Roskilde is one of Denmark’s oldest cities, something which is reflected in its varied range of attractions. The city’s location by the stunning fjord makes it especially well-suited for afternoons in the great outdoors, but you can also explore the city’s famous cathedral, exciting museums and Viking archaeological finds from the area during your visit.
Roskilde is thought to have been founded around the year 980 by Harald Bluetooth. The city became a major power in Denmark in 1022, when Cnut the Great (known in English as Canute) made it a bishopric. We suggest you start your holiday in Roskilde with a visit to the Vikingeskibsmuseet (Viking Ship Museum), where you can learn more about the city’s founders and the time in which they lived. The museum’s greatest attractions are the five original Skuldelev ships, which are believed to date all the way back to the 1030s, but you can also goon board two reconstructed Viking ships, try on authentic Viking clothing and practise your runic writing.
Another place where you can experience a true feeling for history is Roskilde Domkirke (Roskilde Cathedral), where an impressive 39 Danish monarchs are buried. The church was built around the year 1175 and made it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list in 1995 due to its many royal graves and eclectic architecture.
Only a stone’s throw away from the cathedral, you will find the city’s main shopping streets, Algade and Skomagergade, where you can shop for fashion, books, vintage clothing, speciality items and homewares. Most restaurants, cafés and bars are also located in this area. As a creative university town, Roskilde boasts a dynamic cultural life, which is reflected in the numerous art galleries and museums including the Galleri LABR, the Roskildegalleriet (Roskilde Gallery), the Museet for Samtidskunst (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the Glasgalleriet (Glass Gallery). The world-famous Roskilde Festival is also highly recommended for music and party lovers.
End your stay in Roskilde with a trip out to the beautiful fjord landscape surrounding the Roskilde Fjord. The fjord is home to about 30 small islands and offers hiking paths, kayak rides and sailing trips in authentic Viking ships.
It only takes about half an hour to get to Roskilde by car or train from Copenhagen, home to Copenhagen Airport which serves flights to and from cities such as London, Bristol and Newcastle. If you’re travelling to Roskilde from other parts of Denmark, there are regular trains from cities such as Aalborg and Aarhus, where you’ll also find international airports.
Historic royal graves, stunning nature and exciting Viking artefacts are waiting for you in Roskilde!
Museums, Culture and Historical Buildings