Visit Denmark, Finland and Sweden and discover what all of Scandinavia has to offer, including an extremely diverse history and culture!
Adventure and sports activities in Sweden are naturally seasonal and spring and summer arrive in the north and Swedish Lapland later than in central and southern Sweden. Golfers might be teeing off at some of Europe’s best golf courses in the southern provinces of Halland and Skåne in April/May, while the ski slopes up north are still open. In wintertime Sweden you can enjoy skiing, ice-skating, dog-sledding and other winter sports and come spring/summer you can discover the West Coast by kayak, hike the trails in Abisko National Park in Swedish Lapland and take a timber-rafting holiday in the province of Värmland.
Wondering what to do in Copenhagen? Denmark's capital is packed full of great attractions, such as Tivoli and The Little Mermaid and it's easy to go between them on foot, by bike or on public transport.
Tivoli is a must for all children and those who like to play. Tivoli is located just a few minute walk from City Hall, and with the Copenhagen Central Station as its nearest neighbor it is very easy to get to.
A visit to Copenhagen Zoo is always fascinating and with the opening of the Zoo's new and unique facilities for polar bears, North Atlantic birds and seals, The Arctic Ring, the visit just got a lot more interesting.
The Round Tower
The 17th century tower and observatory Rundetaarn, or the round tower, is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe.
The National Museum
Denmark's National Museum in Copenhagen has exhibitions from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History.
The Science Centre, Experimentarium City, in Christianshavn is Copenhagen's 3,000 m2 attraction where children and adults will be able to see, touch and experience science in all its forms.
The National Gallery of Denmark
The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) is Denmark’s largest art museum, featuring outstanding collections of Danish and international art from the past seven centuries. Contemporary art exhibits are displayed in the X-Room. Exhibits range from installation art to photography and media art.
Open Air Museum
The Open Air Museum, Frilandsmuseet, is one of the oldest and biggest open air museums in the world. Spread across 86 acres of land, the museum houses more than 50 farms, mills and houses from the period 1650-1940.
Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen is home to some of Denmark's greatest cultural treasures. The castle was built by Christian IV as a pleasure castle. In the basement you will find the Danish crown jewels and regalia.
If you love outdoor pursuits and you prefer something a bit different, there are plenty of unusual outdoor activities in Denmark, from porpoise watching to fossil hunting. Here are some suggestions for exhilarating outdoor activities in Denmark.
10 Exhilarating Outdoor Adventures
Stags in season
There’s nothing like experiencing the roaring and strutting of stags in season. Denmark has many places where you can get close to the action in late summer and autumn, as stags put on impressive displays to attract females and defend their territory. The rutting season lasts about a month. The deer in Denmark’s deer parks have become accustomed to a quiet human presence, so you really can witness this amazing annual ritual from up close. You can see red and roe deer at Haderslev Jægersborg Deer Park, 15km north of Copenhagen and you can also catch the action with deer at both Thy Oxbøl and Slotved Forest in Jutland.
The Black Sun
At Tøndermarsken in the Wadden Sea National Park, South Jutland, you can see the unbelievable natural phenomenon known as the Black Sun. Occurring in spring and autumn, the Black Sun occurs when thousands of starlings gather at dusk, drawing amazing dark patterns on the sky. This stunning sight draws thousands of onlookers each season and is well worth travelling to the park for. You should plan a few days out on the flat marshes to truly soak up the Black Sun. Though Tøndermarsken is the best place to witness this, you can also catch it around Ribe, Tipperne at Ringkøbing Fjord and on Rømø island.
Seal and porpoise watching
There are many seal colonies on rocks and small islands around the coast of Denmark, some of which you can visit by boat. You’ll see seals and porpoises popping up all around the Danish coastline. The most common seal in Denmark is the spotted seal, but if you’re lucky, you may spot the much rarer grey seal. Seals are inquisitive but shy animals. Sometimes access to seal colonies is restricted, such as at the Rødsand Seal Reserve on Falster island, the most important breeding ground for spotted seals in the whole Baltic Sea. The area is closed to visitors in the breeding season from March to the end of September. Denmark has sealariums in Esbjerg, Hirtshals, Kerteminde and Grenaa, where you can get really close to these elegant, underwater creatures. Porpoises are small whales with distinctive dorsal fins. You can often spot them in the waters of the Great and Little Belts, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat and the North Sea. On the island of Rømø, you can take a seal and porpoise safari.
Some people have a real eye for amber, Nordic gold, which you can find all along Denmark’s coastline. Chances of finding these little gems hidden on the beach are best where it is most windy and where the surf is biggest, so the West Coast of Jutland and the Kattegat coast are particularly good. Amber is small lumps of ancient resin that wash up from the sea floor and can sometimes be as old as 50 million years. In some, ancient insects have been caught inside as it hardened. Amber has always been treasured and used for jewelry and ornaments. Amber can be tricky to spot because it is not only yellow in color, it can also be white, black or reddish and you can easily mistake it for stones.
If you are brave enough to head underground, Denmark has some incredible abandoned mine networks and natural caves which are open to the public. In many of these, you’ll have to share the eerie darkness with colonies of bats, sometimes numbering tens of thousands! Jutland has three well-known abandoned mines –Mønsted Limestone Quarries, Daugbjerg Limestone Mines andThingbæk Limestone Mines. All three are now open to the public with museums and subterranean adventures. Together, they offer hundreds of kilometres of underground world to explore and you can really get a sense of what life was like for the miners who used to work down there. The island of Bornholm is covered with open caverns known as Ovens. Some of them are only accessible by sightseeing boat, others you can reach on foot. You can find out more about how these dramatic formations were created at the Naturbornholm Centre in Aakirkeby.
If you’re lucky enough, you can find fossils all over Denmark. Fur island in Limfjord and the southern coast, particularly around the Møn and Stevn cliffs, are fantastic fossil areas. You can find prehistoric treasures scattered around, without needing any equipment. Typical fossils in Denmark include sea urchins, belemnite fossils and crab shells. You can keep the fossils you find, providing they aren’t extremely rare, in which case you’ll need to hand them over to the nearest geological museum for everyone to marvel at. You can find your nearest museum at the local tourist office. Experience the birth of Denmark at the exciting GeoCenter Møns Klint. Not only does the centre have fascinating exhibitions on the geological history of Denmark for you to enjoy, but they also organise fossil hunting and other outdoor expeditions into the local area.
GPS Treasure hunts
Geocaching is an outdoor, interactive treasure hunt where you use a GPS to search for a hidden treasure. Many people around the world take part in this sport and there are hundreds of treasures hidden around Denmark. Treasures tend to be small pots with a log book and small gifts in. If you succeed in finding the treasure, you can take some of the treasure and log your find in the log book.
Dinner in the forest
There are many areas across Denmark designated as places where you can set up campfires. National parks and public nature areas such as forests may even have covered areas with benches and other facilities. It’s important that you only use designated areas to cook your wild dinner in the forest, so check where you can find campfire areas with your local tourist office. Depending on the season, the Danish countryside is full of wild berries, nuts, mushrooms and other edible plants. You are welcome to gather these delicious wild treats in public areas. As a general rule, you should leave some for others, so try not to take more than a carrier bag’s worth from any one place.
Sleeping in the wild
If official campsites are not your thing and you crave the serenity of a night camping in the wild, Denmark is the country for you. With over 1,000 areas for wild camping, there are a multitude of natural camping experiences waiting for you. No caravans or motorized vehicles are allowed in these places. They are pure, unspoilt spots where you must leave nothing but your own footprints behind.
Wild camping sites are often equipped with running water and toilet and around a third have shelters you can sleep in. You may only sleep a maximum of two nights at each location. The Danish Nature Agency gives the following guidelines for wild camping. They also have a map of all wild camping spots in Denmark.This function is in Danish but if you click “Overnatning” on the left-hand menu, all the wild camping spots (primitive overnatningspladser) will be shown on the map of Denmark.
There are eight special areas in Danish forests where you can let loose and mountain bike off the normal marked paths out into the forest.
- Bidstrup Forest in North Zealand (9.5km)
- Blåbjerg Klitplantage south of Ringkøbing Fjord (7.3km)
- Bordrup plantation at Båvands Huk (6.8 and 8km)
- Klosterheden northwest of Holstebro (50km)
- Hare woods northwest of Copenhagen (26km)
- Rold Skov in Jutland (23km)
- The forest just north of Copenhagen (10km)
- Aabenraa Forests in South Jutland (8.4km)
If you don’t have your own mountain bike with you, you can hire one in most bike shops in Denmark. You should expect to pay around 150 and 200kr for a day’s hire.
Leave the big city and experience another side of Stockholm. You will find historical sites, quaint towns, lakes, forests and the archipelago.
To the west you will find Lake Mälaren, with its wooded coves, parks, beautiful castles, mansions and world heritage sites. To the north, east and west, the salty Baltic Sea awaits you with 30,000 islands. To the north, you will discover charming villages, the university town of Uppsala and the Walloon ironworks; to the south, the sea horizon, hiking paths and the junction Nynäshamn; and to the east, near-lying Nacka and the porcelain town of Gustavsberg.
Birka, situated on the island of Björkö, was an important Viking trading community in the ninth century and the place where Christianity was introduced to Sweden. There are guided tours on the island, as well as a museum that displays the archaeological finds of the Viking site.
Drottningholm Palace and Court Theatre
The residence of the Swedish Royal Family. Visit the 17th century Royal Palace, the Chinese Pavilion, and the unique 18th century Royal Court Theatre where the original scenery and machinery are still in use. Operas and concerts are staged during the summer.
Mariefred and Gripsholm Castle
Mariefred is a quaint and picturesque town situated by Lake Mälaren. Gripsholm Castle is open to visitors, and is home to the largest portrait collection in Sweden. The oldest inn in Sweden, Gripsholms Värdshus and Hotel, enjoys a beautifully location in the heart of the town.
Sigtuna, founded in 980 AD, it is the oldest town in Sweden and the place where the first coins were minted. Much of the original town plan remains to this day.
One of Europe’s best-preserved baroque castles and a testimony to Sweden’s period as a great power. The castle features splendid interiors, an armory with weapons and exotic objects, and the building site of an unfinished banquet hall dating back to 1676.
Steninge Palace and Cultural Centre
Steninge Palace and Cultural Centre consists of a beautiful 18th century palace and a national heritage stone barn with an art glassworks, candle-making facility, factory outlet, gallery and restaurant.
A picturesque little 17th century town with charming small hotels. Trosa is surrounded by a beautiful open landscape on one side and the archipelago on the other. On the way there, visitors can make a stop at Tullgarn Palace, with its 19th century English park.
Sweden’s fourth largest city and a centre of scientific skills and knowledge. Uppsala’s University was founded in 1477 and was the alma mater of botanist Carl von Linné – Sweden’s most famous scientist. Uppsala is also Sweden’s religious centre and the residence of the Archbishop.
Sweden’s first town, founded in the 10th century. Small-scale and pedestrian friendly, with charming wooden buildings by Lake Mälaren, less than an hour outside of Stockholm. Good selection of stores, cafés, restaurants and hotels, plus an interesting museum. The district is rich in rune stones, to fascinate history buffs. Sigtuna can be reached by train, bus, or boat from the center of Stockholm. Nearby is Skokloster Castle, a first-class attraction. Skokloster was the residence of one of Gustav II Adolf’s generals when Sweden was a superpower, and the castle interior from the mid 17th century has been kept completely intact. Steninge Palace and Rosersberg Palace is also situated close to Sigtuna.
Idyllic archipelago town with many well-preserved wooden houses from the turn of the last century, painted in the archipelago’s typical delicate pastel tones. Vaxholm has numerous charming restaurants, cafés and shops.Waxholm Hotel, with its great views of the fortress and harbour, is a classic choice for lunch or dinner, or, why not a Christmas Buffet. Vaxholm is easily accessible year round, by Waxholmsbolagets boat traffic or by bus. If you take the bus, the trip is covered by Stockholm's public transport service and thus also included in the Stockholm Card.
Copenhagen is full of statues, sculptures and monuments. Some of them are hidden in museums and galleries. Some you might not even notice unless you look for them. Others are right there in the street for you to walk by. Except you should stop, spend a couple of minutes to discover the fine work of the sculptor and the historic significance of them. Here are some of the best sculptures, monuments, museums and statue parks in and around Copenhagen.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum founded in 1888 by the brewer Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914). The museum contains two main departments of ancient and modern art, offering a unique combination of art in impressive architectural surroundings.
Monument for Denmark's International Effort Since 1948
The Monument for Denmark’s International Effort Since 1948 by artist Finn Reinbothe was erected by the Danish people and inaugurated on Flag Day 5 September 2011.
The 3 meter tall and 2,5 ton heavy metal sculpture is placed on Nordre Toldbod by Langelinie and has caused quite the stir Copenhagen.
Ryvangen Memorial Park
Ryvangen Memorial Park (Mindelunden) inHellerup on the outskirts of Copenhagen is a beautiful park commemorating the Danish freedom fighters who were executed here or elsewhere, or died in German concentration camps, during World War II.
The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid
On a new square by one of the old warehouses in the Copenhagen Harbour, 'Dahlerups Pakhus', the Danish professor Bjørn Nørgaard has created a sculpture group called 'The Genetically Modified Paradise'.
The Royal Cast Collection
The Royal Cast Collection. More than 4000 years of the history through 2000 plaster casts of the most exquisite masterpieces of Western culture.
The Gefion Fountain is a large fountain on the harbour front. It features a large-scale group of animal figures being driven by the legendary Norse goddess, Gefjun.
Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) spent more than 40 years in Rome and was one of the most renowned artists among his contemporaries in Europe. In 1838, he donated his large art collection to his native city Copenhagen.
As a part of the castle grounds of Fredensborg Palace, located north of Copenhagen, Nordmandsdalen sculpture park displays baroque statues commissioned by the king in the 1700s.
Ogier the Dane at the casemates
In the casemates of the Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, the Danish legend Ogier the Dane sleeps in the form of statue.
Stockholm is sometimes referred to as “the Royal Capital” and as a visitor you’ll quickly discover why. The Swedish monarchy has left its marks wherever you turn.
The Swedish monarchy is one of the oldest in the world. In fact, Sweden has had a king or queen for more than a thousand years. While being a constitutional monarchy only (Sweden has been a democracy since 1921), even today the royal family plays a natural and important part in Swedish society.
One reason for its popularity is that the Swedish royal family is very visible and often takes the time to interact with its fellow Swedes and visitors alike. It’s also a very accessible monarchy, making Stockholm a great place to visit for anyone interested in the history of the European royal families.
Far from being museums, you can actually visit the places where the royalty work and reside, like the Royal Palace in Gamla stan and the Unesco World Heritage site, Drottningholm Palce.
The former is within walking distance from downtown Stockholm and houses the Royal Apartments, the Hall of State, the Apartments of the Orders of Chivalry, the Treasury, the Tre Kronor Palace Museum, the Armoury and the Museum of Antiquities of Gustav III. The Changing of the Guards ceremony takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12.00 and on Sundays and public holidays at 13.00.
The Drottningholm Palace is a 50-minute boat ride from the city center or approximately 30 minutes by coach or by public transport. If you have half a day to spare, you really should try to go!
The New Nordic kitchen has gained international appeal around the world and today the kitchen is highly praised internationally. The New Nordic kitchen is characterized by its uniquely Nordic identity among the world’s greatest cuisines and by its commitment to organic, sustainable and local products.
Top 10 New Nordic Kitchens
Samuel Nutter and Victor Wågman have previously worked the pots and pans at the world-renowned Michelin-star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. Now they have opened restaurant Brother in the heart of the Danish capital. The two chefs are inspired by Nordic cuisine, and their restaurant can accommodate 46 guests. It's possible to order à la carte or try their tasting menu.
Originally there was only one restaurant Kadeau in Denmark, and that was situated on the island Bornholm. But in the 2011 the people behind Kadeau decided that it was time to share the Bornholm delights with Copenhagen. Ever since they have served high class gastronomy in the restaurant in Christianshavn. Here the menu is inspired by Bornholm specialties and Danish ingredients. On the menu you will find dishes such as Danish octopus and oysters, porks belly and beetroot, and for dessert Sloan and whey.
Manfreds og Vin
Manfreds og Vin is located on the hip street,Jægersborggade in Nørrebro. It is the team behind Relæ just across, which is behind this cozy little restaurant. Manfreds og Vin focuses on everyday food, which is aided by modern techniques and raw materials of the highest quality.The raw materials are biodynamic vegetables from Kiselgården, roots from Lammefjord, pig from Grambogaard, lamb from Havervadgaard and herbs from the forest. At Manfreds og Vin, the wine is natural wine, which has made the restaurant to Copenhagen's first natural wine bar.
Alberto K on top of Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen has been rated among Denmark's best restaurants by both national and international newspapers and magazines. Nature is the source of inspiration. Alberto K uses Danish ingredients from small local farms and the food is prepared on the basis of availability at precisely the time of year you choose to visit. Alberto K's goal is that a course must reveal its ingredients in a new way, and without excessive manipulation. The taste must be clear and light, and it must leave a simple impression.
The gourmet restaurant noma has been ranked the Best Restaurant in the World in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Fine Dining Lovers. In 2014 it was yet again ranked the best in the world and kept its two stars in the Michelin Guide 2014. Chef Rene Redzepi excels in Scandinavian cuisine. Superb produce is brought in from Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, and, of course, Denmark. Redzepi has worked at famous El Bulli in Catalonia, so it comes as no surprise that the food here is exceptionally good. Located in a renovated harbour-front warehouse in Christianshavn, noma's setting is an extra appeal.
One of the most succesful gourmet restaurants in Copenhagen, Kadeau, has now welcomed their baby brother Pony. The renowned Copenhagen restaurant Kadeau on Vesterbro is moving to bigger premises on Christianshavn. However, they are keeping their restaurant on Vesterbrogade and renamed it Pony.
Entrepreneurial Claus Meyer has along with two other chefs opened Restaurant Radio in Copenhagen, close to the Lakes and the beautiful old Broadcasting House. Here you can get organic and Nordic food. Restaurant Radio gets their vegetables from a two hectares of land located outside Copenhagen. For twenty years, the fields have been cultivated organic. It is the more than 80 different crops that makes up the restaurant's vegetables.
The restaurant, Relæ, located in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen, prides itself on delivering a, no nonsense gastronomic experience. Relæ has one Michelin star and was ranked number 56 on the the 2013 list of the World's Best Restaurants. Relæ offers a creative kitchen free from the cultural heritage pushed upon the traditional Michelin-star driven restaurant, without being labeled as one of the usual, fine-dining, brasserie, or bistro restaurants.
AOC holds one star in the Michelin guide, and is the former Premisse, located in central Copenhagen.Their aim is to give you the ultimate sensory experience, through stimulating as many senses as possible – sight, smell, sound and taste. The cuisine is based on Nordic produce, and the focus of the chef is on the pure taste. The restaurant offers four to seven course set menus. It is also possible to experience what they term, a Sensory evening, where everything is included into a 7 or 10 course menu.
Marv & Ben
The Bib Gourmand restaurant Marv & Ben (Marrow & Bone) is located in the beautiful medieval cobblestone street of Snaregade. At Marv & Ben focus is on modern Danish cuisine and fresh local ingredients from the restaurant's own garden at Hanebjerggård in Nordsjælland. This is innovative regional cooking that will delight your taste buds! Do not expect complicated haute-cuisine for the selected few. Here, the main concern is unfussy and intensely flavourful food.
Cofoco has opened another restaurant in Copenhagen. This time it is Höst which is serving Nordic food. Höst is the ninth i the row, and the restaurant is located in rooms distributed on ground floor and basement floor in the neighborhood of Nansensgade, close to the Lakes.
Geranium is one of Copenhagen's two two-star Michelin restaurants. It was also ranked the 42nd Best Restaurant in the World in 2014 by Fine Dining Lovers, and is run by the world's best chef in 2011 Rasmus Kofoed. Geranium is a lucid, light, and dynamic kitchen. The mission is to create meals that involve all the senses – restores, challenges, and enriches.
Restaurant Julian at the National Museum in inner Copenhagen offers a wide choice of Danish and international dishes inspired by ongoing exhibitions and activities at the museum. Restaurant Julian is open for brunch and lunch as well as coffee and cakes.
Claus Meyer from noma, Meyers Madhus and jazz musician Niels Lan Doky have joined forces to open a combined restaurant and jazz club. Here you can enjoy Nordic as well as Indian food while listening to soothing jazz tones. The former Custom House will house no less than three restaurant, two bars and a jazz club. Combined they make The Standard.
Stockholm has justifiably earned a newfound reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting, diverse and creative gastronomic destinations. And no wonder, with its enormous range of world-class restaurants and many award-winning chefs who create exciting food, inspired by Swedish history and traditions as well as the surrounding world, all resulting in the opportunity for visitors to indulge in dining experiences that are out of the ordinary. And the city itself offers wonderful settings to enjoy a meal. You can sit lakeside in one of Stockholm’s many outdoor restaurants or in a medieval cellar in Old Town.
A unique twist in many Swedish kitchens is the tendency to embrace locally produced and pure natural ingredients. From north to south, different kinds of ingredients are produced, where today’s ecological focus means the production of the freshest and healthiest selections of berries, vegetables, fish and meat products.
Indeed, some traditional Swedish culinary specialties not to be missed are local cheeses, salmon, herring, and other fish, wild game and berries, most of which you’ll find at some of the dining selections we’ve listed below.
On the upper end of Stockholm dining options, there’s F12 with an eclectic mix of different food traditions and with an atmosphere that’s trendy and good enough to rate one star in the Michelin Guide. The Mathias Dahlgren in the Grand Hotel, named after its namesake chef, specializes in managing the heritage of the classic French dining room with only 36 guests served in this two star Michelin restaurant, while the adjacent one star Mathias Dahlgren Food Bar has room for another 64 diners.
But fine dining doesn’t have to be expensive. At the moderately priced B.A.R., seafood lovers can head to the restaurant’s aquariums filled with a choice of fish they can pick out for dinner. There’s also an oyster and champagne bar.
For visitors seeking classical Swedish dishes, are you up for a little reindeer stew, maybe a nice hunk of ham shank? That’s the kind of hearty fare you can expect at Kvarnen, the city’s legendary restaurant, bar and waterhole with a century-old history, in the old blue-collar district of Sodermalm. Expect to enjoy well-made, classic Swedish fare with a modern touch at Den Glydene Freden, Sweden’s oldest restaurant, located in the Old Town.