3 days across Denmark: Flensburg
While reading the story subject, you could get frustrated: Flensburg? Is this city located in Denmark? Well, for sure, no, at least nowadays (although in its past it was longer the part Denmark than Germany). But going to Denmark by car, we could not miss a chance visiting the most northern city of Germany, so we start our story with Flensburg.
The idea to go for a roadtrip to Denmark came in the end of October: we had few days off, the weather forecast welcomed outdoor activities, and as we just moved to Hamburg and wanted to explore the nearby areas, we came to the idea to go to Denmark expecting to see authentic little towns, local food & drinks and first impressions of a new to us Danish culture.
After a short research, we decided to go the following route: Hamburg – Flensburg – Vejle – Aarhus – Odense – Hamburg. Initially we were thinking to visit the Islands of Fyn and Lolland on the way back home followed by Lübeck, but for this route we would definitely need one more day that we hadn’t.
After a short preparation and a full gas tank, we were heading towards our first stop, Flensburg located approximately 160 kilometers from Hamburg. Although going via highway (autobahn) A7, our pace was pretty limited by various road constructions and super narrow highway lane. However, even within that context, we arrived to Flensburg before noon, left the car on one of the central streets and went exploring the city.
As already mentioned, Flensburg is more Danish than German city: it has a longer history under the Danish Crown, and during that time the city used to be a battlefield between Danish and Prussian armies. Becoming a part of Prussia (today’s Germany) only in the middle of the 19th Century, Flensburg kept a lot of Danish culture: red brick buildings, historic hanseatic harbour and Scandinavian passion to a minimalistic but very styled design.
In today’s Germany, Flensburg is famous because of three things: first – it is the northernmost big town in Germany (there is a town of Glücksburg located even a bit more in the north, but it has only 5.000 inhabitans vs. 80.000+ citizens in Flensburg). Second – it is a Flensburg harbour which made the city flourish in the 18-19th Centuries because of Hanseatic trade. Specifically, Flensburg had several rum houses that purchased, kept and bottle rum before distributing it in across the country. Third – it is Flensburger Brewery producing Germany-famous Flensburger Pilsner.
In our city walk, we tried to experience all of these stereotypes. Enjoying late 19th Century’s architecture, we went down the Toosbüystraße and turned right to the central pedestrian street (Große Straße). Relying on a foursquare recommendation, we picked Cafe Central for getting a warm brunch, and thereafter went further exploring the old town and the historic harbour. The harbour is interesting as it offers a picturous view on the other bank of Flensburg Bay and has an exhibition of historic fishing and entertainment boats of the late 19th Century. Overall, if you are not planning to visits any museums and exhibitions, 2-3 hours to walk through the city will be enough.
Visiting Flensburg without tasting its famous beer would be a very bad idea. This is why, after a short walk in the harbour, we started looking for a nice brew house around. Interestingly, our choice fell not on Flensburger, but on Hansens Brewery: more authentic and brilliantly located just at the historic harbour, so we needed only to cross the street in order to enjoy fresh beer from the northern most brewery in Germany (read the review).
After having enjoyed the first beer of the trip, we needed to move further: still same day we had visit Vejle and arrive in Aarhus covering in total over 200 kilometers.
Drink of the day
Hansens Alt, freshly brewed dark beer from Hansens Brewery. If you have a bit more time, you have to try all Hansens beer sorts: Alt (dark), Helles (lager) and Märzen (special beer, a bit stronger in taste and in alcohol).
3 days across Denmark: Vejle & Aarhus
3 days across Denmark: Odense