A Nordic adventure: Denmark

A Nordic adventure: Denmark

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Though Denmark is the smallest of the Nordic countries, it certainly doesn’t lack fascinating activities for travelers of all ages and interests. Comprised of one large peninsula and over 400 islands, Denmark has a wealth of varying coastlines, historical towns and fascinating architecture. Don’t be afraid to visit this foreign land, as 90% of its population speaks English, making it one of the most English proficient countries. You’ll easily be able to communicate with the locals and find the best restaurants and places to go. Here are a few ideas to peak your interests.

Did you know that Denmark is the birthplace of Legos? Legoland Billund Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018 and is more fun than ever for the whole family. With over 50 activities, there’s no shortage of things to do. Experience attractions like “Miniland,” an entire section of the resort dedicated to Lego replicas of famous buildings, capitals and towns. This area alone uses over 20 million Legos. There is also a Lego train that chugs along on a tour of Legoland. If one day at this children’s paradise just doesn’t cut it, consider getting a themed room at Hotel Legoland. The kids can let their imaginations run wild while pretending to be pirates, princesses or knights.

Just an hour east of Legoland is the city of Aarhus, home of Den Gamle By, or The Old Town. A truly unique experience awaits you here, as The Old Town is designed to take you on a journey back in time. The workers in The Old Town are all dressed to represent various times in the end of the 19th century. You’ll also be able to see what it was like to live and work in Denmark in 1927. Car enthusiasts will enjoy the authentic car dealership and workshop with a showroom of cars, a parts shop and a workshop. Jump ahead a few decades and take a stroll through a town district straight out of the 1970s, including shops, townhouses and workshops. Take a look in the hairdresser’s shop, a radio station studio and various trinket shops. Stop and converse with some of the many workers to learn even more about how things were done in Denmark in the past.

If history is your thing but the 19th century is too modern, head to Sagnlandet Lejre, the Center for Historical-Archeological Research and Communication. This land of legends brings 10,000 years of Danish history to life in its recreation of the Iron Age, Stone Age, Viking Age and 19th century. See demonstrations of weaponry making, rope production, wood chopping and more. There are even archaeological workshops where you can dig up skeletons or make a discovery in the water. Don’t forget to take a pottery class or head to a textile workshop. The possibilities are endless! Immerse yourself in the customs of bygone days and marvel at how people survived in harsher times.

No trip to Denmark is complete without visiting the capital of Copenhagen. Head to the heart of the city and visit Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish Parliament and where the queen welcomes guests and hosts banquets. Stroll leisurely through the chapel, royal reception rooms, the queen’s tapestries and the ruins under the palace. If you want to look at additional impressive architecture, visit Kronborg Castle. The rooms are decorated with renaissance and baroque themes and are a testament to the lavish lifestyles of the residents. This castle is perhaps most famous for William Shakespeare’s drama Hamlet, which takes place in the chambers of Kronborg. For diehard Shakespeare fans, you can see “Hamlet” performed at the castle during the summer. Get caught up in the myths and drama of this UNESCO World Heritage Site during your visit. While in Copenhagen, don’t miss seeing the famous statue, The Little Mermaid, a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the city that rests in Langelinje Pier. Copenhagen has a multitude of other things to see and do. Consider going to Tivoli Gardens amusement park, the Strøget shopping area, the Amalienborg Palace and so many other places.

With so many things to do in Copenhagen, it will likely be hard to leave. However, the Cliffs of Møn make for a great day trip outside the city. For almost 4 miles, the chalky white cliffs drop dramatically into the Baltic Sea, creating stunning scenery. There are fantastic woodland hikes in the Mandemarke Hills with stunning views of the sea. Consider hiking the Camønoen path. This friendly hiking route has beautiful forests and amazing coastline in addition to hilly farmland and local communities. The hike can be as long or as short as you’d like, as the trail spans over 100 miles. This area provides the perfect opportunity to take in the natural beauty Denmark has to offer.

These places and activities are just the tip of the iceberg for Denmark! There is so much more to see and do in this Nordic paradise. Both children and adults alike can enjoy the history and architecture that make Denmark fascinating, even if some of the architecture is made from Legos! Start planning your trip today and figure out where your Denmark adventure will take you.  

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