Top 12 things to do in North Jutland, Denmark

By |2018-07-25T14:50:33+00:00November 12th, 2013|Beaches, Denmark, Desert, Destination, Europe, Road trip|19 Comments

Why I love North Jutland, Denmark

Denmark is my home and birth place. I grew up in the Central Jutland Region, but my parents are from North Jutland, so we have spent all our summers up there when I was a kid. I love to return because the area has so many good memories, and I always seem to get surprised by the beauty and unique landscape.

THINGS TO DO IN NORTH JUTLAND, DENMARK

North Jutland is not only the most beautiful part of Denmark. It also packs a bunch when it comes to activities, attractions, nature and history. You’ll find things to do all year around, but I personally prefer Denmark in the summer, spring or autumn where the weather is warmer and daylight is longer.

Costs
You probably already know that Denmark is not the cheapest country in the world. I’m not about to argue that fact because it is quite expensive. But, most of the attractions in North Jutland, Denmark are actually free (yes, you heard me right). In fact, The Blue Ice Cream House is the only thing on this list that isn’t free!

How to get around
You can get around by train or bus. But if it’s possible, I advice you to go by car so you’ll have more freedom and can make stops along the way.

Where to stay
Skagen is the most expensive, but probably also one of the best places to base yourself in North Jutland. If you’re looking for a less expensive and slightly bigger city, stay in Frederikshavn or Aalborg (which is further away though!). If you’re the camping type, stay at a camp site or rent a summer house or cottage. To save money, you can cook your own food.

North Sea, Denmark

Getting stuck in the sand

SUMMER HOUSES & DANISH HYGGE

If you ever visit North Jutland, you’re bound to run into a summer house or two. This region has quite a few! I went there recently with family from the US and we lived in the summer house on the photo below. In the morning, we had breakfast on the terrace and at night we barbecued and had a bonfire. I really love the Danish summers.

hygge is a Danish expression and can be translated as cosyness. Like when you’re enjoying a glass of wine with your sweetheart, going out with friends, a Sunday afternoon in front of the TV or visiting loved ones.

Summerhouse in Lyngså

Summerhouse in Lyngså

Summerhouse in Lyngså

Cousin Jade, my brother Benjamin and Thomas

Summerhouse in Lyngså

Summerhouse in Lyngså

1. KATTEGAT

North Denmark is surrounded by the Northern Sea to the West and Kattegat to the East. Kattegat is more calm and suited for swimming with the family than the Northern Sea, but it doesn’t have the same charm. I still love going there which is why I come back every summer.

Kattegat, Denmark

Kattegat, Denmark

Kattegat, Denmark

2. TVERSTED LAKES AND FORESTS

You’ll find plenty of stunning lakes and forests in Denmark, but some of the best one are in the North. For me, Tversted Lakes are some of the most relaxing forests, perfect for long bike rides and picnics.

Danish forests

Forest, Northern Denmark

Forest, Northern Denmark

Forest, Northern Denmark

3. RÅBJERG MILE DESERT

We do actually have our very own desert in Denmark. At Råbjerg Mile, there’s a somewhat huge sand dune area where you can get that Middle Eastern desert feeling. Sort of.

Råbjerg Mile, Northern Denmark

Råbjerg Mile, Northern Denmark

Råbjerg Mile, Northern Denmark

4. WORLD WAR II BUNKERS & THE WEST COAST

The West Coast and Northern Sea are really something. Compared to the rest of Denmark, the water is colder here, it’s windier and you have to be extra careful of current. It has a special ring to it… The many German bunkers from World War II… The large sand dunes and rough waves…. The taste of salt you get on your lips.

North Sea, Denmark

North Sea, Denmark

North Sea, Denmark

Bunker from World War II

5. TVERSTED ICE CREAMS (DET BLÅ ISHUS)

Danes like ice cream from The Blue Ice Cream House in Tversted. A lot. Some say they have the best ice creams in Denmark here, but I honestly like the ones in Fjellerup better.

Tversted, Northern Denmark

Tversted, Northern Denmark

Tversted, Northern Denmark

6. SÆBY

Another little Jutlandic pearl is Sæby. It’s a very small town and basically the quintessence of Danish borough idyll. Sæby has a lovely beach, fresh seafood restaurants and charming half-timbered houses.

7. STRANDBY. HOME SWEET HOME

Strandby is special to me because of its history. This is the town where my parents grew up, where my granddad helped hide jews in their cellar during World War II and sail them to Sweden in the night. Where dad got his passion for fishing.

This is a special place, indeed.

Strandby, Northern Denmark

Strandby, Northern Denmark

Strandby, Northern Denmark

Strandby, Northern Denmark

The local church

Strandby, Northern Denmark

The family church in Elling

8. SKAGEN

The most popular place in North Jutland is Skagen. For that reason it’s very touristy, but it does deserve the hype. Skagen is a lovely little town where two clashing seas meet. If you walk out to Grenen, you can actually stand with each of your feet in a different sea (Kattegat and Skagerak).

Fresh fish at Skagen marina

Fresh fish at Skagen marina

Skagen is also popular for its Skagen painters from the 1880s. The most prominent Skagen artists are the Danish painters Anna and Michael Ancher and P.S. Krøyer. If you’re interested, you can see a collection of their paintings at Skagens Museum.

At Grenen

9. THE SAND-COVERED CHURCH

Just south of Skagen is the Sand-covered Church. It was built in the 14th century, but around 1600 sand began to bury the church faster than the townspeople could dug it out. By the late 1700s the door was almost completely covered and had to be dug out regularly just to hold services.

The sand-covered church is free to visit and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Skagen

10. RUBJERG KNUDE LIGHTHOUSE

On the opposite coast by the Western Sea is the fascinating Rubjerg Knude. The lighthouse tower is 23 metres high, and when it was built in 1900 there were no large dunes around it. As time went by though, the sea moved in closer and now the lighthouse is standing alarmingly close to the edge.

Rubjerg Knude is expected to collapse into the sea in about 15-20 years so you should visit while you still can.

11. BLOKHUS AND LØKKEN

You’ll find some of the best beaches in Blokhus and Løkken, which are located side by side on the West coast. During summer, these two places really come alive and they’re the place to find good sea food restaurants, beautiful white sand dunes, lots of activities for the whole family, and a vibrant and young nightlife. Both Løkken and Blokhus are popular holiday destinations for Danes and Germans.

Road trip in Denmark

These two photos are taken in the winter (December)

Winter in Denmark

12. TORNBY BEACH

Another of my personal favorites, and a far less known destination, is Tornby beach. It’s close to Blokhus and Rubjerg Knude and what makes it great is that it’s not a touristy place. It’s very small actually and the area is dotted with summer houses. Oh, it’s so beautiful. And that beach….!

What is your favorite place in your home country?

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North Jutland is the most beautiful place in Denmark. It has cute beach cottages, a desert and is surrounded by large sand dunes and the windy sea. Here's why you should visit North Denmark.

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19 Comments

  1. Laura @Travelocafe August 29, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    You’ve just showed me how much more i have to discover from Denmark. Amazing! Thanks for the list.

    • Miriam August 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Laura! You would love Northern Denmark – it’s the most beautiful part of Denmark. Definitely come back 🙂

  2. Becky Padmore September 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Denmark is one of my favourite countries although I’ve yet to venture to this bit, it looks beautiful!

    • Miriam September 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      You have something to look forward to, Becky. The North is incredible! Let me know if you need any tips on what to see if you make it there!

  3. Samuel Jeffery September 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    I’m sold. The next time I’m traveling in Europe, I’m going to visit Denmark.

    • Miriam September 9, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Fantastic, Samuel, you won’t regret it! When you’re in the area, let me know if you need any recommendations – I’d be happy to help.

  4. Katherine Winterton August 17, 2015 at 3:19 am - Reply

    Hi Miriam. Just saw a reference to your site in the Globe and Mail weekend paper in Toronto Canada. My husband and I will arrive in Copenhagen mid Sept for 3 nights and then on to Aarhus to visit with my nephew and his family. We have booked accommodation but would appreciate any tips on eating out and seeing the sites. Our Canadian dollar has dropped substantially recently so any info would be appreciated. While in Aarhus we plan to take my nephew, his wife and two small children out either for lunch or a childrens activity. The children are boys aged 3 and almost 1 Any suggestions would be appreciated From Aarhus we will go to Amsterdam where we have booked accommodation but would appreciate any tips you might have Thanks

    • Miriam August 17, 2015 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Hi Katherine, I’m glad to hear that you’ll be visiting Denmark – and I’m especially excited that you’re adding Aarhus to your itinerary – this is my hometown. Regarding things to see in Aarhus, you should visit: Aros (art museum with a circular walkway in glass in all the colours of rainbows. It’s super fun for kids), Den Gamle By (The old town), Marselisborg castle, Moesgård museum, Tivoli, Strøget (for shopping), Aarhus Cathedral and the court hose. As for food – are you looking for traditional Danish food or will International food be ok, too? Because we mostly have the latter.

  5. Sherri October 24, 2015 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Last summer, my friend and I ate at blå ishuset many times! If I may, I’d like to suggest a couple places that we enjoyed for you to also explore. In Mygdal, there is a potter who also sells bottles of Vikingblud, and an amber jeweler. In Bindslev, there are the gammle Elværk and fisketrappen. The hyggelig ‘keeper’s cottage’ belongs to a lovely older couple, both are artists. Drop in to see their paintings!
    I love Denmark and her people; I hope I can return again soon!

    • Miriam October 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Sherri, thanks so much for the tips! I’m planning a trip to North Jutland this autumn and again in the winter so your recommendations are much appreciated!

  6. Kat Black April 22, 2017 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    We are thinking of moving just outside Aalborg from the UK.
    What was it like growing up as i have 2 children?x

    • Miriam April 23, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      Denmark is a lovely place to grow up, especially Jutland (but I might be biased 🙂 ). You have beautiful nature up north, the pace is slower and people are more down to earth than in Copenhagen. Did you or your husband get a job here since you’re thinking of moving?

  7. Ben June 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Miriam

    Thank you for your blog!

    The summehouse looks amazing. Would you have the name of a website to find this specific house (or similar ones)?

    We will spend 1.5 weeks in Denmark this summer and are looking for a nice summer house.

    Best regards,
    Ben

    • Miriam June 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Ben,
      North Jutland is definitely the place to rent a summer house! Ours was old and a bit far away from everything so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Some great places are Løkken, Blokhus, Tornby, Skiveren, Sæby, Skallerup Klit, Tversted, Bratten beach – and Skagen of course. You might find some summer houses on this site: https://www.touristonline.dk/en But you’d probably find more by googling – there are many other sites. You should book asap because they’re high in demand.

      Best from Denmark, and have a great trip!

  8. Kripa John July 8, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hi Miriam, i just came across your blog, we are an Indian family travelling to Denmark (July 12 to 26 2017) from Dubai, this being our first trip, we would love to have some tips on visiting places. We are travelling with our son 10 year old and daughter 6 year old
    We are planning to visit Copenhagen,Frederikshavn,Aalborg,Aarhus,Billund Legoland ,Odense

    Your suggestions/tips, are all welcome regarding places to visit, food, weather 🙂
    Thank you in advance

    • Miriam July 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Kripa John,
      Welcome to Denmark! 🙂 I wrote this post last year that covers some of the places you’re going: http://adventurousmiriam.com/road-trip-in-denmark/

      If I were you, I’d spend most time in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Frederikshavn (Legoland/Billund – just 1 day). There’s not much to see in Frederikshavn, but it’s a great base to explore Northern Denmark!

  9. Judith July 10, 2018 at 3:35 am - Reply

    OMG! You have been a life saver and given me so much wonderful information! I will be in Denmark for 5 days and want to see as much as I possibly can! From Copenhagen, I want to explore Funen, Odense, Ribe, Vadelhavet, Mogeltonder, Sonderborg, Tornby, Aarhus and Saeby (as per a few of your road trip blog posts). Is this too much?? Do you suggest another itinerary??
    Thank you!!
    Judith

    • Miriam August 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Judith!

      Well, anything is possible if you have a car 🙂 You schedule will be SUPER tight, but it’s doable. If you want to skip some of the places, I recommend leaving out Sønderborg and Møgeltønder. Also, Tornby and Sæby is very far from Copenhagen, so although those places are amazing I think you should save them for another time perhaps.

      You can do it like this:

      Day 1: Copenhagen
      Day 2: Funen (Odense) (spend the night in Odense)
      Day 3: Sønderborg, Ribe, Vadehavet, Møgeltønder (spend the night in Ribe)
      Day 3: Aarhus (Spend the night in Aarhus)
      Day 4: Aarhus (Spend the night in Aarhus)
      Day 5: Drive back to Copenhagen (4 hours by car).

  10. Jimmy Cams August 8, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I go on a road trip with my son every summer (5th time this year & he’s only 12); Denmark has been on my list for some time; It’s an 8h drive for us (we’re from Belgium) and I only get 4 days from my wife 🙂

    Next year I’ll negociate for 5 days and come to Denmark. Your blogs are extremely helpful to plan ahead, a great mix of nature, beautiful towns, beaches and culture; which is what we try to do every year.

    Since my son is fascinated by everything from World War II (we did Normandy 2 years ago), can you recommend some locations to visit e.g. where the bunkers are best preserved?

    Thanks a lot for sharing this!

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