The Port of the North
Historically, Frederikshavn has always been a naval base of some strategic importance due to its proximity to the entrance to the Baltic Sea. The Krudttårnet (Powder Tower), constructed in 1688 has been preserved and is incorporated in the coat of arms of the municipality.
Thanks to its seaside position, Frederikshavn is ideal for ferry crossings – making it easy to see the spectacular cities of Scandinavia by boat. But don't ship off just yet.
Fiskerklyngen is the oldest part of town, lying north of the fishing harbor. Find a number of well-preserved 17th century houses – not easy when you're living so close to the sea-battered coast. Note also the North Entrenchments (Nordre Skanse), which were built by Wallenstein's troops during the Thirty Years War.
If here in June, Experience "Days of Tordenskiold," a series of events that brings to life the Great Northern War that took place in the early 18th century. Featuring groups from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, enjoy fencing demonstrations, grand three-masted ships from each country, period music and food served in the local pub "Den kække Kælling."
With a Eurail Scandinavia Pass, easily make your way up to the top of the Jutland peninsula. Capital Copenhagen is roughly five hours away. Home of Hans Christian Andersen, Odense is a bit over four hours by train. In 2.5 hours you can enjoy Arhus, with its famed fjords and crystalline lakes. Your pass also includes discounts on ferry connections, so easily head to Gothenburg – Sweden's second-largest city with a young, hip atmosphere.
Closer by, the city of Skagen, ten miles from Frederikshavn, is distinguished by its low, yellow houses with red tile roofs nestled into the beach. The impressive and wild landscape is showcased at the headland at Grenen – the northernmost point of Denmark. A spectacular setting where two parts of the North Sea, the Kattegat and the Skagerrak meet, makes for turbulent seas.
Aalborg is the fourth largest city in Denmark and about an hour from Frederikshavn. The city is downright charming, with it's 16th century half-timbered castle and traditional red-roofed houses. One of the most popular and famous streets in Aalborg, and maybe even in Denmark, is Jomfru Ane Gade or simply, "The Street." Here, staid restaurants and cafes turn into high-volume dance halls and bars in the evening.
Did you expect to see armor-clad Vikings? This is the great surprise of travel. Taking pre-conceived notions of what a place might be and turning them upside down. Denmark's Jutland has the rugged landscape one would expect. But there's "life" here too. Where disco balls light up the northern sky, and the Aurora Borealis dance in Heaven.
Contributed by: Amiee, Affiliate Marketing Manager, has traveled to 15 countries and over 45 European cities by rail, including Warsaw, where she attempted to find relatives!