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Denmark

Hello all - I am traveling to Denmark at the end of the month - we are spending a day and a half in copenhagen, and 2 days out in the danish countryside to find my ancestors' home towns. During the Jutland portion of this trip, we are staying in Skagen and plan to see Grenen before heading back to Copenhagen. I have booked rooms at the Cab Inn City in Copenhagen and Clausens Hotel Anneks in Skagen. We are unfortunately renting a car for the portion of our journey in to the country because bus/train routes to my ancestors' tiny home towns are limited/not running on the weekend when we are visiting. I have traveled to europe several times but have always used public transportation and have never attempted to drive before. For anyone who has traveled to Copenhagen and into the country as well - do you have any tips you could share related to navigation, culture, things not to miss, other insider info? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

Posted by
12040 posts

I'm no insider, but I've visited Copenhagen... Have dinner at one of the restaurants along Nyhavn. Not necessarily for the food (which was good enough) but for the people watching. See my comments under the "Trip Reports" section on the Copenhagen City Bikes, if you plan to use them.

Posted by
11973 posts

We bought a bottle of wine at the grocery store and sat by the side of Nyhaven and talked to locals. It is good people-watching. I don't know what you like but there are a lot of sights and choices in and around Copenhagen. We spent five days (including train trips to Roskilde and Helsingor/northern beach) and felt we could have used more time.

Posted by
1068 posts

I would not miss Roskilde, Odense, or Aarhus. And all are on your way! Roskilde is a little deviation north, but very little, and VERY worth it - if just for the cathedral where all the Kings and Queens of Denmark are buried. You can visit the graves of the royalty who oppressed your ancestors! (Well... maybe not oppressed. In fact, who knows? Maybe you are descended from Danish royalty!) Seriously, Roskilde is great, as is its Viking Ship Museum. Mind-blowing and very deeply cool, and you can walk there from the cathedral. In Odense, I love the railway museum, but then I am a geek. Check out the Hans Christian Andersen museum, which is lovely. You can take a walk by his childhood home - although it is surrounded by less-than-lovely industrial stuff, it is mighty cute. Aarhus is fantastic. Den Gamle By (open air museum: Old Town) is a tangle of super adorable old buildings, thoughtfully laid out and very interesting. Or drop into the woman's museum! The Domkirke is worth a squint. It's gigantic, and very pretty inside - lovely. Oh, and the altar is IMMENSE and gilded and by an important artist whose name I forget, from the 15th century. Gorgeous. In Copenhagen, I think you can't miss Tivoli. Many folks on this board seem to not like it, so I am going to proactively give it a shout-out as charming, Deeply Danish, and wonderful fun. IT IS NOT LIKE SIX FLAGS. It is old, and Danish, and very cute. Nyhavn - yes! I always do beer-on-the-sidewalk, but then I am low rent. :-) Sitting down at a restaurant for people-watching and a good meal is a great idea. Rosenborg Castle is like something out of a fairy tale. I think it's a must-see. Another must-see, IMHO, is the Resistance Museum. EXCELLENT exhibits, and very thought-provoking. And it is steps from the Kastellet, a large, well-preserved fortress thingie that is also really interesting. HAVE FUN!

Posted by
30 posts

hi Angela, Here is what we learned: 1. Pay for parking nearly everywhere in downtown Copenhagen. My husband picked up our rental car and drove to the hospital where I was waiting with our 10 year old daughter to be seen by an ER doctor (tripped on cobblestones = cracked teeth and head injury). He parked on the street in a row of other parked cars, but didn't realize you have to walk around until you find a payment station, buy a parking pass, and then affix it to your windshield. So we got an expensive parking ticket right away. 2. Your rental car will have a clock-like dial on the windshield. Knowing how to use this will help prevent you from getting a parking ticket. Ask the rental car company for instructions! 3. Toll Bridges! Unless you have a chip & pin credit card, use the lane with an attendant, and be prepared to pay cash. 4. If you don't know how to drive a manual transmission ("stick shift") find someone to teach you NOW. Automatics are rare, and most car rental agencies won't guarantee one for you (though of course they will take your request). 5. Love the circles: there are lots of round-a-bouts, so if you're not familiar with how those work, study up now. Overall driving and navigating in rural Denmark is easy. Signage is good. If you miss a turn, don't panic, you can always make a U-turn in the next round-a-bout. Driving in Copenhagen is more difficult. Signs are often small and painted on buildings on the other side of the intersection, making it hard to see until you are going past. There are lots of one-way streets and pedestrian-only streets, as well as bridges, to keep you guessing. Allow a little extra time, prepare to backtrack if needed, and eventually you'll get there. Have fun!