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Hidden Gems & Secret Spots in Denmark You Must Visit

Last Updated on 2nd August 2022 by Sophie Nadeau

Denmark is a Nordic country famed for its and for its design and architecture. Located in Northern Europe, the country is popular among tourists for its amazing foodie scene, many cultural attractions, and sheer beauty. And for those looking to get off the beaten tourist trail? Well, here are some of the best hidden gems and secret spots in Denmark that you’ll want to discover for yourself…

Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital of Denmark is Copenhagen, a beautiful European city which is famed for being home to the Little Mermaid Statue and is often touted to be one of the happiest cities in the world. For more inspiration, be sure to check out our guide for spending one day in Copenhagen.

Tisvildeleje

By Maria of Maptrekking

A far cry from the bustling capital of Copenhagen, Tisvildeleje gives the opportunity for visitors to authentically experience local life in Denmark while getting a daily dose of vitamin sea! This charming seaside town is undoubtedly a hidden gem that can’t be missed.

Tisvildeleje is known for its incredible dunes and white sand beach that stretches for quite a ways, giving ample room for visitors. Originally Tisvildeleje was a fishing village, so the fisherman’s cottages have been renovated and are now available for summer accommodation.

Though the clean sand dunes are a stunning addition to the beach, previously the sand caused quite the headache. The Tisvildeleje beach sand kept being swept inland, which ruined farming and civilization attempts.

To remedy this, a forest was planted nearby that is now Denmark’s oldest plantation, Tisvilde Hegn. Visiting is well worthwhile for nature lovers since there are rare plants and bird species to discover.

Located along Tisvildeleje beach, Helene Spring is a historical point of interest. This famous Danish spring is believed to have healing properties, especially on Midsummer’s eve. History lovers should visit Tibirke Kirke, a normal-looking church that was built on what’s to be believed, a prehistoric site known for human sacrifices.

During the summer, there are other activities to participate in. ‘Musik i Lejet’ is an outdoor summer music festival to attend. There is also a weekly flea market that’s perfect for perusing or even finding some unusual gifts to take home. It’s held every Saturday. 

One of the most important things to do at Tisvildeleje beach is to watch the gorgeous sunsets over Hesselø Bugt!

Tisvildeleje beach

Dragør

By Marjut Jogisoo of The Smooth Escape

Dragør is a picturesque fishing town on the south coast of the island of Amager, just 12 kilometers from Copenhagen. Despite its proximity to the capital city, Dragør doesn’t receive a large number of tourists and has managed to maintain its authentic charm. It is one of the best day trips from Copenhagen for those looking to escape the stress of the city and spend a relaxing day by the sea.

The town was founded in the 12th century by fishermen and quickly became an important fishing port due to its excellent location by the Baltic Sea. Nowadays, Dragør is known for its charming old town full of well-preserved historical buildings.

The best way to experience the beauty of Dragør is to simply wander around the town’s historic center. The narrow cobblestone alleyways and quaint 18th-century cottages with thatched roofs will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another era. It’s a fairytale-like place where every corner looks photo-worthy. 

Along the town’s main street, you’ll find cute boutiques, sidewalk cafes, bakeries and some fantastic ice cream shops. Dragør also has a lovely harbor area where you can enjoy views of the Øresund Strait or grab lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants serving fresh seafood. 

Those interested in museums can visit the Pilot Museum of Denmark and the Amager museum, where you can learn about the town’s history. The best time to visit Dragør is in the summer since that’s when the town comes to life with bustling outdoor markets and a variety of festivals dedicated to music, food and art.

dragor

Skagen

By Iris Veldwijk of Mind of a Hitchhiker

There are many great places in Denmark for a windy beach day, but the northernmost point of Denmark truly beats them all in terms of aesthetics and fresh air. Skagen is a town on a sandy peninsula where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. You can watch the rare phenomenon where two bodies of water with different salinities clash.

The area around Skagen is best explored by bicycle. The area is quite compact and the cycling network is of good quality. Make sure to at least visit the sandy spit called Grenen to step into two seas at once, the buried church (den tilsandede kirke), the old lighthouse (vippefyret), and the new lighthouses.

The sandy dunes are conducive to a picnic, so make sure to bring some snacks and supplies to make it a memorable visit. The villages in the area are picturesque and feature several museums, from Scandinavian art to a WWII-era German bunker and migrating birds.

Wander around Skagen and Højen to admire the old houses and the sleepy vibe they must have had before the arrival of cars. Though most of the buildings are from the last two centuries, the Skagen peninsula has been settled for at least 600 years.

The town’s sunbathing day tripper population swells in summer, so it’s best to visit in the Danish shoulder season outside of the holidays. Spring and autumn are also the times of the bird migration, of which Skagen is an important rest stop for these feathery friends.

Make sure to book accommodation in advance—even the campsites can be surprisingly booked. Due to its remoteness by Danish standards, Skagen is quite the detour from the more popular cities and towns.

In fact, the town is closer to where the ferries from Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland anchor – Frederikshavn and Hirtshals – than Copenhagen and Aarhus. Skagen is connected to the rest of the Danish rail network and there are frequent trains.

skagen

Ribe

By Disha of Disha Discovers

Denmark is a picturesque country with a rich history and culture. The town of Ribe is no different, boasting beautiful architecture and a thriving community. Founded in the early eighth century, Ribe is the oldest town in Denmark and Scandinavia. It’s located in southwestern Jutland on the banks of the Wadden Sea.

Due to its location near the sea, this hidden Danish gem served as a major trading hub during the Viking Age. Today, Ribe is an enchanting tourist destination. Visitors come to see its charming architecture and enjoy its lively and historic atmosphere.

Ribe is also home to a number of museums that tell the town’s fascinating story. The Museet Ribes Vikinger (Viking Museum), for instance, chronicles the town’s Viking past. Their exhibitions will make visitors feel like they’ve stepped back in time. The Ribe Art Museum, on the other hand,  showcases the work of contemporary Danish artists.

The Ribe Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is Ribe’s most prominent landmark and a must-see. The exterior of the cathedral has Romanesque and Gothic features, while the inside is a combination of several influences. Visitors can also climb to the top of the cathedral tower and soak in beautiful views of the countryside.

Other attractions in Ribe include Ribe Viking Center, Wadden Sea Center, Hex! Museum of Witch Hunt, and the Jacob A. Riis Museum. Visitors also can’t leave Ribe without visiting Vester Vedsted Vingård, which is a winery, brewery, and distillery. The atmosphere here is relaxed and welcoming, and visitors can enjoy a gourmet meal while sampling the delicious wine.

The most important tip to keep in mind when visiting Ribe is to take a tour. Since the town is steeped in history, a guided tour will help tourists make the most of their experience.

Last but not least, while many people visit Ribe as a day trip, it’s worth spending a night here. It’s an adorable small town where visitors feel like they’re a part of the community, and they’ll want to get lost roaming the quaint streets while stumbling upon hidden treasures. Plus, there are plenty of cozy hotels and inns that are postcard-worthy.

ribe

Hornbæk and the coastal towns

By Josephine of Josephine Remo

Approximately one hour away from Copenhagen, or 12 km up the north coast of Helsingør, you find the charming town of Hornbæk. Hornbæk is all about beach life and is a popular attraction for both Danes and foreigners.

The beautiful harbour of Hornbæk was introduced in 1875 but the area was popular long before. Especially around the 1860s Hornbæk expanded rapidly offering cottage grounds, whereafter the town quickly became a well-attended bathing spot.

The main attraction of Hornbæk is the beach and the harbor. The entire northern stretch of coast is a wide and clean sand beach which is way above the beach standards of many other parts of Denmark.

As well as this, Hornbæk is great for trying traditional food, visiting local shops, and eating danish ice cream from one of the small shops around. In addition, Hornbæk offers a great street food market, during the warmer months, called “Det Fedtede Hjørne” where great events bring people together from all over the country.

For nature lovers, Hornbæk offers “Hornbæk Plantage” which is a big natural area that is home to many species and holds an interesting history from World War II. Right next to Hornbæk, the northern coastal stretch is home to many cute towns that are particularly buzzing during the summer months.

Visit Dronningemølle, Gilleleje, Tidsvildeleje, and Rågeleje for a very small town and danish experience. All these places offer danish culture, lovely beaches, and a unique charm.

Visit the harbour of Rågeleje and try some traditional danish fish, or take a walk in “Tidsvilde Hegn” which is one of the most beautiful natural areas of the country. Don’t be afraid to drive a bit inland to visit some lovely cafes, restaurants, local farms, and boutiques.

Hornbæk

Cherry Blossoms of Copenhagen

By Sophie of solosophie.com

Though Copenhagen is obviously not a hidden gem- it is, after all, the capital city of the country- that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of beautiful gems to discover. One of the most interesting things to know before visiting Copenhagen in the spring is that there are plenty of beautiful cherry blossoms, which in turn is one of the best secret spots in Denmark!

The cherry blossoms in Copenhagen tend to bloom from the end of March through to the middle of April. The exact date depends on what the weather has been earlier in the spring, as well as the variety of cherry blossoms you wish to see.

 If you want to see at least some blossom and have to book in advance, then your safest bet is to book to visit Copenhagen in the first week of April. Otherwise, some of the best spots in the city to see the spring blooms include Langelinie Park and Amaliehaven.

copenhagen cherry blossom

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