Denmark: 5 Unforgettable Towns Beyond Copenhagen | KCET
Denmark: 5 Unforgettable Towns Beyond Copenhagen
While Denmark's political and cultural hub of Copenhagen is an absolute must see, the best way to experience this little country's abundant beauty and quality of life is to venture off into the countryside.
That's where Rick Steves takes us this time on his travel program "Rick Steves' Europe." Let's follow him as he shows us these five towns to take in Denmark's cute and cozy atmosphere.
You can see all of Steve's Denmark tips in the episode here and catch more Monday through Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. Whether you're organizing an upcoming Euro trip or just love living vicariously through his travels like we do, you'll want to watch.
1. Frederiksborg Castle
Using Copenhagen as a jumping-off point, Steves begins his Danish countryside adventure with a visit to Frederiksborg Castle. Located north of the capital, in Hillerød, this spectacular lakeside castle is considered the greatest in Scandinavia. It was built in the 1600s for King Christian IV, but today it's home to Denmark's National Portrait Gallery. A visit there takes you on a historical journey through Denmark from the year 1500 until today. You'll get to walk through many of its rooms, explore its plush green gardens as well as its royal chapel.
For a deep look at Denmark's royal and Viking histories, head over to its historical capital -- Roskilde. Once the center of royal power, the town is more modern today. Still, its 12th century cathedral is its centerpiece, housing the tombs of 39 Danish kings and queens. The interior looks stunning to check out.
Near Roskilde's beautiful waterfront is Denmark's Viking Ship Museum. There, you'll see a fantastic display of old resurrected Viking ships -- once purposefully sunk to block entrance to the city -- as well as demos of traditional ship building techniques. There's even a hands-on kids' corner for the little ones to partake in some Viking fun.
For even more family fun, Steves takes us to Denmark's third-largest city and birthplace of children's writer Hans Christian Andersen. You visit the author's home, which now exhibits mementos from his life, including a collection of his personal photographs, and books and drawing from his world travels. During the summer, children can gather outside in the museum's garden for enactments of his favorite fairytales.
If you are traveling with kids, another must-see in Denmark is Legoland. It's a train ride away from Odense. This huge park features rides and attractions for the whole family, most of which are constructed entirely with Lego bricks. There are supposedly 58 million Legos used in at the theme park. Sounds like fun!
Denmark's second-largest city has a lot to offer the museum lover. This town is home the ARoS Aarhus museum, a modern art gallery. For something more traditional, check out the Old Town's open-air museum, where you'll get a glimpse of 19th century Danish urban living. The costumed actors and historical buildings give it an authentic touch.
Another museum to stop at is the prehistory museum, which houses the world's best-preserved bog body, known as the Grauballe Man. His body has been naturally frozen in time over many centuries.
5. Isle of Ã?rø
From Ã?rhus, a train followed by a ferry takes you to one of Denmark's most charming islands, Ã?rø (pronounced "air-rue"). This island is full of delightful scenery, calm beaches, and cute towns. Ã?røskøbing, for example, is the best-preserved 18th century town in Denmark and looks like a scene right out of a storybook. The harbor offers tourists (mostly boaters) lots of tranquil spots to walk, explore the island on bike, relax and have a good meal.
Just a short stroll from Ã?røskøbing, the peaceful shore is lined with cozy beach huts. What better way is there to close the day of exploring with a picnic dinner on the beach? Watch the sun set with good food and company, and you're good to go.
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Using Copenhagen as a spring board, we'll visit the very best of Denmark. Aarhus welcomes us with its ruddy affluence, charming open air museum and eerily well-preserved ancient bog man. Roskilde impresses visitors with its royal burial church and the best Viking ship museum anywhere. And the delightfully quaint Isle of Aero beckons a bike ride among thatched cottages, "snooping mirrors", and cobbled alleyways that reminds us of the world of Hans Christian Andersen.
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