8 Best Sights in Side Trips from Copenhagen, Denmark

Dyrehaven

Fodor's choice

Herds of deer roam freely in the verdant, 2,500-acre Dyrehaven. Once the favored hunting grounds of Danish royals, today the park has become a cherished weekend oasis for Copenhageners. Hiking and biking trails traverse the park, and lush fields beckon nature-seekers and families with picnic baskets. The deer are everywhere; in the less-trafficked regions of the park you may find yourself surrounded by an entire herd of deer delicately stepping through the fields. The park's centerpiece is the copper-top, 17th-century Eremitagen, formerly a royal hunting lodge. It is closed to the public but is sometimes rented for private events. Dyrehaven is a retreat for hikers and bikers, but you can also go in for the royal treatment and enjoy it from the high seat of a horse-drawn carriage. The carriages gather at the park entrance near the station.

Ordrupgaard

Fodor's choice

Ordrupgaard is one of the largest museum collections of French impressionism in Europe outside France itself, and it reopened in late 2020 after a major renovation. Most of the great 19th-century French artists are represented, including Manet, Monet, Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Gauguin, Sisley, Delacroix, and Pissarro. Ordrupgaard also has a superb collection of Danish Golden Age painters and spectacular works by Vilhelm Hammershøi, whose deft use of light and space creates haunting settings for his mostly solitary figures. The paintings hang on the walls of what was once the home of museum founder and art collector Wilhelm Hansen. The interior of this manor, dating from 1918, has been left just as it was when Hansen and his wife Henny lived here. In 2005 a black, curvaceous addition, designed by the acclaimed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, joined the main building. In addition to extra exhibition space, the new structure made room for a spacious café that overlooks the park. There are labels in English.

The Forest Tower at Camp Adventure

Fodor's choice

Since opening in 2019, this forest tower has been one of the most popular day-trips from Copenhagen. The 45-meter (148-foot) tall spiraling wooden structure towers over the trees below, and it’s as much an architectural masterpiece as it is a way to experience nature from a new angle. It’s part of Camp Adventure, a nature camp with a climbing park and a café. The tower is open year-round.

Price discounts for the climbing park are available online; children younger than 15 also pay a lower rate for the climbing park.

Denderupvej 9A, Rønnede, 4683 Rønnede, Denmark
38-15--00--30
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tower DKr 200, climbing park DKr 350, Climbing park closed Nov.--Mar. and Mon.--Wed. Apr.--June and Sept.-Oct.

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ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst

Architect Søren Robert Lund was just 25 and still a student when he was awarded the commission for the ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, which is set against the flat coast southwest of Copenhagen. ARKEN, or "the ark," which opened in 1996, is a building with a ship's features: sail-like protrusions and narrow red corridors that evoke a submarine. The museum's massive sculpture room exhibits both modern Danish and international art. The hall is narrow in one end and wider in the other to provoke illusions of space and proximity, depending on where you stand. The café, which looks like a ship's bridge, offers nice views of Køge Bugt.

Skovvej 100, Ishøj, 2635, Denmark
43-54–02–22
Sight Details
Rate Includes: DKr 140, Closed Mon.

Bakken

Located in the peaceful Dyrehaven, Bakken is the world's oldest amusement park—it opened in 1583!—and one of Denmark's most popular attractions. Here a mostly working-class crowd lunches on hot dogs and cotton candy and, perhaps most importantly, plenty of beer. Tivoli, with its trimmed hedges, dazzling firework displays, and evening concerts, is still Copenhagen's reigning queen, but unpretentious Bakken is unabashedly about having a good time. Bakken has more than 30 rides, from quaint, rickety roller coasters (free of Disney gloss) to newer, faster rides and little-kid favorites such as Kaffekoppen, the Danish version of spinning teacups, where you sit in traditional Royal Copenhagen–style blue-and-white coffee cups.

Bellevue Strand

The residents of Klampenborg are lucky enough to have this pleasant beach nearby. In summer this luck may seem double-edged, when scores of city-weary sunseekers pile out at the Klampenborg S-train station and head for the sand. The Danes have a perfect word for this: they call Bellevue a fluepapir (flypaper) beach. Bellevue is still an appealing seaside spot to soak up some rays. Amenities: lifeguards, showers, toilets. Best for: partiers, swimming.

Experimentarium

At a former bottling plant, in the beachside town of Hellerup, more than 300 exhibitions are clustered in various islands, each exploring a different facet of science, technology, and natural phenomena. A dozen hands-on exhibits allow you to do things like blow giant soap bubbles, feel an earthquake, stir up magnetic goop, play ball on a jet stream, and gyrate to gyroscopes. The center also organizes interactive temporary exhibitions. Exhibit texts are in English, so this is a great destination for visitors with inquisitive kids.

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Frilandsmuseet

About 50 Danish farmhouses and cottages from the period 1650–1950 have been painstakingly dismantled, moved here, reconstructed, and filled with period furniture and tools. Trees, farm animals, and gardens surround the open-air museum; bring lunch and plan to spend the day. It's a very popular excursion for locals from around the capital region. For children, the farm animals and history-theme pantomime performances are the biggest draws.