Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the biggest city in the country. It’s impossible to get bored there, there’s so much to do and see. Copenhagen was the first city that I visited in Denmark, and I fell in love with it, it’s so charming and interesting. The list below – bigger that I was planning to be – includes several different activities to do and attractions to see in the city during your stay.
Check it out what to do in Copenhagen
Pay a visit to the Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s main attractions. The statue is from 1913, and it was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. It’s small but iconic, and the place is always full of tourists, but I think it’s worth to take a look, even because there are other spots to explore in the surroundings, such as the Kastellet.
Visit Nyhavn and surrounds
You probably already saw pictures of Nyhavn and its iconic colorful houses. The place was a commercial port centuries ago, filled with ships from all over the world, sailors, and alehouses. Nowadays, the area is a hotspot between tourists. Nyhavn is super busy by the end of the afternoon, you’ll see many people walking around and enjoying the many restaurants.
Near Nyhavn, there is a nice area called Kvæsthusbroen. It’s located by the river and it’s pleasant and calm, a nice spot to hang out by the end of a sunny day. Get yourself a bottle of wine and enjoy the views. Tip: You can use the bathroom inside of Skuespilhuset (a theater), it’s clean and free.
Visit the Rosenborg Castle
The Rosenborg Castle was built in the early 17th century. You can visit the interior, check out the crown jewels, and the many well-preserved rooms. But even if you don’t enter the castle, it’s still worth to see it from the outside. The King’s Garden around the Rosenborg Castle is beautiful and gives you great opportunities to take good pictures. The place is well located, in the heart of Copenhagen.
Eat something at the Papiroen
Papiroen is a street food market. The ambiance is cool and trendy, the variety of food is big and it’s hard to decide what to eat. You can sit inside or outside, facing the river. The place is super crowded during the weekends.
Christiania is a Freetown in the middle of Copenhagen. A city inside a city! It was founded in 1971, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen (maybe Denmark). The area is polemic, a place where you can freely buy hash (and other stuff) from the many stalls in the street. There’s a sign in the entrance discouraging the visitors to take pictures inside.
Visiting Christiania is a cultural experience, it’s like stepping back in the 70’s. You can also find restaurants and galleries inside the town, and a bunch of tourists walking around. The locals give guided tours in case you are interested. It’s not recommended to visit it at night, the area can be quite rough. If you feel like checking out the place, remember to not violate the local rules.
Eat at the Torvehallerne
Torvehallerne is a food market where you can find fresh products to buy, and also have a bite in the many stands. There are two barns filled with a big variety of delicacies. It’s a place to stop by if you love markets.
Visit the Round Tower and see the city from the top
The Round Tower is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, it’s from the 17th century. On the top of the tower, you can visit the observatory. The views from there are beautiful, you can see the old part of the city. It’s not very hard to get to the top of it, it’s a spiral walk.
See the view from the top of the Church of Our Saviour
Hands down to the best view of the city. From the bell tower of the Church of Our Savior, you can see Copenhagen from above. To get to the top you’ll have to climb 400 steps, but it’s worth it. The last 150 steps are outside of the serpentine spire, and, honestly, if you suffer from vertigo, you’ll not love the experience. At the end of the steps, only one person can fit, it’s pretty tight.
See the Amalienborg Palace
If you enjoy Royal history, that’s a place to take a look. The Amalienborg Palace is made up of four buildings, and you can visit the museum, where you can see the interior of the palace. The buildings surround the Amalienborg Square, where you can watch the changing of the guards every day at noon. Even if you don’t enter the palace, it’s worth to take a look at the outside.
Walk around the Kastellet
The Kastellet (it means citadel in English) was founded in 1626, and it’s a well-preserved star fortress, you can see the pentagram form when you look at Google Maps. Nowadays the buildings are used as military barracks, but you can walk around the area, it’s open to the public. The Little Mermaid is close to the Kastellet. Also, make sure to take a look at the Gelfion Fountain (beautiful), and the Saint Alban’s Church (an Anglican church).
Walk around Strøget
It’s a pedestrian street famous for being a shopping area. It’s the longest pedestrian street in Europe, a little bit more than 1 km. Boy, that’s a lot of shopping. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, just take a walk around the street. It’s very well located, packed with people, and the best place to see street artists.
Eat Danish pastry
Denmark is famous for its pastries. The hard part is how to pick one!
Swim at the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
It’s an open-air swimming area, five pools in total located by the river. The water is checked daily before people get in. The place is open from June to September, in the warmer months. I visited Copenhagen during the summer (July), but it was cold for my standards, I didn’t get into the water. But it’s a cool place to visit anyway. The entrance is free.
Eat a Danish hot dog from DØP
If you want to eat a classical Danish hot dog (and I think you should), DØP is a great option. It’s an organic hot dog stand located close to the Round Tower (there are other locations as well). They have a vegetarian option too.
Wander around the Superkilen park
Cool park to hang out. It’s an urban space divided into three main areas, The Red Square, The Black Market, and The Green Park. All the areas have something interesting to see or do.
Read more: Tips to save money in Copenhagen
Visit some architectural masterpieces
Copenhagen is all about urban planning, where the needs of the residents meet beautiful architecture. If you enjoy architecture, there are many must-see buildings in the city. The 8 House, the VM MOUNTAIN, the Superkilen park, The Royal Danish Playhouse, the Tietgen Residence Hall, the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark, the Island Brygge Harbour Baths, just to name a few.
Have fun at the Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park founded in 1843. Hans Christian Andersen, the creator of the fairy tale that inspired the Little Mermaid, visited the park many times. There’s a statue of the writer close to park by the way. I read online that at night it’s beautiful, I didn’t have the chance to check it out. Something to do next time!
Make a round-trip to Malmö
Cross the channel to visit the neighbor country, Sweden. In around 15 minutes by train, you get to Malmö, the first city after the Øresund Bridge that separates Denmark from Sweden. It’s another country right there, so why not to make a day trip if you have the time?