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Nordic FAQ - 3 of 7 - DENMARK
Section - 3.4 Main tourist attractions

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<by Jens Chr. Madsen, except for the part on Copenhagen>

   
   
  3.4.1 Getting there and getting around
  
   Copenhagen Airport has a large number of connections to destinations
   within the Nordic Countries and the rest of the world. Numerous
   ferries connect Denmark to Britain, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and
   Germany; and of course there is also a "land connection" from Germany.
   There are several daily direct trains to Denmark from Germany and
   Sweden. Due to the country's modest size and general topography it is
   easy to get around in Denmark, be it by bicycle, car, or public
   transportation.
   
   Denmark is an almost ideal country for cyclists: Relatively short
   distances, practically no steep roads, and a dense network of bike
   paths and small country roads. Even large cities are bicycle-friendly
   (compared to many other countries at least) with bike paths on most
   major streets. The reason for this, of course, is that a significant
   number of Danes from all groups of society commute by bicycle.
   
   There is not much to be said about traveling by car in Denmark, except
   that you should be aware of the large number of bicycles, as mentioned
   above. *Please* be careful and look for bicycles, especially when you
   make a right turn. Apart from that, the most special thing about
   driving a car in Denmark is that you will have to get on a ferry if
   you intend to travel between the western (Jutland, Funen) and eastern
   (Sealand, Lolland, Falster) parts of the country. The shortest and
   busiest crossing is between Halsskov on Sealand and Knudshoved on
   Funen. That crossing will be replaced by a bridge-tunnel system in a
   few years (train connection to open in 1996). There are also a number
   of ferries between Sealand and Jutland - Ebeltoft-Odden is the
   shortest and most frequent.
   
   Traveling by air in Denmark is also possible of course; all domestic
   flights go to/from Copenhagen and none of them is longer than 45
   minutes. You do save some time, but often at a rather high price.
   However, there are often some good offers during the summer holiday
   period, so especially if you are going to Bornholm, Billund or Ålborg
   from Copenhagen, flying there might be worth considering.
   
   Otherwise, public long-distance traveling is done by train (there are,
   however, a few coach lines from Copenhagen to Århus, Ålborg, and
   Fjerritslev; 2-3 departures per day and prices approximately as for
   the train). There is an hourly intercity train service connecting
   cities on "the main line" from Copenhagen via Odense and Århus to
   Ålborg. Intercity services to other larger cities in Jutland normally
   run every two hours. (The intercity trains are transferred on the
   ferry between Sealand and Funen. The concept of putting a passenger
   train on a ferry is possibly unique to Denmark; international trains
   from Copenhagen to Sweden or Germany also travel on board ferries.) In
   addition to the intercity, there are regional trains every hour on
   most lines. Short distance travelling is mostly done by bus.
   
   
   
  3.4.2 Copenhagen
  
   Copenhagen's metropolitan area is the home of more than 25% of
   Denmark's population. The city lies on the eastern shore of the island
   of Sjælland (Zealand), at the southern end of Øresund (The Sound), the
   waterway that separates Denmark from Sweden and links the Baltic with
   the North Sea. Copenhagen is protected from the Baltic by the small
   island of Amager. Between Amager and Sjælland there was formerly a
   group of sand flats. Drained and reclaimed, they now constitute the
   islet of Christianshavn, which has been developed as the chief dock
   area of the city. The harbor of Copenhagen occupies the narrow
   waterway between Christianshavn and Sjælland.
   
   The nucleus of the city is Slotsholmen, or Castle Isle, where a
   fortification was built in 1167. Its site is now occupied by
   Christiansborg Palace, constructed between 1907 and 1915 as a home for
   the legislature and government ministries. Nearby are the Thorvaldsen
   Museum and the Exchange (Børsen), built from 1619 to 1640, with a
   twisting spire made up of the interwoven tails of four sculptured
   dragons. North of the old city is Frederikstad, a planned suburb built
   in the 18th century. In it is the Amalienborg Palace, originally
   luxurious town houses but since 1794 the residence of the Danish
   monarch; a ceremonial changing of guards takes place every day at 12
   noon. Nearby is the massive Marble Church started in 1749 but finished
   only almost 150 later, and to the west of the church is Rosenborg
   Palace, built in the early 17th century as the summer residence of the
   king but now acts as a museum. The city's university was founded in
   1479 by King Christian I and was re-founded in the 19th century. To
   the southeast, beyond the dock quarter of Christianshavn, is the
   largely residential suburb of Amager. The island of Amager, much of
   which is low-lying and marshy, is the site of Copenhagen's Kastrup
   airport, one of the largest in Europe. A gigantic bridge has been
   planned for Amager across Øresund to Malmö in Sweden.
   
   Copenhagen has many canals, wide boulevards and public parks and
   gardens. Among these is the famous Tivoli, in the heart of the city to
   the southwest of the old town, a highly sophisticated amusement park
   laid out in 1843, with e.g 28 restaurants, music, dance, and theater,
   fountains, carousels, etc., as well as more modern amusement park
   devices. Other parks worth a visit and maybe a picnic are the
   Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have) and Rosenborg Gardens with the
   palace. The famous pedestrian shopping street Strøget starts from The
   City Hall (Rådhuset), which is an impressive piece of neo-gothic
   architecture, and runs to Kongens Nytorv where Charlottenborg palace
   and the Royal Theater are located. The pedestrian center itself, which
   includes many winding, medieval streets, is a marvellous place to
   stroll around, but keep in mind that businesses close by early
   afternoon on Saturday and aren't open on Sunday. There are a couple of
   old churches in the pedestrian center as well, e.g. Nikolaj Church and
   the neo-classic Cathedral. In Christianshavn, be sure to climb to the
   spiral tower of the baroque Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church)
   for a great view.
   
    Christiania
    
   While you're in Christianshavn you may want to visit the "alternative
   city" of Christiania. The story of Christiania began in 1971 when a
   large number of hippies took over the abandoned military barracks in
   Bådmanstrædes Kaserne; after futile attempts by police to empty the
   area, the matter ended up in the parliament and Christiania got
   political exemption and acceptance as a "social experiment" in return
   for agreeing to pay for the use of water and electricity. After many
   colourful struggles against threats of closing and "normalization" as
   well as hard drugs and violent motorcycle gangs, Christiania's tale
   still continues. The Freetown's self-government is arranged in an
   anarchist fashion, with common decisions being made in various
   councils such as the Common Meeting, The Economy Meeting, The House
   Meeting, etc. Christiania has no laws, but there's a series of bans
   put up by the inhabitants of the Freetown: no hard drugs, no weapons,
   no violence, no trading with buildings or residential areas.
   Christiania is probably best known to the outside world for the free
   availability of cannabis products; they are indeed being openly sold
   on the main street, but this does not mean hash is legal in Denmark,
   or that you can't be punished for carrying or using it. The Danish
   police have a policy of not fining for small amounts of cannabis and
   for the most part tolerate the trade in Christiania, but they do
   sometimes patrol the area. Tourists should think twice before abusing
   the liberal attitudes and good will of the Danish officials. Also,
   don't take photos of Christiania or Christianians, they won't like it
   and you may have your film taken from you if do.
   
   Legal intoxicants can be tried out by taking a guided excursion to the
   two major Danish breweries, Carlsberg and Tuborg. Tuborg is located in
   the suburb of Hellerup in northern Copenhagen, Strandvejen 54,
   excursions are Monday-Friday 10 a.m, 12.30 and 2.30 p.m. Carlsberg
   breweries are at Ny Carlsbergvej (at the Elephant Gate; take bus 16
   from Rådhuspladsen toward Sydhavn), excursions Monday-Friday at 11 a.m
   and 2 p.m. Carlsberg has always been a major patron of the arts in
   Denmark, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (near the Tivoli gardens),
   which houses a collection of antique artifacts as well as French and
   Danish art, is well worth a visit. Nyhavn canal close to Kongens
   Nytorv square is a popular place to walk around; there's also a H. C.
   Andersen exhibition at Nyhavn 69. Statens Museum før Kunst (Sølvgade
   48-50) is the Danish National Gallery; European masters and Danish
   art. Nationalmuseet (National Museum) has, among other things, a
   splendid collection of unique prehistoric finds (rich, well-preserved
   bronze age bog-finds, the Gundestrup Cauldron, the Solvagn, Viking age
   gold treasures, etc) and an exhibition of Eskimo culture. North of
   Copenhagen lies Frilandsmuseet: open air museum of the history of folk
   architecture in Denmark and the formerly Danish part of Sweden (Skåne)
   - it can be accessed by train or bus.
   
   
   
  3.4.3 Zealand and surrounding islands
  
   <From: Durant Imboden>
     * Hillerød: Frederiksborg Castle
     * Roskilde: the cathedral and, as long as you're there, the Viking
       Ship Museum.
     * Louisiana art museum has excellent collections of contemporary
       art, while Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek concentrates on older sculpture
       and painting.
     * The view from the top of the City Hall (Radhuset) is not to be
       missed.
       
   
   
  3.4.4 Bornholm
  
   <From: Durant Imboden>
     * Bornholm: an island in the Baltic, easily reached by overnight
       ferry from the Copenhagen waterfront. Well worth a few days--or
       even a week, if you're in a mood for leisurely exploration.
       (There's also a ferry from Bornholm to Sweden, making Bornholm a
       convenient stopover on a tour through Scandinavia.)
       
   
   
  3.4.5 Fyn and surrounding islands
  
     * Odense, the largest town of Fyn, has Hans Christian Andersen's
       birthplace [someone could add something here]
       
   
   
  3.4.6 Jutland
  
   Compared to Sealand and Copenhagen, Jutland has not many castles etc.
   to offer. Jutland's main asset is nature, which spans a wide spectrum
   from lakes, hills, and forests (very like the landscape of Sealand and
   Funen) to heaths, moors, marsh and dunes, unique to the Jutland
   landscape. Some of Europe's finest beaches are found on Jutland's
   North Sea coast.
   
   Here is a brief description of some of the attractions in Jutland -
   going from south to north.
     * Sønderjylland:
       This part of the country was the northern part of the duchy of
       Schleswig - a Danish "dominion". It was ceded from 1864 to 1920
       (see history section) and became re-unified with Denmark after a
       referendum. Close to Sønderborg, the windmill and embankments of
       Dybbøl is part of the national heritage. It was here that Denmark
       was defeated in the 1864 war against Austria and Prussia. Further
       west, the marshlands and dikes form a unique landscape with an
       abundant bird life. The islands of Rømø and Fanø are popular
       resorts.
     * Vejle and the Jelling Stones:
       In south-east Jutland the city of Vejle is a good starting point
       for an excursion. On both sides of the Vejle Fjord there are
       beautiful beech forests with some (for Danish conditions)
       unusually steep hills. The train from Vejle to Jelling will take
       you through the Grejs Valley; again with some unusually hilly
       terrain and beautiful forests. In the village of Jelling the
       "Birth Certificate" of Denmark can be studied: Two large stones
       with runic inscriptions set by King Harald Blåtand for his father
       Gorm den Gamle (Gorm the Old) and his mother Thyra. The
       inscriptions on the stones are some of the oldest known writings
       in "Danish" translating approximately as: "Harald had this stone
       made, for his father Gorm and his mother Thyra; the Harald who
       united all of Denmark and Norway and christianized the Danes". Two
       large burial mounds adjacent to the stones are popularly believed
       to be the graves of Gorm and Thyra.
     * Billund:
       About 28 km west of Vejle is the small (but world famous) town of
       Billund - home to the Lego factories and Legoland. It's not just
       for kids. The centerpiece is "Miniland", a great many models of
       cities, palaces, and harbors, all made of Legos and constructed in
       scale of 20-to-1. The Amalienborg Palace is there, and Bavaria's
       Neuschwandstein Castle, and a Dutch town, and a Norwegian fishing
       village, and an oil refinery, and trains, and Mount Rushmore, and
       the U.S. Capitol, and zebras, and rabbits, and much more. Many of
       the exhibits have moving parts: boats are drawn up into dry dock,
       trucks pick up loads, bridges rise and fall, and so on. The DSB
       (state railway) sells a very attractively priced ticket at the
       central train station in Copenhagen: DKK 344 round trip (as of May
       1994), including transfer to the Vejle-Billund bus and admission
       to the park.
       The town also has Denmark's second largest airport with many
       European connections. "Museum Center Billund" houses a collection
       of vintage cars and aircraft.
     * "Lake District":
       Further north-east you enter the "Jutland Highlands" and the "Lake
       District" - the area between Horsens, Silkeborg, and Skanderborg.
       The world's oldest still-operating paddle steamer will take you on
       a sightseeing tour of the lakes. On the southern shore of one of
       the lakes is "Sky Mountain" (Himmel-bjerget), so named for its
       astonishing height -- 147 meters! There is a nice look-out from
       the tower on top of Himmelbjerget.
     * Århus:
       North-east of the Lake District is Århus, Denmark's second city,
       which offers a wide range of things worth seeing.
       The Moesgaard Museum is located in a forest some 15 km south of
       the city center (bus #6) and it gives a splendid display of
       prehistoric Denmark. The museum's main attraction is the Grauballe
       Man, a ~2000 year old body found in a bog in eastern Jutland in
       1952. Also in the city center you will find museums, e.g. the
       Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, both located in
       the southern part of the university campus (which BTW is well
       worth visiting in its own right). You will also find lots of
       restaurants, cafes, places with live music etc. The concert hall
       (Musikhuset) opposite the City Hall was completed in 1982 and is
       home to the Jutland Opera and the Århus Symphony Orchestra.
       The university campus is both a beautiful park and a good example
       of Danish architecture (by Danish architect C.F.Møller). The
       university is an architectural unity where there is no random
       mixing of different styles as at many other campuses; the same
       simple (some might say barren) design with yellow bricks has been
       maintained right from the first buildings of the 1930's to
       present-day new constructions.
       Århus' main attraction, however, has to be the museum "The Old
       Town" (Den Gamle By). This is a collection of old houses from all
       over Denmark, carefully dismantled at their original sites and
       re-erected at this open-air museum adjacent to the Botanical
       Gardens, within walking distance from the city center.
     * The "Mid West":
       In the central and western parts of Jutland you find the infertile
       moor which is probably the closest Denmark has to a "wilderness".
       In late summer the purple heather provides a nice setting for a
       long hike. Last century large parts of the moor were converted
       into plantations and farmland. This was a consequence of the
       defeat in the war in 1864; the pioneer of moor plantation E. M.
       Dalgas put it like this (approximately): "What was lost abroad
       must be won at home".
       West of Viborg there are two old chalk mines (Daugbjerg and
       Mønsted) with guided tours. Further west there is an open-air
       museum at Hjerl Hede with a display of iron age life. At the west
       coast the large lagoon Ringkøbing Fjord is home to a bird
       sanctuary - Tipperne. Also the tongue of land separating the Fjord
       from the North Sea is a popular resort.
     * The Limfjord and Himmerland:
       The western part of the Limfjord is great for yachting. The island
       of Mors in the Limfjord has many splendid landscapes, e.g., the
       cliff of Hanklit at the northern part of the island. The porous
       clay (called mo-ler) of this cliff consists of zillions of
       fossilized diatomers, and this type of clay is not found anywhere
       else in the World. Another large bird sanctuary can be found at
       Bygholm Vejle 20 km east of the city of Thisted. This marshland is
       a result of a failed draining project, and the would- have- been
       farmland is now left in a "neither land nor fjord" state. Close to
       the city Hobro between Århus and Ålborg you find the remains of a
       circular Viking fort called "Fyrkat". A Viking house has been
       rebuilt there as accurately as possible.
       In the middle of Himmerland (the landscape between Hobro and
       Ålborg) the Rold Forest and the Rebild Hills (Rebild Bakker) are
       found. Every year, the beautiful hills at Rebild are home to what
       is said to be the largest 4th of July celebration outside the USA.
       There is also a small museum showing aspects of life of Danish
       immigrants in the USA in the 19th century.
     * Ålborg and Nørresundby:
       Like Århus, the city of Ålborg at the eastern part of the Limfjord
       provides lots of city entertainment like bars, restaurants,
       museums, a zoo and an amusement park. On the northern side of the
       Limfjord in Nørresundby is one of Scandinavia's largest Viking
       burial sites, the "Lindholm Hills" (Lindholm Høje). The remains of
       a big town from 600-1100 AD have been found.
       For more information on Ålborg have a look at:
       <http://www.tourist-aal.dk/aalbturi.nsf>.
     * North of the Limfjord - Vendsyssel:
       As mentioned, the west coast of Jutland is more or less one long
       beach. Especially the beaches of northern Jutland - facing the
       Skagerrak - are excellent. But treat the ocean with respect; each
       year people unfamiliar with the North Sea do silly things like
       drifting to sea on air mattresses etc. Also, the surf and current
       can be strong some days. The resorts of Blokhus and Løkken are
       among the most popular (and thus the most crowded) in Scandinavia.
       Løkken offers a range of hotels and camp grounds as well as
       restaurants and some night life.
       Further north, the small hamlet of Lønstrup is a scaled-down
       version of Løkken; however, the coast line is somewhat different
       with rather steep slopes and cliffs. Just south of Lønstrup there
       is an old light-house at Rubjerg Knude. The lighthouse was
       abandoned in 1968 when the sand dunes grew taller than the
       lighthouse itself. Some years ago it was converted into a museum
       with displays on the problems of sand migration, but it will now
       have to close because of ... yes, sand migration.
       The city of Hirtshals is one of Denmark's most important fishing
       ports and a gateway to Norway with ferries to Kristiansand and
       Oslo. In 1981 a large North Sea research center was built, housing
       a lot of Denmark's fishing research. The center also houses the
       North Sea Museum - a nice exhibition and aquarium (including
       seals), situated close to the highway leading to the ferry
       terminal. The Hjørring-Hirtshals railway also stops at the North
       Sea Center.
       The coast line between Hirtshals and Skagen also has some
       excellent beaches, which are generally much less crowded than the
       ones in Blokhus or Løkken. Approaching Skagen, one passes the
       migrating dune of "Råbjerg Mile". It is the largest of its kind in
       northern Europe and gives you a small-scale Sahara feeling. The
       dune migrates a distance of 8-10 m per year. Also, between Råbjerg
       Mile and Skagen you will find "the buried church"; a church
       abandoned due to problems with sand migration.
       Skagen at the very top of Denmark was probably the first Danish
       holiday resort. In the last century it became popular with a
       school of Scandinavian painters, who were attracted to Skagen
       because of the special light and reflections the two seas
       (Skagerrak and Kattegat) give. (If the weather conditions are
       right you can see waves from the two seas engage in a head-on
       collision off the tip of Grenen.) The Museum of Skagen houses a
       fine collection of the work of the Skagen painters. Another -
       partly outdoor - museum "Skagens Fortidsminder" gives a good
       impression of the local culture and history, which is almost 100%
       based on fishing.
       Approximately 40 km south of Skagen is the city of Frederikshavn,
       naval base and home to Denmark's ice breakers. Frederikshavn has
       ferry connections to Larvik, Oslo, and Moss (Norway) and to
       Göteborg (Sweden).
       

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