13 Unique Things to do in Denmark (a Highlights Guide)

The beauty, history, and unique attractions throughout Denmark, combined with having some of the happiest people on earth is what makes Denmark such a remarkable place to visit.

From Vikings to royalty, Lego to legends, and beer to bikes, there are so many things to do in Denmark for all ages.

Whether you’re looking to spend a few days enjoying all the fun things to do in Copenhagen, or you’ve got a week or two to explore the castles, waterways, food, and fun of Denmark, we’ve got you covered.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark holds a special place in my heart having visited there several times throughout my life, as a child, a solo backpacker, and a mother, and most recently on a multi-generational trip with 12 of my family. Now that’s one way to find out what the best places to visit in Denmark are for all ages.

In all of my years travelling, I’ve found Denmark to be one of the easiest places in Europe to travel in. Most Danes speak English, they’re typically very helpful, they don’t drive like lunatics, and it’s relatively safe and easy to get around.

Plus there’s a wide variety of things to do in Denmark with kids or adults of any age. Here are my top picks.

Top things to do in Copenhagen

1. Visit Tivoli Gardens

Best things to do Denmark Tivoli Gardens
The gorgeous Tivoli Gardens

No trip to Denmark is complete without a visit to Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen. I’m not talking about spending the day admiring the flowers (although they are very lovely).

This magical amusement park has something for everyone with both nostalgic and modern rides, music concerts, theatre, dining, and beautiful buildings and gardens.

Operating since 1843, this is a traditional theme park, so you won’t see the level of commercialization you find in the more modern theme parks, but you’ll have just as much fun.

Even Walt Disney loved Tivoli! Did you know that his visit to Tivoli is partly where he gained the inspiration to create Disneyland?

2. Experience the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace

Visit Denmark Royal Family
Changing of the Guard at Amalieborg

You’ll be surprised how close you can stand to see the changing of the Royal Guards at Amalienborg Palace, the main residence of Queen Margrethe and the Royal Family in Copenhagen.

Every day the guards march through the streets of Copenhagen from their barracks near Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg. The best place to see the changing of the guards is at Amalienborg when the guards arrive at around 12 noon every day.

3. Photograph the Colorful Nyhavn Port

Nyhavn Denmark attraction
The colorful Nyhavn!

One of the most photographed places in Copenhagen would have to be Nyhavn, the old commercial port which was transformed into brightly coloured buildings housing restaurants and bars.

Take your time and go for a wander along the canal before stopping for a drink or even a meal if your budget will stretch that far, and soak up the atmosphere.

Nyhavn is within easy walking distance of Amalienborg Palace and is a great place to stop in after the changing of the guard.

4. Explore the canals

Things to do in Denmark canal boat ride
Canal Boat Ride in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, like much of Denmark, is surrounded by water. So exploring the canals and harbour is a great way to get to know the city from a different point of view. Even better is there are plenty of options for how to do it.

The majority of visitors take a canal tour through one of around four companies you’ll find around the city. We used our Copenhagen Card that we’d bought for entry to attractions that also gave us a free canal ride.

But the options don’t stop there. You can take a private tour on a Danish sailing boat, hire an electric or solar-powered boat to explore on your own, or if you’re feeling energetic you can hire a kayak and go it alone or in a tour group.

Keep an eye out for the Little Mermaid statue. You’ll be surprised how small and underwhelming it looks in real life.

5. See the Crown Jewels at Rosenborg Castle

Best things to do in Denmark Rosenborg Castle
See the Crown Jewels

For lovers of all things royal, head to Rosenborg Castle where you can see the tightly guarded Crown Jewels of the Danish Kings and Queens. With royal works of art and regalia going back 400 years, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a couple of hours.

Day trips from Copenhagen

6. Enjoy the Grandeur of Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød

Frederiksborg Castle Hillerod Denmark places to visit
Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle is my favourite castle in Denmark and with good reason.

The grandeur and the beauty of the castle and its gardens aren’t easily matched. The largest Renaissance castle in the Nordic region, Frederiksborg was built to amplify Christian IV’s status as a powerful monarch in Europe. He achieved that in my eyes.

Frederiksborg Castle children's activity room Hillerod Denmark
Fun for the kids

The castle now houses the Danish Museum of National History, displaying 500 years of Danish history with its collection of art, furniture and portraits.

Frederiksborg Castle looks after its smallest visitors with a dedicated activity room for children where they can recreate history wearing costumes and armour, design a coat of arms, write with ink and quill, and fill in activity books about kings and queens.

7. Go Underground at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør

Kronborg Castle Denmark castles to visit
Kronborg Castle in Denmark will delight

With spooky underground passages, magnificent ballrooms and fascinating history, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør, is an extraordinary place to visit.

World-famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kronborg is a true castle with a tower to climb, moat, cannons, and reenactments of Hamlet throughout, making it so much fun to visit.

Also to love was a visit to the casements. Wandering around the seriously dark and gloomy underground passages with a torch, you got to see where 1,000 soldiers would barricade themselves in during war, for weeks at a time, with their horses and provisions.

In these underground passages, you will also find the Danish legend Holger Danske asleep, as he has been for hundreds of years. Legend has it, he will wake up the day Denmark is attacked by enemies.

8. Learn at the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde

Viking Ship Museum Denmark things to do
Fun thing to do in Denmark for kids

Head to the beautiful town of Roskilde (famous for the Roskilde Festival) and spend a few hours at the Viking Ship Museum. Here you’ll witness five original Viking ships and imagine what voyages they’ve been on.

The highlight for those who visit in the warmer months is sailing out on Roskilde Fjord on a Viking ship. Sadly when it came time for us to set sail, our short voyage was called off due to an incoming storm. Maybe next time.

Head over to the boatyard to watch the boat builders in action building full-scale reconstructions of the prehistoric boats using traditional methods.

While you’re there, have a go at some Viking crafts. My two boys hand-painted wooden swords to bring home, while their cousins made necklaces. There was also plenty of other activities to enjoy including dressing up as Vikings and outdoor games.

Top attraction in Billund, Denmark

9. Play at Legoland Denmark

Legoland Denmark theme park top things to do in Denmark with kids
Legoland, Denmark

One of the things Denmark is most famous for is Lego, so if you have a Lego lover in your family, then spending a day or two at the original Legoland theme park is a must.

My favourite place at Legoland from when I was a child, and more recently when I took my kids there, is the SEAT Traffic School where kids learn to drive Lego cars and even get their drivers license. I recommend if you want to do it that you head there at the beginning of your visit to book in a time. It’s popular.

With around 60 million Lego bricks throughout the theme park, you’ll be in awe at the creations of mini-cities, famous buildings, and some favourite characters from the likes of Star Wars and Ninjago.

With over 50 rides, there’s something for all ages, from Xtreme racers and rollercoasters, to Duplo planes and Lego train rides. It’s one of the top things to do in Denmark with kids.

If you want tips and comprehensive information on visiting Legoland Denmark, then take a look at our guide to planning your trip to Legoland.

Legoland is in the small town of Billund, just under three hours drive, or a short flight west of Copenhagen. While you’re there, drop in and visit the relatively new Lego House which has a whole lot of indoor fun and activities.

Attraction in Møn, Denmark

10. Appreciate the Natural Beauty of Møns Klint

Mons Klint Denmark nature attractions
The cliffs of Mons Klint Denmark

One of the most surprising and spectacular natural wonders in Denmark is the 70 million-year-old chalk cliffs of Møns Klint.

Take a walk down the sturdy stairs to the beach 128 metres below, where you can search for fossils and take in the awe-inspiring sight of six kilometres of chalk cliffs on the edge of the Baltic Sea.

The scenery isn’t the only thing that’ll take your breath away – remember you’ll still have to walk back to the top of the cliffs.

There’s so much more to Møns Klint than the cliffs. Make sure you leave time to visit the GeoCenter Møns Klint which is true to its claim – Denmark’s cool science centre. Discover dinosaurs that roamed the area, learn about ice glaciers, meteor showers, super-volcanoes and the creation of the landscape.

There’s also plenty of both indoor and outdoor activities including a kid-friendly 3-D cinema, indoor climbing cave, tree climbing, snorkelling and sailing.

Møns Klint is best reached by car and being less than two hours from Copenhagen, you could visit the area on a day trip, or stay overnight.

Fun attraction Nykøbing Falster

11. Go back in time at the Middelalder Centret (Medieval Centre)

Middelalder Centret things to do in Denmark
Middelalder Centret

The islands of Lolland-Falster, one hour south of Copenhagen has so much to offer visitors to Denmark and one of my favourite attractions was the Middelalder Centret (Medieval Centre).

This living museum shows families reenacting life in medieval times, including cooking, caring for animals and working. It’s full of unique hands-on experiences from preparing to fire the trebuchet, mock training for sword fights and archery, and you can even watch the knights battle it out in a jousting competition.

Cultural Things to do throughout Denmark

12. Ride a bike

Ride a bike in Denmark
Ride a bike in Denmark

Explore the city and the countryside like a local and hire a bike. With thousands of kilometres of cycle lanes throughout Denmark, you’re sure to see some amazing sites.

One thing to watch out for is that bicycles and cars have different traffic lights, so make sure you look at the smaller lights when riding. Take a look at the road rules and riding etiquette before you pedal off.

13. Eat like a Dane

Smørrebrød
Smørrebrød

While visiting Denmark, be sure to sample as many local dishes as possible. The Danes are renowned for their food, with restaurants such as Noma celebrated around the world.

Top of the list of food to try is Smørrebrød, delicious open sandwiches made typically on rye bread and topped with things like cold meat, fish, and cheese. But don’t think you can just throw any old thing on there. There is tradition behind these sandwiches which needs to be adhered to.

Next to try is Frikadeller, which are like meatballs but they’re so much better. Cooked in butter to make them even tastier, they’re typically served with potato, brown sauce/gravy and greens.

If you’re after a hotdog, my pick is from Den Økologiske Pølsemand (DØP) which are made with sourdough bread, organic ingredients and real tasting sausages.

If you’re looking for something sweet then look out for sensational Danish ice-cream, Danish pastries, and if you’re lucky enough to be there before Christmas, try Aebleskiver. Similar to a pancake, aebleskiver are traditionally served with jam and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Now Denmark is by no means a cheap country to visit, but you can still do it on a budget if you travel outside of peak times, stay outside the city centres, and enjoy eating in the markets and parks rather than restaurants.

I hope this has given you a great starting point and you’ve found some wonderful attractions and activities in Denmark for your visit.

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