Known for its eco-friendliness, bike culture, and culinary delights, Copenhagen has become a top tourist destination for travelers around the world with plenty of things to do and see. But unfortunately, many people only visit this one city in Denmark and don’t venture out to see the surrounding region too. If you have an extra day to spare, you can learn a lot about Danish culture that goes far beyond what you’ll see and do in this capital city. Here are our picks for the top day trips from Copenhagen.
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If you’re looking for a picturesque village to visit from Copenhagen, then look no further than Dragør. This lovely town is filled with cottages, a museum, harbor, and local festivals. It’s a great place to learn about local history without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. Other fun things to do on this day trip include the Amagermuseet museum, the beautiful Nyvang Idehaver natural area, and the indoor flea market of Kraemmergaarden Dragør. You can bike here or take the bus from Copenhagen, and your commute will be between just about 15 to 30 minutes.
Kronborg Castle is one of the most popular day trips from Copenhagen, and for good reason. This castle is connected to the Shakespearean character of Hamlet and has an annual Shakespeare festival here where you can see a live Hamlet performance. It’s an easy day trip any time of the year though and just about 45 minutes by train from Copenhagen. You can also book a guided visit to the castle that includes a knowledgeable guide and transportation.
The town of Odense makes an excellent Copenhagen day trip as well because it’s about two hours away by car or bus and about 1.5 hours by train. This is an enchanting city that’s the third-largest city in Denmark but feels quaint and colorful. This was the birthplace of the famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen, so there’s an Andersen Museum here to visit. You can also check out the Funen Village, the Danish Railway Museum, and the Brandts Museum of Art and Visual Culture on this day trip.
The Cliffs of Møn
To get your nature fix and experience some amazing Danish scenery, head to the Cliffs of Møn for the day. These South Sea Island cliffs are south of Copenhagen and the highest cliffs in the country. They drop down into the Baltic Sea and are a stunning white color. This is a truly gorgeous place with several miles of natural wonders. Consider camping here to really soak up the natural beauty. Camp Møns Klint has about 400 spaces for caravans, campers, and tents, as well as a few cabins for rent.
Some of the best cultural and historical experiences you can have in Denmark can be found in Aarhus. This town is located on the eastern coast of Denmark’s western peninsula and offers museums, a summer Viking festival, botanical gardens, and nightlife. Museums here to add to your itinerary include Den Gamle By, Moesgaard Museum, and Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum. A fun way to see this city on a day trip is to book a guided walking tour so you’ll pack in as many famous sights and local knowledge as possible in a short time. You can drive or take a train here within about three hours from Copenhagen, or hop on a quick flight if you’re pressed for time.
Malmö is another wonderful day trip from Copenhagen and a great excuse to cross the border into Sweden. This Swedish town is connected to Denmark by the Øresund Bridge and is a great destination for café culture in the summertime. The Malmöhus Castle is a top attraction here to learn about local history. On this day trip, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Swedish culture and perhaps have time to visit Lund as well, which is a historic town that’s a perfect complement to the hip and modern city of Malmö.
We also enjoy a good day trip to Dyrehaven for an easy commute and a refreshing dose of nature. You can reach this area in just about 20 minutes by train from Copenhagen, making it an easy day trip if you don’t feel like venturing out too far. Here you’ll find forest trails that are ideal for warm-weather hiking, biking, and picnicking. “Dyrehaven” translates to “deer park” and is an ideal place to get some fresh air and experience the wide-open landscapes of Denmark. There are over 2,000 free-range deer that roam though the park for you to encounter and watch from afar with awe.
Another castle worth taking a day trip out from Copenhagen for is Frederiksborg Castle. This palace dates back to the early 1600s and serves as a Museum of Natural History. The garden here is amazingly landscaped and romantic to walk around. The castle is the summer residence of the Danish royal family, and the museum offers guided tours. You can reach the castle from Copenhagen by car in about 40 minutes or take public transportation to Hillerød and then set out on foot for a 15-minute walk.
Island of Fyn
Fyn is a wonderful and romantic island in Denmark that’s the kind of place where fairy tales were first imagined. On a day trip to Fyn, you can see castles, orchards, museums, and historic farmhouses. On this day trip, check out the Egeskov Castle, browse the outdoor markets, and spend time on Kerteminde Beach. You can take the train to get here or drive. Either way, your commute is about 1.5 hours or less.
Roskilde is a final day trip destination that we’ll mention here, largely because of the very popular Viking Ship Museum. Inside the museum, you can learn about maritime history during the prehistoric and medieval ages. Also in Roskilde, you can see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Roskilde Cathedral where many early Danish royalty figures were buried and take a cruise on the Roskilde Fjord. On this day trip, you can also visit the town of Lejre, which has even more Viking history and delicious mead to sample.