Looking for things to do in Bornholm? The small Danish island of Bornholm is located in the south part of the Baltic Sea, about 75 minutes by ferry from Ystad in Sweden. Here you have beautiful beaches, old historical places, medieval round churches, and an exciting food culture.
The island is also known as the “Sunshine Island” and that’s because it’s often better weather here comparing to the mainland of Denmark. Here are some of my best tips of things to do in Bornholm as a tourist:
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Hammerhus is a medieval castle ruin located on the north side of the island. It’s the largest castle ruin in Northern Europe with an interesting history to learn about.
In addition to the cool ruins and interesting history, you can also enjoy a beautiful view of island and the Baltic Sea from the top of the castle.
Stroll around in Rønne
If you travel from Ystad by ferry, you will most likely arrive in Rønne, which is one of the most popular attractions on Bornholm. It’s a cozy and charming town where you can stroll around beautiful surroundings dating back to the 13th century.
In this medieval town you can visit the harbor, see beautiful little houses, visit churches and eat delicious Danish food. Strolling around and experiencing Rønne is no doubt one of the best things to do in Bornholm!
Gudhjem is one of the most popular villages on the island among tourists with its nice harbor with a smokehouse, fun shops and cozy streets lined with beautiful houses.
It’s a village that offers both beautiful environments as well as dining experiences. One dish that you have to taste is “Sol over Gudhjem”, which is a classic when it comes to food in Bornholm.
Eat a “Sol over Gudhjem” sandwich
Sol over Gudhjem is a Danish dish made of rye bread topped with warm smoked herring and a raw egg yolk that symbolizes the sun over Gudhjem.
It’s a classic dish to eat at Bornholm, so make sure to taste it while you’re in the village!
See the windmills in Bornholm
Around the island there are several beautiful old windmills that you can check out. Some of the best known are Egeby Mølle, Gudhjem Mølle, Melsted Mølle, Svanemøllen, Kuremøllen, and last but not least, Aarsdale Mølle – which you can see in the picture below.
In addition to these, there are more windmills that you will see when exploring the island. Make sure to stop by to check out the architecture as well as taking some pictures.
Go swimming at Dueodde beach
One of Bornholm’s most beautiful beaches is Dueodde, which is also one of Denmark’s best beaches and one of the finest in Europe. It’s several kilometers long and is located on the southern tip of the island.
Here the sand is soft with a beautiful white color and shallow water. It’s a popular bathing spot in Bornholm among families with small children, but also among other tourists who visit Bornholm.
If you are looking for a place to go tanning and swimming then it’s a must to visit Dueodde beach. It’s no doubt of the best things to do on Bornholm during the summer.
See the beautiful round churches
Around the island you can see several beautiful medieval round churches, which are a must visit. Back in time, these churches were used as fortresses to defend the island against intruders.
As mentioned, there are several round churches that you can see in Bornholm, but the largest and most popular to visit is Østerlars Rundkirke.
Explore the area around lake Opal
Along the northern coast you will find a dramatic landscape with cliffs and cool rock formations. Close to the coast is the lake Opal located, which is a popular attraction in Bornholm.
It’s an old granite quarry with several hiking trails around with beautiful views of the lake and island. You can also go swimming in the lake, but keep in mind that it’s very deep so it’s not a good swimming spot for young children.
Visit a fish smokehouse in Hasle
Hasle is located on the west coast of Bornholm and is known for its fish smokehouses and cozy environments. Here you can go sunbathing and swimming at the beaches, stroll around in the cozy harbor and explore the beautiful streets in the center of the village.
It’s a must to visit one of the fish smokehouses when you visit this town. Here you can eat delicious local food in a unique environment.
Stroll around in Svaneke
In Svaneke you’ll find winding alleys lined with half-timbered houses and beautiful gardens, and a cozy harbor where you can stroll around and eat ice cream.
If you’re a beer-lover then you have to visit Svaneke Brewery when you are in the village. Here you can eat delicious food and drink local beer from Svaneke. I can also recommend visiting lakrids by johan bülow if you like licorice, in that store you can buy lots of delicious sweets and treats.
See the inside of Sankt Peders Kirke
This beautiful church is located east of Aakirkeby and is one of the oldest churches on the island. It’s believed to date back to the 10th or 11th century and is built in a Romanesque style.
It’s one of Bornholm’s most beautiful churches and is well worth a visit when you’re exploring the island.
In the middle of the island you will find the rural village of Aakirkeby. In Aakirkeby you have Bornholm’s only winery, an adventure center, and cozy cobbled streets where you can stroll around.
In the main square of Aakirkeby there are often markets and flea markets going on where you can buy local products. It’s no doubt one of the most beautiful villages on the island!
Things to do in Bornholm with children
Bornholm is a destination that’s appreciated by both adults and children as there are plenty of fun activities for the whole family. Here are my best tips of things to do in Bornholm with kids:
- Go to the market in Aakirkeby
- Eat at a fish smokehouse in Hasle
- Go hiking and cycling in Bornholm
- Visit Bornholm’s Medieval Center
- Eat ice cream and watch the boats in the harbor
- Go sunbathing and swimming at Dueodde beach
- Explore Hammerhus
- Have fun at Brændesgårdshaven
Things to do in Bornholm when it rains
If you have bad luck with the weather, you do not have to worry as there are plenty of things to do in Bornholm when it rains. There’s everything from churches and museums to nice restaurants and shops that you can visit on the island.
- Visit the round churches
- See the inside of Sankt Peders Kirke
- Buy an umbrella and stroll around in the rain
- Visit the Bornholm Art Museum
- Learn more about Bornholm at Naturbornholm
- Visit the small food market called “Torvehal Bornholm” in Rønne
- Go swimming in the rain (during summer)
- Eat a “Sol over Gudhjem” sandwich
- Visit the Oluf Host Museum in Gudhjem
- Shop at Karamel Kompagniet A/S in Gudhjem
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What are your favorite things to do in Bornholm? Leave a comment below!