Copenhagen is my city. I love to live here. It’s expensive – but worth it. As a visitor, you should see as many neighbourhoods as possible and not only stay in the old center.
If you have more than 2 days or have been before, there’s plenty of time to reach beyond the city’s border. I’ve selected my favourite 4 day trips from Copenhagen – one in each direction. Some even reachable within half a day.All of course for the cultural traveller including insider tips on where to eat and sleep.
4 day trips from Copenhagen
Day Trip 1:
GOING NORTH: ELSINORE
Elsinore is a cozy little town 40 min. drive north of Copenhagen. The train also runs directly.
Elsinore is visited for it’s old medieval houses and a museum for seafaring, but the main sight is the castle Kronborg. I used to work here, so I’m a bit bias, but old castles are just always cool. And it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s something rotten i Denmark. Elsinore or Helsingor owes its fame to William Shakespeares “Hamlet”.
The castle Kronborg is the reason Denmark profited from the toll in Oresund. Pay or get shot by the cannons. The enourmous wealth it providede the Danish king, he turned into lavish parties. The sound of the festivities traveled all the way to England – and the celebrated bard.
You can visit the entire castle and they sometimes have special exhibitions. If you – like me – are a little afraid of the dark avoid the catacombs. In summer, Hamlet and other Shakespeare plays are performed at the castle. It is quite the experience to sit and enjoy Hamlet with the castle in the background on a warm summer evening.
Day Trip 2:
GOING WEST: ROSKILDE
About 20 minutes by train is another great daytrip from Copenahgen. Or actually it’s so close you can explore it for half a day. It’s the old city of Roskilde. In the late Viking Age and in the early Middle Ages, this was the place the to be!
For this reason the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Roskilde Cathedral has been the royal burial church for the Danish monarchs since the 1400s. The old Gothic cathedral has been continuously built on and today you’ll find 800 years of Danish design in 1 place. As well as 40 kings & queens. Don’t miss the clock with the screaming dragon!
Okay, I currently work here, so I’m also partial in this judgement. But I’m still right.
Of course, in Roskilde you also have to see the Viking Ship Museum with 4 actual Viking Ships an in summer you can sail in one of the reconstructed ships. The city is also home to a Rock Museum.
Day Trip 3:
GOING SOUTH: MOEN
This is more a full day’s travel from Copenhagen. And best reached by car. Just 1.5 hours south is one of Denmark’s most spectacular natural sights: The white cliffs of Møn or Moen. I dont’ work here, but my summerhouse is here…
Find out what to se and do on the family friendly island.
Day trip 4:
GOING EAST: MALMÖ, SWEDEN
For my final suggestion for a day trip from Copenhagen is – a different country! About 1.5 hours by car or train is Sweden. So you can easily visit 2 countries in one day. But I would recommend spending way, way more time with our neighbours.
Closest to Copenhagen is Malmö. A small, but very cozy city with some good shopping and really good food. I don’t work or live here, but we come often for shopping, since it’s cheaper than Denmark. And it was part of Denmark for many centuries.
Head for Moderna Museet for contemporary art, the castle (built by the Danes) and the small town square Lilla Torg for some cheap drinks in the sun. A bit outside the city by the new harbour is the iconic Turning Torso’s tower. You can see it when arriving from Denmark as well. If you are feeling adventorous, theres a Disgusting Food Museum. I haven’t been, but sounds fun.
Remember to taste the most delicious cinnamon buns in the world (kanelbullar) and moose meat. The beer is way better in Denmark though…
Besides the fantastic 4 day trips and tours mentioned here, there are of course many more things to explore close to Copenhagen such as one my favourite castles and royal gardens Frederiksborg Castle, the other UNESCO Sites such as the cute castle inside a huge park made for Par Force Hunting or Denmark’s top museum Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
For more on Copenhagen: A Local’s Top Free Sights
Which trip would you like to hear more about?