On September 2007 I went to Denmark (see map) with my wife. We don't like arranged travels and we
prefer to travel on our own, because we think is the only way you can get in touch with
the real country and its people. This way of travelling is harder and more expensive than
others, but also more pleasant, relaxing and, that's the best, gives you a different point
of view on the culture and way of life.
After my experience here you have my advice if you
plan to travel on your own to these areas. You have to understand that
this is MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW and that it is not my intention to
criticize the people or culture of any of the mentioned places. You also must take into
account that these observations are from year 2007. Things might have
changed (either in the right or in the wrong way) since then. You must
also bear in mind that this is not a travel guide, but just the description
of my own journey and my own impressions. If you don't agree with
some of the opinions below just write your own WEB page with you own opinions,
but don't bother me.
The main idea of this journey was to visit Denmark,
where we had never been before. When planning the journey it was obvious
that we'll have to spend some days at Copenhagen, but it was
difficult to decide what other places in the country would be worth to
visit. Finally, taking into account the few days we had and the fact that we
were arriving and leaving by the airport of Copenhagen we decided to
concentrate on the islands, leaving most of the continental part (Jutland)
for a future travel.
I found a relatively cheap direct flight from Palma de Mallorca to
with Spanair .
The flight lasted for about 3 hours and when arrived we went directly to get
the car I had booked at Budget .
I had booked a Peugeot 307 SW, but as they didn't have any available I was
given an Audi A4 Avant for the same price (no need to say I didn't
And there the problems began.... suddenly I realized I had
forgotten the travel guide in the seat of the airplane. I immediately
went to the customer service of SAS
(the partner of Spanair in Denmark) and they "kindly" told me that nothing
could be done. That the airplane had been already cleaned and that it
was not their responsibility (!!). The girl told me that I should go to the
lost and found department of Copenhagen police !!. Well, buying
a new guide would solve the problem, so after my initial anger I decided it
was better to forget the incident, take the car and drive towards the city.
We went directly to the Hotel Avenue
that I had booked in hotusahotels.com .
This hotel is not at the centre of Copenhagen, but this was not a problem
for me as I would have a car. The hotel itself was good for me, it offers
free WiFI to guests, the crew was always very helpful, room and bathroom are
clean (but both very small) and you can use their car park for an reasonable
fee. The only drawback was the price of the room, but this is the same for
all hotels in Denmark. They are terribly expensive, specially
if you are from a country like Spain, where you are used to get the same (or
even better) quality and services for half the price.
It was getting late for lunch so we just left the baggage in the room
and went to a cafe nearby (the hotel doesn't have restaurant) to eat one of
the traditional Smorrebrod (a toast with salad and fish/shrimps or
meat) that the Danes like so much to eat at lunch. Afterwards we went to the
downtown to to have a first feeling of the city and walking a bit by the
famous Str?et ,
that is said to be the longest shopping street in Europe. To the
disappointment of my wife all shops were already closed at that time (Almost
all shops in Denmark close at 17:00 !)
The following day was Sunday, so we decided to visit the downtown of
as it would be easier to park than in a working day (and free!). Driving by
the city of Copenhagen is not complicated, but parking in the old town is
really expensive (free on Sundays), and understanding the complicated
signals that supposedly tell you where and when you are allowed to park
(depending on the day, time, etc.) is simply impossible for a foreigner. And
fines are not cheap, believe me.... I strongly recommend you don't
get to the downtown in you own car in working days!
We went directly to the most important attraction of the city, the
Little Mermaid ,
that although not being specially impressive is an icon of Denmark and thus
you are supposed to visit it. We left the car at the car park near the
Little Mermaid and walked to the near downtown, passing by the really
beautiful Saint Albans church
and the Churchill park, to end up in the impressive Marble
and the Amalienborg palace .
From there we walked towards the Rosenborg castle ,
that is surrounded by a beautiful park, and then to the botanical garden,
that is absolutely splendid and holds a huge greenhouse that is worth the
It was getting late, so we went to Nyhavn ,
one the most popular corners of the city, and where there are plenty of
restaurants with terraces along the channel. After lunch we took one of the
open boats that leave from Nyhavn itself and offer one-hour cruises by
the channels and harbour .
This gives you nice view of the city for a reasonable price and we certainly
enjoyed very much the experience.
Next day, Monday, it was time for some shopping, so we spent the whole
morning going up and down by the Str?et, buying some amber (quite
expensive, by the way) and other souvenirs. In the afternoon we went to the
famous Tivoligardens ,
a amusement park in the central Copenhagen, that in spite of its reduced
size (about 75,000 sqr. meters) catches you for many hours. Tivoli is
specially beautiful in the night, when it's illuminated by thousands of
coloured lights, so it's a good idea to get there in the afternoon and stay
till late in the evening, having dinner in any of the multiple restaurants,
that cover all tastes and budgets.
The following day we left Copenhagen towards northern Zealand (the
island where Copenhagen is located), driving by the coast road that takes
you through a never-ending succession of houses that hardly allow to see the
sea (the Oresund sound, that separates Denmark and Sweden). We got to the
Kronborg castle ,
near Helsing?, that is specially famous for being the setting for much of
William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. From there
we continued northwards by the coast to the village of Gilleje ,
and then went south to the Fredensborg palace ,
that we only could see from outside (It is the Danish Royal Family?s spring
and autumn residence). A little further there is the impressive
Frederiksborg palace ,
that we have to visit very quickly as it closes at 17:00 (as almost every
place does in this country, grrrr!!). In order not to go back to the
hotel so early we drove eastwards to the village of Hundested and
spent some time walking in the sunset by the beaches nearby .
Wednesday was a rainy day but we had to go on with our plans, so we took
the car and crossed the 16 km. long bridge that links Denmark and Sweden,
spent some time in the city of Malm?,
with beautiful parks and many pedestrian streets, and then went to Lund
one of the oldest towns in Sweden which has a beautiful cathedral. From
there we drove down to the southern coast and went back to Malm?by the road
along this absolutely flat coast of the Baltic sea. Crossed the bridge again
and went back to the hotel with a really bad cold I had got....
Next day it was time to move to our new destination in the island of
Lolland, but instead of going directly there (distance is really little) we
stopped at Roskilde ,
which has a beautiful cathedral, nice pedestrian shopping streets, and a
famous Viking ship museum. Then went down to N?tved ,
where we had lunch, and then to the beautiful Gavn?palace ,
that lays on its own island, and that we could only see from outside (do you
guess why?...yeees, it closed at 17:00 !!)
Just before sunset we arrived to Maribo, the main town in
Lolland island, and went to the Hotel Maribo S?ark ,
where I had booked a room. The problems began when they told me that there
were no smoking rooms available, and in spite of me insisting that I had
booked a smoking room I was forced to get a non-smoking one, what certainly
exasperated my wife (the smoker..). The girl at the reception was kind
enough to provide us with an ashtray an grant us permission to smoke at the
balcony of the room (no need to say how "pleasant" was to smoke outdoors, in
the fall, in Denmark, in the evening...). Regarding the room and the
bathroom, well.... they should be fine in the 80's, but little had been
renewed since then.... The leather of the chairs was worn out, the
sheets were broken, the curtain of the old bath tube was dirty, the balcony
hasn't been cleaned for ages and it was full of spiders,........ The only
good point of this hotel is the location, right at the shore of the
S?ders?lake, with nice views and in a restful place. Let's say it's
the wrong hotel in the right place, and it's certainly not cheap at all.
is a small town with no special tourist interest, however its location in
central Lolland, by the shore of the charming S?ders?lake ,
makes it an interesting place to stay when visiting this most rural, and
somehow less developed, region of Denmark.
A few km. north of Maribo you can find the excellent
Knuthenborg safari park .
If you are travelling with children the visit to this park is a must, but
anyway if you like enjoying the nature and animals you should also consider
spending at least one morning there. You can take a bus at the main
entrance, but definitively the best way to visit the park is with your own
vehicle. The ticket is not cheap, but it's worth the money.
The next day we drove to the east of the island of M?,
where M?s Klint is located. If you like natural landscapes I
strongly recommend you visit M?s Klint ,
a famous natural resort with over 100m high bright chalk cliffs, on top of
which a beautiful forest invites you to walk along the well preserved
(although quite steep) footpaths that go along the coast for several km.
It was time to move on, so the following day we took the ferry that
links the islands of Lolland and Langeland (there is no bridge
between these islands) and from Langeland we crossed the bridge to
the island of Fyn, driving directly to the city of Odense ,
where the most outstanding is the house of Hans Christian Andersen and
the traditional houses of the neighbourhood .
There are also many pedestrian shopping streets in the downtown, but this
time we only had very little time to walk around.
When I was planning this travel my intention was to stay in a hotel in
Odense, but for some reason there were no rooms available in any suitable
hotel, so I finally booked a room in the Hotel KongebroGaarden in
right at the shore of the narrow sound between Fyn and the
mainland. The Hotel KongebroGaarden
is a good hotel, with comfortable and excellent, although pretty small
rooms, some of them with views of the Lilleb?t sound.
Our journey was getting to its end, but still had one day left for a
visit to the charming city of Ribe ,
in the mainland, known for being the oldest city in Denmark and for
having more than 100 traditional well preserved houses. I enjoyed very
much spending the day in Ribe and walking up and down by the
In the afternoon it began raining a lot, so we went back to the hotel
early and rested a little in our last night in Denmark. The last day
we crossed the island of Fyn eastwards, stopping again in Odense
for some last-minute souvenir shopping, crossed the 18 km long bridge that
links Fyn and Zealand islands and went directly to the airport
Copenhagen is a really worth a visit and there are also other
interesting (but isolated) spots all over the country, but the landscapes
and coasts that we visited somehow disappointed me a little (the only
exception was M?s Klint). Might be it has to do with the fact
that this is a very flat country, with no mountains at all (highest is about
170 m above see level only) and also because of the too domesticated nature.
The Danes are very polite and they are always willing to help you
as much as they can. They are really nice people.
The food is quite different to what we are used in the
Mediterranean, so it was really hard to get used to it (in fact we didn't
manage to get used to it). Most dishes are based on fish or meat, with very
little vegetables. The different lunch and dinner habits were also a
problem (they use to have a relatively light lunch and a strong dinner). My
wife is vegetarian and her opinion about the Danish food was even more
radical than mine.... her words were "thank goodness there are Italian
restaurants everywhere...." :-)
Alcoholic drinks are VERY expensive. There is no Danish
wine (too north for the vines), but fortunately there are many different
good beers (very expensive, but good).
Click on the links of the map below to see some
Photos and information of the area in my photo album.