Though small in size, Denmark has much to offer visitors. While its shining star is undoubtedly Copenhagen, there is an abundance of cultural attractions to enjoy throughout this pristine, friendly, and gorgeous country. We'll begin in Copenhagen. While in Denmark's cosmopolitan capital, consider visiting the 170-year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park, an icon of Copenhagen.
Denmark is home to some truly remarkable architecture. Before the Protestant Reformation, the most exceptional architectural works were usually medieval churches. After the country became Lutheran, architectural masterpieces tended to be manor homes or castles. Denmark has had a monarchy for over 1100 years; as a result, it contains some of the finest castles in all of Scandinavia. In Copenhagen, the following castles and palaces are all deserving of a visit: Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Danish royal family; the magnificent Dutch-Renaissance style Rosenborg Castle; and Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament. Outside of Copenhagen, there are three must-see castles. The first is Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. Shakespeare used the castle, which is one of three World Heritage Sites in Denmark, as the setting of Hamlet
. The second is Frederiksborg Castle, which is located in a city north of Copenhagen called Hillerød.
Lastly we recommend the unusually-beautiful Egeskov Castle, a romantic Renaissance castle surrounded by water and stunning gardens. It is located on the island of Funen, which is also famous as the birthplace of Denmark's favorite son: Hans Christian Andersen. Fans of his fairytales can visit the home where he lived as a child as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Both are located in the town of Odense. Bringing the kids? Another great place to visit outside of the capital is the Legoland Park in Billund, which is located next to the original Lego factory.
And we can't talk about Denmark's cultural achievements without mentioning modern design. The Danes today are renowned for the sleek, functional design found in their Expressionist architecture, mid-20th century furniture and home furnishings. (Yes, we're talking about those gorgeous, mid-century teak chairs!) If you want to learn more about Danish design, consider paying a visit to the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen. While you're shopping, keep your eyes peeled for the hand-painted Royal Copenhagen porcelain, another favorite Danish export.