Due to its rich history, fascinating culture, great food and compact structure, Copenhagen is a popular destination for weekend trips. You can see a lot in the Danish capital in just 48 hours. However, Denmark has so much more to offer!
Leave the city’s limits behind and go on charming Copenhagen day trips from here. See enchanted castles, breath-taking coastlines and picturesque villages or even take a day trip over the famous Øresundsbron to Denmark’s neighbor, Sweden.
Amager island is no stranger to most travelers coming to Copenhagen as it is home to the city’s airport and just 15 minutes away by public transport from its centre. Amager Naturpark is thus even more magical: an oasis of pristine wilderness in the heart of the capital city, covering more than 3,500 hectares of wetlands, marshes and forests.
The Naturpark is home to many rare bird species and a unique flora and fauna. A 24-kilometer long hiking-trail, the Amarmino, spans across the area and takes you to wetlands buzzing with life, the open sea and Denmark’s largest birch forest. The trek ends in the coastal town of Dragør, our next point of interest.
Dragør lies just South of Copenhagen and is a testament to Denmark’s rich maritime history. Visiting the well-preserved coastal town is like travelling through time: with its intertwined cobblestone streets, the typical yellow cottages and picturesque harbour as well as barely a car in sight it feels like a different era.
Tour a local farmhouse to learn how live here used to be at the Dragør Museum. It is one of the oldest houses in the village and dates back as far as 1753. Immerse yourself in the fascinating stories of fisher and seamen, marvel at paintings from local artists and dive into Dragør’s centuries-old maritime history.
Lurking in the woods of Copenhagen’s suburbs, you can find the Forgotten Giants. Originally created by Thomas Dambo from recycled materials and scrapwood, the six wooden sculptures blend right into meadows and forests around the Danish capital. Their purpose: inspire Copenhageners and tourists to go out to enjoy and appreciate nature, making it the perfect adventure for families with children.
As this treasure hunt will take you off the beaten path and hidden beautiful locations, we recommend you to hire a car for the day. Also consider combining it with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. It is in close proximity to the Giant in coastal Ishøj.
Did you know that Denmark and Sweden are connected through the Øresund Bridge and thus can be easily reached by car from its neighbor? The bridge also allows you to reach the other city in about an hour by car and enjoy the sea on this man-made, 16km-long wonder from up close.
Malmö, a former industrial city and the 3rd biggest city in Sweden, has rebranded itself over the decades as a cultural hub with international flair, bringing together history and modernity. The best attractions in Malmö include the Malmöhus Castle, Sweden’s oldest preserved Renaissance castle, the St. Peter’s Chruch and its extraordinary Gothic architecture as well as Malmö’s Old Town with its charming Lilla Torg square with many cafes and restaurants.
You may have heard of Kronborg Castle before in one of Shakespeare’s most important works as Elsinore. This is where his character Hamlet lived. It hints at Helsingør’s history as one of the most important towns from the 16th to 18th centure, due to its advantageous access to the Baltic Sea and being able to collect tolls from passing ships, in Europe. As a result, it still holds great symbolic value to Denmark.
Marvel at the Kronborg Slot’s chapel with its well-preserved woodcarvings and Renaissance interior, wander through the 60 meter long ballroom and learn all about Holger Danske, the Danish national hero who’s been asleep for hundreds of years in the castle’s underground passages and will wake the day Denmark is threatened by enemies.
Only 25 minutes away from Copenhagen, Roskilde invites travellers to a day full of nature, history and culture. The cathedral city is home to the Viking Ship Museum that consists of some of the most spectacular finds of Danish history, five Viking ships, the Skuldelev ships. They are the heart piece of the exhibition all around Viking age navigation in Scandinavia.
Also make sure to visit the Roskilde cathedral, Denmark’s royal burial church, home to the graves of 40 regents. And then Roskilde is also something for younger visitors: the RAGNAROCK museum offers interactive exhibitions around pop, rock and youth culture. Roskilde is also a modern city with a pedestrian zone that can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to stroll through the shops or visit the cafés.
Drive down Denmark’s West coast to reach the picturesque cliffs Stevns Klint on a day tour. The white chalk cliffs are a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Zealand and span over 15km. Their history is truly remarkable: they were created through an asteroid hitting the earth 66 million years ago that presumably led to the extinction of dinosaurs. Deposits of fish clay are a testimony of that catastrophe visible to this day.
Højerup is the best place to start a day around the cliffs from. Here, the samples were taken to prove the cause of the dinosaurs’ extinction and you can participate in guided tours in summer. Make your way down to the beach. Whether you decide to spend your day relaxing in the sun or exploring the area around the lighthouse and Højerup church, a visit to the cliffs is a truly fascinating experience.
Odense lies two hours West from Copenhagen on the island of Fünen. The 3rd biggest city of Denmark may be located further away than some of the other day trips but it is well worth a visit: Odense is a cultural and historical city, its history being told by many buildings and sights. It is also Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace, whose legacy still shapes the city to this day.
The city’s cultural significance is evident from the many international exhibitions and events taking place here ever year. From modern and historical architecture, ballet and multimedia to breath-taking performances and opera, Odense has a lot to offer all year round. Stroll around the historic district, wander along the footsteps of Denmark’s greatest writer and shop for local crafts and arts in Brandt’s Passage.