If you’ve always pictured visiting a quaint town, filled with matching red cottages and the jovial people that Scandinavia brings to mind, Skagen should be on your travel bucket list.
Built on the northernmost tip of Denmark, Skagen is surrounded by constantly-changing sand dunes that have an almost fluid beauty and separate the city from much of the North Sea.
A seemingly simple town on first glance, upon further investigation, you will observe the remnants of bunkers from the Second World War, when the town was occupied by the Germans, as well as a rich local history that is worth asking the residents about. Famous art groups, natural landmarks and historical buildings are all drawcards to the area.
A modest 8,000 or so people reside permanently in the town, but as Denmark’s primary fishing location, its harbour is well-established and Skagen generally attracts about 2 million tourists each year.
The port is located on the eastern side of the peninsula, but only smaller vessels will actually dock there. Larger ships will drop anchor offshore and passengers will be tendered ashore; however, a port extension project will mean that more ships will be able to be received at the port itself in the future.
The port is located within easy walking distance to the centre of town, so facilities at the port itself are not extensive.
- Tourist information point
How To Get Around
Being quite a small town, it is easy to walk around to discover all that Skagen has to offer. Alternatively, you can hire a bike from Skagen Cykeludlejning and take advantage of their network of bike paths.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 10 minute journey to the city centre
- It is a 50 minute journey to Den Tilsandede Kirke
- It is a 70 minute journey to Grenan.
- It is a 10 minute journey to Den Tilsandede Kirke
- It is a 15 minute journey to Grenan
- It is a 20 minute journey to Råbjerg Mile.
- Currency - The currency in Skagen is the Danish Krone (DKK). Coins come in denominations of 50 ore (valued at half of 1-kr), 1-kr, 22-kr, 5-kr, 10-kr and 20-kr. Notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner denominations.
- Time Zone - Skagen runs in the Central European Time Zone (CET) which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight savings time is in effect between March and October, putting the city two hours ahead of UTC.
- Weather - With seas almost surrounding it, Skagen has a cool oceanic climate, meaning it doesn’t experience temperature extremes. It is generally warmest in July, reaching about 18 degrees Celsius, and it is coolest in January, reaching around 2 degrees Celsius.
- Grenan - As the northernmost point of the Denmak mainland, Grenan is the place where two seas meet – Kattegat and Skagerrak. The sandbar is increasing in size, and grows about 10 metres each year. There are two museums close to the tip: the Skagen Bunker Museum and Grenens Museum. The Skagen Odde Nature Centre, which has displays focusing on sand, water, wind and light, is also located here. The beach at Grenan also features in many artworks created by the famous Skagen Painters.
- Den Tilsandede Kirke - Better known as ‘the sand-covered church’, Den Tilsandede Kirke was a gothic-style church built in the late 14th century and dedicated to Saint Lawrence of Rome. Throughout the 18th century, congregators battled to keep the church from being buried, digging out the entrance each time they gathered. Finally, in 1795, the church was abandoned and now only the tower remains above-ground.
- Råbjerg Mile - The Råbjerg Mile is the largest migrating coastal dune in Northern Europe, reaching a height of about 40 metres and spreading over 1 square kilometre. Moved by the wind, it travels up to about 18 metres northeast each year. It is one of the few remaining migrating dunes after government policies saw many of the dunes planted out to stabilise them and allow for some limited agricultural use. Although currently covered by protective legislation, the dune is moving out of the government-owned area and further talks are in place to discuss the continuation of the conservation of the dune.
- Artists’ Houses - As the location associated with the Skagen Painters (a group of artists who gathered in Skagen in the late 19th century), some of the residences of the members have been preserved as museums. Prominent members of the Painters, Michael and Anna Archer, had their house opened up by their late daughter. It includes much of the original furniture, letting visitors experience the authentic feel of the artists’ house. Both the Archer’s house and the other museum, Drachmann’s House, showcase works from the owners of the residences as well as works from others in their group. Both are open to the public and have exhibitions and special events.