5 Best Sights in Ribe, Jutland

Rømø

Fodor's choice

The lush island of Rømø, 35 km (22 miles) southwest of Ribe, has one of Denmark's widest beaches, which unfurls along a sunny western coast and has protected areas for windsurfers, horseback riders, nudists, and dune-buggy riders—space for everyone, it seems. Rømø has fewer than 600 permanent residents, but masses of vacationing German and Danish families increase this number tenfold in summer. It's a haven for campers, cyclists, and budget vacationers. A causeway crosses green fields and marshy wetlands to connect Rømø to the mainland. Many birds live here, feeding off the seaweed and shellfish washed up by the tides. Summer houses dot the island; most of Rømø's services and accommodations are in and around the village of Havneby, 8 km (5 miles) south of the causeway, and in the camping and shopping complex of Lakkolk, in the west.

Fanø

In the 19th century, the tiny island of Fanø (30 km [19 miles] northwest of Ribe—plus a 12-minute ferry from Esbjerg) had an enormous shipbuilding industry and a fleet second only to Copenhagen's. The shipping industry deteriorated, but the maritime heritage remains. Today Fanø is a summer oasis for legions of Danes and other northern Europeans. Silky sand beaches unfold along the west coast, buffered by windswept dunes and green reeds. Cars are allowed on the beach, and it's well worth taking a ride along the flat sandy coast between the ferry port in Nordby, Fanø's capital, and the traditional town of Sønderho, 13 km (8 miles) to the south. Spinning along the white sandy expanse is like crossing a desert; only the dark blue sea off in the distance reminds you of your island whereabouts. The beach is so level and wide that the military used to train here. In the off-season, when summer visitors have returned home, the Fanø shore becomes a tranquil retreat, hauntingly silent save for the rustle of reeds and the far-off squawk of a bird.

Museet Ribes Vikinger

The Ribe Viking Museum chronicles Viking history with conventional exhibits of household goods, tools, and clothing. There's a multimedia room with an interactive computer screen where you can search for more Viking information in the form of text, pictures, and videos.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Ribe Domkirke

The Ribe Domkirke stands on the site of one of Denmark's earliest churches, built around AD 860. The present structure, which dates from the 12th century, is built of a volcanic tufa stone, transported by boats from quarries in Cologne, France. Note the Cat Head Door, said to be for the exclusive use of the devil. The 14th-century brick bell tower once clanged out flood and fire warnings to Ribe's citizens and today affords sweeping views of the town's red-slate rooftops and surrounding marshes.

Ribe VikingeCenter

This outdoor exhibit, 2 km (1 mile) south of the Ribe railway station, details how the Vikings lived day to day, with demonstrations about homes, food, and crafts.

Lustrupvej 4, Ribe, 6760, Denmark
75-41--16--11
Sights Details
Rate Includes: DKr 130, May, June, and Sept., weekdays 10–3:30; July and Aug., daily 11–5, Closed Nov.--March, Sat.--Tues. in Apr., and Sat. and Sun. in May, June, Sept., and Oct.