We will be staying in Copenhagen this summer from July 2-5. We wanted to spend part of one of those days over in Roskilde to visit the cathedral and the Viking Ship museum. We will only be taking the train to and from Roskilde. I see that this is the week of the big music festival in Roskilde. We're a family of four and we don't mind some crowds. We understand and expect crowds, especially since we are traveling in the summer. Has anyone been to Roskilde during this music festival? Will the town be jam-packed? Will the museum and cathedral be packed too? Will it be too busy to really enjoy it? Should we pick another side trip from Copenhangen instead of Roskilde? (just looking for some thoughts on this from anyone who has been there during this music festival)
I see no reason to avoid Roskilde because of the festival, on the contrary it gives the town a great vibe. The Roskilde Festival attracts around 100000 people, but it is not actually in Roskilde itself, but in a big area south of the town, so most of the crowds will be concentrated there. The Festival site is like a small town in itself, so most people will never make it into town (I have been at the Festival 14 times and I never made it further into town than the nearest supermarket). You might see a few more people in town, but I doubt many of the festival goers will be visiting the Cathedral or the Viking Ship Museum.
Where you will however find more crowds are in the trains between Copenhagen and Roskilde and people will likely be carrying camping gear and be a bit drunk. From Roskilde station the crowds will head south to the festival grounds, which is on the opposite direction of the Cathedral and Viking Ships. The festival grounds open on the 30th, but the music does not start until Wednesday the 4th, so you will see a greater influx of people on those days, so best to avoid those days.
hello..this is detailed advice...
1. take the local train to Roskolde. You local transit card will work.
2. Upon arrival at Roskilde, move swiftly out of the station, turning left, to a bus station about 200 meters acrosx from the grocery store. Go past the bike racks. The buses in front of the station are the wrong routes. Look up the proper route number prior and go to the bus stall. The bus will go downhill and stop at the museum entrance. The bus departures are timec to the train arrival. and do not wait for stray tourists.
3. There us a return bus, using the same pass, that stops at the cathedral and town square. Ask at the museum for specifics.
The museum is worthwhile, indeed one of the highlights of our Scandinavian trip
There are a number of buses you can use. Look at https://www.rejseplanen.dk/webapp/index.html?language=en_EN to find what suits you best.
The music festival is indeed huge, 130,000 people attend, the city has a population of 50,000. So of course the festival has some impact on the city. But as the festival area is located just south of town, you will probably only notice the festival in the train and at the train station, which will be full of people with backpacks going to the festival. I doubt many of the people going to the festival will visit the cathedral and the viking ship museum. So I will just go for it.