Take a step back in time; escape the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen; and take an easy half-day or day trip to Dragør (pronounced “Droughor,” kind of one syllable – go figure.) It’s just a 1-hour bus ride from Nørrebro to this  precious/historic fishing/harbor village (and it’s only 5 miles outside of downtown Copenhagen.) (1 bus all the way from either Nørrebro or Nørreport. Just look for the #350S to Dragør St. (Station.) Be careful, because some 350S don’t go all the way to Dragør St.)

If you can build this in your Copenhagen plans, I highly recommend it. It’s a precious little harbor town with buildings dating back to the 1700s; amazingly friendly people; thatched roofs; lovely cafes; no power lines; and absolutely no tourists (at least on June 1, 2018.) (Rick Steves mentions that it’s worth going there, but doesn’t give details; I didn’t find any helpful information on the Dragør/Visit Denmark website, so just go there, take the info below with you, visit the TI, and you’ll have an unforgettable day.) We took two trips there (The second to see the Amager Museum – more on that in another post. We didn’t have enough time to see everything in one day. But if you only have one day for it, do go!)

Visiting Dragør

  • How to get there
    • Take the 350S bus to the end of the line. (Some main stations where you can catch the 350S are Nørrebro; Nørreport; Christianhavn. Pick up a map on one of the busses to help guide the rest of your stay in Copenhagen.)
      • It’ll take about an hour to get there, depending on where you start. A lovely bus ride.
      • If you want to play by the rules and not risk getting a fine, go to a transportation kiosk (for example, in the main train station, or any station with a ticket kiosk), and buy a 24-hour Tourist transportation pass, because, you probably have a 1-2 zone pass, and Dragør is either zone 4 or beyond.
      • In the first 1 week we were here, we were on two busses/trains where Security boarded and checked tickets. So, buy your 24-hour pass. Not worth the risk of going without, and we hear the fine is a stiff one.
  • Finding town center and TI
    • When you arrive, walk away from the bus with the bus to your back, take the first right on Vestgrønningen, walk a couple minutes, and then take the obvious left on Kongevejen. (Obvious because it’s a very cute cobblestoned street.)
      • After you’ve walked down Kongevejen a little bit, when you arrive at the first small square, (which I believe is Neels Torv – Neels Square), stop in at the grocery store Irma, which will be on your left. It’s one of the most gorgeous grocery stores we have ever encountered! Buy some munchies and wine for a waterside picnic, or just gawk, and then dine at one of the many lovely cafes.
      • Keep walking down Kongevejen until you reach the water.
  • Around the TI
    • After you arrive at the water, the amazingly helpful TI with its cheery and informative staff is at about 2:00 (to your right) toward the water. WCs are there too.
  • Dining
    • A nice lunch option: Restaurant/Café Blink (which, as the pedestrian street you’ve been on, Kongevejen, opens up to the water, is immediately on your right.)
      • Water views
      • Scandinavia’s smørrebrød — amply topped open-faced sandwiches. Yum, and local.
      • Belgium’s Double Grinbergen on their beer list (plus some nice Danish beers). Can’t ask for anything more.
    • And there are many other places to dine here in sweet little Dragør
  • Museums on the water
    • Dragør Museum
      • Next to the TI. A wealthy skipper’s home dating back to 1753. It’s closed until 2019 (we were very lucky. See below), and then starting in 2019 will offer a wonderful look into the life of a ship’s skipper in one of the greatest shipping towns in Denmark, in the town’s heyday. www.museumamager.dk
    • Pilot Museum
      • Shares the story of how ship/boat pilots, since 1684, have helped ships navigate through one of the busiest waters in the world. www.museumamager.dk
    • Elisabeth K571
      • Revered boat that, during the horrifying times of WWII, took about 70 of Dragør’s Jews across the channel to Sweden to safety. Other Dragør boat captains and their boats took more than 700 Jews to safety in Sweden during this horrible time. I believe you can take a ride on this lovely little boat in the summer months.
  • Ice Cream
    • Rajissimo – walk out of Café Blink, take a right (or, walk away from the TI/away from the water, and you can’t miss it – it’s on your right.)
    • Jeff quickly figured out that one big waffle cone with four scoops was a lot less expensive than 2 wafflecones with two scoops each – so one with four it was! Yummy!
  • Post Ice Cream Stroll
    • Take a right, immediately after getting ice cream, on Kampensgade, and just wander in this beautiful neighborhood. So many precious things we noticed – no tourists in early June – we had the neighborhood all to ourselves. All homes are yellow – we spoke to a home owner, and the yellow family of colors is required.
  • More to do in Dragør
    • Amager Museum – shows the story of Dutch life on farms and homes in 1900, with a VERY interesting cultural back story of the Danish king kicking out the Danish farmers and bringing in Dutch farmers. (The Dutch were believed to be better farmers; the king wanted the Dutch to supply awesome produce to the palace and Copenhagen’s towns people) and the king gave the Dutch many more privileges than the Danish farmers had. 4 km inland from Dragør – when you take the bus in or out, get off at the Store Magleby (White Church) stop. Open 12-4 (at least in June. Check the website. www.Museumamager.dk)

Our day in Dragør

As always, people make the experience.

  • We were walking down the main street, Vestgrønningen, and were admiring a lovely tree. An elderly gentleman – probably exactly my dad’s age – came up to us and spent at least 15 minutes talking to us about the history of the town, mostly about the Nazi occupation, and shootings that happened at that time, when he was in about first grade. Same age that my dad was when the Nazis occupied my dad’s town, Skien, in Norway. How terrifying for a child, and there’s no doubt that trauma like that will have long-term effects, like they did on my dad. What a sweetheart this gentleman was to share.
  • After 15 delightful minutes in the TI (the staff is wonderful, and they want to share!) we walked 20 paces away from the water, and leaned toward the house on our left, the Amager Museum. When we walked up to the door, there was a lovely gentleman inside the main door, who said “It’s closed until 2019 – we’re doing rennovations.” And then he said “But, come on in.” And then about 5 minutes later he said, “I’m not doing the rennovations – I’m just the Chairman of the Board.” So basically, we had a private, albeit brief, tour of both floors of this lovely house that’s now a museum, dating back to 1753.
  • Then we strolled up Kampensgade and ambled in the stunning yellow neighborhood. A home owner was outside, and we had a wonderful chat with her.

What a special experience.