Top 15 Best Things to See and Do in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is one of those cities where I immediately felt at home. I have been here twice and both times I was captivated by the atmosphere of the city. I liked the vibe so much that I might as well live here. Of course, you have to be able to withstand the fall and winter weather. I made my visits both times in the summer.

Updated January 2024

With over 1.2 million inhabitants, the Danish capital is the most populous city in Denmark and Scandinavia. The city characterized by beautiful architecture, a rich cultural center and excellent bicycle transportation. Nearly 40% of the population travels by bicycle, thanks to a well-developed network. The city’s architecture, with an outside, non-expert eye, deliberately combines modern, environmentally conscious buildings with old, historic buildings. There are many interesting modern buildings. It is no coincidence that Copenhagen has been nominated by UNESCO-UIA as the World Capital of Architecture in 2023. In the summer season, the city is very busy with lots of tourists. In the winter? That remains to be seen.

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As the birthplace of mid-century modern design, Copenhagen continues to be a hub of innovation and creativity. You’ll find sleek furniture showrooms, innovative architecture, and design boutiques that pay homage to the city’s design legacy.
Copenhagen takes sustainability seriously. The city is dotted with parks and green spaces, with the King’s Garden offering a serene retreat in the heart of the city. The commitment to eco-friendly practices is evident in its bike-friendly infrastructure and clean streets.

How to get to the city of Copenhagen from the airport

Very easy to get to the city center, you only need to take the metro and you are right in the center, near Nyhavn in 15 minutes. You will arrive at Kongens Nytorv where you can take the other metro lines or walk to your destination.
You can find more information about the metro lines, tickets & zones and timetable on the official website of Copenhagen Metro.
Do not miss to pick up a city map at the airport. You can find many useful information and tips about the city.

Where to stay in Copenhagen

We always try to book accommodations in the city center to minimize our reliance on public transportation. Exploring the city on foot is our preferred way to experience it. You can see more on foot than underground, but of course, public transportation is our friend. We booked a hotel room close to the central train station. From here you can easily explore the sights of Copenhagen. Near train, bus and metro stations.

When it comes to hotel searches, I always start my research on sites where I can compare prices and read reviews. Such as Hotellook helps you find and compare prices on hotels around the world. The platform offers a comprehensive database of hotels, making it easier for travelers to find the perfect accommodation. The platform also offers detailed information on hotels, including ratings, reviews, and amenities, helping you make an informed decision about your stay.

1. Nyhavn

Nyhavn (“Nye Havn” in Danish, meaning “new harbor”) is a canal and its surrounding buildings in Copenhagen. Old houses that once housed merchants have been renovated and are now home to a number of restaurants. Making the area bustling with tourists, businessmen and other guests. It is one of the busiest parts of the city, there are many people both during the day and at night, but it is worth visiting at either time of day.

Nyhavn
Nyhavn

2. Kastellet & Den Lille Havfrue

A star-shaped fortress from the 17th century with ramparts that can be walked around. An excellent program also for children, the surroundings of the fortress can be visited free of charge. There are groves, moats and parks nearby. The fort also has its church and windmill.
Edvard Eriksen’s famous statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is located nearby, on the seashore beyond the moat. The statue has become a symbol of the town and one of the main attractions for tourists since it was unveiled in 1913. It is worth arriving early if you want to see it in peace, as it is always crowded.

Den Lille Havfrue
Kastellet

3. Frederik’s Church

An impressive Lutheran church from the 18th century with the largest dome in Scandinavia. It’s a must-see, and it’s also accessible by subway. You have to get off at Marmorkirken. Walk around, it’s beautiful from every angle. It is also free to visit during opening hours.
The dome can be visited on weekends at one o’clock. Tickets for Adults 50 DKK in 2024.
You can find more information on the official website.

Frederik's Church
Frederik's Church
Frederik's Church

4. Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace houses the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court. Below are the ruins of Bishop Absalon’s fortress from the 12th century and Copenhagen Castle. The Royal Palace can be visited on a guided tour. It gives you an insight into the world of royalty!
Tickets for Adults 175DKK / Students 155DKK / Free under the age of 18 in 2024.
You can find more information on their official website.

Christiansborg palace
Christiansborg palace

5. Rundetaarn

A 17th-century tower integrated into a church. The Round Tower is a historic landmark with a twist. Climb the spiral ramp to the top for panoramic views of Copenhagen, and explore the Library Hall, which houses an exhibition on the history of the tower. There is an observatory at the top, but it also has a planetarium, and an event hall.
Tickets for Adults 40DKK / Children 10DKK in 2024.
You can find more information on their official website.

6. Rosenborg Slot

Rosenborg Palace built in the Renaissance style in 1606. It was the residence of several Danish kings until 1710. It has been used as an art museum since 1838 and houses the Danish coronation jewels. Kongens Have (The King’s Garden), the country’s oldest royal park, is located around the castle and can be visited free of charge.
Tickets for Adults 140DKK / Students 90DKK / Free under the age of 17 in 2024.
You can find more information on the official website of the palace.

Rosenborg Slot

7. Vor Frelsers Kirke

This large baroque church in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen is one of Denmark’s major tourist attractions. With its twisted spire, the church is a national treasure, but also a living parish church for about 8000 people. Access to the tower is limited during crowded hours because of narrow stairs and pathways. Therefore, it is recommended to book tickets prior. Tickets: Adults 69DKK / Children 20DKK
You can find more information on the official website of the church.
You can combine the two as the church is close to Christiania.

To find a great activity, visit Viator, a Tripadvisor company, which is a platform for booking activities during your travels. They offer instant confirmation and the possibility to pay later and/or in installments. Another advantage is the free cancellation, a full refund if cancellation is requested at least 24 hours in advance. 24-hour email and chat support.

8. Christiania

Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous district of Copenhagen. It has nearly a thousand permanent residents and many temporary residents. Christiania covers an area of 84 hectares in the Christianshavn district of the Danish capital. The Danish authorities treat Christiania as a municipality. The area has a unique status that is regulated by its own law.

9. Stroll along Stroget Street

Copenhagen often finds itself at the top of travelers’ lists, and for good reason. This Danish gem is a delightful fusion of old-world charm and modern sophistication, and at the heart of it all lies Stroget Street, a bustling thoroughfare that encapsulates the very essence of this enchanting city. Stroget Street in Copenhagen is more than just a shopping destination. It’s a quintessential Copenhagen experience. Whether you’re searching for the perfect souvenir, a dose of Danish culture, or simply a charming place to wander, Stroget has it all. So, take your time, embrace the beauty of this historic street, and let Copenhagen’s enchanting atmosphere captivate you at every turn.

10. Tivoli garden

If you like fun Tivoli is a great choice for you. On August 15, 1843, the garden gates were opened for the first time.
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is a place where dreams come true, and every visit is a journey into a world of wonder. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a magical escape, Tivoli Gardens has something to offer. So, step into this living fairy tale, and let the enchantment of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens sweep you off your feet.
Official information on their website.

11. Visit some museums

Copenhagen is a city steeped in culture and history, and its museums provide a captivating window into its past and present. Here are some must-visit museums that will enrich your understanding of this enchanting Danish capital:

The National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst) – Home to an extensive collection of European and Danish art, the National Gallery is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts.
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art – Nestled by the sea just north of Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum seamlessly blends art with nature.
The National Museum (Nationalmuseet) – Delve into Denmark’s captivating history at the National Museum.
The David Collection (David Samling) – Tucked away in an elegant mansion, the David Collection is a hidden gem.

Designmuseum Danmark – A museum presenting the history of Danish and international industrial design in an 18th-century rococo building. Link to the official website.
Copenhagen Contemporary – Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) is Copenhagen’s international art center featuring installation art by world stars and emerging talents. Link to the official website.
Danish Architecture Center – Iconic cultural museum with architecture and design exhibitions, seminars, and conference rooms. Link to the official website.

12. Visit the TorvehallerneKBH

Covered urban marketplace with stalls offering local produce, gourmet foods, drinks and desserts. If you want a good meal or a glass of wine, you should visit the Market Square. Since the Round Tower and Rosenborg Slot are so close together, you can even connect them. If you are on a budget, check out the restaurants and bars outside the covered building, where you can get a glass of wine for half the price.

13. Riding a bike in the city

Where else can you get on a bike but here in Copenhagen? Cycling here is a dream. In Copenhagen, bicycles are more than just a mode of transportation. They are a way of life. The city’s extensive network of bike lanes and a culture that embraces cycling make it a haven for two-wheeled explorers.
Many companies offer bicycles for rent. Just download the application you like and you can start cycling.
Make sure you follow the cycling rules, and watch out for others and you will definitely enjoy exploring the city on two wheels.

Book a 3-hour guided bike tour to explore the attractions and learn about the city’s history.

14. Amager strandpark

If you are visiting Copenhagen during the summer months, I recommend Amager Strandpark, which opened in 2005 and consists of a 2 km long artificial island and a total of 4.6 km of beach. It can be reached from the city center in 15 minutes by bike and a few minutes by metro. If you can stand water temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius, take a dip in the Baltic Sea.

Amager strandpark
Amager strandpark

15. Eat hot-dogs, drink wine and enjoy the vibe of Copenhagen

We often forget to slow down when visiting a city. The momentum of seeing so many new things in unfamiliar places carries us along, and in short stays it can make you feel like you’re going home soon. That’s why we try to cram as many programs as possible into those few days. Slow down, immerse yourself in the smallest details, and take in the atmosphere of the place.

+ 1 Take the train and Visit Malmö

Sweden, Malmö is not far away. It can be easily reached by train and bus in up to 40 minutes, giving you a great opportunity to explore the Swedish city. Worth a look: Turning Torso, St. John’s Church, Malmö Castle.
It may be worth combining the bus with the train, as both the train and the highway cross Europe’s longest bridge, the Øresund/Öresund Bridge. For timetables and ticket prices, or to buy tickets online, visit the Trainline website.

Summary

Copenhagen is a captivating city with beautiful architecture, a rich cultural center, and excellent bicycle transportation. It is the most populous city in Denmark and Scandinavia, with nearly 40% of the population traveling by bicycle. The city balances its rich history with a contemporary flair, with a well-developed network of bike-friendly infrastructure and clean streets. Nyhavn is a canal and its surrounding buildings in Copenhagen, where old houses that once housed merchants have been renovated and are now home to a number of restaurants. Copenhagen is a hub of innovation and creativity, with sleek furniture showrooms, innovative architecture, and design boutiques that pay homage to the city’s design legacy.

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