5 easy must-do weekend trips from Copenhagen

Published by: Bounce23 March, 2023
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The Danish capital of Copenhagen certainly isn't short of things to do. This historic port city with easy access to the Baltic Sea has been at the heart of northern European politics and culture for centuries, leaving the city blessed with tons of great things to do. Along with historic architecture, some of the best restaurants in the country, if not the entire world, are located in Copenhagen. There's an excellent section of museums where you can see everything from prehistoric artifacts to modern and contemporary art. Plus, with its range of city parks, Copenhagen even offers chances to get to grips with the wilder side of Denmark without leaving the city itself.

With all that going on, when you first arrive in Copenhagen, day trips or a weekend break may be the furthest thing from your mind. But once you've seen enough of Copenhagen City Center, it's worth considering taking a weekend trip to see more of what Denmark has to offer. With excellent public transportation links, Copenhagen makes an excellent base for day trips and weekend trips, and the best weekend trips from Copenhagen can show you a whole different side of Denmark beyond the capital itself. Rent a car or take a train ride from Copenhagen Central Station, and you'll be able to access some fantastic locations for a weekend trip.

When planning your weekend getaway, the last thing you want is to be weighed down with heavy bags. That's where Bounce comes in. By providing safe and convenient luggage storage for any size of bag and for as long as you like, Bounce makes it easy to leave your things behind and bring only the most essential items on a weekend trip. Your Copenhagen day trip or weekend getaway just got a whole lot easier.

Weekend trips from Copenhagen to Roskilde

Roskilde

These days, Denmark is generally known as a peaceful and progressive place. However, that wasn't always the case. Denmark doesn't shy away from its sometimes violent past, and of course, that includes the Viking age.

If you want to learn more about these legendary seafarers and warriors, Roskilde is the place to go. This historic city will whisk you back in time to the age of long boats and berserkers.

Distance from Copenhagen:

Around 35 km from Copenhagen, Roskilde is a popular destination for day trips from Copenhagen, but there's enough here to justify a longer weekend trip too. You can reach Roskilde within half an hour's drive or about the same amount of time on the direct train from Copenhagen's Central Station.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Viking Ship Museum: This stunning museum houses genuine Viking ships dating back to the 12th century. It's amazing to see these historic artifacts for yourself, and the other exhibits in the museum explain more about the fascinating way of life of this infamous group of sailors and pillagers. This is the perfect place to uncover this side of Danish history, and since it's one of the easiest trips from Copenhagen you can take, there's really no excuse not to.
  • Roskilde Cathedral: Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this beautiful cathedral is the final resting place of around 40 Danish monarchs. Dating back to the 12th century, this was one of northern Europe's earliest Gothic churches and is one of the most spectacular examples of medieval architecture in Denmark.
  • Ledreborg Palace: Located a little way outside Roskilde itself, this palace has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century and is still the home of the same family that owned it back then. Portions of the palace are open to the public, including the atmospheric dungeon and the beautiful gardens.

Best season to visit:

You can visit Roskilde at any time of year. Summer brings better weather but also brings tourist crowds on day trips from the capital, so you may find you enjoy the trip just as much in winter as you would in summer.

Helsingor weekend trips from Copenhagen

Helsingor

The connections of Helsingor to the Elsinore of Shakespeare's Hamlet may be a little tenuous, but that doesn't stop thousands of visitors from coming here every year to enjoy a Shakespeare Festival. Plus, this historic town has more to offer to interested visitors.

Distance from Copenhagen:

It's less than 50 km from Copenhagen to Helsingor, a drive you can make in less than 40 minutes. The train is only a little bit slower, so it's also a good option for visiting if you don't want to worry about traffic.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Kronborg Castle: It's unlikely that Shakespeare ever visited Denmark for himself. But that didn't stop him from setting his famous play Hamlet here. Built in the 16th century, this is one of Denmark's most popular tourist attractions and a routine destination for Copenhagen day trips. Learn more about the history of the castle at the on-site museum, and check out a performance of Hamlet during the summer months. Also, don't miss the castle chapel and the Knight's Hall.
  • M/S Maritime Museum: Denmark has a proud seafaring history that didn't start with the Vikings and certainly didn't end with them. Learn more about Denmark's connection with the sea and the influence it has had on the language, cuisine, and culture of the country at this fascinating museum. One of the top attractions in the North Zealand area, this museum will teach you all about the history of Danish naval expertise.
  • Danish Museum of Science and Technology: Although at times it feels too much fun to be educational, this museum will expand your mind. A great place to visit for families, this fascinating museum uses interactive exhibits to explore the history of Danish scientific study and teach you more about the world we live in.

Best season to visit:

Many of Helsingor's top attractions are indoors, so you don't need to worry about the unpredictable Danish weather. This is a great location to visit at any time of year, whether for day trips or for weekend excursions.

Frederiksborg Castle weekend getaways

Frederiksborg Castle

Located close to Helsingor, Frederiksborg Castle is another great place to explore Danish history. Easily reached from the city on a day trip or weekend break, this castle is well worth exploring if you have the time.

Distance from Copenhagen:

Located less than 40 km from Copenhagen, this castle is easily reached on a day trip, requiring a drive of only 30 minutes. You can also reach the castle with an hour's train ride, and you won't need a car here since the castle is well within walking distance of the train station.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Frederiksborg Castle: Obviously, the magnificent castle is the top tourist attraction in the town of Hillerod. Built in the early 17th century on an island in a lake, the castle is now a museum that tells the story not only of this impressive fortification but of Denmark itself. Wandering the halls of the castle will give you great insight into the lives of Danish royalty.
  • Castle Gardens: The beautifully landscaped gardens of Frederiksborg Castle are almost worth the journey by themselves. The perfect place to unwind and decompress, these gorgeous gardens are best enjoyed in spring, when the many species of plants are in full bloom.
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Don't let the name fool you. This fascinating museum of art created in 1945 is located just a short drive from Hillerod in Denmark and is a great way to explore the work of recent artists.

Best season to visit:

The castle gardens are at their magnificent best during spring. However, the castle is impressive no matter what time of year you visit.

Weekend trips from Copenhagen to Odense

Odense

This historic coastal city has deep connections to Danish history, especially the work of one of the country's most beloved writers, Hans Christian Anderson. In fact, exploring this lovely town can feel almost like a fairytale all by itself.

Distance from Copenhagen:

It's over 160 km from Copenhagen to Odense, requiring a drive of over one and a half hours. You can also reach the city by train, which takes about the same amount of time. That makes it a little too far for day trips but just right for weekend adventures.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Hans Christian Anderson Museum: Located in the childhood home of the famous writer, this small but interesting museum explores the life and work of one of Denmark's most famous sons. Learn more about the folk tales that inspired the famous Danish writer and how his literary creations continue to influence culture around the world to this day.
  • Egeskov Castle: It wouldn't be a true Danish town if there wasn't an impressive castle here. However, even in a country that has a castle around every corner, Egeskov is exceptional. Often praised as one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Europe, the pointed spires and red brick walls of this castle make it as beautiful as it is forbidding.
  • Carl Nielsen Museum: Hans Christian Anderson wasn't the only famous artist to come from Odense. Noted Danish composer Carl Nielsen was also born in the city, and this museum explores his life and work. If you're a fan of music, this is an obvious place to go. But even if you've never heard of Nielsen before, you're bound to gain a new appreciation for his talent after an hour or two spent in this museum.

Best season to visit:

Don't let the weather put you off. This is another great place to visit in winter as well as summer.

Esbjerg weekend trip from Copenhagen

Esbjerg

Located on Denmark's West Coast, this port city is something of an underrated gem. There's lots to recommend this city to visitors, and though it may be a little too far for day trips, it's a great location for a weekend getaway from Copenhagen.

Distance from Copenhagen:

At around 300 km from the Danish capital, it's quite a drive to get to Esbjerg, requiring around three hours in the car. You can also take a train, which will take the same amount of time, but will spare you having to deal with traffic.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Fisheries and Maritime Museum: With access to the rich North sea and the Atlantic beyond, Esbjerg has always had an important place in the maritime history of Denmark. Half museum and half zoo, this place tells the story of Danish exploration and warfare at sea but also digs deeper to uncover the animals that call the waters off Denmark home. There is an aquarium here that is home to Denmark's largest predator, the surprisingly adorable gray seal, and you can see them during regular feedings.
  • Man Meets the Sea: This monumental sculpture of colossal human figures facing out to the ocean is an iconic part of the Esbjerg skyline. Don't miss this unique photo opportunity during your trip.
  • Esbjerg Art Museum: As well as a museum of modern and contemporary art, this cultural institution in the city markets itself as an exploratorium, and features classes, workshops, and interactive exhibits that will delight kids and adults alike.

Best season to visit:

Like most of the best weekend trips from Copenhagen, there's really no bad time to visit here.

Best weekend trips from Copenhagen

Conclusion

With everything there is to do in Copenhagen, the surrounding area has much more to offer. Whether you're looking for the best day trips from Copenhagen or longer weekend excursions, you'll find tons of fascinating things to do around here.

Of course, Copenhagen itself has more than its fair share of attractions. If you only have a short amount of time in the city, it's better to focus on enjoying all the urban activities during three days in Copenhagen. If you do have more time on your hands, drop off your bags at a convenient luggage storage and check out some of these great ideas for weekend trips.

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