Frederikshavn is one of the most important towns in Denmark. Despite a relatively small size, it is very charming, and due to the presence of a large port, it is a city of trading, industry and travel. Be sure to read this Frederikshavn travel guide if you’re going!
Facts about the town
The area where Frederikshavn is located has been inhabited for thousands of years. In Latin, the place was known as Ora Plana, meaning “flat beach”. It also appeared under the name Fladstrand when the town was first mentioned in Danish records in 1572. At that time, it was a town where shipments of German beer and other foreign drinks would come in.
For a long time, it was a popular town for fishermen, and that was the main occupation of the locals – just like in other towns in Northern Denmark, such as Skagen, Hirtshals and Løkken. But during the early industrialisation, the population started growing as the construction of a major port began.
Since then, Frederikshavn has primarily been a port city. Today it has one of the most important ports in Denmark, being one of two main headquarters for the Danish Navy, while many foreign ships come in to deliver goods and products every week. The port is also home to a ferry terminal, and every day you can find connections to Sweden and Norway. The most popular route is Frederikshavn – Gothenburg which we have described in detail in another article. There are also routes to Oslo.
Occasionally, you can even see a major cruise in the port of Frederikshavn!
Getting to Frederikshavn
The nearest international airport is Aalborg Airport. By car, it takes around 50 minutes to cover the distance. You will also find a frequent bus connection to and from the airport.
If you’re driving to Frederikshavn, the easiest way is simply to follow freeway E45 directly north. This freeway goes directly from the Danish-German border up to Frederikshavn. That makes the entire journey very straightforward if you are driving through Denmark.
Of course, a significant amount of travelers are actually coming to Frederikshavn by ferry. If that includes you, you will be arriving in the ferry terminal of Frederikshavn which is already quite central. There are lots of parking spaces near the terminal, and you will also find local buses departing to other places around the municipality.
Things to do in Frederikshavn
Frederikshavn has some nice beaches. They are clean, nice and rarely overcrowded – even in the summer when the weather is amazing. Palmestranden (The Palm Beach) is our favorite spot!
Near Frederikshavn, you can also try activities such as fishing, horse riding, golf, surfing and more.
As for cultural attractions, we recommend visiting these places:
- Nordjyllands Kystmuseum (coastal museum)
- Det Musiske Hus (house of music)
- Bangsbo Fort + Museum + Botanical Garden
- Dyrehaven (animal park)
- Pikkerbakken (a platform where you can get a view out over the town and the sea)
Even though Frederikshavn is not home to any good football clubs, it does have a very good ice hockey team, and hockey is the favorite sport of many locals. The name of the local team is Frederikshavn White Hawks – one of the best teams in Denmark. The address of the stadium is Skøjtealléen 4, 9900 Frederikshavn and tickets are quite affordable. Usually, you can get in for 150 DKK (20 EUR) or less.
Exploring the central part of Frederikshavn is a nice choice if you are into shopping. The town has a long pedestrian street with several nice shops, many of them dedicated to clothing, and due to the fact that Frederikshavn receives a lot of foreign tourists, the opening hours of these stores are usually much longer than in other Danish cities and towns. Oftentimes, they are even open on Sundays.
Aside from many stores, you will also find a decent nightlife in central Frederikshavn. Peak nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. During these nights, there are several bars, pubs and clubs you can visit.
Frederikshavn also has a solid amount of restaurants, but if you want the best seafood experience, we advise you to take the short trip north to Skagen where there are better options.
Hotels in Frederikshavn
There are many hotels in the central part of Frederikshavn.
We recommend Park Hotel if you want a classic Danish experience. This hotel is family-run, very cosy and quite affordable.
Hotel Lisboa is a great choice if you want to be near the beaches in the south.
Scandic The Reef is one of the most luxurious and nice hotels in Frederikshavn. It costs a bit more to stay there compared to the two other suggestions, but if you have the budget for it, it is highly recommended!
For specific area descriptions and for more in-depth descriptions of these hotels – read the article where to stay in Frederikshavn.
Nearby cities and towns to visit
If you go directly north, you will quickly reach the town of Skagen. It can be reached by car as well as by train.
Skagen is the northernmost town in Denmark and it has a rich history. Many artists used to live in Skagen, and nowadays there are many museums. Skagen has beautiful beaches and you will find some of the best seafood restaurants in Denmark. Read our guide to all the best attractions in Skagen here.
Driving southwest, you can reach Aalborg in a bit less than an hour. Aalborg is the largest city in the region of Northern Denmark. It has become a very cultural city, and it also has great facilities for shopping along with a booming nightlife. Read more about what to do in Aalborg here.
If you wish to see a typical Danish town, somewhat similar to Frederikshavn but without the harbour, you can consider a visit to Hjørring. A charming city with nice things to offer. Perfect for a day trip.
Taking the ferry to the island of Læsø, located in Kattegat approximately midways between Denmark and Sweden, is another good option. Læsø has great beaches, tasty food and the locals are very friendly towards tourists. You can expect a great trip to Læsø, regardless of whether it is just one day or longer. It’s a popular destination among many Danes, particularly from the northern region!
Frederikshavn is a nice place to visit. We hope you have enjoyed this travel guide and that you have some ideas on what to do when you arrive.
It is particularly nice to visit Frederikshavn in the summer where you can enjoy the beaches. However, there are things to do all year round, especially if you are into museums, shopping and nightlife. With many other nice towns near, you won’t be bored, and public transportation works quite well. Frederikshavn is also the gateway to Sweden or Norway if you want to sail with a ferry. In many ways, it’s one of the most interesting towns in Denmark to visit!