Your First Trip to Denmark
Revised March 29, 2006
Though few Americans put Denmark into their travel plans for their first trip to Europe, this beautiful county and its gracious citizens are worth whatever time you can give them. Like Belgium and the Netherlands, this country is filled with friendly people who speak English, making it easy to travel and engage in conversation as you vist the sights. It is a place where you should feel safe and welcome despite the uproar that was focused at Danish companies in the Middle East.
When you look at the globe, you will see how far north Denmark is and realize that you'll have long summer days if you visit in July or August. At those latitudes, it is likely that the days will not be hot and sunny but will be comfortable and occasionally cool.
You'll also realize that the fastest way to get from one place to another may be by ferry--though Jutland is at the northern tip of the European continent, many of the important cities are on islands. Copenhagen, the capital, for example, is only a short drive or ferry trip from Sweden.
You can visit the former home of the Danish royal family at Christianborg Palace. It is now used for official functions and can be visited by tourists. While at the palace you can visit the Danish Parliament and Supreme Court buildings, and Rosenborg Castle, a museum that houses royal memorabilia and the country's crown jewels.
Tivoli Gardens is the city's most famous attraction. Famed for its beautiful design and the lights that twinkle across the fantasy land at dusk, it has inspired imitations around the globe. But this is the original and, even if you weren't planning to visit a theme park while you are in Europe, this one is worth your time. Its open in the summer and during the winter holiday season, when it comes alive with the spirits of Christmas.
Many of us think of Hans Chistian Anderson when we think of Copenhagen. It is in the canal district of Nyhavn that you'll find the statue of the little mermaid and many tasty cafes to take a lunch or dinner break. If you are looking for souveniers continue on to Stroeget where you'll find a broad selection of Danish goods.
Like other capitals of Europe, Copenhagen has a rich collection of museums ranging from collections of art, cultural artifacts and historical museums. It also has a renowned ballet. If you enjoy the arts, you find much to entertain you in the capital of Denmark.
When you look at a map, you'll quickly realize that when you are in Copenhagen , you are closer to Sweden than you are to most of Denmark and you might want to add some additional time to your schedule to visit Stockholm and the surrounding countryside.
If either you or your children grew up with Legos, a detour to Billund is essential. While the toy company has expanded its theme parks to Britain, Germany and California, this is home of the original park and has the best collections of Lego Art. There are many campgrounds as well as hotels near this popular attraction. At Legos' Website, you can find information about the park and travel packages but you may save money if you book on your own and stay at a local campground.
Denmark is dotted with other amusement parks but Tivoli, Lego and Bakken, which is the oldest amusement park in the world, are the most popular. Similarly, the are more than 600 castles sprinkled throughout the country and you can tour almost one-third of them.
For many tourists, the castle they want to see is Kronberg, the castle where Hamlet was prince. Located not far from Copenhagen, this castle was a source of both protection and taxes as vessels moved from the North Sea to the Baltich Sea.
There are a number of campgrounds throughout Denmark. A space for a tent with two adults will run about $25 US; it will be more if you choose to stay in a cabin. The best site for information about camping in Denmark is Dk-Camp.DK, which represent about 60% of the private campgrounds in the country. If you are really trying to stretch your budget, there are forest campgrounds where you can pitch a tent for free. The government website that coordinates this program is iin Danish, but the map show you where there are campsites and it is likely that someone will respond to an English email.
A list of current events and activities in Denmark can be found at www.kultunaut.com .
Generally, citizens of Canada, Mexico and the United States do not need a visa for a brief visit to Denmark. If you are planning to work or study in Denmark or stay for more than 90 days, you need to the Denmark Listing at Worldgolf.com