Ribe´s medieval town center. Ribe is Denmark´s and Scandinavia’s oldest town

Ribe is Denmark’s best-preserved medieval town with narrow, cobblestone streets and timber-framed houses. Walking in Ribe is like being inside one of H. C. Andersen´s fairy tales. Ribe town is rated with 2 stars in the Michelin Guide of Attractions.
Walking is the best way to get around town. Join a guided tour with Ribe’s Night Watchman or Discover Ribe yourself: Historical Town Walk  and/or Ribe Viking Walk

Ribe – Europe’s most beautiful little town

Ribe won the title “Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destinations 2014” in a tough contest among 52 beautiful European towns. In Ribe we have translated it to “Europe’s most beautiful little town”.
Read more: Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destinations

Ribe is not bigger than you can walk from Danhostel Ribe to all museums, the town square, Ribe Cathedral, the medieval monastery, the Storm Surge Pole, shops, cafes, restaurants, fitness, and the Swimming Bath (100m – 1km) and cycle to the Viking Centre (3km), Kammerslusen, Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret ) and the Mando Tractor Buses (5 -10 km)

Also see: 10 things to do for free in Ribe – Denmark

Experience Denmark in the Middle Ages – The romantic medieval town – Ribe is Denmark’s best preserved Medieval town.

Ribe Cathedral and the Commoner’s Tower

Ribe Cathedral is also rated with 2 stars in the Michelin Guide to Sights and Attractions, combining the best of old and new. You find mosaics and fresco paintings by the famous Cobra artist Carl Henning Pedersen but also fresco paintings from the Middle Ages. The Cathedral at Ribe is built in the Romanesque style.  Although certain parts of the church later were constructed in a Gothic style. Ribe Cathedral is the only 5-aisled church in Denmark. You can see the tombs of rich people from the area inside the  cathedral. Also two Danish kings are buried in the cathedral. Access to the Cathedral and the Commoner´s tower when services are not in progress. Find more information, photos and the Ribe Cathedral’s history here: Ribe Cathedral

For the best view of the town and surrounding national park be sure to climb the Commoner’s Tower. It is 52 meters (170 feet) high with 248 steps.  In clear weather one can enjoy a scenic view with the spacious landscape expanding in a radius of about 30 to 35km (19 to 22 miles).  On such clear days it is possible to see the city of Esbjerg, the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage and North Sea islands of Rømø, Mandø, and Fanø – and of course all the red roofs of Ribe

Winter in Ribe is also beautiful. Seagulls in the garden of Ribe Art Museum

Museums and Activity Centres in Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park

  • Ribe Viking Museum (Ribes Vikinger – Museum for Vikingetid og Middelalder).  Museum of the Viking era and the Middle Ages
  • Ribe Viking Centre (Ribe VikingeCenter) and Ribe Viking Market
  • Ribe Art Museum
  • The Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret)
  • Ribe Old Town Hall
  • Ribelund Museum

Ribe has plans on a Witch Museum (Denmark’s most famous “witch” was burnt on the stake in Ribe: Maren Spliid – The Witch) and a  Jacob A. Riis Museum (Ribe journalist and social documentary photographer who Roosevelt called “New York’s most useful citizen.”)

Read more about the mentioned museums and activity centres: Museums and Activity Centres

Vikings and the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage in Denmark. Big tourist attractions in Ribe, Denmark

Wadden Sea National Park – UNESCO World Heritage

The Wadden Sea National Park is Denmark’s biggest National Park and was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list 2014.
It is a true wilderness of crucial importance for millions of migratory birds. An amazing nature ready to reward your visit with surprising adventures, like the starlings migration “Black Sun” and Oyster hunting.
Read about the Wadden Sea – and find events, tours, exhibitions, adventures, etc.: Wadden Sea National Park and Wadden Sea National Park UNESCO World Heritage. Year-round adventures

Read about storm surges in Ribe here: Storm Surges and see the storm surge pole on the other side of the river (seen from Danhostel Ribe) with rings that mark the sea level at different storm surges.

Spring and autumn giant flocks of migratory starlings are settling down for the night in the marshes around Ribe: Black Sun

Ribe’s Night Watchman

Don’t miss to follow Ribe’s Night Watchman on his evening rounds, when he sings a goodnight song for the Ribe citizens and tells about Ribe’s history. It’s Free. Danish and English. Click to see when you can join him: Ribe’s Night Watchman

St. Catharinae. The Black Friar Church and Abbey

Visiting St. Catharinae’s abbey courtyard is like entering a timewarp. You can almost imagine yourself back in medieval Ribe. Sit down for a moment and let peace and tranquillity fill your soul.
The abbey is now the home for several retired Ribe citizens, but you can visit the abbey yard if you pay a little entrance fee. St. Catharinae Abbey is one of the most complete examples of a medieval  abbey in Denmark. Catharinae Church and Abbey is the most Gothic-inspired structure in Ribe. Access to church and abbey yard when services are not in progress

  • Tip: Visit the abbey yard on Midsummer Night (23th of June) and listen to Ribe Male Choir. A very special atmosphere.
  • During the year, church concerts and Gregorian vespers

Riberhus Castle

The former castle for medieval Kings and Queens in Denmark is now ruins, moat and a statue of the beloved Queen Dagmar. Read the story about: Queen Dagmar

Skibbroen, Ribe’s harbour

is Ribe’s harbour outside the hostel’s windows. Here you can see the galley Johanne Dan and the Storm Surge pole, with a series of marks indicating the water levels during some of the worst floods in Ribe

Ribelund Mini Animal Park, playground and the Bird observation platform

Located in beautiful surroundings close to Danhostel you will be able to get close to many animals. Fallow deer, pet goats, donkeys, horses and small kangaroos. From the observation platform you can watch the bird life at Ribe Østeraa. Shelter with picnic tables. Playground – and all for free all year


was the residence for the last Catholic bishop in Ribe, and also later for the Protestant bishop and psalmist H. A. Brorson, who wrote: “Now Found is the Fairest of Roses” and other well-known hymns

Ribe and Wadden Sea. Photo exhibition at Danhostel Ribe

Over 60 large photos on canvas show the inhabitants of Ribe, their town and nature. All captured with a wink by Gudrun Rishede

At 5  minutes on foot from the hostel you will find:

Specialty shops, industrial art, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, pubs, library and the local history archive (if you want to find your roots), etc.

The Town Market in Ribe is held every Wednesday from May to September

Let the children visit the children’s area where Ribe children sell toys and books


Old cars and motor cycles meet every Tuesday evening from April to October. The meadow (Hovedengen) outside the hostel

Ribe Brewery

Ribe Brewery is open for business and visits every Saturday – and when they are brewing.
The brewery has a range of standard beers – Blond, Brown, and Black Ale -but you will also find seasonal brews, such as the Christmas Ale and the Spring Ale.
Tours and beer tastings for larger groups can be arranged as well as we can arrange beer tasting at the hostel.
You can of course buy your Ribe Beer from the hotel: Souvenirs

Activity holiday

Rent a bike at the hostel: Bicycle Rental

Swimming bath
Ribe Svømmebad. 1km.

The Sea – the North Sea Coast.
Go swimming, biking or walking. Closest beach is at Lakolk, Rømø. 37 km
The North Sea Trail as well as the North Sea Cycle Route passes Ribe on their way along the North Sea’s beautiful coastline

Ribe Golfklub, Snepsgaarde. 8,5km

Fitness Centre
Ribe Fritidscenter. 1km. and Fittness One. 1km.

Put and Take Lake,
Storkesøen (Stork Lake). 2km

Climbing wall
in Ribehallen, Danhostel Ribe.  0 km.
The climbing wall is one of the best in Denmark. It can only be used with an instructor present. Enquire at the hostel

Attractions and Sights within 20km – 80km

Legoland, Billund (60km)
LEGOLAND® Billund Miniland is the big world in miniature. See world-famous buildings and environments – all built of 20 million LEGObricks. Besides Legoland has more than 50 fun activities for all ages.

Koldinghus Castle, Kolding (54 km)
Koldinghus was built in the middle of the 13th century, and in the centuries that followed it was one of Denmark’s most important royal castles. In 1808 there was a fire that left the castle in ruins. Today the castle has been restored and houses a museum which is a centre for cultural activities and special exhibitions of international standing.

Trapholt Museum, Kolding
Art, industrial art, design and furniture design, Kolding (54km)

Runes and burial mounds of King Gorm the Old and Thyra, his queen. (70km). Jelling is included in the list of UNESCO sites regarded as being part of our world-wide cultural heritage.
The UNESCO monument includes the two runic stones in front of the Church, the Church itself and the two impressive mounds to the north & south of the church.

Nolde Museum
Museum associated with the famous artist and painter Emil Nolde, Seebüll, Germany (62km)

The Lion Park at Givskud (80 km)

Gram Lergrav
Clay pit. Dig after fossils in the clay that was once the bottom of the sea (20km)

Wellings’ Village Museum, Lintrup (16km)

The herb garden based on Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica in Plougstrup, Gredstedbro (16km). Free tours of the garden on the first Sunday in May, June, July, August and September 2012 at 11am

Safari Zoo Park, Lintrup (16km)

The largest livestock auction
and flea market in Northern Europe is held in Brørup (23km)

Germany (54 km).