Roskilde is in West Zealand, Denmark, 35 km west of Copenhagen. Roskilde is an ancient city dating from the Viking age. The most important historical sights are the Viking Museum and Roskilde Cathedral, World Heritage site. Roskilde is also home to the giant rock music event, Roskilde Festival.

Roskilde old town

Understand edit

Orientation edit

Roskilde is south of Roskilde Inlet with the Viking Museum and some of the accommodation and restaurant options nearby. Central Roskilde is 1 km further south centered on the pedestrian street Algade/Skomagergade and Roskilde Cathedral. The city centre is quite small at around 1 km² bordered by a ring road. The train station is at the southern end of the city centre. Roskilde Festival is 4 km south from the train station along Køgevej.

History edit

Roskilde was established more than 1,000 years ago, at which time it had a wooden church and a royal farm. In the 12th century, Roskilde Cathedral was built and Roskilde became the seat of the bishop and was also granted the status of a market town. The town was one of the most important in Denmark for the next few centuries until the reformation ended the importance of the church.

Get in edit

Roskilde Railway Station
Map of Central Roskilde

By train edit

From Copenhagen Central Station (København H), it is about a 25-minute trip. Nearly all trains leaving Copenhagen besides those leaving for Elsinore or Sweden stops in Roskilde. Regional trains bound for Holbæk, Slagelse, Ringsted, Kalundborg or Nykøbing Falster are your best choices (they are marked with "Re" sign on platform screens). There is also a small branch line with Regional trains from Roskilde to Køge and onwards to Næstved.

  • 1 Roskilde railway station, Jernbanegade 1.    

By bus edit

Intercity buses to and from Jutland lines 882 to Fjerritslev and 888 to Aarhus/Aalborg, makes stop at the Q8 gas station at Darupvej 2, by the highway. It is quite far from the city centre, but there are several bus lines connecting from Roskilde Station, e.g. 600S.

Important regional buses includes 600S which runs an arch around Copenhagen proper from Hillerød in the north (Frederiksborg castle) to Hundige Station in the south. 233 runs between Roskilde and Lejre Forsøgscenter, 234 connects with Slagelse and finally 229E and 239 with Frederikssund.

By plane edit

  • 2 Roskilde Airport (RKE  IATA Copenhagen Airport, Roskilde). Denmark's premier General Aviation facility with planes taking off or landing, every 5 minutes throughout the day. It is also the main base for un- or semi scheduled taxi flights to the Kingdoms more remote islands; Copenhagen Airtaxi offers flights to Samsø, Læsø and Anholt for between 1,000-1,500 kr, and more or less works as a regular airline, with flights bookable on the company website. Another option is Starling to Ærø.    

Get around edit

You can easily walk from the train station to the main square with the cathedral and from there to the Viking Ship Museum.

There are a few local buses running from the train station.

See edit

Landmarks edit

Roskilde Cathedral
  • 1 Roskilde Cathedral (Roskilde Domkirke), +45 4635 1624, fax: +45 4632 2527, . Apr-Sep: M-Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 12:30-17:00; Oct-Mar: Tu-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 12:30-16:00, limited access during ceremonies. On UNESCO World Heritage List. This is where Danish kings and queens have been buried for a thousand years, 20 kings and 17 queens lay in the four chapels here. Most impressive are the temple like monuments for King Christian III and his wife. A wooden church was built here in the 10th century, the present church was built in early 13th century. Home to the Cathedral Museum. See also Nordic monarchies. 60 kr, students and pensioners 40 kr, children free, worshipers free.    
  • 2 Roskilde Former City Hall, Stændertorvet 1. Built in 1884 in Gothic style. Now home to the local tourist information office.
  • 3 Roskilde Palace, Stændertorvet 3, +45 4631 6565. Home to two exhibitions, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Palace Wing. A four-wing yellow baroque building built in the 18th century. It was home to the king and his family when around.
  • Roskilde Station, Jernbanegade 1. The oldest train station in Denmark built in 1847 in connection with opening of the first railway between Copenhagen and Roskilde.
  • Historic granite tiles, Skomagergade. 15 granite tiles in the pavement illustrating the history of Roskilde. It was created by sculptor Ole Knudsen in 2009.
  • The Giant Jars, Hestetorvet. Three 5-m-high jars created in 1998 by sculptor Peter Brandes. They symbolise life and death and were placed here to mark the city's 1,000 year anniversary. One of the jars has inscribed a poem by Henrik Nordbrandt.

Parks and nature edit

  • 4 Boserup Forest (3 km west of Roskiilde, bus 605 from Roskilde Station). Hilly, primarily beech mixed forest. 5-km trekking path.
  • 5 Bypark (between Roskilde Cathedral and Roskilde Inlet). Established in 1915 by Roskilde's patron, O.H. Schmeltz. Comprises a playground for children, a snake-like walking path and other areas well suited for a stroll or for hanging around. The park is home to cultural events including summer concerts Tuesdays in July. If you walk from the city centre to the Viking museum, this can be done through the park.
  • 6 Folkepark. Consists of a number of combined parks primarily based on former monastery land. It was established in early 19th century and found its present form in the 1930s. The park is home to cultural events including performances for children at the amphitheater on summer Thursdays.
  • 7 Land of Legends Lejre (Sagnlandet Lejre), Slangealleen 2, Lejre (take the train to Lejre station and then bus 233), +45 4648 0878, . 2 May-18 Sep: Tu-F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00; also open during Easter and autumn holidays and M during mid-summer. Theme park with reconstructions of a Iron Age village, a Stone Age camp, a Viking market, a 19th-century farm, and cottages. 125 kr, children 3-11 85 kr.
  • 8 Ledreborg Palace & Park, Ledreborg Alle 2, Lejre (train from Roskilde to Lejre (seven minutes) and then bus 233 to the palace (only in the summer)), +45 4648 0038, fax: +45 4648 0480, . Park 11:00-16:00, palace only by appointment. Built 1740-45 by Count Johan Ludvig Holstein-Ledreborg and still the family residence. Houses a collection of original furniture and paintings. The baroque park has been restored. Houses an open air concert every summer. Park 25 kr.

Museums edit

Viking ship at the museum
Viking Centre
  • The Viking Ship Museum, Vindeboder 12 (follow the signs from the cathedral), +45 4630 0200, . 10:00-17:00. A museum with several original viking ships, a viking research center, a harbour with copies of viking ships, and a shipyard making new ships. 80-115 kr, students 70-100 kr, children free.
  • Roskilde Museum, Sankt Ols Gade 18, +45 46 31 6529. Local history museum, but well in tune with other attractions, it also has a good collection of viking archaeological finds, some connecting to the sagas about the legendary Beowulf. 25 kr, retired/students 15 kr, children free.
  • [formerly dead link]Museum of Tools, Ringstedgade 6. M-F 11:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. Exhibits tools from 1850-1950 used by coach makers, carpenters, joiners, coopers, clog makers and other craftsmen. Free.
  • 9 Lützhøfts Old Grocer's Shop, Ringstedgade 8. M-F 11:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. The shop existed 1892-1979. It has been led back to its appearance around 1920. Here you can buy goods like the ones sold in the 1920s, you can also see the grocer's office, inventory and old magasine buildings. Free.
  • 10 [formerly dead link]O. Lunds Eftf. Butcher's Shop, Ringstedgade 8, +45 4635 0061. Sa 10:00-14:00. Butcher shop as it was in the 1920s. Free.
  • Roskilde Mini Town, Skt Ibs Vej (between Byparken and the harbour), . Always accessible. Model of Roskilde as it might have looked in its heyday around 1400. The model is at scale 1:200 and is around 50 m². It was finalised in 1999 but was not displayed at its present location until 2005. Free.
  • St. Hans Hospital Museum, Kurhusvænge, +45 4633 4752, . W 13:00-16:00. The psychiatric hospital was established in 1860 as one of the most modern of its time. The museum shows the history of the hospital. Free.
  • [formerly dead link]The Ruins of Skt. Laurentii (St. Lawrence) Church, Stændertorvet 1, +45 4631 3399. May-Aug: M-F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00, Sep-Mar: Sa 10:00-13:00. Ruins of a church built in early 12th century. 25 Kr, retired/students 15 kr, children free.
  • [formerly dead link]Lejre Museum, Orehoejvej 4B, Lejre, +45 4648 1468, . Oct-Mar: Sa-Su 11:00-16:00; Apr-Sep, Easter, autumn holiday: 11:00-16:00. Exhibits of Lejre's historical influence on the history of Denmark. Also exhibits of the historical development of the area. Free.

Galleries edit

Do edit

Roskilde festival edit

One of the scenes at the Roskilde festival in 2014
The temporary train station used during the festival

The legendary Roskilde Festival is still going strong despite over 50 years of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll! started by a group of friends in 1971 inspired by the Woodstock festival, it has grown from a few thousand guests in its first year, to over 115,000 visitors from all over the world, and is routinely sold out with over half the tickets sold outside of Denmark.

The festival takes place in late June, early July on Roskilde Dyreskueplads south of the city. To Get in there are several options; daily during the festival trains depart from Roskilde Station to the festival's own station inside the camping area (West) every 30 minutes for 20 kr. There are also shuttle buses from Roskilde Station to the camping area (East) all day during the festival. When arriving at the festival you exchange your ticket for an armband/bracelet which gives you access to both the camping area, and the stage area.

Many people show up a week before the music starts to get their tents up so they can sleep close to the stage area, and limit walking as much as possible as the camping area is huge! A good tip is securing a place as far from trees and fences as possible, since they in essence become one big urinal during the festival. If rain is forecast, you should also attempt to camp as far from the marked walkways, preferably on a slope, since mud quickly becomes and issue.

On the camping grounds there are several service areas with food stalls and supermarkets to stock up with eat & drink, some also have first aid, toilets and showers. Inside the stage area there are also many, many restaurants and bars - most of them with a theme, and some of them are really huge and elaborate. There are also many shops where you can buy necessities and other rubbish.

Music is playing from Thursday - Sunday and are usually varied, with some international headline acts, and much experimental and indie music and the smaller stages.

Other activities edit

  • Sail in a viking boat on the fjord (at the viking centre).
  • Sagnlandet Lejre, Slangealleen 2, 4320 Lejre (Bus 233 from Roskilde station), +45 4648 0878, . Become a viking for a day, in this spectacular hands on history museum.
  • Capella Play, Ro's Torv 51A, +45 7697 7070, . M-F 10:00-19:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. Indoor playground best suited for children of 2-8 years. Also a café with limited and mediocre food. 1 hour 60 kr, adults 25 kr.
  • Roskilde Golf Klub, Margrethehåbsvej 116, +45 4637 0181, . 18-hole course open for guests from other golf clubs with a handicap of no more than 34.0. 9-hole course open for all. Green fee 150-350 kr.
  • The Path of the Gods (Gudernes Stræde) (from Roskilde most easily accessed by train to Lejre and five minutes walk east), . 64-km marked path on asphalt, soil and grass. All of the path can be walked and most is also fine for bikes. The path connects Køge Bay near Karslunde Beach with Ise Inlet near Kirke Hyllinge. A large part of the path is in Roskilde Municipality. A great way to experience the local nature and culture.
  • Roskilde Congress & Sports Center (Roskilde Kongres- og Idrætscenter). A venue for conferences, events (up to 2,400 attendees) and sports activities.

Buy edit

From Roskilde festival the nearest supermarket is Fakta at Køgevej 108, about 1300 meters (a 15-20 minute walk) due north (past the highway) from the eastern entrance. The downtown area which has a pedestrianized area full of different shops is a further 1½ km away (or 30-40 minutes by foot).

  • RO's Torv, Københavnsvej 29 (a few hundred meters east of the station beyond the tracks), +45 4638 0680. M-F 10:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-16:00. A fairly attractive mall with 90 different stores and a cinema.
  • Algade/Skomagergade. Pedestrian street and main shopping street in town.
  • Fair Trade Butik Karibu, Sct. Peders Stræde 1, +45 4637 1509, . M-F 10:00-17:30, Sa 10:00-15:00. Sells handicrafts from Africa, Asia and Latin America including home accessories, cookware, jewelry, baskets, bags, accessories, toys and paper products.
  • [formerly dead link]Club Skin-Dive, Maglegårdsvej 5C, +45 4637 0992. Jewelery and giftware.
  • Bjergtrolden, Ringstedgade 30, . M-Th 10:00-18:00, F 10:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Shop and café selling a large selection of beer as well as wine, chocolate, goodies, coffee, organic sweets, handicrafts, clothes, hats, jewellery.

Eat edit

Budget edit

  • Jensens Bøfhus, Skomagergade 38, +45 4632 2510. M-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-20:00. Discount steakhouse in an old building at the main pedestrian street. Reasonably sized dishes but a bit slow service. It is expensive if you do not go for the special offers. Mains 100-200 kr, menus from around 150 kr.

Mid-range edit

  • Snekken, Vindeboder 16, +45 4635 9816. 11:30-23:00; kitchen 11:30-1630, 18:00-21:00. Restaurant at Viking Ship museum with a view over Roskilde Inlet. Mains around 200 kr.
  • MS Sagafjord, at the harbour next to the Viking museum, +45 4675 6460, . Old Restaurant ship. You can have lunch, tea or dinner on Roskilde Fjord. 95 kr plus e.g. 365 kr for a three-course evening menu.
  • Restaurant Mumm, Karen Olsdatters Stræde 9, +45 4637 2201, fax: +45 4632 7536, . M-Sa 17:30-00:00. Small intimate restaurant with a nice patio. Serves Danish, French and Spanish cuisine. Splurge quality at slightly lower prices. Three-course menu 425 kr.
  • Bryggergården, Algade 15, +45 4635 0103. M-Th 10:30-00:00, F Sa 10:30-01:00, Su 12:00-23:00. Restaurant in historical building on the middle of the main pedestrian street. Nice outdoor seating for following the life on the busy street. Danish cuisine. Three-course menu 265 kr.

Splurge edit

Drink edit

Sarcophagus of King Frederick IV of Denmark in the Roskilde Cathedral

Bars edit

  • Gustav Wieds Vinstue, Hersegade 11 (in the centre of the city), +45 4636 5335. Traditional Danish bar, but also has a large selection of foreign and gourmet beers.
  • Promenaden, Hestetorvet 4 (next to the train station), +45 4635 2475.
  • Pub Ringstedgade, Ringstedgade 50, +45 4635 9597. Local place frequented by workers and occasionally by people returning from concerts in the nearby Roskildehallerne.
  • Ruder Konge Bodega, Skomagergade 25 (close to the main shopping street), +45 4636 0415. Large traditional bar frequented by locals. Cheap.
  • Teatercafeen, Sankt Hans Gade 24, +45 4636 9545. In a primarily residential area and primarily frequented by regulars. Has billard and slot machines.

Cafés edit

Clubs edit

Sleep edit

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Stay safe edit

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Roskilde is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.