You don’t have far to go to find yourself in rich and varied countryside in Denmark. With an exceptionally long coastline and hundreds of Danish islands waiting to be explored, Denmark is a haven for beach-lovers. The south coast dramatically meets the Baltic Sea with high cliffs and the whole country is criss-crossed by walking and cycling trails. Whether you are looking for peace and tranquillity or the rush of an exhilarating outdoor adventure, Denmark is the place to find it.
An Island Kingdom
Denmark is made up of the mainland peninsula called Jutland and over 400 scattered islands. The largest of Denmark’s islands, Sealand, is where you’ll find the capital city, Copenhagen.
Denmark is part of Scandinavia and shares a similar geography with the south of Sweden, to which it is attached via the Oresund Bridge, and Germany, with which it shares a land border.
Apart from the 68km-long border (42 miles) with Germany to the south, Denmark is surrounded entirely by water. The furthest you can be from the coast at any point in Denmark is only 52km (32 miles). At its West Coast, it touches The North Sea and this coastline is dominated by long, windswept stretches of sand and dunes. The North Coast runs up into the Kattegat and Skagerrak seas and is also a dynamic coast, with some of Northern Europe’s biggest shifting sand dunes. To the east, you’ll find a more sheltered coast and the calm waters of the Baltic Sea.
Around 80 of Denmark’s 407 islands are populated. Some of Denmark’s main islands include Funen, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, which lies off the coast of Sweden. The island of Møn is famous for its towering white cliffs, the highest in Denmark.
A Quick History of The Kingdom of Denmark
c. 12500 BC - The first hunters inhabit Danish lands.
3900 BC - Basic society built on agriculture and animal husbandry.
400-700 - Urbanisation begins.
866-867 - Viking conquest of York, which becomes the Viking capital of England.
c.965 - Introduction of Christianity to Denmark.
1015-1034 - England under Danish rule.
1397-1523 - The Kalmar Union, uniting Denmark with Norway ( including Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney and Iceland) and Sweden (including Finland).
1479 - Founding of Copenhagen University.
1536 - The Reformation, Norway incorporated into Denmark.
1660-1661 - Introduction of absolutism – the absolute power of the monarchy to rule.
1666-1917 - Danish colonies created in the Caribbean.
1807 - Bombing of Copenhagen by the English navy.
1814 - Norway’s departure from the Union.
1848 - Abolition of absolutism.
1849 - First liberal constitution, the June Constitution.
1864 - Loss of the German duchies.
1914-1918 - Danish neutrality during the First World War.
1915 - Constitutional reform, enfranchisement of women.
1920 - North-Schleswig vote in favor of reunion with Denmark.
1940-1945 - German occupation during WWII.
1945 - Founding membership of the UN.
1949 - Membership of NATO.
1973 - Membership of the EEC.
1993 - Membership of the EU.
2011 - First female Prime Minster in office.
A Brief History of Denmark's Capital City- Copenhagen
1000s – The first settlement.
1160-67 – Copenhagen founded by Bishop Absalon, counsellor to King Valdemar I. Slotsholmen fortress is built to protect the new city.
1443 - Copenhagen replaces Roskilde as the capital city of Denmark.
1449 - Copenhagen celebrates its first coronation as the nation’s capital, for King Christian I.
1479 -Copenhagen University founded.
1583 - The world's oldest amusement park, Bakken, opens for business. Located just north of the city, you can still enjoy it today.
1588-1648 – Copenhagen’s most remarkable buildings are built during the reign of King Christian IV, including Rosenborg Castle, the Round Tower, the Old Stock Exchange, Copenhagen’s canals and Kastellet (The Old Citadel).
1658 – The Swedes besiege Copenhagen.
1700s – Most of the old medieval city is destroyed by fires during different decades.
1748 – Amalienborg Palace, residence of Denmark’s current Queen, and the Royal Danish Theatre (still at Kongens Nytorvtoday) are built.
1775 – Royal Copenhagen Porcelain founded.
1801-1807 - The British attack Copenhagen.
1830-1840 - Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Østerbro become a part of Copenhagen.
1843 - Tivoli Gardens amusement park founded at the city’s West Gate (Vesterport).
1847 - Carlsberg Brewery founded. The original site will soon be a Carlsberg Experience Centre.
1847 – Copenhagen Central Station (Hovedbanegården) built.
1863 - Copenhagen’s first tram, the first of its kind in Europe. Trams disappeared from city life in 1972.
1875 - Hans Christian Andersen, the world famous fairytale writer, dies in Copenhagen. You can visit his grave in Assisten's Churchyard (Assitens Kirkegaard).
1905 - Copenhagen City Hall (Rådhuset) is completed.
1905 - The first Pølsevogn (Sausage cart) established in Copenhagen.
1910 – Copenhagen opens its first bike path separated from road traffic.
1913 - The Little Mermaid statue is unveiled.
1925 – Copenhagen Airport opens for business.
1940-1945 – Copenhagen and Denmark occupied by the Nazis during WWII.
1962 - The world’s longest pedestrian shopping street, Strøget, is inaugurated for happy shoppers.
1971 – The freetown of Christiania is founded by squatters on an old military site in the city’s Christianshavn district.
2000 – The impressive Oresund Bridge, joining Denmark and Sweden, opens.
2002 – Copenhagen’s first metro line welcomes passengers.
2004 – The distinctive new Opera opens on the waterfront.
2008 - British lifestyle magazine Monocle ranks Copenhagen as the best city in the world to live in.
You don’t have far to go to find yourself in rich and varied countryside in Denmark. With an exceptionally long coastline and hundreds of Danish islands waiting to be explored, Denmark is a haven for beach-lovers. The south coast dramatically meets the Baltic Sea with high cliffs and the whole country is crisscrossed by walking and cycling trails. Whether you are looking for peace and tranquility or the rush of an exhilarating outdoor adventure, Denmark is the place to find it.