Guide to Denmark: Bornholm

I enjoy getting recommendations from locals before I go on a trip, but they are not always easy to find, and thus I decided to write recommendations for my own country, Denmark, in this series, Guide to Denmark.

Bornholm is a popular holiday destination for Danes as well as foreign tourist. Of season the islands population is quite small, but during the summer the island can actually be crowded! The dialect spoken on Bornholm is quite distinctive, as it sounds like a mixture between Swedish and Danish for other Danes, who actually find it difficult to understand! The real Bornholmers believe in trolls and nature spirits, and the most famous troll is called Krølle Bølle, which means the curly bully. You can find figurines, t-shirts and books about him, but the mandatory thing is to taste the Krølle Bølle ice cream.

Hammershus: is the largest medieval castle ruin in Northern Europe. In 1576 the castle was deemed old fashioned as a defence and instead it worked as a prison. The most famous prisoners of Hammerhus have been Leonora Christina and her husband  Corfitz Ulfeldt. (She was the daughter of King Christian IV. She and her husband were accused of treason by her halfbrother King Frederic III. She wrote memoir called Jammersminde, Memory of Woe, about her time in prison) From 1743 Hammershus was abandoned and used as a quarry.


Gudhjem: is small town for fishers. The name means The Home of God in Danish. It is the only town in Denmark build on a mountain, even though we do not call it a mountain but cliff in Danish. You find Gudhjem Museum in the old station with temporary exhibitions. Gudhjem also houses Oluf Høst Museet, a museum for the local artist Oluf Høst. Outside in the agricultural museum Landbrugsmuseet Melstedgård.

Bornholms Kunstmuseum: The art museum is just outside Gudhjem in the beautiful nature by Helligdomsklipperne, The Holy Cliffs in Danish. The collection is focused on art from Bornholm both old and new. Visit the website for information about current exhibitions.


Svaneke: was named the most beautiful market town of Denmark in 2013. Look at the beautiful yellow timbered houses.

Almindingen and Echo Valley: Almindingen is the name of the large forest. Bisons live here. In the forest you find Denmark’s only echo valley. You will probably hear the Danes shouting “Hvad drikker Møller?” and waiting for the reply “øller”, which means, “What does Miller drink? Beer!”.

Due Odde: An old Danish song about Bornholm goes “it’s summer, it’s sunny, it’s Sunday”, and when the sun is shining you have to enjoy it on the white sandy beach at Due Odde.

Due Odde

Round churches: There are 7 round churches in Denmark in total, and 4 is found on Bornholm. These 4 round churches are the most famous. They are in Østerlars, Olsker, Nylars and Nyker.


Rock Carvings: there are 16 places with rock carvings (helleristninger in Danish) on Bornholm. Find a map here with their locations.

A rock carving

What to eat:
The traditional thing to eat on Bornholm is fish. Smoked herring is a classic. Get it from where it’s smoked; it’s called a røgeri in Danish. One way to eat the smoked herring is the dish Sol over Gudhjem, literally the sun above Gudhjem. It’s a piece of bread with a smoked herring and an egg yolk on top.

For great local beer brewed on Bornholm visit Svaneke Bryghus in Svaneke. It was one of the first microbreweries in Denmark. The restaurant serves excellent food.


If you are in the mood for something sweet Bornholm is the right place to be. You find different kinds of sweets all made to perfection:

  • Caramels from Karamelleriet in Svaneke.
  • Candy from Svaneke Bolcher in Svaneke
  • Liquorice from Johan Bülow in Svaneke
  • Fruit gums from Mermaid’s in Svaneke
  • Chocolate from Svaneke Chokoladeri in Svaneke
  • Chocolate from Kjærstrup Chokolade in Snogebæk
  • Ice cream from Boisen Is, Café Lovit in Snogebæk
  • Caramels from Karamel Kompagniet in Gudhjem
  • Juices from Bornholms Mosteri in Rønne
Something sweet from Bornholm!

What to buy:
A lot of artists live on Bornholm, so you can find unique things to buy from the local artist. Find everything from clothes and jewellery to glass and paintings.
You can also bring home some local specialities such as mustard, chocolate and caramels.

Get there:
Go by ferry from Køge Harbour or Ystand in Sweden.
Take the bus, Bornholmerbussen, from Copenhagen Central Station.
Take the train from Copenhagen Central Station.
Fly from Copenhagen Airport to Rønne.


The plan for the series so far:
About Denmark and Danes
What to buy
North Jutland
Central Denmark
Southern Jutland
Zealand (excl. Copenhagen)
Smaller Islands

9 tanker om “Guide to Denmark: Bornholm”

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