Here in the high North, where Denmark ends and the two seas meet, is Skagen. Here you will find experiences for all generations, all year round. Below we have summarised Toftegården and our previous guests recommendations, for the top 10 most popular tourist attractions in Skagen.
Grenen north of Skagen is one of the country’s most popular excursion destinations during the summer months. You can drive most of the way from Skagen by car, and park at the Grenens art museum. You can also walk or bike to the top, the distance is ca 3km from the city center. From here you can choose to get driven out out to the top with the “Sandsnake” (tractors with a passenger wagon operating multiple times per day during the high season), or you can take the time to walk the last stretch to the northern tip of Denmark.
It is highly recommended to walk out to the tip as it is one of the most beautiful walks in Denmark. The “Sandsnake” experience is also quite unique so another thing you can do is take the “Sandsnake” out to the tip and then walk back. If you choose to talk to the tip, you will walk on the beach along the coast and enjoy the sun, ocean and beautiful scenery and also experience Denmark getting narrower and narrower. At the end of the road (at the tip) you are met with the 2 oceans Skagerak and Kattegat and you can experience the special feeling of standing with one foot in each ocean.
The Skagen Museum saw the light of day in 1908 as the consequence of a stated desire to preserve as much of Skagen painters’ art as possible in the city that inspired them. Among the founders were three of the most famous Skagen painters: Michael Ancher, P.S. Krøyer og Laurits Tuxen. The other founders were Degn Brøndum, the owner of Brøndums Hotel, and pharmacist Viktor Klæbel.
The Skagen painters were attracted to the special light in Skagen and the fishing environment. Their favorite motifs were the work of the fishermen, the small fishing homes and the social life of the artists themselves. Their works are considered a golden age, and the Museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum was rebuilt and expanded in 2014 to accommodate more paintings and is today one of the most visited Museum in Denmark along with the Louisiana Museum.
Anchers House: Next to the Museum and on the same road as Toftegården (Markvej) is Ancher’s House, which is the artist couple Anna Ancher and Michael Ancher’s former home, which since 1967 has been open as a museum. The Ancher couple moved into the house in 1884 and the house is preserved as it stood at the death of Anna Ancher in 1935. In the house you can see how the family lived and the family’s large art collection, which contains works by the couple themselves and by several of the other Skagen painters. Around the house is a large garden where the couple found motifs for many of their pictures. Other artists like P.S. Krøyer also found motifs for their works in the garden.
If you want good information about Skagen, why not start your stay with a guided tour with the veteran Bedfordbus bus which starts from the Coastal Museum (Kustmuseet). Here you will get a nice tour at a leisurely pace through the town’s old and cozy neighborhoods, around the harbor past the lighthouses and out to the grenen, where a short stop is made. On the way, the driver talks about Skagen and the citys history. A wonderful and unique experience for the whole family. The bus is Denmark’s only preserved Bedford bus from 1937.
The bus is Denmark’s only preserved bus from before the Second World War. Originally, it ran on several routes in northern Vendsyssel, and later it was used for transporting, among other things, schoolchildren and athletes.
Shopping street Sct. Laurentiivej is only a short 7-10 min walk from Toftegården. Here in the many specialty shops you get a different shopping experience. The Skagen area works deliberately to preserve a classic business life with many, great specialty shops – also outside the pedestrian zone. When you are done shopping and feel hungry, you have the opportunity to enjoy the good food served by the many restaurants located on or next to the pedestrian zone.
If you want to eat fish we recommend you go down to Skagen Marina and there, as well as enjoy the cozy atmosphere and activity, consider the fine fishing boats and the characteristic red warehouses that server many different fish dishes and specialities. The harbor and fishing warehouses were built back in 1904-1907, and the area is today a popular gathering place for tourists and yachtsmen. In 2015, a brand new port opened in Skagen (cost of DKK 230 million) in order to accommodate cruise vessels. During 2020, up to 42 vessels with 72,000 passengers are expected to visit Skagen.
Skagen Sønderstrand: A wonderful, childfriendly beach close to the city center. It was here that the Skagen painters in their day found the inspiration for many of the masterpieces that one can experience today at the Skagen Museum.
Højen/Gl. Skagen/Nordstrand: Yes, dear child has many names, as the saying goes. The beach is located on the west side of Skagen, and is thus more exposed to the west wind than the beaches at the Kattegat east of Skagen. It is a really nice beach, but if you are travelling with smaller children in the family, the quieter water at Skagen Sønderstrand would probably be preferable. In the evening it is highly recommended to take a trip here to enjoy the sight of the sun slowly sinking into the sea.
Damstederne/Hulsig Strand: A beach filled with dunes and where you can also experience Klitgården, which is a previous Danish royal family holiday home. The house was built in 1914 and was used after the death of Christian X by Queen Alexandrine. After her death, the holiday home was taken over by Prince Knud of Denmark. Their heirs sold the house in 1997 to the Klintgårdfonden, which today disposes of the house and surrounding area for various scholarships and courses for artists, researchers and others.
At the top of Denmark lies the Skagen Bird Station as part of the Skagen Gray Lighthouse situated in the beautiful scenery facing the grenen. Skagen is known as a hub for different birds as they travel through the country on their amazing journey. Birdwatchers have because of this for many years pilgrimaged to Skagen to experience the birds and bird life.
At the center, you can go on a virtual discovery tour getting insights into the birds’ amazing journeys and get an insight into what it is like to be a modern birdwatcher. On the screens, you can watch what’s happening right now, with photos and videos from the field. You can also experience the fascinating view from the top of the Gray Lighthouse – the same view the birds encounter as they arrive at grenen.
Højen, also called Old Skagen in daily speech, is an old fishing village, located west of Skagen city, which is Denmark’s northernmost city. Old Skagen offers the highest number of sunshine hours in Denmark, unique architecture, raw nature and last but not least, a fantastic light. The unique nature experiences, white sandy beaches and the iconic sea mark in the dune plantation, which creates a beautiful view over the city’s rooftops with the North Sea as background, make Old Skagen a very popular tourist attraction.
In addition to the beautiful surroundings, Old Skagen offers a multitude of world-class gourmet experiences which has been reported many times in the White Guide, the North’s answer to the Michelin Guide. The small tourist town offers a wide range of restaurants, bathing hotels and kiosks, where a ice cream can be enjoyed while enjoying a fantastic sunset (read below). Week 29 has been christened the “Hellerup week”, as this week is reputed to primarily attract the more affluent people of Denmark.
Sunset kiosk in Old Skagen: For many visitors to Skagen (as well as locals), the sunset kiosk is associated with a very special atmosphere with a fantastic setting and sunsets that emit Skagen poetry year-round. Every evening, people flock to the square to enjoy the very special light of the sun’s last rays as they dance across the ocean. These poetic moments deserve a beautiful frame, in 2019 a newly built sunset square designed by Kristine Jensen’s Drawing Room in collaboration with sculptor Ingvar Cronhammar was opened. The “new” sunset square consists of a large sloping sun disk with carved granite circles, where the sun reflects like sunspots as it goes down. Around the square long benches are placed, which curves around the sun disk. Next to the square you will find bike racks where you can park your bike. The sunset square is also framed by brand new dunes that create a shelter in the open space. The framing thus goes in beautiful interaction with nature’s surroundings, so the scene is now set for several mountainous moments in Old Skagen.
So sit back and enjoy life while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
The sandburied church or Sct. Laurentii church , as it is actually called, was erected in the late 1300s and was at that time the largest church in all of North Jutland. The harsh and windy climate in which it was built, however, had its price, and gradually it became common practice to bring shovels when going to church services.
By 1795, however, the quantities of sand had become so large that it was no longer possible to use the church. Most of the church was torn down, but the tower was left standing. It was later preserved and is today one of the most popular sights in Skagen and the surrounding area.
The yearly world ballet in front of the sandburied church: Traditionally, the world ballet concludes its July tour in front of the sandburied church, Skagen’s largest and most iconic landmark. Magical is probably the best word associated with the very special experience when some of the world’s most talented ballet dancers perform with Danish opera singers and classical musicians in front of the church in Skagen. The wind, the sunset and the evening light complement the performances of the artists in a unique way.
Råbjerg Mile is Denmark’s largest moving dune, located at Bunken Klitplantage between Skagen and Frederikshavn. The Råbjerg mile contains 3.5 million m³ of sand and covers an area of approx. 1 km² and has a height of about 20 m, which brings the highest point of the mile 40 m above sea level. Since 1900 it has moved approx. 1750 m to the east, and today it moves at an average rate of 15 m per year, which means that in 100–200 years it will have covered the main road to Skagen. Trees and other things covered by the mile appear on the other side after about 40 years when the mile has passed.
Not far from Skagen on the way to Hirtshals lies the Eagle Reserve “Eagle World”. Would you like to have a different and magnificent experience then you can´t miss this! Here you will get up close and personal with the undisputed kings of the skies, the eagles. In the Eagle reserve you can experience the impressive animals at close range. The skilled falconers offer demonstrations several times a day with the different eagles etc. on horseback and on foot as they set the frame for enjoying the majestic predators in the beautiful scenery – a unique experience not found anywhere else.