Denmark Europe

Dragør in Denmark – A Perfect Day Trip from Copenhagen

By Anjali Chawla  
day trip to dragor denmark from copenhagen cobbled streets

There are a plethora of things to do inside and outside Copenhagen. Many of the interesting places are just a few paddles away from the world’s bicycle city. If you are a countryside junkie like us, you’d love to have a day date with a charming Danish village of Dragør in Denmark. Here’s a short guide to a day trip from Copenhagen to Dragør for you to plan one.

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It’s the third day of our month-long trip around Nordics.

After a hearty breakfast, we are ready to embark on a road journey from Copenhagen to a cute little historic fishing village of Denmark. We are busy stuffing the snacks and other essentials in the rental car.

‘So what’s our itinerary for today, mom?’ Mini-me asks adjusting her stuff in the car, curiosity evident in her voice.

‘Dragør,’ I say, handing the printed itinerary over to my little traveler.

I answer her next quite an obvious question (What’s in it for kids?) before she even asks ‘ It’s a beautiful historic town!!! And a perfect place to learn more about Danish history and culture.’

‘Dragør had played a vital role during the Nazi Holocaust.’ I continue while pulling my seat belt.

I can tell by the expressionless look on mini me’s face that she isn’t convinced yet. Hubby doesn’t say a word. He keeps driving. Smiling all the way giving an inkling that he has an ace up his sleeve.

‘You read about the rescue of Danish Jews in Lois Lowry’s book, remember?’ I try harder.

‘Yes! Of Course!’  she answers while latching on to a book.

I gape at hubby with ‘it’s hard to please kids’ look in my eyes. He assures me with ‘let me try’ look in his eyes.

‘It’s an old fishing Dutch town where you can closely discover the local fishermen catching their daily hunt and guess what, you can also try your hands at fishing if you wish to.’ Hubby adds.

‘Fishing!!! Cool!’ she exclaims

‘Above all, you’ll get to taste the super delish waffles and organic ice-cream at this famous Ice-cream shop called Nam-Nam Is.’  Hubby skillfully plays his ace.

‘Wowzers!!! I can’t wait to reach there.’ she looks out of the car window in utter enthusiasm.

Giving children a say makes all the difference. There’s nothing wrong with picking any place you want to visit, however, let the kids embrace their kind of fun at your kind of place.

Day Trip from Copenhagen to Dragør in Denmark

Dragør, a stunningly gorgeous Danish town on a beautiful island of Amager with its narrow cobblestone streets lined up with vibrant traditional low thatched roof houses from the 1700’s graced with lilacs, is just a quick day trip away from the bustling Danish capital, Copenhagen. Listed as one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark, Dragør absolutely is postcard perfect!

dragor denmark day trip from copenhagen

Topography that speaks to you 🙂

The town’s ideal location makes it extra special. The town is enveloped by the sea coast, virgin forests, and meadows. It has something for everyone. The town offers the zest of authentic Denmark and the views of the famous Øresund Bridge (Øresundbroen) as it spans across to Malmo in Sweden. The bridge effortlessly connects Denmark to Sweden.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen

Breathtaking views of Øresund Bridge

It’s just so adorbs that you’d want to wrap it all up and take it back home. Haha…I know that sounds irrational. Well just to get my point across. I wish I could buy a house and live all my life there.

How do you Pronounce Dragør?

I tend to learn to pronounce the name of the city or place before I visit there because how would you feel if someone pronounces your or your city’s name wrong.

Dragør is pronounced Drah-wereDrag- means to draw (drag) boats ashore and -ør means a beach covered in sand or gravel.

 Dragør Havn – A Little Slice of Danish History

The history of Denmark is alive in Dragør Havn, the buzzing harbor of Dragør.

We walked down the harbor and enjoyed the exquisite ocean views while talking to the locals. The harbor brims with cafes and restaurants where you can taste the local white wine and enjoy the seafood.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen harbor

The port is always busy with sailing ships, small fishing boats, and yachts.  The town’s economy is largely dependent on fishing. Fishing, both for pleasure and work takes place on the harbor.

Dragør Where Rich Danish History and Culture Unfolds

Strolling through the streets of Dragør is like stepping back in time. You better be all ears as the town weaves the yarns of yesteryears.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen

It’s a delight to listen to the intriguing tales of Dragør from the locals. How the fishermen saved the Danish Jews during the World War II by ferrying them across Øresund to Malmo, how the Scanian immigrants from southern Sweden came and settled in Dragør when Denmark surrendered Scania to Sweden and how the Danish and the Dutch thrive together in Dragør as a community.

Dragør is a blend of old and new. It has a historic yet contemporary feel.

History of Dragør

The royal romance of King Christian II, Nazi Holocaust, and the Danish maritime industry shaped Danish history.

Dutch were the first people to inhabit Amager Island and its villages, Dragør and Store Magleby. The king Christian II on the advice of his mistress and mother invited the Dutch farmers to use their agricultural skills to produce food for the royal family. The Dutch settled in a village of Store Magleby, 2km from Dragør. The king sent the Danish farmers to other regions of Denmark.

The Dutch settlers brought their own customs, traditions, language, agricultural, dairy and horticulture expertise to Amager. They brought their love for all things bright and exotic too. Dutch’s love for exotic flowers is evident on the streets of Dragør. In fact, you can spot the Amager natives selling bulb flowers in the streets of Copenhagen.

dragor denmark day trip from Copenhagen flowers

The natives of Dragør played a vital role in the rescue of Danish Jews from Nazis during the Nazi Holocaust. They opened their doors to the prosecuted Jews. Their homes became the hideouts for Jews.

In 1370, royal trading rights were granted to the Hanseatic league. Dragør emerged as a major fishing port. It became an important marketplace for the Hanseatic merchants. The Baltic ocean was brimming with fish particularly herring and the town of Dragør flourished on herring. Dutch settlers used to sell herring (favored food in Catholic Europe) to Hansa towns.

However, with the passing of time, it became difficult to catch herring because of overfishing. The fishermen had to cruise to greater distances in search of herring. They learned to pilot ships and became skippers. They discovered shipping trade as another means of subsistence and Dragør became the second largest shipping town in Denmark.

Arnold Peter Møller, a Danish shipping magnate and a native of Dragør,  started steamship companies in Svendborg in the mid 19th century which ended Dragør’s influence as a maritime presence as their harbor was unadapted to huge ships.

Dutch Heritage Preservation

A conservation board since the 1920s works hard to protect the town against anything that could jeopardize its unique and special character. They don’t want to let go the town’s disposition with increasing tourism and development. The National Trust protects Dragør’s beautiful 18th-century yellow houses with thatched roofs. The old buildings are well-preserved, some transformed into museums, restaurants, and cafes.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen thatched roof houses

Straight out of my school drawing book 😉

The board continuously endeavors to get Dragør added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The natives of Dragør work as volunteers in maintaining the town. Isn’t it inspiring?

What to Do and See in Dragør

This cozy and cute village is a kind of place where you’d want to do nothing. The place isn’t for go-go-go, do-do-do, and rush-rush-rush people because it urges you to pause and admire the beauty. Pause. Hear the birdsong. Sit with a cup of coffee at one of those cute sidewalk cafes and soak in the old-world charm of the place.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen

Walk the streets of Dragør and admire the little cute shops and art galleries scattered on the pedestrian streets.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen pedestrian streets

Fresh air, good food, no or little traffic, few people, nature, ocean and aesthetically pleasing. For a town of just 14,000 inhabitants, Dragør is a lot more than you can imagine.

Things to See and Do in Dragør with Kids

Of course, kids are yet to understand the joys of doing nothing 🙂

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen with kids

They didn’t want to get clicked until we find something interesting for them!

Fret not. There are plenty of things for kids to do in Dragør.

Check out the Dragør Turistråd (Dragør Tourist Office)

Located in a little old harbor jailhouse is the tourist office. It’s the best place to start your exploration. They also conduct city walks to help you uncover Dragør’s rich history.

Explore the Dragør Havn

Spend some time at the harbor dock. Observe the fishermen selling their daily hunt. Children can play with the swans and ducks at the harbor and feed bread or small eatables to them.

Sit and relax at the terrace of Dragør Røgeri, a smokehouse at the harbor and afford a view of mesmerizing Øresund Bridge. Kids can run around and play at the Dragør Havn’s playground while you relish the fresh smoked fish and the views.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen

Discover the Amager Museums

Amager Museum, located in St. Magleby, demonstrates the cultural history of Amager. The museum has two farms where you can experience the life of Dutch farmers. Kids can take part in the farm tasks like laundry, baking, and feeding the animals. It’s a great way to learn the history and local way of life. The entry fee is 40 DKK for adults while children under 18 years have free access.

On Havnepladsen, adjacent to the harbor, Dragør Museum, is all about Dragør’s rich seafaring history. The oldest house in the town has been converted into the Dragør museum.

The museum displays the famous fishing vessel Elizabeth K571. It’s the only Danish rescue boat left in Denmark. The boat played a prominent role in the Holocaust for the Danish Jews during World War II.

Lodsmuseum (Pilot Museum) demonstrates the old lodge station and gives a glimpse of Dragør’s maritime history. There are games and quizzes to entertain the kids. It’s free for children while adults have to pay 20 DKK for entry.

Mølsted Museum, a little Danish art museum, displays Christian Mølsted’s (Danish Painter) work. It is located within a walking distance from the Dragør Museum. The entry is free here.

There’s a lovely cafe inside Amager Museum to beat your kids’ hunger pangs.

Dragør Fort

Located on an artificial island, Dragør Fort is a 100-year-old fort. German army used the fort as a barracks. The fort premises now has a hotel, a restaurant, and a conference hall.

Wander through the Store Magleby Village

Store Magleby Village, a part of Dragør municipality is just a few minutes walk from Dragør.  It’s one of the best preserved rural villages in the Copenhagen region.

Soak the Sun on the Beach

Dragør South Beach is child-friendly with its shallow bottom and fine sand. There are chances to spot the common seal.

Dragør Søbad

If swimming is what excites your kids, head to Dragør Søbad, a public swimming pool just a few steps away from the beach.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen

Dragør Søbad

Catch Crabs at Crab Bridge

Purchase your kid a bucket, net and crab pole from Dragør Turistråd to catch crabs and observe ocean life.

Rent a Bike

Dragør is one of the most amazing places to cycle in the Copenhagen region. Rent a bike for your kids and let them enjoy biking along the Amager Common, the Kongelunden wood, and lovely coast.

dragør denmark day drip from copenhagen biking

Den Blå Planet

You can plan a visit to The National Aquarium of Denmark. It’s on the way from Kastrup to Dragør. The aquarium is the largest in Northern Europe and is a treat for kids and adults alike.

Attend a Local Festival

For such a tiny village, Dragør hosts quite a number of food, music and art festivals, particularly in summer. If you are planning to visit around Christmas, hit the Dragør’s charming Christmas market.

For more information on things to see and do in Dragør, stop by the local tourist information center located at the harbor.

Where to Eat and Drink in Dragør

Dragør teems with cute sidewalk cafes (oh, how I love them) and good restaurants.

Here’s our favorite of all.

Harborfront Dragør Strandhotel

One of the oldest in Denmark. Dates back to more than 700 years, Strandhotel is a fine blend of rich history and fine cuisine.

Restaurant Beghuset

Famous for its Nordic-French cuisine, Beghuset is a good place for fine dining.

Nam Nam Is

Because you are never too old for the ice-cream. A lovely traditional house by the beach has been converted into an ice-cream shop. They serve extra moreish waffles and organic ice-cream.  Nam Nam Is is a perfect place for your kid and for a kid inside you.

Best Time to Visit

Summer is the ideal time to visit, however, winter is not a bad time either.

Where to Stay

A day-trip is enough to cover Dragør, however, if you fall head over heels for the beauty called Dragør like me and have time unlike me; there are nice and comfortable places to stay.

Dragør Badehotel/Copenhagen Airport Hotel

Located near the beach, this hotel boasts stunning views over the Øresund Bridge. Opened in 1907, the hotel finely restores its original architecture and is acclaimed as a favored choice among travelers. The place has a character and charm, however, don’t expect the modern day amenities. Overall, Amazing ocean and fort views, open green space, lovely rooms, courteous staff, and good breakfast. To check availability and tariffs, click here.

Dragør Fort Hotel

Staying in a beautiful and unique accommodation is an important element of the overall experience in every new place you go. Dragør Fort Hotel gives you exactly that unique and classic experience. An ancient fort converted into a hotel right in the heart of the town of Dragør plus close to the Copenhagen airport, has become a popular choice for obvious reasons. To check availability and tariffs, click here.

Dragør Strandhotel

With an awesome location close to the lively old harbor, this charming hotel is not only famous for its food but also for the perfect views of the old fishing town. Starndhotel’s well-maintained apartments are perfect for family travelers. To check availability and tariffs, click here.

Getting to Dragør

The beautiful and rustic village is stone throw distance from one of the busiest airports in Scandinavia, Kastrup.

We rented a car in Copenhagen to explore the Danish countryside with ease. It’s best when you are traveling in a group. One can also hire a taxi though expensive.

The public transport system in Denmark is easy to navigate and is the best bet to reach Dragør. It takes 30 minutes by bus line 350S from Copenhagen and 12 minutes by line 35 from the Kastrup airport to reach this charmingly quaint town of Denmark. Alternatively, you can catch a DSB 029 train from Kobenhavn H to the airport and then board the bus line 35 from the airport to Dragør. Download the Moovitapp or Check live bus times here.

Getting Around Dragør

Hands down, walking is THE BEST way to explore Dragør. The town’s open-air museum like appearance is a perfect setting for a slow stroll. Bicycling around the town and along the coast is another zero cool way to feel the essence of Dragør. Kids love it.

Major Bike Rentals in Dragør are Donkey Bike and Dragør Cykler

Check the Dragør cycling route here.

Navigating Dragør is easy because it’s small and well-planned. All the streets run East-West and allies run North-South.

If you are traveling to Copenhagen, it’s certainly worth venturing outside the comfort of the city to explore Dragør.

For more information visit the official website of Dragør

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dragør denmark day trip from copenhagen

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Mohit
    October 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    The whole article is so nicely put up… starting off with a conversation quickly grabbed the attention to read further and then the photo were very much successful to make me scroll further down but had to go through the lines to know about the city and its well described history.

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