This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy through those links, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclosure here.
Copenhagen is a wonderful city and the gateway to Scandinavia. It is estimated that over 30 million tourists visit Copenhagen every year, and it’s easy to understand why. As someone who used to live in Copenhagen, I decided to put together this article on things to see and do during your next visit to Copenhagen. But before we get started, let me mention some important things.
Yes, it is. Copenhagen is a very safe city that is easy to navigate. It is fairly compact so it’s easy to get around on foot, and the extensive network of bicycle lanes makes getting around on bike incredibly convenient and fun. And if you’re not into cycling, public transit is also abundant and easy to use.
Furthermore, there are countless things to do and see in Copenhagen. From eating a traditional Smørrebrød to buying some world-famous designs, from electric nightlife to relaxing spas, there’s something for everyone in Copenhagen. And if you’re on a budget, there are also plenty of free things to see as well. Check out this article for a comprehensive list of the Best Free Things to do in Copenhagen.
If you’re coming from a neighboring country, then I’d say a 2-3 day weekend getaway can be enough. Although there are plenty of attractions, Copenhagen is a fairly small city and you can see a lot in a day. However, if you’re coming from a faraway place and have to catch a long flight to get to Copenhagen, then I’d recommend spending at least 5 days. It’s not worth spending 10+ hours on planes for a 2 day trip.
Furthermore, if you plan on participating in time-consuming activities such as going to the spa, or visiting an amusement park, you should allocate 1-3 extra days.
And now, here are 85+ Things to See and Do in Copenhagen:
Smørrebrød, or the famous open-faced sandwich is an absolute must-try when you are in Copenhagen. You don’t have to search too hard for them, you can find them almost everywhere. However some restaurants in highly touristic areas (like Nyhavn) overcharge for their smørrebrød. For the best price to quality ratio I recommend getting them from the Torvehallerne Food Market. Get them to go and have picnic at King’s Garden or the Botanical Garden nearby.
If smørrebrøds are not for you, you will definitely find something else at Torvehallerne Food Market. From cold cuts to pizza, pastries, chocolates and more, you will always find something tasty. Spread between two glass buildings, the Torvehallerne Food Market is centrally located at Nørreport station, and it’s a very popular place with both tourists and locals alike.
Although the traditional Danish cuisine is meat-heavy, the Copenhagen food scene is very friendly towards vegetarians and vegans. So whatever food preferences you have, you will definitely find something.
Rundetårn, or the Round Tower, has been an iconic building in Copenhagen since the 17th century. The tower was built as an astronomical observatory and today it is one of the oldest functioning observatories in Europe. In addition to the amazing views of Copenhagen’s rooftops you can see from the outdoor platform at the top of the tower, there is also an exhibition space. To reach the top you walk up an ascending spiral ramp. If you’re claustrophobic, don’t worry as there are windows. Rundetårn is located 5 minutes away from Torvehallerne and entry costs around 6 USD, depending on exchange rates. You can find out more about it here.
Located in the Old Town, Kultorvet is a public square surrounded by beautiful, traditional colorful buildings. It is a great place to sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Given its close proximity to Nørreport station, Kultorvet is a perfect place to people watch. And in the warmer months there will also be ice-cream and flower vendors.
Keep on walking from Kultorvet and you will reach Strøget, a pedestrian only street. Stretching just over one kilometer, Strøget offers all sorts of shops from affordable Zara to ultra high luxury Hermes, as well as bakeries, restaurants, and snack vendors. There are also two department stores, luxury Illum, and more affordable Magasin du Nord. In addition, there are multiple street performers, as well as a small Guinness World Records Museum. Even if you’re not buying anything, you should at least walk from one end of Strøget to the other and admire the scenery.
And just off Strøget you will find Conditori La Glace, Denmark’s oldest and most beloved patisserie. They have a very large selection of pastries, small confections, and of course, cakes which you can purchase whole or by the slice. And the most famous of all is the Sportskage, which was created for the premiere of the “Sports Man” theater production in 1891. The cake consists of a macaroon base, a thick layer of crushed nougat cream, covered in whipped cream, and decorated with choux pastries. But if nougat is not for you, there are countless other options you can try. Personally, I tried a handful of cakes from La Glace and I enjoyed every one of them.
Located in the heart of Copenhagen, the Botanical Garden is open and free year-round. One of the most popular thing to do in the warmer months is the grab something to eat from the nearby Torvehallerne and enjoy it while siting on the grass in the Botanical Garden. In the colder months, you can escape the cold by spending some time inside the 27 warm greenhouses. And of course, throughout the year you can walk around and admire the over 13,000 species of plants. If you’re visiting in the spring, I fully recommend stopping by to see the pink magnolia trees in blossom.
The King’s Garden and Rosenborg Castle are just across the street from the Botanical Garden. The King’s Gardens and the grounds around the castle are free, however to go inside the castle you will need to buy a ticket. Build in the 17th century, there are over 400 years of royal treasures. In the basement you can see the Crown Jewels. The castle itself is quite small, but it is packed with treasures. However, if it’s not too busy you can see the Rosenborg Castle in 1-2 hours depending on how much time you want to spend admiring all the trinkets. Find the up-to-date opening hours and ticket prices here.
Located right next to the King’s Garden, the David Collection is a private museum of fine art. Here you can see one of the largest Islamic Art collections in the West, 18th Century European art, Danish early modern paintings, sculptures and ceramics. The David Collection is located in what used to be the home of a lawyer, and most of the artworks used to be his personal collection until his passing. What’s more is that entrance is always free, so if you’re in the vicinity pop in for a few minutes. You can find more info about the museum here.
The National Gallery of Denmark or Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) is also located right next to the Botanical Garden. As Denmark’s largest art museum, SMK holds art dating as far back as the 14th century, both Danish and international collections. On the weekends there are workshops for children where they can make their own art. The workshops are free and entry to the museum for those under 18 years old is also free. See opening hours and current ticket prices for adults here.
Surrounding the SMK Museum is the Østre Anlæg Park. It’s pretty big, larger than the Botanical Garden, but not many people visit it. Once part of the old city fortifications, today Østre Anlæg Park is a little slice of heaven with ponds, flowers, benches, and a lot of vegetation. If you like birdwatching, this is a perfect place to do that.
Both a palace and a government building, the Christiansborg Palace has an 800 year long history! The Christiansborg Palace you see today was enacted in 1928, after multiple fires destroyed the previous buildings. Currently, the building is used for official state events, and tours. There are both paid and free things to see at Christiansborg Palace and these include: climbing the tower (free), the Royal Reception Rooms and the Great Hall with the Tapestries (paid), the Royal Kitchen (paid), the Ruins (sometimes free), the Palace Chapel (free), and the Parliament (free when parliament is in session). You can learn more about opening hours and different ticket prices here.
Learn about history through art at Denmark’s largest museum. Located in an 18th Century Palace, this museum contains exhibits dating back all the way to the Stone Age. You can see archeological artefacts from Denmark and around the world, paintings, sculptures, as well as an interactive children’s museum. You can learn more about up-to-date opening hour and ticket prices here.
Originally built as naval barracks, Nyboder is a row of bright yellow houses dating back to the 17th century. At the time, the area had its own police, hospital, and school system, and in exchange, men were required to perform military activities for at least 20 years. Nowadays, anyone can live at Nyboder, however priority is given to army, navy, and Air Force personnel.
Just a few steps away you will find Kastellet, one of best preserved fortresses in Northern Europe which dates back to the 17th century. In the shape of a star with bastions at each corner, Kastellet was destroyed by the Swedish attack of 1658, then rebuilt with the help of the Dutch engineer Henrik Ruse. Today it is free to enter and walk around the grounds of Kastellet, however the buildings are off limits as they are used by the military.
Exit Kastellet through the north gate, and just a few steps away you will see the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid sitting on a rock in the harbour. Built in 1913, the Little Mermaid was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale. At just 1.25 m tall, the statue has been victim of multiple acts of vandalism throughout the years, but it has been restored every time.
Adjacent to Kastellet is the stunning Gefion Fountain which features a group of animals led by the Norse goddess, Gefjun. Legend has it that Gefjun turned her four sons into powerful oxen and ploughed the island of Zealand out of Sweden. The fountain is also used as a wishing well, and it is a must-see on your trip to Copenhagen, but be prepared for crowds. During the high tourist season, it is extremely busy.
From the Little Mermaid keep walking north along the Langelinie. This area was constructed in 1894 with the expansion of the harbour. Given the waters are pretty deep, cruise ships dock here, and you can get some interesting closeup views of very large ships. Additionally, you can also find some outlet stores, ice-cream vendors and people enjoying quiet strolls along the water.
Not too far away from the original sculpture, you can see the Genetically Modified Little Mermaid. It was created in 2006 by Bjørn Nørgaard, a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, as a way to poke fun at our postmodern society.
Have you even been to Copenhagen if you haven’t seen Nyhavn? Although this cute little canal is the most touristy attraction to see in Copenhagen, it is also the most famous landmark. Built as a harbour in the 17th century, today Nyhavn is a popular spot for unwinding. There are restaurants with outdoor seating, perfect for people watching. However I wouldn’t recommend eating here as the prices are severely inflated. But you can get an ice-cream cone to enjoy while walking around, or do as the locals do. Buy a sandwich from the grocery store, and sit on the edge of the canal while eating it.
One of the best things you can see and do in Copenhagen is to take a boat tour. There are multiple tours departing from Nyhavn, even on the coldest of days. From a boat, you can get more panoramic views, which you cannot get from the ground. Plus you can see quite a lot in a short amount of time. Tours take between 30-40 minutes, and it costs the equivalent of 10-15 USD per adult. You can purchase your tickets on the spot. Make sure to bring a warm jacket with you as it can get quite chilly on the boat due to the currents.
The Church of Our Saviour is a 17th baroque church that is famous for its outdoor spiral. The spiral was inaugurated in the 18th century and it takes you to the top of the tower, some 85 m above the ground, via 400 steps. There you can observe uninterrupted views of Copenhagen as far as the eye can see. It is free to visit the Church of Our Saviour, however during busy times you need to book a time online to climb the spiral. It is quite narrow and only so many people can climb it at any given time.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen during spring/ summer, then the Reffen Street Food Market should be on your list of things to see. With a focus on sustainability, Reffen is a hub for creativity and innovation both in terms of cuisine and development. Reutilizing an abandoned, former military space, Reffen features over 50 food stalls with Danish and international dishes. In addition there are interesting drinks, good music and a relaxed ambiance. Find out more here.
The second oldest amusement park in the world, Tivoli Gardens has been visited many times by the great Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney. But don’t let the word amusement park scare you. Aside from rides there are many more fun things to see and do at Tivoli; concerts, fireworks, delicious foods, beautiful scenery just to name a few. I would recommend spending at least half a day at Tivoli. Ideally visit in the afternoon so you can see the park in both daylight and night, when all the lights make it even more magical. You can see up-to-date ticket prices and opening hours here.
For the full experience I recommend starting your journey at 11:27 am at the military barracks adjacent to Rosenborg Castle. Follow the parade as they march towards Amalienborg Palace while playing musical instruments. At 12:00 the changing of the guard takes place in the palace square. Find out more interesting facts about the changing of the guard here.
Once you’ve seen the changing of the guard, you may consider going inside the Amalienborg Palace. Dating back to the 18th century, the palace is still in use as a royal residence today. A visit to Amalienborg Palace gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the royal family members. During your visit you can see Christian X’s study, the Fabergé Chamber, the Gala Hall, H.M. The Queen’s Reference Library, and more. At around 17 USD per adult, tickets are affordable for most travellers. You can find out more info here.
Right next to Amalienborg Palace you will find Frederik’s Church, also known as the Marble Church. Although it’s not actually made from marble, the church is distinctive for its beautiful green copper dome. The story of how the church was constructed is quite interesting. The foundation was laid in 1749, but then the architect died and the project was left to ruin for over 100 years. The project was then sold to a Carl to finish construction, but he used limestone instead of the marble blocks that were originally planned, due to tight budget. Today the church is open to the public every day, and it offers great views of the city from the dome. Note the dome can only be visited at 1 pm every day during summer, and 1 pm on weekends only for the rest of the year.
If you’re brave, take a plunge in the city harbour; the water may be cold, but it will be clean. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, just about anywhere you go in Copenhagen, you will see people swimming in the harbour. Some popular places include the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, Sandkaj bathing zone, Sluseholmen Harbour Bath, and Fisketorvet Harbour Bath. However, if you’re looking for a sandy beach and changing facilities, the best place to go is Amager Strand Park.
For a different type of adventurous experience, walk into Christiania. This rugged, grungy micro nation has been around since the 70s. The roughly 1,000 inhabitants who live here have built their homes themselves and make a living off the land as well as through running small businesses. Although the area is very peaceful nowadays, there have been many conflicts with police in the past. If you’re visiting Christiania, exercise common sense and do not take any pictures or videos as it is forbidden to do so.
Located right next to Tivoli Gardens, this wonderful museum has a little bit of everything. A wonderful indoor garden, a large collection of sculptures, paintings from world renowned artists, and a quaint café in the garden. What’s more is that Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek offers free entry on the last Wednesday of each month. See the up-to-date opening hours and ticket prices here.
Located in the heart of Copenhagen the Designmuseum is heaven for those interested in design and crafts. Inside you can see all sorts of decorative art, fashion and textiles, furniture, and industrial design from the Middle Ages to modern day. There is free entry to the shop, café, garden, and library, but you’ll need to purchase a ticket to see the exhibits. Click here to learn more.
Located on the harbour of Nordhavn, CopenHot is a unique spa experience. There are saunas with great views of the water, wooden buckets used as hot tubs, and cold plunges into the freezing harbour. In addition, you can rent hot tub boats and float on the harbour as you’re relaxing in your warm bath. Keep in mind you need to make your booking at least one day in advance; find more info here.
From furniture to clothing and accessories, Denmark is well known for its practical but creative designs. And there’s no better place to shop some of these design items than Copenhagen. My favourite place to shop for Danish design items is at the department store Magasin du Nord because you can find a large variety of products and prices under one roof.
For those with the budget, a Michelin Star dinner can be an unforgettable experience. Although it is a small city, Copenhagen is home to no less than 14 Michelin Star restaurants! So there are plenty of options to choose from, however they are very popular. For peace of mind, I suggest you make a reservation 3-6 months in advance. See my guide to all of Copenhagen’s Michelin Star restaurants here for more info.
If the weather permits and you are confident on a bicycle, cycling around Copenhagen is one of the best ways to see the city. You can see a lot in one day and get a full Danish experience. There are multiple places to rent a bike throughout the city, at train stops, bike shops, and even from your hotel/ hostel. Before getting on your bike, I suggest taking a few minutes to observe the locals. Take a look at how they signal and make left turns. Additionally, keep in mind that you are to stay on the bike lanes at all times! Furthermore, always double check that you locked your bike when stopping, as bicycle thefts are common.
Speaking of sightseeing, a fun and free activity in Copenhagen is to visit the colorful streets. While most buildings in Copenhagen are grey/ brick red, there are a couple of colorful, traditional streets. They make a great place for photography, or just strolling around. If you’d like to learn more, check out this article where I mention 9 colorful streets and places, including some hidden gems.
Located in the diverse Nørrebro district, Jægersborggade is one of the most fun streets in the city. It is a short street, but it’s packed with galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars. Have a pastry, buy some vintage clothes, and admire the youthful crowd.
Also located in the Nørrebro district, you will find Assistens Cemetery, the final resting place of the beloved authorHans Christian Andersen. Cemeteries in Denmark are treated more like parks compared to other countries around the world. Thus it is perfectly acceptable to walk around, sunbathe, and even have a picnic at the cemetery. And this one in particular is especially popular since Nørrebro doesn’t have many green spaces.
If you’re living in Copenhagen or visiting for longer than 5 days, you may consider going on a day trip. Copenhagen is fairly close to multiple other towns and cities, and it is well connected by a network of trains. There are day trips you can take from Copenhagen that take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day. Some options include Malmö in neighboring Sweden, and Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. If you’d like to learn more, check out this article with 12 Copenhagen day trip ideas.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen during the month of December, stopping by at least one Christmas Market is a must-do! They are not very big, but there are a couple of them throughout the city. Do keep in mind that most of them close before Christmas, around December 22nd-23rd, with the exception of the one inside Tivoli Gardens. If you want a more comprehensive guide on Copenhagen’s Christmas Markets, check out this article.
Denmark may not have any mountains, but you can go skiing year-round at CopenHill. This inner city ski slope is located on the roof of an energy plant in northeast Amager. It is free to climb to the top and admire the views, but you have to pay for skiing. In addition, there is also a climbing wall and a café. You can find more info here.
For the adventurous and non-claustrophobic, Cisternerne offers a unique experience. What used to be an underground water reserve is now used as an exhibition space. Light installations and concerts are some of the events that took place at Cisternerne. However, you can also take a guided tour of this underground labyrinth even when there are no scheduled events. Please note that Cisternerne closes during the winter season; you can learn more about it here.
Situated in Frederiksberg, right beside Cisternerne is the Copenhagen Zoo; a must-see if you’re travelling with children. Founded in 1859, it is also one of the oldest Zoos in Europe, and it houses over 4,000 animals. There are pandas, polar bears, elephants, hippos, and more. Spanning over 11 hectares and plenty of food options to satisfy every craving, it is easy to spend a whole day at the Copenhagen Zoo.
A part of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not, the Hans Christian Andersen Experience is a must for those of you who grew up reading his stories. This interactive exhibit takes you through his childhood in Odense, his journeys across Denmark and Europe, as well as binging his stories to life. Learn more about it by following this link.
The largest in Norther Europe, the Tycho Brahe Planetarium is a great stop for anyone interested in rocks and space. It is home to the largest lunar rock outside of the United States. Recently the Planetarium underwent extensive renovations, which resulted in the opening of a new exhibit about the elements that make up a human and how they came from space. Additionally, you can also watch educational movies about space and life; they can provide headphones for English narration. You can learn more about it here.
Whenever you are in Copenhagen, you must try some pastries. They absolutely live up to the hype! They are buttery, airy, and bursting with flavor. Regardless if you prefer sweet or savoury pastries, there is something to please everyone. Finding good pastries in Copenhagen won’t be hard as there are bakeries pretty much everywhere; the most popular ones include Meyers Bageri and Lagkagehuset.
Do you fancy a fun treasure hunt to do with your friends/ family while discovering Copenhagen? The Institute of Wonder offers just that. Follow clues and discover stories about interesting people and places, solve puzzles and find hidden gems. Treasure hunts take about 2 hours to complete and there are three options to choose from: Meatpacking District, Christiania, and the Assistens Cemetery. You can purchase your puzzle book here and either pick it up in Copenhagen from a pickup point, or have it shipped to your home.
Young and old, come have fun experimenting with science! Housed in the former bottling facility of Tuborg, the Experimentarium has been around since 1991 as a non-profit foundation. Learn about the science and technology methods of the past and present, through play and interaction. You can find more info about the Experimentarium here.
Go on a magical walking tour around Copenhagen using the Questo app to search for clues and discover interesting places. Visit the Little Mermaid, see Hans Christian Andersen’s house in Copenhagen, and more attractions. The quest takes around 2 hours to complete, but you can take as much time as you want to. This is a fun, cost-effective way to discover the city on foot with your entire family.
Having been around since 1748, the Royal Theatre is a beautiful Baroque building with a lavish interior. Here you can see the Royal Danish Ballet, one of the most renowned ballet-companies in the world. Additionally, all performances are state-subsidized so tickets are quite affordable. In fact you can find tickets for as low as 110 DKK, which is just under 16 USD! See the calendar and purchase tickets here.
In an old basement underneath Det Ny Teater you will find Restaurant Teaterkælderen. With a focus on sustainability, the restaurant serves modern French-Nordic dishes prepared with seasonal, organic ingredients. And while you eat, your servers will sing and entertain you. A pretty interesting experience! You can find out more and make a reservation here.
Located in the neighborhood of Nørrebro, Superkilen park was created to bring locals and immigrants together. Neighbors which came from over 60 different countries were consulted on what elements to include when building the park. As a result, you can observe benches from Cuba, a fountain from Israel, swings from Afghanistan, ping pong tables from Spain, lamp posts from Italy, and more.
Danish Dream Puffs, or Flødebolle as they’re called in Denmark, are little traditional sweet snacks. They are made up of a biscuit/ baked marzipan base, a fluffy marshmallow piped over the base, and then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. Although sweets of this kind exist at the grocery stores in most countries, the ones in Denmark are really on another level. Especially when you get them from a chocolate shop/ bakery. They are fresh, the marshmallow is divinely light, and the chocolate is amazing. You can find them pretty much everywhere in Copenhagen, but your best best is at Torvehallerne.
Have you ever wondered what a traditional Danish fishing village looks like? This is your chance to find out. Located at the southern tip of the Amager Island, Dragør is only 13 kilometers from Copenhagen City Center. It takes around 45 minutes to get there by bike, or about 35 minutes to take a train to the airport and a bus from there. Experience the Old Town (which was voted one of the most beautiful towns in Denmark), stroll around the port, have meal on the waterfront, and unwind in this peaceful little town’s atmosphere.
Illum is a department store with the most beautiful and expensive designer clothes and accessories. Even if you’re not planning on spending thousands on a handbag, you can still have a good time at Illum. Go to the top floor and enjoy a delicious pizza, preferably sitting outside. On a warm, sunny day, the atmosphere and views out there are fantastic!
Spanning 6 kilometers in the center of Copenhagen, the Lakes are always a popular meeting point, a spot for relaxing, and a place for strolling or jogging. And when the weather permits, you can also rent a swan paddle boat and see the city from a new angle. The Lakes are quite shallow and very calm, so you can really relax and soak up the view without having to put too much effort into peddling. You can rent the boats next to Dronning Louises Bridge.
If you’re visiting during the spring season, the cherry blossoms are a must-see. The best and most popular spot is at the Bispebjerg Cemetery. It is located in the Nordvest district, which is a little out of the city center, however you can take the metro to Nørrebro and walk a few minutes. When the cherry blossoms bloom, many come here to take pictures and enjoy the scenery, and it can become crowded. Other places to see the cherry blossoms in Copenhagen include the Langeline Park, and of course the Botanical Garden.
Next to the Bispebjerg Cemetery you will also find Grundtvig’s Church, which is one one the most famous landmarks in Copenhagen. What is unique about it is that it was built in expressionist style, pretty uncommon for a church. Built using 6 million yellow bricks, the construction on this massive church lasted 19 years from 1921 until 1940.
Ok, I know churros are not a traditional Danish thing, but I haven’t seen anyone outside of Denmark dipping churros into ice cream. I’d recommend getting them from the place on Nyhavn and eating them while walking around. Be prepared to wait a few minutes in line for them as they are super popular.
Lakrids, or liquorice, is a very popular snack in Scandinavia and the neighboring countries. If you’d like to try some, it won’t be hard to find. In fact it’s just about everywhere. You can find it in bulk at the grocery stores, covered in chocolate, stuffed inside of ice cream bars, salted, soft or chewy, and so on. One of the most popular options are the luxury Lakrids by Bülow. That being said, be careful if you’re buying ice cream bars from street vendors or grocery stores. What may look like chocolate filled ice cream could be in fact be filled with liquorice. So practice caution if you don’t like liquorice.
That being said, although the classic, black liquorice is available in most countries, I have come across a golden, caramel-colored liquorice in Copenhagen. I accidentally bought some chocolates filled with this type of liquorice and it wasn’t as strong in flavor as the black one. So if you’re not a fan of the black liquorice, try the golden one.
If you like burgers, you absolutely must stop at the former gas station turned burger joint. Although there are a few locations today, I’d recommend going to the original one on Borgergade for the full experience. Given that they sell out every day, it’s safe to say these are the best burgers in Copenhagen. They have beef, chicken, and vegan options. Fun fact: Gasoline Grill is the only Northern European burger joint to be featured in the Bloomberg top 27 best burgers in the world. You can see their menu and locations here.
From clothes to furniture, from thrift stores to upscale establishments, Copenhagen is the place to be for vintage lovers. Throughout the city you can find all sorts of stores selling unique and hard-to-find items, and these include: Veras, BauBau, Reseller, Carmen Copenhagen, O-S-V Second Hand Fashion, KLASSIK, Bruun Rasmussen, Storrs Antikvariat, and more.
Until recently, the Kongens Nytorv Square has been closed for a few years due to renovations and the construction of the new metro line. Today it is a popular meeting spot, as well as a place where concerts and various other activities are held throughout the year. Since it is right in between Nyhavn and Strøget, it is the perfect place to sit on a bench, unwind and eat a snack. There are multiple street vendors in and around Kongens Nytorv Square where you can purchase hot dogs (the traditional Danish hangover meal) and other snacks.
Located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Nordhavn, Konditaget Lüders is a one of a kind park situated 24 meters above the ground on top of a parking garage. Here you can find equipment for playing and exercising. There are: swings, trampolines, a 60 meter sprint course, box jumps, a climbing spiral, and more. In addition, you can also get pretty good views of Copenhagen, and even Sweden on a clear day.
The original Carlsberg Brewery from 1847 is now an interesting museum about beer and Carlsberg’s history. There are interactive displays on how beer has been made throughout the years, different bottle designs has used, and more. The tour ends at the bar where you can try a few samples. In the month of December, they also host a Christmas Market. After extensive renovations, Carlsberg Reopens in the Summer of 2023. Find out more here.
If you’re visiting in the winter season, you may want to warm up by going skating. Although it doesn’t snow much, winter in Copenhagen is cold enough to skate outdoors. Broens Ice Rink is the most centrally located one, situated right across the bridge from Nyhavn. The next best ice ring is the one at Frederiksberg Runddel, which is free to use if you have your own skates. Otherwise you can rent them for around 7 USD. Additionally, you can also skate on the Lakes if they are frozen well enough and you have your own skates.
Just north of Copenhagen you’ll find this forest park spanning an area of 11 km2. The park is also known as the Deer Park since there are over 2,000 deers freely roaming around. In addition there are small lakes, ancient oak trees, small animals, birds, and even the King’s hunting lodge, which is located in the center of the park. Furthermore, in 2015 Dyrehaven was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If all that walking left you tired, come and watch an interesting movie at the Cinemateket. You won’t find any mainstream films here, but you will find Danish and international films revolving around a specific theme. This could be a genre of films, a specific point in time, a specific director, actor, etc. Most movies are either dubbed in English or have English subtitles. There is also a restaurant, café, bookshop, and studio, so you could easily spend a full day here when the weather is not so great. Throughout the year, Cinemateket hosts multiple events and festivals; you can find more by going to this link.
Throughout the year there are multiple festivals in Copenhagen. Some are paid, some are free, and some are a mixture of both. There is something for everyone from young children wanting to play, to youth looking to party, and older adults seeking relaxation. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Copenhagen:
Tour Copenhagen’s most interesting architectural projects. From modern luxury residences to an old military warehouse turned restaurant, there is something interesting for all architecture fans. Please note this is a self-guided tour spanning over 22 kilometers. Therefore it’s best suited for someone who is confident on a bicycle. You can find more info here.
At 105.6 meters tall, the City Hall Tower is the tallest structures in Copenhagen. In addition to the amazing views you’ll get from the tower, you will also see various rooms including the city council chamber during your tour. Tours start at 1:00 pm every day, and if you’re lucky you may even see a wedding.
I know these buses don’t have the best reputation and many people deeply dislike them, but they can be a great way to see the city for some people. If it’s very cold or raining a lot during your visit, or if you have mobility issues these buses can be a great choice for you. The most popular option is Stomma and they have different types of buses depending on season, as well as audio guides in 11 languages. The tickets are valid for 24 hours and you can jump on and off the bus anywhere and explore at your own pace.
For 20 years Nørrebro Bryghus has been a popular spot for beer tasting and it’s easy to see why. Their beer has won multiple awards at biggest international beer competition, World Beer Cup. They have over 12 different types of beer you can enjoy, as well as beer tasting packages you can take to go. And since public drinking is legal in Denmark, why not just sit in the sun at a park and and taste some interesting beers?
Royal Danish Library also known as the Black Diamond is a stunning example of modern Danish architecture. The reason it’s called the Black Diamond is because the black irregular glass facets on the outside shine like a diamond on a sunny day. You can see this effect best from a canal cruise tour.
Inside you can find the National Museum of Photography which contains over 50,000 pictures dating back to 1839. Additionally, there are also frequent exhibitions, a bookshop, a café, a restaurant and a concert/ theatre hall. It is worth a visit when you’re in the area.
Also known as Børsen, the Old Stock Exchange is one of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen. In 1625 the Old Stock Exchange was enacted after King Christian IV realized the growing importance of trade. Legend has it that Børsen’s dragon spire protects the building from harm. So far the building has been spared any damage despite numerous fires breaking out in nearby buildings. The Old Stock Exchange building is not open to the public as it is used for official gala dinners, conferences, and parties.
Another fun activity to do with (or without) children is visiting Den Blå Planet, the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. In addition to the lovely sea otter family, you can also see bird colonies, Giant Pacific octopus, fish of the coral reef, the underwater tunnel, and a playground for children. There is also a café and the food is amazing compared to what you’d get at an aquarium in North America, so you don’t need to bring any snack with you. If you plan on visiting during a weekend or holiday, make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.
Situated right behind the Torvehallerne Food Halls, Israel’s Square sees over 5 million people passing through every year. The square is intended for leisure and physical activity; there are basketball courts, skateparks, stairs, fountains and benches. It’s a big, open backyard where you don’t have to spend any money to unwind or have some fun.
In recent years, communal dining has been gaining a lot of popularity in Copenhagen. So if you are an extrovert, looking to meet some locals, and have an affordable dining experience, this could be for you. Some places to experience communal dining include:
The Flying Tiger Copenhagen is a Danish chain that sells a variety of accessories, stationery, toys, snacks, and fun trinkets you probably have no use for. As designs are created in Denmark, the Flying Tiger is a great place to buy little souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones. There are stores throughout the city and you’ll most certainly walk past one during your visit.
A wide boulevard lined with trees, Frederiksberg Allé is a lovely place to visit when you are in Copenhagen. Unlike the city center, the upscale neighborhood of Frederiksberg is more quiet and relaxing, perfect for people watching and enjoying a meal or coffee outdoors. And Frederiksberg Allé in particular is abundant with places where you can eat a meal, have an ice cream, or a drink.
Built in Baroque style as a residence for the royal family, Frederiksberg Palace has been converted to house the Royal Danish Military Academy since 1869. You can only visit the Palace on the last Saturday of each month except July and December. You can find more info here.
However, the Palace gardens are free and open to the public everyday. The gardens are quite extensive with hills, lakes, canals, rich in flora and fauna, a Chinese Pavilion and more. It is exceptionally beautiful in the spring time when all the flowers are blooming. During the warmer months, the Frederiksberg Gardens are a lovely spot for suntanning, picnics and outdoor games with friends and family.
Kødbyen, or the Meatpacking District, is located in Vesterbro and used to be the heart of Copenhagen’s meat industry. Today, this is a fun and hip area with multiple restaurants, bars, and clubs. On a sunny day, this is the place to be! Although very casual in nature, some of these restaurants are world-renowned and you should stop by if you have the opportunity. They include:
One of the least well known works of art in Copenhagen, the Agnete and the Merman Statue is located underwater next to the Højbro Bridge. Story has it that a young woman Agnete impulsively married a merman and had 7 sons with him. Together they lived underwater until one day she went to revisit her old life on the land, never to return again. The sculpture depicts the merman and his 7 sons begging Agnete to return to them.
Although not a traditional dish, sushi is a very popular food in Copenhagen. And with the abundance of fresh, cold water fish, sushi in Copenhagen is pretty delicious. It’s fatty and melts in your mouth, without being too fishy. My favorite one that I tried was Sticks’n’Sushi. I particularly enjoyed the cosy outdoor seating at the Borgergade location right across from Gasoline Grill.
Located in Nordvest Copenhagen, is a small, private museum than not many people know about. The Barbie Museum is the private collection of an old lady and entry is available by appointment only. There are over 3,000 Barbie dolls in the collection dating from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The museum has been around for almost 3 decades, and tickets only cost 30 DKK, which is under 5 USD. Book your visit and find out more info here.
One of the oldest streets in Copenhagen, Magstræde is also pretty colorful. It is mostly a residential street, with just a few stores, making it a pretty quet place during the day. A perfect place for a little photoshoot.
If you’d like to visit more colorful streets in Copenhagen, check out this article.
These have been my suggestions for 86 things to see and do in Copenhagen.