Located only 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen, Roskilde is a perfect choice for a day trip outside the Danish capital.
With a rich history, Gothic cathedral with the tombs of Danish monarchs, the Viking Ship Museum and a beautiful seashore, it is absolutely worth visiting.
How to get there
It is straightforward to travel from Copenhagen to Roskilde with the train. The journey lasts for 30 minutes, and a return ticket will cost you 190 DKK (around 25 euros). You can buy it at the ticket machines at any train station.
From Roskilde train station you will need only about 10 minutes of walking to get to the historical centre.
What to see in Roskilde
The Stændertorvet Square in Roskilde is a great place to start your day with.
We were fortunate to visit Roskilde on Wednesday because this is the day when the market is taking place on it. You can find everything there, from local food to antiquities and typical blue Danish pottery.
We felt like locals there, looking to the local goods and listening to Danes trading between each other. The market is organized every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 AM till 3 PM, and it is absolutely worth visiting.
Old town hall
The square has a traditional Scandinavic look thanks to the old Town Hall located there. Its robust step-shaped tower once belonged to St. Laurence Church. Medieval Cathedral and old Royal Palace are also visible from the square, which altogether gives it a beautiful historical environment.
Former royal, so-called Yellow Palace is also located there. The yellow building was built in Baroque style and was home to the royals when they were attending the funerals or visiting the town. Today, the Museum of Contemporary art is located here.
Viking ship Museum
From the market square we continued towards the seashore where the Viking ship Museum is located. On our way there,we walked through the huge beautiful park. It was full of flowers and was a very relaxing and nice place in, surprisingly hot day for Denmark.
The Viking ship Museum definitely succeeded in my high expectations. It is a heaven for any Viking fan, so it was a fantastic place for me.
The central pieces of the museum are five 11th century Viking ships. They were found in Roskilde fjord where they were scuttled as a way of protection of a channel. Their excavation and restoration are well explained in the short movie that is on display in the museum.
A part of the museum is also a small shipyard where you can see a traditional medieval way of building the ships and join some of the workshops there. You can even go for a ride in one of the Viking ship replicas.
A beautiful sea of a Roskilde fjord together with the Viking ship replicas sailing there gave the whole site such an out-of-this-place Viking atmosphere. It was indeed a fantastic place.
Lunch at the park
Although still under the impression of the Viking ship museum, we were definitely ready for some lunch. We got a great recommendation from the lady in a museum for a nice restaurant in the middle of the park located between the Viking ship museum and the cathedral.
The restaurant ‘Pipers Hus‘ is located perfectly, surrounded with the trees and has a beautiful view to Roskilde fjord.
We tried some very typical Danish dishes there – rye bread with different toppings like salmon, salads or veggies. It definitely wasn’t a plane sandwich, but a nice light lunch with very different flavours combined together. I loved it!
Cathedral of St. Luke
After a lunch break, we visited another must-see Roskilde’s site, the Gothic St. Luke Cathedral. A monumental building is on UNESCO’s heritage list today, the first Gothic cathedral made of bricks in Scandinavia and home to 39 tombs of queens and kings of Denmark. Entrance ticket to the cathedral is 60 DKK (around 8 euros), which includes a very informative cathedral guide booklet. Both the architecture and the royal history of the place are amazing.
After visiting the cathedral, we were just walking around the town a bit. There are many lovely coffee shops and restaurants there. It is also a very green town, so wherever you will go, you will find some beautiful parks and places to relax.
And this is definitely the best part of travelling, getting yourself lost in the new places and finding beautiful sites in them.
Have you visited Roskilde? Do you know some other lovely places there? Let us know in the comments below!