Interrail in Denmark: the ultimate country guide
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Denmark is easily one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. Linked to its neighbour Sweden by way of the Oresund Bridge, it has quaint coastal towns, incredible architecture and delicious cuisine to indulge in.
With so much to see and do in Denmark, you could easily spend a weekend or more exploring it. Whether you spend your time strolling the cobbled streets of Copenhagen, tucking into a Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) in Aarhus or heading further afield to one of its five national parks, you won’t be lost for activities.
It’s also the perfect getaway for those wanting to interrail due to the inexpensive and very accessible public transport. Often hailed as one of the easiest places to get around by train, you can buy your tickets online or at the train stations on the day of travel. So whether you explore Denmark on its own through the One Country Pass, or add it onto a trip across multiple European countries (which the Global Pass is perfect for!) you can enjoy flexible travelling without breaking the bank.
Even though it’s the smallest Scandinavian country, it consists of an incredible 1,419 islands – 78 of which are inhabited and have a population of over 5 million. It also has a changeable climate due to its location, with low temperatures in the winter months and mild weather in the summer.
So what are the top cities that you should visit when interrailing in Denmark? Here is a list of our favourite four to help you plan your unforgettable trip.
The top 4 cities to visit in Denmark
Denmark’s breathtaking capital, Copenhagen is visited by over 3 million tourists per year, and it’s not hard to see why. From the moment you arrive at Copenhagen Central Station, you’ll be in awe of its beauty. Situated on the coastal islands of Amager and Zealand, it’s a favourite of interrailers due to its captivating scenery and abundance of attractions.
For example, Nyhavn. A 17th-century waterfront located in the east of the city, it has pastel-hued houses, bars, cafes and restaurants. With a buzzing atmosphere, it embodies Copenhagen’s beauty at its finest. It also features a building that was once home to the beloved fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen and a harbour that canal tours frequently go from.
Another top attraction in the city is Tivoli Gardens. A charming amusement park, it’s over 175 years old. Perfect for all ages, not only does it have one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters, but beautiful architecture, quaint shops and awe-inspiring scenery. Even though it’s not the cheapest to get into (with adult tickets just under £20), it will be one of the most unique amusement parks that you’re ever going to visit.
Arguably the most iconic attraction to come out of Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid statue. A bronze statue created by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen, it depicts a mermaid sitting on a rock looking out towards the sea. Located by the waterside of the Langelinie promenade, it’s a top attraction for anyone visiting the city due to the popularity of the story.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat during your trip to Copenhagen, then why not stop off at the Lille Bakery? Once a warehouse, this magnificent building is now home to a bakery that offers delicious Danish pork sausage rolls, fresh fish and homemade bread.
Alternatively, you might want to indulge in a refreshing tipple. Although there are plenty of bars and cafes to choose from, a favourite of both tourists and locals alike is Den Vandrette. A cosy, candlelit wine bar situated just round the corner from Nyhavn, it has a wide selection of natural wines to choose from; as well as mouth-watering Nordic delights such as scallops and smoked celeriac.
The largest city on the Jutland peninsula, Aarhus is a hidden gem. A mixture of modern and historic architecture, the variety of things to do here makes it a popular place to visit by both Danish natives and tourists. Just under three hours away from Copenhagen by train, it’s well worth the trip for anyone looking for the vibe of Copenhagen, without the busyness of the capital.
An elegant mix of small- town charm and a bustling city, it has a collection of sumptuous restaurants, vibrant bars and numerous attractions to keep you busy. One of the most popular places to live in Denmark due to the variety on offer here, it’s a must-see for those interrailing around the country. It also has a lively cultural scene, with world-class museums such as the Moesgaard, ARoS and Den Gamle By.
The latter being one of the most popular attractions in the city. Den Gamle By is a large open-air museum showcasing what Danish life looked like in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. An interactive experience, there are 75 historic buildings to see and a large cast of actors retelling the social history of the era.
On the other end of the spectrum is ARoS. Dating back to 1859, it’s one of Europe’s largest art museums. In its nine exhibition spaces, there is an extensive selection of 19th Century Danish works and several temporary exhibitions showcasing architecture, film, sculpture and more. There’s even a rainbow-coloured circular viewing platform boasting incredible views of the city.
And finally, the Tivoli Friheden. Located within the Marselisborg Forest, this extraordinary amusement park has 44 rides including four rollercoasters, a 5D cinema, and several restaurants to enjoy. Offering something for everyone, this huge amusement park should be on your list of things to do when in Aarhus.
If you get peckish throughout your time in Aarhus, there is a range of both international and native restaurants for you to try. For the former, head over to Burger Boom. Located in the heart of the city, it’s affordable and the perfect spot to refuel after a day of exploring.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling like something a little more authentic, then Restaurant Klokken is ideal. With beautiful decor and a cosy atmosphere, this Danish restaurant might have a small menu but every dish on it is delectable.
The third largest city in Denmark, Odense is full of culture and history. The birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the fairytale-like feel to the city makes it feel like you’re stepping back in time.
With characterful streets, friendly locals and a unique list of attractions to take delight in, you won’t run out of things to see there. It’s also only 167km from Copenhagen and less than 2 hours from Aarhus, making it a great place to visit for a day or several throughout your Danish getaway.
So what are the top things to see and do there? Well, firstly there are several flea markets that pop up all around the city. Although this might not initially seem like it should be a top attraction, the variety of things they have on offer at them makes it a great activity to do for those with all budgets and tastes.
For those looking for something a little more traditional, you can visit the Old Town in the east of the city. Dating back to medieval times, this beautifully-preserved neighbourhood has cobbled streets and colourful houses that are Instagram worthy.
And last but not least is Hans Christian Andersen’s house. A small, yellow house in the city, it’s now a museum dedicated to the beloved writer that tells the story of Andersen’s treasured tales including the Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid that’s surrounded by enchanting gardens.
Food-wise there’s lots to choose from, from Restaurant Flammen (a popular steakhouse), to the more casual Eydes Gastro Pub. No matter whether you have a craving for Danish, Japanese, French or another type of cuisine, Odense is abundant with options.
The final Danish destination we recommend you visit is Skagen. This magical coastal town is located at the north of the Jutland peninsula. Busiest during the summer due to its picturesque beach and mild climate, this port town has a relaxed feel that gives off a different vibe to the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen.
The ultimate place to visit for art lovers due to its museum and distinct trademark house paint (‘Skagen yellow’), the beauty of the town makes it easy to see why so many artists made it their muse. And for those history buffs, the Local History Archive is well worth a trip. Set within the former courthouse, it illustrates the maritime history of the town.
If you’re looking for a relaxing activity during your trip to Skagen, then you could alternatively head over to the stunning Grenen Beach in the northeastern outskirts of the town. About an hour’s walk from its centre, this beach not only offers natural beauty, but gives you the opportunity to see WWII bunkers during your walk along it.
In the centre of Skagen, there are lots of different eateries and bars to frequent during your stay. For example, there’s Highway 66, an American diner that’s guaranteed to whet the appetite. Or for those that love seafood, Skagen Fiskerestaurant will tantalise the tastebuds.
People who visit Denmark also visit...
Which Interrail pass do I need to travel around Denmark?
Interrail Global Pass
Interrail Denmark Pass
Do I need to make train seat reservations in Denmark?
Reservations are required for SJ high-speed trains, InterCityExpress trains (to and from Germany), and SJ Euronight trains.
Reservations aren’t required on InterCity (IC), EuroCity (EC) or InterCityLyn (ICL) trains but it is recommended for longer journeys during busier periods.
Where to stay in Denmark
Woodah Boutique Hostel - Copenhagen
Book1 Design Hostel - Aarhus
Danhostel City - Odense
Skagen Bo Godt Kirkevej - Skagen
Events in Denmark
Copenhagen Light Festival
Hans Christian Andersen Festival - Odense
Read more about Denmark on our blog
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