Though not immediately obvious on a map, Denmark comprises more than 400 islands, of which 72 are populated. The peninsular of Jutland and the main islands comprise the regions we use in this guide. Nearly 40% of the country’s population live on the island of Zealand, though it only accounts for ? of the country.
The European mainland. Home to Skagen – the beautiful old holiday town, Denmark’s oldest town of Ribe, Legoland and the rugged west coast.
|Funen and Surrounding Islands|
Homeland of the world famous author H.C. Andersen, and his childhood house in Odense as well as the picturesque island sea.
Denmark’s largest island, and seat of the capital Copenhagen, Hamlet’s Elsinore and the vikings’ Roskilde
Islands south of Zealand. Home to Denmark’s greatest nature scenery, The Cliffs of Møn.
The vacation island, also known as the “rock” island, home of the fabled roundhouse churches connected to the crusades, and some excellent beaches.
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These are the regional centers in Denmark plus a couple of most interesting towns:
- Copenhagen (København) — Denmark’s capital and largest city with a population of 1.9 million in its metropolitan area and a vast amount of offers for cultural experiences, shopping and inspiration of Danish design traditions.
- Aarhus — the largest city on the Jutland peninsular and Denmark’s second largest city, with a population of 1.2 million in its metropolitan area, a brilliant historic Open Air Museum of how the city looked in the 1800’s, a cathedral and the AROS museum of modern art.
- Aalborg — home of a historic and picturesque city centre and the rowdy Jomfru Ane Gade, which features some of country’s most vibrant night life
- Elsinore (Helsingør) — famous as the home of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlets castle of Kronborg, and with a nice old district.
- Esbjerg — Denmark’s centre for the fishing and offshore industry, and a short 15 minute ferry ride away from the cozy island of Fanø
- Ribe — Denmark’s oldest town and best preserved medieval town. Nearest neighbour to The Wadden Sea National Park. 2 stars in the Michelin Guide of Attractions
- Herning — this small but ambitious town is an excellent entry point to the spectacular beaches of Jutland’s western coast
- Kalundborg — ancient town with several medieval brick houses, ruins of two medieval castles and not least the magnificent Church of our Lady with its five towers. The church is strong crusader symbol picturing the medieval imagination of the heavenly Jerusalem. Interesting historical museum with rich finds from the viking age and the medieval period.
- Nykøbing Falster — nestled by a picturesque fjord, you can explore the old abbey, the castle, or set out to the spectacular chalk cliffs of Møn or the island’s good beaches
- Odense — the main city of the island of Funen, and Denmark’s third largest city, known as birthplace of H.C. Andersen, but the nearby The Funen Village open air museum of 18th Century farm buildings, and the nearby Egeskov Castle, one of the best-preserved Renaissance castles in Europe are also good attractions.
- Randers — The sixth largest city, and home of the biggest artificial rainforest in Northern Europe, called “Randers Regnskov”. Also home of “Graceland”, a copy of the home of Elvis, build for the purpose of hosting a Museum and eventhouse. The city was previously known for its Beer, Gloves and Rope production.
- Roskilde — The old capital of Denmark, close to Copenhagen. Seat of Denmark’s largest cathedral, Roskilde Domkirke, and world famous Viking Ship Museum.
- Rønne — capital and entry point for the intriguing holiday island of Bornholm, with its cozy villages, mystic round churches and the spectacular castle ruin of Hammershus
- Silkeborg — main town of the lake district. By many Danes viewed as the most beautifully situated town in Denmark, surrounded by forests and lakes. You can jump onboard the world’s oldest paddle steamer, ‘Hjejlen’, and sail to the famous viewpoint, ‘Himmelbjerget’. Interesting historical museum with collection of 2500 years old, naturally preserved bog-mummies, e.g. the world famous ‘Tollundmanden’. Also famous art museum with collection of the the contemporary artist, Asger Jorn.
- Skagen — Scandinavia’s most classic holiday town, famous for its yellow houses and the special light which made it the hometown of many famous artists in the 19th century.
- Sønderborg — discover Danish mentality in a city where Denmark finally conceded its superpower ambitions, and wander through the old castle or the royal palace of Gråsten
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- Anholt — more than 45 kms from nearest mainland an pretty much right between Sweden and Denmark, this secluded island offers the largest desert in Northern Europe and one of Scandinavias largest seal populations.
- Ertholmene (includes Christiansø) — this small group of islands, under the governing of the Danish Defence, makes up for Denmarks most eastern land and home to a large a bird reserve, as well as old defence installations.
- Fanø — a 16 km long and 5 km wide island, with an unusual large mount of different natural environments on a small area: Sand, heath, meadow and pine wood.
- Femø — most famous for being one of the first bastions for the women’s rights movement, it now attracts both lesbians and feminists, though priding itself of welcoming all women.
- Hirsholm — one of six small islands 7 km to the northeast of Frederikshavn, noted for it’s high population of birds, but also home to some excellent beaches and a relatively large number of bunkers, dating back to World War II.
- Læsø — get away from it all in this remote island in Denmark’s “desert belt”, ride through the sand dunes on horseback and see unique farmhouses with seaweed roofs.
- Kongernes Nordsjælland National Park — brand new national park covering the old hunting grounds of ancient kings.
- Samsø — probably Denmark’s “greenest” island which has recently garnered international attention since the heat and energy used on the island is exclusively produced by renewable sources, as well as home to the annual music festival Samsø Festival, sporting itself as Denmark’s “hyggeligste”.
- Stevns Cliff — a 65 million year old cliff made up of lime an chalk, which stretches more than 12 km on the shoreline and up to 41 metres above sea-level, at one point with the picturesque Højerup Kirke church balancing on the edge above the water.
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