In central Jutland, Billund is a modest town with a big story to tell: It’s the birthplace of LEGO, and boasts the original LEGO factory and Legoland resort.
The amusement park is the reason most people will descend on Billund, and it’s a world-class attraction that the little dudes are sure to love.
If you spend some of your trip branching out into the wider region you’ll see Denmark’s best Viking runestones, visit open-air museums of all descriptions and come face to face with a lion at Gifskud Zoo.
Day-trips are also an option to any number of exciting cities and villages in the countryside or on the coast.
Here are the best things to do in Billund:
1. Legoland Billund
The world’s first Legoland, this attraction has been going strong for nearly half a century and is the most-visited place in Denmark not in Copenhagen.
There are nine LEGO-themed lands for kids to discover, but the part everyone will want to see is Mini Land.
This is where monuments and cityscapes from across Denmark and the World have been built to LEGO’s 1:20 scale.
The Statue of Liberty, Acropolis and Egyptian Abu Simbel temples are all here, as is the Copenhagen district of Nyhaven.
Legoland has four roller coasters, combined with a whole host of smaller rides for kids and toddlers.
2. Kongernes Jelling – Home of The Vikings
Part of the Danish National Museum, Kongernes Jelling is a free attraction that preserves a UNESCO-listed 10th-centrury Viking monument created by King Harald Bluetooth.
Here, carved into huge runestones, Harald describes how he conquered Denmark and Norway, and brought Christianity to the region.
It marks Scandinavia’s transition from Pagan faiths to monotheism.
There’s a depiction of Christ on one of the run stones that even appears on all Danish passports, which gives you an idea of what the site means to this country.
3. Givskud Zoo
This zoo and safari park is only a short hop from Legoland.
If you have your own car you can drive through a number of huge, open enclosures to get first-hand views of African savannah species like rhinos, antelopes, lions, giraffes and zebras.
The pride of lions that roams the fields at Givskud Zoo is the largest in Northern Europe.
If you don’t have a car; don’t worry, you can climb aboard the Safari Bus for a guided ride through the park.
One third of the species in the zoo is endangered, and the attraction plays a role in international breeding programs.
4. Vandel Bunker-Museum
Less than ten minutes by road from Billund is Vandel, where a large German military airport was built during the war.
Eight hundred local residents were forced to leave their homes for this construction in 1943.
Following the conflict the airport was used by the Danish army and police up to 2003, but nothing except for a large bunker remains from the war times.
Inside this installation you’ll see pieces of wartime memorabilia and get some insight about the airport and the impact of the war on this part of Denmark.
Set between the town of Billund and Legoland, the Skulpturpark is a 1.3 kilometre-long nature trail adorned with pieces of modern sculpture.
It will take around half an hour to complete the walk, pausing as you go to admire the works that children are free to climb and interact with.
They make for fun photo opportunities and there are 18 in total to see, each by some of Denmark’s most prominent sculptors.
There are benches along the way, so you could bring a packed lunch in the summer and relax next to the lake.
6. Lalandia Billund
Lallandia Billund is an amusement and activity complex that opened in 2009.
In summer kids will want to dive straight into the Aquadome, the largest water park in Scandinavia.
Teenagers and little ones can plunge down slides and take on the wave pool, while adults can retreat to the wellness area, where massages, saunas and spa treatments are waiting.
Elsewhere, the little guys can go wild at Monky Tonky Land, with climbing frames and specially-supervised games and activities, while the whole family will have a whale of a time at the climbing wall, skating rink, ski slope, bowling alley and mini-golf course.
7. Museumsgaarden Karensminde
A pastoral attraction that also gets you up close to Danish Heritage, Karensminde is a historic farm from the 18th and 19th centuries.
You’ll see how farmers worked the land in those times and all the different animals they kept: Sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, horses, rabbits, which either roam free, or are kept in open enclosures.
Kids will love getting up close to the critters, or taking part in activities and interacting with costumed staff.
You can take horse and cart rides, join a carpentry workshop, paint eggs the traditional Danish way or even help in the kitchen making jam.
8. Grindsted Kirke
After all the action and bustle of the local resorts this church is a reminder that Billund is still a quiet rural town.
You could spend a few minutes pausing at Grinsted Kirke, gazing at its centuries-old interior before setting off to the next attraction.
Most of this whitewashed building is from the 1100s, with updates two centuries later, while the church’s tower was added in the 1920s.
9. LEGO Factory Tour
This isn’t something you can just turn up and do. LEGO factory tours need to be arranged months in advance and the experience lasts for two days.
For diehard LEGO fans it will be a dream come true, as you’ll see how the bricks and mini-figs are designed and produced, and visit the creator Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s house, where there are LEGO sets dating to the 1930s.
Over these two days you’ll even have a natter with LEGO designers who’ll give you the inside track on how LEGO sets are created.
At the end of your trip you’ll be presented with a specially-designed LEGO gift chosen by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen (the founder’s grandson) as a keepsake.
Cycling and Denmark is a match made in heaven.
The flat terrain makes it easy for all ages, and lots of provisions are made by the government for people on two wheels.
In the countryside around Billund numerous routes have been plotted: From the centre of the town you could join the 37k-kilometre route that goes out to Engelsholm Castle, and stop by the lake nearby for a picnic.
On the way you’ll enter deep forest and cross bucolic farmland. If you’re lucky you’ll also see aircraft taking off and landing at the nearby airport.
11. Vorbasse Market
On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the 29th week of the year (July) a massive gathering descends on Vorbasse, 15 kilometres south of Billund.
First held in 1730, it’s Denmark’s largest market and takes place only once a year.
Traditionally it was for horse trading, and 400-500 horses a year still change hands at this field outside the village.
They are joined by 200 pet breeders of all descriptions, as well as 650 other dealers selling almost anything you can think of.
On the site are tents for food and drink, live music, as well as amusement rides like carousels for littler shoppers.
A few minutes by car going east from Billund and you’ll be in the town of Vejle.
Denmark isn’t exactly known for its varied topography, but by national standards Vejle is mountainous!
Well, not quite but people do visit the town and its surroundings to walk the forested hills and see the Vejle Fjord.
The town is at the western edge of this long inlet that continues for 22 kilometres will low-rising banks of deciduous woodland and heathland.
In the centre of Vejle the highlight is the typically Danish pedestrian mall, weaving through the a high ravine of old townhouses and bustling with shoppers on weekends.
Half an hour southeast of Billund is the Baltic seaport of Kolding.
On the fringe of the city centre is the former royal castle, Koldinghus.
It was built in the 1200s by Christoffer I, but the oldest parts you can see were erected during the reign of his distant descendant Christoffer III in the 15th century.
Through the middle ages Danish military campaigns were conducted from this very castle, and in the 21st century it’s a museum displaying historic furniture, ceramics and fine art, focussing on the ambitious King Christian IV’s time in residence at the castle.
This fortress town takes its name from King Frederick III who founded it in 1650.
At one point it was even considered as Denmark’s capital. After the turmoil of the Thirty Years’ War in the early-1600s, Frederick IV decided that Jutland needed a strong military fortress.
Fredericia is the result: The town was built from scratch in 1650, penned in by an eleaborate system of defences.
Things haven’t changed so much in the intervening years, as the bastions, walls, moats and batteries are part of modern Fredericia’s “townpark”.
Jutland is narrow enough that you could easily drive across the west coast to see the epic seascapes on the North Sea side.
Varde is a beautiful little market town centred on the 11th-century Church of St. Jacob, easily spotted for its whitewashed spire.
The coast down from Varde to Esbjerg will captivate people interested in military history.
The Tirpitz Position is an large German bunker built to defend Esbjerg but never finished.
The holiday resort of Vejers is also here.
The beach a huge sweep of flaxen sand, edged by dunes and bathed by low rolling waves.