Planning a trip? Perhaps you should make Denmark your next holiday destination. Consistently ranking among one of the happiest countries on earth, Denmark is part of the Scandinavian region in Northern Europe. What was once the birthplace of Viking raiders who ravaged the European lands over a thousand years ago has evolved into a progressive first-world economy, at the forefront of politics, sustainability, design, architecture and urban planning. Come experience its unique history, delicious cuisine and breathtaking scenery.
What to see & do in Denmark
Denmark comprises of flat terrain, ranging from lush forests, sugary beaches and even a small desert. Vesterhavet, the North Sea, spans the western coast of Jutland and is one of the country’s jewels. Sprawling sand dunes, cliffs and many old German bunkers from World War II add to the beautiful, dramatic landscape that beckons to be explored.
The Danish Capital, Copenhagen, is where old meets new. It’s where bustling nightclubs run parallel to quaint cobblestone paths; where modern architectural structures like the Opera House are just across from archaic Royal Palaces; where Smart Cars and bio-fuelled buses drive along the same roads as hordes of bicycles. In this laid-back city, attractions are just a walk of bike ride away. Some notable sights include the famous Little Mermaid statue at the Lagelinie promenade, the 172 year-old Tivoli Gardens (the second oldest amusement park in the world) and the Royal palaces of Nyhavn and Amalienborg.
Fancy some Danish history? The streets of Denmark’s towns and cities are lined with historical buildings and monuments. For an in-depth exploration of Viking history, visit the National Museum in Copenhagen, or the old Viking city of Roskilde – a UNESCO world heritage site, where the tombs of old of royalty lie in cathedrals and Viking sailing ships boat are still reconstructed based on the centuries old techniques by modern builders. Kronborg Castle, the of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is Denmark’s most famous castle and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many Danish castles are still in use by the Royal Family and hundreds of history museums offer interactive exhibits that tell the story of Denmark’s ancient past.
Art lovers will love the Carlsberg Glyptotek, which houses an eclectic but impressive collection of antique and modern art. The Thorvalden Museum and the Louisiana Museum also engage visitors from all over the world with their exciting collections. Denmark is a design hotspot with many well-known designers and brands. Take home a piece of Danish design at the summer flea markets or stroll down the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street, Strøget (in Copenhagen). Culture buffs should definitely pay a visit to Aarhus, the Danish cultural centre. The city’s youthful energy is contagious, be it its dynamic nightlife, cozy cafes or the famous NorthSide Music Festival every year. Other music festivals worth checking out are the Roskilde Festival – one of Europe’s most popular outdoor rock music festivals – and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
The Danes are also big on food and drink. You can find a bevy of delicious pastries, breads and cakes at Danish bakeries everywhere. Those who want to splurge on a Michelin-starred restaurant experience can do so at Noma in Copenhagen, ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World four times by Restaurant magazine. Other than that, affordable but authentic Nordic cuisine is available at restaurants and street stalls, where you can sample Danish classics like smørrebrød. Don’t miss the Danish brews as well; these are a staple at celebrations like Easter and Christmas.
If you like sports, Denmark is famous for football and European handball. Sailing races and pleasure cruises are also popular activities in this nation of a thousand islands.
Getting Around in Denmark
Denmark is well connected to the rest of Europe and Scandinavia by ferry, rail and plane. Its main international airport is Copenhagen Airport. Billund Airport, Aalborg Airport, Aarhus Airport and Malmö-Sturup Airport service selected international, European and Scandinavian and carriers as well.
Long-distance travel within Denmark can be done by bus, ferry or the Danish State Rail system, DSB. Biking is a cheap and fun way of exploring the country
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Some Dos and Don’ts
Did you know…?
Denmark is the home of LEGO, the world famous building brick toy and the first LEGOLAND theme park, located in Billund.
Images by Flickr\Trodel
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