Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Skagen – Cruise Port Guide
Skagen is the northernmost town of Denmark, located at the tip of the Jutland Peninsula and points across the sea towards Sweden. Just a few miles outside of the town sits Grenen, the sandy point of Skagen where the North Sea meets the Baltic Sea and is home to Denmark’s largest fishing fleet. Skagen is famous for its art, coastline and great family holidays – the impressive scenery, wild landscape and sunshine have been drawing visitors here for centuries. The town is sleepy in the off season, a pretty little picture of yellow houses and white picket fences, but in the summer months it draws in the tourists and the population swells from around 9,000 to 60,000 inhabitants. Welcome to our Skagen cruise port guide.
Skagen developed as an artist’s retreat due to the special light and colour experienced throughout the year. The association with the famous Skagen Painters led to the development of hotels and summer houses, and the fishing village was transformed into a thriving community. The Skagen Art Museum is definitely a must visit for you to appreciate the significance of the Skagen Painters and admire the stunning works they created from the scenes of local life in the area. The collection houses some 1,700 paintings, drawings, sculptures and handicrafts from between 1870 and 1930, reflecting the period of naturalism and plein air painting when the artistic colony flourished.
Additional museums and places of interest in the town include Brøndums Hotel where the Skagen Painters used to meet, Anna and Michael Ancher’s House home to the famous Skagen artist couple and preserved as it was during their lifetime, Drachmann’s house the home of poet Holger Drachmann from 1902 to 1908 and the Skagen Museum of Local History, an open-air museum showcasing life in Skagen through three different time periods.
The most unusual but quite charming museum in town though has to be the Teddy Bear Museum. It is the first and only one of its kind in Scandinavia and includes teddy bears of all kinds from throughout history, including some that belonged to the Royal Family of Denmark and are quite historical. These teddy bears live in a beautiful and typical old Skagen style house with a nice little garden and a souvenir shop.
To the north of Skagen is the most popular natural attraction to visit here, which is Grenen. This is the tip of the Jutland Peninsula where you can travel on the ‘Sandormen’, a tractor driven bus that you will board to get to the uttermost point of the whole European continent and the point where the seas of North Sea and Baltic Sea meet. You can then choose to dip your feet in both seas at the same time, should you wish to brave the cold water that is. It is also around the coast where you will see the remains of Second World War bunkers and fortifications known as The Atlantic Wall, built by French prisoners of war for the Nazi’s as a defensive barrier around the coast of Northern Europe. The Skagen Bunker Museum can be visited in an old Regelbau 638 type bunker located near the visitor centre at Grenen, which shows the confined space in the bunker with displays of uniforms, weapons and other artefacts.
Grenen is not the only natural landmark you can visit whilst you are in Skagen. Just outside the town you will find migrating sand dunes of the Råbjerg Mile, the largest moving dune in Northern Europe with an area of around 2 km squared. One of the most remarkable sites within the dunes is the Buried Church, also known as the Sand Covered Church and Old Skagen Church. One of the oldest buildings in Skagen, dating from the 14th Century, the church originally had a long-vaulted nave with exterior buttresses and was 45 metres (148 ft) long with the church tower added in 1475 rising to 22 metres (72 ft) high. Starting around 1600 sand from the dunes started to drift resulting in in desertification around the church. By the end of the 18th Century sand had reached the church and there are even stories of the church congregation having to dig themselves out after services. Unable to stop the sand from building up, the church was closed by royal decree in 1795 and all but the tower was demolished. The tower now provides a focal point within the dunes and has become one of Denmark’s most well-known churches.
As you can see, this is a charming and magical little place at the top of Europe where you have plenty of options to spend a relaxing day ashore.
The currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone.
The Port of Skagen has been rapidly expanding to meet the demand of increasing numbers of cruise ship calls and the larger ships. The port is approximately 15 minute’s walk to the heart of Skagen, and there is a tourist information centre with staff on hand to provide plenty of advice on how to make the most of your day. There are limited taxi services, so it is best to book in advance for local tours or through the ship. You can rent bikes locally and there are plenty of cycle ways for you to navigate the area, including all the way to Grenen.
Skagen is home to Skagen Designs, the American watch company that has a flagship store in town. There are also lots of other shopping opportunities in particular art galleries, plus plenty of places to eat and drink. The most popular area for food is the Restaurant Parkhuse located on the fishing wharf, where traditional wharf buildings now house an array of seafood restaurants with inside and outside dining possible.
Key highlights of Skagen
- Skagen’s Museum
- Ancher’s House
- Drachmann’s House
- Brøndum’s Hotel
- Museum of Local History
- Teddy Bear Museum
- Skagen Church
- Skagen Gray Lighthouse
- The Buried Church
- Råbjerg Mile
- Hulsig Heath
- Skagen Odde Nature Centre
- The Atlantic Wall
- Skagen Bunker Museum
- Bangsbo Fort, Frederikshavn
- Bangsbo Museum, Frederikshavn
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
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