14 Can’t-Miss Day Trips from Copenhagen (Castles, Cliffs, and More!)

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Copenhagen is one of the most exciting cities in Northern Europe. If you are planning a trip to the Danish capital, consider adding some day trips from Copenhagen to your itinerary, to also explore outside the city!

Whether you spend one day in Copenhagen or visit for a longer stay, there is no arguing that there are plenty of things to do in the city: it’s a must on any first-timer’s Scandinavia itinerary!

But visitors that enjoy history, architecture, (and castles!), and plan a longer stay, will also find exciting day trip destinations just outside Copenhagen to explore.

Need quick advice on the best tours from Copenhagen to book? Check out our top two day tour choices!

#1 Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen (covers Roskilde, Frederiksborg, and Kronborg) (500+ reviews, 5-star rating!)
#2 Lund and Malmö (plus Hamlet’s Castle, Øresund Bridge) (visit another country!)

Looking for the best places to stay in Copenhagen? Here are our top picks:

~ citizenM Copenhagen Radhuspladsen (4-star, central location, city views)
~ Copenhagen Admiral Hotel (waterfront location, close to sights!)

Nature lovers can enjoy hiking off-the-beaten path coastal cliffs, while travelers seeking to add another Scandinavian country to their visit can venture into nearby Sweden.

While having a car can add flexibility, you can do many exciting day trips from Copenhagen using the efficient public transport system, or take guided tours to maximize your sightseeing time.

Excited? Let’s get started discovering the best day trips from Copenhagen!

1. Frederiksborg Castle (Hillerød)

Love history and grand palaces? Then add a day trip from Copenhagen to Frederiksborg Slot to your itinerary!

Located in Hillerød, Denmark, Frederiksborg Castle is set on three islets in a lake. It is a stunning Danish royal residence complex!

Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerod, Denmark, is one of the easiest day trips from Copenhagen.
The impressive Frederiksborg Castle

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Frederiksborg Castle was built by King Christian IV in the early 17th century. The most extensive Renaissance complex in the Nordics, the castle was designed to show off Christian IV’s status and power.

After its completion, it served as a residence for the royal family for a century.

In the mid-19th century, a fire ravaged the castle, reducing many interiors to ashes and leaving just the outer walls standing in some places.

Brewer J. C. Jacobsen, the owner of the Carlsberg Group, funded the reconstruction of Frederiksborg Castle. In 1878, the castle became the home of the Museum of National History, managed by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Today you can tour the interior and stroll the gorgeous gardens.

The Museum of National History showcases five centuries of Danish history with a mix of exhibits that include paintings, furniture, portraits and more.

Frederiksborg Castle Chapel is a must-see. The chapel escaped the fire unscathed, and the beautifully embellished interior goes back to the time of Christian IV.

The interior of the Frederiksborg Castle Chapel is gorgeous!

Many Danish kings were anointed in the chapel, and it still functions as a parish church.

Also make sure to go through the chapel to the gorgeous King’s Oratory, re-created after the fire to look just as it did before.

The castle grounds and gardens are well worth wandering. There’s a fabulous Baroque Garden, with formal elements, and a charming English Garden, which features little lakes and a variety of plantings.

Frederiksborg Castle Grounds in Hillerod, Denmark
Mature trees on the castle grounds in the fall

Getting to Frederiksborg Castle from Copenhagen

Frederiksborg Castle is located in Hillerød, 35 kilometers (about 21 miles) from Copenhagen.

If you have a car, you can drive to the castle, but otherwise, the most convenient way to visit independently is by train.

Take the train from the central station, København H, to the town of Hillerød. There are several departures in both directions everyday, and the journey takes 38 minutes each way.

From the station in Hillerød, the castle complex is about a 20 minute walk (1.5 km or just under a mile). You can also take a taxi or the local bus.

If you prefer a guided tour, the Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen is an excellent option, especially if your time in Copenhagen is limited. The small-group tour includes Kronborg and Roskilde in addition to Frederiksborg Slot.

You’ll travel in an air-conditioned minivan, with the group size restricted to a maximum of 16 people (but often less).

Book the Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen guided tour now!

Looking for a rental car for your Copenhagen trip? Check out Discover Cars: they search across a wide range of local car rental companies for availability for your dates, and you can compare prices, reviews, and other details to make the best choice.

Check availability and prices at DiscoverCars!

2. Roskilde

Roskilde is located just about 30 minutes from Copenhagen, and is home not only to the magnificent Roskilde Cathedral, but also the historic Viking Ship Museum.

Without question, Roskilde is one of the easiest and best day trips from Copenhagen you can take!

Roskilde Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The historic cathedral, built in the 12th and 13th centuries, is the most important church in Denmark and has served as the final resting place of the Danish monarchs since the 15th century.

The Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen Denmark
The brick facade of the Roskilde Cathedral

Originally built as a Scandinavian Gothic cathedral, Roskilde Cathedral has a lovely red brick facade. It was one of the earliest structures built in the Brick Gothic style, a style that later became popular throughout Northern Europe.

The cathedral has been expanded and modified in the ensuing centuries, to accommodate an increasing number of chapels.

It now reflects several architectural styles, making it an architecturally unique structure in Denmark (and indeed in Europe).

Inside you will find many decorated chapels and royal tombs. The cathedral continues to be an active church today and sometimes holds concerts as well.

Interior of the Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Part of the interior of the Roskilde Cathedral

History enthusiasts will also want to visit the Viking Ship Museum, where you can see five original Viking ships recovered 60 years ago from the Roskilde Fjord in Skuldelev, just north of Roskilde.

The Viking Ship Hall in the museum is built around the five ships, and various exhibitions tell you more: how the ships were used, what life on board was like, and how the Vikings’ maritime sophistication led to their prowess in exploration.

The ships offer a fascinating look back at the Viking Age!

Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde Denmark
One of the ships in the Viking Ship Museum

Outdoor lovers may want to spend part of their day at the Skjoldungernes Land National Park, with its coastal bluffs, islands and islets, and salt meadows.

There are many hiking trails to walk in the park, and birdwatching is also popular.

Getting to Roskilde from Copenhagen

If you have a car, you can drive from Copenhagen to Roskilde, a distance of 35 kilometers (about 21 miles), in about 30 minutes.

If you want to visit independently using public transport, the train is very convenient. Catch it at the central station in Copenhagen: there are several departures in both directions everyday. The journey takes about 30 minutes each way.

From the station in Roskilde, the Roskilde Cathedral is about a 10-minute walk. From the cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum is about a 15-minute walk.

You can also start a walking tour of Skjoldungernes Land National Park from Roskilde, or rent a bike to explore for a couple of hours.

Looking to visit on a guided excursion from Copenhagen?

The Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen is a great tour option for Roskilde and also includes Kronborg and Frederiksborg Slot.

You’ll travel in an air-conditioned minivan, with the group size restricted to a maximum of 16 people (but often less).

Book the Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen guided tour now!

3. Kronborg Castle

Located in Helsingør, Kronborg Castle should be at the top of your list of day trips from Copenhagen, especially if you enjoy history and picturesque old towns.

The Elsinore of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kronborg Slot is a magnificent Renaissance structure strategically set at the narrowest part of the Øresund Sound between Denmark and Sweden. Ships going into the Baltic Sea had to pay dues at Kronborg.

The castle has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, Denmark
Kronborg Castle

Built as a fortress in the 15th century and significantly modified in the late 16th century by King Frederick II, Kronborg Castle has been both a royal residence and a stronghold. It is known for the many parties and banquets held at the court.

After a fire ravaged it in 1629, King Christian IV had it rebuilt. In 1658, the Swedes looted many of its treasures as trophies of war.

In the late 1700s, Kronborg Slot was turned into barracks for the army. In the 1920s, the army vacated the castle, following which it was restored and opened to the public.

Walking around Kronborg Slot today, you can’t help but feel like you are taking a walk through history. Don’t miss the statue of Holger the Dane, located in the crypts!

Holger the Dane in Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, Denmark
Holger the Dane in Kronborg Castle

You can join a guided tour of Kronborg Slot to learn as you explore. Three tours of different lengths are offered.

In the summer, the. castle hosts a Shakespeare Festival, and you can enjoy a performance if you have the time.

Other than the castle, allow for some time to wander the cute town of Helsingør (also known as Elsinore), with its picturesque streets.

The yellow and orange military buildings around the castle are home to shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Elsinore, Denmark
A cobbled street in Elsinore

Walk out to the water to see the ships in the sound. On a clear day, you can look across to Sweden on the other side.

Getting to Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen

Helsingør is about 46 kilometers (about 29 miles) north of Copenhagen. If you plan to drive yourself, the drive should take you about 40 minutes each way.

If you plan to visit on your own using public transport, catch the train to Helsingør from the central train station in Copenhagen. The train ride takes about 45 minutes each way, and there are several departures everyday.

From the train station in Helsingør, the castle is about a 15-20 minute walk.

If you are looking to visit on a guided tour, book a slot on the Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen, which also includes Roskilde and Frederiksborg Slot.

You’ll travel in an air-conditioned minivan, with the group size restricted to a maximum of 16 people (but often less).

Book the Grand Day Trip Around Copenhagen guided tour now!

4. Lund, Sweden

Lying just across the Öresund Strait from Copenhagen, the city of Lund in southern Sweden is one of the popular day trips from Copenhagen, especially inviting if you want another country to your trip!

Lund, Sweden
Old buildings in Lund

The Old Town makes for a great stroll, with its cobblestone streets and old houses.

Here you will find the gorgeous Lund Cathedral, consecrated in the 12th century. It is known for its astronomical clock, which “performs” at noon. The interior of the cathedral is elegant, and you can tour the crypts as well.

If you like churches, you’ll also want to step inside the All Saints Church. The interior is lovely, and if you are there when the organ is playing, you will be captivated.

All Saints Church in Lund, Sweden
All Saints Church

The Museum of Cultural History is an open-air museum that spans a couple of blocks and contains many historic structures, as well as lovely gardens for strolling. There are a number of exhibitions that showcase local history and cultures.

Garden enthusiasts will want to walk through the Lund Botanical Gardens, where you will find outdoor plantings as well as a hothouse with exotic tropical plants. There’s also a direct descendant of Newton’s famous apple tree!

Lund University was founded in the 17th century. The campus is worth strolling for the beautiful architecture and its lovely gardens.

Library, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
The library building at the University of Lund

The Museum of Sketches for Public Art is a fun place to visit if you are an art enthusiast. Here you will find preliminary sketches made by artists from all over the world, including Matisse and Diego Rivera.

Remember to pack your passport and other travel documents for this day trip!

Getting to Lund from Copenhagen

If you have a car, you can drive the 62.5 kilometers (about 39 miles) from Copenhagen to Lund in about 50 minutes. You’ll drive over the famous Øresund Bridge!

To arrive by public transport, catch the train to Lund Central from the central train station in Copenhagen. The journey takes about 50 minutes one way and there are numerous departures in both directions everyday.

Want to take a guided tour? This Hamlet and Sweden tour includes Helsingør and Kronborg Castle, along with the highlights of Lund and Malmö in Sweden. The small group full day tour is highly rated.

Book this tour of Elsinore, Lund, and Malmo now!

We use Omio to book train and bus travel in Europe. The website is in English and easy to navigate, and we’ve never had issues with using our US credit cards to pay.

Book your train and bus travel on Omio now!

5. Malmö, Sweden

Malmo, in southern Sweden, is the third-largest city in the country, after Stockholm and Gothenburg. It makes for a great day trip from Copenhagen if you’re looking to explore a city in another country.

Lilla Torg Malmo Sweden
The charming Little Square in Malmo

Malmö is an eclectic blend of old and new, and you’ll see fine examples of both historic architecture and modern buildings. The city was once part of Denmark!

Start your exploration of the Old Town in Stortorget, the main square in Malmo. Here you have a wealth of historic buildings to admire, including the town hall. At the center is the large equestrian statue of King Karl X Gustav.

Stroll the nearby Lilla Torg (Little Square), a charming square with shops and restaurants.

Gamla Väster is a picturesque part of the Old Town, so you’ll want to stop every few feet for pictures. The colorful old-style facades are really striking!

If you enjoy churches, stop by St. Peter’s, the oldest church in Malmo. The facade is red brick, and although the inside is somewhat spartan, it’s bright, and has a huge altarpiece.

St. Peter's Church in Malmo, Sweden
St. Peter’s Church

Snap photos of Malmo Castle. There are museums and an aquarium inside, but on a day trip you’ll just want to admire the castle from the outside.

If you’re visiting on a nice weather day, you may want to stroll Kungsparken, a large green space with fountains and statues. It’s especially beautiful in the fall.

And finally, you’ll want to snap photos of the HSB Turning Torso building, which turns a full 90 degrees between the ground floor and the 54th floor. You can’t go inside though.

The Turning Torso in Malmo, Sweden
The Turning Torso in Malmo

Getting to Malmo from Copenhagen

If you have a car, you can drive the 44.4 kilometers (about 27 miles) from Copenhagen to Malmo in about 45 minutes. You’ll drive over the famous Øresund Bridge.

To arrive by public transport, catch the train to Malmo Central from the central train station in Copenhagen. The journey takes about 39 minutes one way and there are numerous departures in both directions everyday.

Want to take a guided tour? This Hamlet and Sweden tour includes Helsingør and Kronborg Castle, along with the highlights of Lund and Malmö in Sweden. The small group full day tour is highly rated.

Book this tour of Elsinore, Lund, and Malmo now!

6. Cliffs of Møns Klint and Stevns Klint

For nature and landscape photography enthusiasts, the cliffs of Møns Klint and Stevns Klint make for one of the best day trips from Copenhagen.

Landscape at Mons Klint in Denmark
Mons Klint

You can visit one or the other, or combine the two on a day tour.

Møns Klint is a stretch of chalk cliff about 6 kilometers (just under 4 miles) long. It’s a spectacularly beautiful natural wonder near Copenhagen, and dates back 70 million years. Some of the cliffs are 120 meters (close to 400 feet) tall.

The sea bed is covered with lime deposits here from the crumbling cliff, making the waters look a particularly beautiful blue-green.

Mons Klint in Denmark
The waters of Mons Klint

Take a guided kayak or boat tour on the waters beneath the cliff to appreciate its beauty from the water. On land, you can walk, or join a horseback tour (on Icelandic ponies!) to explore the cliff.

You can also stroll the beach at the base of the cliffs to look for fossils.

Stevns Klint is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stevns Clint is a coastal chalk cliff about 15 kilometers (about 9 miles) long. The cliff is rich in fossils, and bears evidence of the impact of a meteorite that crashed into Earth many millions of years ago.

At Højerup, you can walk along the beach to view the dramatic cliffs of Stevns Klint from below, or you can walk along the cliff top along the Trampestien trail for spectacular views over the water. There’s a staircase that leads down on to the beach.

The Trampestien Trail runs from Bøgeskoven in the north to Rødvig in the south, a distance of 22 kilometers (a little less than 14 miles). Along the route you’ll pass the picturesque Højerup Old Church, and the Stevns Klint lighthouse.

A view of the Højerup Church along the cliff of Stevns Klint in Denmark.
A view of the Højerup Church

Of course you can walk a part of the trail, as far as you like, and then retrace your steps.

Note that parking is paid, and limited, so arrive early.

Getting to Mons Klint and Stevns Klint from Copenhagen

A car is the best way to visit the cliffs independently on a day trip.

Mons Klint is located 140 kilometers (about 87 miles) south of Copenhagen, and it should take you about one hour and 45 minutes each way.

Stevns Klint (Hojerup) is located 73.6 kilometers (just under 46 miles) south of Copenhagen, and the drive will take you about one hour each way.

Want to visit on a guided tour? This day tour takes about 7 to 8 hours, and you’ll visit Mons Klint and Forest Tower Camp Adventure.

Travel by minibus to admire the chalk cliffs and do a guided climb to one of the highest points in Denmark!

Book the guided tour to Mons Klint now!

7. Dragør

If you are looking for a relaxing day trip from Copenhagen, the quintessential Danish fishing village of Dragør should be on your radar!

Fishing used to be an important activity locally, especially fishing for herring. But when the fishing slowed down, Dragør, too, wound down from a busy port to a laid-back little village.

Located along the picturesque Amager Coast, Dragør makes for a wonderful wander, with its cobblestone streets, sleepy squares, colorful facades, thatched (or red tiled) roofs, and pretty gardens.

Dragør, Denmark makes for one of the most relaxing day trips from Copenhagen!
The charming village of Dragør

The pink and yellow half-timbered homes from the 18th century are so beautifully preserved!

The main street is lined with little shops and galleries to browse for souvenirs. For lunch, there are several good cafes and restaurants from which to choose.

Walk along the pretty waterfront, taking in the views of the sea and the rows of little boats. Admire the Øresund Bridge and look across the water to Sweden! There are eateries here too, if you wish to dine with a view of the water.

Boats in the harbor at Dragør, Denmark
Boats lined up in the water in Dragør

In the summer, locals in costume bring the past to life, and you can catch concerts, art shows, and food festivals.

Getting to Dragør from Copenhagen

Dragør is located 13.1 kilometers (about 8 miles ) from Copenhagen. You can drive to Dragør from Copenhagen if you have a car. The ride should take just about 20 minutes.

If you want to visit by public transport, you can take the bus. Bus number 350S will take you from the Copenhagen city center to Dragør in about 30 minutes.

You can also bike! Rent bicycles and bike through the Amager Common, Kongelunden Wood and along the coast. The Common is a lovely nature reserve and the entire ride is very scenic.

8. Odense

Located on the island of Funen, Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark, and there are lots of things to do here on a day trip from Copenhagen!

A cobbled street in Old Tow Odense, Denmark
The Old Town is picturesque!

Odense is most well-known for being the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen. Carl Nielsen, the Danish composer, was also born here.

Visiting the house where Hans Christian Andersen was born is naturally one of the top things to do in Odense. The quaint home is now a museum, and displays the interior as it was when Andersen lived here. You’ll see some of his drawings and manuscripts here.

You can also visit the home where he lived as a young boy and into his early teens. The tiny half-timbered house has been restored to look like it was when Andersen lived here.

Hans Christian Andersen house in Odense, Denmark
Hans Christian Andersen house in Odense

Stroll the Funen Village, an open-air collection of historic buildings from around the island, where you can watch staff in costumes perform activities from the times of Hans Christian Andersen and step inside some of the homes.

Railway enthusiasts will want to visit the Danish Railway Museum, the largest in the country. There are close to two dozen tracks, with lots of old engines and carriages, including royal carriages.

The Odense Cathedral, also known at St. Canute’s Cathedral, is named for the Danish King Canute the Saint. A fine example of Brick Gothic architecture, the church stands in a stroll-worthy plaza that is also home to the town hall.

St. Canute's Cathedral in Odense, Denmark
St. Canute’s Cathedral

History lovers may want to visit the Møntergården Museum, housed in a former mint. The complex of buildings features interiors from different periods.

Families with kids must check out the The Tinderbox Culture Centre for Children to enjoy a plethora of games, costumes, and interactive exhibits related to Hans Christian Andersen’s works.

Getting to Odense from Copenhagen

Odense is 164 kilometers (102 miles) from Copenhagen. If you have a car, the drive takes just under 2 hours each way.

The train is a convenient way to visit Odense from Copenhagen. The journey takes about one hour and 20 minutes by the express train and about one hour and 40 minutes by the InterCity train.

There are numerous departures in both directions every day.

From the train station in Odense, St. Canute’s Cathedral is about a 10-minute walk.

Use the Odense Light Rail to travel to various sights in the city.

9. Egeskov Castle

Egeskov Castle is located not far from Odense, but it merits a day trip from Copenhagen all on its own, because there’s a lot to see and do here. If you have a car, and you want to combine a visit to Egeskov Castle with Odense, get an early start!

One of the best-preserved castles with a moat in Europe, Egeskov Slot was completed in the mid 16th century. Built by Frands Brockenhuus, a Danish diplomat, the castle is enormous, with more than five dozen rooms.

The castle is built on oak timbers set on a little lake.

Egeskov Castle in Denmark
Egeskov Castle sits in the middle of a lake

The grounds and gardens of the castle are gorgeous and worth a visit in their own right. There is a Baroque Garden and a Renaissance Garden, plus many other structured gardens. Fuchsias offer a dazzling display when in bloom.

The gardens feature four mazes, and each season has its own garden. There are also play areas for kids, with a rope walk and a suspension bridge.

Egeskov Castle and Gardens in Denmark
A formal garden at Egeskov Castle

You’ll also find many museums to browse, including one for vintage cars, airplanes, and motorcycles.

The castle is actually occupied, but you can still visit quite a bit of the interior on a self-guided tour. Inside, while many of the rooms are interesting, one definite highlight is Titania’s Palace, a doll house that features thousands of components.

You will also find collections of porcelain and toys, and some old kitchen equipment.

Getting to Egeskov Castle from Copenhagen

Egeskov Castle is located in Kværndrup, about a 30-minute drive from Odense.

If you have a car, you can drive from Copenhagen to Egeskov Castle in about 2 hours. The distance is 166 kilometers (about 103 miles).

Public transport is not very convenient for a day visit, but you can arrive by train and bus. From the central station in Copenhagen, take the train to Nyborg (about one hour and 15 minutes) and the bus from Nyborg to the castle (about 1 hour and 10 minutes).

From the bus stop, it’s a short walk to the castle, about 8 minutes.

10. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Located along the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk, north of Copenhagen. the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a popular day trip destination for art enthusiasts visiting the Danish capital.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in  Humlebæk, Denmark
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is worth visiting for the art and the architecture

If you’re wondering about the name, it derives from the names of the three wives of the original owner of the property. All three wives wee called Louise!

The museum was established in 1958 by Knud W. Jensen, the owner of the property at that time, originally as a museum of Danish modern art, but over time it has become a repository of many international works.

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art holds several exhibitions of significance through the year. It’s considered a venue of import and attracts artists of high caliber.

You’ll want to visit not only for the art, but also for the architecture and the grounds.

The building is a fine example of the Danish Modernist style, and blends in perfectly with its surroundings. The intent was to make visitors feel like they were taking a “covered stroll” through a park.

The grounds contain an outdoor sculpture park with close to four dozen sculptures. The pieces are strategically placed so as to interact with their surroundings. From the grounds, you have nice views of the sound as well.

The museum is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed Mondays.

Getting to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art from Copenhagen

The museum is located in Humlebæk, 39 kilometers (about 24 miles) north of Copenhagen. If you have a car, you can drive from Copenhagen to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in about 35 minutes.

You can also arrive by train or by bus. Take the train to Humlebæk Station from the central station in Copenhagen. The journey is about 35 minutes each way, with plenty of departures in both directions everyday.

From the train station, it is about a 10-minute walk to the museum.

You can also take the bus (numbers 185 and 388), but the journey is somewhat longer, for a travel time of about one hour and 40 minutes each way.

11. Aarhus

Aarhus, on the eastern shore of Jutland, is a little further out from Copenhagen, but the second-largest city in Denmark is still worth a day trip from Copenhagen if that’s all the time you can spare in your itinerary.

Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is a must-visit in Aarhus. The open sir museum preserves about 75 historic buildings, collected from towns around the country. You can step inside some of the buildings: some feature period furnishings and decor.

Aarhus Old Town, Denmark
Old half-timbered houses in Aarhus Old Town

The half-timbered structures look very picturesque and the museum is a wonderful stroll on a nice weather day.

The Aarhus Cathedral is beautiful, with a brick facade and a bright and airy interior. You’ll see models of ships hanging from the ceiling and the organ is stunning.

The cathedral is said to be the longest cathedral in Denmark.

Aarhus Cathedral in Denmark
Aarhus Cathedral

The ARoS Aarhus Art Museum is a must-visit, for the rainbow walk at the top of the building, and the wonderful collection of art, including the famous “Boy” sculpture by Australian sculptor Ron Mueck.

If you enjoy museums, also make time for the Moesgaard Museum, a history museum with a difference. It is known for its stunning architecture, the beauty of its setting, and the cutting-edge design of its exhibitions.

Garden lovers will definitely want to stroll the Botanical Gardens, which features greenhouses that cover four climate zones.

Møllestien is a charming residential street in the city center that’s a must-stroll for great photos! With colorful facades, cobblestones, and pretty gardens, the street is a photographer’s dream.

A street in Aarhus Denmark
A photographer’s dream!

The Aarhus Central Food Market is a great place to grab some delicious eats. There’s seating outside, so you can bring your food outside if the weather is nice.

Getting to Aarhus from Copenhagen

If you have a car, you can drive from Copenhagen to Aarhus in about 3 hours.

We suggest taking the train. The journey from the central station in Copenhagen to Aarhus takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes on the fastest trains. There are numerous departures in both directions every day.

From the station, you can walk to Den Gamle By in about 20 minutes, or take the local bus.

12. Fredensborg Palace, Fredensborg

Fredensborg Palace is only open to the public for a few weeks in the summer each year, but if you visit Copenhagen during that time and you love grand palaces, this is one of the day trips from Copenhagen you have to consider!

You can still visit the rest of the year to enjoy the gorgeous grounds, which include the Palace Gardens, the Baroque Gardens, and The Valley of the Norsemen. The gardens and grounds on their own make for a lovely visit.

In July each year, you can also enjoy guided tours of the interior of the palace and the private palace gardens. English language tours generally occur in the early afternoons.

Built as a summer home of the Danish royal family, Fredensborg Palace dates back to the early part of the 18th century. From weddings to milestone anniversaries and more, Fredensborg Slot has been the venue for many significant royal events.

Fredensborg Palace in Fredensborg, Denmark
Fredensborg Palace

Set in the forests of North Zealand, Fredensborg Palace has been modified and re-decorated many times. The current queen uses the palace as a residence several months of the year.

Danish royals have hosted international heads of state at the palace, and there’s a unique tradition guests follow: they scratch their names and the dates of their visit into a window pane in the palace. There are more than 200 signatures on record.

Inside the palace the Dome Hall is gorgeous. The marble floor, patterned in stars, has one deliberate defect in it!

The gardens of the palace are stunning. The Baroque Gardens were modeled after Versailles. They feature expanses of lawn, formal boxwood hedges, and rows of linden trees, along with statuary.

An alley of trees at the Fredensborg Palace Gardens in Fredensborg, Denmark
An alley of trees at the Fredensborg Palace Gardens

The private gardens include a lovely rose garden, as well as beds of perennials, a playhouse for the royal children, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, and an orangery.

Don’t miss the Valley of the Norsemen, a sculpture garden that features seventy statues of Norwegian and Faroese farmers and fishermen. It is a fascinating peek into the past.

Apart from the palace and gardens, the town of Fredensborg makes for a nice wander, with specialty shops and eateries along the main street.

Outdoor lovers can also visit Lake Esrum, very near the town. A former pleasure lake for the Danish royals, Lake Esrum is Denmark’s second-largest lake, with clear water perfect for swimming in the summer.

Getting to Fredensborg from Copenhagen

Fredensborg Palace is located in Fredensborg, 37.7 kilometers (about 23.5 miles) north of Copenhagen. If you have a car, you can drive to Fredensborg from Copenhagen in about 35 minutes.

To arrive by public transport, you’ll need to take the train. Take the train from the Central Station in Copenhagen to Hillerød, from where you can catch the Lille Nord train to Fredensborg. The total journey time one way is about one hour.

13. Lyngby Open Air Museum + Hermitage Hunting Lodge

The open air museum (Frilandsmuseet) in Kongens Lyngby is one of the oldest such museums, and one of the largest in the world. It makes for a fascinating peek into Denmark’s past.

A historic stable building in open air museum in Denmark
A stable building

While you can visit the museum on its own on a day trip from Copenhagen, we’ve included the Hermitage Hunting Lodge, a historic building located nearby.

Frilandsmuseet is spread over 80+ acres and is an aggregation of over four dozen farm buildings, homes, and mills, spanning the period from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 20th century.

Buildings originate from all over Denmark, and have been set in surroundings that emulate the original, so you can really see what the rural landscape was like in the time.

The experience is very interactive: you’ll see volunteers dressed in costumes and performing activities as the inhabitants would have done, and you can get involved as well!

The museum is also home to several historic gardens, with flowers, fruit trees, and other useful plants. There are also several watermills and some windmills to photograph!

Windmill at the Kongens Lyngby Open Air Museum in Denmark
A historic windmill in the Open Air Museum

The Hermitage Hunting Lodge is a royal hunting lodge located in Dyrehaven, a short drive from the museum. It has a stunning hilltop location with views of the Øresund Sound.

The Hermitage Palace was built in the first half of the 18th century for King Christian IV. The palace is built in late Baroque style, and lavishly decorated.

Hermitage Hunting Lodge near Lyngby in Denmark
Hermitage Hunting Lodge

The surrounding Deer Park, a hunting landscape, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Hermitage Hunting Lodge is only open to the public from June 1 until August 31 each year, when guided tours of the interior are offered. Tours in English occur every Saturday afternoon.

Getting to Frilandsmuseet and the Hermitage Lodge from Copenhagen

Frilandsmuseet is located in Kongens Lyngby, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of Copenhagen. If you have a car, you can drive there from Copenhagen in just under 20 minutes.

If you want to use public transport, the train is very convenient. The journey from the central station in Copenhagen to Kongen Lyngby takes under 20 minutes and there are many departures in both directions each day.

If you do not have a car, but want to visit the Hermitage Lodge, take the local bus (about a 40-minute ride) or a taxi from Lyngby.

To return to Copenhagen from the lodge, catch the S-Train at the Klampenborg Station.

14. Dragsholm Castle

Built by the Bishop of Roskilde in the 12th century, Dragsholm Castle now houses a Michelin-starred restaurant and makes for a fun day excursion from Copenhagen. It also offers rooms if you want to spend a night in the castle!

Dragsholm Castle in Denmark
Dragsholm Castle has a Michelin-starred restaurant for lunch!

In the 16th century, Dragsholm Castle came under the Danish crown, and functioned as a prison for upper-class prisoners for a few decades. Prisoners here included the last Bishop of Roskilde, whose ancestor had built the castle.

Dragsholm Castle was destroyed during the war with the Swedes. It was then bought by Frederik Christian Adeler, a nobleman, who rebuilt it in the Baroque style.

When the line of succession ran out, the castle was eventually sold again, and the new owners converted it into a luxury hotel.

Dragsholm Castle is reportedly “the most haunted castle” in Denmark, with several dozen ghosts in residence, including a Lady in White.

On a visit to Dragsholm Castle, you can tour the public spaces in the castle and stroll the lovely gardens. The castle is set in the midst of agricultural land, and you can see the water from the castle and its grounds.

The restaurant here is called Slotskøkkenet, The Castle Kitchen. Be sure to have lunch here when you visit!

Getting to Dragsholm Slot from Copenhagen

Dragsholm Castle is located 89.4 kilometers (about 55 miles) from Copenhagen.

If you have a car, driving is the most convenient option for getting to the castle for the day. The drive takes about one hour and 15 minutes each way.

You can also arrive by a combination of train and bus, but it takes much longer, about 3 hours each way, leaving you with much less time to explore at the castle on a day trip. But if you leave early, it’s still doable!

Map of the Best Day Trips from Copenhagen

Explore More in Scandinavia!

Planning a trip to Scandinavia? We have lots of information to help you plan your itinerary!

Check out our Scandinavia itinerary, ideal for first-timers looking to get a solid introduction to the region. The itinerary covers Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, with an option to add one day in Helsinki, Finland.

We have an in-depth article on how to spend one day in Copenhagen. It covers the most iconic sights in the Danish capital in one very busy but very satisfying day!

Also check out our one day in Stockholm itinerary, and, for more inspiration, our round-up of the best things to do in Stockholm if you are planning a longer stay.

We have an article on the subway art in Stockholm, one on Skogskyrkogården, a woodland cemetery in Stockholm that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also check out our article on visiting Drottningholm Palace on a day trip from Stockholm.

Discover what to do in one day in Bergen, the gateway to the stunning Norwegian fjords, including a detailed description of the Fløibanen, the funicular to the top of Mt. Floyen.

We also have a post on the best things to do in Stavanger, Norway, known for its proximity to iconic hikes like the one to the top of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock).

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Discover the best day trips from Copenhagen, Denmark. Admire fabulous castles, discover stunning chalk cliffs, visit charming villages, and even travel to another country, Sweden!

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Dhara's travel interests are eclectic, spanning everything from natural wonders to history, culture, art and architecture. She has visited 22 countries, many more than once, plus almost all 50 states of the USA, and has amassed a hoard of cherished travel moments.

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