Copenhagen is a special kind of capital city. It’s a bright, colourful place, bursting with vibrancy and life. Walking the streets, passing by wide-open cafes with tables full of laughing people, you fall in love with the very atmosphere of the city.
It’s addictive, inspiring, and beautiful. But beyond the capital, there are some incredible day trips from Copenhagen to be taken.
Amazing day trips from Copenhagen
Just outside the city are medieval castles and beloved theme parks. A little further again there are fairy tale towns. And, of course, there’s Sweden just across the water.
Day trips from Copenhagen are easy to take and true memory-makers. When you visit Denmark, your Copenhagen itinerary should absolutely include these day trips from Copenhagen. Let’s take a look!
Odense (Birthplace of H.C. Andersen)
One of the longer day trips from Copenhagen takes around 90 minutes on the train, and takes you west across Denmark to the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.
Odense is one of the idyllic, fairytale towns that defines that sweet, charming, and friendly atmosphere of Denmark. Odense is also the capital of Denmark’s third-largest island: Funen. The largest is Zealand, in case you ever wondered (like we did) what New Zealand was actually named after.
When you’re exploring Denmark, we can’t recommend enough a day in Odense to experience the fantastic museums, restaurants, and wine bars of the city for yourself. And the best museum of all is Brandts Museum.
Brandts Museum of Art and Visual Culture is an ever-changing museum of exciting exhibitions which are all unique celebrations of painting, photography, and all mediums of visual art.
How to Get to Odense from Copenhagen
Make your way to Copenhagen Central Station, close to Tivoli Theme Park. From there, jump on a train headed for Aarhus (Denmark’s second city) which will pass through Odense. Odense is about 90 minutes from Copenhagen.
Read More: A Day Trip to Odense from Copenhagen
Kronborg Castle (Home of Hamlet)
If part of your Copenhagen itinerary is to rent a car, a visit to Kronborg Castle is one of the easiest day trips from Copenhagen. It takes 45 minutes to drive north from Copenhagen to Kronborg Castle. If you’re not driving, it’s also easy to take the bus – either on a guided tour or a regular intercity bus.
Kronborg was once a fortress, built around 1420 by King Eric of Pomerania (having one’s name associated with a floofy little dog isn’t great for his image, but it is adorable).
The first iteration of the fortress was very bare-bones, as all Medieval fortresses were. After the end of the Northern Seven Years War – which was fought between Sweden and the combined forces of Norway and Denmark – King Frederick II began the transformation of the fortress into the Kronborg we know today.
Kronborg Castle is also celebrated as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. While Shakespeare himself never actually left England, and Prince Hamlet never actually existed, Kronborg Castle is nevertheless the intended setting of the play. As such, English performances of the play are put on at Kronborg Castle every summer! And this just gives you one more reason to take a few day trips from Copenhagen.
How to Get to Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen
Either rent a car and follow your GPS for around 45 minutes to Kronborg Castle (driving in Denmark is incredibly safe and relaxed). Or get yourself to Copenhagen Central Station and get the 29 train to Helsingør St. It should take around 45 minutes. Once you alight, the walk to the castle takes about 10 minutes. Just follow the signs!
Read More: A Day Trip to Kronborg Castle
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
The Louisiana is a spellbinding place found halfway between Copenhagen and Kronborg Castle. This means it’s very easy for one of your day trips from Copenhagen to include both Kronborg Castle and the Louisiana Museum (which is exactly what we did).
As you drive in up the path, you’ll see that the Louisiana looks like a traditional Louisiana plantation house, with white walls, columns, a balcony, and creeping ivy. And that’s all true, until you get inside and all that traditional facade falls away to reveal wide open halls and spaces filled with incredible modern art.
And we’re not talking modern art like the stuff that’s often so divisive amongst not only art lovers but your average person. We’re talking really great, moving, politically-inspired artwork from visionary artists, photographers, and filmmakers.
The gardens overlook the open ocean and are dotted with strange and surreal sculptures that you’re free to wander and photograph. Then, inside, you’ll discover 20th-century artwork from some of Europe and the USA’s true visionary artists.
How to Get to Louisiana Museum from Copenhagen
You can rent a car and take a quick drive north to the Louisiana. Or you can take the 29 train from Copenhagen Central Station and get off at Humlebæk. From there, the Louisiana is a 10 minute walk away.
This is one of the coolest but often-missed day trips from Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital is sat right on the border to Sweden, with only a tiny strip of water separating them. For your Copenhagen to Malmö day trip, you can take a bus or a train across a massive bridge and be in Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, within ninety minutes.
Once you get from Copenhagen to Sweden, you can visit the oldest castle in Scandinavia, a stunning library, and some great boutique shops. Malmö is a darling place with a huge selection of international restaurants and a great alternative music and arts scene.
It’s one of the best cities in Scandinavia and being able to take a quick day trip from Copenhagen to reach it is a real treat and a something that should be at the top of your Copenhagen itinerary.
How to get to Malmö from Copenhagen
The cheapest and simplest way is by taking a FlixBus. FlixBus operates all over Europe, and you can get a bus from just around the corner from Copenhagen Central Station, which will take you all the way from Copenhagen to Sweden. The bus leaves several times per day and takes about 90 minutes. Just make sure you book in advance online here.
Read More: 36 Hours in Malmö, Sweden
Frederiksborg Castle, a 17th century marvel built by King Christian IV, is perhaps the easiest of all the best day trips from Copenhagen and the baroque grounds alone are worth visiting for.
Situated just North of Copenhagen in Hillerød, the beautiful Renaissance castle houses The Museum of Natural History and takes you through Danish and Scandinavian culture from The Middle Ages right through to the present day.
You can also wander the town of Hillerød and enjoy the cafe within the castle ground in the Summer. If you’re looking to truly explore the history and culture of Denmark during your trip, Frederiksborg is a must-see part of your Copenhagen Itinerary.
How to Get to Frederiksborg Castle from Copenhagen
Make your way to Norreport Station in the heart of Copenhagen. From there, you can catch the train to Frederiksborg Castle. Look for the “E” train marked Hillerød. Frederiksborg Castle is in Hillerød.
Bakken Theme Park and the Deer Park
Bakken is the world’s oldest theme park, and you can find it just a little ways outside Copenhagen. Entry is free and though most of the rides aren’t particularly daring or state-of-the-art, it’s oozing with charm. The restaurants are also surprisingly varied and serve some excellent European cuisine.
If you drive in and park at Bakken carpark, you can wander through the park for free and pop out the other side in the deer park. This huge expanse of green land is home to thousands of wild deer, as well as the Hunting Lodge, a gorgeous 19th-century building stood strangely alone at the heart of the park.
This whole wonderful experience is very much a two-for-one on day trips from Copenhagen. If you’re got wildlife parks, theme parks, and historic monuments on your Copenhagen itinerary, you can tick them all off in a single day by visiting the fairy tale land of charm that is Bakken.
How to Get to Bakken from Copenhagem
If you’re renting a car in Copenhagen, Bakken is an easy 20 minute drive away. If you’re taking the train, simply head to Copenhagen Central Station and get the 29 train north. Get off at Klampenborg and walk for 5 minutes to get to the entrance to Bakken.
Dragør is a delightful harbour town south of Copenhagen. Visiting Dragør is very much like stepping back in time. If you want to understand the Danish philosophy of Hygge, Dragør sums it up quite perfectly. As day trips from Copenhagen go, this is the most delightful.
One of the best things that comes out of keeping your traditions is cuisine. Dragør is a place of fantastic little cafes and restaurants where you’ll find the best Danish pastries and traditional Danish smørrebrød (fancy open sandwiches).
As well as the cuisine, you’ll also find a range of boutique shops and a lovely harbour to wander across. If you’re taking a trip to Dragør in the summer, you’ll also find summer arts festivals to roam and enjoy.
How to Get to Dragør from Copenhagen
Head to Copenhagen Central Station and get the 29 train south. Get off at Tårnby St. and switch to the 350S bus to Dragø Stationsplads. The train will take just 10 minutes, and the bus another 15 minutes, making this (despite having to change) one of the most chill day trips from Copenhagen.
Where to Stay in Day Trips for Copenhagen
Wakeup Copenhagen — This centrally located budget hotel is perfect for day trips, you can’t go wrong with this minimalist hotel that employs sharp design and a good experience with lower prices.
Read More: Where to Stay in Copenhagen + Neighbourhood Guide
Our Favourite Tours From Copenhagen
- Copenhagen: Roskilde, Frederiksborg & Kronborg Day Tour – Visit the royal castles of Frederiksborg and Kronborg, and Denmark’s old capital of Roskilde on an 8.5-hour minibus tour from Copenhagen. Enjoy the scenic landscape of North Sealand, and the history of the Vikings at the Viking Ship Museum.
- Lund & Malmö: Guided Tour of 2 Countries in One Day – Visit two countries in one day with this 8-hour guided tour. Sightsee through the city of Lund and Malmö and visit the cities most important landmarks. Take a picturesque ferry trip over the Øresund, visit Hamlet’s castle and the Øresund Bridge in a day.
- From Copenhagen: Kings, Castles and Countryside Tour – Take the day to explore the castles of North Sealand and learn about the rich royal history of Denmark.
Wednesday 28th of August 2019
I would love to visit Odense! Also, I would love to see Frederiksborg Castle in person! You have listed some really great options that I wouldn't thought of. Thanks for the recommendations and the gorgeous pictures!
Wednesday 28th of August 2019
Thank you so much! I really miss Denmark, it's such a gorgeous country ^_^
Wednesday 28th of August 2019
I have never been to Denmark but it looks like some cool, vibrant city. Would love to visit some day and the best part is the international day trips it offers.
Wednesday 28th of August 2019
Odense Looks like such a fairytale town! Love that photo! There really are so many cool day trips to take nearby.