In the footsteps of dinosaurs in Denmark
If your kids are mad about dinosaurs, you’ve come to the right place. While few dinosaur remains have been found in Scandinavia, Denmark has somewhat of a remarkable past when it comes to the Cretaceous Period, and there are lots of sights where you can walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs.
You can also find out more about them, look for fossils on our beaches and play in a dinosaur-themed forest. There are even LEGO dinosaurs at LEGO House! Let’s step back in time to when dinosaurs ruled the world!
Denmark’s premier dinosaur site is around an hour south of Denmark on the island of Møn. Møns Klint is a huge and beautiful series of white chalk cliffs 128m above the sea, leading down to a beach where you’re almost guaranteed to find a few fossils. When you’ve had a walk, head up to the GeoCenter Møns Klint where you can see dinosaur reconstructions, watch 3D films and go into an excavation cave to try your hand at being a real life palaeontologist.
This UNESCO world heritage site is the best place in the world for finding evidence of the huge asteroid that struck the earth at the end of the Cretaceous Period. What’s more, you can also see how the earth’s ecosystem rebuilt itself, after approximately 50% of the life on earth died. And you have a great chance of finding a fossil or ten on the beach below as well. It’s also about an hour’s drive from Copenhagen.
The Natural History Museum
You can also discover dinosaurs at Denmark’s Natural History Museum in Copenhagen. Did you know that there is a Danish-owned T-Rex called Tristan Otto, four metres high and 100% intact? In 2020, the museum plans to show the fossil to the world again (normally it is on display in the Natural History Museum in Berlin) – it’s just one of many unique dinosaur exhibits at the museum.
Saxo Bank HQ
File this under ‘things I’ll do when I’m really, truly rich’: unconventional Saxo Bank has a T-Rex skeleton stalking through its dining room in its headquarters in Copenhagen. If you peer in through the window, you might just catch a glimpse of it. It’s either awesome, or a symbol of how much money banks make that they can buy ancient killing machines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on your perspective.
A great option for a rainy day on Bornholm, NaturBornholm takes you on a journey through time around the island and dinosaurs are a key feature. Bornholm is the only place in Denmark that was above sea level during the time of the dinosaurs. In 2000, the first fossils were found on Bornholm, and they feature in an exhibition at the centre called ‘The Danish Dinosaurs’, where you can find out about which dinosaurs lived in Denmark.
Givskud Zoo Dinosaur Park
Convenient if you’re visiting Legoland Billund, Lego House (where you'll find huge Lego dinosaurs) or Lalandia in Billund, Givskud Zoo has hidden 26 significant dinosaur species in a large outdoor forest in its dinosaur park. It’s the biggest dinosaur exhibition in Denmark and includes the largest herbivore of all, 40 metres long, as well as a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Amber hunting on the west coast
It’s not quite the same as finding dinosaur bones, but if you head to the west coast of Denmark during the winter and spring, you might find something from the same time. The island of Fanø, just off the coast from Esbjerg, is one of the key locations for finding amber, otherwise known as fossilised tree sap. It’s not often that you find treasure in the surf now, is it? And who knows what you might find trapped in that amber… (cue Jurassic Park theme music).
No real dinosaurs here but you will find a whole room of enormous dinosaurs made of LEGO at LEGO House and plenty of opportunities to build your own. And of course, in the shop you will discover plenty of LEGO kits with dinosaurs in them, including the Jurassic Park sets and some fun fossil sets.
Knuthenborg Dinosaur Forest
Knuthenborg Safaripark in Lolland-Falster, south Denmark, is not just a safari park with exotic animals like zebra and giraffe running free. Oh no, it's also somewhere where you can have a playdate with a dinosaur in its Dinosaur Forest. Hidden amid the Sequoia trees, you'll find plenty of noisy, moving models that will take you back in time.
Fossil hunting on the island of Fur
The island of Fur in north Jutland and is well known among paleontologists for its unique fossils. Head to the island's museum to see exhibitions of finds like fossilised fish and insects, as well as life-size models of woolly mammoths. If you find something really remarkable, the museum invites you to bring it in - curators are happy to tell you more about your discovery and might even choose to exhibit it.