Explore The Things To Do In Skagen Denmark

Things To Do In Skagen Denmark.jpg

Our Second Stop In Denmark

After our exciting day in Germany, we headed back to Denmark. Our first view of Denmark was our 5 day stop in Copenhagen before we boarded our cruise ship for our Baltic adventure. Skagen gave us a very different view of Denmark. We were amazed that there were many things to do in Skagen. We chose to stay close to the main town. But there were tours that went further afield.

Skagen is located at the very top of Denmark. It is at the point where the Baltic meets the North Sea. As such, it has always been a strategic naval point. It was captured early by the Germans in WWII. And there are abandoned German bunkers in many different spots.

Because of where it is located, both seas cause quite a bit of turbulence in the water. The North Sea deposits a significant amount of sand every year and the land is growing at a rate of 15m (~50 ft) per year. We saw both lighthouses and bunkers that used to be on the waterfront well back from today’s shoreline. The lea side of the island is quite calm and it is a favourite camping ground for freighters waiting for their next shipment.

Docked In Skagen

We were docked in the main port area in Skagen. We saw such a wide variety of ships in the harbour. The large ships were working commercial boats. Beside these were much smaller fishing boats. And we saw a large number of pleasure craft.

Skagen Harbour.jpg

Skagen Harbour.jpg

From the ship we looked out over the red roofs of the town area. We were excited to explore. And see all the things to do in Skagen Denmark.

Skagen Harbour Town View.jpg

Put A Foot In Both The Baltic and North Seas At Grenen Point

Our tour bus headed to Grenen Point. This is the place where the Baltic and North Seas met. This part of our tour was top of my list of things to do in Skagen.

Grenen Point - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

We were transferred to what had been called a “Sandworm”. It was labelled as a “Sandormen” and was a tram-like vehicle pulled by a big farm tractor. We were taken from the visitor centre out to the tip of sand between the seas. Prepared to get wet feet, we immediately went out to the tip of sand. We saw the freighters just hanging out offshore.

Grenen Point Sand Worm.jpg

Grenen Point Seas Meet - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Grenen Point Seas Meet.jpg

There were several seals lounging on the sand spit. They hammed it up for the crowd. David wanted to get the cute expressions on the seal faces. So he laid down in the sand. The effort was well worth it.

Grenen Point Seals - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Grenen Point Seals.jpg

Grenen Point Seals - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Walking the beach at Grenen Point is definitely one of recommended things to do in Skagen.

The Lighthouses Of Skagen

On our way to Grenen Point, the bus driver stopped so we could look at the abandoned white lighthouse sitting well back from the water. As new sand was deposited on the point, the shoreline has moved inland.

Skagen Lighthouse Inland.jpg

As we drove along, we also saw a very uncharacteristic lighthouse. What looked like a catapult was the first lighthouse on Skagen.

Skagen Lighthouse First.jpg

When we arrived in port, we saw the newest lighthouse down along the point. When we walked the beach at Grenen Point, we saw this lighthouse again. Behind it we got a glimpse of our ship in harbour. This lighthouse too would ultimately need to be replaced as the beachfront moved forward.

Grenen Point Lighthouse - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Grenen Point Lighthouse.jpg

Seeing the lighthouse variety and change in locations is one of the things to do in Skagen.

Visit the Sand Church

We were not quite sure what to expect when we signed up for a tour that included the Sand-Buried Church. When we were in Helsinki, we visited the Rock Church. That was a church built into the rocks. I guess I expected a church buried in sand.

It was a leisurely 10 minute stroll from the parking lot. We saw lots of local people out walking on the paths. Before long we saw a white tower standing in the distance.

Skagen St Lawrence Buried Sand Church - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

What we found was the white main tower of an abandoned church standing in a field of overgrown sand dunes. The church used to be the largest in the region. The Sand-Buried Church sits on the largest migrating dune in Northern Europe. Shifting sands have buried all but the tower of this 14th-century church. It was closed, painted white and the inside artifacts all moved. The tower was not open to walk up for a panoramic view.

Skagen St Lawrence Buried Sand Church - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

A visit to the Sand-Buried Church will be one of the things to do in Skagen if you take a tour of the main sights.

Wander In the Skagen Museum

Apparently the light in Skagen attracted artists. We didn’t see any magical light on our grey day. But we did not doubt that this was true. The next stop on our list of things to do in Skagen was the museum.

Skagen Museum - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

While it is called a museum, it looked more like an art gallery. We moved from room to room and enjoyed a wide variety of art. My favourite two rooms were filled with light and colourful more modern pieces. Two different artists painted the same scenes and it was interesting to see the slight variations in the paintings. Early sketches were also on display.

Skagen Museum.jpg

Skagen Museum.jpg

Together we get somewhere - Jacob Rantzau 2015 Skagen Museum.jpg

Together we get somewhere - Jacob Rantzau 2015 Skagen Museum.jpg

One of the large galleries had some bigger pieces that seemed to be some of the show pieces. These pictures were used extensively as patterns for articles for sale in the gift shop.

Skagen Museum - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Skagen Museum Summer evening on Skagen Sønderstrand Peder Severin Krøyer.jpg

One room was filled with portraits displayed in what looked like a dining room. Another room had a wide array of small statues. We saw much bigger statues outside the museum.

Skagen Museum - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Skagen Museum - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Skagen Museum Outside Statues - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Skagen Museum Outside Statues - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

There was a broad cross-section of styles in the museum. From dark period pieces to a range of pictures representing people at work in Denmark.

Skagen Museum Midsummer Eve bonfire on Skagen’s beach Peder Severin Krøyer.jpg

Launching the boat by Oscar Bjorck 1884 - Skagen Museum - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Visiting the museum to see the interesting art collection is one of the things to do in Skagen that I would recommend.

Explore The Colourful Town

Don’t miss a chance to just walk around the town of Skagen. It is a well-maintained little town. The houses looked a bit like gingerbread houses. We were not surprised to find that this was a busy tourist town in the summer.

Skagen Town Sign.jpg

Skagen Museums.jpg

In the centre of town was a large water tower that no longer functioned. But it was a great backdrop for pictures. When we returned to Skagen on another cruise, the tower was open and we climbed to the top for panoramic view.

Skagen Water Tower - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Across from the water tower was a statue erected to commemorate local men who had died when trying to rescue people from the sinking Daphne. The long sandbar between the Baltic and North sea results in a large number of ships per year being grounded or sunk. The local people in Skagen have always rushed to help the sinking ships.

Skagen Daphne Monument - Things To Do In Skagen.jpg

Wandering around town is one of the things to do in Skagen. When we returned to Skagen on our cruise through the Norway fjords, we spent more time just just walking the town.

There Were Many Things To Do In Skagen Denmark

We enjoyed a brief sample the things to do in Skagen. It was a quaint little town and we were glad to have this town largely to ourselves. When we returned to Skagen on a cruise of the Norway fjords, we got a very different view in peak tourist season of how big the shopping area was.

If none of the things we did sounds interesting, there was a long list of other things to do in Skagen. Maybe you could visit the Voergaard Renaissance Castle? If you want to visit inside a church, you could visit St. Mary’s Church in the seaside village of Saeby. Or you could learn more about the German occupation if you visited the Hirtshals Bunker Museum with its 50 German bunkers. You might choose to visit the 11th-century Boerglum Abbey, the oldest abbey in Denmark. If you like birds, you might explore Eagle World to see Golden eagles, sea eagles and eagle owls. There were lots of things to do in Skagen for everyone!

Have you visited this town in Denmark? What other things to do in Skagen did you find?

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  1. Loved all the different and fun things you found to do in Skagen, Denmark. I think next year we are going to Denmark as Darcee’s family is historically from there and we want to explore her heritgage. I loved in particular the “catapult” lighthouses and the sand buried church as unique things to see in Skagen. Of course the museum is amazing but I think I would prefer more to walk around the old town and really explore this old fishing and boating culture.

    • Eric, There is a bit of something for everyone. When we went back a second time, we spent more time wandering in town. You will definitely find this a good spot to visit. Linda

  2. I wanted to visit Skagen forever; not for the harbor and even not for the cute seals. No, what’s calling me is the museum that houses all these famous Danish impressionists. Although I’ve seen many of their important works elsewhere, it would be great to go to Skagen – the hub of 19th century Danish art .

    • Renata, You will definitely love the museum. Their permanent collection is great. And they feature other artists on a regular basis as well. You can check out their web site to see the special collections. Hope you get to visit. Linda

  3. Interesting that the Sand church was finally a.. Sand-Buried Church! THESE SEALS ARE SO CUTEEEE! I spent few minutes just observing them 🙂 Beautiful art in the “museum” too!

  4. The nordic countries in Europe are very high up on my list. So far I only visited Latvia and Sweden, but Denmark is pretty up on my list. I’ve heard of Skagen, but didn’t realize it’s so picturesque. Definitely lots of photo ops there. It looks very cold though… Skagen Museum have a very impressive collection of art. Hope to visit it someday.

    • Anda, We actually visited Skagen twice. The first time for this blog it was cold. But the second time we visited was in July and it was very hot. But both times we found a lot to do when we explored the area. Linda

  5. I have not heard of Skagen, but you’ve sold me on it as a wonderful place to visit. The lighthouses would be my favorite. I love the first photo — looks like you two are having so much fun!

  6. Thanks for sharing and I am glad to learn about a new place in Denmark outside Copenhagen.
    I have been planning to visit Denmark this year and so your info has come in a great time! I will definitely will take note for my trip planning. @ Knycx.journeying

  7. OMG that seal shot is priceless, well done to David! The church and all the lighthouses are super interesting, I’d like to check out that museum/gallery too.

  8. Skagen looks incredible. This could possible be a stop over for our trip through Europe! The seals look so cute, would love to see them in person

  9. That’s a trip that that church is buried in the sand, Did they just block it or is it possible to go downstairs (underground)? I’d love to see it either way and the artifacts they’ve been able to save. The Skagen Museum also looks like a winner. I love maritime themes, especially in art work.

    • Vanessa, We did not have the chance to go inside the church. Apparently there is a way to get inside and go up to the top. We loved that the Skagen Museum had rotating displays so every visit would be different. Linda

    • Kate, We could not miss the chance to get up close and personal with the seals. But still kept back. I could not believe how many people tried to get selfies. A great spot to visit. Although I am not sure if the seals are there all the time. Linda

  10. Oh my god. Can I cuddle those seals? hahaha. They’re the cutest. I would love to do a detour here next time I head to Denmark. I guess it’s like the other Danish cities that are pretty easy to explore and finish in a day.

    • Trisha, I do hope that you get to visit Skagen. It is a really popular vacation spot in the summer. There were other things to do that may let you stay for more than just one day. Linda

  11. Laying down flat was worth the effort, the seal has such an adorable look! Never seen a church in a sand dune! Great pic. Stunning paintings framed! Loved the museum.

  12. I would love to check out Skagen’s abandoned German bunkers. Those seals are so cute! I would definitely lay in the sand to get those expressions. This sounds like a great stop on a cruise of the Norway fjords

  13. First of all: how cute are those seals?! Love them! Also, loved the Sand-Buried Church. It looks like a church made of LEGO 🙂 Skagen looks like such a lovely place. Thanks for showing it so well.

  14. I’ve not visited any Nordic countries but would love to, so I read this article with keen interest. I’ve seen some very scenic photos of the Sand-Buried church, but never realized the interesting facts behind it. Know knowing it was once the largest in the region, it sits on the largest migrating dune in Northern Europe and that it’s from the 14th-century church, I definitely would want to see it.

    • We actually got to visit Skagen twice on cruises and each was a new discovery. I had no idea how big a tourist spot it was until our second visit when we found it quite packed. Some great spots to explore around Denmark for sure.

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