A holiday by the sea close to Denmark's metropolis

Zealand and the surrounding islands give tourists the opportunity to escape to the diverse landscapes of the East Danish nature and coast. A holiday in Zealand and the surrounding islands is characterised by its proximity to Copenhagen, which is why many tourists choose to combine their holiday along the coast and in the countryside with a visit to the captial of Denmark.


The area encompasses the whole of Zealand - though not Greater Copenhagen - as well as the surrounding islands and Bornholm. Coastal and nature tourism is strongly focused on the northern, north-western, and southern coastal municipalities in Zealand.

Bornholm is also featured prominently in coastal and nature tourism in Denmark, and has a legacy of being a treasured traditional holiday destination among Danes.


A large number of Zealand's primary attractions are in the Copenhagen area, and there is good synergy between the surrounding coastal and nature holiday destinations and the capital city, as many tourists staying in the countryside choose to exploit the geographical proximity to Copenhagen by taking a day trip to the city.

In particular, Tivoli is high on tourists' list as Denmark's most popular destination, with approximately 4.4 million annual visitors. Other popular attractions include Dyrehavsbakken (commonly known as Bakken) (2.4 million annual visitors) and Copenhagen Zoo (1.2 million annual visitors).

The area consists of all municipalities in Zealand - though not Greater Copenhagen - as well as Bornholm municipality.


Primary cities:

  • Copenhagen - Denmark's capital city: 1.3 million residents (including Greater Copenhagen)
  • Roskilde: 51,200 residents
  • Hørsholm: 47,800 residents
  • Helsingør: 47,500 residents
  • Næstved: 44,900 residents
  • Køge: 38,500 residents

In addition, the classic holiday towns along the North Zealand coast are extremely popular, such as Tilvilde, Gilleleje, Hornbæk, and Hundested.

In western Zealand, the area around Odsherred is a particularly popular holiday home area, which stretches up to include the resort towns Rørvig, Sjællands Odde and Vig. Further south at Lolland-Falster, the area surrounding the resort town Marielyst is also an attractive holiday home area, and the southern part of Zealand is generally characterised by a higher proportion of commercial overnight stays compared to the rest of Zealand.


On Bornholm, tourism is woven into the fabric of the island. The largest town on the island is Rønne, which has 13,000 residents; however, the towns of Gudhjem, Aakirkeby, Svaneke and Dueodde are also key for the island's tourism.


Main attractions in Copenhagen and the surrounding areas:


Main attractions in the rest of Zealand and the surrounding islands:


Main nature experiences:


Main events in Copenhagen and the surrounding islands:

As Denmark's capital city, Copenhagen hosts an amazing variety of national and international events every year. A selection of these are:


Other events in Zealand and the surrounding islands:



There is an amazing variety of gastronomical opportunities in Copenhagen from Michelin star food markets. See the overview here. On the rest of Zealand and the islands, food opportunities include:



Zealand is well connected to both Sweden and Funen/Jutland via bridges, which also connect the island to the European motorway grid via the E20 and E55 motorways. The E55 travels south to the ferry terminals in Rødby and Gedser, which has crossings to Puttgarten and Rostock in Germany, respectively.

The infrastructure is planned to be strengthened further with the adopted act on the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link – an 18-kilometre long tunnel under the Fehmarn Belt. The tunnel is expected to be finished in 2028 and will significantly improve the access to Zealand from Germany.

Lolland-Falster is connected to Zealand by bridge, while smaller island ferries facilitate transport to the other small islands around Zealand. Bornholm can be reached by plane via Bornholm Airport, which primarily services connecting flights from other domestic airports in Denmark. You can also sail to Bornholm from Køge or take a fast ferry from Ystad in Sweden. In addition, there are train/ferry connections from Copenhagen.


Current Demand

The area comprises a total of 105,000 holiday homes - which is the equivalent of almost half of all holiday homes in Denmark. However, the area has approximately only 14% of all overnight stays in rented holiday homes in Denmark, and the rental percentage in most Zealand municipalities is at an average of 5% – which is significantly lower than the national average for the rest of Denmark. 

However, the figures are higher in the southern municipalities of Guldborgsund, Lolland and Vordinborg, which have a relatively high rental percentage of between 8 and 13%. Bornholm stands out in the statistics, due to its high capacity utilisation of 43%.

Distribution of current demand: 

  • Number of holiday homes for rent: approx. 5,680 holiday homes
  • Number of camping spots: 98 (number of camping units not provided)
  • Number of hotels: 122 (number of available beds in hotels not provided)

Current Market

The Danish market represents half of all commercial overnight stays in the area. In addition, the area has a large concentration of holiday homes that are not rented out, yet they still generate tourist spending. The low renting percent can also be attributed to the low proportion of holiday homes rented for overnight stays. Hotels and resorts are the most popular forms of overnight stays in the area. 


The area's proximity to both Sweden and Germany results in a catchment area of approx. 4.8 million within a driving time of 3 hours from Zealand. 

Overnight stays - Zealand
All figures in (000) for the latest 5 years
Accomodation types - Zealand
Share latest year

Nationality - Zealand
Share (2022)
  • 56%
  • 13%
  • 5%
  • 4%
  • 3%
  • Others 8%
Growth latest year
Growth last 5 years
Share international visitors (2019)
Prospects in the area:
Gilleleje Beach Resort

Here’s an opportunity for a new upscale and exclusive hotel in the attractive coastal town Gilleleje…

View prospect
Hundested Beach Hotel

Hundested is a charming coastal town that offers a variety of experiences such as the beach, history…

View prospect
Sukkerfabrikken Møn

As one of 10 national pilot projects Sukkerfabrikken Møn has the opportunity to develop a completely…

View prospect
Gilleleje Resort

Approved plans for development of large-scale spa-resort / holiday centre in Gilleleje - close to Co…

View prospect
Marielyst Resort

New opportunity for a large resort with 500+ units in Marielyst. The project has already attracted i…

View prospect
Marienlyst Strandhotel

Marienlyst Strandhotel (showcase) has a unique placement with a view of Oresund in the north-eastern…

View prospect
Køge Søbad

Køge Søbad is under realisation with ESS Group as operator. This will be their second project in Den…

View prospect
Sommerland Sjælland

Exciting opportunity for expanding the capacity of the popular amusement park, Sommerland Sjælland.

View prospect
Rødbyhavn Waterfront Hotel

A unique opportunity to develop an attractive area for tourism and recreational use in connection wi…

View prospect

250,000 m2 land register directly connected to the Fehmarn Belt with an approved local plan and the …

View prospect
Contact us