the water!
Definitely one of the best day trips from Copenhagen for families, Den Blå Planet is a lot of reward for very little effort. You can actually get there on the city’s public metro system! You’ll find this awesome building at the Danish end of the Øresund Bridge, surrounded by water and impossible to miss!
It’s not just the building that’s impressive though – after all this is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. There are a number of different sections in the aquarium which will take you around the world and introduce you to both marine and terrestrial animals from across the planet.
The Amazonas ecosystem is teeming with butterflies and birds, while the Coral Reef has brightly coloured tropical fish. The highlight though is the Ocean Tank, where hammerhead sharks stalk 4 million litres of water!
Every parent will have likely have Lego in their house. And if not, they’ll have fond memories of playing with it at school or at home. After all, it has been the world’s most popular toy for many a year! So, what better way to spend the day than enjoy a theme park made of the stuff?!
Yes, Legoland is the best day trip from Copenhagen with kids, and although it’s a 3-hour drive to Billund, it’s well worth the effort. One of the highlights is taking a canoe ride through waterfalls and attractions completely constructed of Lego.
Legoland is the perfect day out for the entire family, and you’ll make long-lasting unforgettable memories with your kids!
Don’t want to travel too far from Copenhagen but want to escape the bright lights and noise of the city? Not a problem. Just 15km, you’ll find the Lyngby Open Air Museum, a lovely place to enjoy the fresh air and learn about Danish history. More specifically, agricultural history!
The museum is adorned with farm buildings from all over Denmark, and even as far as the Faroe Islands! As well as learning about the nation’s farming history, you can take in the beautiful countryside.
One of the treats is seeing ancient breeds of animal domestic animals which call the site home. Also, if walking around the 35 hectare site sounds like too much hard work, you can always find your way round on a horse and carriage!
With Den Blå Planet and Legoland, it’s really hard to pick out the best day trip from Copenhagen with kids. Bakken Amusement Park is certainly another contender for that title. Fun for kids of all ages, who wouldn’t want to visit the oldest theme park in the world!
That’s not the only thing that’s special about Bakken Amusement Park though. It’s located deep in a UNESCO World Heritage listed forest, where wild deer roam the slightly sloping hills.
For a real thrill, take a ride on the rollercoaster. Try not to think about it too much that it’s been running since 1932! There are several restaurants and food stands at the theme park too, so no need to worry about getting hungry!
From the name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this place is in New Orleans. But no, it’s on the Danish coast with a fantastic view of the Øresund Strait! Actually, you can see all the way over to the Swedish coast from this contemporary art museum.
Although the views on the outside are impressive, they’re nothing compared to what you’ll see in the gallery itself! The museum boasts more than 3,500 works of art from the greats. You can expect to see Picasso, Warhol, and Bacon’s masterpieces here, along with many more!
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is less than an hour away from Copenhagen Central Station by train.
You might find it tricky getting to Falster on public transport. However, this is one of the best day trips from Copenhagen by car. At 120km from the Danish capital, you can be there in somewhere between 1 and 1.5 hours. Crossing over the Guldborg Sound is the highlight of the journey!
The jewel in the crown of this island is the Nykøbing. It started off as no more than a fortress in the 12th century, which then became a castle. Although the castle is now in ruins, the town constructed around it certainly isn’t. There are several places worth checking out, including the Marina, the Czar’s House, and multiple museums!
From Falster, let’s check out another of the best day trips from Denmark by car. Lolland is the largest of the South Sea Islands, and it’s on the other side of the Guldborg Sound. So, you could easily check both of these off your Copenhagen itinerary in the same day!
A Lolland must-see is the largest manor house in Scandinavia, which doubles up as Knutheborg Safari Park. There are over 900 animals here, including elephants, giraffes, and tigers (don’t get TOO close)!
For the petrolhead on your trip, you could also check out the 12th century castle in Alholm. There’s a vintage car collection inside!
Our last entry is another of the best day trips from Copenhagen with kids. The Six Forgotten Giants make out one of the most fun days you could have in Denmark. Yes, it’s an outdoor treasure hunt!
The giants are made of recycled wood and communities from the surrounding areas have helped the artist, Thomas Dambo.
This is a really easy day trip from Copenhagen, just a hop, skip, and a jump to the west of the city centre. It’s not only great because it gets you out into nature, but it won’t put too much of a dent in your krone either!
So, that concludes our list of the 15 best day trips from Copenhagen. If you want to leave the city, you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do! Historical monuments, breath-taking natural wonders, and fun child-friendly places are all on the itinerary.
Also, as the Danish capital, Copenhagen is superbly well connected. Several of these trips are less than an hour away from the Central Railway Station, meaning you can be back in time for dinner at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants.
No matter who you’re travelling with, be it family, your other half, or solo, you’ll easily find a cool day trip near Copenhagen.
We hope you’ve found our list helpful and that you’re excited about your upcoming trip to Denmark. If you think we’re missing any of the best day trips from Copenhagen from our list, let us know in the comments!
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Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.