Denmark’s capital has long been a style centre – famous for design, architecture and fashion. It is a harbour to some of the best restaurants and cafes in Europe, no wonder this open-minded city is said to be the happiest city in the world! Copenhagen is a beautiful city which feels almost town-like in its appearance but with the buzz and vibrancy that matches any major capital city in Europe!
Copenhagen is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway but planning your time efficiently can be a daunting prospect so here is the guide on how to make the most of your stay.
Best time to visit Copenhagen
Traditionally summer months (June-September) are considered the best time to visit.
If exploring is a priority for you, then we’d suggest visiting Denmark during shoulder months (March-May). The weather is just beginning to warm up, prices are low, and there are barely any tourists around.
Top things to do in Copenhagen:
1. Enjoy sunset at Nyhavn
The old harbor of Copenhagen, Nyhavn, is crowded with classy restaurants and cozy cafes. Take in the picturesque sight of colorfully renovated townhouses from the 18th century. As a popular spot for locals and tourists, the area is often crowded, so arrive early if possible. Sit down at one of the nearby bars or the quayside and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, music and food.
2. Relax and enjoy canal tour
Canal Tours Copenhagen is a wonderful way of seeing Copenhagen. Many tourists take the tour to get an opportunity to see the capital from a different perspective.
The tour takes approximately an hour. During the tour, you will see: The Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace, the impressive Black Diamond Library, and, of course, the Little Mermaid.
3. Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is a palace complex made of four identical buildings, which are the official residences of the Danish royal family. Don’t miss the changing of the Royal Guard every day at noon. For a better look into the lives of recent Danish royalty, visit the Amalienborg Museum.
4. Frederik’s Church
The Marble Church, as it is commonly known (officially called Frederiks Church), is one of Copenhagen’s most famous and impressive architectural assets. He church lies beautifully in line with Amalienborg Palace and The Opera. You can enjoy fantastic views of the palace, Amalie gardens, the new Opera House.
5. Be a kid again at Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Built in 1843, and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg, also in Denmark. The atmosphere is magical, with twinkling fairy lights and nostalgic, vintage rides. We love how Tivoli has a rustic feel, and how it lights up when the skies turn dark!
Tip: be sure to ride one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters!
The Moorish Palace is an attraction to see the Tivoli Gardens, which looks like a palace straight out of the Arabian Nights and particularly spectacular when it’s lit up during the sunset 🌅.
6. Visit Rosenborg Castle
Visit the 17th century grand residence, the Rosenborg Castle which houses over three floors of magnificent artifacts plus an armory and a treasury.
7. The Little Mermaid
Loved or loathed, a fleeting trip to see the Little Mermaid should be on every first-timer’s visit to Copenhagen. Some people feel underwhelmed when visiting (probably because it was over-hyped before they visited) but for lots of visitors it is a photo opportunity of the city’s most famous landmarks, where you can spend 10 minutes or so viewing her statuesque pose!
The Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinje Pier is probably the most photographed site in Copenhagen after Nyhavn. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersons’s beloved fairytale, the sculpture is over 100 years old and is the most famous mermaid statue in the world.
8.Visit Carlsberg brewery
Visit the Carlsberg Brewery, a Danish brewing company founded in 1847 by Jacob Christian Jacobsen. It surely is striving for the title of most architecturally stunning brewery in the world. On the tour you will see the world’s largest beer bottle collection, old brew house, award-winning stables and finish in the bar with a real beer tasting experience.
9. Shop on the Strøget street
Strøget is the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street and when you visit Copenhagen, you must explore the numerous shops located there. This street is also considered the oldest pedestrian street in the world. On this street you can find the stores of big international brands: from luxury ones, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Prada and Boss, to more affordable ones, like H&M, Zara and Vero Moda. The street is also popular with Copenhagen’s street performers, so you can enjoy the shows of musicians and acrobats.
10. Half day trip to Roskilde
Roskilde – A day trip from Copenhagen. Located only 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen, Roskilde is a perfect choice for a day trip outside the Danish capital. With a rich history, Gothic cathedral with the tombs of Danish monarchs, the Viking ship Museum and a beautiful seashore, it is absolutely worth visiting.
We’ve been to a lot of cathedrals during our travels, but Roskilde Cathedral is one of the most fascinating we have ever visited. Everywhere you look there is some sort of unique decorative feature.It is on UNESCO’s heritage list today, the first Gothic cathedral made of bricks in Scandinavia and a home to 39 tombs of queens and kings of Denmark.
the Gothic St. Luke Cathedral. A monumental building is on UNESCO’s heritage list today, the first Gothic cathedral made of bricks in Scandinavia and a home to 39 tombs of queens and kings of Denmark. Entrance ticket to the cathedral is 60 DKK (around 8 euros), which includes very informative cathedral guide booklet. Both the architecture and the royal history of the place are amazing.
Viking Ship Museum
During the Viking Age, Roskilde was Denmark’s capital and an important port. Roskilde’s Viking Ship Museum contains Viking ships that were excavated from the bottom of the Roskilde Fjord. The ships were actually sunk on purpose in order to block one of the three passages during the period 1060 to 1080. It is believed the ships were sunk to protect Roskilde from invasion. In addition to the preserved ships, the Viking Ship Museum has displays about the Viking Age, and outside are reconstructed Viking Ships and exhibits of Viking tools and demonstrations of Viking techniques. During the summer months the museum runs boat trips in traditional Nordic boats.
Old town hall
The square has a traditional Scandinavic look thanks to the old Town Hall located there. Its robust step shaped tower once belonged to St. Laurence Church. Medieval Cathedral and old Royal Palace are also visible from the square, which all together gives it a beautiful historical environment.
Our Favourite Flight/Hotel Booking sites:
After traveling consistently for 3 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.
Flights: Skyscanner is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. It searches hundreds of sites for the best fare and includes both standard and budget airlines. The price calendar feature shows the cheapest days to fly in your preferred month of travel.
Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.