For such a small country, Denmark packs a big punch. Visitors to this quaint Scandinavian country are often astounded at the wide variety of scenery here, from the picturesque small towns and lovely island communities to the vast and verdant forests and beautiful blue seas.
Denmark has a fascinating history – and its ancient architecture, cobblestone streets, and magnificent old churches are part of what makes the country so enchanting. You’ll find everything from big cities to small villages, and chances are, that no matter where you wander you’ll find something to please the eye.
That being said, some towns are more lovely than others – so if you’re planning a trip to the Nordics, keep reading for our picks of the 30 most beautiful towns in Denmark.
Table of Contents
- 1. Copenhagen
- 2. Helsingør
- 3. Ribe
- 4. Dragør
- 5. Roskilde
- 6. Århus
- 7. Ӕrøskøbing
- 8. Hornbӕk
- 9. Skagen
- 10. Odense
- 11. Fåborg
- 12. Svaneke
- 13. Gudhjem
- 14. Ebeltoft
- 15. Ålborg
- 16. Mariager
- 17. Sønderho
- 18. Sorø
- 19. Rudkøbing
- 20. Maribo
- 21. Prӕstø
- 22. Kolding
- 23. Vejle
- 24. Viborg
- 25. Silkeborg
- 26. Gilleleje
- 27. Christiansfeld
- 28. Hillerød
- 29. Billund
- 30. Herning
For more reasons than we can count (or fit into a single post), Copenhagen is one of Denmark’s most beautiful towns. This capital city is the largest and most populated in the country – yet somehow manages to maintain a sense of small-town charm, while simultaneously offering up endless sightseeing opportunities.
From the canal-lined streets to the ocean-front military fortress and everything in between, you could simply spend your days in Copenhagen walking around and taking in the incredible views that can be found around every corner.
One of the most photographed areas in the city is Nyhaven, and this 17th-century canal is lined with iconic colorful houses and historic wooden ships that have been seen on postcards for ages.
There are three castles in the city itself, along with countless parks, gardens, churches, and other ancient buildings. The city is also home to lots of modern features, and futuristic architecture combined with the old makes for one stunning city.
Helsingør is another one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark, complete with oceanfront views, ancient architecture, and a massive castle to boot.
The Kronborg Castle was actually the inspiration for Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet play, and it’s not hard to see why. This magnificent structure stirred up fantasies for the famous writer.
The town itself is also rather enchanting, and you’ll find lots of beautiful old churches, colorful houses, and a bustling downtown area filled with pubs and cafes. The town is fairly small, and you could easily explore the whole thing on foot in just a few hours.
Helsingør is located on the northeast coast of Zealand, the same island that houses Copenhagen, and if you’re looking to make the most out of your trip to Scandinavia you can take a short ferry ride over to the Swedish city of Helsingborg.
It stands to reason that Denmark’s oldest town is also one of the most beautiful, and the city of Ribe checks both those boxes. The town dates back to the 8th century, and the medieval charm here is absolutely delightful.
Steeped in history and stunning ancient architecture, Ribe is often considered to be one of Europe’s best small-city destinations. Its cobblestone streets, quaint homes, and historic harbor only add to the town’s beauty – and the best time to take it all in is during one of the famous festivals held here throughout the year.
Not only does this Jutland city boast beautiful buildings and charming streets, but it’s also home to a comprehensive Viking museum that should not be missed.
The ancient fishing village of Dragør is a great day trip for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen, and it’s also one of the most beautiful towns in all of Denmark.
This ancient town dates back to the 12th century, and while it’s not quite as old as Ribe, it certainly has its own rich history. It was once one of the most important fishing ports in Denmark – and this scenic harbor is much less crowded than that of the nearby capital (not to mention, you can enjoy these lovely views with much fewer tourists).
One of the best ways to realize the beauty of Dragør is by biking the 12 km (about 7.5 miles) through the verdant moor of Amager Fæller from Copenhagen.
One of the most beautiful towns in Denmark is the ancient city of Roskilde. Just like Dragør, Roskilde makes for a great day trip from Copenhagen, as it’s located just 35 km (about 22 miles) to the west. This historic city is one of the oldest in Denmark – and actually, all of Europe.
Its crown jewel is the stunning Gothic Cathedral located in the town’s center, and the ancient edifice has even been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church also houses the tombs of many Danish kings and queens, and it’s really no wonder why the royals would choose the beautiful church as their final resting place.
Roskilde is also known for its museums, a royal mansion, and a world-famous music festival held each summer. The Viking ship museum is perhaps the city’s most famous attribute, however – so don’t miss your chance to see some of these incredible vessels and learn more about them while you’re in town.
Located in the country’s geological center of Jutland, Århus is one of Denmark’s most beautiful towns. It’s also one of the most populous, second only to Copenhagen.
Similar to the country’s capital, Århus blends modern influences with ancient architecture, resulting in a truly beautiful city.
One of the most famous and picturesque parts of the city is Den Gamle By or, The Old Town, an open-air museum that’ll leave you feeling like you stepped into the past. You’ll find 75 historic buildings, most of which are open to the public. These half-timbered edifices are styled to their original purpose, from houses and grocery stores to workshops and government buildings.
For a view into the modern side of Århus, a walk down by the waterfront will give you scenic views across the bay and a look into the futuristic architecture that has been built in recent years.
Although it may not be easy to pronounce, the town of Ӕrøskøbing is one of the most beautiful in Denmark. The name is derived from Old Norse and marks Ӕrøskøbing as an old trade town on the island of Ӕrø.
This idyllic village is often referred to as Denmark’s fairy tale town, and it’s not hard to see why. The town’s recorded history dates back to 1250 – and the quaint cobbled streets coupled with the quiet ambiance of this tiny town do make it feel quite otherworldly.
Much of the ancient architecture here has been incredibly well preserved. Unlike some of the other cities on our list, Ӕrøskøbing has remained virtually untouched by modern additions.
Besides the architecture, the town is known for its beautiful shoreline and colorful beach huts that line the sandy coast.
Located on the “Danish Riviera” in North Zealand, Hornbӕk is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. This seaside resort town was once a thriving fishing village, but its natural beauty hasn’t gone unnoticed, and tourists now flock here to soak in the views and the sun.
The white sand beaches here are one of its main draws, but Hornbӕk also boasts a beautiful city center. The town caters mostly to the well-to-do, with a collection of fine dining establishments and boutique shops.
If you’re looking to visit Hornbӕk on a budget, you can always just window shop, spend a day at the beach, or explore the beautiful Hornbӕk Plantation on the outskirts of town. This protected nature area has been around since 1793 and features native Danish trees and a series of burial mounds that date back to the Bronze Age.
Skagen is the northernmost town in Denmark and is also one of the most beautiful. Known for its collection of yellow houses and stunning natural scenery, Skagen has been attracting tourists for centuries.
Although the sandy stretches of beach are incredibly enticing, Skagen offers a wide array of activities for vacation makers. The city center is full of tantalizing restaurants offering fresh catches of the day, in addition to museums, art galleries, and even a brewery.
Just outside of Skagen you’ll find even more beauty, including Den Tilsandede Kirke, “The Sand Covered Church”, the Råbjerg Mile (the largest migrating sand dune in the country), and Grenen, the northernmost point in Jutland where two seas meet.
Odense is the capital of Funen Island, and one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark. Most known for being the birthplace of the famous fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson, it’s very fitting that Odense itself has its own sense of fairytale-like charm.
The romantic streets lined with old homes, verdant parks, scenic harbor, and vibrant downtown are part of what makes this town so lovely. Not only is Odense a beautiful place to spend a day or two, but it’s also incredibly fun. You’ll find zoos, a street food market, and even a Viking-age village with interactive exhibits.
If you’re short on time, one of the best things to do in Odense is to visit the house that Hans Christian Anderson grew up in and the newly completed museum dedicated to his life work.
Located on Funen Island, the idyllic merchant town of Fåborg is one of the most beautiful in Denmark, and this ancient city dates all the way back to 1229 when Vladimir II gifted it to his daughter in law.
The old history lives on in some of the ancient buildings around town, and the colorful half-timbered buildings are part of what makes Fåborg so stunning. The atmosphere of this quaint town also adds to the charm, which is best experienced in the town square.
You’ll find lots of shops, eateries, and museums around town, and there’s even a castle located just outside of the city.
One of the best things to do in Fåborg is to visit the old bell tower, parts of which date back to the 15th century. You can climb up to the top for sweeping views over the city and surrounding area or simply wait at the bottom for the music of the glockenspiel that chimes several times a day.
Another one of Denmark’s most beautiful towns can be found on the Baltic Island of Bornholm. When you visit Svaneke, you’ll actually be closer to Sweden than Denmark, and this is the country’s easternmost city.
Characterized by its small seaside streets, colorful half-timbered houses, and vivacious harbor, Svaneke is a vibrant fishing community that is as lively as it is lovely. Don’t just take our word for it; in the past, it has been awarded the title of Denmark’s most beautiful town, in part because of its well-preserved historic city center.
Take some time to admire the town’s ancient architecture, and whatever you do, don’t miss the cozy market square. You’ll find everything from artisanal candy stores to pubs, and on summer weekends you’ll likely hear live music and other entertainment.
While you’re in Bornholm, the little town of Gudhjem is a must-see. Denmark is a relatively flat place, and this hilltop city is truly one-of-a-kind.
Not only is Gudhjem unique, but it’s also incredibly beautiful – with scenic overlooks, colorful houses, and a picturesque harbor. The city’s name literally translates into “God’s Home”, and whether it’s because of the relative proximity to heaven (in Danish terms) or its incredible beauty, we can’t be sure.
Those looking for the best views in town can climb Bokul, the highest hill, and although it’s not the easiest trek, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the red-tiled roofs of the city below, the harbor, and the sea.
There’s also a not-so-secret lake in this area, and if you’re visiting in late summer, you might be able to forage for blueberries around the shore.
Other beautiful areas in Gudhjem include Holkadal and Kaffeslottet (a beautiful valley and “coffee castle” perched atop another hill), and nature areas along the coastline.
Locals are usually the best ones to look to when seeking out the most beautiful towns in their country, and Danish vacationers are known to flock to the stunning city of Ebeltoft. Located in East Jutland along the lovely Djursland Peninsula, Ebeltoft may appear like any other sleepy seaside village, but we assure you it’s anything but.
This popular vacation destination is famous for its charming (if not a bit crooked) half-timbered houses, winding cobblestone streets, and colorful spring Hollyhock blooms.
History buffs will also enjoy the old wooden warship permanently parked in the harbor, while nature lovers can explore the nearby Mols Bjerge National Park.
During the summers, Ebeltoft’s streets come to life with live music and other cultural offerings, and if you’re hoping to experience this vibrant town for more than one day, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance.
Ålborg is another one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark – and it’s also one of the oldest. Although this modern city might not look the part today, Ålborg was once a place where Viking ships sailed past along the scenic Limfjord.
Today you can kayak in the same waters that Vikings sailed, or simply take a dip by the classic Danish wooden swimming platforms. You could also spend your time in Ålborg taking in the futuristic architecture and colorful street art, or meandering the cobbled streets of Old Town in search of more historic buildings.
You’ll also find a wide variety of eclectic entertainment opportunities in Ålborg, from a food hall in an old furniture factory to a cultural hot spot in an old power station; your options are endless.
About an hour south of Ålborg you’ll find Mariager, another fjord-facing city and one of Denmark’s most beautiful. Situated along the Mariager Fjord in eastern Jutland, Mariager is as rural as Ålborg is modern – and this quaint town makes for a great day trip if you’re in the area.
Mariager dates back to the 15th century and has had the nickname of the “City of Roses” for most of its history. Besides the romantic blooms that line the cobbled streets, the town is also known for the slightly tilted half-timbered houses, antique street lamps, and lovely old town square.
The square is the best place to watch the world go by, and there are also a few cafes, shops, and an ice cream store nearby. If you’re looking for a more upbeat activity while in Mariager, you can take a tour of the salt museum or hop on the scenic Mariager-Handest Vintage Railway for epic views of the fjord.
Located just off of Denmark’s west coast on the island of Fanø lies the village of Sønderho, another one of the country’s most beautiful towns. It has actually won the title of Denmark’s most beautiful village – and after you spend some time exploring the little town, you’ll understand why.
The labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets will bring you past incredibly well-preserved cottages with verdant gardens, a historic church, and a scenic shipyard. There’s also a lovely windmill in Sønderho, in addition to a few museums and a cafe with a large collection of Dutch wall tiles.
The nature in this area is also worth noting, and the town is protected from both wind and water by a series of dunes and dikes, further adding to the sense of tranquility.
Bedecked in a rich history that is still evident in many of the well-preserved buildings, Sorø is one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark.
The town is most well known for the ancient Soroø Akademi, a monastery turned distinguished boarding school that dates back to the 1500s. You can visit this stately building while in town, though the physical structure doesn’t quite live up to the building’s grandiose history.
If you’re looking for beautiful architecture, head to Sorø Klosterkirke, a medieval 12th-century church, or the Sorø Kunstmuseum, a neoclassical building that now houses an art museum.
Like many other Danish towns, Sorø also has its fair share of half-timbered houses sprinkled around the city – and they’re still worth checking out even if you’ve already seen dozens before.
The town also plays host to a jazz festival and an international classical music festival each year.
The entire island of Langeland is one of Denmark’s most beautiful areas, but the city of Rudkøbing is without a doubt its crown jewel. The island’s biggest city features a cozy, market town vibe that is hard to match.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you meander the narrow streets and admire the ancient architecture of Rudkøbing. If you’d like to learn more about this city’s rich history you can visit the free museum along the main walking street, or stop by the main square and grab a brochure from the tourist office.
There are also lots of little cafes and shops around town, and a beautiful harbor area that is not to be missed.
Located on the island of Lolland in the Baltic Sea, Maribo is one of Denmark’s most beautiful towns. It’s also one of the most laid back – which makes it all the more lovely.
The town is located on the shores of the massive Søndersø Lake and was founded in the early 15th century when a monastery was established. Although the monastery itself is no longer here, parts of the stunning Maribo Domkirke are thought to date back to this time period.
With the church as the exception, Maribo is mostly known for its gorgeous outdoor offerings. One of the best ways to enjoy all of its scenery is by walking along the waterfront paths that stretch around the lake – but if you have the time, you could also explore the nearby Maribosøerne Nature Park.
Just south of Copenhagen you’ll find another one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark. The city of Præstø is small in size but rich in history, with the first mention of the town dating back to the early 1300s.
The town is surrounded by the quintessential Danish countryside and has retained much of its old-school charm. The town church is one of the main attractions in Præstø – and likely one of the oldest. The harbor is also worth checking out, as is the town square and the old buildings that line it.
For a perfect blend of old and new, the beautiful town of Kolding fits the bill. Located at the mouth of the Kolding Fjord in southern Jutland, Kolding is known for its massive seaport and lovely hilltop castle.
If you’re looking for beauty, the castle is a better bet than the seaport – though it’s rumored to be quite haunted. Those who aren’t scared can head up the hill for sweeping views across the town and fjord and guided tours of this historic castle.
The town center is also worth spending some time in, especially the old quarters and the Trapholt Museum, dedicated to the modern furniture designs that Denmark is famed for.
Vejle is one of the most beautiful cities in Denmark, yet has somehow remained one of the most underrated, too. This mid-sized city perfectly encapsulates the things that make Denmark famous, including a diverse culinary scene, innovative design, and the seamless blend between old and new.
Vejle is located on the southeast coast of Jutland and has a wide variety of attractions for visitors. One of the most popular activities is shopping – and Vejle has won a myriad of awards around this pastime, most recently winning the title of the most beautiful shopping town in Denmark.
Those who aren’t interested in emptying their wallets while in town can peruse the old architecture, specifically the 13th century St. Nikolai Church, the town hall, the windmill, and Den Smidtske Gård (merchant house), to name a few.
As a stark contrast, the Vejle waterfront area is completely modern, with contemporary residential buildings, a floating kayak club, and plenty of good views of the fjord.
What was once a devout town with 25 churches is now a large and vibrant city, though Viborg has remained one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark throughout history.
Viborg is located on the Jutland peninsula, and today is home to just two churches. One of these holy edifices, the Viborg Cathedral, dates back to the 12th century and is a must-see while you’re visiting this historic town.
Viborg is a popular tourist destination for Danes, and throughout the year, there are numerous festivals, concerts, and exhibitions on show. Even if you’re not in town for a special event, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy – including beautiful bathing areas along the lakes, serene biking trails, and a large collection of lively bars and restaurants.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the town of Silkeborg will likely be a top pick for the most beautiful town in Denmark. Located on the outskirts of the largest contiguous forest in the country, you’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy nature while you’re in town.
The lush forest offers tons of hiking and biking trails, and if you’re looking to cool off in the summer months you can do so by taking a dip in one of the lakes or spending the day canoeing across the tranquil surface of the Gundenå River.
Silkeborg also has a collection of interesting museums, cozy cafes, and fun cultural events throughout the year. You’ll also find Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium – a place where both kids and adults could spend hours.
Those who are in search of a laid-back beach holiday in Denmark will find one of the country’s most beautiful towns along the northern coast of Zealand. Gilleleje is home to the island’s largest fishing harbor, and foodies and unpretentious eaters alike flock here for the fresh seafood served up at an array of cozy restaurants.
There’s also plenty of great scenery in Gilleleje, and the best views will come from the string of beaches and pathways along the shoreline. The bustling harbor is also a fun place to spend some time, especially when the fishing boats come in with their catches.
History buffs will love the Gilleleje Church. Each summer, you can visit the crawl space above the ceiling where many Jewish refugees awaited their opportunity to flee to nearby Sweden during World War II.
One of the most unique towns in Denmark is the city of Christiansfeld. This one-of-a-kind town is also one of the most beautiful – but often flies under the radar.
This southern Jutland town was founded by German Moravians in 1773 at the behest of King Christian VII (hence the name) and was designed in a homogeneous fashion meant to represent the Protestant urban ideal. All the houses feature the same unadorned yellow brick, centered around the small town church.
Although the city has grown quite a bit since its conception, Christiansfeld has maintained and preserved much of the original architecture and was even dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2015. Although the beauty here may be unconventional, it certainly is a sight to behold.
Mostly known for its breathtaking castle, Hillerød is one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark. Frederiksborg Slot is the star of the show here – and it’s one of the most famous castles in the whole country.
Not only is it the largest Renaissance castle in all of Scandinavia, but it also displays opulent craftsmanship inside and out. The castle is surrounded by baroque gardens – and both the symmetry and size of the grounds are truly something to gawk at.
Inside Frederiksborg Slot you’ll find the Museum of National History and a collection of decorative art, sculptures, furniture, paintings, and portraits help to illustrate the country’s history.
Both the young and the young at heart will find one of Denmark’s most beautiful towns to be Billund, and if you or your kiddos are a fan of LEGOs, then spending some time here is a must.
The city was built around the LEGO Group back in 1932 when the blocks were still carved from wood. Needless to say, the company was a success – so much so that there’s now a theme park and an airport on the outskirts of town.
LEGOLAND is Denmark’s second-largest tourist attraction, and countless lovers of LEGO make their way here each year to play and see the mini replicas of the most beautiful towns in Denmark.
Last but not least on our list of the 30 most beautiful towns in Denmark is Herning, a small town located in the center of the Jutland Peninsula.
Unlike some of the other Danish towns that pride themselves on beauty, Herning is mostly known for its cultural offerings. The city is actually extremely beautiful, if in an unconventional kind of way.
The main stars of the show here are the Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelts Museum and the Herning Art Museum, both of which are two contemporary works of art themselves. Herning is also home to Scandinavia’s largest exhibition hall, the Messecenter Herning, complete with multiple concert halls, indoor and outdoor sports arenas, and more.