There are so many amazing day trips from Copenhagen – one is spoilt for choice. We have curated a list of best Copenhagen day trips to get you started.
If you want to know any country well, walk outside of its capital to its little old towns. They hide a lot of history, beauty, and much more.
Best Day Trips from Copenhagen
Okay. One of the most epic places to visit in Europe with kids, Copenhagen also happens to be one of my most favorite cities in the world. We spent a magical 3 days in Copenhagen and loved everything about it.
How can you not? It’s one of the happiest cities in the world, after all.
That said, you’d really not want to leave Copenhagen even for a minute (I can relate) but once you do, you’ll be glad. From stunning historic castles, beautiful coastal towns, unique natural treasures to iconic cities – there’s a world waiting to be explored outside Copenhagen.
And, the best thing ever – You can day date another country from Copenhagen in less than an hour. How cool is that!
Yes, Sweden is just a beautiful bridge away! I find it amazing when it just takes a day trip to tick another country off your list 🙂 Like we explored Bratislava, Slovakia as a day trip from Vienna, Austria. You’ll definitely relate to this if, like me, you have got a goal to strike every country in the world off your bucket list.
Read More: Best Day Trips from Vienna, Austria
We recommend you rent a car to explore places around Copenhagen though you can easily take most of these day trips by public transport. If you don’t have any experience of renting a car in Europe, our guide to renting a car in Europe will come handy for you.
If you plan to use public transport, booking accommodation near to the city center is helpful. Check out this list of best hotels in Copenhagen City Center.
Andersen Boutique Hotel, just 200 m from Copenhagen Central Station is, rated highly for families with kids.
Without further ado, let’s explore the destinations that make for amazing day trips from Copenhagen!
#1 Dragør (Drah-were)
Distance: 8 miles (13 km)
Driving Time: 25 minutes
Recommended Stops/Highlights: Kastrup Sea Bath, Den Blå Planet
What to See and Do: Dragør Havn, Amager Museum, Dragør Museum, Lodsmuseum, Mølsted Museum, Dragør Fort, Dragør Søbad
What and Where to Eat: Organic ice-cream at Nam Nam Is, smoked herring at Dragør Røgeri with beautiful views of Øresund Bridge
How to Get There: By car via Englandsvej, by bike via route 221, take a bus 29 from Copenhagen (Nørreport) and change to the bus 250S at Tårnby, by bus 35 from Kastrup airport
One of the most charming and best day trips from Copenhagen, Dragør is an utterly cute Danish fishing village on an island of Amager with a rich history dating back to the 12th-century with remarkable Dutch heritage.
You’ll be taken back in time as you stroll the narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional red-colored thatched roof houses from the 18th-century. The lilacs add a touch of magic to the entire setting.
If you want to wander around the Old Town or just sit by Dragør Havn all day – that’s perfectly normal because Dragør urges you to slow down and enjoy the moment.
It’s a crime to miss Den Blå Planet (National Aquarium Denmark) if you are traveling with kids. It’s famed as Northern Europe’s largest aquarium. We visited the aquarium on our way to Dragør.
#2 Aarhus (Or-hoose)
Distance: 116 miles (187 km)
Driving Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Recommended Stops/Highlights: Roskilde
What to See and Do: Aarhus Harbour, Den Gamle By, AroS (Aarhus Art Museum), Tivoli Friheden, Mollestein Street, Latin Quarter, Aarhus Ø, Aarhus City Hall, Moesgaard Museum, Old Town Open Air Museum, Infinite Bridge (Den Uendelige Bro), Marselisborg Castle, Tivoli Friheden, Aarhus Botanical Garden
What and Where to Eat: Local food at Aarhus Street Food Market
How to Get There: By car via E20 and E45, by Flixbus, by train, by ferry, by ferry + bus, by ferry + car
Aarhus is a charmer! This little cozy Danish town is located on the eastern coast of the Jutland peninsula. With all the attractions spread along the pristine coastline into the woodlands around Aarhus, it’s easy to see it all on a day trip.
Most travelers, like us, visit Aarhus for its most iconic attraction, AroS, and, it’s a real experience walking the Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson. But in all honesty, the city is so much more beyond AroS. You don’t just explore but feel it.
You can’t miss the unique building complex, the Iceberg in Aarhus Ø.
Read More: 31 Best European Road Trips You Must Take
#3 Malmö, Sweden (Mal-Moh)
Distance: 26 miles (42 km)
Driving Time: 35 minutes
Highlights: Øresund Bridge
What to See and Do: Turning Torso, Malmöhus Castle, Folkets Park, Stortorget Square, Malmö Konsthall, St. Peter’s Church, Kungsparken, Slottsträdgården, Lilla Torg, Malmö City Hall
What and Where to Eat: Pink Head Noodle Bar at Malmö Saluhall (Food Court), Falafel at Mollans, Saltimporten Canteen, Enjoy Swedish Fika at Atrium and Konditori Hollandia
How to Get There: By car via Öresund Bridge, by train, by Flixbus, Nettbuss, or Gråhundbus
Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city that cradles about 150 nationalities in its bosom. Øresund Bridge, fondly known as ‘The Bridge‘ by the lovers of the BBC show ‘Nordic Noir’ takes you from Copenhagen to Malmö in a jiffy. You can explore a new country by taking a 30-minutes ride across a bridge!
Malmö is a beautifully compact city with all the attractions packed within a walking distance. A modern city with a small-town vibe is best seen on a leisurely stroll along its cobbled streets.
As you wander around the Malmö Old Town (Gamla Staden), it’s invariable to arrive at the historic market square of Stortorget at some point. The square lays out the beautiful 16th-century architecture with Saint Peter’s Church, Malmö Rådhus (Old Town Hall), St. Gertrud Quarter, and Malmö´s oldest pharmacy as prime attractions.
Lilla Torg is another little square known for its charming cafés, restaurants, and bars. Malmöhus Castle, the oldest castle in Scandinavia is a must-see attraction in Malmö. If you are keen to learn more about Swedish culture, Modern Art Museum, Malmö Konsthall, and Malmö Opera should be on your list.
Another unmissable attraction in Malmö is Turning Torso, the tallest building in Scandinavia located right in the heart of the chic neighborhood of Västra Hamnen.
You can combine a trip to Lund along with Malmö as it’s just about 20 minutes away.
#4 Lund, Sweden (Lu-u-nd)
Distance: 38 miles (62 km)
Driving Time: 1 hour
Recommended Stops/Highlights: Malmö, Jakriborg
What to See and Do: Lund Cathedral, North Cemetery, Botanical Garden, Kulturen, Stadsparken, Lund University, Historical Museum, Högevall, Rinnebäck, Flyinge Equestrian Center, Skissernas Museum, Trollskogen, Skryllegården, Skåneleden trail, Häckeberga Castle
What and Where to Eat: Falafel at Lundafalafel; coffee and cinnamon buns (perfect fika) at Broder Jakobs Stenugnsbageri and Coffee Break; Mediterranean food at Hummus Bar; Swedish cuisine at Klostergatans vin- & delikatess; Pizza at Restaurang La Cucina; Vegan food at Vegeriet and TrueFood Lund
How to Get There: By car via E20; by train from København H train station to Lund Central Station
We drove a little further from Malmö to Lund in Skåne County, the second oldest city in Sweden better known for its university. Lund University is one of the oldest, largest, finest, and renowned institutions in Northern Europe. You’ll be surprised to discover that this little university town has embraced the innovative design and architecture without sacrificing its old-world charm.
And, just around the corner are charming beech forests (Trollskogen) and canola fields with loads of hiking and cycling trails.
#5 Ystad, Sweden (Ys-tad)
Distance: 57 miles (93 km)
Driving Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Recommended Stops: Malmo
What to See and Do: Ales Stenar, Ystads Teater, St Knut’s Square, St. Mary’s Church, Greyfriars Abbey, Ystad Saltsjöbad, Marsvinsholm Slott, Ystad Animal Park, Cineteket – Ystad’s Film Museum, Sandhammaren Beach
What and Where to Eat: Sandwiches at Maltes Mackor; Local cuisine at Villa Strandvägen; Homemade ice-cream at Glassmakeriet
How to Get There: Driving is the best option to travel from Copenhagen to Ystad as direct DSB trains between Copenhagen and Ystad are sparse, you can take Øtåg (departs every 20 minutes) from Copenhagen to Malmo and change to Pågatåg (departs every 30 minutes) from Malmo to Ystad
Wallander TV Series put the little cute town of Ystad on the map.
Join one of the Wallander guided tours or just stroll down the narrow cobbled streets studded with pastel-tinged half-timbered medieval houses and historic squares to explore the town and its fascinating history.
Ystad is a beautiful gateway to the Skåne countryside. You can keep Ystad as a base to explore the stunning countryside on its doorstep.
If you choose to stay in Ystad for a day or two (which I definitely recommend) then you can explore some of the gems of Scandinavia.
Denmark’s beloved Sunshine island in the Baltic Sea, Bornholm is as pretty as it can get. The Danish island with its stunning landscape featuring pretty fishing towns and villages, lush woodland, rugged cliffs, white sandy beaches, sunny weather, the laid-back vibe, and culinary extraordinaire is an 80-minute ferry away from Ystad.
#6 Hillerød (Hille-rod)
Distance: 24 miles (38 km)
Driving Time: 30 minutes
What to See and Do: Frederiksborg Castle, Frederiksborg Castle Gardens
What and Where to Eat: Willy’s, Cafe Havehuset, City Bakery, Ninas Natur Cafe (Lilleroed)
How to Get There: You can drive or take the S-train from Copenhagen Central Station to Hillerød.
Hillerød, another lovely Danish town is worth a day trip from Copenhagen. It’s best known for the Frederiksborg Castle and the Par Force Forests of Gribskov.
Located on 3 islands enveloped by a lake and gardens – a 17th-century Frederiksborg Castle is Scandinavia’s largest Renaissance castle. The castle with its gorgeous castle lake and castle gardens exudes charm and beauty.
Danish Museum of National History inside the castle takes you through 500-year old Danish history through paintings, portraits, sculptures, and other forms of art.
Read More: Best Places to Visit in Norway with Kids
#7 Helsingør (Hel-zing-ur)
Distance: 28 miles (45 km)
Driving Time: 40 minutes
Recommended Stops: Lyngby
What to See and Do: Kronborg Castle, National Maritime Museum of Denmark, Danish Museum of Science and Technology, Han Statue, St. Olaf’s Church, St. Marie’s Church, Culture Yard (Kulturværftet)
What and Where to Eat: Cafe Hyacinth, Cafe Chaplin, Værftets Madmarked
How to Get There: You can drive or catch a train from Copenhagen Central Station to Helsingør
Kronborg Castle – an actual setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet pulled us to Helsingor aka Elsinore, located at the narrowest point of Øresund (the sound) that separates Denmark from Sweden. A guided tour introduced us to the intriguing history of the castle and let us explore the catacombs and crypts that looked creepy yet interesting.
August is a beautiful time of the year to visit Kronborg Castle as it’s when Shakespeare’s very own castle hosts the Shakespeare Festival and gives you a chance to witness the Hamlet Live!
We might have come for Kronborg but stayed longer in Helsingor for its charm beyond Kronborg. Stroll the Stengade, a famous pedestrianized street to see the restored-to-perfection colorful half-timbered houses that once (during the 17th and 18th centuries) belonged to merchants and ferrymen. Skibsklarerergaarden is one of those houses restored to a museum now.
Kulturværftet (Culture Yard) is a must-visit when traveling with kids. Right in the front of the Culture Yard is a beautiful sculpture, HAN – Heksingor’s answer to Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid.
#8 Helsingborg (Hel-zing-borg)
Distance: 34 miles (55 km)
Driving Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended Stops/Highlights: Helsingor
What to See and Do: Kärnan Medieval Castle Tower, Gothic St. Mary’s Church, Dunker Culture House, Gröningen, Sofiero Palace
What and Where to Eat: Vegetarian and Vegan food at Tikal, Swedish cuisine at Redimat, Bruket Kaffebar och kafé, Backhaus Bakery & Cafe, and Etoile Cafe Bistro tapas
How to Get There: You can drive to or board a train to Helsingør and then take a passenger or a car ferry to Helsingborg (ferries run every 15 to 20 minutes for most of the day).
A Swedish town that lies at the narrowest point of Oresund, Helsingborg is a pretty town brimming with history, culture, and the stunning waterfront views. Its Old Town is a delight to walk. The oldest pedestrian street of Kullagatan is a unique mix of quaint cafes, boutique shops, and high-end brand showrooms.
An uphill trek to the Kärnan, a restored tower of the Helsingborg Castle rewards you with the panoramic views over Helsingborg and across The Sound (Oresund).
#9 Stevns Klint and Møns Klint
Distance: 53 miles (74 km) to Stevns Klint from Copenhagen; 55 miles (89 km) to Mons Klint from Stevns Klint
Driving Time: 1 hour to Stevns Klint from Copenhagen, 1 hour 20 minutes to Mons Klint from Stevns Klint
Highlights: The drive is gorgeous!
What to See and Do: Geological fossil-rich cliffs, Cold War Museum, panoramic views, and nature at its best,
What and Where to Eat: Restaurant Portofino in Borre serves nice pizzas. Besides, there aren’t many good places to eat around both places, so it’s better to pick dry snacks from a supermarket in Copenhagen before heading.
How to Get There: The best and in fact, the only recommended way to get here is by car.
The Danish island of Møn and the municipality of Stevns and their boundless magical white cliffs definitely deserve a day date if and when you are in Copenhagen.
The cliffs of Stevns Klint and Møns Klint are one of the most unique nature experiences you can ever have. A cliff to cliff walk or drive by the coast is full of panoramic viewpoints, attractions, and beautiful harbors.
Karlstrup kalkgrav, Køge, Præstø, Klintholm, and Liselund Slotspark are some of the best stop-overs between Copenhagen and Møns Klint.
Kids will be filled with wonder and awe as they see the evidence of the extinction of dinosaurs at Stevns Klint. Højerup Old Church and Cold War Museum Stevnsfort at Stevns Klint are well worth a visit.
They’ll love to hunt for 70-million-year-old fossils at Møns Klint – a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Don’t miss out on a GeoCenter Møns Klint tour where you and your kids can learn more about fossils.
#10 Roskilde (Raw-ski-luh)
Distance: 22 miles (35 km)
Driving Time: 40 minutes
What to See and Do: Roskilde Old Town, Stændertorvet Square, Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde Cathedral, Roskilde Palace, Land of Legends Open Air Museum, The Roskilde Jars, Roskilde Museum, RAGNAROCK
What and Where to Eat: Nordic/Asian fusion cuisine at WHY Food and Cocktails, Danish cuisine at Pipers Hus, coffee and cake at Cafe Sweetmarie
How to Get There: By car via route 21, by train from Copenhagen Central Station
The erstwhile Danish capital, Roskilde makes a not to be missed day trip from Copenhagen for many reasons – Roskilde Music Festival, Viking Ship Museum, and UNESCO listed Roskilde Cathedral.
Steeped in history and culture, the town has its roots from the Vikings-era. The Viking Ship Museum is the best place to satiate your desire to dive deeper into the world of Vikings.
Explore the Roskilde Cathedral (a UNESCO inscribed stunning medieval cathedral), and RAGNAROCK (a museum for pop, rock, and youth culture), and stroll down the Roskilde Old Town to complete your Roskilde experience.
Music lovers should plan their visit during June-July (check the dates) to witness one of Europe’s largest music festivals – the Roskilde Festival.
#11 Klampenborg (Klam-p-en-borg)
Distance: 8 miles (13 km)
Driving Time: 30 minutes
Recommended Stops: Ordrupgaard Art Museum
What to See and Do: Jægersborg Dyrehave, Bakken, Bellevue Beach, and Skovfogedegen
What and Where to Eat: Traditional Scandinavian cuisine at Raadvad Kro; classical French cuisine at Søllerød Kro
How to Get There: By car via route 19, by S-train line C from Nørreport Station, by bike
Klampenborg, a suburb in the north of Copenhagen needs to be on your itinerary if you’re traveling with kids. It’s home to the world’s oldest amusement park (1583) – Bakken, and a deer park listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Jægersborg Dyrehave.
Dyrehaven (The Deer Park) is a huge nature park with lush woodlands, beautiful lakes, and more than two thousand deer. You can explore the park on a horse carriage for a little cost.
Bakken is an amazing place for families with kids. The entry is free. You only pay for the rides. The park, apart from the rides, has plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Christmas time transforms the park into a magical place.
#12 Odense (oh-en-se)
Distance: 104 miles (168 km)
Driving Time: 2 hours
Highlights: Storebælt Bridge
What to See and Do: Hans Christian Andersen Home, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Funen Village, Danish Railway Museum, Brandts Museum of Art and Visual Culture, Odense Old Town, Odense Zoo, Funky Monkey Park, Museum of Contemporary History
What and Where to Eat: Traditional Danish food at Sortebro Kro, Street food at Arkaden Odense and Storms Pakhus
How to Get There: By car via Storebælt Bridge, by DSB train, by Flixbus
The creator of kids’ favorite fairy tales – ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling’ – Hans Christian Andersen called Odense his home. Kids can know more about the life and times of the literary legend by visiting H.C Andersen’s home and museum.
Danes’ love for the writer can be seen in a way his statues are sprinkled here, there, and everywhere around the city.
Morten’s Chocolates is a one-stop destination in Odense for chocolate lovers. They make fresh handmade melt-in-your-mouth chocolates in a production unit just above the shop. Undoubtedly, the best chocolate in the town!
#13 Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (Hum-le-baek)
Distance: 24 miles (39 km)
Driving Time: 35 minutes
Recommended Stops/Highlights: Klampenborg
What to See and Do: Architecture of the building; amazing permanent as well as special exhibits; Panoramic views from the terrace
What and Where to Eat: smørrebrød and coffee at Louisiana Café
How to Get There: By train from Copenhagen Central Station to Humlebæk Station and a 10 minutes walk to the museum; by car via E47
One of the absolute best places to visit in Denmark, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a famous international art museum with works by celebrated artists like Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and more.
Located by the stunning Øresund coast in Humlebæk, North Sealand, in a beautiful building surrounded by a sculpture garden, the museum is an intriguing mix of art, culture, nature, and architecture.
Start by exploring the ever-expanding art collection, then enjoy a peaceful walk in the sculpture garden, climb the terrace to witness the panoramic view of Sweden across Øresund, and finally relish a selection of cakes with a cup of coffee.
Humlebaek and Helsingør can be explored together in a day because of the proximity to each other.
#14 Hven, Sweden (Ven)
Hven is a little Swedish island in the strait of Öresund between Sweden and Denmark that offers awesome views of Swedish and Danish coasts. You can catch a ferry from Nyhavn that takes about 45 minutes and drop you at Kyrkbakken (church hill). It’s teeny-weeny ( 2.5 km wide and 4.5 km long) idyllic island. We’d recommend you explore the island on foot or bike.
With this, we conclude our list of the best day trips from Copenhagen. Which one would you like to add to your Copenhagen itinerary?
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