Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is lovely, but plenty to do outside the city

 

As European capitals go, Copenhagen is pretty small. So once you’ve had your fill of walking the cobbled streets and playing at being children again in the Tivoli gardens, there should be time to see a bit of Denmark. Here’s where to head.

 

Malmo: Why not cross the border for a day? Malmo, in Sweden is only half an hour away from Denmark by train – and that half hour passes even quicker when the journey includes a trip over the beautiful, 10 mile long Oresund Bridge. Malmo itself is a gorgeous little chocolate box of a town, with medieval stone buildings, a great selection of urban beaches and a serious crawfish habit.

 

Helsingør: You may not have heard of Helsingør, but you’ll almost certainly know its English appropriation, Elsinore. Immortalized as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it’s actually a real city and even has a castle, Kronborg Castle. It’s open to visitors, so you can stride the 16th century ramparts quoting Shakespeare.

 

Roskilde: It’s best known as the venue for the eponymous music festival (June 30 – July 3 this year), but Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, merits a visit all year round. Its history dates back to Viking times and the 13th century cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was the first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick. There’s also a great Viking Ships museum, containing the remains of five ships that were deliberately wrecked in the 11th century to shield the city from an attack from Copenhagen.

 

Hven: An island in the Oresund straits between Denmark and Sweden, Hven is a popular summer escape for city dwellers. It’s less than five miles square, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with idyllic fields, vineyards and four cute little villages. Starting in May, boats leave daily from the mainland. It’s a 90 minute journey.

 

Dragor: Half an hour south of Copenhagen, on the coast facing Malmo, Dragor is a gorgeous little fishing village with winding, cobbled streets, brightly painted houses and a harbor that’s still in use today. Don’t forget to look up – many of the houses still have thatched or terracotta roofs.

 

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