Another European vacation question.
March 7, 2018 6:57 AM   Subscribe

My wife is speaking at a conference in Aarhus, Denmark on the weekend of June 9th. Where should we travel afterwards?

She should be finished with the conference on Sunday, June 10th and then we will have about a week to travel before returning home on Sunday, June 17th. We're open to traveling north to Scandinavia or south into mainland Europe, but we'll only have about a week and don't want to spend too much of that time rushing around, so realistically we'll have time to visit 2-3 cities/areas. We enjoy art galleries, museums, restaurants, and just walking around and taking in the sights (i.e. all the usual sorts of things people travel to Europe to experience), so any recommendations for cities (or specific events that will be happening in that general region during that time) would be very helpful and much appreciated.
posted by The Card Cheat to Travel & Transportation around Denmark (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Aarhus is a bit out of the way, so it will take you three hours by train to get to Copenhagen. From there, another five hours will take you to Stockholm, and another five will take you to Oslo (it's 8 hours back to Copenhagen if you have to fly out of there, but maybe you don't?). You can get a very nice look at Scandinavia this way, and in mid-June the weather should be perfect and the days very long.
posted by ubiquity at 7:53 AM on March 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Copenhagen will be wonderful that time of year. Depending on how mobile you are, you'd probably enjoy the Louisiana, and maybe getting out to some of the gardens in the area - it's an easily walkable city. Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle and the King's Garden...there are many beautiful places to just stroll around and take it all in. I'd take the time to visit Torvehallerne market for lunch, easily accessible by metro (Nørreport). I didn't go to Tivoli though I stayed near there.

Although I found Stockholm pretty, I didn't connect with it the same way I did Copenhagen and ended up taking a ferry to one of the islands in the archipelago and just strolling around (and eating a good, but very expensive, lunch). The Vasa museum was pretty impressive if you like that kind of thing, though.

I also visited Tallinn, which has some interesting festivals if you want to get off the beaten path a bit. I recommend this museum if you do.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 9:55 AM on March 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

In Denmark there’s Copenhagen, then just a bit south there’s Hamburg and Lübeck, Germany.
posted by chillmost at 9:56 AM on March 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Copenhagen is one of my favorite cities to visit in the summer, because like OneSmartMonkey said there's so much going on there that time of year. A week might be a bit long to spend there - I'd say four days is plenty because it's a tiny city.

From CPH, it's about a 3.5 hour train ride to Goteborg, Sweden (Gothenburg.) Goteborg is the second largest city in Sweden, and I found it much more interesting than Stockholm. It's a perfect 2.5 to 3 day stop, with lots of relaxing things to do in the summer. I loved the fresh fish market there - seafood in Goteborg is out of this world!
posted by Everydayville at 11:21 AM on March 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: June is probably the best time of the year to be in Scandinavia, so I wouldn't go south.
You could do a round trip, from Aarhus to Aalborg where they have a great art museum and a rich cultural and culinary life. Then on to Frederikshavn which is not interesting*, but has a ferry to Göteborg, which is again a beautiful and culturally rich city, there is a bit and important university which is always good for culture. Also one should always do some sailing when in Scandinavia during summer. Then down to Malmö and Lund, again with big universities and thus fine art galleries and other cultural attractions like the cathedral in Lund, one of the most important cathedrals in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages. Specially the main gallery in Malmö, Malmö Kunsthall is very good, and from Malmö there are 30 minutes to Copenhagen with all of its restaurants and concerts and galleries, and as mentioned above, the Louisiana art museum a short train ride away.**
Your trip is a little early for all the festivals, but there will be all sorts of concerts and shows going on, and each town/city has event web sites in English that you can explore.

* Frederikshavn is a run down industrial town, but from there you can very easily go to Skagen, a 19th century artists' colony which is quite charming before the season sets off.
** If you go to Copenhagen, you should visit Tivoli. It's an amusement park, but it's also a place where locals go frequently for a dinner, a stroll and a free concert. Not at all like Disneyland etc.
posted by mumimor at 2:46 PM on March 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'll put in a plug for the Bohuslan coast in Sweden, which is not far from Goteborg, if you want something a little less urban. The southernmost parts of it are less than an hour from Goteborg by car, and I think there are buses to some places.

Also, where are you flying out of? If you are flying home from CPH, you should start north and work your way south. Munimor has a good itinerary for this. I would think twice about going to Norway or eastern Sweden if you're leaving from CPH, it's pretty far. Scandinavia is really big.

Definitely spend at least a few days in Copenhagen. My wife and I enjoy many of the things that you enjoy, it seems, and we really liked it. A couple of things that haven't been mentioned: Rosenborg Castle, there's a throne made of narwhal tusk. It's not the most impressive castle in Europe but it's interesting. I also really liked the National Museum of Denmark, although I usually like history museums like these. The gift-shop had a nice selection of English-language books on Scandinavia if you, like me, enjoy reading about the place you are traveling in.

Also if you're into food and don't mind getting a bit spendy, you should try out a "new Nordic" restaurant in Copenhagen. It's very good food and pretty unique. Of course go for the traditional smorgasboard, too!
posted by breakin' the law at 9:52 AM on March 8, 2018

From Aarhus, you can take a more rapid route to Norway. Its a 2 hour drive to Hirtshals in Northern Denmark (or 3 hours by train), then a 3 hour ferry to Laugesand. Ferry foot passenger is listed as under €20 for an economy ticket. There are other options for ferries to Kristiansand and Stavanger, the latter opening up fjord country. See fjordline for ferries.
posted by biffa at 4:52 PM on March 10, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks to you all for the recommendations! Our tentative plan is to spend a day in Skagen after leaving Aarhus, then take the ferry to Göteborg, where we'll spend three nights (and make a day trip to the Bohusian coast area), then go down to Copenhagen/Malmö for the remaining three days. Would love to make it to Norway someday, but really we only have seven full days after the conference is over and hard choices have to be made...
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:43 AM on March 12, 2018

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