Everyone knows Copenhagen, and the more tourists I meet, the more I can see, that very often it is the only place, where people go in Denmark. Either way, Denmark has a lot more to offer than its capital, even though it is definitely worth it to visit Copenhagen. I have been living in Denmark for 3 years now, and I discovered so many special places here. So, let’s start with this Denmark Itinerary for 7 days (beyond Copenhagen) with the best things to do in Denmark.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 When is the best time to visit Denmark?
- 2 Getting around Denmark
- 3 7 days in Denmark Itinerary with the best places to visit in Denmark (Beyond Copenhagen)
When is the best time to visit Denmark?
The best time to visit Denmark highly depends on your taste and interests. I would say that during the summer from May to August is great for road trips, and outdoor activities, but it is also the hottest time, meaning it can get to 30 degrees celcius. September is less touristy so I would say is an excellent time to visit, if you would like to avoid crowds. For coziness, November and December are nice because there are a lot of Christmas markets around Denmark. It always depends on your Denmark travel itinerary as well.
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Getting around Denmark
The best way to get around Denmark, especially in order to visit all of these cities beyond Copenhagen is by renting a car. It is the easiest way to stop along the way, and explore all the off-the-beaten-path places in Denmark. Having a car will make an unforgettable Denmark Vacation especially if you are planning to visit Northern Denmark.
Outside Northern Denmark, it is doable to use the train and buses as method of transportation.
7 days in Denmark Itinerary with the best places to visit in Denmark (Beyond Copenhagen)
Day 1 – Roskilde and Odense
Roskilde is a town located half an hour from Copenhagen. For Danish people, it is known mostly for the local festival, where the stars like Eminem, Pink and others attend, that takes place every first week in July (when most of Denmark on holiday). For tourists, there is a different attraction. There’s enough for about half a day’s time, but it is still worth a visit.
Roskilde cathedral is the place where kings and queens and basically all the royal Danish family is buried when they die. The cathedral here is really breath taking. As a bonus it is possible to see the combs with kings, which is super interesting. Overall Roskilde cathedral offers about 1000 years of Danish history from pagans to Christians.
Roskilde might be a good starting point of the day, so after visiting the cathedral, catch the train and move to the next stop. Odense. Odense is a birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen – or as most people knows him, the guy who wrote a little mermaid or ugly duckling.
Odense is quite a big city, but if you are here for the main attraction such as the childhood place of the writer and the historic center and his museum, another half a day is also quite enough. But to be honest, Odense is quite a nice city. You can visit all the historic sites simply by following steps that are on the sidewalk. They are called H.C. Andersen steps and it is made so he would guide you through the town.
Odense tips: For sci-fi fans, Odense has a brand-new museum with history of sci-fi. In the exhibition you can meet aliens, robots but also watch a part of sci-fi from 50’s. The entry fee is not too high (just about 100 dkk) and I spend there two hours.
Another tip would be to come to Odense for their flower festival which happens in the middle of august. The city is filled with flowers and statues made from flowers. This festival is all around the city center and it definitely brings extra sparkles to the town.
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Day 2 – Egeskov castle
This time I would take my time and don’t rush like the previous day. This day is about day trip. Take a train to a little village called Egeskov. They have perhaps the most beautiful castle in Denmark with gorgeous gardens around.
The castle is located about half an hour train drive from Odense. However, there is a twist – the castle is self is about 2 km from the train stop. There is either bus, but it doesn’t come that regularly. If it is sunny enough you can also walk there – it is not too bad, and it took me about half an hour to get to the castle. Otherwise there are taxi services usually ready close to the train stop.
When you get to the place, the cashier might ask you if you want to go just for gardens or for castle as well. Go for both, it is worth it. And then straight head to the castle, it is quite a small one and there are a lot of things to explore. Besides from the castle you will have a good view to the gardens.
Gardens should be naturally the next stop. Except for the various flowers, you will get to see a lot of birds around. The ducks are quite normal for the lake that is around the castle, but there are also peacocks walking around.
This trip is actually meant for whole day as the gardens are quite a big and you can grab a bite inside of the interior of the castle. After that head back to Odense, the trains come every half an hour.
Alternative to Egeskov castle:
About hour from Odense is Svandeborg. Town itself isn’t too exciting, but it has a ferry to Danish most beautiful island – Aero. Aero is quite a big island at the same time, but the essentials are possible to do in one day trip. Visit Aero museum to get to know about how people are living on island that seem to be quite far from all the other Danish towns and walk on the beach. The coast itself will offer you a small hike on the local dunes. And during the walk to the beach you will get to see a cozy little houses. Danes are using them just for summer. And if you are visiting in summer, take a swimwear and take a dip in cold Baltic sea.
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Day 3 – Esbjerg
On the third day move to the hometown of Aragorn. Yes, that is right, Viggo Mortensen is half Danish and he used to live in Esbjerg. The town itself has quite a nice historical center – but to be honest, it is not too special from what you have seen in Odense. So sure, spend a time here, but be aware that there is a more to it.
After cozy time in city center, take a bus to the most famous sculpture in Esbjerg. The four men staring to the sea. The sculptures are really big, so you can see them from quite a far away. Here you have another opportunity to spend some time on the beach, but if that is not interesting, than across of the road there is a museum of fishery. Expect to see there everything about fishing from Viking age to the secrets of todays fishing. But there is more to it. They have seals. Not stuffed, quite alive and curious about visitors. Great attraction especially if you are traveling with kids.
Day 4 – Ribe
Let’s take another day trip. This time to a little historical town called Ribe. Ribe has the oldest cathedral in the northern Europe. In the cathedral you will get to see whole exhibition on Ribe’s history and why it is so important for Denmark. Also feel free to climb to the tower and see Denmark from above. You will get to see how flat it is.
After visiting the cathedral spend some time in the town. There are one of the oldest houses in the northern Europe that you can see, monastery and you can even visit a Viking museum here.
Alternative day trips:
From Esbjerg you can catch a ferry to Danish island called Fano. Except for Fano cozy little houses close to the beach, you can see there actual bunkers from second world war. There is nothing harmful in the area, so you can even go through them. Later on, when chilling on the beach, you might even spot wild seals.
Other day trip idea, which you might approve especially if you are traveling with children – catch a bus from Esbjerg to the oldest Legoland in the world. Billund – the town where the theme park is – is the birthplace of this popular toy. You can spend whole day here with local attraction, most of them are for adults as well. But be prepared that the prices are quite a high.
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Day 5 – The northest part of Denmark
Start your day early and head to the north. If you have a car (which I recommend especially for this part of trip) it will take about 3 hours to get there, so get comfortable. The place you are looking for is called Skagen and it is known for the watches that they make here but also for being the place where two seas meet.
The beach where you can see Baltic sea and North Sea merging into one is located about 5 km from the Skagen itself. At some point you will need to trade a car for either the busses that they are offering here or your own foot.
The beach is really nice, and I would recommend a spend a night in Skagen and watch sundown here.
If you are looking for fun place in Skagen, definitely visit local brewery, where they offer their own beer, music and good food.
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Day 6 – Moving to south again
If you head early in the morning, you can visit the Rujberg Knude Light house, which is just about hour from Skagen. You will get to see a little desert and lighthouse in the middle of it, located just about thirty meters from sea. Walks around there are just amazing but be prepared that it is very windy place.
When you feel like you have enough of this view, take a car and head south to the city called Aarhus. Get settled there for a little bit. Aarhus is a second biggest city of Denmark and has a lot to offer. If you feel like you need to stretch your legs, head to the docks. Except for amazing new architecture, you will get the fresh air. If that is not enough, catch a city bus and head to the beach, you can see there Aarhus eternity bridge which is over all very calm place far away from most of tourists. Not far from there is a animal garden, where you can freely walk around deers. Upon your arrival, you can even buy a snack for them and feed them.
After that I would call it a day and prepare yourself for last day.
Day 7 (Last day) – Culture day in Aarhus
On your last day, try to get as much from Danish culture as possible. Aarhus is a great place for that. Start by going to the museum of modern Art. They have 5 floors filled with modern art. If you don’t think this is for you, their rainbow view is certainly for everyone – it is only view I have ever heard that is filled with colors like this.
After that, if you are interested in old Denmark, head to Gamle by – it is a museum neighborhood designed the way that it would show you how Danes lived 200 years ago. And you find here everything – from how the farms used to work to fishery and so on. As a bonus you can visit here a poster museum. Which is especially amusing if you are into old classy posters.
Last attraction of the day should be probably be the local botanic gardens. Massive rooms filled with flowers from different continents are actually free to visit and at some point, you will reach place where will be not only tropical flowers, but also a butterflies all around you.
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After visiting Aarhus, I would say that you have seen all the Danish necessaries. In Aarhus you can hop on a ferry back to Copenhagen and either enjoy the capital or catch flight to somewhere else.
Denmark has a lot to offer. I hope that this Denmark Itinerary has inspired you to visit Denmark beyond Copehangen. If you would like to still, visit Copenhagen, here are 25 unique things to do in Copenhagen.
This is a guest post by Albi from the blog Ginger around the globe
Author’s bio: I’m Albi, originally from Czech Republic but for the last 3 years I have been living in Denmark, where I study. Traveling is my big passion, and I love roaming solo. I traveled through 25 countries so far and I’m starting to write about it on my blog. I specialize in Scandinavia and living abroad.
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