Whilst many projects might have stalled this year Denmark has not been holding back on a range of new and exciting attractions, festivals and plans to host major sporting events next year. All adding up to 21 reasons why Denmark will be the place to see in 2021.
1. In Odense, the birthplace of Denmark’s best loved storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, a major new museum dedicated to his life and work is opening in summer 2021. The building, which has been designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, will comprise of a series of wooden concentric circles and features a landscaped enchanted garden complete with a fairy-tale maze.
2. Meanwhile, families visiting the world’s first LEGOLAND located at Billund in central Jutland will see the new LEGO Movie World, which is set to open in 2021. This latest attraction includes Scandinavia’s first flying theatre, as well as a giant spaceship playground. Joined by characters from the movie, visitors will be sucked into the lifelike LEGO® MOVIE™ universe for an action-packed ride in Emmet’s Flying Adventure - Masters of Flight and can take on a mission to fight the DUPLO® invasion from outer space in the interactive ride Apocalypseburg Sky Riders.
3. One of Denmark’s best kept secrets is set to be unveiled in 2021 when the Cold War bunker REGAN Vest opens to the public as a museum. The construction, which is hidden away deep in Rold Skov Forest in North Jutland, comprises four black boxes and has been inspired by the decades-long mystery surrounding Denmark’s secret 1960’s nuclear-proof bunker. Nestled 60 metres underground, the building contains seven exhibition sections providing different perspectives on the Cold War.
4. At Randers Regnskov Tropical Zoo in east Jutland, a new outdoor attraction called Time Travel is set to open in summer 2021. Located next to the temperature-controlled biospheres, visitors will be able to explore different geological landscapes and see life-like examples of the ancient birds and animals that inhabited the area through the ages, including Ice Age glacial landscapes.
5. Wake up to a view over the biggest elephant facility in Europe. Visitors to the new Elephant Camp at Knuthenborg Manor Estate, Scandinavia’s largest Safari Park, located on the southern island of Lolland, can experience the zoo at night and book a tent in a new glamping area. Opening summer 2021 those staying on the elephant savannah will have an evening experience with a guide and in the morning be able to watch from their tents as these gentle giants trundle past to take their bath in the elephant pool.
6. A further transformation is taking place in the capital as the site of the former Museum of Copenhagen reopens in 2021 as an acoustic concert and festival centre. The new Musikhuset København (House of Music Copenhagen) aims to become a centre for traditional and experimental music as well as a hub for musicians, composers, festival organisers, music entrepreneurs and other music lovers from Copenhagen and around the world.
7. In May 2021 a new Funen Archipelago Visitors’ Centre in Fåborg will open. With a mission to inspire visitors to discover the natural beauty of the island, activities will include ranger-guided snorkeling adventures in the South Funen archipelago, where traces of the Stone Age people lie scattered over the seabed and go horse riding in the rolling landscapes formed by the ice age.
8. The UNESCO World heritage white cliffs of Stevns Klint on the South East Zealand coast are considered one of the best locations to see the sediments caused by the asteroid that wiped out more than 50 percent of life on the earth 66 million years ago, including the dinosaurs. In 2021, a new visitor centre will be established in Boesdal Kalkbrud, a former limestone quarry, to enable visitors to descend into the limestone bedrock and discover its many geological layers, a feature known as the ‘UNESCO Wall’. An exterior path will also lead visitors through the rock formation to the dramatic coastal cliffs.
9. A new visitor centre is also expected to open in spring 2021 at Thy National Park on the North-West Jutland coast. Cutting into the drifting dunes, the 700m2 visitor centre, designed by Loop Architects, will offer underground views to the sea, the sky and a local fishing towns and will immerse visitors into the heart of this Danish National Park, fondly known as ‘Denmark’s greatest wilderness’.
Several large events and festivals have been rescheduled from 2020 to 2021, providing even more reasons to look forward to 2021.
10. A new sustainability focused festival is to be launched from 19-21 March 2021. Located in Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus the Fair Festival will focus on how to make more sustainable choices. Visitors will be able to meet companies work directly towards a more sustainable future as well as shop with a clear conscience for a variety of sustainable products from clothes to home accessories as well as tasty food and produce.
11. For music fans the iconic Roskilde Festival has rescheduled its 50th anniversary celebrations to take place from 26 June – 3 July 2021. The massive celebration of the music industry will focus on creating a safe environment, while celebrating its 50th anniversary and headline names such as ‘Tyler, the Creator’ and ‘Thom Yorke, Tomorrow’s modern boxes’ have already been announced.
12. The Danish island of Bornholm has a long and strong tradition for arts and crafts and was the first region in Europe to be awarded the title of ‘World Craft Region’. From 10-12 September 2021 Bornholm will be hosting the European Glass and Ceramic Context a biennial symposium for European contemporary glass and ceramic makers to meet and exhibit their work in order to emphasise and develop the experimental art scene.
13. In 2021, Copenhagen and the neighbouring Swedish city of Malmö are set to co-host LGBTQIA WorldPride. Taking place from 12-22 August, it is expected to be a dazzling celebration of equality, arts and human rights and will be combined with the EuroGames sports events which are taking place across the two cities from 18-20 August.
14. Following the rescheduling of Euro 2020, Copenhagen will be among the cities hosting the Euro 2021 football championships. Due to be held between 11 June and 11 July 2021, fixtures will be held at the city's Telia Parken Stadium.
15. Denmark’s toughest cycling race for amateurs, the Grejsdalsløbet, is set to take place in the East Jutland town of Vejle from 9-10 May 2021. With a festival atmosphere created around the race there is good food, great music and fun activities for everyone. The area in and around Vejle offers the perfect conditions of cyclists the area is set to host part of the Grand Départ (the traditional start of the Tour de France) in 2022, having been rescheduled from 2021.
16. Ahead of the Grand Départ a new a two-wheel, 52 km circular cycling tour circumnavigates the Horsens Fjord, not far from Vejle. The Fjordmino marks a route through forests, fields and villages, along beaches and past small islands before circling back to the charming little town of Horsens. New way markings will be put in place to officially open the route in 2021 year. It is an easy 40-minute drive from either Aarhus or Billund airport.
17. Also, a new 390-km cycling route in West Zealand lets you explore landscapes shaped by the glaciers and meltwaters of the Ice Age, passing moraine hillscapes, coastal cliffs, open plains and ancient woodlands. The new Ice Age cycling route is subdivided into four approximately 110-km sections. Among the historic locations along the route is the small town of Lejre, home to the Land of Legends open-air museum with reconstructed Viking Age, Stone Age and Iron Age settlements. The new signposted cycling route, the last phases of which will be completed in June 2021, features displays along route with information on the local Ice Age topography and history.
18. Danish recycle artist, Thomas Dambo’s enormous troll sculptures, made from recycled wood, are already becoming a much-loved feature of the forests West of Copenhagen. Now 10 new trolls have been popping up around Denmark during 2020, and they have been labelled “The Journey to The Giant Troll Folkfest”. The trolls are hidden in secret locations around Denmark in a great treasure hunt, and the only way to find them, is to use TrollMap.com.
19. Denmark’s first type of fast-food is celebrating 100 years. The Danish hotdog is still considered a bit of a national dish and is known for its topping consisting of fried and raw onions, thinly sliced pickles and three kinds of sauces (ketchup, mustard and remoulade). On the 18th of January 1921, six little white stands were granted the first permission to sell sausages with mustard and bread on the streets of Copenhagen, and a century later, the classic Danish hotdog can still be enjoyed in hotdog stands around Denmark. Try an organic hotdog at Den Økologiske Pølesmand or one with a Scandinavian twist at Nordic Hotdog.
20. Copenhagen’s urban waterways are noted for their clean, clear waters, making boat and kayak rentals an increasingly popular option in the city. In 2018, a prototype island called ‘CPH-Ø1’ was launched as the start of a larger project called Copenhagen Islands. The project introduced a new urban space to the city’s harbour called a “parkipelago” of floating islands. Open and free to use by the waterway’s many guests the project is set to launch three new islands in the summer of 2021. The islands are flexible in use as they can be moved around and built using only sustainable and recycled materials. The islands are set to offer safe swim zones, stargazing, photography exhibitions and talks, saunas and sail-in cafés as well as marine farms for oysters and mussels.
21. The famous gourmet sea salt brand from the island of Læsø will be celebrating 30 years in 2021. Læsø Salt was established in 1991 as a historical workshop for unemployed young people on the island located 19 km off the northeastern coast. For hundreds of years, salt had been produced on the island but as the local forest almost disappeared in the 1600s due to production methods, it had to be banned. Læsø Salt became a reality after a series of archaeological excavations where the remains of saltworks from the Middle Ages were found. Today you can indulge in salt treatments at the spa facility Læsø Kur, visit the salt huts at Læsø Salt, sample seaweed delicacies from Læsø Tang and have a taste of the delicious freshly caught langoustines of which the island is also known for.
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