When most people travel to Denmark, they usually just visit the capital city of Copenhagen. And don’t get me wrong – Copenhagen is a fascinating place with all its trendy cafes, gourmet restaurants, and vibrant neighborhoods. But there are many beautiful and culturally rich destinations outside the city too. In just under two hours, you can be in the middle of a medieval village or at the edge of the ocean surrounded by limestone cliffs. You can even be in a bustling Swedish city if you want! Denmark has so many interesting destinations that it’s worth taking at least one day out of your itinerary to see something outside the city.
What is the Best Day Trip from Copenhagen?
For a quick day trip (less than one hour away from Copenhagen), you can visit the iconic Kronborg Castle, the colorful Den Blå Planet aquarium, or the royal Fredensborg Palace. Nature lovers will also enjoy a trip to either Møns Klint or Lolland, as there are plenty of beautiful scenic landscapes to discover.
But there’s much more to Denmark than charming towns and pretty islands. Here are a couple of other must-see sites worth visiting on a day trip from Copenhagen.
Most famous for being the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Kronborg Castle in Helsingør is a must-see sight for history buffs and architecture lovers (in addition to avid poets). However, there’s more to Kronborg than literary fame.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the residence of Danish royalty from its construction in the 1420s to the mid-1700s. Afterward, it was used as a prison and a military fortress before being turned over to the public.
During your visit, you can see the castle chapel, royal apartments, ballrooms, and underground crypt.
Kronborg also boasts a spectacular view of the Øresund (the sea that dissects Denmark from Sweden), as it sits on the tip of the Zealand Island overlooking the water. And because it can be reached in just 45 minutes from Copenhagen, there’s no excuse not to visit this important monument.
For a quick day trip, make the journey 7 miles outside Copenhagen to Dragør. This harbor town is located on the southeastern coast of Amager and is known for its well-preserved 18th-century buildings and countryside charm.
You’ll feel transported back to a simpler time by getting lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and traditionally painted Danish houses.
The village itself has a few notable museums, including the Dragør Museum, Kastrupgaard Collection, and Mølstea Museum.
But by far the most interesting attraction is the Amager Museum. This living history museum recreates life during the early Dragør days with reconstructed 16th-century houses and costumed actors.
Did you know that Sweden is only 40 minutes away from Copenhagen? You can hop across the Øresund (via the Øresund Bridge), and you’ll be in the heart of Malmö.
This is Sweden’s third-largest city, which means you’ll find a delightful array of shops, museums, markets, and delicious Swedish restaurants.
When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the Turning Torso, a modern high-rise right on the waterfront. The old town is lined with beautiful buildings and dotted with picturesque public squares.
Malmö is also a green city, with numerous parks where you can go for a walk or picnic in the warmer months.
This is also a great place to try some Swedish delicacies. If you can’t decide on a restaurant, head to the Malmö Saluhall food market to sample a variety of local snacks and dishes.
Out of all the castles and palaces in Denmark, Fredensborg Palace is the most used by the royal family.
In fact, it’s still used today as the summer residence of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. Not much has changed since it was built in 1722, and you can see inside if you book tickets with a guided tour.
However, most people visit Fredensborg Palace just to wander around the surrounding gardens.
Considered to be one of the finest examples of a baroque garden (similar to Versailles in France), with wooded forests, manicured hedges, and numerous art sculptures. You can reach the palace and gardens in 90 minutes by train or 30 minutes by car.
There are a few sights in Denmark that are as impressive as the Cliffs of Møn. Considered to be the “Cold Caribbean,” this area is known for its magnificent chalky cliffs, sparkling blue waters, and blooming wild orchids.
This is a great day trip for outdoor enthusiasts, as there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, kayaking, cycling, horseback riding, and even snorkeling and diving!
To learn more about Denmark’s highest cliffs, head to the GeoCenter Møns Klint. This museum has numerous exhibits on the history of these geological wonders. If you’re planning to visit Møns Klint, then you’ll need to join a tour or rent a car for the 1.5-hour journey.
If you’re staying into the evening, you might also get the chance to see the “Dark Sky” phenomenon.
It’s one of the few places in Denmark with so little light pollution that you can see stars, the Milky Way, and even the Andromeda galaxy in the sky.
Den Blå Planet
Denmark is home to the largest aquarium in all of Northern Europe. With 53 different exhibits, Den Blå Planet is a fascinating look into the underwater world where visitors can see thousands of different sea creatures up close.
Head to the Rainforest Exhibit to see crocodiles, stingrays, and catfish or to the Cold Water aquarium for giant octopuses, puffins, and even sea lions.
The building of the aquarium itself is also a stunning architectural feat. The sleek, whirlpool-shaped building has won multiple awards, including the RIBA EU Award and the World Architecture Festival’s Display Award.
It’s also easy to reach from the city (30 minutes by train or 15 minutes by car).
If you’re interested in seeing another island in Denmark, then make the 90-minute trek to Lolland. Although it’s the 4th largest island in the country, it’s the largest in all of the South Sea Islands.
Between the historic villages, grand manor houses, and breathtaking scenic landscapes, Lolland has plenty of attractions to justify the long journey.
For families, the Knuthenborg Safaripark is a must. As you drive through the 1,200-acre park, you’ll see giraffes, rhinos, tigers, monkeys, and many more wild animals up close and personal.
You can also visit the 19th-century Fuglsang Manor, the Fuglsang Art Museum, or the open-air Medieval Center. If the weather is nice, you can also head to one of the many beaches in the area, especially on the southern part of the coast.
There’s no denying that Copenhagen is a great city to visit. But there’s also something special about venturing out into the countryside.
Denmark is an awe-inspiring country full of beauty, from the historic palaces and castles to the quiet cobblestoned villages.
Taking a day trip can give you a taste of what real Danish life is like. Because once you see what this fascinating country has to offer, there’s a big probability that you’ll want to come back time and time again!