Denmark is a Scandinavian country comprising the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands. It’s linked to nearby Sweden via the Öresund bridge. Copenhagen, its capital, is home to royal palaces and colorful Nyhavn harbor, plus the Tivoli amusement park and the iconic “Little Mermaid” statue. Odense is writer Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown, with a medieval core of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses.
Denmark is made up of the mainland peninsula called Jutland and over 400 scattered islands. The largest of Denmark’s islands, Zealand, is where you’ll find the capital city, Copenhagen. Denmark is part of Scandinavia and shares similar geography with the south of Sweden, to which it is attached via the Oresund Bridge, and Germany, with which it shares a land border. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes the enormous, self-governing territory of Greenland, situated near North America and the autonomous territory of the Faroe Islands.
Apart from the 68km-long border (42 miles) with Germany to the south, Denmark is surrounded entirely by water. The furthest you can be from the coast at any point in Denmark is only 52km (32 miles). At its West Coast, it touches The North Sea and this coastline is dominated by long, windswept stretches of sand and dunes. The North Coast runs up into the Kattegat and Skagerrak seas and is also a dynamic coast, with some of Northern Europe’s biggest shifting sand dunes. To the east, you’ll find a more sheltered coast and the calm waters of the Baltic Sea.
See where in Denmark the Vikings left their mark!
A thousand years ago, the Vikings forced themselves onto the world stage and left an indelible mark on many parts of Europe. Denmark, their homeland, has been shaped by Viking culture and here are some of the places you can see this most strikingly.
Denmark’s Birth Certificate
Jelling, in Jutland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can walk amongst thousand-year-old rune stones, put in place by Viking kings, and still standing between enormous burial mounds. On one of the largest stones, you can read an inscription by King Harald Bluetooth. This national birth certificate claims that he united Denmark and brought Christianity to the new kingdom. The visitors’ center, Kongernes Jelling, takes you through the history of the monuments over 1000 years, while the Prehistoric Museum at Moesgaard contains many more fascinating Viking rune stones.
Denmark is covered with Viking monuments. The Vikingmuseum Ladby on Fyn is a Viking ship in which a Viking chieftain was buried with all his precious possessions. Also on Fyn, is the Glavendrup rune stone, which displays Denmark’s longest Viking inscription. You can also visit the vast ship-shaped Viking burial mounds in the area. At Lindholm Høje, near Aalborg, you can wander around the biggest ancient burial ground in Scandinavia. Take a tour of all Denmark’s Viking treasures, with our Viking trail across the country.
Roskilde Viking Ship Musuem
The Vikings dominated the region thanks to their strong command of the sea and their skills as shipbuilders, as well as warriors. The approach of their boats would strike fear into the hearts of people and you can witness that power for yourself at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. Here, five original Viking longboats are on display, having been salvaged from the bottom of the nearby fjord.