I can’t believe our trip to Denmark has already come to an end. It seems like we had been anticipating this trip for a long time, and just like that, it’s over!
We initially chose to book a trip to Denmark because John’s family lives there and it had been nearly twenty years since he had visited as a teenager. We enjoyed days and evenings with his aunt, cousins and grandmother. They were the best tour guides an American could get, and they did not disappoint! It was also nice to have the inside perspective, or VIP access is what some might call it 😉
After looking through all of our photos and trying to come up with a blog topic that would be both entertaining and insightful, it turns out there is wayyy more content than I expected. Therefore, I will publish four separate posts regarding this trip. Hopefully ya’ll are into travel!! 😉
Denmark is such a unique country that I felt it deserved its own post. Between the beautiful geography, cozy culture and being voted the happiest country in the world, I think anyone could find excitement and relaxation here!
Millennials Who Travel
I thought I’d start this post talking about why millennials would find this country worth the trip! It takes a full day of travel to get here, so here are my favorite things about Denmark:
1. Hygge – there’s just this cozy feeling about everywhere you go here that’s hard to describe. Candles, blankets, fireplaces, just the overall ambiance is relaxing.
2. Clean – Denmark is the cleanest foreign country I’ve been to so far. Their big city, Copenhagen, hosts hundreds and thousands of people, yet the air is fresh, the streets are clean and you feel very safe. Our hotel room required our room key to turn on the electricity, and most people travel by bike so the pollution is very low.
3. Water – any city near water is a must do for millennials like me who love boats. There are tons of options when it comes to getting out in the water – you can swim or get on a boat. Check out the GoBoat option, you can drive yourself through the beautiful canals on a small electric boat, complete with a table and room for 4-6 people. Bring a bottle of champagne and snacks, and you’re set up for an incredible time and view.
4. Bikes – this only applies to those who know how to ride a bicycle and can do so on at least an intermediate level (there’s a LOT of cyclists here as most commute for work using a bike- and many go FAST), but we absolutely LOVED touring the city by bicycle. We got to see so many things in a matter of hours. Google Maps has tons of great photo op spots tagged as well.
5. Shopping – if you’re into anything designer, you may find yourself some things for a little cheaper than they are in America. Not to mention, you can get tax back at the airport on your way out. I saved nearly $100 on a Gucci belt that I’d been wanting for forever. One of the store employees told me that in Europe many of the designer items are cheaper, especially if they are a European brand. I’m new to purchasing designer items, so this was an exciting little tidbit to learn!
6. Food – if you’re a foodie, you will NOT be disappointed here. There are TONS of incredible options, from wine to beer, tapas to 5 course meals. I am putting together a separate post on the food options we loved in Copenhagen. Stay tuned!
All in all, it was a wonderful experience for me as it was my very first time in Europe. The cleanliness, weather and variety of things to do truly made it such a wonderful trip. The family time made it that much more special as well. I feel so blessed!
Now, onto more things all about Denmark!
Many people in Denmark enjoy the company of others in the form of a gathering or party, whether it be with their family or close friends. A dinner party that lasts 4+ hours is common and this ties into the tradition of hygge. Most feel this word can’t be translated to english, but to me it means prioritizing a feeling of safety, calmness and closeness with your loved ones.
Candles, animal hyde and blankets typically sprinkle the environment wherever you go. At our hotel in Skodsborg, I felt they really displayed the idea of hygge with large oversized couches, soft music, books, candles and the fire places lit. It’s so cozy and some believe that it is a necessity, especially in the long, cold, dark winter months.
I also noticed that out in public, the Danes tend to keep to themselves. They are mostly friendly if approached, but they prefer to remain private and stay in their own lane. I can appreciate this and actually prefer not being bothered some days. Maybe I’m Danish afterall 😉
One thing I didn’t expect or even realize, is how beautiful this country is! The geography in Denmark is very serene and full of nature. Lining many of the roads, there are tall trees that become forests. The country is surrounded by water and has many beaches and swimming areas for both locals and tourists!
We actually did not swim only because we weren’t sure of the water temperature. Next time we’ll take a risk and jump right in!
But any destination close to or surrounded by water is where I like to be! It must have something to do with me being an Aquarius. 😉
The view from both of our hotels was beautiful. It’s also fun to note how the transportation can also include by water.
There’s a bridge (visible from the location in the picture above when you look to the far right) connecting Denmark to Sweden out of Oresund, a town just 25 minutes South of Copenhagen. We were unable to travel to our Swedish neighbor next door, but definitely plan to on our next trip!
Weather/Best Time To Visit
August is the best month to visit Denmark (in my opinion) because the temperatures are in the 60s/70s and there’s an abundance of sunshine and clear skies. Even with a breeze, it was never too cold when we were there! July is also a popular month to travel to Denmark as you can expect similar weather conditions.
Because Denmark is farther north, I suggest avoiding visiting the country in the colder seasons unless cold weather and less daylight is your thing. In the peak winter months, the sun only stays out for 7-8 hours and the temperatures hover around the 30s/40s.
The late summer months are best for exploring all of the beauty and liveliness of this cozy country!
Towns & Cities
During our trip, we visited 3 different cities including Copenhagen which will have its own post soon! The two towns I thought are worth visiting aside from Copenhagen, are Skodsborg and Helsingor.
Skodsborg is where Kurhotel sits, a comfortable and more traditional Danish hotel. This is a great location to stop for brunch on Sunday or a great lunch on the patio. The hotel faces the water with lots of sunshine and beautiful views. There’s also a spa inside the hotel, so if you are into day spas, massages or facials, this is a must do.
There’s also a restaurant inside the hotel, or you can check out the French restaurant just a few feet away. This town is very cozy and quaint and a great place to stop if you plan to tour other towns outside of the big city of Copenhagen.
Helsingor is another great local town just 40 minutes North of Copenhagen. There are many great things to explore, including the Kronborg castle, a state-of-the-art library, old shipyards, museums, a historical church, aquarium, an indoor food market and much more! This is a great spot for kids as well.
We toured the large and historic Kronborg castle. The dungeons underneath the castle were probably one of the more exciting things to see, but also really creepy. Also, there’s a tower we climbed to the very top where we had 360 views of Denmark. It was beautiful, but very windy!
The food market close to where you park for the castle (I’m not sure what the name of it is) has tons of great selections of food, including paninis, wines and beers. We ate there and also at the food shop inside the library where John tried traditional open-faced Danish sandwiches and some delicious sparkling wine.
Castles & Danish Royalty
Denmark is home to many castles and royal palaces, but some of the most noteworthy locations include Kronborg, Rosenborg and Amalienborg Palace.
Kronborg is a massive, historic castle situated in Helsingor that apparently set the stage as inspiration for Hamlet. This is a fun one to walk and we enjoyed touring the grounds ourselves (not on a guided tour).
There were dressed actors in the courtyard and all throughout the castle. They even had a puppet show! Again, this would be a great spot for kiddos. Their museum shop also has lots of cute souvenirs! I got some handmade Danish ornaments for a few loved ones.
Rosenborg is a castle in Copenhagen that we drove to on our bikes. We didn’t take the actual tour, but we walked around outside for a couple of minutes. The entrance to the castle was guarded by the royal guards and apparently, there are really expensive treasures inside, including three silver lions and royal crowns.
Beautiful gardens surround the castle, and in a green space behind the entrance, we observed what looked like guards in training doing many exercises, swinging their arms, doing cartwheels, push-ups, knee ups, it was quite a show!
Lastly, we walked through the Amalienborg Palace which was just steps away from our hotel – the Scandic Front. The current and historic home of the Danish royal family, this is an exciting place to visit because you get to see Danish guards up close.
When we were out shopping, we noticed the change of the guards taking place as the troops walk through the streets to switch duty.
Staying in Denmark
We stayed in two different hotels during our stay in Denmark. The first hotel was located close to family on a quiet bay about 30 minutes North of Copenhagen.
Kurhotel has gorgeous views of the water and a large green space that makes it tranquil and peaceful. The lobby and sitting areas are even more relaxing leaving you with a sense of hygge.
They offer a breakfast buffet every morning, and we loved getting lattes from the lobby bar. Their lunch options were also fantastic, and the weather made it incredibly nice to sit on the patio and enjoy the views.
We changed rooms after our first night because John prefers rooms on higher levels. 😉 Quick tip – if you ask the hotel if they have upgrade options, it’s best to do so when you arrive or during your stay vs booking ahead of time. Often times they upgrade us to a suite for free or for a much smaller fee than if we had booked it that way originally.
Both rooms had tall ceilings and plenty of room for the two of us. My biggest complaint would be that there was no A/C. The funny thing is you’d think I wanted A/C for temperature control, but really it just felt weird not having the air circulate and the noise of the air moving. It was so still and quiet at night. Even with the phone fan app, I still had a hard time sleeping.
It also could have been the jet lag. It took me a long time to adjust to the seven-hour ahead time change. I woke up around 2 or 3 most nights not really sure what to do. Sometimes I’d sit on my phone for a few hours until I wore myself out. I guess this just comes with the territory of traveling across the world!
My favorite part of the Kurhotel experience was the spa. I believe every guest has access to it, and it includes a large saltwater pool with several saunas and water experiences. There are dozens of spots to sit inside or outside and just relax. This was a really fun thing to do after a massage or spa service!
The second hotel we stayed at for the final two nights was the Scandic Front in Copenhagen. Location is the biggest benefit of staying at this hotel. We were walking or biking distance from all of our favorite things: Nyhavn, GoBoat Tour, historic castles, Tivoli and more.
Here we also upgraded the room to a suite situated on the sixth floor with incredible views of Langelinie pier, the Opera House, and the Royal Danish Playhouse. The windows opened up so we could breathe in the fresh air and listen to the people below enjoy a nice swim!
The pier was fun to hang out at, they have little food shops complete with selections of beer, wine, and cocktails. Music played in the afternoon and when we were there, a diving contest was taking place off the top of the Opera House.
Your stay includes a free breakfast buffet which I liked better than the Kurhotel. It had a larger selection and more foods I like 🙂 If we were to do it again, we would have stayed here a majority of the time.
The design is modern and very much like the style we are most familiar with. There were bikes available for rent for 100 Krone for 4 hours or 150 Krone for a full day. Next time, we will probably stay here and rent bikes practically every day. It’s so fun!
Denmark is seriously a blast!! I feel like it’s still a little under the radar, although its popularity is quickly rising! I hope it never gets too crowded or too busy.
There were a lot of tourists from all over the world when we visited, so I would bet that it will only continue to grow with tourism. There was a ton of construction going on, so as you can imagine, it is becoming a highly traveled city fast.
I couldn’t possibly go into detail on everything in one post, so stay tuned for more deets on our favorite places to eat, our favorite things to see and do in Copenhagen, and a travel guide on how to prepare for a big trip like this!
I learned a LOT of lessons this time, and with my anxiety, doing anything the first time, I have a hard time relaxing. But for me, Denmark was the perfect first-time European experience.
If you have any questions or suggestions when it comes to traveling to Denmark, please reach out in the comment section below!! I would LOVE to hear from you!!
P.S. a HUGE thank you to John’s family for accommodating us with delicious dinners, cherished family time, and for helping us tour Denmark (my first time, but John’s third in 20 years)! Can’t wait to be back soon!
Until next time, XXXO!