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Denmark Family Holidays & Breaks

Nyhavn, CopenhagenNyhavn, CopenhagenKim Wyon
Southern DenmarkSouthern Denmark
Canal-boat tour, CopenhagenCanal-boat tour, CopenhagenKim Wyon
Amager Strandpark, CopenhagenAmager Strandpark, CopenhagenKim Wyon
Ofelia Beach, CopenhagenOfelia Beach, Copenhagen
Seal at Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet, EsbjergSeal at Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet, Esbjerg© Rhonda Carrier
Legoland Denmark, BillundLegoland Denmark, Billund© Rhonda Carrier
The Men at Sea, EsbjergThe Men at Sea, Esbjerg© Rhonda Carrier
Capital City Copenhagen
Flying Time 2hrs
Carbon Footprint 0.93 CO2
Timezone GMT +1
Currency Danish Krone

Today

Overview

Denmark, which lacks the remoteness of the rest of Scandinavia and is an enthusiastic member of the EU, is a delightful place for family holidays, with quaint timbered houses, cobbled streets and tree-lined fjords where Hans Christian Andersen found inspiration for his famous tales, beautiful scenery where Vikings once roamed, and great family beaches and cycling terrain. Danes are charming and friendly, public transport is excellent, and most people speak English. 

Things to do with kids in Denmark

Visit Copenhagen, the wonderful capital, one of the easiest cities in Europe to visit with a family, with walkers and cyclists outnumbering cars (it's home to the world's longest pedestrian street), pavement cafés, mime artists, small art galleries and hippy hang-outs, and some first-rate museums and shopping. Don't miss the world-famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Amalienborg Palace and statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid.

Head to Billund, home to the world's first Legoland, with its own hotel. Also easily accessible from the ferry port of Esbjerg is Ribe, Denmark's oldest city, which celebrated its 1300th birthday in 2010. As well as the well-preserved medieval centre with its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets and cathedral, it's worth visiting for the Ribe Viking Museum and Ribe Viking Centre.

Discover Arhus with its Viking origins, one of the liveliest and prettiest towns in Denmark and a good base – central, with very good transport links. Self-effacing, laidback and artistic, it has some excellent modern hotels and architecture.

Explore Funen, the third-largest of Denmark's islands, in the middle of the country. Known as the garden of Denmark for its fields of fruit trees and vegetables, it's a place of writers and artists (Hans Christian Andersen was from here), drawn by the soft light, lovely beaches and bucolic nature. It's best seen by bike.

Eat

Danes are enthusiastic eaters, although the pickled or smoked herring and other fish and meats and black bread might be initially offputting for younger eaters. Other traditional Danish fare, which has undergone a revival in recent years, includes smørrebrød (open sandwiches), pølser (sausages sold from stalls on the street) and famous Danish pastries. You might also enjoy Limfjord oysters, Læsø langoustine and eel. A family-friendly introduction to local cuisine are restaurants that do buffets.

Copenhagen has experienced a gastronomic revolution over the last 15 years or so and is now regarded as Scandinavia's culinary capital, with Noma named the world's best restaurant by Restaurant magazine several years in a row. The latter, set in a converted waterfront warehouse, does welcome kids, but its aesthetically gorgeous dishes can be challenging – and you'll need to book months ahead.

Copenhagen also has plenty of reasonably priced bistros, ethnic restaurants and cafés, many offering fixed-priced menus.

When to go to Denmark

For beaches and bicycling, summer is best, but the cities are great for breaks year-round, and Christmas in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens with its hundreds of mechanical pixies is worth the trip in itself.

Cost

Like the rest of Scandinavia, Denmark is not a cheap place for family holidays.

By Rhonda Carrier

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