Jutland In Denmark

Where is Jutland? Your essential guide to Jutland in Denmark

If you ask someone where they visited on their trip to Denmark, they’ll almost always say Copenhagen. Despite being the largest part of the country, Jutland hardly ever gets a mention. To redress the balance, we’ve created this essential guide for anyone wishing to know more about Jutland in Denmark.

Almost half of Denmark’s 5.8 million people live on Jutland, which has the country’s only land border. Part of the peninsula belongs to Germany, but the Danish side spreads up to roughly the same height on a map as Gothenburg in Sweden.

It’s a place where culture, nature, and industry live alongside one another.

If you’re visiting Denmark for an extended period, or you plan to move here, it’s worth knowing about and checking out Jutland (Jylland) — even if Copenhagen has enough to keep you entertained for a lifetime.

So, where is Jutland? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this part of the country; we’ll break down each region and show you how to get here, plus more.

Where is Jutland in Denmark?

Jutland sits below Sweden and Norway and just across the North Sea from the UK. In terms of Danish territory, the peninsula stretches from Padborg in the south to Skagen in the north. It’s the westernmost part of Denmark and separated from Sjælland — the island that Copenhagen is on — by Fyn.

While most of Jutland is Danish, some of it is part of modern-day Germany. Flensborg is the first town on the German side, with the rest of the peninsula stretching down to Hamburg. Because Denmark and Germany are part of the Schengen Area, you can usually travel between the two without showing your passport.

A brief history of Jutland

Jutland is home to Denmark’s oldest town, which we’ll discuss in a little more detail later in this article. People have lived on and traveled through this piece of land for centuries, dating back to the Vikings and Iron Age.

In more recent times, Denmark was forced to give up significant amounts of land after losing to Prussia in the Second Schleswig War. The Danes lost Schleswig-Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg; to this day, there’s still a significant Danish minority living in Northern Germany.

Jutland was close to further conflict in the early 20th century. During World War I, British and German forces faced off with each other in the Battle of Jutland — which took place around 60 miles from the Danish mainland.

Denmark was neutral during World War I and kept that stance at the beginning of the Second World War. The Germans invaded and occupied the country during the conflict, and soldiers built bunkers in the northern part of Jutland — which you can still see today.

Today, Jutland is a crucial part of several Danish industries. It’s vital for local produce, such as carrots and potatoes. You’ll also find several pig farms (pork is HUGE in Denmark), while the peninsula is essential for energy production and seafaring.

Now that you know where to find Jutland in Denmark and a little about the region’s history, we can begin breaking down the peninsula’s different regions. In the sections below, you’ll discover the main towns and cities in each part of Jutland — plus a little extra background information.

North Jutland (Nordjylland)

Nordjylland is the northernmost part of Denmark and home to just under 600,000 people. It’s a popular vacation destination for many Danes and an important hub for traveling to Sweden and Norway.

Below, you’ll find the most important towns and cities in North Jutland.

Jutland In Denmark

Aalborg

Aalborg is the largest city in Nordjylland and the fourth-biggest in Denmark. As of 2021, the urban area is home to over 142,000 people — and more than 200,000 inhabitants live in the municipality as a whole.

Aalborg is home to one of the most important universities in Denmark, which draws in students from both other parts of the country and international ones each year.

Aalborg has a surprisingly diverse range of activities for a relatively small city. You’ll find several museums, including the Utzon Center — designed by the legendary Jørn Utzon (who you might know as the guy that designed the Sydney Opera House).

Aalborg is also home to various culinary experiences featuring local produce, plus several shops and bars. One of the country’s oldest soccer teams, AaB, play their home matches in the city.

Find things to do and places to stay in Aalborg.

Jutland In Denmark

Skagen

Scenic Skagen (pronounced skay-en) is one of Denmark’s most-loved towns and home to over 7,000 people. You might already know about Skagen because it’s frequently a base for people who come to see two seas — Skagerrak and Kattegat — meet.

The town has inspired several artists and is known for its lighting, making it an excellent spot for photography. The famous watch brand, Skagen, also takes its name from the town.

Skagen is packed with Danes taking their regular three-week vacation in the summer. You’ll find plenty of things to do here, such as sampling fresh seafood and enjoying Råbjerg Mile — which moves 15 meters north annually and is Denmark’s biggest migrating dune.

Find places to stay in Skagen.

Jutland In Denmark

Frederikshavn and Hirtshals

Frederikshavn is a fishing town of just over 22,800 people in Northeast Jutland. Many tourists come here to catch the ferry to and from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city and around three hours and 30 minutes away by sea.

On the northwestern side of Jutland, Hirtshals is an important port for travelers coming to and from Norway. You can get the ferry to Oslo, Larvik, and Kristiansand from this town, which is much smaller than Frederikshavn. Further afield, you can sail all the way to the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

Find places to stay in Frederikshavn.

Mid Jutland (Midtjylland)

Mid Jutland or Middle Jutland, more commonly known as Midtjylland, is where most Jutlander’s live. The region is home to over 1.3 million inhabitants and roughly along the south banks of the Limfjord in the north to just above Vejle in the south.

Midtjylland is home to Denmark’s second-biggest city. Beyond that, it’s also home to Denmark’s lake district and several nature experiences.

In addition to the main peninsula, Region Midtjylland also includes the tiny island of Anholt — which is roughly halfway between Denmark and Sweden.

Find places to stay in Midtjylland.

Jutland In Denmark

Aarhus

Aarhus (pronounced oar-hoos) is one of the best places to visit in Jutland. It’s the largest city in this part of Denmark, along with the second-biggest in the country altogether behind Copenhagen. It’s roughly three hours away from the capital.

Over 330,000 people live here, and the city has the youngest average age in the entire country.

One of the primary reasons that Aarhus is home to so many young people is because of its university. Aarhus University is Denmark’s most prominent and renowned as one of the best research facilities on the planet. More than 44,000 people study here.

As a city, Aarhus is of a manageable size. Its compactness, coupled with the sheer amount of things to do, makes it an excellent place to visit and live. You’ll find a whole host of museums, including ARoS — one of the most-photographed places in Denmark.

Aarhus also has a lively nightlife scene, plus numerous restaurants featuring cuisines from all corners of the globe. It’s also home to those stereotypical colorful Danish houses, along with many fashion and design outlets.

Denmark’s second-largest city is an important transport hub, connecting North and South Jutland — plus regular bus, ferry, and train services to Copenhagen.

Find things to do and places to stay in Aarhus.

Jutland In Denmark

Randers

Randers has a, let’s say, interesting reputation among many Danes. Many people you speak to will joke about the place in the same way that people from the US do with New Jersey.

The city is less than an hour away from Aarhus and is the sixth-largest in Denmark, with a population of around 62,600. Randers has a number of museums, including Museum Østjylland (The Museum of East Jutland).

Randers is also home to the football team Randers FC, who won the Danish Super Cup in 2021.

Oddly enough, some people in China have taken inspiration from Randers — so much so that they want to build versions of the town in their country.

Find places to stay in Randers.

Jutland In Denmark

Horsens

Horsens is around 30 minutes away from Aarhus by public transport and a little longer if you choose to drive. Roughly 60,000 people live here, which puts it eighth on the list of Denmark’s biggest cities.

Horsens is quite diverse for a relatively small place, with over 130 nationalities living in the city.

VIA University College has a campus in Horsens, which primarily focuses on engineering and business-related educational programs.

These days, the city has a broad range of cultural activities taking place throughout the year. Several famous artists and bands have performed here, including Madonna, One Direction, and the Rolling Stones. Horsens is also home to FÆNGSLET, which is Northern Europe’s biggest Medieval festival.

Find places to stay in Horsens.

Jutland In Denmark
Credit: Nico-dk

Silkeborg

Silkeborg is just under 40 minutes from Aarhus and almost right in the center of Jutland geographically. The city is the most important hub for Denmark’s lake district, which attracts numerous adventurers each year.

Not far from Silkeborg, you’ll find Himmelbjerget. Standing at 147 meters, this is Denmark’s highest natural point — which goes to show you just how flat most of the country is.

Find places to stay in Silkeborg.

South Jutland (Sydjylland)

Sydjylland is where Denmark meets the rest of Continental Europe. It’s largely rural, and around 252,000 people live in this part of the country.

While Southern Jutland doesn’t have any large cities on the scale of Aarhus or Aalborg, it has several centers of significance — both from industrial and cultural perspectives. Below are some of the most important.

Jutland In Denmark

Vejle

Realistically speaking, you could very easily class Vejle as part of Midtjylland. It’s one of the northernmost parts of Southern Jutland and has a population of 58,777.

You’ll know that you’ve passed through Vejle because you’ll see its unmistakable group of modern apartments that look like a wave. It’s home to a few other examples of modern architecture, including De Fem Søstre apartments and Fjordenshus.

Vejle is also known to be a great place to go cycling, while you’ll find several forests just outside the city center. It’s around an hour from Aarhus, and you can stop for a couple of hours if you’re traveling between there and Copenhagen.

Find places to stay in Vejle.

Jutland In Denmark

Esbjerg

Pretty is not a word that many Danes would use to describe Esbjerg. Nonetheless, it’s one of the country’s most important fishing and shipping hubs.

Roughly 72,000 people live in Esbjerg, making it the largest city in Southern Jutland — and the second-biggest in the South Denmark region behind Odense.

Although Esbjerg isn’t as pleasing to the eye as Copenhagen, you’ll find a few things to do here if you decide to visit. Arguably its best-known attraction is the Men at Sea monument, which is effectively the city’s version of the Statue of Liberty.

Esbjerg is also just 10 minutes away from the picturesque island of Fanø.

Find places to stay in Esbjerg.

Jutland In Denmark

Billund

Billund is a company town that you’ll almost certainly have heard of. Why? Hint: you’ve probably stood on a couple of plastic bricks and screamed in agony.

That’s right — Billund is home to LEGO, which is arguably Denmark’s most famous export.

A little over 6,000 people live in Billund, which is just over an hour away from Aarhus. Iconic Legoland — one of Denmark’s best places to visit for children — is the primary reason that people visit the town.

Find things to do and places to stay in Billund.

Jutland In Denmark
Credit: Hjart

Ribe

Postcard-perfect Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town, having been founded in the 9th century. It’s commonly cited as one of the best places to visit in Jutland, along with the country as a whole.

Today, Ribe is a sleepy place that around 7,000 people call home. You can join a night watchman tour and hear songs and stories throughout the year. It begins at different times depending on when the sun sets; all you need to do is show up in advance.

Find places to stay in Ribe.

Jutland In Denmark

Kolding

Kolding is not far from the Little Belt Bridge that connects Jutland with Fyn. Roughly 58,000 people live in this pleasant town, which is an important spot for shipbuilding.

Kolding’s best-known attraction is the Koldinghus castle that watches over the city from a hilltop. In addition to that, you’ll also find the Danish Museum of Nursing History and the Trapholt Museum for Modern Art.

Find places to stay in Kolding.

Jutland In Denmark

Fredericia

If you’ve traveled between Sjælland or Fyn and Jutland by train, or you’ve done likewise from Hamburg, you’ll be familiar with Fredericia. Just over 40,000 people live here.

From Fredericia, you can travel directly to and from Copenhagen and Aarhus by train. The port is the largest in Southern Denmark and handles several container goods.

Find places to stay in Fredericia.

What is Jutland good for?

By this point, you should have a pretty good understanding of Jutland’s geography — plus the most important towns and cities in this part of Denmark. For those that wish to venture to this corner of the country, a rewarding and unique experience — with a fraction of the tourists in Copenhagen — awaits.

Below are the best things to do in Jutland.

Nature

Denmark doesn’t have the dramatic natural scenery of Norway or Sweden, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything to be snuffed at. Mother Nature certainly didn’t forget about the Danes, and Jutland is the best place to see her work first-hand.

If you’ve lived in Denmark for more than a couple of days, you’ll be all too aware of just how windy it is most of the year. This has led to stunning sand dunes on the west coast of Jutland, which is popular with both Danes and Germans.

We’ve already discussed the two seas meeting at Grenen, but Nordjylland has plenty more to offer beyond that. Thy National Park is the country’s first and is a great spot for hiking and camping along the scenic coast. You can also spot deer, eagles, and much more.

Jutland and Vikings

Denmark’s a lot more peaceful today than it was during Viking times, but we can’t ignore that era’s impact on shaping the country. Jutland is an excellent place to uncover their tracks.

If you fancy visiting Nordjylland, you’ll find a Viking burial site at Lindholm Høje — just outside of Aalborg.

Aarhus’ strategic position was a key factor in the Vikings choosing to make it an important hub, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the city is a great place to learn more about them.

At Aarhus’ Viking Museum, you’ll find several artifacts dating back to when said individuals roamed the planet. Entry costs just 30 Danish Kroner for adults and is free for children, making it a worthwhile and affordable addition to your stay.

Outdoor activities

Jutland is an amazing place for fans of the great outdoors to answer their call to adventure. The blustery conditions make it an excellent place for windsurfing; Cold Hawaii in Thisted is one of the most famous spots in Denmark.

In the areas surrounding Silkeborg, you can enjoy the water from a calmer perspective; you can rent canoes and kayaks during the summer months.

All you need to do is spend three seconds in the center of Copenhagen to know that Denmark is arguably the best country on the planet for cycling. If you want to go on longer trips outside of the cities, Jutland has plenty of opportunities.

You’ll find several bike routes in Nordjylland, and in the south, you might want to give the 130km border route a try.

Jutland In Denmark

How to get to Jutland

Regardless of whether you travel internationally or from another part of Denmark, getting to and around Jutland isn’t difficult. Below, we’ve broken down the different transport methods you can use.

Air

Billund Airport is Jutland’s main airport. It’s less than an hour from downtown Aarhus, making it a popular option for people on the peninsula to travel elsewhere.

As you might expect for a town hosting one of the world’s largest companies, Billund Airport serves flights to several major European cities. You can fly to Billund from London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam, to name three.

If you’re making a big trip around Scandinavia, you can also fly directly to Billund from the Faroe Islands.

Aarhus also has an international airport of its own, and you can get direct buses to and from the city center. It’s smaller than Billund, but you can still fly in from a selection of international destinations — including London and Gothenburg. Direct flights also operate to and from Copenhagen.

In the north of Jutland, Aalborg has a small airport around 20 minutes away from the city center. Like Aarhus, you can travel directly from Copenhagen; the journey time is 45 minutes. Flights also operate from Aalborg to Stockholm, Oslo, Barcelona, and several other cities.

Train

If you’re already in Denmark, a better way to get to Jutland is by train. Intercity services run across the country from Copenhagen throughout the week via DSB, which is the country’s train operator.

Journey times are as follows (hours:minutes):

  • Aarhus: Between 2:40 and 3:30
  • Aalborg: Between 4:15 and 4:50
  • Esbjerg: c.3:00

From Germany, you can also take the train to Denmark. You’ll likely need to change in Fredericia before continuing your journey if you’re heading to more northerly parts of the peninsula.

You can get a direct train from Hamburg to Aarhus, which takes around four and a half hours.

For both domestic and international train travel, you can get fantastic deals if you book in advance. If you’re strategic, you can get single tickets for as little as 99 DKK from Copenhagen — even if you’re going as far north as Aalborg.

If you’re traveling from Germany, you can also find tickets on the DSB site. Other places you might want to try include:

Ferry

In Denmark, you’re never more than 50 kilometers from the sea. So, as you might imagine, getting to Jutland from the water is pretty straightforward.

From Copenhagen, you can travel from Copenhagen to Aarhus using Kombardo Expressen. First, you’ll hop on a bus to Sjællands Odde — which is just over an hour-and-a-half. From there, you’ll take the ferry to Aarhus and get back on the bus to be dropped off in the city center.

Kombardo Expressen tickets are pretty affordable and take roughly the same time as slower trains between Denmark’s two largest cities. If you want to take your bike on board, you’ll need to pay extra.

Bus

Getting to Jutland by bus is straightforward, and several companies operate services from both Germany and Copenhagen. Kombardo Expressen has a long-distance bus route from the capital to several cities in Jutland, including Aalborg.

FlixBus is another affordable and comfortable way to travel from Copenhagen, and it’s also a useful option if you’re visiting from Germany.

When you’re in Jutland, you’ll have several local bus services at your disposal.

The main ones to note are listed below:

To plan your journey, the Rejseplanen app is useful in each region.

Car

Getting around by car in Denmark is pretty straightforward, and you shouldn’t have any problems traveling from Germany or Copenhagen. Plenty of well-maintained roadways connect the main towns and cities on the peninsula.

When you’re in Jutland, having a car might prove to be extremely helpful. You can get around Aarhus by bike without problems, but bus and train services may be more infrequent in more rural parts of the peninsula than you’d like.

Jutland: Denmark’s largest land area has a lot to offer

We can’t deny the many dazzles of Copenhagen, but only staying in Denmark’s capital means that you’re missing out on a lot.

Further afield, the country has a lot to offer — and exploring Jutland is a great way to find out why this small land in Northern Europe regularly features at the top of the World Happiness Index.

Jutland has something to offer every kind of adventurer. Aarhus is a worthy weekend trip in and of itself, with a plethora of culinary delights and cultural experiences. Further north, Aalborg is on the up and surrounded by wonderful nature to help you rest and recharge.

If you go further south, Denmark’s close ties with Germany begin to become more evident. It’s sometimes easy to forget which country you’re in, and you’ll be so far off the tourist trail that you’re guaranteed a unique experience.

Denmark is a fascinating country that many people don’t know much about beyond the clichés. Why not improve your knowledge, so you’re well-prepared when you visit?

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