It’s spring in Denmark. The evenings are brighter, the winds aren’t quite as chilly, and the wild blue anemone flowers are bursting up through the grass. And the tourists are on the way. Understandably, Denmark attracts most of its tourists during the spring and summer, when you don’t need to pack heavy winter clothing. Although maybe you do – it depends on the summer.
Anyway, the tourists will be coming, and some of those visitors to Denmark may be related to you. What do you do with them? They want the Danish experience.
Based on my 14 years of showing parents, aunts, former colleagues, old college roommates and friends of friends around Denmark, these are my tips. They’re a bit Copenhagen-centeric, but I think most of them can be applied throughout Denmark. And if your listen to the podcast itself, I’ll tell you about an amazing new museum I just found last week.
Start the morning with Danish pastries
First of all, start your tourists in the morning with a trip to the local bakery where they can pick out their own Danish pastry. Or 2 or 3 pastries. I know it’s called Wienerbrod – Viennese bread – but Danish pastries really are some of the best in the world. And some coffee, or black tea. Carbs and caffeine will set your tourists up well for the day’s busy program.
Once your tourists are energized, now is the time to take them walking. Walk them around the old city center, and past the largest, most visible historical monuments in your town. In Copenhagen, you can take them up the Round Tower or to the Queen’s Palace. In Aarhus, maybe tour the Gamle By, in Odense visit Hans Christian Andersen’s home.
Now, part of this trip may take them down a shopping street. This is critical – don’t let them shop yet, or they’ll be carrying bags around all day. Or, if it’s your mom, you’ll be carrying bags around all day. Save the shopping for another time.
Men like Viking artifacts
After you’ve seen the city and the major sites, it might be time for an early lunch. If the weather is good, a picnic in the park is great. Denmark has beautiful parks. Maybe buy a some Danish open-faced sandwiches and some drinks.
If your visitors are elderly – or if they’re rich and will be picking up the tab – a touristy restaurant with Danish food is another option.
Your tourists are now re-energized, so now is a great time for the local museum. I find that men are usually most interested in the Viking artifacts, you know iron sticks with points on the end, while women are more excited about the art and glass museums.
See the Little Mermaid from a boat, with beers
After a day of walking and museums, I recommend a boat trip. You guests can sit down with a chilled Danish beer and see the city from the water. In Copenhagen, these boat trips are a great way to see Denmark’s most disappointing tourist attraction, the statue of the Little Mermaid.
If you’ve seen it, you know the Little Mermaid is only about four feet tall – that’s 1.25 meters. You probably own pillows that are bigger than the Little Mermaid. But all the boat trips go right by it, so your tourists can get the photos they need for their Instagram or Facebook feeds.
If they want, they can climb out of the boat and onto the slippery rock where the mermaid sits for a photo. That’s best performed before too many beers have been consumed.
Hear the full podcast about taking tourists around Denmark in The Little Mermaid is Highly Disappointing: Better ideas for visitors to Denmark in your browser, or subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes.
Rather read? Try out the podcast transcripts.