We went to Billund to visit Legoland, but stayed in Vejle! We didn’t stay in Billund or anywhere within the 10K radius of Billund! Why? We wanted to live the Danish life. We wanted to know how the people here live their everyday lives and get to know a touch of Denmark. I don’t regret it for a second! Vejle was a great place to stay!
Staying near Legoland would have been easier. It would have been a holiday made to measure for the kids! There are many hotels and camp sites that are great to stay in and have free transfers to and from Legoland and Lalandia. We can actually recommend a few, contact us for details. The Little Big Explorers though wanted to explore further, Vejle was our destination. If you are looking to go to Legoland, Billund and want to stay near the park and pack your days with kids’ activities, this blog post is not for you. If you want to visit Denmark and include Legoland in your itinerary then read on.
There was a point in my planning when I was allured to stay in one of the Legoland hotels actually I narrowed our choices down to staying in a campsite. The fact that, in the price of the accommodation there was also the entrance fee to the park for two days, was very appealing. The fact that there was free transportation from the airport to the accommodation and also to the parks was also something we needed to consider. These points are all benefits. Still, I wanted something else; I didn’t want to be surrounded by kids running around all the time. I didn’t want restaurants to be themed and I didn’t want to spend more than one day in Legoland.
We had 3 full days as we arrived at around 10am in Billund airport. Day 1 was where we saw most of Vejle:
I wanted to walk where the Danes go after school. I want to take a bike ride and see how many travel around the town. Was it possible? Vejle had it all!
Vejle – Day 1
We did our research and knew that the bus to Vejle would be outside the airport and it was quite frequent. We had to wait for approximately 10 min and when it arrived the driver came down and opened the suitcase hatch. Everyone calmly placed their suitcases and slowly went up. There was no rush, no pushing! Everyone had a place to sit and we actually were very comfortable sitting next to each other.
Kids were excited but tiered. My little one slept on my lap during the transition while Jamie used my old camera to keep him occupied. If you are visiting the area without renting a car then staying near the bus and train terminus is a very good idea. If I do go again though, I would rent a car as I’d love to go to visit places not on the touristic map and I’ll spend more than 3 days!
The bus ride to Vejle cost us around €16 (2 adults, kids ride for free). The buses are clean and efficient. We stayed some 15 min(on foot) away from the train station. This was the pedestrian zone of Vejle, ideal for shops and restaurants. We had our Trunki to keep little explorer Andrew from whimpering after his nap. It was 11am and Vejle was so quiet; it felt like the town was still asleep.
Once we found the apartment, it was as I imagined; a bit old looking from the outside and Scandinavian, minimalistic on the inside, perfect! Our bedroom looked over the street, we also had a balcony to have my morning tea in. We chose a two bedroom apartment but we didn’t realise that it was an actual home of someone. The owner lived in it during the week and hosts others during the weekend. Due to this, we found everything we needed, including toys!! It was fun, but at the same time we felt a respectful duty to keep the apartment clean and tidy.
After leaving suitcases there and finding our bearings, we headed to the bike hire shop (the shop was just 10min away). The walk around the town was fresh next to the stuffy climate we had back home. I finally started seeing the town coming alive. Still, it was not busy. The traffic was calm and everyone knows their place, no one seemed to speed past!
When we got to the bike shop the attender was so helpful and friendly with the kids. He was so patient with our needs. We called him the Gentle Viking!
Once we got the bikes we needed to eat! One thing I wished I had brought with us was a mobile holder. I needed the GPS to know where to go. It was not easy riding in the roads without knowing where you are going. So if you wish to do the same, make sure you have a way of holding your GPS on your bike. I am sure, that if I had asked the Gentle Viking, he would have offered something but, it was too late to go back. In the end we ate near the river, near the main shopping area.
The one thing we quickly found out is how expensive food is here. Food is not only expensive but we mainly found burgers or meat. We could not find anything that was typically Danish. This was the main negative point about our stay, at least in this area of Denmark.
After lunch we had a quick walk around the shops and although the food is expensive certain shopping items were priced well and the variety was huge. Pity we had no suitcase so actual shopping was not in my agenda. It was nice though, walking down the streets feeling completely safe.
After this Jamie wanted to go and cycle down where cars hardly pass. So we headed towards the docks. Here things got smoother. The roads were more peaceful and the tracks led us to a bike path around the sea towards the woods.
The buildings here were super modern and we even found a lovely playground for the kids to enjoy while we took a water break with an architectural conversation. Art pieces are everywhere, even in the sea! Nature was everywhere, and we loved it. Jamie said it was the best part of the day! Better than the actual flight!
Being that we had been awake since 5am, it was time to head back to our apartment and get organised with groceries. Opposite our apartment was a minimarket and it had all the things we needed. Vejle has many different supermarkets and most of them are in the pedestrian zone. We needed our Milk, snacks, fruit and picnic items. Apart from this, we also decided that we didn’t want to eat burgers everyday so we bought some food to cook two meals. I do suggest that you stay in a place with a good kitchen as cooking your food is the best way to eat especially if you are on a budget. We still ate out but not every day, instead we enjoyed having teas and Danish pastries.
Vejle – Day 2
We woke up reasonably early to head to Legoland (to know more of our ventures in Legoland click here). This was what my boys were waiting for! We had a blast! We can’t really decide which Legoland we preferred, to see why check this blog. We got back to our apartment at around 7pm. The night before we had cooked the meal and found that it was a brilliant idea as we were exhausted. We then had a shower and headed out for the night.
Little did we know that the night is over by 9pm! There was no one in the streets of Vejle! Only a few tourists like us looking lost and aloof. There were some bars that were open and they were very busy with people. It seemed that bars do not welcome people with kids. I asked a Swedish friend of mine about this and she said that in the weekends children are normally kept at home and may be they would have house parties. Vejle’s restaurants, were closed! I was so glad we cooked our own meal.
A tip for next time…life in this part of Denmark, for families, is between 11am till 8pm. If you come to think of it, this place does get cold in the winter and I can’t imagine myself walking out any time later than these times. This is what I wanted to get to know, life in Denmark is so much different to our Mediterranean lifestyle where kids are out having fun with adults alike till 10pm or more! Vejle you surprised me but I’m happy.
Vejle – Day 3
We called a taxi to go visit the zoo (please check why here). While waiting for the taxi the kids were happy playing in the massive public sandpit. I always get fascinated by the thought of designing towns and their open spaces. Kids were on the designer’s mind for sure here.
While at the zoo we enjoyed every minute of the day and every bit of the park. I recommend this by far! We had our picnic snacks here too but the buffet and the food here looked good and reasonably priced. What the Danish do, is get their own sausages and food stuff and cook them there on the BBQs provided.
There were parts of this place that reminded me of the day we visited an Irish farm see what I mean here. At Givskud zoo though our day was over at around 5.30pm and we headed back to Vejle by taxi. The cost for taxi both ways was approximately €90, it came cheaper like this then getting the public transport and in much less time too. This time we decided to eat out before we head for the apartment. Little did we know that on Sundays all shops close at 1pm and even the restaurants open only for lunch. The only places open were Turkish or a few pizza and burger places. We should have ate at the zoo! I must say, the service everywhere, was always good and they speak perfect English. The menus on the other hand are not always in English but nothing that a good translater app can’t solve.
We ended with a nice stroll down the pedestrian lanes and seeing the lovely famous Vejle Windmill on the hill. It was a sad evening for all of us as the weekend flew by too fast. I do recommend you spend a little bit more days than a weekend as there is so much more to see and do.
If you need any more information about the area, I have done an itinerary for my next visit and would gladly share with anyone who asks. Sharing is caring and Little Big Explorers is all about that. Tell us your experience of Legoland – Billund!