Country guides Europe
Denmark Travel Guide
Like many Scandinavian countries, Denmark is a cosmopolitan and modern society with a proud history going back to the Viking Age, making it a fascinating holiday destination in Northern Europe. Although it is often sadly overlooked by tourists 'doing the continent', Denmark's rolling countryside and gleaming cities have much to offer holidaymakers.
Mainland Denmark is located on the Jutland Peninsula, with 482 islands including Zealand, Fyn, and Bornholm in the Baltic Sea making up the rest. The landscape is a patchwork of dairy farms, small towns, fishing villages, and verdant countryside, while gleaming cities like Copenhagen and Århus maintain an effortlessly chic style with Michelin-starred restaurants, buzzing nightlife, and world-class shopping.
Denmark's long history is evident in the 18th-century settlements, thousand-year-old churches, and Neolithic tombs scattered around the country; remnants of Viking settlements can be found in coastal towns like Roskilde.
Denmark is often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world according to contentment surveys, and it's easy to see why when you look at the clean streets, efficient public transport systems, and progressive social policies. For visitors, this relaxed, organised, and friendly attitude is just one aspect of a pleasant holiday in Denmark.
Best time to visit
The weather in Denmark has four distinct seasons, with a cold winter and warm summer. Spring tends to be unpredictable, with large temperature swings and unexpected rain showers. Autumn and winter tend to be very cold, and it gets dark fairly early. The best time to visit Denmark is in the warm period between May and August, when typical daytime temperatures are just about 69F (20C) and the days are very long. This is why most of the events in Denmark are held in July and August.
What to see in Denmark
-See the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen.
-Tour the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.
-Visit the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen in Odense.
-See the elaborate Christiansborg Palace.
What to do in Denmark
-Ride the Ferris Wheel and catch a concert at Tivoli Gardens.
-Swim on the beaches in Bornholm.
-Treat the kids to a day at Legoland Billund.
-Wander the streets of Freetown Christiania.
Getting to Denmark
There are many direct cheap flights to Denmark from the UK, departing from a number of airports. There are also some convenient train connections to Denmark from London. Flights to Denmark from the US are also fairly easy to come by, with direct flights to Denmark from several major US cities.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg, and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
Maskarade (Carl August Nielsen).
Beowulf (2007), Hans Christian Andersen (1952).
Locally-brewed Carlsberg and Tuborg beer.
Frikkadeller (Danish meatballs) and Smorrebrod (open sandwiches).
What to buy
Miniature Little Mermaid statues, Danish chocolate, Bevar Christiania merchandise.
What to pack
Denmark can get wet at any time of year so an umbrella is a good idea.
What's on in Denmark
Twinkling lights are everywhere at the December Tivoli Christmas Market. Held each summer, the Roskilde Festival is one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe. Dance, music, theatre, art, and sport come together for four frantic days at Copenhagen's Cultural Harbour Festival.
Did you know?
-Popular children's toymaker LEGO and internet phone service Skype were both invented in Denmark.
-There is not a single mountain in Denmark; the closest thing is a 560-foot (170m) hill called Mollehoj.
-Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex marriages in 1989.
-The Dannebrog is the oldest national flag in the world.
-Denmark was the first European country to abolish slavery.
A final word
A cosmopolitan culture with roots going back to the Vikings, travelling to Denmark makes for a fascinating holiday.