Travel Guide to Skagen: 10 Best Things To Do & See at the Top of DenmarkEverything you need to know about Skagen in North Jutland, including why you should visit, what to do, where to stay and our best tips
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?
- Budget: Hotel Marie – Keep the price down with shared bathrooms.
- Value for money: Skagen Strand and Holiday Center – The perfect place for families.
- Luxury: Skagen Hotel – Great location and stylish rooms.
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
What to bring to Skagen
- Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
- A good camera – here’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.
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.
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.