Travel Guide to Skagen: 10 Best Things To Do & See at the Top of Denmark

Travel Guide to Skagen: 10 Best Things To Do & See at the Top of Denmark

Everything you need to know about Skagen in North Jutland, including why you should visit, what to do, where to stay and our best tips
Alexander & VictoriaHi! We're Alex & Victoria - a digital nomad couple from Copenhagen escaping 9-5 to chase adventures in our beautiful world. Learn more about us here.
The top of Denmark has something for everyone

Skagen is a captivating coastal gem at the northern tip of Denmark.

With its pristine beaches, vibrant art scene and rich cultural heritage, Skagen is truly a unique destination to visit.

No wonder many Danes and tourists love this vacation spot!

Here at the northernmost point in Denmark, the sand rules and people have learned to live with it. It’s both harsh and beautiful.

With the constant sand drift, Skagen is ever-changing and we believe the sunsets are just a bit more stunning in this part of northern Jutland.

The beaches and dunes surround Skagen’s historical sites in the most picturesque way making it a perfect tourist destination to explore for a couple of days or a week.

In this travel guide to Skagen in North Jutland, we’ll tell you why you should visit, the best things to do and see, where to stay and our best tips for experiencing the Danish seaside town.

Where to stay in Skagen?


Search for the best and cheapest hotels in Skagen here.

Why visit Skagen

Skagen is the northernmost town in Denmark and here you can truly feel the invigorating sea breeze and contemplate the vastness of the surrounding ocean.

At the top of Grenen, you can stand with your feet in two different oceans. And only a short drive away from Skagen you can experience the awe-inspiring Råbjerg Mile: Northern Europe’s largest migrating sand dune.

The sand dunes in northern Jutland seem to shift with the wind and the landscape offers a unique opportunity to witness the dynamic forces of nature at play.

A picturesque coastal haven

When you need a break from the impressive natural attractions, the charming town of Skagen has a quaint village atmosphere with cobblestone streets and colourful houses.

It’s renowned for its blend of natural beauty and artistic inspiration, making it a haven for those in search of both tranquillity and creativity.

The small coastal town has an estimated population of 8,000 people. In summer, many more gather here to soak up the laid-back vacation vibes, swim on the beaches and enjoy life.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are also plenty of opportunities for cycling picturesque routes, hiking along coastal trails or partaking in water sports.

Skagen offers an array of outdoor activities to satisfy adventurers of all kinds!

The top of Denmark is lovely in the summer but you can, of course, also visit Skagen during the rest of the year – just remember to dress for the weather.

Dunes and sand in Råbjerg Mile
There are a lot of dunes and sand around Skagen!

10 best things to do and see in Skagen

Are you wondering what to do in Skagen?

Well, the Danish seaside town offers a variety of natural and cultural attractions!

With its migrating sand dunes, vibrant art scene and historical landmarks, you’re spoilt for ways to spend your time.

Get ready for the best things to do and see in Skagen.

1. Stand with a foot in each of the two seas at Grenen

Standing on Denmark’s northernmost point with one foot in Skagerrak and one foot in Kattegat is a unique experience.

A trip to Skagen is not complete before having tried that!

More than a million people visit Grenen in Skagen every year and we understand why. It’s beautiful and raw.

From around the beginning of April to the end of October, you can ride with Sandormen (meaning the sandworm) from the car park out to the tip of Grenen and learn about the local wildlife, nature and changes in the coastline.

Read more about the unique sandbar at Denmark’s northernmost point and what to do in our travel guide to Grenen in Skagen.

Be aware that swimming here is very dangerous.

Sunrise at Grenen in Skagen, Denmark
Everyone who visits Grenen must try to stand at the tip of the sandbar – even if it will cost you cold feet or wet socks. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Skagen. Just don’t swim here.
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You might be interested in:Travel Guide to Grenen in Skagen: Denmark’s Northernmost Point Everything you need to know about the long sandbar at Skagen Odde including what to do, where to stay and our best tips Read more

2. Get sand in your hair at Råbjerg Mile

Råbjerg Mile is a massive migrating sand dune – in fact, it’s the largest moving sand dune in Northern Europe!

The area is extensive and climbing the many sandy hilltops will both raise your heartbeat and provide you with incredible views over the dunes and the west coast of Skagen.

Some of the dunes can reach heights of up to 40 metres which makes Råbjerg Mile a prominent landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.

Råbjerg Mile is a must-visit in North Jutland!

Read more about how to visit and our best tips in our travel guide to Råbjerg Mile.

The desert at Råbjerg Mile in Denmark
Climb the sand dunes and enjoy the view at Råbjerg Mile.
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You might be interested in:Råbjerg Mile in Skagen: Travel Guide to the Largest Migrating Dune in Northern Europe Everything you need to know about the migrating coastal dune of Råbjerg Mile in northern Jutland, including what to do, where to stay and our best tips

3. Walk around Skagen

Skagen is a pretty and cosy city which is characterized, among other things, by the yellow-coloured houses and white-edged roof tiles.

Because people live here all year round, the city is fun to visit in both autumn, winter, spring and summer – although it’s undoubtedly most alive in the warmer months when holidayers from near and far come and stay for longer.

Stroll around the cobblestoned streets, admire the colourful houses, buy an ice cream and make sure to stop by the scenic harbourfront.

Skagen city in Denmark
Skagen is a cosy Danish coastal town. ©Steen Jepsen

4. Visit the Sand-Covered Church

The Sand-Covered Church (in Danish: Den Tilsandede Kirke) is one of the most popular tourist spots in Skagen.

If you have read about it in our travel guide to the Sand-Covered Church, you will know that there’s not an actual church buried under the sand.

To be honest, we ourselves thought so before visiting because we hadn’t researched it!

Well, the original church was built in the late 14th century and during the latter part of the 18th century, the church was indeed flooded by sand from the neighbouring sand dunes.

Today, the only remains of the church is the beautifully preserved church tower.

Visiting this landmark in Skagen offers an interesting experience that combines history, nature and cultural intrigue – and the area is great for a walk.

Path to the Sand-Covered Church in Skagen, Denmark
The beautiful walking path to the Sand-Covered Church. The church tower is from around 1500.
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You might be interested in:Travel Guide to the Sand-Covered Church in Skagen: How To Visit Den Tilsandede Kirke Everything you need to know about the Sand-Covered Church in Skagen, including why you should visit, where to stay and our best tips

5. Admire Danish art at Skagen’s Museum

Skagen is especially known for two things: wild nature and the artists who have been inspired by it.

The light in the northern tip of Jutland is really something special.

At least that’s what artists like Anna Ancher, Michael Ancher and P.S. Krøyer thought when they settled in Skagen to paint.

Known as “the Skagen painters”, they were active in Skagen from the end of the 19th century and their masterpieces of the local landscapes can be seen at the Skagen Museum today.

Read more about the museum as well as prices and opening hours on their website.

6. Learn about migratory birds in Skagen’s Grey Lighthouse

If you would like to learn more about the birdlife at Grenen, you should consider stopping by Skagen’s Grey Lighthouse (Det Grå Fyr in Danish) on your way towards the car park from the city of Skagen.

The 46 metres high Grey Lighthouse has existed since 1858 and it’s still a working lighthouse that can be seen far out at sea.

You can explore the inside of the building which has been renovated and the old rooms have been preserved.

It’s also a centre for migratory birds with an interactive exhibition and a bird observatory.

Read more about Skagen’s Grey Lighthouse here.

Sunrise at Grenen in Skagen, Denmark
Skagen’s Grey Lighthouse early in the morning when we were heading out to Grenen.
The Grey Lighthouse seen from the beach at Grenen
The sand dunes are a good place for the birds to relax and stay sheltered from the wind. Skagen’s Grey Lighthouse can be seen in the background.

7. Go back in time at the Skagen Bunker Museum

At the small war museum Skagen Bunker Museum you can explore a real bunker that was used by the Germans as an infirmary for treating wounded soldiers during the Second World War.

Inside the bunker, there are different artefacts like weapons and uniforms as well as an operations room and a film room.

It’s definitely one of the more special attractions in Skagen.

Read more on their website here.

8. See Ancher’s Hus

In Ancher’s Hus, the Skagen painters Anna and Michael Ancher lived with their daughter Helga.

Anna Ancher died in 1935 and their beautiful red house has been preserved as it stood back then.

There are about 250 works of art on the walls in the home of the Ancher family so if you are interested in art, this is a must-visit.

Read more about the museum as well as prices and opening hours at their website.

Anchers Hus in Skagen
Ancher’s Hus. ©Steen Jepsen

9. Spot wildlife

Skagen is full of life and Grenen is in fact the place in Denmark where you can spot the most bird species.

Bring your binoculars and look for both birds and marine mammals at sea and on land.

Grey seals are known to sunbathe in the sand close to Grenen and they can be seen all year round. However, you still have to be lucky to find the cute animals.

Porpoises and harbour seals are also very common here and there have been quite a few whale and dolphin sightings.

Grey seals on the beach. ©Sevak

10. Go to the beach

When the Danish weather allows it, take the chance and enjoy it on one of the many gorgeous beaches close to Skagen.

You can find no less than 60 kilometres of white sand beaches in the area!

Skagen Sønderstrand, Damstederne, Nordstrand and Kandestederne are some of the most popular beaches.

Sunrise at Grenen in Skagen, Denmark
It’s strongly discouraged to bathe at Grenen as the currents can be dangerous but luckily, there are lots of other great swimming beaches near Skagen.


Find all of the best things to do and see in Skagen marked on the map below.

Click the icon in the top left corner of the map to navigate using a list.

Where to stay in Skagen

For exploring Skagen, you might as well stay in the city as it has the largest selection of hotels for every type of traveller – whether you are on a romantic trip, a family vacation or travelling on a budget.

As we were travelling with a caravan on our way back from a road trip to southern Norway, we spent the night at a campsite at CampOne.

But if you don’t have a caravan, auto camper or tent, we would recommend that you find a hotel in the city of Skagen.

Search for the best and cheapest hotels in Skagen here (adlink).

Skagen Hotel

Skagen Hotel is right by Skagen Station and it’s perfect for exploring the city.

The hotel is clean and neat and the rooms are stylishly designed. And the yellow house is really pretty, too!

Check prices and availability at Skagen Hotel here (adlink).

Double room at Skagen Hotel
Double room at Skagen Hotel. ©Skagen Hotel (adlink)
Skagen Hotel
The pretty exterior of Skagen Hotel. ©Skagen Hotel (adlink)
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Skagen Strand Holiday Center

Take a look at Skagen Strand Holiday Center if you would prefer to have your own holiday apartment with a kitchen in Skagen.

There is room for either 5 or 7 people and there is a free water park and playgrounds for the children as well as a fitness centre, minigolf, tennis and badminton courts.

A great choice if you’re staying in Skagen for longer than a few days.

Check prices and availability at Skagen Strand Holiday Center here (adlink).

Skagen Strand Hotel and Holiday Center
Rent a holiday apartment with room for the whole family. ©Skagen Strand Hotel and Holiday Center (adlink)

Hotel Marie

If you are looking for a budget stay in Skagen, Hotel Marie has the option of double rooms or rooms for three singles with shared bathrooms which lower the price.

There are also double rooms with private bathrooms but they, of course, cost a little more.

The hotel is located right by the harbour in Skagen so you will be close to the city’s restaurants and cultural offerings.

Check prices and availability at Hotel Marie here (adlink).

Hotel Marie Skagen
The guests at Hotel Marie seem happy with both the cosy atmosphere and free parking in the middle of Skagen. ©Hotel Marie (adlink)

Where to eat in Skagen

The coastal town of Skagen has several great restaurants and cafés.

Of course, there is a lot of seafood available but if you want to eat environmentally and animal-friendly, we recommend eating plant-based as much as possible.

There are no completely vegan restaurants in Skagen (yet) but there are a few restaurants that offer vegetarian and vegan dishes:

  • Juicy Skagen. Delicious juices, smoothies, salads, wraps and sandwiches. They use many organic ingredients, try to shop locally and follow the seasons as much as possible.
  • Jakobs. Vegan salads with mock meat, soups and a burger.
  • Bodilles Kro. Danish cuisine with a few vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Cafe Knuth’s. Limited vegan options but there’s a vegan falafel salad and vegetarian burger.

Check out HappyCow for an updated list of places serving vegetarian and vegan food in Skagen.

Flowers at Råbjerg Mile
Flowers at Råbjerg Mile in late summer.

What to bring to Skagen

  • Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
  • A good camerahere’s a guide to the gear we use.
  • Sunscreen (adlink) if you visit in the summer. The sun can be harsh – even in Denmark.
  • Hiking shoes, sandals or shoes you can walk in the sand in if you plan to visit the sandy attractions.
  • Sunglasses, a hat or a head cover/protection of some kind for sunny days or for the sand if it’s windy.
  • A warm sweater or jacket if you want to explore the natural sights before sunrise or after sunset.
  • Water and snacks for the excursions.
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Minimise your impact

To travel as sustainably as possible, we recommend the following:

  • Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
  • Avoid disposable plastic.
  • Sort your trash correctly and do not throw it on the ground.
  • Take only photos and leave only footprints. Avoid taking things from nature with you.
  • Respect the local wildlife.
  • Use an environmentally friendly sunscreen. The sun can be reflected in the sand, so it is a good idea to protect your skin – especially from the dangerous rays in the middle of the day – even in Denmark.
Alex on his way to Råbjerg Mile in Skagen, Denmark
Alex on his way to the desert from the parking lot at Råbjerg Mile.
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Thanks for reading along

Thank you for reading our travel guide to the best things to do and see in Skagen. We hope it has been helpful!

What do you think of the coastal city at the top of Denmark?

If you have already been to Skagen, it would be great to hear your best tips and tricks.

And if you haven’t been to the northern tip of Jutland yet, don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comments. We are happy to help.

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