Copenhagen is always a fantastic jumping-off point to explore sights beyond the city, such as castles, parks, and even neighbouring Sweden. In summer though, there is even more reason to venture out of the city on a day trip to discover the special places and events that can only be experienced this time of year.

A green manicured lawn and row of large, square-shaped trees lead up to the rather grand Fredensborg Palace, with its white walls and green copper roof
The gardens of Fredensborg country palace © Ole Jensen / Corbis via Getty Images

Tour the queen's country palace

The elegant palace of Fredensborg is the country home of Queen Margrethe II, and this is where she spends her spring and autumn, away from the bustle of the capital. While the main gardens are open to visitors year-round, the public can only tour the palace's interior and the queen's private gardens for a few weeks in summer. Highlights include the window pane signed by royals and heads of state, the beautiful ballroom where Crown Prince Frederik's wedding reception took place, and the orangery, where produce and flowers are grown for the royal table.

How to get there

Take the train to Fredensborg (around 1hr from central Copenhagen) and follow signs north for approximately 1km to the palace.

Small boats are docked in front of two red triangular buildings on a sunny day on Ven island, Sweden
Hven (Ven) island in Sweden is just a 90 minute boat ride away from Copenhagen © - Alex W / Shutterstock

Set sail to a Swedish island

The island of Hven (Swedish: Ven) – only 7.5 sq km and home to fewer than 400 people – sits in the Øresund Sound between Denmark and Sweden and is accessible to visitors between mid-May and September. The best way to explore the island is by bike: peddle through the charming villages, visit the ancient clifftop church, and sample local whiskey at the Spirit of Hven distillery. Hven is also home to the Tycho Brahe Museum, dedicated to the life and work of the famed Danish astronomer.

How to get there

Sail from Copenhagen with Spar Shipping. It takes approx 90 minutes to reach Hven, and the return trip departs after around five hours.

Four deer stand close together in the long grass at Dyrehaven park in Denmark
Deer at Dyrehaven park in Copenhagen © Erik Kunddahl / 500px

Visit the world's oldest amusement park

Dyrehaven is a sprawling park with walking trails and over 2000 wild deer. Within the park is Bakken, the world's oldest amusement park, which is open daily in the summer months. Founded in the 16th century at the sight of a popular mineral spring, Bakken has been a favourite with Danes ever since. Entry to the park is free, but you need to purchase tickets or passes to try out the rides, such as the massive wooden roller coaster. There are lots of kid-friendly rides too, as well as performances for little ones.

How to get there

Take the S-train north to Klampenborg. It's approximately a 10-minute walk to Bakken, which is within the park.

Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace is a single-storey traditional house with yellow exterior walls and steep terracota-tiled roof; the street outside it is cobbled
Traditional houses, including the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, in the old town of Odense © Gimas / Shutterstock

Walk in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen

Spend some time exploring charming Odense, the historic birthplace of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, famed for his magical stories. Visit his birth home, browse his museum, pose with his statue, and in August, enjoy the Hans Christian Andersen festival (18–25 August). Stroll the cobbled streets that seem pulled from a fairy tale, and step into the tiny old homes of the Møntergård Museum to see how Odense's residents once lived. The towering cathedral, sprawling Munke Mose park, and the tasty Arkaden Food Hall are worth a visit too.

How to get there

Head west by train (approx 1hr 45mins) to Odense Banegård Center.

Travelling at a different time of year?

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