Visit this trading gateway to western Denmark to discover modern art, historic Viking relics and the tranquility of the Danish coast.
Explore Esbjerg, a laid-back industrial port on Denmark’s picturesque southwest coast. See historic buildings, investigate seafaring museums, meet locals at fish markets and enjoy the outdoors in some of the country’s most spectacular nature reserves.
Denmark’s largest fishing harbor is a great place to learn about the country’s long tradition as a seafaring nation. See the impressive 30-foot-tall (9-meter) Man Meets the Sea sculpture at Sædding Strand. Opposite it is the impressive Fisheries and Maritime Museum, with exhibits describing maritime voyages and trade routes from Middle Age and Viking eras. Walk through the shipyard, visit the excellent aquarium and learn about Danish fishing and shipping. Afterward, sit in the café while enjoying views of Grådyb and Wadden Sea.
Meander to the Port of Esbjerg to the fish auction, held every Wednesday during summer. In the Lightship Museum, climb aboard one of the world’s oldest floating lighthouses.
South of the harbor is the city landmark, the Water Tower. Nearby in the Esbjerg Art Museum, see Danish modern and experimental art. Explore the Museum of Esbjerg (Western Jutland’s Museum of Amber) where you can view artifacts from the Iron and Viking ages alongside impressive exhibits of amber objects. A short drive from the city is the fascinating Ribe VikingeCenter, a reconstructed Viking settlement with exhibits about the Nordic and Viking eras.
Esbjerg is the gateway to southern Denmark’s nature reserves. From the port, head to Wadden Sea National Park to walk around nature reserves, relax on beaches and see migratory birds and spotted seals.
Have fun on the coast at Fanø and explore the World War II bunkers. Lie on the sandy beaches of Henne Strand or take a picnic to Marbæk Nature Reserve.
Buses and trains connect across the country and to destinations in Europe. The town is 185 miles (298 kilometers) from Copenhagen. Esbjerg is easily navigated by foot or bicycle. Use taxi, car, bus and harbor boats as well.