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Long weekend trip from Copenhagen...suggestions?

Next spring (May/June) I plan to visit a friend who works in Copenhagen. She won't have a lot of time off from work while I'm there...but she's an avid traveler, and already knows she wants part of my visit to include a long weekend trip (probably 4 full days, Friday-Monday). We have both traveled extensively in the lower parts of Europe, but neither of us have been to Scandinavian countries.

Given the tight time frame, I think a destination reachable by a short flight or train trip is a good idea. Even with that in mind, the options are overwhelming...I've pondered taking one of the cheap Norwegian Air flights to Stockholm, Oslo, Tallinn, Riga, or Helsinki (all about 1 - 1.5 hour flights + to/from airport time). There also seem to be endless other parts of Denmark that are options too (e.g. Odense, Aero). We both like food, visiting historic sites, soaking up culture....we're RS-type travelers (carry on bags, no swanky hotels or destinations necessary), but seek maximum thrills per mile/dollar (as the guru says)

Any thoughts/suggestions, smart travelers? I have much time to plan and ponder, so I thought I'd ask for ideas and advice to add to the mix. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
971 posts

Yes there are certanly many possibilities, even if you exclude planes and just stick to trains. It all depends of your own interests of course and food, historic sights and soaking up culture is possible in any of those destinations you suggest yourself.
First of all, how much time do you have i Copenhagen? Do you have time to see Copenhagen itself and maybe the typical day trips: Helsingør with Kronborg castle, Hillerød and Frederiksborg Castle and Roskilde and the Cathedral and the vikingship museeum and maybe Malmø and Lund in Sweden?

The other parts of Denmark are worthwhile as well, but not many places would be worth a full 4 days in my opinion (Danes not from Copenhagen will propably dissagree) but Odense and Ærø could be combined as you suggest yourself. If you are keen on doing this with public transport, use as a travel planner for all public transport in Denmark.
You could also rent a car for those four days and explore more of Denmark, that way you could see some sights that are a bit out of the way with public transport and might not be worth staying overnight to visit.

If you absolutely must hop on a plane and visit another country (wich I as a Dane of course feel is completely unnecesary) I would pick Stockholm, though I have not been to Helsinki, Talinn or Riga. Another option could be taking the train down to Lübeck in Germany.

Posted by
3696 posts

When I was in Copenhagen I wanted to go to Skaagen which is supposed to be a wonderful fishing village that a lot of painters used to visit. I ran out of time, but I want to go back to visit that area. I would rent a car and do some exploring around the country instead of traveling off someplace else.

Posted by
16819 posts

If you fly to Oslo for 4 days, you can also day trip or overnight at the fjords by following the Norway-in-a-Nutshell route. Your visit is before the high season, which might make it harder to return on the same day, so check schedules at (transferring me today to a site with no English) or From Stockholm, a nature side trip could be a full-day or half-day boat excursion around the nearby islands. Helsinki and Tallinn would be possible to combine in 4 days with a fast ferry between (1.5 hours one way). The new edition of Rick's Scandinavia guidebook will come out this June.