Jutland, locals will tell you, is the real Denmark – home to the country’s best beaches, biggest amusement park, and most heartfelt welcome. In Jutland there are more hills, more lakes, and more forests than elsewhere in the country. There’s also the distinctive light and landscape that inspired the greatest Scandinavian painters.
Jutland’s west coast has Denmark’s most spectacular beaches, including the Wadden Sea, which stretches down to Germany and the Netherlands. Further inland, Jutland has zoos, theme parks, historical market towns, and major university cities. Jutland, in fact, has everything, including Billund Airport, an international airport in western Denmark with direct routes all around Europe, including to Riga. Here are a few great reasons to visit this magical region already this summer.
The magical world of LEGOLAND®
Photo by Jesper Grønnemark
LEGOLAND® Billund Resort, the famous toy’s associated theme park in Billund, is far more than a model village.
It’s an entire resort that offers adventures for the whole family on land, on water, and in the air, including ultra-popular children’s attractions, royal palaces, wildlife parks, whale watching, a seal safari, Viking towns, Danish beaches at their best, and much more.
For those who are fascinated by the colourful underwater world, LEGOLAND® Atlantis guarantees a great experience. It’s an aquarium built around divers and submersibles made of LEGO® bricks where you’ll also meet real sharks, rays, and other tropical fish along the way. Particularly brave visitors can come face to face with the creatures of the deep in the eight-metre-long glass tunnel.
Here, you can experience the whole world in miniature and the delight of famous buildings, capitals, small cities, and other exciting places built out of more than 20 million LEGO® bricks. Meanwhile, at the LEGO® Museum, serious enthusiasts can see how the famous plastic bricks have evolved over the years since they were first manufactured in 1949.
Another colourful and breathtaking adventure awaits in THE LEGO® MOVIE™ World, which opened last year. Experience new rides, a giant spaceship playground, and even a flying theatre (yes, that’s right!), the first of its kind in Scandinavia.
For those who wish to pursue spacecraft construction themselves, the separate LEGO® House in Billund is well worth a visit. It’s a celebration of learning through play. Here, adults, children, and children at heart can unleash their creativity among 25 million LEGO® bricks.
Family fun around Billund
Several other amusement parks are helping to make Billund, the ‘Capital of Children’, the best city in the world for kids. On this trip, you’re guaranteed to never hear your children say they’re bored!
One of the most recent newcomers in this magical world is WOW Park, an amusement park in the wild forest just outside Billund. Here, you’ll find cool challenges, fun experiences, and good times for the whole family. Spanning an area larger than 40 soccer fields, WOW Park provides plenty of wooden treetop houses, slides and hanging bridges, jumping nets, zooming zip lines, wild giant swings, underground caves, and huge mazes. Have fun together all day long – in the trees, on the forest floor, with water play, and even underground – all in a safe and beautiful environment.
At the Givskud Zoo, visitors can go on a safari in their own car and see wild animals on the savannah, including rhinos, wildebeest, and a pride of lions. The zoo also boasts Europe’s largest spectacled bear enclosure and Denmark’s biggest penguin enclosure.
Aquadome™ at Lalandia® Billund has something for everyone, including water slides, wave pools, and even wellness experiences. Enjoy a little bit of paradise in the pleasant tropical climate, experience the thrill of the fun water slides, or just float down the river and relax. Discover the newest attractions: the lightning-fast Turbo Racer water slide and the wild Adventure Tower climbing tower. You’ve earned it!
Culture around Billund
Nature, historical and royal heritage, contemporary and modern art, and historical time travel make western Denmark a must-visit for culture vultures of all ages.
Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark
Denmark’s oldest town is steeped in history and art, with shops and restaurants adding to an already exceptional atmosphere. With its cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses, the town of Ribe oozes old-world charm. It’s also home to two family-friendly attractions: the Ribe Viking Centre, which explores the town’s fabled past as a Viking trading port, and HEX!, a new museum about the European witch hunts of the 15th to 17th centuries.
Odense, the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen
Take a trip to Odense to explore the cobbled streets of world-renowned writer Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood hometown and the brand-new museum dedicated to him. Andersen was born in a tiny yellow house on one of those cobbled streets in the centre of Odense in 1805. And it’s still there! In the old town, see what life would have been like for him in the early 1800s.
The newly built H. C. Andersen’s House is also located in the historical quarter of Odense. In this new museum you won’t find the famous author’s old shoes or writing desk; instead, here it’s all about his work, rather than Andersen the man. The museum’s content has been created in collaboration with 12 renowned artists from Denmark and abroad, who have created an exhibition where architecture, art, design, sound, light, and images together give you an experience of meeting Andersen through his works.
The modern vibe of Aarhus
Moving northeast from Billund lies the city of Aarhus. With its friendly vibe and compact size, Aarhus is ideal for families looking to soak up some Scandi-cool culture. The city is home to one of Europe’s best art museums, ARoS, where the highlight is Olafur Eliasson’s rainbow-coloured rooftop panorama. It’s also home to Den Gamle By, an interactive, open-air museum about life in the olden days.
Photo by Kim Wyon
Just outside the city is the stunning Moesgaard Museum, whose primary attraction is Grauballe Man – the remarkable well-preserved body of a man who lived around 300 BCE and was exhumed from a nearby peat bog some two thousand years later.
Nature and the great outdoors
With organised hiking trips, fishing, biking routes, and canoeing, there are many opportunities here for an active holiday with the family. With miles of coastline and hundreds of islands, Denmark is brilliant for beachgoers. But the outdoor fun also includes seal safaris, birdwatching, and ‘troll treasure maps’.
Children will love climbing the Marsh Tower, a 25-metre-high spiral lookout in southern Jutland. Designed by superstar architect Bjarke Ingels, it provides fantastic views of the surrounding marshlands, making it a special treat for nature lovers.
Wildlife fans will enjoy going on a ‘seal safari’ in Wadden Sea National Park, where they can get up close and personal with the beautiful seals who inhabit the waters. The seals and sea eagles live side by side and are both top predators in the Wadden Sea ecosystem, which your guide will tell you about while you enjoy observing them.
Families seeking a slice of Danish summer paradise should raise the mainsail and go island-hopping in the South Funen Archipelago, whose highlights include the ‘hygge in miniature’ of Æro and the breathtaking birdlife of Avernakø. For old-world charm, nothing beats a day out on the Meta, a 100-year-old schooner.
Similarly, children of all ages will enjoy taking a leisurely trip on the Hjejlen, a coal-fired paddle steamer that has sailed on the Silkeborg lakes since 1861.
Families looking to go beyond the usual tourist sites can go troll hunting – in other words, looking for some of the quirky giant trolls that Danish artist Thomas Dambo makes using recycled materials and installs in various places around the country. The city of Aarhus is home to the trolls Simon and Amine, while on the island of Funen visitors will find the troll Hans Hulehånd.
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