Please sign in to post.

Trip planning for car from Copenhagen to Aarhus

Hello,

I'll be visiting Denmark mid-August. I've already reserved a car for a few days to drive a loop from Copenhagen > Aarhus > Ærøskøbing.

On the trip from Copenhagen to Aahus I'd like to see Frederiksborg Castle, Kronborg Castle, Roskilde's cathedral, and the Viking Ship Museum.

My questions are:

  • is this do-able?
  • Should I allow for time in Odense?

I'll have a car and will be staying 2 nights in Aarhus and then 2 nights in Ærøskøbing. If necessary, I can double back to Roskilde, but I'd prefer not to.

Many thanks!

Posted by
1225 posts

Personally I think Frederiksborg Castle, Kronborg Castle, Roskilde's cathedral, and the Viking Ship Museum are better visited as (two or three) day trips from Copenhagen. Then you don't need a car but can go by train. When you are at Kronborg Castle I suggest you also visit The Maritme Museum.

Is there a special reason why you want to visit Arhus before Ærø? To me it would be easier to visit Ærø on the way to Aarhus and then drop the car in Aarhus, but I don't know all your plans.

Odense: Personally I would add Odense - even if it means skipping Ærø. Don't misunderstand me. Ærø is a very nice place, but Odense has so much more - even if you are not into H.C.Andersen. On the other hand, coming from outside, Odense is a smaller version of Aarhus, so maybe Ærø is a nice contrast.

Posted by
4659 posts

I agree that you probably need to rethink this plan a bit. Frederiksborg Castle, Kronborg Castle, Roskilde's cathedral, and the Viking Ship Museum are as mentioned easier to visit as a day trip from Copenhagen. And if you plan to drive to Århus via those four places, it will be a very long day with not a lot of time at each place.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for your responses. We're taking this route as we are following the RS driving tour of Scandinavia itinerary from the book. In his book, he recommends departing Copenhagen, visiting Roskilde and Odense, and sleeping 2 nights in Aarhus. After that continuing on to Ærøskøbing and spending 2 nights there.

I figured it would make more sense to visit Frederiksborg and Kronborg once we've picked up our car and depart Copenhagen vs taking a day out of our time (3 nights) in Copenhagen.

Does this help or change your thoughts on the plan?

Posted by
1225 posts

Not really I'm afraid. But I don't know the rationale behind RS' route, so it might have advantages I am not aware of.

I still think Copenhagen - Aarhus - Ærø means a lot of back tracking. Where are you planning to leave the car?

One way to make it more logical (in MHO) is to sail from Sjælland to Aarhus. Your route would then be:

Copenhagen - Roskilde - ferry - Aarhus (- Odense?) - Ærø (- Copenhagen to leave car??)

I suggest you plan the different options on Google Maps or any other online maps, which gives you the time of driving. Add 25% to Google's times. Add time to visit places, Add time for meals, and see if it adds up to a plan you are comfortable with or if it looks too stressful.

Posted by
7 posts

We're picking up and dropping off the car in Copenhagen. Pick up Aug 21, drop off 25 Aug and catch train to Kalmar.

Would it make more sense to take the ferry from Fynshav > Søby so there's not as much back tracking?

Posted by
4659 posts

I agree, that additional information doesn't really help as there is no explanation why that route is suggested. But also, are you planning something you want to do or something someone think you should want to do? What brings you to Århus?

You also might want to check the time it would take to drive from Copenhagen to Århus via all the places you listed, you will not be able to spend much time at them if you plan to do it in one day. If your goal is to be able to take a selfie to have something to post on social media, then by all means do it. It will work. But if you actually want to visit and see the places, you need more time in my opinion. And as mentioned the places on Sjælland are easy to do as day trips, or even half a day-trips, from Copenhagen. I've never been to Hillerød, but Roskilde and Helsingør are both 30-40 minutes by train from Copenhagen.

And to be honest, a trip to visit Roskilde, Århus, Odense and Ærø seems easier to do by train.

Posted by
8625 posts

Yep, we went to Hillerød two weeks ago today, and it was something like 45 minutes by train, with trains every 20 minutes or so. Easy peasy.

Posted by
7 posts

We'll be spending 3 weeks in Scandinavia. We arrive in Copenhagen on Aug 18. We'll be 3 days in Copenhagen. On our 4th day, we'll pick up the car, drive to see Frederiksborg, Roskilde, en route to Aarhus. We'll spend 2 nights in Aaruhus and travel on to Aeroskobing. Spend 2 nights in Aeroskobing before returning the car in Copenhagen and taking the train on to Sweden to continue our trip.

The loop I'm driving and rest of our travels follows in line with the RS "best three-week trip" itinerary in his Scandinavia guide.

I figured the car rental would be easier than train/bus since we have the flexibility to stop/leave/explore as we wish.

Happy to provide more information - but that's "why" we're doing the trip this way.

Posted by
4659 posts

So you are following a route suggested in a guide book? I'm not saying it is a bad idea to visit Århus, on the contrary, but what attracts you to that town? Am I right in that you are planning 8 days in total in Denmark? In that case, I'd suggest adding one or two days more in Copenhagen.

Have you been to Europe before? Do you know that driving in Europe is not like driving in North America. Sure, you can stop where you want, but it also means you have the pleasure of trying to find parking, paying for parking, road tolls and fuel costs etc. And for the route you are planning from Copenhagen to Århus, you will not have any time left to stop and explore.

What are your plans for Sweden?

Posted by
7 posts

I've been to Europe several times and driven in Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia, and Spain (not sure why you're probing on this). I understand Denmark doesn't have 8 lane wide highways. That's not the issue. As to "the thought behind the plan"...We had planned to visit the Art Museum in Aarhus and explore the city in general. Nothing else was on our agenda.

That said, I can see that the day of travel from Copenhagen to Aarhus doesn't allow for a lot of time to explore - and I may adjust our plan because of this. The main critique of this plan seems to be about doubling back on the return trip from Aarhus to Ærøskøbing.

If we skip Aarhus, I'd aim to stay longer in Copenhagen and take a day trip to see Fredericksborg and Roskilde for a full day, taking another day to explore on the trip down to Ærøskøbing. Thoughts on this update?

Posted by
274 posts

We recently visited Denmark. We moved our home base from Copenhagen to Roskilde, did the in-city sites, and then picked up a car to do a day trip from there before moving on to other places (including Aarhus). We choose to wait to get the car in Roskilde to avoid dealing with traffic in Copenhagen. That worked really well for us and might be something worth considering for you.

Driving in Denmark was really easy. We had no trouble at all from that standpoint. Since you already have experience driving in Europe, I'm sure you'll find it similarly easy.

Aarhus has a lot of interesting things to see. We spent two days in and around the city, but I wish we'd had a third. I highly recommend Den Gamle By and the Mosegaard Museum. The Mosegaard's current special exhibition about Vikings traveling east to Ukraine and Russia is outstanding. The prehistory and viking sections of their permanent exhibition are also superb.

Posted by
4659 posts

Because you are new to the forum and I don't know anything about your background and experience. And I've seen too many Americans coming to Europe assuming that the only ways to get around are flying and driving. And that driving will be like in North America where every place of interest is surrounded by a sea of parking lots and they are connected by huge highways.

If you want to see the art museum in Århus, that is a great reason to visit Århus! And if you really want to drive you could rent the car in Odense instead. That will save you having to deal with the traffic around Copenhagen as well as the bridge toll on the Great Belt bridge.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for all of the replies. After weighing the feedback, we've opted to change our plans and Skip Aarhus.
We'll spend an extra couple of days in Copenhagen and visit Frederiksborg and Kronborg as a day trip from Copenhagen.

Once we pick up the car we'll head off to Roskilde for the Viking Museum with a little time for Odense en route to Ærøskøbing.

We've already booked the ferry for travel with our car to Ærøskøbing and we return our car to Copenhagen. The idea of taking the train to Odense to pick up the car so as to avoid the bridge toll hadn't occurred to me - but in this time of COVID (among other things), I'm happier to pay a bit extra and feel more relaxed.

Our plans after Copenhagen are train to Kalmar (spending a couple of nights) and on to Stockholm. From Stockholm we'll fly to Helsinki for a few days, fly to Oslo, and rent a car to take 4 days to see the Fjords and depart from Bergen.

Obviously, we'll need a return a trip to see more (and Aarhus) - which is fine. Again, I appreciate the thoughtful responses.

Posted by
4659 posts

That seems like a good idea, your new plan sounds better. If you've already booked things it might not be much to do, but if you are willing to take a transatlantic flight there is no need to worry about a train trip from Copenhagen to Odense.

And regarding the rest of the trip, don't fly from Stockholm to Helsinki, take the overnight ferry! Have you booked the tickets from Kalmar to Stockholm? If not, you will have the options of going via Alvesta or via Linköping. The former is a bit faster, but the latter is more scenic.