Denmark has a lot to offer, from its sprawling coastlines to its unique culture and cuisine. It’s also home to many well-preserved Viking sites and Renaissance-era buildings, but where should you start your tour of the country?
Keep reading for the top recommendations on where to stay in Denmark, including the country’s best areas and hotels — let us be your guide!
Why You Should Visit Denmark in 2023
Denmark is a beautiful country with a friendly, welcoming culture. People in this country know how to relax, which makes it a top destination for travelers looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of other European destinations.
Most people think of brightly colored houses and Legos when it comes to Denmark. However, there’s much more to explore.
As with many Scandinavian countries, Denmark has a wealth of historic sites that date back to the times of the Vikings. You’ll find old castles, forts, and other Viking attractions throughout the country. The major cities also offer a variety of culinary delights and places to shop.
As many of the top cities aren’t too close together, you’ll want to compare regions and choose the place that best fits your idea of a good time.
The 5 Best Parts of Denmark
The country of Denmark is made up of hundreds of small islands and a few dozen larger, inhabited islands. It’s a sprawling region with amazing cities to visit on every corner.
If you want to make the most of your trip, here are some of the top destinations in Denmark:
- Copenhagen: Best for first-time visitors and history buffs
- Aarhus: Best for nightlife and culture
- Odense: Best for festivals and walkability
- Aalborg: Best for shopping and families
- Skagen: Best for beaches and seafood cuisine
The Best Areas & Hotels in Denmark
If you want to pack your trip with fun activities, take the time to learn more about some of the most popular travel destinations in the country. Here’s a closer look at the best areas, hotels, and things to do when staying in Denmark.
Copenhagen is the capital and most famous city in Denmark. It’s on the eastern end of the country on the large island of Zealand, across the sea from Norway.
Historical sites, shopping, restaurants, and a wide range of places to stay are a few of the highlights of Copenhagen. It’s a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, from the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid to the colorful architecture that lines the waterfront.
As the largest city in the country, Copenhagen is one of the cultural hubs. The area has many museums, theaters, galleries, and music venues. It’s also a city focused on sustainability, with many bike lanes and pedestrian streets throughout the central part of Copenhagen.
While it’s an urban city, Copenhagen also has expansive green spaces, from the Tivoli Gardens to the King’s Garden. However, the city truly stands out for embracing the hygge lifestyle, which is a Danish concept focused on coziness and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Copenhagen is a top choice for families, first-time visitors, and history buffs. There are also many bars and clubs. However, it’s also one of the busiest places in the country, which may not appeal to everyone.
Things to Do in Copenhagen
- Get a closer look at the famous The Little Mermaid Statue based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale
- Stroll the waterfront Nyhavn district to check out the colorful buildings and small shops and restaurants
- Take a ride at the historic Tivoli Gardens amusement park with a wide range of attractions
- Ascend the stairs to the top of the Round Tower for a sweeping view of Copenhagen
Where to Eat in Copenhagen
- The Midwestern Diner for old-school American fare, including burgers and shakes
- Restaurant Puk for authentic Danish cuisine, including fresh seafood, in a cozy setting
- Charlie’s Bar for a wide range of ales from around the globe and a British pub vibe
- The Pescatarian for seafood and an elegant setting with a large dining area and a bar
Copenhagen Budget Hotels
- Wakeup Copenhagen – Borgergade: This cozy hotel is a short walk from many of the top sites in Copenhagen. The rooms are a little small, but the hotel offers affordable prices and a 24-hour bar.
- Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel: Located near the Christianshavn District, this hotel is near one of the more popular neighborhoods and includes three restaurants, two bars, and a casino. It’s an affordable place to stay with lots to see and do.
Copenhagen Mid-Range Hotels
- Citizen M Copenhagen Radhuspladsen: This four-star hotel is in the center of the city, giving you a convenient base for exploring the rest of Copenhagen. A buffet breakfast is included each morning.
- WIDE Hotel: Enjoy a stay at a high-end hotel with great prices and spacious, elegantly decorated rooms. It’s a short walk from the center of the city and several other attractions, including The Round Tower and the Museum of Denmark.
Copenhagen Luxury Hotels
- Copenhagen Admiral Hotel: This luxurious waterfront hotel is inside a historic 1780s building and offers views of the harbor. Guests can enjoy a free breakfast buffet and meals from a gourmet restaurant with a wide range of international dishes.
- Grand Joanne Copenhagen: Located near Copenhagen Central Station, this hotel is a convenient choice for those who want to explore more of the city. You’ll also enjoy large, soundproof rooms, shuttle service, and all the amenities you need to feel comfortable during your stay.
Aarhus is a major port city known for its nightlife and architecture. It’s the second largest city after Copenhagen and offers a similar look and feel.
As with Copenhagen, Aarhus has a history going back centuries to when it was originally a Viking settlement. However, the city stands out for its strong sense of culture. The atmosphere is a little more vibrant and tends to attract a younger, hipper crowd.
Some people refer to Aarhus as the cultural capital of Denmark. You can find a wide variety of museums, galleries, and theaters. It’s also a university town, which helps to attract more young people.
Aarhus University is one of the oldest and largest universities in the country. Aarhus also offers access to nature. It’s surrounded by natural beauty, including some of the best beaches and sprawling forests in Denmark.
Things to Do in Aarhus
- Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and lush plants at the Aarhus Botanical Garden
- Take in the city’s nightlife along Aboulevarden, which is a bustling boulevard that runs along the Aarhus River
- Travel back in time with a trip to the Den Gamle By open-air museum with historic buildings and cobblestone streets
- View modern and contemporary art at the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
Where to Eat in Aarhus
- Mad Mex for authentic Mexican cuisine from a chain restaurant with dine-in and takeout
- The South Indian for an affordable meal from a popular Indian restaurant
- Escobar for drinks at a popular watering hole found at the end of Aboulevarden
- FF Aarhus for upscale dining with light meals and great cocktails near the main boulevard
Aarhus Budget Hotels
- Zleep Hotel Aaarhus Skejby: This budget hotel is a few miles from the center of the city but also offers some of the lowest prices for a standard room. It’s a three-star hotel with a shared lounge, a bar, and stylish décor.
- Comwell Aarhus Dolce by Wyndham: You’ll be just feet away from the city center and one of the main shopping areas when staying at this affordable business-class hotel. The large, comfortable rooms come with many amenities, including a safety deposit box.
Aarhus Mid-Range Hotels
- Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel Aarhus: This large hotel has a variety of room types to suit your needs, along with a sprawling fitness center with personal trainers. Other highlights include an on-site bar, restaurant, and free breakfast buffet.
- ApartHotel Faber: Stay just minutes from the main bus station and the Aros Art Museum. This mid-range hotel also has modern rooms and apartments with balconies, giving you multiple options to fit your budget and travel style.
Aarhus Luxury Hotels
- Radisson RED Aarhus: Located near the center of the city, this high-end hotel is also near many of the historic sites, including the Aarhus Cathedral. Guests can spend time at the on-site fitness center, lounge, restaurant, or bar.
- SOFS Boutique Hotel: This luxurious boutique hotel is located in the center of the Latin Quarter, surrounded by historic buildings and museums. The open-air museum is also a short distance away, along with many other attractions, but you’ll also enjoy a long list of amenities for a comfortable stay.
Odense is the third largest city in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Aarhus. It’s in the northeastern center of Funen Island, which sits between the larger Zealand and North Jutland Island.
Odense means “Odin’s Sanctuary,” after the Norse god of war and ruler of Valhalla. However, it’s a peaceful city with quaint little houses and unique attractions.
It’s also the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, the author of The Little Mermaid and The Emperor’s New Clothes. You’ll find many references and statues dedicated to the author and his creations.
Visitors to Odense often spend time in the old city center, which is called Odense Centrum or Odense C. It’s where you’ll find the main shopping streets of Kongensgade and Vestergade, along with many historic buildings.
The harbor area is the cultural center of the city. As with Aarhus, Odense has many different museums and galleries to visit. There is also no shortage of places to eat and drink. Depending on when you visit, you may also get to see a festival or two.
It’s a highly walkable city. You can get to most places on foot without any problems. However, if you’re looking for famous Denmark attractions, you may want to stick with one of the first two options.
Things to Do in Odense
- Learn more about the city’s famous author at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum
- Spend the day walking around the city center, which is filled with cafes, boutiques, and restaurants
- Explore the history of locomotives and carriages at the Danish Railway Museum
- Walk the ruins of the Egeskov Castle, the former residence of the royal family
Where to Eat in Odense
- Restaurant Ribelli for Italian food and a friendly environment
- Gringas for Mexican-inspired dishes with generous portions and affordable prices
- MASH – Restaurant Odense for a fancy dining experience with the world’s finest meats
- Amy’s Bar & Winehouse for drinks and good times at one of the top-rated bars in the city
Odense Budget Hotels
- Cabinn Odense: This budget hotel is right next to the central train station, making it easy to get around or take a day trip to another city. The rooms are small and cozy, but also cheap compared to other hotels in the city.
- Blommenslyst Kro: If you don’t mind being a few miles from the center of the city, you can save a few dollars and enjoy a more peaceful stay with this budget hotel. It’s a 19th-century building with 1970s-inspired décor for a retro look.
Odense Mid-Range Hotels
- Kragsbjerggaard: This mid-range hotel is further from the center of the city but offers a more tranquil place to stay and large comfortable rooms with views of the garden. The hotel also includes a large, shared kitchen and a playground, making it a popular choice for families.
- Comwell HC Andersen Dolce by Wyndham: The hotel lobby at this mid-range hotel features sculptures depicting the work of Hans Christian Andersen and is just a short stroll from the author’s museum and birth home. Other features include comfy rooms, free breakfast, a restaurant, and a bar.
Odense Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Odeon: With spacious rooms featuring elegant décor, this high-end hotel will help you feel like you’re living the high life, despite the relatively low prices. Some of the main features include an on-site restaurant, bar, and a great location, as it’s a short walk from the train station.
- Hotel Knudsens Gaard: This luxury hotel was built in an early 1900s farmhouse and is less than a mile from the center of the city. It’s a quiet place to stay with a charming country atmosphere surrounded by trees and gardens.
Aalborg is a lovely city in northern Denmark that most tourists tend to overlook, which helps it retain its old-world charm. It’s toward the northern end of North Jutland Island, about an hour and a half drive north of Aarhus.
As with many of the most popular cities in Denmark, Aalborg has historic charm. You’ll discover many examples of medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and charming old buildings.
However, there’s lots more to explore, including a zoo, several parks, and a waterfront area lined with shops, walking paths, and green spaces. These features help make it one of the best spots for families visiting Denmark.
The local cuisine is also an important part of the city’s reputation.
You can find a wide range of dining options, from traditional Danish cuisine to international flavors. Yet, it may not be as exciting as Copenhagen or Aarhus, which may not appeal to those looking to cut loose at local pubs and clubs.
Things to Do in Aalborg
- Climb to the top of Aalborg Tower for a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings
- Gain insight into Viking culture with a trip to the burial grounds and settlements of Lindholm Høje
- Get closer to wildlife with a fun stroll through the Aalborg Zoo
- Catch a musical event, theatre performance, movie, or sports match at the Nordkraft Cultural Center
Where to Eat in Aalborg
- Burger Shack Aalborg for affordable hamburgers and fries near the waterfront
- Fish & Skaldyr for seafood and a cozy atmosphere near the main road through the city
- Restaurant Fusion A/S for upscale dining at a seaside restaurant — reservations recommended
- The Wharf for beer and sports on the TV at a casual bar with a friendly atmosphere
Aalborg Budget Hotels
- Aalborg Airport Hotel: This is one of the most affordable places to sleep in Aalborg and a short walk from the Lindholm Viking burial site. It’s a popular choice with couples and those looking for the lowest prices for a highly rated hotel.
- Cabin Aalborg: This is another budget hotel found near the center of the city. It’s a short walk from the main street, which offers access to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and bars.
Aalborg Mid-Range Hotels
- Pier 5 Hotel: Stay right near the harbor with a stay at this four-star hotel. The modern rooms feature large windows with clear views of the waterfront, along with many amenities to help you feel at home.
- KOMPAS Hotel Aalborg: With large rooms and a great location near the waterfront, this popular hotel tends to run out of vacancies quickly. It’s a wonderful hotel with a free daily breakfast, on-site café, and parking.
Aalborg Luxury Hotels
- Radisson Blu Limfjord Hotel: Located a few miles from the hotel and a short distance from the main pedestrian street, this hotel has one of the most convenient locations for visitors. It also offers comfortable accommodations with views of the harbor.
- Hotel Scheelsminde: This family-owned hotel is in a renovated country home from the early 1800s and is a short drive from the train station and downtown Aalborg. The hotel has an on-site restaurant with a seasonal menu featuring a mixture of international cuisine and traditional Danish meals.
Skagen is the northernmost city in Denmark, found at the tip of North Jutland Island. It’s the largest fishing port in the country and a popular tourist destination.
Few other cities in Denmark can match Skagen when it comes to sandy beaches. The area includes several long beaches with expansive sandy areas where you can run around and play or relax in the sun.
It’s also home to one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. The original White Lighthouse was built in 1747 and replaced with the Grey Lighthouse in 1858. It’s now simply called the Skagen Lighthouse.
Due to its northern location, Skagen isn’t the most convenient place to stay if you want to spend time in the capital city of Copenhagen. It’s about a six-hour drive between the two cities. Yet, the distance also helps make Skagen one of the quieter places to stay in Denmark.
Things to Do in Skagen
- Climb to the top of the Skagen Lighthouse for amazing views of Skagen and the surrounding area
- Spend the day swimming or relaxing at the local beaches, such as Sonderstrand
- Watch the fishing and sailing boats coming and going at the Port of Skagen
- Learn more about the local flora and fauna at the Skagen Odde Nature Center
Where to Eat in Skagen
- Skagen Fiskerestaurant for great seafood and a family atmosphere near the harbor
- Highway 66 for generous food portions and a large menu with dine-in and takeout options
- Skagen Bryghus A/S for a midday glass of beer and a snack at a popular taproom
- Kokkenes Café & Restaurant for fine dining with outdoor seating in the heart of the city
Skagen Budget Hotels
- Hotel Petit Skagen: This hotel offers some of the lowest prices in Skagen, along with comfortable rooms featuring bright, original artwork and wooden floors. It’s a small, family-run hotel found just a few blocks from the train station and main street.
- Foldens Hotel: You can stay a short distance from the center of the city and many of the top Skagen attractions, including the beaches. The hotel is also home to a popular music venue with live music every weekend during the peak travel season.
Skagen Mid-Range Hotels
- Hotel Marie: This three-star hotel gives you a view of the surrounding area with large rooms featuring balconies and kitchens. You’ll also enjoy a free English breakfast and an on-site bar.
- Skagen Hotel: Featuring bright décor and furnishings inspired by the local atmosphere, this vibrant hotel is sure to keep you in a good mood during your stay. It’s also near the harbor and offers access to an on-site restaurant with five-course meals and a large selection of wines.
Skagen Luxury Hotels
- Brondums Hotel: This beachfront hotel is across from the Skagen Museum and a short walk from the shore and harbor. It’s a grand hotel with large rooms housed in a historic building that dates to 1874, but it’s still just a few dollars more than some of the budget options.
- Skagen Harbor Hotel: This is another popular hotel by the harbor, with a central location that makes it a prime choice for visitors. It’s near the main shopping street and offers several great amenities, including a minibar and rooms with balconies.
So, Where Should You Stay in Denmark?
|🏆 Best for First Timers||Copenhagen|
|🎉 Best for Nightlife||Aarhus|
|🚂 High Accessibility Area||Odense|
|🛍️ Best for Shopping||Aalborg|
|⛱️ Best for Beaches||Skagen|
Denmark marks the start of Scandinavia and still holds many historic sites from the times of the Vikings. It’s got something for everyone, from the popular capital city of Copenhagen to the vibrant nightlife scene in Aarhus.
Odense is a little less crowded but still has many festivals, museums, and historic sites. You may want to head over to Aalborg for shopping and Skagen for time on the beach.
So, with so much to see and do and many diverse areas in which to stay, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Denmark has to offer. Happy travels!