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Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Top attractions in Copenhagen

Some sights and attractions are almost synonymous with Copenhagen. We've gathered them here. Most are within walking distance from the city centre and you are free to pick and choose between the Copenhagen classics. With a Copenhagen Card , you'll have access to more than 80 attractions.

Copenhagen Zoo

Copenhagen Zoo

With more than 4,000 animals from all over the world, Copenhagen ZOO is one of Denmark's most visited attractions.

Den Blå Planet, National Aquarium Denmark

Den Blå Planet, National Aquarium Denmark

Is it better down where it's wetter? Find out at Denmark's National Aquarium.

SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark

SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark

Denmark's largest art gallery, SMK has an outstanding collection of Danish and international art.

Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace

Take a peek behind the scenes of the Danish Royal Family.

Bakken

A unique mini theme park in the woods north of Copenhagen, Bakken is the oldest amusement park in the world. 

The National Museum

The National Museum

Denmark's showstopping national history museum.

The Round Tower

The Round Tower

This 17th Century tower and observatory is one of Copenhagen's most iconic buildings.

Experimentarium

Experimentarium

Forget any school memories you may have of boring science classes and dry textbooks. Denmark’s leading science centre has been capturing the imagination of adults and children alike for over thirty ye ...

Glyptoteket

Glyptoteket

Art and sculpture museum in central Copenhagen with a glorious winter garden.

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen houses some of Denmark's greatest cultural treasures. The castle was built 1606-34 by Christian IV as a pleasure palace. In the basement you will find the Danish crown j ...

Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace

Experience 800 years of royal history at the awe-inspiring Christiansborg Palace.

Kronborg Castle - UNESCO World Heritage

Kronborg Castle - UNESCO World Heritage

Drama-packed Kronborg is one of Northern Europe’s finest Renaissance castles. 

Frilandsmuseet

Frilandsmuseet

The Open Air Museum, Frilandsmuseet, is one of the oldest and largest open air museums in the world.

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Magical Tivoli Gardens is Copenhagen's central theme park. And one of the oldest in the world.

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Arguably one of Copenhagen's most iconic tourist attractions, the sculpture of The Little Mermaid was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s  famous fairy tale.

The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden

Ten hectares of gardens with a butterfly house and a tropical palm house dating to 1874. 

Natural History Museum of Denmark

Natural History Museum of Denmark

Natural History Museum of Denmark is the Danish national museum for nature and is beautifully located in the corner of the Botanical Garden close to Nørreport Station in the heart of Copenhagen. Marve ...

Planetarium

Planetarium

Discover the secrets of the universe at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium.

King's Garden

King's Garden

Denmark's oldest royal gardens.

Strøget

Copenhagen's largest shopping area is centered around Strøget in the heart of the city.

The Marble Church

The Marble Church

The city’s most impressive church, with views over the city from the top, the Marble Church is also known as Frederik's Church.

Skip the crowds and explore beyond the beaten track

We suggest you visit some of the neighbourhoods that makes Copenhagen special. It's a pocket-sized city, so you won't have to travel far. And see our editorial staff's handpicked tips for each month. 

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Editor's choice - Our 5 tips for this month

Each month the editorial staff at VisitCopenhagen give you five of their personal recommendations on what to do in Copenhagen. 

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15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Copenhagen

Written by Andrew Birbeck Updated Dec 28, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, is by far the largest city in the country. Here, you'll find a multitude of tourist attractions to please even the pickiest of travelers. For instance, the Parliament (Folketing) at Christiansborg , familiar to many through the Danish smash-hit TV series Borgen , and the residence of the Royal Family at Amalienborg are unmissable.

Arguably Scandinavia's most relaxed capital city, Copenhagen has a distinctly European feel, a friendly street-life, and unique café culture that will make you want to return time and time again. The city is perfect for wandering through at your leisure, or alternatively, make like a local and hop on a bike, the preferred mode of transport for many.

Throughout the city, there's a nautical vibe reflected in the colorful shore-side homes of Nyhavn and tall ships docked along the quays. Remember, too, that this is where many would claim the much-vaunted Nordic food revolution began. As a consequence, Copenhagen is home to a great number of cutting-edge restaurants including world-renowned Noma, where tables must be booked months, if not years, in advance.

For ideas on the best places to visit in this magical city, read our list of the top attractions in Copenhagen.

1. Tivoli Gardens

2. christiansborg palace, 3. national museum of denmark, 4. the national gallery of denmark (statens museum for kunst), copenhagen, 5. nyhavn harbor, 6. den bla planet, 7. the round tower (rundetårn), 8. amalienborg castle, 9. strøget shopping mile, 10. rosenborg palace, 11. kastellet & the little mermaid, 12. town hall square, 13. christiania, 14. bakken: the world's oldest amusement park, 15. copenhagen zoo, where to stay in copenhagen for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to copenhagen, map of tourist attractions in copenhagen.

Tivoli Gardens

Walking from Town Hall Square and crossing H.C. Andersens Boulevard brings you to the inspiration behind the Disney theme parks: the famous Tivoli amusement park and pleasure gardens dating from 1843.

It's impossible to miss the grand entrance at Vesterbrogade. Here, visitors are welcomed through a dramatic archway flanked by columns. No matter what time of year you visit, Tivoli feels festive.

Inside the gardens, you'll wind your way through a village complete with cute shops and a lake adorned by well lit trees that are mirrored serenely in the water. That's likely the only serenity you'll find in this miniature theme park, which brings out the kid in every visitor.

Here, you'll also find more than 20 attractions, including a roller coaster; roundabouts; halls of mirrors; pantomime, puppet, and open-air theaters; a wealth of restaurants and cafés; flower gardens; and a Moorish-styled concert hall, which is particularly pleasing when lit up at night.

The park is famous worldwide and appears in many movies. Indeed, some might say it's the most famous attraction in Copenhagen. At Christmas, Tivoli becomes an extravagantly decorated wonderland.

Address: Vesterbrogade 3, Copenhagen

Official site: www.tivoli.dk/en

Christiansborg Palace

On the tiny island of Slotsholmen is the Danish seat of government and an attraction that should top any visitor's agenda. Christiansborg boasts more than 800 years of history and today, the palace is home to the Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office, and the Supreme Court.

In addition, several parts are still used by the Royal House, although thankfully, much is open to the public. Occupying the site where Bishop Absalon built the earliest fortifications of the city in 1167, the ruins of the bishop's castle and the medieval fortress were discovered when the present palace was under construction and can now be toured.

Among other points of interest are the Royal Kitchen, Royal Reception Rooms, Royal Stables, and the Palace Chapel. Opening hours for each section of the palace can vary since they are in use, so be sure to check ahead if you are interested in a specific area.

Address: Christiansborg Slotsplads, Copenhagen

Official site: http://kongeligeslotte.dk/da/slotte-og-haver/christiansborg-slot.html

Christiansborg - Floor plan map

An easy 10-minute walk from Tivoli along Vestergade brings you to the National Museum (Nationalmuseet), a must-see attraction for anyone with an interest in Danish history and culture.

Some impressive runic stones are on display here, and the Danish history collection includes a sun chariot (cult object in the form of a cart) that is more than 2,000 years old, Romanesque and Gothic church fittings, Danish porcelain and silver, and collections of antiquities and coins.

The ethnographical collection, including items from Greenland, gives an excellent impression of life among the Eskimos. Inside, you'll also find collections from other interesting areas including, Asia, Africa and Oceania, as well as the culture of the Indians.

That's not all! Here, you'll also find the Prince's Palace (1744), a Rococo building influenced by the French style of the period. Around five-minutes' stroll from the National Museum, Thorvaldsen's Museum is also worth a visit to view spectacular works from this famous Danish sculptor.

Address: Ny Vestergade 10, Copenhagen

Official site: http://en.natmus.dk/

The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst)

The National Gallery of Denmark displays the largest collection of Danish art from the 1700s to the present day, as well as impressive works from around the world.

Highlights include the Danish and Nordic art exhibition, which spans 150 years, as well as paintings by the Dutch Masters, Edvard Munch, and Picasso among others.

Natural light floods the upper floors giving the gallery a wonderful, airy ambience. Be sure to pick up a map before exploring all the collections, so you don't miss any of the impressive works.

Once you've finished appreciating the art, take a break at the on-site café. It is particularly pleasant and a great place to unwind and soak up the surroundings.

Address: Solvgade 48-50, Copenhagen

Official site: www.smk.dk

Nyhavn Harbor

To the rear of Amalienborg lies Nyhavn (New Harbor), which is flanked by a street of the same name. This enchanting area is a hub of activity, especially during summer. Brightly painted gabled buildings line the canal, adding a splash of color to dreary days and enticing visitors to stop in for a peek at the wares for sale in the shops and a tasty bite in the restaurants and cafés that call this place home.

At the end of the harbor, an anchor serves as a memorial to Danish sailors who lost their lives in World War II. Nyhavn was once a disreputable quarter of the city, but now, with its majestic feel, it is a particularly charming part of Copenhagen that features in countless images of the city.

Idyllic museum ships lie at anchor, including a lightship (Fyrskib) dating from 1885. From Nyhavn, hydrofoil and catamaran services operate to Sweden, as well as sightseeing trips around the harbor and along the canal.

Den Bla Planet

Although you won't likely notice this from the ground, Den Bla Planet (a.k.a. the National Aquarium Denmark ) was built to resemble a whirlpool. Think that's cool? Head inside where the aquarium's wow factor is even more impressive!

The largest aquarium in Northern Europe, Den Bla Planet is one of the best attractions in Copenhagen. The building's aluminum-covered walls evoke rolling ocean waves while the aquarium's inner pathways flow like tributaries from the central core through eight sections.

These paths are lined by close to 50 aquariums and installations that house everything from eagle rays to turtles to hammerhead sharks to seahorses to moray eels to alligators. There is no shortage of creatures to see here.

Whether you're hoping to spot ocean animals up close or are interested in the marine life that call tropical rivers and lakes home, you're sure to find something inspiring in this venue. Watch the otters play, touch a creature in the tropical touch pool, or visit the café for a treat.

Address: 2770 Kastrup, Copenhagen

The Round Tower (Rundetårn)

On Købmagergade is the Round Tower (Rundetårn), a 36-meter-high structure built as an observatory in 1642. It now also houses a small collection connected with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

A particular treat is the platform, reached by a wide spiral ramp. From the top are magnificent panoramic views over the city. A new attraction is the glass floor hovering 25 meters above the ground where you can peer down into the castle's core.

Fans of Hans Christian Andersen will be interested to know that the tower features in his well-known story The Tinderbox - "eyes as big as the Round Tower."

After taking in the views and getting your breath back, why not continue on with a short walk around the Old Town? Wander by way of Skindergade and Kejsergade to Gråbrødretorv , one of Copenhagen's most charming squares with its brightly colored old houses.

Address: Købmagergade 52A, Copenhagen

Official site: www.rundetaarn.dk

Amalienborg Castle

Less than one and a half kilometers from Rosenborg in the Frederiksstaden quarter, you'll find Rosenborg's sister palace, Amalienborg, along with its serene waterfront gardens.

The four palaces facing onto the square were originally built as homes for the nobility, but were taken over by the Royal Family after a fire at Christiansborg in 1794. The palace takes its name from Queen Sophie Amalie who had a sumptuous summer retreat on the site, which also burned down in 1689.

The area was designed to be a model society with the King as focal point and the aristocracy (the four palaces) surrounding him. Today, Queen Margrethe II and her family occupy the upper story of Christian IX Palace , and the Moltke Palace is used for official purposes. The soldiers of the Royal Guard with their bearskins and blue (on festive occasions red, white, and blue) uniforms are a unique symbol of the city.

Address: Amalienborg Slotsplads, Copenhagen

Amalienborg, Royal Palace since 1794 - Floor plan map

A stroll of around five minutes from Christiansborg takes you to the bustling shopping area of Strøget where you'll find a wealth of boutiques, cafés, and restaurants.

Strøget, a nickname from the 1800s, consists of several roads crisscrossing one another, beginning at Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) and ending at Kongens Nytorv. Some adjoining streets on the north have also been pedestrianized.

International brand-name stores such as Max Mara, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès tend to be at the end of the street facing the direction of Kongens Nytorv. Follow Strøget towards City Hall Square for more affordable shopping at H&M, Weekday, and Zara.

Rosenborg Palace

Less than 10-minutes' walk from the Round Tower and now home to some of Denmark's greatest cultural treasures, this castle was originally built by Christian IV as a pleasure palace.

Inhabited by the royal family until 1720 and after that used as a summer retreat, the castle and contents became a museum in 1838. In the basement are the Danish crown jewels and royal regalia.

Of particular interest are the Marble Room, a Baroque reception room, and the Knights' Hall with the Coronation Throne (used between 1871 to 1940), as well as the famous Rosenborg Tapestries, which have adorned the walls since 1693. Exquisite porcelain is also on exhibit, including the famous Flora Danica service.

Address: Øster Voldgade 4A, Copenhagen

Rosenborg Castle - Floor plan map

Let's face it: You can't visit the Danish capital without seeing the Little Mermaid , so head along the waterfront from Nyhavn to Kastellet (less than two kilometers) and take in the iconic statue and surroundings. Many boat tours also pass by the mermaid, but seeing it on land offers a much better vantage point.

Kastellet is the former Citadel of Frederikshavn, the oldest parts of which date from 1625. The Citadel buildings are well maintained and well worth exploring. The Little Mermaid (Den lille Havfrue), which you'll see from the shore, is the official emblem of Copenhagen.

The bronze sculpture, created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, is based on a theme from one of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, which tells the tale of a mermaid who once came up out of the depths of the sea because she'd fallen in love with a prince. Sadly, as the prince didn't reciprocate, she was forced to leave the human world and return once more to the sea.

You won't be able to get right up to the mermaid herself, perched on rocks just offshore, but there are plenty of perfect spots to pose in front of this famous statue.

Address: Langelinie, Copenhagen

Town Hall Square

Busy Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) is dominated by Copenhagen Town Hall (built between 1892 and 1905), which is based on a mix of Italian Renaissance and medieval Danish architecture.

For marvelous views, you can climb the tower; at 106 meters high, it is the tallest in the city. The building itself is richly adorned with sculptures and paintings.

Above the main entrance is a figure of Bishop Absalon in gilded copper, and in the Great Hall are busts of Danish notables such as Martin Nyrop (1849-1921), the architect who designed the building, the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1840), Hans Christian Andersen (1805-76), and the physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962).

The World Clock at the main entrance was designed and constructed by Jens Olsen in 1955 and shows not only the time and date, but also various astronomical constellations.

Address: Rådhuspladsen 1, Copenhagen

Official site: www.kk.dk

Christiania

Starting out as a hippy settlement more than 40 years ago, this unique and controversial area was firstly designated as a social experiment and is now owned by the residents.

Christiania is one of Denmark's most loved tourist attractions, and each year, this "freetown" lures up to a million visitors. Admittedly, it may not be to everyone's taste, however, it is a functioning alternative society, a place where many accepted norms simply don't apply, and people live by their own rules.

Cars are banned, bicycles are the main mode of transport, and horses roam free. Highlights are the handmade houses and buildings and the large lake where children splash around with each other on hot summer days. The small shops and cafés use a special Christiania currency.

Address: Christiania Freetown, Copenhagen

Official site: www.christiania.org

Roller coaster at Bakken

About a 20-minute drive north of Copenhagen, Bakken amusement park is a folksy version of the Tivoli , with numerous restaurants, cafés, and fun things to do — especially for younger children.

Believe it or not, this has been a leisure facility since 1583. There are no less than six roller coasters and more than 30 different rides, including a ghost train. Entrance into the park itself is free, allowing those who just want to stroll about and take in the atmosphere to do so without paying a fee.

The surrounding wood and parkland is particularly pleasant, and there are excellent train and bus links from the city-center for those who aren't driving. Nearby, you'll find Klampenborg with prestigious villas and excellent bathing.

Address: Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg

Official site: www.bakken.dk

Siberian Tigers at the Copenhagen Zoo

To the west of Copenhagen, a little more than three kilometers from the city center, lies the Zoological Garden (Zoologisk Have), founded in 1859 and one of the oldest and largest zoos in Europe.

The enclosures imitate the animals' natural surroundings as closely as possible. Here, you can watch polar bears, seals, lions, and other animals being fed. At the entrance, there's an observation tower.

Favorite exhibits are the bird lake with storks and pelicans, reptile house, monkey house, and lion's den among others. Of particular interest is the Norman-Foster-designed elephant enclosure.

Address: Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg

The best place to stay in Copenhagen is near the Old Town, where many of the major attractions are concentrated. The center of the Old Town is the Kongens Nytorv public square, with its statues, historical buildings, and cobblestone streets.

Major sights in the surrounding area include the famous Stroget pedestrian shopping mall and the Nyhavn Canal. More moderately priced accommodation can be found in the trendy Vesterbro area, also known as the Meatpacking District.

Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • In a wonderful location overlooking the Tivoli Gardens, just a short stroll from the Town Hall, the boutique Nimb Hotel offers luxurious, individually designed rooms and suites.
  • The modern Copenhagen Marriott Hotel occupies a prominent waterfront location on the city's harbor, a short stroll from the Tivoli Gardens and a couple of kilometers away from the Kongens Nytorv area.
  • In the up-and-coming Orestad area and adjacent to Scandinavia's largest mall, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers is a unique property, designed using sustainable principles and offering spacious rooms with expansive views. The Metro stop is right outside the hotel and the Old Town is a 10-minute ride away.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • In the hip Vesterbro neighborhood is the Andersen Boutique Hotel . Rather than a specific check-in and check-out time, this hotel offers a 24-hour rental known as CONCEPT24, which includes breakfast and begins at the time you arrive (just be sure to book it directly through the hotel).
  • Also in the same area is the Axel Guldsmeden hotel, with a Balinese-inspired décor and a wonderful courtyard with comfortable seating.
  • Conveniently located next to the main train station is the modern 161-room Absalon Hotel , with a variety of spacious rooms.

Budget Hotels:

  • The affordable boutique Rye115 Hotel was fully remodeled and updated in 2019, furnished with vintage Nordic furniture and décor. It is located in the Østerbro neighborhood next to the Trianglen St. Metro station and Fælledparken, a large park with a small lake.
  • With two-bedroom suites, perfect for families, the Wakeup Copenhagen is a block from the waterfront and a 10-minute walk to Tivoli Gardens.
  • For basic, low-cost rooms in a central location try the Hotel City Nebo , a short stroll from the train station.

Sightseeing :

  • If you're short on time and want to see as many sights as possible, the Copenhagen Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Bus and Boat is a convenient option. Accompanied by an informative commentary, this flexible tour allows you to combine four interconnected sightseeing routes, on land and water, stopping to spend time at your favorite attractions and hopping back on to continue the tour. The tickets are valid for 48 hours.
  • If you have even less time but still want to see Copenhagen's top sights, the Copenhagen 3-hour City Highlights Bike Tour includes bicycles and a professional guide. The tour includes 10 to 15 minutes at each stop for photographs and exploring; the route includes Rosenborg Castle, the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn street, Christiana, Christiansborg Slot, and several other attractions.
  • For those who want a tour with a different perspective, the two-hour Copenhagen Canal Tour is an excellent option. This small-group tour is adjusted to the interests of each group, so that you get the most out of your trip. The canal boat typically sails past around two dozen major landmarks including Frederiks Kirke, Christiansborg Slot, the Royal Danish Library, Copenhagen Opera House, and Nyhavn Harbour.

Save Money :

  • If you plan on visiting several of the city's attractions and want to save money, consider pre-purchasing a Copenhagen Card . This great-value card gives you free entry into 74 Copenhagen attractions (including Tivoli Gardens); free, unlimited use of the city's public transport networks; and discounts for certain tours, museums, and restaurants.

Copenhagen Map - Tourist Attractions

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Colorful Nyhavn in Copenhagen - La Sirenetta di Andersen

9 must-sees in Copenhagen

All capitals have their classic sights - the things you just have to see and do - and Copenhagen is no different . We will guide you to some of Copenhagen's most iconic attractions and experiences, from Nyhavn to Tivoli, Strøget and Amalienborg, so you can tick them off on your list.

Tivoli Gardens: A worldclass amusement park

Tivoli

Tivoli is the most popular attraction in all of Denmark for a reason. Over 4 million visit the park every year and it is not surprising considering how much Tivoli has to offer. Come for the wonderful atmosphere, the wild rides, the restaurants and the concerts. Tivoli is also open during Halloween and autumn holidays, Christmas and New Year and their new winter season in February.

Nyhavn: A Danish Classic

An iconic corner in Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

The name Copenhagen comes from the words for "Merchant Harbor" for a reason. Nyhavn used to be one of the hubs for the ship merchants of yesteryear. With its colorful facades, Nyhavn is a compulsory stop on the classic list. Although it may be busy with tourists from all corners of the world, finding a place on one of the many outdoor dining venues is usually easy. Sit down and enjoy a sandwich and a cold beer and indulge in some primo people-watching. Christmas time opens with a cozy Christmas market in Nyhavn, the epitome of hygge.

Amalienborg: The Queen's palace

Amalienborg Palace, the Queen's residence in Copenhagen

Amalienborg Palace is the Queen's residence in Copenhagen. The palace consists of four separate rococo palaces around a square, two of which are open to the public. One houses a museum where you can view almost 400 years of royal history in the form of paintings and other objects, and in the second you can get a close look at what the Danish royal residence is like on the inside. Do not miss the changing of the guard that happens every day at 12 noon.

Strøget: Copenhagen's shopping street

The popular shopping street Strøget in Copenhagen

Strøget is the central pedestrian street at the center of Copenhagen's major shopping area. There's everything you could want nearby, from budget options and small independent shops to some of the world's most exclusive brands. The stretches and the many small side streets are full of shops, cafes and restaurants with something for all tastes. If you want to shop for classic Danish design, you can visit Georg Jensen, Royal Copenhagen or Illums Bolighus.

Canal tour: See the city from the water

Copenhagen canal

When the weather is nice, a canal tour is a great way to see iconic sights around Copenhagen. Jump on at Nyhavn or near Christiansborg and follow a tour that takes you past the Opera House, The Black Diamond library and The Little Mermaid sitting on its rock. You continue through Christianshavn's cozy canals, full of houseboats and lined with charming old buildings. 

The Round Tower: Copenhagen's historic vantage point

Rundetårn in Copenhagen

The Round Tower, built in the 17th century, is Europe's oldest functioning observatory and is used extensively by amateur astronomers. Once you get to the top via the spiral ramp, you'll see a striking view of Copenhagen from a viewing platform running around the tower. Horses used to drag carts loaded with books up to the university library at the top, hence the spiral ramp instead of stairs.

Rosenborg Castle: A Renaissance gem in the middle of town

Rosenborg Castle in King's Garden, Copenhagen.

Rosenborg Castle is a 400-year-old Renaissance castle located in the center of Copenhagen. In addition to the beautiful exterior and the royal palace park, there is a lot to discover inside the castle. Inside, you can see three life-size silver lions keeping watch, and do not miss the Danish crown jewels that can only be worn by the Queen and only when they are within the borders of the country.

Christiania: Copenhagen's free town

Christiania in Copenhagen

Christiania is a colorful and controversial area in Copenhagen that is definitely worth a visit. The sanctuary was started as a social experiment in the 70's but has survived and is today a popular excursion destination for both tourists and Copenhageners. There are several good cafes and restaurants where you hang for a while and look at the people's life after a walk among the hilarious and odd houses of Christiania.

Please note that some visitors may find Christiania, particularly the area around Pusher Street, to be rough. For your own safety, we recommend that follow the Do's and Don'ts signs up at the entrances and refrain yourself from taking any photos or videos.

Smørrebrød: Classic Danish Food

Smørrebrød, Aamanns

We finish this list with a dish that is as iconic as Tivoli or The Little Mermaid, namely the smørrebrød (sounds kind of like "smuurreh-bruuldt"). Try this delicious open-faced sandwich at one of Copenhagen's restaurants for the perfect end to your trip. The hardest part might be choosing where to eat, like the popular Aamanns or at Schønnemanns, one of Copenhagen's oldest restaurants.

Add these to your Copenhagen reading list:

If you want to experience more than the common guidebook can tell you, you might want to take a peak at these articles.

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

19 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Although you won't hear about Copenhagen as often compared to cities like Paris or London , the Danish capital is full of wonderful sights and experiences to treasure. Beyond the traditional tourist sights   –   Tivoli Gardens ,  The Little Mermaid and

  • All Things To Do

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Nyhavn Nyhavn free

Situated in the central Indre By neighborhood, this bustling area once served as Copenhagen's commercial port. Today, the region features a variety of eateries inside its restored homes, some of which were built in the late 1600s. In fact, a few famous artists and writers formerly lived in Nyhavn, including Heinrich Gustav Ferdinand Holm (a painter and engraver best known for his Copenhagen depictions) and Hans Christian Andersen (who penned fairy tales like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling").

Previous visitors loved grabbing a drink or bite to eat in Nyhavn, although some cautioned that prices here are high and that it was touristy. Additionally, several raved about the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which takes place in Nyhavn every July. Many past travelers also recommended signing up for one of the area's canal tours with Stromma Denmark or Netto-Badene . Both operators' tours are available in English, last about an hour and depart daily from Nyhavn. Stromma Danmark's tours cost 129 Danish kroner (roughly $19) for adults and 60 kroner (approximately $9) for kids ages 6 to 15, while Netto-Badene's tours will set you back 8 euros (about $10) per adult and 3 euros (less than $4) for each child.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Kronborg Castle (Kronborg Slot) Kronborg Castle (Kronborg Slot)

U.S. News Insider Tip: Grab a bite at the neighboring Elsinore Street Food Market, where you can enjoy Moroccan tagine, Mexican tacos, Argentinian empanadas and more. – Leilani Osmundson, Digital Producer

Though you'll have to trek 30 miles north of Copenhagen to reach Kronborg Castle, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed structure in Helsingør can't be missed. Built in 1574, this Renaissance-style castle played a strategic role in Danish politics and commerce thanks to its location by the Sound Dues. The property also famously served as the setting for Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Unique features you'll find here include a 197-foot-long ballroom, a collection of 16th-century tapestries and the casemates, underground passages once used to protect soldiers and horses during wars.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot) Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot)

Located on Castle Island in Copenhagen's Indre By neighborhood, Christiansborg Palace houses offices for Denmark's queen, Parliament and prime minister. Rebuilt in 1928 after the two former palaces burned down, the current structure sits atop ruins from the original palace. Rooms inside the present-day palace include the Royal Stables, a 19th-century chapel, the Throne Room and a dining hall.

Visitors praise this palace's interesting exhibits and stunning architecture, adding that the property's tower offers breathtaking city vistas. To make the most of your visit, travelers recommend getting a ticket that allows access to all four entry points: the castle, ruins, Royal Kitchen and stables.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

Vesterbro Vesterbro free

U.S. News Insider Tip: When the weather permits, take a swim at Islands Brygge Harbour Bath. This open air swimming spot is popular with both locals and visitors. It's just over the canal from Vesterbro, easily accessible by foot or cycle. - Sarah Lempa

Hip and happening Vesterbro was formerly known as Copenhagen's red light district. Today, visitors can enjoy an eclectic mix of a classy restaurant scene, unique boutiques, buzzy nightlife venues – and a few lingering adult shops and strip bars. Vesterbro's Meatpacking District is notorious for throwing a good party, a place where you'll find everything from chill breweries to thumping clubs, plus a range of cuisine from food stands to fancy eateries with impressively designed dishes. It's a place to see and be seen, where the event calendar is full and the socialites frequent. If you're in the mood to stay out until sunrise, this is the place for you.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Rosenborg Castle Rosenborg Castle

Located west of Frederiksstaden, Rosenborg Castle was constructed during the Dutch Renaissance and completed in 1633 by King Christian IV. Today, visitors can see how the royal lived during that time, including the speaking tubes (the medieval version of intercom systems), the dining halls and the chamber where the king died in 1648. 

A favorite of past visitors was the castle's collection of Danish crown jewels. Many also raved about the property's superb architecture, though some wished there was more information displayed in each exhibit. Others suggested saving time for relaxing in the on-site garden. 

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Amalienborg Palace Amalienborg Palace

Right in the heart of Copenhagen lies Amalienborg Palace: a rich piece of Danish history where you can explore the royal grounds and learn about past decades in the on-site Amalienborg Museum. Every day, visitors can witness the changing of the royal guards at noon as they return from the barracks near Rosenborg Castle back to the palace. It's a sight to see, and so is the actual palace. Four ornately designed buildings – Christian VII's Palace, Frederik VIII's Palace, Christian IX's Palace, and Christian VIII's Palace – make up the grounds. In Christian VIII's Palace, you'll find the Amalienborg Museum which allows you to view the interior, more private rooms of the palace.

Amalienborg Palace remains the official residence for Denmark's royal family to this day, which makes it quite an interesting visit – a place where both centuries past and present moment collide. History buffs will particularly adore this attraction, not to mention everyone else who will more than likely enjoy a stroll around the stately grounds. Recent visitors had positive things to say about the changing of the guards, along with the architecture and overall palace presentation.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Copenhagen Walking Tours Copenhagen Walking Tours

U.S. News Insider Tip:  If your legs tire, rent a GoBoat and become the captain of your own canal cruise. I'd highly recommend packing a picnic for the ride with a few friends.– Sarah Lempa

Copenhagen's relatively small size and concentration of noteworthy sights in the central Indre By district make it easy to explore on foot. Available walking tours range from food-focused experiences with tastings to traditional walks that delve into the city's history.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet)

The National Museum of Denmark is considered one of Europe's best museums. It presents the broad spectrum of the country's history – from the days of the Vikings to the Danish Renaissance to the welfare state of the late 20th century. The museum's immense collection also includes artifacts from Danish pre-history, Egyptian mummies and coin exhibits from ancient Greece and Rome. It also features a separate children's museum that offers interactive exhibits for little ones, plus other sites throughout Denmark, including the Museum of Danish Resistance, located just north of Amalienborg Palace .

Past travelers described this museum as well-organized and informative, with an impressive amount of artifacts from around the globe. They found it to be well-maintained and easy to navigate.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

Tivoli Gardens Tivoli Gardens

Located just inside Indre By's southwestern boundary – a short walk from  Strøget  – is Tivoli Gardens. First opened in 1843, this property is now one of Europe's most visited theme parks, featuring an assortment of restaurants, theaters and dance halls. Younger children will enjoy the rides, games and shows in Rasmus Klumps World, but there are plenty more attractions for kids of all ages, including a restored roller coaster that was originally built in 1914. When you're not getting your thrills on the rides, stroll through a Chinese-inspired bamboo forest or the Nimb water fountains to admire the marine animals in the aquarium and more. The property also hosts ballets, concerts and other live performances.

Recent visitors said the rides and light installations (which are available every winter) are not to be missed, but some were disappointed with the high prices (rides require extra fees). Others noted that if you plan to visit in winter, do so during Christmastime, as the park and rides close from January to March.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

If you're a fan of art and archaeology, then you'll love perusing Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek's exhibits. Founded in 1888, this museum and research institute houses more than 10,000 pieces, including portrait heads from ancient Greece and 19th-century French sculptures. Famous artists represented here range from post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin to sculptor Auguste Rodin.

According to past visitors, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek offers an impressive collection that you can easily spend hours viewing. Previous museumgoers also enjoyed grabbing a coffee or bite to eat at the on-site cafe, citing its charming location by the property's Winter Garden as one of the main reasons to return.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke) Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke) free

One of Denmark's most iconic religious sites is the Church of Our Saviour in Christianshavn. Built in the 1680s and opened in 1696, this Palladian-style church was designed by Danish architect Lambert van Haven. Inside, you'll find a carillon with 48 bells, an organ built in 1698 and an altar that depicts a scene from the New Testament. But the church's standout detail is its oak spire. Created by Danish architect Lauritz de Thurah, the impressive spire features an outdoor spiral staircase, gilded iron rails and a gilded statue of Christ on a globe.

Travelers rave about the Church of Our Saviour's architecture, with many saying that the property's biggest draw is the view from its spire. If you want to climb the spire's staircase, time your visit on a calm, sunny day between late February and mid-December, since the spire closes every winter and on windy, snowy or rainy days. Visitors also suggest arriving early to enjoy more elbow room during your climb.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Round Tower (Rundetaarn) Round Tower (Rundetaarn)

Located a few blocks north of  Strøget  in downtown Copenhagen, the Round Tower, completed in 1642, is one of the city's many landmarks built during King Christian IV's reign in the 17th century. Designed as an astronomy observatory, the tower still serves that function in some capacity but is best known for its spectacular city views. The building also features the Library Hall, an exhibition space and event venue.

Visitors say this tower is an architectural marvel, adding that its sunset panoramas are especially breathtaking. But if you're out of shape, some caution that the climb to the top might be a little strenuous.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Botanical Garden - University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden - University of Copenhagen free

Relaxing and well-kept, the Botanical Garden at the University of Copenhagen is a welcoming place of respite in the heart of the city. As a part of the Natural History Museum, it holds the largest collection of living plants in all of Denmark. The Palm House, a Victorian-style building in the center of the garden, houses subtropical and tropical plants. There's also the Butterfly House within Palm House, which lives up to its namesake with butterflies of all types from chrysalis to flying in the air.

The winding paths of the gardens make it a formidable place to take a walk, read a book, or just hang out in the quiet. Well-shaded and lined with plant life of all types, there's always something new to stop and take a look at. Recent viewers praised the calming atmosphere of the garden, urging fellow travelers to take a break from the city life to enjoy some greenery. They raved about visiting on a sunny summer's day, but also encouraged year-round visits to take in the indoor plant life that stays vibrant even in the winter.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

Refshaleøen Refshaleøen free

For more than a century, Refshaleøen was merely a shipyard. Nowadays, the former industrial zone is a trendy area home to creative arts, cuisine of all backgrounds, and leisure areas to enjoy the outdoors. Makeover is an understatement – this district has now become a major social area, drawing both locals and travelers. The landmass of Refshaleøen is actually an island just northeast of Copenhagen's city center, jutting out onto the water across from the Langelinie pier.

Stop by Reffen , a well-loved street food market with plenty of options ranging from Danish to Nepalese, Greek, Mexican, and more. Art lovers will delight in Copenhagen Contemporary , a contemporary art museum with rotating exhibits. And for the adventurous souls: Copenhagen Cable Park offers an opportunity to try water sports in a safe environment.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Strøget Strøget free

U.S. News Insider Tip: When you're ready for a break from the touristy areas, hang out in Superkilen , a creatively designed park in Nørrebro. With a concrete hill decorated by wavy white lines and plenty of space to hang out, it's worth a visit. - Sarah Lempa

Situated in Indre By between H. C. Andersens Boulevard and King's New Square (to the west and east, respectively), Strøget is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe and Copenhagen's largest shopping area. It contains a series of interconnected streets that are lined with numerous boutiques and cafes. You'll find upscale brands like Burberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton here, so make sure to bring your credit card.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) free

One of Copenhagen's most iconic, yet petite, attractions is its Little Mermaid statue. Located just south of Langelinie pier in Østerbro, the statue is based on the fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. It is made of bronze and granite, and has been a fixture on Copenhagen's waterfront since 1913.

Although some visitors say this statue is a bit underwhelming to see, others recommend making the trek to it, citing its harbor view as its best feature. Tourists regularly flock here, so if you're hoping for a photo op, consider arriving early or late in the day.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

ARKEN Museum of Modern Art ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art sits right on the Køge Bay waterfront. This museum is surrounded by shorelines, and offers a tranquil break from the sidewalks and cycling paths of central Copenhagen. Not only is it full of unique exhibitions from both Danish and international artists, the building itself is a work of art. It was designed to mimic a ship, which is fitting considering Ishøj Beach is just steps away. The art exhibitions range from immersive installations to sculpture, video and digital art. Plus, rotating exhibits means there's always something new here.

Travelers loved the combination between modern art and nature, plus the on-site cafe and overall atmosphere of the museum. Many described it as a must-see when in Copenhagen, especially since it's quite easy to get to.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Freetown Christiania Freetown Christiania free

Ever-so intriguing, Freetown Christiania is actually a controversial part of Copenhagen due to its completely different set of rules – resulting from the fact that it's completely independent of the Danish government. Within the hippie community that calls Christiania home, cannabis trade is abundant and accepted. You'll find a list of rules near the district's main entrance on Pusher Street, one of which is a zero-tolerance policy for violence.

The area was formerly a military base, which was abandoned, leading to it sitting empty for many years. In the early 1970s, people began squatting there – resulting in an entire community of around 1,000 with their own rules and regulations separate from the Danish government. Within Christiania's walls, you'll find plenty of creativity, art, community social gatherings, cafes, and restaurants. The buildings are colorful, often adorned with murals and other artwork.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

Kastellet Kastellet free

Copenhagen's citadel, Kastellet, is one of the better preserved fortresses in the northern part of Europe. This star-shaped landmass is easy to spot on the map, commonly inducing curiosity of most who see it online before visiting in person. This 17th century fortress is accompanied by barracks, a church, plus a museum – although walking around the grounds feels like an entire museum visit in and of itself. Between the architecture and the waterfront location, exploring the grounds by foot is the best way to experience Kastellet.

Visitors described Kastellet as even better in person, a worthwhile addition to any itinerary in Copenhagen. On the shoreline, you can also see the famous Den Lille Havfrue – The Little Mermaid sculpture created by Edvard Eriksen.  Just south lies Langelinieparken, an open grassy area right on the waterfront.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

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The 20 best things to do in Copenhagen

The best things to do in Copenhagen showcase the highlights of a rather magnificent place, from open sandwiches to intricate architecture

Copenhagen is one of those cities you could spend weeks in, but even two or three days is enough to take in the mood of this fairytale capital. While many of its best cafes, restaurants and attractions are within walking distance of each other, you’re best off hiring a bike and cycling around the city, to truly immerse yourself in the culture.

Maybe you’re here for its galleries, its ever-expanding nightlife spots , or to explore the urban design that landed Copenhagen the title of UNESCO World Capital of Architecture for 2023. It’s the perfect place for mindful travellers too – we crowned Copenhagen the greenest city in Europe for its environmental innovation, from urban farms to sustainable fashion. Whatever the reason you’re here, read on for the best things to do in Copenhagen. 

RECOMMENDED: 🍽️ The best  restaurants in Copenhagen 🍸 The best  bars in Copenhagen 🏛️ The best  museums in Copenhagen 🛌 The best  Airbnbs in Copenhagen

This guide was last updated by Miriam Gradel , a writer based in Copenhagen. At Time Out, all of our  travel guides  are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our  editorial guidelines . 

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What to do in Copenhagen

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

1.  Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

A world-renowned art and sculpture museum in central Copenhagen housing Carl Jacobsen’s private collection of art and artefacts through 6000 years. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek  is one of Copenhagen’s most treasured museums, found right at the heart of the city. It’s been open to the public since 1897 and is renowned for its extensive collections of Mediterranean antiques and 19th-century art (among the biggest collections in the world). Exhibitions range from Ancient Egypt to the works of Manet and van Gogh, as well as sculptures from Greece, Denmark and France.

Why is it worth it?  Come for the art, and stay for the ambience – outside is a glass-domed Winter Garden, adorned with palm trees, statues and a trickling fountain and a cosy cafe from which to take it all in. Entry is free on the last Wednesday of each month.

Tivoli Gardens

2.  Tivoli Gardens

There’s fun for all the family at Copenhagen’s world-famous amusement park, which has stood on this site for more than 175 years and even inspired a certain Walt Disney. Adrenaline junkies will love the rides — including one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters, constructed in 1914. 

Why is it worth it?  It's not just the rides you should come here for: there's thrills to be found in Tivoli’s seasonal decorations, floral displays, fountains, carousels, lanterns and old-fashioned carnival games.

Statens Museum for Kunst

3.  Statens Museum for Kunst

Denmark’s national art museum  SMK  is home to an immense collection of Danish and European works dating from the 1300s to the present day. It's  Copenhagen’s most sizeable cultural attraction, and an excellent way to acquaint yourself with some of Denmark’s best-known works of art, including the masterpieces of the Danish Golden Age and Vilhelm Hammershøi’s highly influential interiors of 19th-century Copenhagen.

Why is it worth it?  All its exhibitions are great, but the 20th and 21st-century collection, housed in a striking modern extension, is fantastic. Plus, with its simple but scrumptious menu, SMK’s beautiful café provides the perfect pit stop.

Nyhavn

4.  Nyhavn

With its pastel-hued, 17th-century merchants’ houses, Nyhavn is Copenhagen at its picture-postcard finest. And  yes, it’s a tourist trap – but it’s a gorgeous one and well worth visiting if only to get the obligatory shot of its brightly coloured houses (three of which were once home to fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen).  Nyhavn is also a great place to join a canal tour or set off on a stroll.

Why is it worth it?  You can spend all day here. If you're hungry, there’s a bustling food market home to  POPL , where you can try a Noma burger . And to escape the crowds, pop into Kunsthal Charlottenborg , a baroque building on Nyhavn’s south side, home to a contemporary art gallery and a beautiful café, Apollo.

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

5.  Copenhagen Botanical Garden

Located in the city centre since 1870 and home to more than 13,000 plant species, Copenhagen's Botanical Garden  is the greenest place in town.  Highlights include a rhododendron garden, rock gardens featuring plants native to Europe’s mountainous regions, and the Palm House. The historic victorian green house features a terrace from which there is a grand view of the entire garden. During summer, visitors can also explore the garden’s butterfly house, and there’s a small shop selling plants and seeds, allowing you to take home some botanical magic as a souvenir.

Why is it worth it? I t’s ideal for a peaceful, leisurely stroll when you want to escape the crowds.

Rosenborg Castle

6.  Rosenborg Castle

This fairytale castle is one of Copenhagen’s oldest royal parks.  Built as a summer residence for Christian IV, the spectacular Renaissance castle Rosenborg Slot is home to the Danish crown jewels, several lavish rooms and a priceless wine collection.

Why is it worth it? The castle’s leafy surrounds are also delightful: the King’s Gardens (Kongens Have) is a much-loved green oasis where you’ll find a decent café, two pétanque pistes, a charming puppet theatre, and plenty of space for picnicking. 

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

7.  Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art  is an impeccably designed, impeccably located museum with a world-beating modern art collection. Visit for the art;  Louisiana’s permanent collection comprises more than 4,000 works produced since 1945, including pieces by Picasso and Giacometti, while its Sculpture Park houses work by Alexander Calder and Henry Moore.  There’s also Louisiana’s idyllic location by the coast, overlooking Øresund and with views of Sweden . Finally, there’s its gift shop, packed with classic and contemporary Danish designs, plus a wide selection of books and exhibition posters.

Why is it worth it?  Remember to bring your camera: the building itself is considered a significant work of Danish modernist architecture. 

Superkilen

8.  Superkilen

Superkilen is a 33,000-square-foot urban park designed with the help of the surrounding community. It  celebrates the multicultural melting pot that is Norrebrø and exemplifies the power of inclusive design. Constructed in 2012, it stretches for close to a kilometre through one of Denmark’s most ethnically and economically diverse neighbourhoods and contains more than 60 objects  that reflect the area’s diversity.

Why is it worth it?   Superkilen is all about the detail.  Look out for swing benches from Iraq, a boxing ring from Thailand, a slide from Chernobyl  and rubbish bins from Blackpool.

Smørrebrød restaurants

9.  Smørrebrød restaurants

Practically synonymous with Danish cuisine,  smørrebrød  comprises thin slices of rye bread topped with ingredients like pickled herring, battered plaice and chicken salad. Though you’ll find dozens of  smørrebrød  joints across the capital, it’s worth splurging and picking a place that uses fresh seasonal ingredients. Our favourites include old-school specialist  Kronborg , vegan-friendly Schønnemann  and  Aamanns 1921 , set in a historic building in the centre and happy to pair your dish with a glass of homemade snaps.

Why is it worth it?   Difficult to pronounce (try ‘smurr-brull’), Denmark’s classic open-faced sandwiches are a traditional lunchtime dish every visitor should try. 

Jægersborggade

10.  Jægersborggade

When you fancy a slow day wandering around and sampling delicious coffee, cakes and independent shops, this is the place – and it won’t look bad on your Instagram either. F avourites include  Inge Vincent ’s ceramics workshop, craft store  Vanishing Point  and jewellery designers  Ladyfingers . When you get hungry, stop at foodies’ paradise The Sixteen Twelve for brunch or grab a coffee and croissant at the Coffee Collective . Assistens Kirkegård, a leafy cemetery at the street’s southern end, is exceptionally picturesque and where famous Danes such as Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard are buried.

Why is it worth it? Cobbled streets, trendy bars, boutiques and cafés. Perfect for wandering (and photographing).

Sustainable Boat Rental

11.  Sustainable Boat Rental

One of the most enjoyable ways to see Copenhagen is by spending a couple of hours skippering a solar-powered boat, or joining a social sail with Hey Captain around the harbour.  No experience is required to operate a GoBoat or a FriendShip , but you can opt for joining a social tour with Hey Captain if you prefer leaning back and making new friends instead of controlling the wheel. All boats putter around at a leisurely pace, giving you plenty of time to take in the sights, including Christiansborg (aka the Danish parliament); the striking modern architecture of BLOXHUB , home of the Danish Architecture Center ; and the Royal Danish Opera House (not to forget the canals and multi-coloured houses of Christianshavn).

Why is it worth it? This might just be the highlight of your trip to Copenhagen. If you choose FriendShip or GoBoat, you can bring seven friends and a whole picnic (with prosecco, of course). 

Islands Brygge Harbour Bath

12.  Islands Brygge Harbour Bath

Denmark is full of harbour baths, and Islands Brygge has become one of the city’s most iconic spots for a swimming all year round. During the summer months, the harbour side gets packed with beachboys, regular swimmers and families alike. There are five pools, with the shallowest being 30cm deep. If you’re lucky, there’ll be an open salsa or bachata class at the nearby community centre – just follow the music. 

Why is it worth it? Especially in summer, you'll never regret a trip to the harbour baths.  Swimmers can take in city skyline views and follow up with a picnic on the nearby grassy area. 

Refshaleøen

13.  Refshaleøen

Refshaleøen is Copenhagen’s buzziest neighbourhood. On the northern outskirts of the harbour, this post-industrial spot is a creative quarter with a growing food scene.  Culture vultures shouldn’t miss the large-scale installations at the Copenhagen Contemporary art gallery, while design devotees will enjoy rummaging amid the mid-century furniture at the B&W flea market. Bouldering enthusiasts and novices alike can challenge themselves at Blocks & Walls, Scandinavia’s largest indoor climbing centre.

Why is it worth it? Foodies are spoilt for choice here. Thronging street food market Reffen (from March to September) offers budget-friendly options, while La Banchina is Copenhagen’s trendiest spot for sundowners (tip: bring a swimsuit for the sauna).

Torvehallerne

14.  Torvehallerne

Torvehallerne is a fantastic gourmet food hall, its twin glass halls housing a cornucopia of seasonal fruit and veg, baked goods, fresh meat and seafood. There are also plenty of tempting food stalls where you can pick up a scrumptious dish or two to enjoy on the go or at one of the tables outside. 

Why is it worth it?  This is a foodie's paradise.  Try the the gourmet porridge at  Grød , confit duck sandwiches at Ma Poule  and craft cocktails at  Pavillon De Verre .

Værnedamsvej

15.  Værnedamsvej

Connecting upmarket Frederiksberg with trendy Vesterbro, this shopping street oozes charm and has even been dubbed Copenhagen’s ‘Little Paris’.   From independent bookshops to exotic florists, you’ll find lots of lovely shops in this instantly likeable neighbourhood thoroughfare. We recommend  Café Viggo , which serves a mean galette, and  Falernum , one of the city’s fanciest wine bars.

Why is it worth it? Værnedamsvej gets its charming Parisian vibe from the presence of the city’s only French  lycée  and the array of bars, cafés and delicatessens that wouldn’t be out of place on the Left Bank. 

CopenHill

16.  CopenHill

Possibly Copenhagen’s quirkiest attraction, Copenhill is a ski slope atop a tall waste-recycling plant. Designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels, the artificial ski slope plus inner-city hiking area is the ultimate offbeat way to experience the city.  Certified climbers can also have a go at the world’s highest climbing wall, measuring 85 metres from top to bottom.

Why is it worth it? Oh, did we forget to mention? This isn't just for skiiers: Copenhill is also home to the best view of the city in the whole of Copenhagen, and you don't have to ski to climb the stairs. 

Cycle around the Havneringen (Harbour Ring)

17.  Cycle around the Havneringen (Harbour Ring)

To feel like a local, jump on a bicycle . Thanks to Copenhagen’s world-class cycling infrastructure, including miles of segregated bike lanes, peddling around the Danish capital is easy-peasy – and almost always the fastest way from A to B. The Harbour Ring (Havneringen) is a 13km marked route that takes in an array of big-hitting sights. You’ll discover how well-connected Copenhagen is. Just remember to stick to the city’s cycling rules.

Why is it worth it?  You'll whizz past eye-catching waterfront architecture such as the Black Diamond library extension, cross the city’s much-loved harbour bridges – such as artist Olafur Eliasson’s spectacular Circle Bridge and the elevated Cycle Snake – and catch some fresh air at the Amager Fælled nature reserve. 

Designmuseum Danmark

18.  Designmuseum Danmark

The Designmuseum is a museum for Danish design and architecture located in a former Royal Hospital and one of the country’s finest rococo buildings. The open museum garden, Grønnegården, is one fo the city’s best green spaces.   From furniture and ceramics to industrial design and textiles, the very best in Danish design is showcased at this renovated museum. The rococo building used to house Denmark’s first modern public hospital before it was transformed into a museum in 1926.

Why is it worth it?  Because there's so much to do here! If you pass through the museum halls and out on the other side, you'll find the open public garden that provides a mindful space in the centre of the city. The onsite public library is also the largest library dedicated to design and crafts in the Nordics, and the café provides scrumptious Danish classics made with local products.

Sydhavnen

19.  Sydhavnen

Authentic harbourside living gives this neighbourhood its local feel and charm. In Sydhavnen, enjoy swimming and watersports at Sluseholmen Harbour Bath (open May to March) or join a fermentation workshop at the urban community space BaneGaarden . Finally, take a break from the city with a walk alongside alpacas at the public nature area Sydhavnstippen.

Why is it worth it?   Set in nine restored wooden barns from 1909, everything within this food, innovation and activities space is repurposed to promote sustainable living and development.

The Six Forgotten Giants and Other Trolls

20.  The Six Forgotten Giants and Other Trolls

Put simply, these are g iant wooden sculptures of Scandinavian fairytale characters hidden around the city.  While you’re exploring Copenhagen, you have to check out the  Troll Map and hunt out the endearing wooden giants. The fairytale creatures were created by Copenhagen-based recycle-art activist, Thomas Dambo, who builds the sculptures from waste materials. Take a selfie alongside Kaptajn Nalle in Nordhavn, or grab a seat in the lap of Green George in Freetown Christiania.

Why is it worth it? For a nature exploration, seek out The Six Forgotten Giants; the 19-mile-long bike route will take you through lush forest and past calm waters on your journey to discover the quirky wooden sculptures.

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15 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

By Mary Holland and Jenna Scatena

Denmark Copenhagen Nyhavn Harbor

Whether you’ve spent months designing a carefully crafted itinerary or just arrived on an impromptu trip, you’ll find plenty to convince you to stay in Copenhagen just a little longer. From immersive, local-led canal tours to lush urban gardens, and even floating hot tubs that sail the city's famed canals, there's no shortage of entertainment in here. We did the hard part for you, and crafted a list of our favorite things to do in the capital. Whether you want to spend all day outside, or cozy up indoors, read on for our picks for what to do the next time you're in Copenhagen.

Click the link to read our complete Copenhagen city guide .

Denmark Copenhagen Castle Rosenborg Castle

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This castle dates to 1606 when it was built as a royal summer house by one of the most famous Scandinavian kings, Christian IV. Now it offers a glimpse into Copenhagen’s regal history, like a time capsule filled with treasures and works of art. Spend an hour or two here, walking the halls as Danish royalty once did. Don't miss the Knights' Hall with its coronation thrones. You'll also find the king’s private writing cabinet, living areas, and bathroom. There's also an impressive Venetian glass collection. 

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CopenHot is an al fresco spa ... sort of. There aren’t any massages here, but what it lacks in pampering it makes up for in coolness. Perched right on the water in the industrial-hip Nordhavn neighborhood, a cluster of wooden hot tubs and saunas overlook the water. Tubs can be rented for a group, or you can come to one of their open days. To warm up and chill out, you have several options. Barrel-wood hot tubs are filled with clean, mineral-rich saltwater and heated from below by a fire (note the dude chopping firewood on-site). The coveted sailing spas fit five people in a floating hot tub that navigate the canals. And panoramic saunas overlook the harbor.

The Alchemist Restaurant Copenhagen

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The Alchemist, a bucket-list dining destination, gears its menu around some 47 intricate, creative courses. While you may not like all of them—how could you?—you will either be challenged or pleasantly surprised. As such, this isn't the kind of place for a casual meal with the kids. On the contrary, it's where you come when you've saved up for months so you can celebrate a truly special occasion.

CopenHill Copenhagen

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Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, CopenHill is a multi-use waste-to-energy plant. Why would anyone possibly want to visit a waste-to-energy plant? Well, the building—a real architectural marvel that's worth seeing—has a ski slope, climbing wall, and cafe. Even if you have no interest in skiing down the 1,300-foot slope, you'll certainly be interested in seeing the action. At the very least, swing by the cafe for an apres-ski beer.

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Denmark Copenhagen Museum National Museum of Denmark

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Denmark’s largest museum is a stunning display of cultural history, both Danish and foreign. Located in the 18th-century Prince’s Palace, exhibits stretch back in time to the Stone Age and Viking Age, and up through modern Danish history. People from across Denmark and around the globe visit this world-class museum. Prepare for thick crowds, especially during high season. Tip: Get there early, and go on a weekday, if you can.

Refshaleøen Copenhagen

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Refshaleøen has some of the best restaurants in the city ([Noma](https://www.cntraveler.com/restaurants/copenhagen/noma), the [Alchemist](https://www.cntraveler.com/restaurants/copenhagen/alchemist), [Amass](https://www.cntraveler.com/restaurants/copenhagen/amass)) as well as some lesser-known favorites (Lille Bakery, La Banchina). For those who aren't that into food, the island is also home to CopenHill , where you can try your hand at skiing. The area is fairly spread out, but once you get to the island, there's a bus that lolls around, making it a no-brainer for anyone looking to try some of Copenhagen's best food.

Hey Captain Canal Tour Copenhagen

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A canal boat might sound like a generic tourist activity, but Hey Captain offers a fun, intimate look at the city and a window into daily Danish life. That's especially the case in summer, when locals laze on the docks and dive into the refreshing harbor water. Each boat has one guide and 12 guests, max, keeping the experience intimate and personal. The guides have extensive knowledge on the city, its history, and its architecture. They're also hired for their personalities—the mood is light and enjoyable.

Denmark Copenhagen Park Botanical Garden

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Copenhagen’s botanical gardens are a green oasis in the center of Denmark’s capital. It's got the largest Danish collection of living flora, including more than 13,000 plant species spread over ten hectares and housed in a complex of historic 19th-century greenhouses. The best way to approach a visit here is to prioritize what is in season. While you’re there, be sure to swing past the SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), the country’s largest art museum.

Denmark Copenhagen Museum Cisterns

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As an extension of Copenhagen’s Frederiksberg Museums, the Cisternerne operates as a venue for exhibitions and events—but it’s the space itself that is the permanent exhibit and primary attraction. Once a subterranean reservoir filled with 16 million liters of water, the cistern has been filled by an unconventional museum. The cryptic underground cave—the only dripstone cave in Denmark—is a gloomy labyrinth filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

Denmark Copenhagen Amusement Park Tivoli Gardens

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This famous amusement park combines manicured gardens and roller coasters in central Copenhagen, and has been attracting visitors since the 19th century, making it the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Visit at night when thousands of twinkling lights make it feel pulled from a fairytale. And not surprisingly it inspired the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney, who both visited. Be sure to grab lunch or dinner at the restaurant Gemyse, where plant-forward dishes are served inside a greenhouse and a large, lofty dining room.

Denmark Copenhagen Nyhavn Harbor

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Nyhavn, a 17th-century harbor, is easily the most iconic landmark in Copenhagen. Lined with wooden ships, modern boats, multicolored townhouses, and seafood restaurants, this port is a must-see, and its storied quay is perpetually bustling with locals and visitors. This landmark a public space, so it’s easy to come and go as you please. Nyhavn attracts a crowd as diverse as its history. Over the bridge in the neighboring hood of Christianshavn, you’ll also find some of the oldest houses in Copenhagen. Stop for a coffee and pastry at 108 before exploring one of the oldest parts of the city.

Biking in Copenhagen Things to Do

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Copenhagen is a marvelous city to see by bike. Grab a coffee from Prolog before heading south along the Cykelslangen (bike snake), which leads to the other side of the harbor. Bike onto Olafur Eliasson’s Circle Bridge, then ride back over the harbor on the new Lille Langebro bridge. Continue along the water to Nyhavn before riding back over the harbor along the Inderhavnsbroen, AKA the Kissing Bridge. In Christianshavn, you'll bike past the old Noma space and Restaurant 108—grab a pastry on the way—and over the Butterfly Bridge.

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Jaegersborggade, a cobbled street fringed with colorful buildings, has a slew of great restaurants, bars, and shops. Even though the stretch isn't terribly long, it's the type of place where you easily could spend an entire day. Have a pastry at Meyers Bageri, a coffee at Coffee Collective, lunch at Manfreds, a beer at Mikkeller & Friends, and dinner at Relae. Or, just spend $5 on a coffee and enjoy the browsing, strolling, and people-watching.

Denmark Copenhagen Cemetery Assistens Cemetery

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This famous cemetery is smack in the middle of Copenhagen’s hip Nørrebro district and doubles as a public park that people actually hang out at—and even sunbathe in. Pathways meander through gardens, meadows, and woods punctuated with tombstones of famous Danes. It’s very Nordic noir. Wander the grounds looking for familiar names on headstones, or simply appreciate the park for its lush natural beauty, peaceful gardens, and art sculptures.

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9 of the best things to do in Copenhagen

Caroline Sølver

Feb 5, 2024 • 7 min read

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Here are Copenhagen's unmissable experiences © Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Copenhagen's flourishing food scene , world-renowned architecture and furniture design, and rich history make the Danish capital a popular city to explore, even if you're  visiting on a budget .

To help you get the most from your time, here is our guide to the best experiences in Copenhagen , a surprisingly compact and easy-to-navigate capital city .

1. Wander the waterfront for classic Copenhagen views

One of Copenhagen's many charms is its harborside location and multitude of canals. The most iconic spot is  Nyhavn , known for its colorful 18th-century buildings and tall ships. Grab a few photos and enjoy a stroll around the beautiful waterfront – it is absolutely free, which is a win in a city renowned for being expensive.

Planning tip:  From Nyhavn, head to the Little Mermaid statue on the harbor, based on Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale. Along the way, admire the impressive Opera House , the striking Gefion Fountain and the historic, 17th-century Kastellet fortress, which is open to the public and free to visit.

People relaxing in a park in front of a building with two towers

2. Get a taste of the grandeur of Royal Copenhagen

Denmark has a rich royal history, with a monarchy whose origins date back over 1000 years. In December 2023, Queen Margrethe II announced her abdication, handing the throne to her son, the Crown Prince who became King Frederik X in January 2024. When in Copenhagen, King Frederik and his wife, Queen Mary, make their home at  Amalienborg . This elegant palace is made up of four buildings facing onto a central square, overlooked by the impressive dome of the Marmorkirken (Marble Church). 

The Royal Life Guard are on watch at Amalienborg 24 hours a day, with the Changing of the Guard taking place daily at noon. The palace is also home to a small museum, with a focus on kings and queens from the 1800s to the present day; it includes a treasury featuring a collection of Fabergé jewels.

The Royal Reception Rooms in the working palace of  Christiansborg include the ostentatious Throne Room and the elegant Great Hall, home to a collection of fascinating modern tapestries depicting over 1000 years of Danish history.

At Rosenborg , a former Royal castle built in 1606, rooms are packed with intriguing historical items, including Denmark's former coronation thrones, and the fantastic treasury includes the stunning Crown Jewels. Rosenborg Castle is located in the sweeping Kongens Have  (the King's Garden), perhaps the most beloved green space in Copenhagen. 

Boats on the canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Go boating on Copenhagen's canals

Experience Copenhagen from the water with a boat tour or kayaking adventure along the city's harbor and canals. It's a great way to explore, and you'll pass one of the city's architectural gems, the Black Diamond at the Det Kongelige Bibliotek, on the charming Christianshavn canal.

Hey Captain offers a fantastic small-group experience, with each comfortable craft seating up to 12 passengers. Drinks are included in the cost of the tour, adding to the relaxed social atmosphere. GoBoat lets you be the captain of your own solar-powered boat and also does "sail-in" concerts and other events on the harbor.

Larger companies such as Stromma and  Netto-Bådene offer one-hour canal tours on boats that can accommodate up to 150, which are a good-value way to get out on the water. And finally, GreenKayak  loans out kayaks for free in exchange for picking up a bucketful of trash while you're out on the water, helping to keep the waterways healthy and clean.

Planning tip:  Some of the boating services close for the winter months (between October and April), so check online in advance to see which are operating.

4. Take a dive into history at Copenhagen's best museums

Copenhagen's museums provide deep insights into the history of Denmark and its capital through incredible artifacts and engaging exhibits. Walk through thousands of years of Danish history at the  Danish National Museum , with an incredible collection that includes finds such as a Bronze Age sun chariot and Viking rune stones. The fantastic Stories of Denmark exhibit provides an intriguing look at Danish history, life and traditions from the Renaissance to the present day.

The  Museum of Copenhagen tells the story of the city with displays on buildings, people and culture, and interactive installations that bring history to life. At  Designmuseum Danmark , discover works by Danish design greats such as Arne Jacobsen, creator of the iconic Swan and Egg chairs, and explore how design plays a role in everyday life, from cutlery to typefaces.

The Danish Architecture Center , located in the harborside Blox building, has great exhibitions on the connections between Danish culture and the country's celebrated architecture and design traditions.

A slice of bread topped with meat, cucumbers, dried fruit, lettuce and orange slices

5. Taste the flavors of Copenhagen's Nordic cuisine

Since spearheading the New Nordic cuisine movement in the early 2000s, Copenhagen has gained a reputation worldwide for its food scene, with incredible dining opportunities around every corner. Today, there are 15 Michelin-starred restaurants in central Copenhagen and a multitude of Michelin-recommended options for enjoying this quintessentially Nordic cooking style.

The must-try lunch dish in Copenhagen is smørrebrød (slices of sourdough rye bread piled high with a variety of toppings such as meats, pickles and cheese). Visit Restaurant Kronborg for a taste of tradition or Aamanns 1921 for a more modern take on this classic dish. Other essential foodie experiences include sampling artisanal baked goods from the historic Sankt Peders Bakery , browsing the wonderful Torvehallerne Market , and stopping by a neighborhood pølsevogn (sausage wagon) for a Danish-style hot dog.

6. Shop for Danish design

There are many superb shops to visit in Copenhagen. Strøget is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in the world, stretching for close to a mile, and options here range from souvenir stalls and high street chains to international designer brands. Strøget is also a haven for lovers of Danish design, with iconic names such as Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen , alongside superb design shops such as HAY House and  Stilleben . Head to  Illums Bolighus to browse a range of Danish design brands and pick up high-quality mementos.

Local tip:  For something a little different, head to Værnedamsvej and Gammel Kongevej at the border of the Vesterbro and Frederiksberg neighborhoods – two streets brimming with independent shops, studios and Danish fashion brands such as Wood Wood and Ganni .

Cyclists ride through the hip streets of a city neighborhood, with independent shops and street art murals

7. Linger in Copenhagen's coolest neighborhoods, Refshaleøen and Nørrebro 

While Copenhagen has plenty of historical sights worth seeing, the capital also has modern, cool spots that Copenhageners take great pride in. Set aside some time to enjoy the hipster vibes of the Refshaleøen and  Nørrebro  neighborhoods.

Head to Refshaleøen by bike, have your coffee and croissant at La Banchina , and finish off the morning with a dip in the ocean, just like the Danes do. Continue to Lille Bakery or Øens Have , an urban garden, for a locally produced vegetable-based lunch or snack. Head back to Nørrebro and go shopping along the local's favorite street, Jægersborggade, then take another break at Coffee Collective , which serves the best coffee in Copenhagen, or a beer in the park from Mikkeller & Friends , which brews its own craft beer.

While you're here, take a stroll through Assistens Kirkegård , which is actually a cemetery but also a favorite spot for a walk for Nørrebro locals. Finish off your day with dinner at the fancy but budget-friendly Oysters and Grill , renowned for fresh seafood and steak. Then start the night with bottled beer at a bodega, a traditional, Danish dive bar – recommendations include Nørre Bodega , Understellet and Diligencen .

8. Let your inner child run free at Tivoli Gardens

Few capitals can pull off a whimsical amusement park right in the heart of the city, but Copenhagen can. Open for 175 years, Tivoli Gardens is Copenhagen's favorite intergenerational playground, an escapist fantasy of fairy-tale pavilions, romantic gardens and funfair rides. Kids will be transported to new lands by the Chinese lake, the Moorish palace, and futuristic creations like something out of the imagination of HG Wells. Add to this a busy schedule of fireworks displays, a pantomime theater, children's shows, and live shows running from ballet and classical music to rock acts. It's no surprise that this is one of the city's top distractions.

Two people with bikes in front of colourful walls covered in graffiti

9. Experience the counterculture of Christiania

A utopian commune founded by militant squatters in 1971, ramshackle Christiania remains one of Copenhagen's most distinctive corners. While opinions about its relevance in 21st-century Europe vary, the city's marijuana-scented "Freetown" continues to exude an almost surreal atmosphere – part shambolic circus, part makeshift architectural expo, part urban oasis.

This is the city's counterculture heart, home to highly principled environmentalists, craftspeople, old-school hippies and, admittedly, a fair number of people with drug and alcohol issues. Explore beyond its shabby main drag, and you'll be rewarded by a beguiling jumble of craft studios, tranquil trails and Copenhagen's kookiest, most imaginative dwellings. 

Detour:  When in Christiania, pay a visit to the nearby neighborhood of Christianshavn. Here you'll find picturesque canals with tiny, very old and crooked townhouses, sidewalk cafes such as Parterre and overall good vibes.

This article was first published March 2020 and updated February 2024

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20 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, From a Palace Visit to Waterfront Strolls

The Danish capital impresses with its culture, cuisine, scenery, and architecture.

Lindsay Cohn is a writer, editor, and avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents — and counting. She contributes to Travel + Leisure, Hotels Above Par, InsideHook, Well+Good, The Zoe Report, and more.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Lingxiao Xie/Getty Images

Copenhagen is one of Northern Europe’s most charming cities, overflowing with history, culture, and sights. It's easy to fill many days here, strolling in the photogenic canal district of Nyhavn, around Kongens Nytorv (The King's New Square), and through myriad museums and elegant palaces. The city's dynamic design and culinary scenes draw visitors, too. Galleries, furniture stores, and chic boutiques abound, as do superb restaurants and cafés to cozy up in during the cold winter months.

Whether it's your first trip to the Danish capital (in which case you will probably visit the most emblematic sites, and maybe snag a coveted dining reservation) or you’re a return visitor seeking out more unique experiences, these are the best sights and activities in Copenhagen.

Related: 13 Super Charming European Cities Well Worth a Day Trip

1. Stroll around Nyhavn.

Cultura RM Exclusive/Planet Pictures/Getty Images

There’s a reason 17th-century Nyhavn appears on so many postcards and travel brochures — one of the most beautiful places in Europe , this picture-perfect waterfront district runs from Kongens Nytorv to the harbor and is framed by colorful townhouses and boats bobbing in the canals. 

2. Ride a Nordic seaplane.

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It’s always a special experience to get a birds-eye view of a new city, especially one as lovely as Copenhagen. Cecilia Fonden, a concierge at d’Angleterre , a member of Leading Hotels of the World , suggests taking a Nordic seaplane as a method of sightseeing. “It flies just high enough so you can clearly see streets, canals, ships, coastlines, and iconic buildings.”

3. Visit CopenHill.

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Leave it to the Danes to construct a recreation area atop an active clean energy power plant. CopenHill welcomes visitors for skiing in the winter and hiking during the warmer months. 

4. Explore Rosenborg Castle.

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Originally built as a summer country home, the Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle houses sparkling crown jewels and other royal relics. Surrounding the stately structure are famously picturesque gardens.

5. Visit Kongens Have (The King's Garden).

Copenhagen is famous for its beautiful parks and public gardens. Topping the list of must-see green spaces, Kongens Have (The King's Garden) is Denmark's oldest royal garden and a centerpiece of the Rosenborg Castle complex. Fonden recommends bringing a blanket and enjoying a quiet moment under a tree in the heart of the vibrant city. 

6. Tivoli Gardens

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Fun for all ages, the legendary Tivoli Gardens is a historic and beloved amusement park with thrilling rides — including one of the oldest operating wooden roller coasters — entertainment, shops, restaurants, and seasonal events, from summer concerts to a Christmas market. 

7. Take a food tour. 

“Do your tastebuds a favor and go for a gastronomic tasting crawl with Foods of Copenhagen ,” Fonden said. This is a great way to discover hidden pearls of the Nordic culinary capital’s extraordinary epicurean scene. 

8. Eat in Reffen.

Hungry for more? Head to Reffen, the largest street food venue in the Nordic countries. The street boasts a variety of global stalls that serve everything from Afgan lamb kebabs to New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. It also has bars and boutiques and hosts special events like concerts. 

9. Harbor Baths

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“Copenhagen is surrounded by water so clean locals and visitors jump in to cool down on summer days. Some harbor baths [recreational bathing facilities] have platforms to jump from, others have pools for small children, and they all have lifeguards,” Fonden said.

10. Amalienborg Palace

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Located in Frederiksstaden, Amalienborg Palace is the official residence of the Danish royal family (Queen Margrethe ll still resides there in fall and winter) and it also has a museum that gives tourists a front-row seat to many interesting aspects of the monarchy.  Don’t miss the changing of the guards at noon.  

11. Take a canal boat tour. 

One of the best ways for visitors to see the city may be via a Hey Captain Boat , which takes passengers through all the canals of Copenhagen. “The storytelling and scenery are magical. It’s just like being in a Hans-Christian Andersen fairytale,” Fonden said.

12. Rent a GoBoat. 

Prefer to captain a vessel yourself? Rent a Danish-designed, solar-powered GoBoat and cruise along the waterways for a few hours. Pack a picnic with local food and beverages to really elevate the experience. 

13. La Banchina

A popular and oh-so-Copenhagen establishment, La Banchina is a walk-in restaurant and wine bar. It also happens to have a harbor dock for a refreshing dip and an onsite sauna.

14. Book at treatment at Amazing Space.

What’s a trip to Copenhagen without a little R&R? Below d’Angleterre , weary travelers will find a sanctuary of well-being called Amazing Space . The award-winning spa offers the only indoor pool in the downtown area, plus a steam bath, sauna, and Nordic treatments.

15. National Museum of Denmark 

Located in the city center near many other must-see attractions, the National Museum of Denmark is a treasure trove of Danish culture and history. It’s also home to interesting global exhibits that include African masks and Egyptian tombs. There’s an excellent onsite restaurant, too.

16. Shop in Strøget.

John Wilkinson Photography/Getty Images

The perfect place to stroll (and spend money), Strøget is Copenhagen's famous shopping area, and one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. Expect upscale boutiques, plus cafés ideal for taking a break from your retail therapy adventures. 

17. Copenhagen Zoo

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Planning a family vacation to the Danish capital? Visit the 11-hectare (nearly 30 acres) Copenhagen Zoo to see more than 4,000 animals from all over the world — including giant pandas, hippopotamuses, elephants, and polar bears.

18. National Aquarium Denmark

Whether you’re traveling with kids or just enjoy seeing colorful marine life up close, the National Aquarium Denmark will surely wow you. Northern Europe’s largest aquarium is home to thousands of fish and sea creatures, from sturgeon that live in Danish lakes to South American electric eels. 

19. Visit Christiansborg Palace. 

Chettaprin Pimontaranukool/Getty Images

The awe-inspiring Christiansborg Palace on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen traces its roots back 800 years. It currently functions as the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister's Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark.

20. Rundetårn 

pejft/Getty Images

Denmark has many iconic buildings, and Rundetårn, built by King Christian IV, is certainly one of them. Besides admiring the architecture, visitors can climb to the tower observatory for incredible views of the city. 

35 BEST Things to do in Copenhagen (Written by locals)

Living in Copenhagen has given us plenty of time to discover all the best things to do in the city!

It’s so wonderful to be able to walk out of our front door, jump on the bike, and be in the city in no time. And luckily for us, there is always something new to explore in Copenhagen whether it’s a new food market or a fun event – you can always find something worth doing in Denmark’s capital.

In this blog post, we’ll list some of the most popular things-, free things-, and most unique things to do in beautiful Copenhagen. So whether it’s your first time or not in the city, you can hopefully find inspiration for your next trip to Copenhagen in this guide.

We hope you’ll enjoy our wonderful city!

Please note:  Dear Reader, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more about it here:  Affiliate Disclaimer .

Best things to do in Copenhagen

No need to drag things out – let’s get straight to the point. Here are the best things to do in Copenhagen listed in no particular order.

1. Visit the Little Mermaid

Copenhagen’s most iconic landmark is definitely the Little Mermaid Statue, and it’s without a doubt a must see attraction for any first-time visitor.

While it’s not as powerful as the Statue of Liberty or as grand as Christ the Redeemer, it’s still a beautiful statue that deserves a visit. You can either visit it yourself or join this 2-hour walking tour in Copenhagen where you’ll also visit the Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid Statue is more than 100 years old and it has a great history behind it. The statue is inspired by the famous fairytale “The Little Mermaid” written by Danish writer and poet H. C. Andersen in 1837. The fairytale has since then been reinterpreted in movies, ballets, and musicals.

In 1909, Carl Jacobsen (son of the founder of Carlsberg) saw the “Little Mermaid”-ballet in the Danish Royal Theater, and he liked it so much that he decided to order a statue of the mermaid. The statue was modeled after 2 women: The Danish ballerina Ellen Price (who played the Little Mermaid) and the sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s wife. In 1913, it was finally revealed to the public and has since then been sitting on a rock in the ocean, welcoming the new visitors to Copenhagen.

Related blog post: Visit the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

Tourist taking pictures from the little mermaid

2. Enjoy the view at the Round Tower

Another popular thing to do in Copenhagen is to see the view from the Round Tower.

The Round Tower is an old historical building in the city centre of Copenhagen, which used to house the University Library and is currently Europe’s oldest functioning observatory.

We think it’s such a great building with its funny spiral ramp, its significant history, and its magnificent views over Copenhagen. The Round Tower is so unique and it’s a really good place to begin your exploration of Copenhagen because you get a full 360 view over the city from the viewing platform.

The entrance fee is only 40 kr. per adult or it’s free with the Copenhagen Card .

Related blog post: Visiting the Round Tower in Copenhagen

Round Tower Copenhagen from street perspective

3. Have fun in Tivoli Gardens

One of the top things to do in Copenhagen is to visit Tivoli Gardens! It’s rare to find an amusement park located right in the city centre of a capital city, but here we are! Tivoli opened in 1843 and remains the third oldest functioning amusement park in the world – you can read more about Tivoli’s history here .

There are several roller coasters and many other rides you can do in Tivoli. The most eerie one is probably “Det Gyldne Tårn”/”The Golden Tower”, which takes you 63 meters up high for a great view over Copenhagen only to drop you at a high speed… It should be really beautiful, but it’s a big NO for me (I’m afraid of heights).

Want more adrenaline? Try the roller coaster “Dæmonen”/”The Demon”.

Prefer to take it slow and experience something magical? Try “Den Flyvende Kuffert”/”The Flying Suitcase” and learn about H. C. Andersen’s fairytales.

Even if you’re not into rides and roller coasters, Tivoli Gardens is still a great place to visit because of its beauty – Notice how the buildings and flower gardens were inspired by the Orient. It’s a little beautiful oasis in the middle of a big city.

Tivoli is open during 3 seasons: Summer, Halloween, and Christmas – all seasons are great and the decorations in the last 2 are just incredible! Buy you entrance tickets with unlimited rides here and start exploring this magical place in Copenhagen!

Related blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen 2023

Tivoli Gardens, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen

4. See the colorful buildings at Nyhavn

Looking for all the other tourists in Copenhagen? Head to Nyhavn. This is where you’ll find the colorful, old buildings you see in any picture about Copenhagen. While it may seem very touristic, the area is actually full of history, so going here is a nice thing to do for any first-time visitor in Copenhagen.

Nyhavn dates back to the 17th century, when the Danish King decided to make a canal that led from the sea and into Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square next to Nyhavn). That way it was easier to drop off fish and other cargo directly into the city.

The houses in Nyhavn were mostly owned by fishermen, and the area became notorious for pubs and prostitutes. Today you won’t find any prostitutes at Nyhavn but you can still find a lot of historical ships located in the canal and a ton of restaurants serving fish and other classic Danish dishes.

Visiting Nyhavn is definitely one of the top things to do if it’s your first time in Copenhagen, but just beware of your belongings as it’s also the most touristic place in the city. I once stopped a thief from stealing someone’s camera (Superhero-badge to me!) and the owner didn’t even notice it got stolen!

Related blog post: What to See at Iconic Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Nyhavn, the most touristic spot in Copenhagen

5. Go on a canal tour

One of the best ways to experience Copenhagen is from the canals!

Whether it’s your first time in Copenhagen or whether you’ve been here a million times before, a canal tour is always fun. There is just something about getting on a boat and watching the city pass by.

You can find several canal tours in Copenhagen. Some tours are for big tourist groups, but they’re cheap (check out “Nettobådene” or “Stromma Canal Tours” which are both located in Nyhavn), or you can find a private tour, which will be more intimate but also more expensive.

Don’t know which one to choose? Then just go for the popular Grand Canal Tour from Nyhavn .

Related blog post: What to expect on a Canal Tour in Copenhagen

Seeing Copenhagen from different perspective on a Canal tour

6. Rent a boat

Want to be your own captain? Then go rent a boat!

One of the best and most fun things to do in Copenhagen is definitely to rent your own boat and sail around the canals. There are several companies that you can rent a boat from.

We’ve only tried to rent a boat through “GoBoat”. With this company you can rent electric boats, so they don’t pollute the ocean and they’re super easy to sail. You can rent a GoBoat from 1 hour and up to 6 hours, and the price depends on the amount of time you choose. There can be a maximum of 8 people in each boat.

Riding around the canals of Copenhagen with your friends is a really fun way to explore the city and see it from a different angle, so we can only recommend you to do this!

Boat rental with friends in Copenhagen!

7. Visit Christiania

One of the most unique places to visit in Copenhagen is Freetown Christiania.

The freetown was created back in 1971 when a group of people occupied an old military base and moved into the area. A new neighborhood in Copenhagen was formed with a strong focus on freedom, creativity, and community.

Today, Christiania has about 1000 citizens and is known for its interesting houses that are built by the Christianites themselves. It’s a cultural centre where you’ll find a lot of art, there are several live music venues to attend, and the area is located by the beautiful nature of Christianshavn’s Vold.

There is so much to see and do in Freetown Christiania, yet the area is mostly known among tourists for its open cannabis trade, which is both illegal to sell and buy in Denmark. But don’t let this intimidate you, it’s perfectly safe to visit the Freetown, so don’t skip out on this unique place in Copenhagen!

Christiania, Copenhagen

8. Eat your way through the Streetfood Markets

There are so many great things your tastebuds can discover on your trip to Copenhagen! The city is a thriving food capital where you can both find high-end restaurants and a lot of streetfood markets.

And we absolutely love the streetfood markets in Copenhagen!

However, it’s not really cheap like streetfood in Southeast Asia, but instead it’s often something hip and exotic you can get here. And when I say exotic, I mean everything but Danish… So if you love international foods like Italian pasta, American cheeseburgers, Mexican Burritos, or Greek Gyros – then this is the place for you!

The most popular streetfood markets in Copenhagen are Reffen, Broens Gadekøkken, Torvehallerne, and Tivoli Food Hall. If you want to stay in the city center, then I recommend you to try out “Broens Gadekøkken”, which is only a stone’s throw away from Nyhavn. Try Lola Impact’s Burrito and Nachos combo for 155 kr. It’s absolutely delicious!

Crepes wagon at Broens Gadekøkken, streetfood market

9. Try Danish Smørrebrød

If you’re not really into streetfood markets and instead prefer to try something very Danish, then go for the “Smørrebrød”.

People call it an open sandwich, but in my opinion that’s a huge misconception as it has nothing to do with a sandwich. Smørrebrød is a piece of Danish ryebread, which is covered with all kinds of god stuff like fish, eggs, and various cold cuts.

There are so many different combinations of Danish Smørrebrød and some of them even have funny names like: “Dyrlægens Natmad”, which means “The veterinarian’s late night snack” or “Sol over Gudhjem”, which means “Sun above Gudhjem”

One of the easiest places to find Smørrebrød in Copenhagen is at Nyhavn – most of the restaurants serve it. And if you really want to go full-on Danish, then try it with a Danish Snaps. Snaps is a liquor that Danes sometimes drink to Smørrebrød as a palate cleanser – absolutely horrible (in my opinion).

Not sure where to start your exploration of Danish food? Then check out this Culinary Experience Tour where you’ll get to try some Danish delights – Smørrebrød included.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

10. Visit the Queen at Amalienborg Castle

Another one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen is to visit Amalienborg Castle – also known as the residence of the Queen of Denmark.

Amalienborg Castle was built in the 1750’s and is actually 4 identical palaces combined, which were originally made for the nobility. However, after the fire at Christiansborg Palace, the royal family moved into one of the palaces. Since then, many Danish kings and queens have lived here.

You can freely walk around in the square between all the palaces. However, chances are you won’t see the queen unless it’s her birthday.

You’ll also notice the Royal Guard are placed at each palace to protect the Danish monarch. You can take pictures of them, but please don’t go too close and do show some respect.

It’s also possible to visit the Amalienborg Museum, which you’ll find in one of the 4 palaces. The entrance fee will set you back 120 kr. or you can visit the museum for free with your Copenhagen Card .

The royal guard parading and changing at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen

11. Get to know Denmark at the National Museum

Are you curious about Denmark’s history and cultural heritage? Then you should visit the National Museum of Denmark, which is located in the middle of Copenhagen.

You’ll experience life as a viking, see how Denmark got on during the Middle Ages, and you’ll even learn about Danish modern times. Basically, you get to know Denmark’s history from the prehistorical times, and you’ll finish the tour in the now.

There is so much to see in the museum, and it will take you a long time to get through all the different exhibitions. So make sure to either set aside a full day to visit the museum or just chose the time periods you find interesting. We really loved the Prehistoric Period! Check out the other historical themes on National Museum of Denmark’s website .

The National Museum of Denmark is honestly one of the best things to do in Copenhagen if you really want to get to know the country you’re in! You can easily buy your ticket here if you want to plan ahead.

copenhagen main tourist attractions

12. Experience Copenhagen’s Michelin Restaurants

If you’re into fine dining and creative, high-quality cooking, then check out one of the many Michelin Restaurants in Copenhagen.

There are a total of 24 Michelin Stars handed out to 14 different restaurants in Copenhagen. Even the two restaurants “Geranium” and “Noma” have managed to reach 3 stars, which is the highest possible! So it’s safe to say that you can get some incredible food experiences in Copenhagen.

Since fine dining is often expensive, Glenn and I don’t have any experiences to share with you in this area. But go check out the Michelin Guide to Copenhagen – you may get tempted!

13. Go shopping at Strøget

Do you love to shop? Well you’re in luck because you’ll (supposedly) find the World’s longest pedestrian shopping street named “Strøget” in Copenhagen. I write “supposedly” because there are only a few sources confirming this, and I haven’t been out with my measuring tape myself.

Anyways, Copenhagen as a hip fashion city in Europe. Scandinavian design generally has a strong focus on minimalism, sustainability, and high quality. So the style in Copenhagen is often low-key, clean-cut, yet bold. If that makes sense?

There are several malls located all around Copenhagen, but the two most famous department stores in the city centre are Illum and Magasin du Nord. I personally love Magasin Du Nord – here you’ll also get 10% discount on your purchase if you’re a foreigner (just show your passport).

Going shopping in the city center of Copenhagen is certainly one of the best things to do if you want to bring some of the latest Scandinavian trends home with you.

Shopping and hygge at Strøget, Copenhagen

14. Visit Rosenborg Castle and see the crown jewels

Denmark is one of the oldest kingdoms in the world, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find many castles around the country. Luckily for us, there is actually a classic Renaissance castle placed right in the middle of Copenhagen – this is Rosenborg Castle.

Rosenborg Castle was built around 400 years ago for King Christian IV. It was meant to be a pleasure palace to hold venues in the summer, but it quickly became one of the King’s favorite places to stay.

The castle is located in the middle of King’s Garden – a great hangout spot for local Copenhageners and tourists alike. You can easily visit the castle with your Copenhagen Card or pay the entry fee of 130 kr. Included in the price is both access to the castle and to the crown jewels.

I’ve been inside Rosenborg Castle on many occasions, and I still find it one of the best things to do in Copenhagen if you want to experience some Danish royal history.

Rosenborg castle in the middle of King's Garden

15. Drink beer in Carlsberg City

Do you like beer? Then the best thing to do is visiting Carlsberg City in Copenhagen. Carlsberg city is a new neighborhood that’s located in the former brewery site of Carlsberg.

Carlsberg was founded in 1847 by Jacob Christian Jacobsen, and up until 2008, the Carlsberg brewery was located at Valby Bakke in Copenhagen. This means that Carlsberg was actually brewed in Copenhagen for 160 years! During these years, Carlsberg was an enclosed industrial area, but after the move, Carlsberg opened their doors to the public.

Today you can visit the old brewery site, explore the new neighborhood, and go on a beer tasting tour!

So if you like beer and want to go on a tour around the old brewery site, then you should definitely check out Carlsberg on your trip to Copenhagen. NOTE: Carlsberg Tours are closed until the summer of 2023 due to renovation.

One of many interesting streets in Carlsberg City

16. Get the best view at the Tower of Our Saviour’s Church

One of the greatest things to do in Copenhagen is to visit the golden, spiral tower at Our Saviour’s Church and get the best views over the city!

Our Saviour’s Church was finished in the 1690’s, and just a little over 50 years later, the beautiful tower was added. Visiting this incredible tower has become one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Copenhagen.

Walk the 400 steps up to the top of the 90-meter tall tower, and enjoy the 360-view of Copenhagen, which only gets better and better when you ascend the spiral staircase. It’s absolutely eerie and uncomfortable for people with fear of heights (like myself), but the views are just breathtaking!

Visiting the Tower of Our Saviour’s Church will set you back 69 kr. or you can visit it for free with your Copenhagen Card . The Spiral Tower is open every day from 9 AM – 8 PM, but last ascend is it 7:30 PM.

Related blog post: How to Visit Our Saviour’s Church Tower in Copenhagen

Most spectacular view from Copenhagen at the Tower of Our Saviour

17. Eat your way through all the good stuff in the bakeries

Are you into bread, pastries, and other baked goods? Then you’re in luck! Because Copenhagen has some incredible bakeries. In my opinion, you’ll find the best baked goods in the world here – but I’m also biased being a Dane myself.

You can get the typical baked goods like bread and cake, but if you really want to try something Danish, then go for “Wienerbrød”. Wienerbrød is the name of a category of Danish, classic pastries. Try the Kanelsnegl, Rosenbrød, Tebirkes, Frøsnapper, or go for a classic Chocolate Croissant. All these are things we sometimes eat in the morning with a cup of coffee.

If you instead want to try a classic Danish cake, then go for Jordbærtærte, Christianshavnertærte, or Kajkage – all of which you can often find in the bakeries.

The baked goods that you find in Danish bakeries are of very high quality, which can often be seen in the price. But it’s oh-so-good!

You can either try the classic bakery chains like Meyers, Lagkagehuset, Reinh Van Hauen, and Emmerys – or you can go check out something more artisanal like Andersen & Maillard. Either way, trying out the bakeries is a great way to start your day in Copenhagen!

Croissant with espresso flakes in Copenhagen

18. Visit Copenhagen’s Zoo

Are you fascinated by animals? Then go check out the Zoo in Copenhagen.

The Zoo is located in Frederiksberg, only a metro ride out of the city center, and you know you’ve reached your destination when you spot the famous Zoo Tower. Everyone in Copenhagen knows the Zoo Tower, which is a 43 meter tall observation tower that has some great views over the park and of Copenhagen in general. You can actually spot the Zoo Tower from the Round Tower if you look closely!

Anyways, you can find many animals in the Zoo such as elephants, pandas, and baboons – just to name a few. You’ll also find several restaurants and café options in the park. The entry ticket for a 12+ years old adult is 209 kr. and for a child below 12 years old is only 119 kr. You can either buy your zoo entrance in advance here or enter for free with your Copenhagen Card .

While we’re personally not the biggest fan of watching caged animals, we do know that the Copenhagen Zoo is also actively contributing to preservation of animal species and nature – and we’ll gladly support that.

Sky view of Copenhagen's Zoo

19. Explore Copenhagen’s parks & Gardens

One of the best things about living in Copenhagen is to visit the many parks and gardens – it’s also one of the best free things to do in the city.

Most of the parks in Copenhagen have something to offer. For example, you can watch the Zoo elephants from Frederiksberg Garden, or you can enjoy the view of Rosenborg Castle from King’s Garden, or why not take a walk in Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden?

There are so many incredible green areas in Copenhagen, and they’re used all-year-round. Even during winter, you’ll see stubborn locals walking around the parks trying while to warm their frozen hands on a take-away coffee.

So make sure to check out some of the great parks in Copenhagen if you need a little break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Related blog post: 10 Best Green Areas & Parks in Copenhagen

Flock of ducks in Frederiksberg Garden

20. Go swimming in the ocean of Copenhagen

Did you know that there are several designated swim areas throughout the city of Copenhagen? It’s not that many capital cities where you can just jump in the ocean and cool off like that!

So one of the best things to do in Copenhagen during the summer months is definitely to go swimming and sunbathing with your friends. But you can actually spot people jumping in all-year-round because some are into winter-bathing. It’s a big NO from me, but don’t let me stop you if you visit Copenhagen during winter.

You can find designated swim areas called “Harbor Baths” at Island’s Brygge, Nordhavn, Kalvebod Brygge, Refshaleøen, and Fisketorvet. Please use the designated areas when you go swimming since it’s not legal to just jump in wherever you want. There are many boats in Copenhagen’s canals and you could easily create a dangerous situation.

If you prefer to go to the beach, then you can also find two beaches in Copenhagen named Svanemøllen Beach and Amager Beach. We absolutely love to spend time here during the summer!

Water enthousiast jumping from raised platform in Island's Brygge - swimming in Copenhagen

21. Enjoy the heat in the Palm House

One of the things I love to do during winter in Copenhagen is to enter the Palm House in the Botanical Garden. The humidity is so high in here that it feels like visiting Southeast Asia.

The Palm House is basically a massive greenhouse that was built between 1872-1874 and is inspired by the former Crystal Palace in London. Today the Palm House is home to many exotic, tropical plants – including a ton of palms as you may have guessed by now. You can also walk up the spiral stairs and see the Palm House from above.

When you’re done visiting the Palm House, then make sure to enjoy the view at the front of the greenhouse where you can see the Botanical Garden with Copenhagen’s rooftops behind it.

The entrance fee to the Palm House is 60 kr. and a visit to the Butterfly House is included in the price.

Palm House in Botanical Garden, Copenhagen

22. Be adventurous at Copenhill

Visiting Copenhill is without a doubt one of the most unique things you can do in the city. Copenhill is Copenhagen’s center of urban mountain sport where you can ski, sledge, hike, run, and climb.

Copenhill is such a unique project – the building is actually a waste plant that burns trash and creates energy from it! But on the building’s “roof”, Copenhill and all its sport activities was born, which makes the building a multifunctional project.

Walking up Copenhill is one of the best free things you can do in the city, and you’re rewarded with a nice view at the top. However, if you want to ski down the hill, then you (of course) need to pay for it. There is also an afterski bar at the top of the hill.

Related blog post: Best viewpoints in Copenhagen

Copenhill seen from below

23. Visit Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace is without a doubt one of Copenhagen’s most important and iconic buildings. The Palace was built in 1740 and used to be the resident of the Danish royalty.

However, about 50 years later (in 1794), the palace burned down and wasn’t completely rebuilt until 1828. But the palace didn’t last for long as it unfortunately went up in smoke again in 1884. After it was rebuilt again in 1928, the Danish King decided to stay at Amalienborg Palace where the Queen of Denmark also lives today.

Christiansborg Palace instead became the office of the Parliament of Denmark. This means that all the politicians and the Danish Prime minister have their daily routines and offices in a royal palace. I mean, that’s not a bad work environment, am I right?

Even though a lot of history went up in smoke with the 2 fires, you can still visit Christiansborg’s royal reception rooms, royal stables, royal kitchen, Palace chapel and even the ancient ruins of the castle on which Christiansborg Palace was built. It will cost you 175 kr. to see it all or you can enter for free with your Copenhagen Card .

Street view with Christiansborg Palace in the back, Copenhagen

24. Get on a bike

One of the most Copenhagen-like things you can do is to go and explore the city on two wheels.

Copenhagen is one of the biggest bicycle cities in the world. The locals always bike from A to B, so the bike lanes are really good, and the cars are used to looking out for bikes. I honestly feel pretty safe biking around in Copenhagen.

That being said, it can be pretty intimidating for someone who’s never really been bicycling before because of the amount of bicycles in the city. I mean, there are 5 times more bicycles than cars in the city, so you have to share the lane with a ton of other bicycles and give them space.

If you’re used to biking and you feel comfortable enough, then we urge you to go and rent your own bike. If you’re not so comfortable on a bicycle or if you want to combine a bike ride with a sightseeing tour, then you can easily go on a guided bike tour around Copenhagen .

Either way, I hope you get on two wheels because it really is the best and most fun way to see the city.

Everyone bikes in Copenhagen!

25. Visit the largest aquarium in Northern Europe

If you love to explore the ocean and everything that lives in it, then one of the best things to do in Copenhagen is to visit Denmark’s National Aquarium named “Den Blå Planet” – literally translated into “The Blue Planet”.

Den Blå Planet is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe with a total of 7 million liters of water and several sea creatures and animals. You can spot sea otters, sharks, stingrays, and even an electric eel!

The aquarium is easy to get to with public transportation . Just take the Metro to “Kastrup”, which is the stop before Copenhagen Airport. From here you just follow the signs to the aquarium – the walk only takes about 5 minutes.

The ticket price ranges between 185-195 kr. for an adult ticket depending on what time of year you visit. Order your tickets online and see the prices for children at Den Blå Planet’s website .

Denmark's National Aquarium - inside "Den Blå Planet"

26. Pay your respect at Assistens Cemetery

In the middle of the Nørrebro neighborhood, you’ll find a yellow wall that is several 100 meters long – you won’t miss it. Behind this wall is Copenhagen’s most famous cemetery named “Assistens Kirkegård”.

But it’s not an ordinary cemetery. Within the yellow wall, you’ll find a unique, green space where locals go on walks and enjoy the peace and quiet that you rarely find in a city.

Buried in the cemetery, you’ll find several famous Danish people. Most well-known are the writer and poet H.C. Andersen and the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. But you’ll also find the graves of physicists Niels Bohr and H.C. Ørsted. And you’ll find the grave of beloved, Danish singer Natasja Saad.

A lot of great Danish people were buried in this cemetery – and are still being buried here today. Yet, the cemetery doesn’t have a gloomy feel to it, on the contrary, it’s quite a peaceful and magical place to go for a walk in Copenhagen – it definitely deserved a spot on this list of best things to do.

H.C. Andersen's grave stone at Assistens Cemetery

27. See the art collection at Glyptoteket

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (or “Glyptoteket”) is housing one of Denmark’s most interesting art collections. Here you’ll find pieces that go back thousands of years in history – such as marble statues, paintings, and even mummies!

Glyptoteket came to life when Carl Jacobsen (the founder of Carlsberg Brewery) wanted to share his art collection with the public. He was a passionate art collector and loved to collect pieces that made an impact – art that spoke directly to you.

So in 1897, Carl Jacobsen opened the monumental building “Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek” to the public and displayed his art collection inside. The building and art collection as a whole is very grand and beautiful – and it’s definitely a place that’s recommended a visit.

The building is easy to find. It’s located in the city centre right next to Tivoli. The entrance fee is 125 kr. per adult or it’s free with the Copenhagen Card .

Street view from "Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek" - things to do in Copenhagen

28. Visit the magnificent Marble Church

Right next to Amalienborg Palace, you’ll find a beautiful church – this is Frederik’s Church, also known as “Marmorkirken”, which directly translates into the “Marble Church”.

The church is one of the grandest and most iconic religious buildings in Copenhagen – its big, beautiful copper-green dome can be spotted from many places in the city. In addition to its grandeur, Frederik’s Church also has an interesting history.

King Frederik V laid down the first foundation stone of the church in October 1749. But it would take 145 years until the church was finally finished!

For many years, there was a dispute about the design of the church. Then the main architect died in 1754 before the church was finished. And the King (the man behind the project) passed away shortly after in 1766, so the project eventually came to a complete stop in 1770. Thus, the half-built church was left to become ruins.

However, in 1874, the project was sold to Danish financier and industrialist named Carl Frederik Tietgen, who continued building the church. Some changes in the design was made – and the church was eventually not built in marble. Yet, it’s still named the “Marble Church”.

Frederik’s Church finally opened in 1894, and it’s still open to the public today. So make sure to go by the church when you’re out exploring the best things to do in Copenhagen. It’s free to go inside during its opening hours, although you’ll experience the real beauty of the church by watching it from the outside.

Street view from the Marble Church (Marmorkirken)

29. Get lost in Copenhagen

One of my absolute favorite things to do in any city is to go get lost – same goes for Copenhagen! So what do I mean with getting lost? I mean that you should just follow your feet and see where they take you. Getting lost is not about not being able to find your way back to the hotel…

There aren’t any unsafe areas to avoid, so it’s really just about going in any direction you feel like.

Some of the best places to visit in Copenhagen are in fact a little bit hidden away from the main tourist spots in the city. For example, walk in the opposite direction of the the main city centre from Nørreport Station and you’ll find the beautiful lakes of Copenhagen. Or, walk away from the city centre and towards Christianshavn and you’ll find the most charming canal in the city.

There are so many opportunities to get off the main tourist trail in Copenhagen! Even in the city centre, you’ll sometimes find a hidden passage, living area or a square that few other tourists are visiting – like Gråbrødre Torv or Nyboder.

One of many great places to get lost in Copenhagen: Nyboder

30. Watch the sun go down at the lakes

One of the best things to do in Copenhagen during the late hours of the day is to visit the lakes – also known as “Søerne”.

There are 3 lakes located in Copenhagen, which are divided into 5 basins. They stretch from Østerbro Neighborhood all the way to Vesterbro Neighborhood. The lakes are without a doubt one of the most used places in Copenhagen – you’ll always find locals who are out running, walking their babies in strollers, sitting on the benches with a Café Latte or reading a book. This goes on all-year-round.

The lakes are very popular with locals, yet a lot of tourists never make it here.

The best time to visit the lakes are just before sunset when the colors of the sky reflect into the lakes. The sight is so beautiful and peaceful that you forget you’re in a capital city. Glenn and I live close to “Sortedams Sø” – one of the lakes. We absolutely love to go out for an evening walk here, and we really recommend it for any tourist who wants to experience a different side of Copenhagen.

Sunset view at the lakes, Nørrebro

31. Visit the National Gallery of Denmark

An absolute must-do for any art enthusiast is to visit the National Gallery of Denmark.

The National Gallery of Denmark is only located a stone’s throw away from Rosenborg Castle and the Botanical Garden. So make sure to stop by here if you’re already in the area.

In the gallery, you’ll find several permanent exhibitions of Danish and European Art from different time periods such as the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, and the Modern Times. So it’s safe to say that there is something for everyone in the National Gallery of Denmark.

The gallery is open every day except for Mondays, and an entry ticket costs 120 kr. per adult – or it’s free with the Copenhagen Card .

Entrance of the National Gallery of Denmark

32. Rent a kayak

One of the most fun things to do in Copenhagen is to rent a kayak and sail around the canals of the city!

You can either go to Kayak Bar in the city center and rent a kayak for about 295 kr. per hour for 2 people, or you can go to Green Kayak, and get yourself a kayak for free if you contribute to collecting waste in the canals of Copenhagen – I absolutely love this initiative!

While Glenn and I haven’t had the chance yet to rent a kayak, it really does look like a lot of fun! And I think it’s a great way to see the city from the canals if you’re not comfortable with a boat or you prefer the thrill of being closer to the ocean.

Kayaking in Christianshavn

33. Experience Copenhagen’s nightlife

Are you here for the parties? Copenhagen has an excellent nightlife scene with a big variety in different clubs and bars.

If you want to go clubbing or find a karaoke bar, then you should definitely stay in the city center. There are some streets in particular, which is where you’ll find most bars and clubs. Check out Vestergade and Gothersgade if you’re into the more rowdy places or want to go on a pub crawl.

Go to Nørrebro Neighborhood or the Meatpacking District in Vesterbro if you’re looking for a bit more of a low-key, hipster-type crowd.

Personally, I prefer to just go to a nice bar with a good vibe and spend the evening here. There are many great bars located all over the city, so just go out and try your luck! Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, then why not join a bar crawl ?

Nørrebro nightlife, Blågårdsgade

34. Explore Copenhagen’s different Neighborhoods

Copenhagen is so much more than just the city center! Did you for example hear of Østerbro, Nørrebro, Vesterbro, Frederiksberg, Christianshavn, Amager, Ørestad, and Nordhavn? – All different neighborhoods in Copenhagen.

If you really want to experience Copenhagen to the fullest, then one of the best things to do is to visit some of the many different neighborhoods in the city. Here are some examples:

Nørrebro is a popular neighborhood in Copenhagen and it’s known for serving the best kebabs in the city, for its vintage shops and hipster vibes, great food experiences, and of course the beautiful Assistens Cemetery.

Whereas Nordhavn is the complete opposite of Nørrebro – it’s a whole new part of the city by the ocean. In Nordhavn you’ll find new apartment blocks, new restaurants and coffee bars, and it’s one of the most popular places to hang out and go swimming during the summer.

Christianshavn is a really old neighborhood that dates back to 1618 and is named after King Christian IV. Today you’ll find Copenhagen’s coziest canals here, the famous Christiania area, and the best view in Copenhagen from the tower of Our Saviour’s Church.

And that’s just covering 3 neighborhoods. Go check out the rest!

Superkilen in Nørrebro neighbourhood

35. Visit the World’s Oldest Amusement Park & Deer Park

While this activity technically isn’t located inside of Copenhagen, I still think it somehow deserves a spot on this list of best things to do in the city.

Less than 20 minutes away with train from Copenhagen, you’ll find “Dyrehaven”. Dyrehaven is basically a forest – but it’s what’s inside of it that counts! In this forest you’ll find the oldest functioning amusement park in the world! The amusement park is named “Bakken” and it’s full of fun rides, rollercoasters, and other activities that belongs in a traditional carnival.

On top of that, the forest surrounding the amusement park is full of deer!

So if you want to experience this unique place just North of Copenhagen, then we urge you to hop on the S-train from Nørreport Station, get off at Klampenborg Station, go for a walk in the forest, and visit the oldest amusement park in the world.

Running deer at Park in Dyrehaven, Denmark

Our top 3 favorite things to do in Copenhagen

Before rounding up this blog post, I want to share our top 3 favorite things to do in Copenhagen. So here they are in no particular order:

  • The Tower of Our Saviour for the best view: We absolutely love this place in Copenhagen! From this tower you can without a doubt get the most spectacular view over the city, yet the tower is also historical, beautiful, and quite adventurous to visit.
  • Tivoli Gardens during all seasons: Tivoli is one of the most popular places to visit in Copenhagen for both tourists and Danes alike. But there is a good reason for this! Tivoli is both a fun attraction, it’s a historical attraction, it’s really unique, and there is always something happening in here! Tivoli is especially incredible to visit during Christmas and Halloween when the whole place is beautifully decorated.
  • Copenhagen by bike: I think that one of our favorite things to do in Copenhagen will always be to just hop on our bikes and get going! We absolutely love to discover the city on our bikes and it’s a great way to quickly get around and explore new neighborhoods. So we really recommend you to get on a bike if you’re comfortable enough with it.

There are still so many places we haven’t discovered yet in Copenhagen, and I cannot wait for this list of best-things-to-do to grow bigger over the years!

Have you visited Copenhagen? If yes, then we’d love to hear your favorite things to see and do here – let us know in the comment section below.

If you haven’t visited Copenhagen yet, then we hope that this blog post gave you some inspiration of what there is to do in this lovely city. See you around in Copenhagen – happy exploring!

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20 top attractions in Copenhagen

by Noel | | Denmark , Top Attractions , Urban travel | 37 comments

Nyhaven the new harbor - 20 top attractions in Copenhagen

20 top Attractions in Copenhagen: explore the vibrant and exciting capital city of Denmark (Updated 2023)

Copenhagen, the vibrant capital city of Denmark, is a fascinating destination filled with a diverse array of cultural, historical, and architectural landmarks. From stunning royal palaces and picturesque canals to trendy neighborhoods and world-class museums, Copenhagen offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. With so many things to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 20 top attractions in Copenhagen to help you make the most of your trip. I love visiting this enchanting city and discover why it’s one of Europe’s most popular destinations and here the best places to explore in the city.

It’s late afternoon along the waterfront at Nyhavn , one of the busiest and popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen’s harbor area. But surprisingly it feels very festive and genuine – even the locals are coming down to enjoy the sun and do some people watching along the boardwalk. But they are smarter, bringing their own beverages and sitting along the docks or open spaces at a fraction of what it would cost to sit and drink one beer at any of the bars and cafes lining Nyhavn’s colorful waterfront area.  I find out that those few perfect sunny days in Copenhagen are to really treasured times for locals,  everyone comes out to celebrate with friends and savor the moment, blue skies and great company. There are many places to visit in Copenhagen that are touristy but also authentic and many off the beaten path and fun to discover below. Put these 20 top places to visit in Copenhagen on your bucket list of places to visit in the city when you are planning a trip to beautiful Copenhagen.

You’ll love visiting these cool places to visit in Copenhagen with historic appeal, fun and funky neighborhoods and amazing cuisine to experience. If you’re wondering what to see in Copenhagen in one day or longer, check out all these popular and local activities around the city to enjoy and discover on your own.

20 top places to visit in Copenhagen (historic landmarks, cool neighborhoods and fantastic places to eat)

Copenhagen places to visit – colorful Nyhaven district

When to visit these Copenhagen attractions in Denmark?

A bustling, colorful and fun city that is always changing with cool neighborhoods to explore, cutting edge dining scenes, historic treasures to explore and quirky places to visit around the city, Copenhagen is vibrant and wonderful to explore. Copenhagen is lively and fun to visit in the summer to early fall months when everyone wants to be outdoors and exploring the Copenhagen attractions, fun parks, neighborhoods and cool hang out spots in the city.

You’ll enjoy visiting all the Copenhagen sites in the capitol city with its’ unique attractions and neighborhoods to explore. There are so many unique and fun places to visit in Copenhagen’s many districts that really give you a sense of place and the food to try here in the city is international with a bent towards fresh and farm to table ingredients that are sourced locally and enjoyed by everyone.

The Weather in Copenhagen and what’s the best time to visit

Weather in Copenhagen: Copenhagen experiences a temperate maritime climate with mild summers and cold winters. The city is known for its changeable weather, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for sudden changes in conditions.

Summer (June to August): During summer, Copenhagen experiences relatively mild temperatures with average highs ranging from 17°C to 22°C (63°F to 72°F). It’s the peak tourist season, and you can expect longer daylight hours, making it a great time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions and enjoy various festivals and events.

Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to October): Spring and autumn bring mild to cool temperatures with average highs ranging from 9°C to 15°C (48°F to 59°F). These shoulder seasons are also a good time to visit Copenhagen, as the weather is generally pleasant, and there are fewer crowds compared to the summer months.

Winter (November to February): Winter in Copenhagen is cold, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C to 4°C (30°F to 39°F). While the city can be quite charming during the holiday season with its festive decorations and markets, it’s not the best time for outdoor activities due to the colder weather.

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen: The best time to visit Copenhagen largely depends on your preferences. If you enjoy milder weather and want to experience the city when it’s most vibrant, consider visiting during the summer months (June to August). However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so accommodations and attractions may be more crowded.

How to get around Copenhagen

Navigating Copenhagen is a relatively easy various transportation options. In the heart of the city most of the attractions and neighborhoods are easy to get to by walking. Here’s your guide on how to get around the Danish capital:

Biking : Copenhagen is renowned as one of the most bike-friendly cities globally, with dedicated lanes and a bike-sharing system. Rent a bike and explore the city at your own pace. Don’t miss the chance to ride along the picturesque waterfront.

Public Transport : The city boasts an efficient public transport network, including buses, trains, and the metro. Purchase a Rejsekort (travel card) for convenience, or buy individual tickets. The metro is especially handy for reaching neighborhoods like Vesterbro and Nørrebro quickly.

Walking : Copenhagen is a pedestrian-friendly city with well-maintained sidewalks and crosswalks. Many attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it a pleasant way to explore.

Boat Tours : Given its coastal location, Copenhagen offers scenic boat tours. Hop on a harbor cruise or canal tour to see the city from a different perspective. You can even use water buses for a unique commute.

Taxi and Rideshares : Taxis are readily available, but they can be expensive. Consider using rideshare apps like Uber for a more cost-effective option.

Electric Scooters : Copenhagen has electric scooter rental services that are perfect for short trips within the city. Keep an eye out for designated parking zones.

Trains to Nearby Cities : If you’re planning day trips or visiting nearby cities like Malmö in Sweden, the train network is convenient and offers a seamless travel experience.

Copenhagen Card : Consider purchasing a Copenhagen Card, which provides unlimited public transport and access to many attractions for a fixed period.

Airport Transportation : The Copenhagen Airport is well-connected to the city center via the metro and trains, ensuring a smooth transition from your flight to your accommodation.

Remember that Copenhagen is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and green transportation, so take advantage of eco-friendly options like biking and public transit to fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture while minimizing your environmental impact. Enjoy your journey through this charming Scandinavian capital!

Here are the best 20 things to see around the capital city of Copenhagen 

Copenhagen’s attractions are easy city to explore and even walk around the main attractions around the center of town which are clustered around Slotsholmen, and just outside into the new sections of the city at Christian Town. Within the island of Slotsholmen are many historic treasures, palaces, museums and the Danish Parliament. And just across the canal are many landmarks that are easy to find along the main promenade you’ll find Copenhagen’s main attractions: the Stroget, Nyhavn, Old town hall, Round tower, just to name a few. It’s easy to cover many of the monuments and attractions in one full day, but Copenhagen is a city to be savored slowly, and enjoy the busy and quiet places at a leisurely pace.  

Checking out the Historic central district of Copenhagen

The historic central district of Copenhagen, also known as Indre By, is the heart of the city and a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Denmark’s capital. This charming area is filled with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and historic landmarks that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage. From grand royal palaces to cozy cafes, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant neighborhood.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a picturesque stroll, the historic central district of Copenhagen is sure to captivate you with its unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.

Copenhagen at the Stroget - 20 top attractions and cool hangout spots in Copenhagen

Copenhagen at the Stroget

1. Strøget shopping street

One of the top sites of Copenhagen to visit is Stroget street. Copenhagen’s largest outdoor shopping street in the central district is called Stroget,  a popular shopping venue with pedestrian only promenades filled with popular stores.  The main square around Stroget is called the Amagertorv with an ornate stork fountain done in Dutch renaissance style. Located in the center of the square, the fountain was built to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of King Frederik VIII to Queen Louise – the fountain was given to them by the city council and commemorated in 1894.  Stroget has many of the world’s international fashion and product brands including: H&M, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and many well known designers. One of the fun things to do in Copenhagen is explore the main promenade which feature many local design shops and specialty Danish stores including: Mads Nørgaard design, Birger Christensen, the Hay house,  Trollbeads and Sand which features Danish designs for men’s and women’s wear.

For a comprehensive list of Danish designs and other cool shops to check out at Stroget, visit  Visit Copenhagen’s site here .

Let’s do a shopping tour experience here below

Copenhagen City Hall Square - Fantasy dragon at city hall square - A first impression of Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen City Hall Square – Fantasy dragon at city hall square – A first impression of Copenhagen, Denmark

2. Town hall square, Rådhuspladsen

One of the most frequented and top Copenhagen sights is the town hall or Radhuspladsen. The main square of Copenhagen is simply called Copenhagen town hall square or Rådhuspladsen.  It is fashioned in an Italian Renaissance style with Danish influence that was popular during the timeframe of its build.    On the main tower of the town hall is a large ornate world clock created by Jens Olsen, one of the pre-eminent clock markers who created one of the most accurate, large scale devices in the world. The façade of the main town hall is ornate with beautiful detailed craftsmanship created by local designers and craftsmen

**You can sign up for a guided tour of the Copenhagen City Hall here for more information and entry.

Façade of the old town hall at Raduspladsen, Copenhagen

Façade of the old town hall at Raduspladsen, Copenhagen

The Raduspladsen is a wonderful place to be in the moment, capture some photographs or just sit in a café on the square to enjoy the views and people watching. The square is a popular gathering spot for political, social and large entertainment events in the city.  When you visit this Copenhagen sightseeing venue, make sure to check out all the fantastical details around this famous Copenhagen attraction. In the middle is a wonderful fantasy dragon fountain made with three large dragons around a bronze basin in different poses, offering a wonderful and creative look at Danish artistry and design during the early 1920’s.

There’s always fun events happening at the main City Hall Square in Radhuspladsen below

Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen

Copenhagen top attractions- Tivoli gardens at night

3. Tivoli Gardens

Of all the places to visit in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens is one of the most popular attractions. This iconic Copenhagen attraction combines a fun adventure park with gardens and other fun local activities and colorful places to hang out in the historic district. This popular amusement park and local attractions is open all day into late at night when many locals and visitors come for entertainment. The amusement park located next to Copenhagen’s main train station was started in 1843 and quickly became the city’s fun pleasure garden for crazy rides, shows and attractive food venues. The park has evolved with current tastes to include more off the wall amusement rides, beautiful gardens, light shows and events to make this a fun attraction during the day time or late at night when the entire park is magically illuminated.  The park draws in over 4 million visitors annually and is the most popular theme park in all of Scandinavia. For more information on events and activities in the park, you can visit the Tivoli website here . 

**Get your  entry to the  Tivoli Gardens in advanced here to avoid the lines from this attraction

Entry to the Tivoli Gardens at night

One of the best things to do in Copenhagen at night, visiting the Tivoli Gardens and seeing all the attractions and venues lit up creates this magical experience to explore and enjoy the entire amusement park. It’s fun to hang out, grab a bite to eat, enjoy some of the amusement rides and of course enjoy the many brew gardens in the park in this iconic Copenhagen tourist attraction.

Tivoli Gardens in central Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens in central Copenhagen

Check out the fun around Tivoli Gardens below

4. Carlsberg 

One of the cool and satisifying Copenhagen attractions is a visit to Carlsberg. For beer lovers, a visit to the Carlsberg breweries is a must at the town of Valby, which is close to the city center. Valby is the location of the first Carlsberg brewery in Denmark. Outside of the main brewery, there are many warehouses and beautiful brick buildings that are being repurposed into mixed used places for locals and eventually tourists to visit. The old brewery is open to visitors to tour the historical facility and buildings, art collections and stable grounds. With the entry price, there are free guided tours with an overview of the history, brew making story and architecture at Carlsberg.

The brewery is famous for its beautiful brick buildings constructed in the early 19th and 20th centuries with gorgeous facades and ornamentation and details. The brewery also has two gardens, stables, villas and an art museum worth visiting. You can also sample some of their famous beers at Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar. For more information about visiting the brewery and a calendar of events, you can check out the Carlsberg website here .

One of the top attractions in Copenhagen, a visit to Carlsberg is a must for beer enthusiasts and drinkers.

Visit the cultural treasures around Copenhagen

The Glyptotek in Copenhagen

The Glyptotek in Copenhagen

5. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

 A fun cultural Copenhagen tourist attraction is the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek which is Copenhagen’s signature art museum. Named for the iconic Carlsberg benefactor, the museum is mostly a personal collection of Carl Jacobson who created the museum and donated it to the city. Even for non museum goers, this is a must see place because of the stunning exterior and interior details, including the spectacular views from the rooftop deck. The Glyptotek museum exhibits rotating shows along with their permanent collections of mostly ancient antiquities of mostly Egypt, Rome and Greece. There is also a collection of modern art with French Impressionist and Post Impressionist masterpieces, works by Rodin and a collection of paintings of the Danish Golden age. A popular place to visit during bad weather outside, the museum is one of the top places to visit at winter time in Copenhagen. The museum is a beautiful refuge to enjoy art and collections in a beautiful space away from the elements and changing conditions in the city.

A replica of a roman villa with antiquities at the Carlsberg Glyptotek

A replica of a roman villa with antiquities at the Carlsberg Glyptotek

 Once you enter the museum, you approach this airy and magnificently ornate greenhouse with gorgeous statues and tropical plants. It feels like you are being transported into a different world filled with imagination and antiquities that draw you into another world and time. It’s almost worth seeing this space and admiring it on its own without even having to see the incredible artwork and collections of the Glyptotek. But don’t stop there, the many galleries are also well designed and easy to walk through and enjoy the beautiful presentation and artwork.

To plan your visit or check out the latest exhibits at the museum, you can check out the Glyptotek website here .

Here’s a cool tour of the Glypotek below

Christiansborg Palace tower views of Copenhagen

Christiansborg Palace tower views of Copenhagen

6. Christiansborg Palace tower

Sight seeing Copenhagen from above gives you a fantastic vantage point of the city and all the Copenhagen attractions. One of the fun Copenhagen tourist attractions with the best views can be found from the top of the Christiansborg Palace tower. The tallest tower in Copenhagen which also happens to be a free attraction, is a must visit attraction to see magnificent views of the entire city and harbor area. The tower, owned by the Danish parliament was created by Parliament members for free public viewing to visitors and visitors to the city.  You can take an elevator ride up to the observation areas and the views from the Christiansborg tower offers a stunning 360 degree view of the entire city and outlying areas.

Tip: best times to visit to avoid the crowds are early when tower opens or even late in the afternoon for the twilight hour and evening views of the city. Also, there is a restaurant in the tower called the Tarnet for more refined and modern Danish cuisine.  For more information about the tower visit and hours, you can check out their website here .

**You can sign up for a guided tour of the Christianborg Palace here f or more information and entry.

Christiansborg Palace at Slotsholmen, Copenhagen

Christiansborg Palace at Slotsholmen, Copenhagen

7. Christiansborg Palace

The main palace at Christiansborg is open for the public to view many of the public and administrative halls in the palace. The seat of imperial Denmark, the palace retains many of its splendid royal halls which the queen still uses for many state dinners and events. With the price of admission you can also visit the royal stables, the underground ruins of earlier medieval castles, the palace chapel and the court theater. Inside the palace are beautiful collections of porcelain, tapestries, artwork and statues, chandeliers and other richly decorated ornaments.

The palace is also a working government building housing all three branches of the Danish government including: the executive, legislative and judicial powers of the country. Since the early 15th century the palace has been the base of central administration and now the current day parliament of Denmark. It is the only government building in the world that houses all of its government branches within one impressive building.

For more information on tours and hours, you can visit the Christiansborg palace website here .

Slotsholmen in the old town of Copenhagen

Slotsholmen in the old town of Copenhagen

You can tour the palace and also take an elevator to the top of this palace below

8. Slotsholmen

The central core island in Copenhagen’s main harbor was formed into the city’s ruling power and eventually expanded to Christian Town and other outlying areas which eventually formed the city center. Recognized as the center of Denmark’s government, Slotsholmen has been the active ruling seat since the middle ages and into modern times. The historic island is filled with historical monuments and important architectural buildings including: Christiansborg Slot, Denmark’s parliament (Folketing), the royal residence ( Christiansborg Palace ), the Supreme Court, national archives and the prime minister’s office all one confined area.

You can easily spend days just visiting the many museums on the island.  This includes magnificent buildings that house the following: the Danish Jewish Museum, the royal stables at Christianborg Palace, the Theater Museum, ruins at Christianborg Palace, the Royal Arsenal Museum, Thorvaldsen Museum. For more information and a comprehensive list of  museums, hours and what’s happening, you can check out Visit Copenhagen’s Museum link here .

 For fun activities and tours  in this district check out these discounts and reviews here for the latest updates and prices.

Enjoy the hip and fun neighborhoods around Copenhagen

Vesterbro and Meatpacking District in Copenhagen

Vesterbro and Meatpacking District in Copenhagen

9. Vesterbro and Meatpacking District

One of the cool and new Copenhagen’s sights to hang out in is the Meat packing district at Vesterbro. One of the fun and new hipster thing to do in Copenhagen is to visit the meatpacking district called Vesterbro which is located next to the main train station. The area is now considered Copenhagen’s ‘Red light district’ but with more yuppie appeal and bustling with hip cafes, clubs and the occasional strip show venue. The new hipster zone is a fun spot to visit the many design galleries and stores, interesting old architecture or just walking through and enjoying the street life. Of course, if your main interest is mostly the club scene and red-light appeal, then nighttime at Vesterbro is definitely the best time to explore the area. For a list of interesting places to visit and cool attractions, you can check some of the activities around Vesterbro here

Multi - purpose complex at Vesterbro, Copenhagen

Multi – purpose complex at Vesterbro, Copenhagen

Check out why Vesterbro is so cool below

10.  Christiania

An unusual and fun Copenhagen sightseeing attraction is a visit to Christiania. Originally Copenhagen’s hippy hangout, Christiania is one of the most exciting and fun thing to do in Copenhagen. Originally the neighborhood was an abandoned military base founded by squatters and artists moved in and developed the area into a social experiment known as a ‘free town’, or basically a hippy commune.

The area has now evolved into a vibrant community with a gritty edge. There’s a lot of street art, galleries, cafes and night clubs to hang out and even buy weed or other soft drunks available for sale in many of these establishments.  There are also unusual museums, community centers and music venues to explore around the community. The alternate lifestyle and vibe of the area resonates with the younger, liberal and open attitudes of the community, so if you are looking for something different and more on Copenhagen’s cutting edge scene, you definitely need to check out Christiania.  For more information and safety guidelines  visiting the community, check out this website .

Nyhaven or the new harbor of Copenhagen

Nyhavn or the new harbor of Copenhagen

One of the top sights in Copenhagen to visit and hang out in the many restaurants and bars is at Nyhavn. The new harbor of Copenhagen is the perfect place to end the day along the waterfront area which is filled with cafes, bars and the enjoying the beautiful canal. The colorful facades and canal make Nyhavn a postcard perfect venue all day to late at night. Taking a boat ride starting at Nyhavn is a popular way of seeing the waterfront and canal areas of Copenhagen’s busy waterfront and popular hangout spots in the city including the canals around Christian town.

There’s so much more to do in Copenhagen in summertime and visiting Nyhavn and hanging out at the bars, restaurants or even the docks is a fun pastime here to enjoy being outdoors in the waterfront district.

**Consider this easy one hour cruise through the harbor area and the major sites including: Amalienborg Castle, the Little Mermaid, Opera House, Christianshavn and Copenhagen’s canals.

Main canal at Nyhaven, Copenhagen

Sightseeing Copenhagen- Main canal at Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Nyhavn and Slotsholmen

Canal views of Nyhaven and Slotsholmen, central Copenhagen

Canal views of Nyhavn and Slotsholmen, central Copenhagen

Here’s a quick video tour exploring the area below

Views across to Christianshavn or Christiana town in Copenhagen

Views across to Christianshavn or Christiana town in Copenhagen

12. Christianshavn or Christiantown

The waterfront community of canals and old warehouse district of Copenhagen which has transformed into a gentrified and expensive housing community. A canal cruise is the preferred way to visit the canals and restored warehouses that have been converted to living and working buildings and enjoy the views from a water vantage point. Or you can take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood to soak in the slower pace and details of daily life around this vibrant area.

For accommodations in this district check out these discounts and reviews here for the latest updates and prices.

Here’s a quick look visiting Christianshavn below

Ørstedparken in central Copenhagen

Ørstedparken in central Copenhagen

13. Ørstedparken

One of the most popular public parks in Central Copenhagen is Orstedparken which is located along the old fortification ruins of the city. The moat is still left over with large ponds in the middle of the park with trails, flower gardens and grassy hills. Some of the hilly areas contain an old bastion and rampart with wonderful views to the surrounding areas and city center. During the summer time, the park  is filled with colorful flower gardens like the garden beds below. Its a perfect spot for locals and visitors alike to have a nice picnic or just take a long afternoon nap. It’s a perfect respite from the crowded urban crawl around the historic center of the city.

  Annual flower beds at Orstedparken

Lounging amid the flower beds at Ørstedparken in central Copenhagen

Lounging amid the flower beds at Ørstedparken in central Copenhagen

Here’s a quick visit around Ostedsparken park below

Little Copenhagen in central historic area

Little Copenhagen in central historic area

14. Torvehallerne outdoor flea market

A cool new hangout spot and hipster place to visit in Copenhagen is right next door to the Torvehallerne and Orstedparken, is on the cutting edge, made with shipping containers repurposed into street food, beer stations and public entertainment venues all in one setting.  The area has an edgy vibe with cool DJs spinning, live bands and performances, dances and the weekend outdoor craft fares happening all around the park like setting.

If you are looking for a trendy and fun area to hang out with the locals, then go to Little Copenhagen from Thursday to Sunday evenings and enjoy all the entertainment and delicious street food. You’ll enjoy visiting this very local Copenhagen attraction on the weekends to see and live the vibe of this fun neighborhood in town.

Arts and crafts displays at Little Copenhagen

Arts and crafts displays at Little Copenhagen

15. Rosenborg Castle 

Set in the King’s garden in central Copenhagen, Rosenborg castle was built in the Dutch Renaissance style which was a predominant Danish style popular during this timeframe.  The tall and ornate brickwork and sandstone with tall towers capped in copper details. The royal palace originally the summer residence until the 1710 is now mostly used as a royal museum which features the royal treasures and crowns of the monarchy along with a rich collection of artwork, paintings, parade regalia and other fine collections. The royal chambers, assembly halls and administrative offices are open for the public to visit along with the public gardens around the palace.

Torvehallerne specialty food market, Copenhagen

Torvehallerne specialty food market, Copenhagen

16. Torvehallerne   

A food paradise and Copenhagan attraction for foodies that love local foods and specialty foods. Across the street from Little Copenhagen is Torvehallerne, an upscale food hall and specialty food court which caters to both local crowds and visitors. The market is housed in twin greenhouses with outdoor seating and shops sprinkled around the dining areas. It’s a very festive and color area with many food shops specializing in prepared foods, local meats, cheeses, breads and pastries, imported goods and everything delicious and foodie focused.  The best thing is to come hungry and just explore the stalls to see what appeals to you and you just may visit Torvehallerne a second or third time.

Torvehallerne in Copenhagen

Torvehallerne in Copenhagen

Let’s explore the delicious Torvehllerne below

Iris and water views at Copenhagen Botanical garden

Iris and water views at Copenhagen Botanical garden

17. Copenhagen Botanical garden

The Copenhagen botanical gardens are full of beautiful garden rooms, water features and lakes with sweeping lawns and pastoral views.  The garden also have unusual round Victorian glasshouses housing tropical and Mediterranean to desert botanical plants and species. As part of the Natural history museum, the botanical garden houses the largest collection of living plants and botanical species in Denmark. For a nice quiet and relaxing visit away from the busy urban areas of Copenhagen, the botanical garden is is a nice respite with well maintained garden rooms, glasshouses and open space to enjoy and worth a visit. If you want to be outdoors and exploring one of the beautiful outdoor places to visit in Copenhagen, then head out for a fun morning or afternoon walk around the botanical garden.

The gardens are free and open to the public and for more information and history about the gardens, you can visit their website here .

You can walk through these stunning gardens here for more inspiration

Flea market shopping at Nørrebro district, Copenhagen

Flea market shopping at Nørrebro district, Copenhagen

18. Nørrebro district

For those interested in Danish design, antiques and galleries, then the Norrebro district and the right place to explore the many shops that specialize in antiquities, imported and Danish works. The area off Ravnsborggade street has many quirky, cool shops and antique stores worth visiting and hopefully finding some treasures to take home.  The area also has a very cool vibe with trendy stores, cafes, retro shops and design studios and weekends include an antique market that’s fun to dig through for something interesting or a souvenir. There are flea markets that happen on the streets around the Norrebro district, check out the details to visiting these outdoor markets here for time frames.

To check out some of the unique store, click on Visit Copenhagen’s website here .

A cool design shop at Nørrebro district, Copenhagen

A cool design shop at Nørrebro district, Copenhagen

Check these cool place to explore around Norrebro district below

19. National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark is a free museum worth visiting in Copenhagen. It houses the entire range of important ancient Danish history, events, artifacts and artwork in the 3 floors of galleries and exhibit halls. Outside of Danish cultural exhibits and history, the National Museum of Denmark also contains exhibits and national interests in areas: of natural sciences, archaeology, ethnology, conservation, communication and religion.  It terms of historical value, the museum collections represent 14,000 years of Danish history ranging from the ice age and Viking time frame to the middle ages and on to modern Danish economy, contemporary lifestyle and culture.

**You can sign up for a guided tour of the National Museum of Denmark here for more information and entry.

Check out this tour of this fantastic museum below

To plan your visit and find out more about current exhibits, you can visit the National Museum website here

Peblinge Lake in central Copenhagen

Best places to visit in Copenhagen- Peblinge Lake in central Copenhagen

20. Peblinge Lake

Another popular green belt and lake area in central Copenhagen, Peblinge lake is a series of three rectangular lakes that formed originally from a stream and converted into dammed lakes as fortification for the historic central district in the early 1700s.  Now the lakes and green belts are used for recreational purposes and offer beautiful skyline views on the city center.

  Swans at Peblinge lake looking for handouts

Peblinge Lake and swans in central Copenhagen

What to visit in Copenhagen- Peblinge Lake and swans in central Copenhagen

Here’s a fun visit to “The Lakes” in Copenhagen below

Where and what to eat in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is definitely an expensive foodie city with gorgeous food specialty markets like Torvehallerne market, fantastic local food choices and fantastic fine dining experiences around the city. Here are some recommended foods and places to eat around this wonderful city of amazing food choices.

Copenhagen offers a delightful array of local and street food options that reflect the city’s diverse culinary scene. When visiting Copenhagen, be sure to try these delicious local treats:

Smørrebrød : A traditional Danish open-faced sandwich, smørrebrød consists of rye bread topped with various ingredients such as herring, roast beef, liver pâté, shrimp, and more. It’s a flavorful and visually appealing dish that you can find in many cafes and delis across the city.

Pølsevogn (Hot Dog Stands) : Hot dogs are a popular street food in Copenhagen. Look out for pølsevogn (hot dog stands) that serve delicious sausages with a variety of toppings, including remoulade (a creamy sauce), pickles, crispy onions, and mustard.

Frikadeller : These Danish meatballs are often made with a combination of pork and veal, seasoned with herbs and spices. Frikadeller are typically served with potatoes and gravy, making for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs : This traditional Danish dish consists of crispy fried pork belly served with a parsley sauce and boiled potatoes. It’s a beloved comfort food in Denmark and a must-try for pork lovers.

Æbleskiver : These delightful round pancake-like pastries are a popular Danish treat, especially during the Christmas season. They are served with powdered sugar and often accompanied by jam for dipping.

Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon Snails) : Kanelsnegle are delicious cinnamon rolls with a soft and flaky texture. You can find them in bakeries and cafes throughout Copenhagen.

Gammeldags is (Old-fashioned ice cream) : Copenhagen boasts some excellent ice cream parlors offering traditional Danish ice cream flavors. Indulge in flavors like flødebolle (chocolate-covered marshmallow), lakrids (licorice), or friskost (a fresh cheese flavor).

Danish Pastries (Wienerbrød) : Copenhagen is famous for its scrumptious Danish pastries. Try classics like the cinnamon-filled snegl or the fruit-filled spandauer for a delightful sweet treat.

Grød : If you’re a fan of porridge or oatmeal, head to one of Copenhagen’s Grød cafés. They offer a variety of sweet and savory porridge dishes, using different grains and toppings for a wholesome and delicious meal.

While exploring Copenhagen, keep an eye out for food markets like Torvehallerne and Reffen Street Food Market, which offer a diverse selection of local and international street food. These markets are great places to sample various dishes and enjoy the vibrant food scene of the city.

Take a food tour introduction to Danish cuisine

With so many food choices to choose from a food tour would be an ideal experience to try some of the local specialties in the city and region. You’ll love this food tour experience which will show you what Danish cuisine is all about by walking and eating your way through the city. From specialty delicatessens, open face smorrebrod to artisanal cheeses, this tour will give you an excellent overview of Danish food at its best.

Enjoy these street foods of Copenhagen

Here’s a video on what types of foods to eat in Copenhagen

Experience Noma – the best restaurant nominated 4 times as the New Nordic Cuisine in the World

More tips on Visiting Copenhagen city

Copenhagen is a compact city and very walkable but if you get tired, its easy to catch public transportation, metro or even Uber. The city is very bike friendly and you can easily rent a bike share to get around the city and see more outlying spots around the city.

If you’re into all the busy activity shopping and dining then the middle of town is an extensive pedestrian area with tons of shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues open day and night.

We didn’t mention the Little Mermaid as a tourist attraction, but please do if you want to take a picture of this iconic mermaid.

If you are into iconic Copenhagen street food think about the Danish hot dog, open face sandwiches, Danish pastry and of course Danish meatballs with onions, potatoes and gravy.

Over 86 percent of the Danish population speaks English so go ahead and ask for directions or any help.

Danish street ware is very smart but practical, dress in layers for changing weather patterns throughout your stay and day tripping.

Danish currency is the Krone and the plural term is kroner

Other cool attractions and activities in Copenhagen

If you are looking for more fun things to do and other comprehensive tours around the city, check out these fun and unique tours or activities worth doing in the city.

City bus and boat Hop on Hop off for 48 hours – easy access to the city’s main attractions and an added feature to explore the city’s landmarks on the water.

Copenhagen city card – free entrance to over 73 museums and attractions and local transportation around the city. Also discounts to restaurants, stores and other tourist activities.

A Copenhagen food tour – a tour around the city’s historic center and stops at some of the traditional food venues and newer establishments to taste some of the best foods of the city.

Copenhagen bike tour – Explore the city like a local and through their favorite means of transportation – by bicycle and touring popular attractions all around the city.

Check out all these other fun excursions and tours around Copenhagen here offering unique experiences around the city.

Where to stay in Copenhagen

Since this is a walking city it is so easy to be based anywhere close to the historic center. Here are some unique and beautiful properties to consider for your stay in Copenhagen. Or you can consider some of the best Airbnb stays in Copenhagen as an alternative here.

Radisson Blue Royal Hotel Copenhagen – a signature Radisson property in a central location, modern and comfortable rooms with excellent breakfast service

Skt. Petri – Centrally located this modern style hotel has comfortable and clean rooms recently renovated and close to the metro system. Good breakfast service and efficient front desk service.

First Hotel Mayfair – only a three minute walk to the main train station, this classic and elegant hotel with inviting bedroom décor and comfortable rooms. Excellent buffet breakfast and customer service.

Avenue Hotel Copenhagen – Good location and value, classic hotel with modern interiors and comfortable rooms with soft beds. Extensive breakfast buffet and a wide range of services and tours offered by the front desk.

For more reviews and hotel prices check these hotels from Trip Advisor here for more details.

Consider these cool and fun Copenhagen guided tours

If you’re heading to Copenhagen, opting for a guided tour can greatly enhance your experience. A knowledgeable guide can help you uncover lesser-known attractions and offer captivating stories and insights about the city’s rich history, culture, and architecture. With a wide range of tours to choose from, you can select one that caters to your specific interests, whether it’s exploring the charming historic district, indulging in the city’s culinary scene, or immersing yourself in its bustling nightlife. Guided tours can also take care of practicalities like transportation and entrance fees, freeing you up to relax and fully enjoy the excursion. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, a guided tour is an ideal way to elevate your Copenhagen experience and create lasting memories.

Bike tour around Copenhagen

Explore Bike crazy Copenhagen by bike on this three hour tour passing popular attractions like The Little Mermaid, Christiana, Rosenborg Castle, the cool neighborhoods of the city and a stop at stop at Torvehallerne, a sleek food hall, for a snack or coffee.

Check out the details of this tour here for more prices and booking information

Møns klint and Forest tower – A day tour from Copenhagen

Explore this scenic area and nature experience at the Møns Klint chalk cliffs have been recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Forest Tower Camp Adventure. Dating back 70,000 years, you’ll get to explore this stunning area and climb one of Denmark’s highest points on this guided tour.

Check out the details of this tour here f or more prices and booking information

Two Hour Segway Tour of Copenhagen

Experience visiting the city on this two hour Segway tour and seeing the main highlights including Nyhaven, Little Mermaid, harbor area, Royal Palace, Danish Parliament and many more sites on this fun tour.

Check out the details of this tour here for more prices and booking information.

Check out these other things to do in Copenhagen

Free things to do in Copenhagen

A visit to the Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen

A first impression of Copenhagen

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20 top attractions in Copenhagen

Conclusion to 20 top attractions in Copenhagen  

To sum up, Copenhagen is a city that caters to every traveler’s desires. With its incredible history, breathtaking architecture, lively culture, and mouth-watering cuisine, this enchanting destination is guaranteed to leave an indelible mark on anyone who visits. Whether you’re exploring the charming streets of Nyhavn, immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife, or discovering the hidden gems of the historic central district, Copenhagen offers an array of experiences that are truly unforgettable. It’s no wonder why Copenhagen consistently ranks among the most livable cities in the world. So why not start planning your trip today and experience the magic of this captivating city for yourself? We assure you that you won’t be disappointed!

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37 Comments

online translate

Great list! I’m planning to visit Copenhagen soon and this will definitely help me plan my itinerary. Thanks for sharing!

Clare

I just realised how much I missed when I visited Copenhagen, though I did think it was a beautiful city. I walked a lot around the harbour area and saw the beautiful colourful buildings and walked up to the statue of the little mermaid. I also visited Rosenborg Castle and had a walk through Christiania. I really enjoyed my time in Denmark and would love to go back and see more.

Noel

Yes Copenhagen is a fabulous city to explore with all these cool attractions to visit

Bhushavali

Ooooh. I love Copenhagen. It is one of the first few cities I did a solo trip to. Christianborg Palace, its tower, Nyhavn are all the best. Too bad I didn’t manage to visit Tivoli Gardens in the night, but that’s a good excuse to plan another trip to Copenhagen. I’ve heard a lot of Christiania, and I’m yet to visit here too.

I know, there’s so many fun and cool places and attractions to see in Copenhagen, it’s worth coming back to visit again.

Clarice

Wow! I did not realize there are so many things to see and do in Copenhagen. My husband loves beer so, we definitely won’t miss Carlsberg should we get a chance to visit. I would love to explore the Glyptotek museum too.

Copenhagen has so many cool attractions to visit and explore from culture to fun neighborhoods

Subhashish Roy

While reading your post it was so nostalgic. It reminded of our own trip couple of years back. We loved Copenhagen and still regret we did not spend an additional day there. Also our day trip to Malmo over Oresund Bridge was a wonderful experience as well. Nyhavn Habor was our favorite place and we spent quite a lot of time there. Next time we would love to visit the Botanical Garden as we missed it last time.

Malmo is nice and Copenhagen is large but still easy to get around with many cool attractions and places to visit.

Joanna

I have been to Copenhaven a few years ago and I have seen quite of a few of these attractions. I remember my first beer in the main square, which cost me almost 10 euros haha. I loved Nyhavn, even in the rain it looked so pretty and charming. I also spent one evening in Christiania and that was, let’s just say, interesting.

Copenhagen’s attractions and landmarks are colorful, historic and yes fun to explore

Natascha

Copenhagen is one of my favorite cities in Europe and I have visited it numerous times. I think I have been to all the places you mentioned in your post! One of the things I would also recommend is a city tour by kajak! It is such a unique way to see the city.

Ah that sounds I’ll have to check it out, glad you have seen all these attractions of Copenhagen

Jan

Great post! I have been to Copenhagen and it is simply a must-see city – not only for city attractions but also day trips outside the city. Tivoli gardens, Nyhavn and Rosenburg castle are my favorites. I missed the flea market. You can easily spend a week in this city. Stunning images! 🙂

Yes these top attractions in Copenhagen are the best things to do in the city

Pilar

I have been myself in in Copenhagen but I did not get to do even half of what you list here. These places seem so interesting to be added to my list if I decide to visit again. The Vesterbro and Meatpacking district, the Copenhagen “red light district” seems like a vey interesting thing to do for someone like me who has spent many years in Amsterdam. Nørrebro distric with all its antique shop seems like the perfect place to go shopping. And that Noma restaurant looks irresistible.

There is so much to see with all these attractions in Copenhagen, fantastic that you have visited a few of these places.

Leah

Copenhagen is high on my list! This is an excellent list of ideas, and I’ll be sure to keep them in mind. The Old Town Hall and Tivoli Gardens would be my first choices. The Torvehallerne outdoor flea market also looks like a must with the entertainment and shopping options!

There’s so much to see with all these top attractions in Copenhagen, you’ll really want to do all of these, lol.

Jennifer Prince

Oh my goodness! It looks like there are so many amazing things to do there. I love that you can visit the gardens at night. I’d also do a bit of shopping, visit the castle, and walk in the parks. What a lovely city!

There is a lot of cool things and attractions to visit around Copenhagen, thanks for commenting

hiren

hi very good article.

Meagan Brown

Really amazing blog about top attraction in Copenhagen! I did not know much about Copenhagen. You have shared your info a great. I really enjoyed to read. Thanks for all good resources.

Lasse

There are many layers to this city and a lot to see. I would really recommend to take a guided tour while there. The tours have different focuses, some are more historical than others.

Laura

We were just in Copenhagen for the first time last month and loved it, but you’ve reminded me that we only had time to see a small part of the city. It’s so big and packed with great things to do.

Jennifer @ Made all the Difference Travel Blog

I would love to visit Copenhagen. It looks like an amazing city. I love the WW2 history of this city. I marked this for use when I go.

Sophie

Great photos! I’ve heard great things about Copenhagen as proved by your blog. The meatpacking district sounds interesting.

Christa

Looks like there’s A LOT to do in Copenhagen! We’re planning to live in Germany for a next starting next summer so I’ll have to put Copenhagen on my “weekend destination” list. But with all that stuff to do I might have to go twice or extend my visit to a week

Mia

Lovely photography! Copenhagen is such a vibrant city and I can’t imagine a bad photo ever being taken but you have a wonderful eye. This city is on my travel list and probably crept up a bit more once I let the hubby watch Pitch Perfect 2, lol! Great insight to all the wonderful things to do and see. I’ll be saving this one for later.

Orana

wow, so much great stuff to do in copenhagen! I had no idea and hope to get there someday to visit! I had heard of that hippy enclave though, sounds interesting!

Jackie

What great photos and such a detailed post! I love how you mixed in some videos, too! The waterfront vibe of Nyhavn looks relaxing and so fun! Exploring the underground ruins at Christiansborg Palace sounds very interesting as well. I’ve been so curious about Copenhagen and now I’m thinking about when I can get there! Thanks!

Meg Jerrard

Fabulous list – my favorite spot in Copenhagen is Nyhavn Habor – so many amazing resturants and the scene just feels alive every single time. I would also add the Little Mermaid to your list of attractions – I know she’s super touristy and it only takes 10 minutes, but she is Denmark’s most leading lady after all 😀

Rhonda Albom

Fantastic photos. Copenhagen through yours eyes is just stunning.

Lesley

Wow! Stunning photos. I love the one of Tivoli Gardens the most. Great colors. Denmark has been on my list for more than a decade. I think I’ll need to put it on my 2016 list to make sure it is a reality.

Anda

Your first picture of Copenhagen took my breath away, Noel. I never visited this beautiful town, but your post convinced me. I’ll bookmark this page for future use. I am less crazy about museums when I travel, but castles, botanical gardens or simply walking the streets are a great attraction for me.

Tam Warner Minton

As always, Noel, incredible photos!

Thanks so much Tam

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Hi, I'm Noel, a writer and photographer based in San Francisco and Hawaii. I write about delicious food and wine indulgences, thoughtful luxury, and adventure travel. I share camera tips and techniques while exploring new and unusual places around the world. My site explores culture and history, art and architecture, world heritage sites, exotic locals, along with nature tours and natural landscapes worldwide. Quite a mixed bag of curiosities and quirky interests, just like myself.

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Home » Destinations » Europe » Denmark » Copenhagen Attractions: Our 19 Favourite Things to Do and See

Copenhagen Attractions: Our 19 Favourite Things to Do and See

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19 Attractions You Shouldn't Miss in Copenhagen Denmark

These Are Some Of The Best Copenhagen Attractions!

Oh, Copenhagen – a city that will forever hold a place in our hearts! The Danish capital is a fantastic city to explore regardless of what you are interested in seeing. 

There are plenty of things to do in Copenhagen regardless of the season or your budget – day or night! Yes, you can find great things to do in Copenhagen even in winter! 

Of course, we may have a slight positive bias. Eric originally visited Copenhagen in the winter and still had a great time.

Lisa lived in Copenhagen for 3 years during her time in university. Between the two of us, we’ve covered most of the free attractions in Copenhagen and even some of the paid ones.

In all seriousness, Copenhagen is an energetic city alive with locals and tourists alike. What other city has mermaids and the very real reality that you might get run over by a bicycle? Not many.

From the well-known attractions like Nyhavn Harbour and Tivoli Gardens to the lesser-known and unique things to do in Copenhagen like visiting Christiania, here are some of the best attractions in Copenhagen!

Table of Contents

Top Copenhagen Attractions

Okay, so here’s the piece you’ve been waiting for – the top attractions in Copenhagen. These are in no particular order – but we did put Nyhavn at the top!

If you know what things to do you are looking for, you might even get started for with booking line skip tickets to Tivoli Gardens or your flat boat cruise tickets below since the summer season can be busy!

⇒ Copenhagen: 1-Hour Canal Cruise – See the City from the Classic Flat Boat (Eric loved this!) ⇒ Copenhagen City Card (including Transportation) – Visit Top Attractions + Navigate the City for Cheaper! ⇒ Copenhagen Tivoli Gardens 1-Day Unlimited Rides Ticket – Enjoy Tivoli Gardens – and all the Best Rides!

Nyhavn Harbour

colourful houses with boats in front in harbour nyhavn copenhagen attractions

Yes, we decided to start with the heavy hitter and get it out of the way first. Nyhavn is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen – and for good reason!

The harbour was finished in 1673 and believe it or not, it was originally a strictly commercial port. The colourful houses that we see today were only built in the 18th and 19th century. As such, there’s a ton of history surrounding the harbour.

Hans Christian Andersen, a famous Danish author we will talk about in the next section, actually lived in some of the houses.

For today’s visitors, there are lots of cafés and restaurants but they tend to be a tad pricey. Our advice is to just enjoy a drink and the hustle and bustle of the harbour.

Address: Nyhavn, København, Denmark

⇒ Explore Copenhagen and Learn About the City on a 2-Hour Copenhagen Local Walking Tour

The Little Mermaid

If you’ve spoken to anyone who has visited Copenhagen, they will probably tell you to go and see the Little Mermaid.

Of course, they are referring to the famous statue that sits along Copenhagen Harbour to commemorate the character once written about by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.

This bronze and granite statue is perched on a rock on the west bank a little walk north of Nyhavn Harbour. You can usually find her by looking for the crowd of people standing on a sidewalk seeming to peer into the harbour at nothing!

Get closer and you’ll see her sitting there. Be sure to grab a photo – she’s over 100 years old!

Address: Langelinie, 2100 København Ø, Denmark

Rosenborg Castle

red brick castle in green park in copenhagen

Rosenborg Castle is located on the corner of Konges Have (“King’s Garden”) which we’ll mention again further down.

The castle was built by King Christian IV in the early 17th century (1606), but the original intention was that it was to serve as a summer house.

Today, visitors can buy a ticket and go inside – just make sure to check the opening times beforehand! Inside the Castle, you’ll find Denmark’s crown jewels.

Another highlight is the Knights’ Hall in which you can see the coronation thrones and three silver lions that are standing guard. Did we mention that these lions are life-sized?! Here’s more information about Rosenborg Castle .

Address: Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark

Read Next – The Best Nordic Capital to Visit (+ Activities)

Strøget Shopping Street

As one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets, Strøget is a great way to see the heart and soul of Copenhagen lifestyle.

The street is over 1.1 kilometres – and lined with lots of different shops that range from the cheaper chain stores to the really expensive brand you’d expect to see. There are even a few local additions that are worth checking out!

For orientation, you can find the Copenhagen City Hall at the south end and the Kogens Nytorv Square with the Royal Danish Theatre and Nyhavn Harbour at the North end.

Address: Strøget, København, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park

girl in front of lake with trees and tower behind at tivoli gardens

Under the whimsical lights, this amusement park is very famous to the Danes and all Copenhagen visitors. Tivoli first opened on August 15, 1843 – making it really, really old.

It’s like walking into a time capsule! Fun Fact: Tivoli is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. Thanks for taking the crown away, Bakken!

In Tivoli, you can ride the wooden roller coaster from 1914. It’s one of only seven roller coasters in the world that still has a brakeman on board! Because of the rich history, Tivoli is the most-visited theme park in all of Scandinavia.

We recommend visiting in the evening as the park is all lit up from the lights in the trees and on the rides. It’s like another world.

To learn more about Tivoli, you can check out the website . When you want to visit Tivoli during the main tourist season, definitely  consider getting a Tivoli line skip ticket .

Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark

Frederiks Kirken – The Marble Church

green dome on marble church in copenhagen

The green dome makes this landmark hard to miss! Frederiks Kirken, or “The Marble Church” is located to the west of Amalienborg Palace.

The church counts as one of the most impressive churches in Copenhagen and we can absolutely understand why: it’s beautiful inside!

While the foundation stone was laid in 1749, the church wasn’t officially inaugurated until 1894! For today’s visitors, the church is open to the public every day and the dome can be visited at 1 pm and 3 pm every day during the summer months (and at the same hours on the weekend during the winter).

To learn more about visiting times, check out this post from Visit Copenhagen .

Address: Frederiksgade 4, 1265 København, Denmark

city towers against blue sky with clouds from upper vantage point in copenhagen

Built back in the 17th century, the “Round Tower”, as it’s called in English is definitely a sight to see – and climb! After you pay admission, you’ll walk upward on a spiral ramp up and up and up until you reach the top.

Exit the door and you’ll be greeted by 360-degree views of Copenhagen from well within the city. Don’t worry, the edge of the observation deck is surrounded by a strong iron fence that will keep you safe to take your photos and enjoy the view!

You can also choose to visit the observatory – which is the oldest functioning observatory dome in Europe.

They have added a new glass floor so visitors can see the core structure of the tower. Pretty neat if you ask us! To read about opening hours and prices, you can check out the official website here .

Address: Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København, Denmark

Kongens Have

Welcome to the oldest and most visited park in central Copenhagen! Kongens Have or “The King’s Garden” is the beautiful grassy area closer to Nørreport Station. We mentioned Rosenborg Castle above in this post, which is situated within the park.

The park is a great place to walk through, or grab a blanket and enjoy a picnic. On a very sunny day, you’ll find locals sharing food, playing games, having drinks, you name it!

We once bought a whole pizza and had drinks under the sun and it was the best afternoon EVER. It’s no wonder Denmark is considered one of the (if not the) Happiest Countries on the Planet.

If you want to learn about “hygge”, a term used to describe the Danish culture of “togetherness” – then take a tour to experience Danish culture with a local and see for yourself!

Christiansborg Palace

large brown palace with tower and dirt field in front christiansborg palace denmark

Technically located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen (it doesn’t feel like an island), Christiansborg Palace is where the Royal Danish family carries out official duties.

The Palace is also a multi-function place – containing the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State.

The grounds are huge and you can buy tickets for tours of different royal areas. The highlight for us is the tower which offers 360-degree views of Copenhagen. You can even see Malmö, Sweden from up there!

sunset with towers in front from up above in copenhagen

The tower entrance is free – however, the can often be a line up to head up to the viewing tower as the elevator is quite small.

There’s also a restaurant up there which you can make a reservation for. We’ve seen many beautiful sunsets from up there. To learn more about the Palace, check out the official website .

Address: Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218 København, Denmark

Amalienborg Palace + The Guard Change

As the official residence of the Royal Family, Amalienborg Palace consists of four identical buildings and a large courtyard that features the equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederik V.

Inside the Palace, history buffs can visit the museum that showcases centuries of Danish history.

Amalienborg is probably best known to visitors for the daily “changing of the guard”. Each day at 12:00 noon, the Danish Royal Guards (called Den Kongelige Livgarde) march from the barracks near Rosenborg Castle all the way to the courtyard.

To learn more about visiting hours and logistics, visit the website !

Address: Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark

The Castell (Kastellet)

Did you want to see one of the best-preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe? Oh good, because Copenhagen has that, too.

These days, the Kastellet serves as a park and historical site. Back in the day, however, the Kastellet was a key piece of the fortification of the Danish Capital.

The grounds are free to roam and offer visitors sights like the church, windmill, and smaller historic military buildings. We’ve explored the grounds and walked up on top of the high outer perimeter.

You get quite the perspective from up there! Go check out the citadel – you won’t be disappointed! Learn more about it here .

Address: Gl. Hovedvagt, Kastellet 1, 2100 København, Denmark

Copenhagen City Hall + Square

brown brick building in square with blue sky copenhagen city call

Completed in 1905, Copenhagen City Hall is the official seat of the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. It was done in a Romantic style and was actually made to resemble the city hall in Siena, Italy (which Eric has seen in person and honestly – he can see the resemblance)!

While you can tour the historic city hall freely during opening hours, the top attraction for visitors to Copenhagen is the tower!

City Hall Tower – standing at over 105 metres – is among the tallest towers in the whole of Copenhagen. You do need to be taken up there by a guide so it’s best to plan ahead.

There are about 300 steps to the top for great views of the inner city of Copenhagen. Here’s more information about guided tours and visiting City Hall Tower !

As for the square in front, City Hall Square i s popular  for exhibits, public gatherings, and it’s the start/end of the famous shopping street Strøget.

At night, it’s a beautiful place to wander through to see the lights to get a sense of the city at night.

Address: Rådhuspladsen 1, 1599 København, Denmark

The Copenhagen Food Markets

sandwich wrapped in newspaper on tray in copenhagen food market

One of the things Copenhagen is known for is its cuisine. The Danes have a few classics like smørrebrød – which is the open-faced sandwich topped with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, and spreads.

While there are great places to eat all over the city, the food markets are definitely worth seeing. To our knowledge, there’s three you should check out:

Torvehallerne – located behind Nørreport Station, this food market is encased in glass and looks beautiful from the inside and out!

Inside, you’ll find shops and stalls selling fresh fish and meats, to cheeses, gourmet sliders, fresh bread, etc. If you’re looking for lunch or looking for groceries, you’ll find them here.

Address: Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 København, Denmark

Reffen –  a massive indoor/outdoor food market on another small island and warehouse complex (the same spot where Papirøen was located in the past). You will definitely find us there when we are back in Copenhagen. You can read more about Reffen here.

Address of Reffen: Refshalevej 167A, 1432 København K

And if you want to learn more about (and eat!) amazing Danish food, you can go on a  guided food tour around Copenhagen !

The National Museum of Denmark

If you’re into museums, you can visit the National Museum of Denmark. Home to the exhibit of Danish cultural history. Open Tuesdays to Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the museum offers visitors a wide range of Danish exhibits from the Bronze Age until today.

The Museum also has exhibits from other timelines and regions around the globe. There’s even a restaurant if you get hungry looking at all that history! Find out more about the National Museum of Denmark here .

Address: Prince’s Mansion, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K, Denmark

Vor Frelsers Kirke

gold and brick spiral church tower copenhagen

Located in the east end of the city centre in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen, you’ll find a spiral tower rising up from the buildings below. Go climb it!

The baroque-style church of Vor Frelsers Kirke serves as an active parish for over 8,000 people. The oak spiral tower on top is what draws many visitors!

While the church was built in the 1680s, the spiral spire wasn’t completed until at least 50 years later.

The view is one of the best from within the city – but the climb up in the strong winds can be a little scary! To check out the church, visit their website .

Address: Sankt Annæ Gade 29, 1416 København, Denmark

Dyrehavsbakken

Want to visit the oldest amusement park in the world? You can do exactly that if you’re in Copenhagen! Dyrehavsbakken, also known as “Bakken” is a fantastic wooded park area and amusement park north of the Copenhagen City Centre. Just take the S-train towards Klampenborg.

As we mentioned above, Bakken is old. How old? Well, the park was officially opened in 1583 making it the oldest operational park in the world.

They feature dozens of attractions – including a wooden roller coaster that was built in 1932. Bakken is good fun for the whole family and makes a great day or half-day trip from the city centre. Here’s all the information you’d need to visit Bakken !

Address: Dyrehavevej 62, 2930 Klampenborg, Denmark

A Harbour Tour on a Flat Boat

flat boat in harbour water with colourful houses behind in copenhagen

Since Copenhagen is a port city, the water plays a huge part in the city’s vibe. This means that you should go explore the city from the water’s perspective!

There are many companies and boats you can take to tour the canals and the harbour. Some of the larger flat bottom boats are completely open air while some have a glass covered dome for the winter time.

small dock beside red brick buildings in copenhagen

Eric visited in February but was too excited to sit under the glass and so he sat in the uncovered section of the glass boat. There’s a reason Copenhagen is one of our favourite European cities to see in the winter !

He says it was worth every second to take in the cold sea air! You can book the popular Canal cruise here .

Remember that the flat boats can leave from two different places: Nyhavn Harbour (shown in first photo) and the canal right in front of Christiansborg Palace (shown in second photo).

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is located in the middle of Copenhagen very close to Nørreport Station. The gardens cover an area of over 10 hectares and have 27 glasshouses which can be visited. The gardens were first established in 1600 but have been moved twice to the current location in 1870.

The coolest glasshouse is definitely the old Palm House. Built in 1874, the highest point is 16 metres tall and has a cast-iron staircase leading up to the walkway at the top.

The gardens have over 13,000 plant species and two cafés – in case all the plant life makes you thirsty. Definitely check out the Botanical Gardens – visit the official website .

Address: Gothersgade 128, 1123 København, Denmark

Freetown Christiania

There’s one part of Copenhagen that attracts many curious visitors year after year, In fact, it’s not even part of Copenhagen. Founded in 1971 by a group of hippies, Christiania is truly a “free state” – an area ruling autonomously to Copenhagen and the Danish Government.

You can visit Christiania which has plenty of markets, organic eateries, galleries and artisan shops, and more. There are signs about what to do and what not to do when you enter – you should follow these rules carefully and you won’t have any problems.

The main one: be careful what you photograph since the dealing of hash is a well-known industry in Christiania (although it’s still technically illegal).

Things to Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Before you travel to explore the Danish capital, here are a few things you should consider! We’ve covered getting around, when to visit, and where to stay in brief below!

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen

people on flat boat on canal in denmark copenhagen attractions

As for the best time to visit Copenhagen, this would greatly depend on what activities you are planning to do! The warmer months are obviously more popular – with June through August bringing the summer heat but also the crowds.

The summer is generally more expensive for accommodations, etc. The spring months or even June are good as the weather warms up. Same goes for the fall – cooler temperatures are still pleasant to wander the city.

If you wanted to see Tivoli all lit up at Christmas time, you can visit Copenhagen in the winter time. Eric first visited in February and had a great time exploring the city. Just bundle up, find great cafes, and mix up the indoor/outdoor activities.

Copenhagen has a great mix of things to do in all seasons so you aren’t completely screwed in any season, honestly. You can check out our packing list for Europe if you need help with packing.

Getting Around Copenhagen

Getting around Copenhagen is pretty easy and you’ve got a few great options to choose from. The city is pretty spread out but flat so walking is definitely an easy option. The exercise is good and the neighbourhoods are very pretty to wander in and out of.

The public transit system is excellent and consists of the metro and buses. The metro runs 24/7 because there’s no driver… which is pretty awesome.

There are also S-trains which are used for longer distances – but you likely wouldn’t use them if you stay in the centre unless you were heading on a half day trip to Bakken (see below).

To plan routes and learn about fares,  here’s a link to the  Copenhagen transit website . It’s a great system with a Rejsekort  – just load up the card and tap on and tap off the bus, train, or metro to “close” your journey. Simple!

If you wanted to feel like a local Dane, you could always take a bike around Copenhagen. It’s been said that in 2016 – for the first time in the city’s history – the number of bicycles outnumbered the number of cars on the road. This is a testament to how bike-friendly Copenhagen is. 

The biking lanes/infrastructure are among the world’s best so you will have no worries about biking in a new city. For visitors, it’s important to remember that the bike lanes are just as serious as the car lanes – so don’t walk in them! 

Bike rentals are also relatively inexpensive if you use it to get around the whole city for a day or more. Plus, you save on transit passes and/or parking fees. If you wanted to ride a bike but don’t want to do it on your own, you can do a guided Copenhagen bike tour ! 

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

colourful buildings with cobblestone street in copenhagen denmark

If you are coming to Copenhagen for a few days, you will need a place to sleep. Lucky for you, we have actually written a whole guide on this: where to stay in Copenhagen without spending too much.

That said, there are lots of places to stay (even in the city centre) that are affordable. You just have to know where to look!

If you are in a hurry, you can just check now for accommodation in Copenhagen . If you are looking for a hotel, check out  Hotel Nora Copenhagen  and have a look at Copenhagen Generator for a great hostel (located in the city centre).

Eric loved his stay in Copenhagen Generator – it even made our list of great hostels in Europe we’ve stayed at!

So, there you go! 19 things to do and see while you’re visiting Copenhagen. We could have gone on forever, but frankly, our fingers kinda hurt from typing! What do you think? Did we cover all your favourites or did we miss anything?

If you travel to Copenhagen, be sure to refer to our guide and come back here to tell us what you enjoyed! We’re happy to hear about Copenhagen.

As always, Happy Mermaid Waddlin’, -L&E

Related Articles

If you’re sticking around the Danish capital, be sure to grab your Copenhagen Card and these posts to help you plan your Copenhagen trip:

  • Where To Stay In Copenhagen Without Going Broke
  • How to Spend One Perfect Day in Copenhagen

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19 Attractions You Shouldn't Miss in Copenhagen Denmark

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copenhagen main tourist attractions

The National Museum / Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen

Copenhagen’s top attractions

Copenhagen is perfect for sightseeing. The lovely Danish capital has lots to see and do for everyone! In fact, if you want to take it all in, you’ll be in for a very busy time. Meeting the people of Copenhagen is one of the best ways to experience the city, and there are so many great places to get acquainted!

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Copenhagen

1. Meet The Danes

1. Meet The Danes

Long known for their convivial lifestyle of “hygge”, the Danes are a people who welcome visitors and tourists and like to share good times throughout the city’s many beautiful parks, streets, and open spaces.

Hop on a bike and explore Copenhagen’s charming nooks and crannies for yourself—you’re bound to find your own favourite spot.

Or dive into history with a guided tour at The National Museum of Denmark , where you’ll discover how the Danes have come to be the people they are today.

The Throne Room, Christiansborg Palace / Photo: Thorkild Jensen

2. Explore Christiansborg Palace

A must for all fans of magnificent sights, stately Christiansborg Palace is Denmark’s national centre of power.  Visit Parliament or the Queen's work place at Christiansborg Palace . All perform their official functions within the palace’s historic walls.

The Victorian Home / Photo: John Lee & Arnold Mikkelsen

3. Guided tour of the Victorian Home

Close to The National Museum of Denmark, this charming and cosy residence from a bygone time features the finest materials and craftsmanship of the late nineteenth century.

The National Museum of Denmark / Photo: Rune Clausen

4. The National Museum of Denmark

The nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural and historical museum offers a dazzling spectrum of fascinating things to see. Virtually like entering a time-machine you can encounter Vikings, Egyptian mummies, and an old hash stall from Christiania.

5. The Sun Chariot - a Bronze Age Treasure

The prehistoric Sun Chariot , the only object of its kind in the world, was unearthed in 1902 when the former bog Trundholm Mose in northwestern Zealand was ploughed for the first time. The elegant spiral ornamentation that graces the golden sun disc reveals its ancient Nordic origins. Take a closer look at this prized piece of Danish history at The National Museum .

7. Visit naval icons from the Cold War

Right on the waterfront, close to the Opera House in Copenhagen Harbour, you’ll get close to history on board three naval icons from the Cold War: the submarine Saelen, the guided missile boat Sehested, and the frigate Peder Skram. These vessels, which look as if they’d just been taken out of service, are open to visitors during the summer and on autumn holidays.

9. The Danish War Museum (formerly The Royal Arsenal Museum)

This acclaimed museum of military history  is located Christian IV's solid weaponry from 1604 right in the centre of power of Denmark's capital. Enter a Danish military camp from the war in Afghanistan, hear about life in the Danish Navy, and get an insight into Denmark's wars since the 1500's.

6. Travel back to Danish Prehistory

Travel back in time to a Denmark before history began and gain new insights into our ancestors of long ago. At The National Museum of Denmark, you’ll experience exciting national treasures like the Egtved girl’s grave, the Gundestrup cauldron, the Hoby tomb, and much more.

8. A Children’s museum that’s fun

Take the family on a voyage in a Viking ship. Become a schoolchild of the 1930s and find out what your great-grandparents were learning. Make a snack in the ancient medieval kitchen. Get the castle ready for an enemy attack. The Children’s Museum at the National Museum invites kids to touch everything in sight!

10. Old Denmark – one of the largest outdoor museums in the world

Just a short trip outside the city is Old Denmark - Open Air Museum . It’s a wondrous place where you enter a totally different world—the delightful countryside of a bygone Denmark.

Also worth a visit: The Danish Music Museum

Whether or not you have a musical bent, you’ll be singing the praises of The Danish Music Museum , founded in 1898. Wide-ranging exhibits trace the history of musical instruments from Europe, Asia, and Africa from the sixteenth century to today.

Also worth a visit: The Danish Music Museum

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Visiting Copenhagen, Denmark: What To Know Before You Go

copenhagen main tourist attractions

Olga Gavrilova / Shutterstock

  • Activities and Interests
  • Destinations
  • Sightseeing

Note: The Travel Awaits team regularly updates content to provide the latest, and most accurate information to our readers. The updated content in this article may not reflect the views or opinions of the original author.

Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital, part of Northern Europe’s Nordic countries and Scandinavian culture.

The name itself, Copenhagen, has an interesting history. The original Danish name for the word meant “merchants’ harbor,” and through German translations, became known as Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is a unique city, characterized by its canals, cycling culture, strong economy, and happy locals. It is actually known as being the happiest city in the world , due to its shorter workdays, free college tuition, more vacation days, and levels of personal interaction.

Beyond being the happiest city in the world, Copenhagen is home to excellent Danish cuisine, a magnificent transportation system, stunning churches and museums, and even a hippie commune that attracts foreign visitors from across the globe.

The following guide will give you the ins and outs of this stunning capital city, with information on weather, what to eat, what to see, how to get around, and where to stay.

Visiting Copenhagen, Denmark – Our Full Guide

Weather in copenhagen, average high/low temperatures by month.

January: 38°/30°F February: 38°/30°F March: 43°/33°F April: 51°/39°F May: 62°/47°F June: 68°/53°F July: 71°/57°F August: 71°/57°F September: 63°/51°F October: 54°/45°F November: 45°/38°F December: 40°/33°F

Months With The Most Rainfall/Snow

June through September and November see averages of 2.4 inches of rain per month. The annual rainfall in Denmark averages 24 inches of precipitation, and Copenhagen has an average of 170 rainy days throughout the year.

Winter in Copenhagen is gloomy with minimal sunshine, and there are sometimes extreme amounts of snow. Despite the capital city’s snowy months from December until early March, the snow usually subsides quickly and seldom lasts very long.

Copenhagen has an oceanic climate, which can vary greatly throughout the year. Beyond the city’s previously mentioned rainy and snowy months, June sees the most sunshine in Copenhagen, with an average of around eight hours of sun per day. On June 21 of this year, Copenhagen will experience it’s annual Summer Solstice, with extended hours of sunshine during this day. July is the warmest month in Copenhagen.

Best Time To Visit

Deciding the best time to visit Copenhagen all depends on the individual traveler’s tastes! June and July are the city’s warmest months, with average high temperatures around 70ºF. Temperatures are ideal during summer months in Copenhagen, a great excuse to hop on a bike and cruise around the city like a true Copenhagener!

If you’re like me and you love Europe’s festive holiday markets, you may want to visit Copenhagen during the winter. It is cold, yes, but the city boasts an array of charming Christmas markets, filled with unique gifts, souvenirs, and, of course, the ever-so-popular mulled wine known as Glogg.

What To Pack

Considering Copenhagen’s constantly changing and unpredictable weather, it would be in a traveler’s best interest to pack both warm and light clothes, depending on when you’re going to visit.

Don’t forget the essentials when packing for a trip to Copenhagen: a warm coat, light jacket, sunglasses, an umbrella, a scarf, hat, gloves, rain boots, and other comfortable walking shoes!

As you can see, there’s a lot of things to know before going to Copenhagen !

The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

Anastasia Pelikh / Shutterstock

Best Things To See In Copenhagen

1. tivoli gardens.

An amusement park and pleasure garden, Tivoli Gardens is situated in central Copenhagen, offering rides, games, musicals, ballet, and major concerts.

Travelers visiting Tivoli Gardens can catch stunning views of the city on the Ferris Wheel, embark on virtual reality adventures, or test-taste various Danish specialities throughout the park’s many food stalls.

2. Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid statue is unquestionably one of Copenhagen’s biggest tourist attractions, a gift given to the City of Copenhagen from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen in 1938. This bronze and granite sculpture is inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson’s famous fairytales.

3. Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle is a 400-year-old Renaissance castle built by Christian IV, quickly becoming the former king’s favorite castle and venue for special events. When visiting the castle, guests can gaze upon Christian IV’s possessions, the Danish Crown Jewels, Knights’ Hall, and the Princess’ Chamber.

Nyhavn is one of the most recognizable spots in Copenhagen, with its beautiful, old, colorful houses lined across the former commercial port.

What was once a popular hangout for sailors filled with pubs, alehouses, and ladies of leisure has since been renovated and features an abundance of restaurants with jazz music and a relaxed atmosphere along the canal.

5. Church Of Our Savior

One of Denmark’s most renowned churches, Church of Our Savior was inaugurated in 1752 and has attracted visitors across the globe as a popular pastime to climb the 400 steps to the top. Each year, more than 60,000 people climb the flights of stairs to the top of the church, standing 270 feet above street level.

A hot dog from Copenhagen.

Rezi Koudelkova / Shutterstock

Best Food To Eat In Copenhagen

1. hot dogs.

Hot dogs are life in Denmark . The nation consumes more pork than anyone in the world, with the average Danish citizen consuming around 142 pounds of pork per year. Linked to this fun fact is the culture of hot dogs in Denmark.

‘Sausage wagons’ abound in Copenhagen, and a trip to this unique capital city wouldn’t be complete without taste-testing a proper Danish hot dog, topped with crispy fried onions, pickles, and creamy remoulade.

Rugbrød is a very common form of rye bread in Denmark, resembling a long brown and expelled rectangle. This popular Danish bread is commonly slathered with cured or pickled fish, meat, pâté, or pickled vegetables, and is usually served for lunch.

3. Smørrebrød

Similar to rugbrød, smørrebrød normally consists of a piece of buttered rye bread, topped with homemade cold cuts, fish, meat, cheese, and garnishes. Smørrebrød is the ultimate Danish sandwich.

4. Stegt Flæsk

Consisting of fried pork belly and served with potatoes, a white sauce, and chopped parsley, stegt flæsk could be translated literally to “crisp fried pork strips” and is the national dish of Denmark. Needless to say, you shouldn’t leave Copenhagen without trying stegt flæsk.

5. Risalamande

Typically served at Christmas, risalamande is a traditional Danish dessert, made out of rice pudding and mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, and chopped almonds.

6. Danish pastries

If you’re traveling around Copenhagen and want a quick bite to eat, either for breakfast or in between tourist attractions, hop into any bakery that smells good and grab yourself a Danish pastry.

Traditional Danish pastries are multi-layered and made with sweetened yeast dough, usually topped with fillings such as fruit, nuts, or cheese.

Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen.

Ingus Kruklitis / Shutterstock

Best Kept Secret In Copenhagen

Freetown christiania.

Tucked away in the borough of Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighborhood lies Freetown Christiania , an intentional community and commune of around 850 to 1,000 residents.

This hidden gem and alternative neighborhood in Copenhagen is home to various concert venues and halls, bars, organic and vegetarian eateries, workshops, art galleries, and beautiful nature. It’s also home to Christiania Smedie, the oldest business in all of Freetown Christiania.

Christiania Smedie was a blacksmith that originally opened in the ’70s. Primarily producing furnaces in its early years, Christiania Smedie then shifted its focus to creating crate bikes for the car-free community of Christiania.

Another big draw to this hippie commune is its Green Light District. There were once several stalls along Pusher Street where visitors could purchase an array of cannabis products. But today, locals have tried to halt the buying and selling of marijuana in Christiania, due to conflicts surrounding drugs in the area, though remnants of this culture are still prevalent.

Regardless of the reason you wish to visit Christiania, a stop at this quaint hippie district will be worth your while.

People riding bikes in downtown Copenhagen.

lkoimages / Shutterstock

Other Things To Do In Copenhagen

Take a canal cruise.

Copenhagen boasts some very charming canals that are adorned with sailboats and vividly-colored buildings. Nyhavn is the most popular canal, but there are also lesser-known, picturesque areas like Christianshavn.

Cooking Classes And Food Tours

Danish cuisine is some of the best in the world, and Copenhagen offers an array of cooking classes and food tours, an essential outing for foodie travelers!

CPH Good Food invites guests to eat their way through Nordic food and traditions while highlighting unique ingredients and simple techniques of Nordic cuisine.

COH Good Food offers three different courses: Nordic Cuisine for the Home Cook , Nordic Baking, and Nordic Terroir. Courses run throughout the weekdays and cost between $230-$307 USD (1500-2000 DKK).

Copenhagen Food Tour is another great way to indulge in Danish cuisine, a unique opportunity to experience authentic Copenhagen through delicious food, all while listening to fascinating stories about the city’s history.

One of the most defining characteristics of Denmark as a whole is its cycling culture, similar to that of the Netherlands.

Among a lot of things to do in Copenhagen , renting a bike and riding around the city is a must, and a trip to the Danish capital wouldn’t really be complete without doing so. You’ll feel like a local, and it’s a great way to see all of the city’s main tourist attractions while saving time on wheels!

Pro Tip: Copenhagen’s bike lanes are often nestled between the sidewalk and the road so make sure not to step out into the bike lane without looking. It’s like stepping out into the road without looking.

Nyhavn in Copenhagen.

Iryna Kalamurza / Shutterstock

Best Areas To Stay In Copenhagen

1. indre by (old city).

Known as the inner city, Indre By is Copenhagen’s oldest neighborhood, filled with pleasant walking streets, and a handful of the city’s most famous museums and churches. This area offers some of the best hotels in the capital city.

2. Nyhavn (New Harbor)

A neighborhood as well as a canal, Nyhavn is situated within Indre By and is one of the trendiest places in the city. If you’re coming to Copenhagen to taste some exquisite Danish cuisine, you’ll want to stay in this neighborhood. Nyhavn is home to the city’s restaurant culture, with the main street being lined with endless top-notch restaurants.

3. Christianshavn

Christianshavn is a picturesque small village right in the center of the city, an eclectic area with 16th century houses, old brick lanes, and quaint canals. Residing in Christianshavn in Copenhagen will also be your ticket in the door to visiting Christiania.

4. Frederiksberg

Known as Copenhagen’s beautiful theater district, Frederiksberg is a municipality in itself, consisting of several world-class theaters. It is known amongst locals as the Beverly Hills of Copenhagen.

Getting Around Copenhagen

While you can see a lot of Copenhagen on foot, the city offers some superb public transportation, including a metro, trains, and buses. All of these modes of transportation can be accessed using the same card known as the CityPass , which covers the trip to and from the airport to Copenhagen , and allows travel through the rest of the Greater Copenhagen area . With the CityPass, travelers can enjoy unlimited travel on buses, trains, and the metro.

The metro in Copenhagen runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During rush hour, there are 2-4 minutes between trains; outside of rush hour, trains stop every 3-6 minutes. After midnight, trains run less frequently.

The S-Trains in Copenhagen run between 5:00 a.m. and half past midnight, with Line F running every 4-5 minutes, and Lines A, B, C, and E running every 10 minutes.

Aerial view of Copenhagen.

S-F / Shutterstock

Key Danish Phrases

When traveling to Copenhagen, don’t be afraid to fully immerse yourself in the culture and test out your Danish speaking skills! Even if you feel like you’re butchering it, locals from any country usually appreciate foreigners making an effort. When traveling abroad, a little effort can go a long way.

While Danes typically have a very high level of English, learning and practicing the following important words and phrases could potentially make your trip to Copenhagen a little easier. Even if you don’t attempt to speak the language while you’re there, at least recognizing these phrases in conversation could help you find where the bathroom is, or know how much something costs.

The following vital Danish phrases are sure to help you during your trip to Copenhagen.

Hello: Hej Good morning: God morgen Goodbye: Farvel Please: Hvis du vil være så venlig at Thank you: Mange tak Yes: Ja No: Nej You’re welcome: Selv tak Excuse me: Undskyld How much?: Hvad koster det? Bathroom: Toilet (herrer)= Men’s; toilet (damer)= Women’s Do you speak English?: Taler du engelsk? I don’t speak Danish: Jeg taler ikke dansk

If you’re worried about the pronunciation of some of these phrases, check out Useful Danish Words and Phrases for help with pronunciation.

Things To Know About Danish Culture

1. mind your manners.

The Danes are incredibly particular about manners and politeness, so make sure you’re on your best behavior in Copenhagen!

2. The Art Of (Not) Saying ‘Thank You’

Despite the truth that Danes are incredibly polite, don’t expect many ‘thank you’s’ when visiting Copenhagen.

In the Danish language, the words for ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are simply redundant, thus Danes will rarely say these words in conversation due to their already constant politeness.

3. Privacy, Privacy, Privacy

It is well known that Danes are very private people, and really getting to know Copenhageners might be difficult during your travels. It’s not because locals don’t want to talk to foreigners, they just live with the notion that everyone is busy and has their own lives, and they don’t want to interrupt, bother, or disturb anyone.

4. Superficiality

Danes have a problem with superficiality, and you won’t find anyone being ‘fake nice’ in Denmark or Copenhagen. It’s one of the reasons they find the question “How are you?” so amusing. To people from Denmark, saying “how are you” is blatantly superficial, for most people don’t actually mind or listen to how a person responds to the question.

5. Punctuality

Like many Scandinavian countries, punctuality is key. Relating to the ways in which Danes are overtly polite and well-mannered, being punctual is just another layer to that!

6. Outspokenness

Danes are known for being outspoken, which can oftentimes come off as rude. Try not to take offense to any locals “telling it like it is” and understand that openly expressing yourself and your opinions is simply part of Danish culture.

7. ‘Hygge”: Learn It, love It

You may hear the term ‘hygge’ while traveling through Copenhagen and wonder what that means.

Hygge is a Danish term that doesn’t necessarily have a direct translation or meaning, but more broadly refers to the country’s most prototypical social commodity of being in a state of comfort, relaxation, and peace with the ones around you, usually while out eating and drinking.

8. Mind Your Looks

Many Danes are known for their propriety which is demonstrated in almost every aspect of their culture. While your attire can be casual, ensure your clothes are tidy and clean. Copenhageners dress stylishly yet practically, favoring comfortable attire like jeans and sneakers for daily wear. If you’re dining out, jeans are generally not acceptable.

In professional settings, business casual is standard, often showcasing minimalist, well-tailored outfits.

Special occasions call for fashionable attire, blending Scandinavian simplicity with contemporary trends. Copenhagen’s cycling culture influences clothing choices, with an emphasis on practical yet stylish outfits suitable for city biking.

More To Read

If you’re itching to learn more about Copenhagen before embarking on your Danish adventure, the following articles, travel guides, and books will allow you to dive head first–not only into some useful information for traveling to this remarkable capital city–but also on renowned literature that will provide some insight into Danish and Copenhagen culture.

Helpful Articles About Copenhagen Travel

1. Travel + Leisure : Copenhagen Travel Guide

2. The Telegraph : Destinations Copenhagen

3. NY Times : 36 Hours in Copenhagen

4. Lonely Planet : Copenhagen Travel Tips & Articles

Copenhagen Travel Guides

Here is a list of some of the best travel guides for Copenhagen (with Amazon links!):

1. Lonely Planet Pocket Copenhagen (Travel Guide)

2. Frommer’s Copenhagen day by day

3. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Denmark

4. Copenhagen: The Monocle Travel Guide Series

5. Top 10 Copenhagen (Eye Witness Top Ten Travel Guide)

6. Rick Steves Snapshot Copenhagen & the Best of Denmark

Recommended Literature

For some outstanding fictional reading material, both about Copenhagen and by famous Danish authors, be sure to read:

1. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow : Written in 1992 by Danish author Peter Høeg

2. Kerrigan in Copenhagen : A literary bar-hopping novel unveiling the cultural history of Copenhagen

3. Sharpe’s Prey : Set in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars, a lieutenant is sent to Copenhagen to protect a nobleman on a secret mission.

4. The Danish Girl : A fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the earliest recipients of sex reassignment surgery

Why Visit Copenhagen?

You can enjoy Copenhagen’s unique atmosphere, rich culture, 20+ restaurants with Michelin stars, colorful buildings, and numerous landmarks. Visiting Copenhagen must be at the top of your list if you are considering traveling to Scandinavia.

What Is the Best Way to Explore Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is best explored on two wheels. Other alternatives include public transportation or a free walking tour. Buy a Copenhagen Card and you will save money by getting free rides on public transportation and free admission to more than 80 attractions.

When to Visit Copenhagen?

The peak summer months are best to visit Copenhagen if you want any chance of clear blue skies. Christmastime is the fairytale season in Copenhagen but also very busy.  Late spring and early fall are the best times to visit if you want fewer crowds and more affordable accommodation.

What Are Copenhagen’s Top Attractions?

Copenhagen’s most significant tourist attractions are Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid statue, the Round Tower, the Amalienborg, and the Christiansborg Palaces. Visit Rosenborg Castle, Frederik’s Church, Copenhagen’s many museums, and the world’s most famous restaurants.

How to Get to Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is best reached by flying into Copenhagen Airport. The metro is the cheapest way to get from Copenhagen Airport to the city center in less than 15 minutes. To get to the city center you can use any form of public transportation or a taxi, which isn’t cheap.

Image of Alexandra Mahoney

Alexandra was first bitten by the travel bug when she studied abroad in Seville, Spain, in 2013. Since then, she graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor of arts in journalism and a double minor in Spanish and music. After graduation, she taught English abroad for four years in Spain and Thailand. Besides being a contributing writer for TravelAwaits, Alexandra has turned her passion for travel into a career as an expedition manager at National Geographic Expeditions, overseeing trips throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

28 Best Things To Do in Copenhagen – Local Favourites & Hidden Gems 🇩🇰

I'm danish and live in the capital, so i know the best things to do in copenhagen. i'll share the top things to do in this guide and hidden gems..

Kristoffer Fons avatar

If you are going on holiday to Copenhagen soon, you can already look forward to experiencing a fantastic city with lots of epic things to do.

I have included 28 things to do in Copenhagen in this guide, but this is just a fraction of everything you can experience.

Planning a last minute trip to Copenhagen? I'm a Danish travel blogger who lives in Copenhagen . Here are a few of my top tips for the Danish Capital. 🇩🇰 Top Activities & Tours : 1. Tivoli Gardens + Unlimited Rides Ticket (skip-the-line tickets are essential in high-season!) 2. Canal Cruise from Nyhavn (awesome way to see the city and The Little Mermaid) 3. Rent a GoBoat and cruise the harbour (my favourite thing to do in Summer) 4. The Round Tower (free entrance with the Copenhagen Card ) 5. Guided Tour to Malmö, Lund and Hamlet's Castle in Elsinore 🛌 Places to Stay : 1. Manon Les Suites (luxury hotel with indoor pool & Bali-vibes) 2. Copenhagen Strand (mid-range hotel near Nyhavn) 3. Next House Copenhagen (best cheap hotel in the city centre) 🚇 The Copenhagen Card is honestly a no-brainer: every tourist should get this for easy access to public transport & huge discounts on a lot of activities in Copenhagen.

Travel blogger in Copenhagen

You’re also more than welcome to comment below with any Copenhagen-related questions you may have, as mentioned in the beginning: I live here, so I know a thing or two about the city 😉

Let’s get started with the guide: what to do in Copenhagen?

1. Rent a boat and sail the harbour

2. tivoli gardens, 3. amalienborg castle, 4. christiansborg, 5. kronborg castle (day trip from copenhagen), 6. canal tour, 7. the little mermaid, 8. the citadel (kastellet), 9. experience copenhagen nightlife on a bar crawl, 10. beer tastings in copenhagen, 11. walking tour, 12. food tour, 13. freetown christiania, 14. the meat packing district (kødbyen), 15. copenhagen zoo, 16. bakken (free amusement park), 17. national aquarium of denmark (den blå planet), 18. copenhagen street food (reffen), 20. the national museum, 21. go to malmö, sweden, 22. national gallery of denmark (smk), 23. the marble church, 24. copenhill.

  • 25. Rundetårn (The Round Tower)

26. Rosenborg Castle & The Crown Jewels

27. frederiksberg gardens, 28. the tube copenhagen, what is copenhagen best known for, what is the one thing you recommend doing in copenhagen, what are the best free things to do in copenhagen, what time of year is best to visit copenhagen, what is a must eat in copenhagen.

goboat copenhagen

This is my absolute favourite thing to do in Copenhagen.

It is surprising how much fun it is to sail around and be able to control where you are going.

Goboat check in Copenhagen

The boats sail pretty slowly, so there is never any danger, but at the same time it also means that you do not reach very much in 1 hour so I’d recommend booking the boat for at least 2 hours.

There are many different providers of boats, but GoBoat is the best known.

This is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen among locals, so make sure you book your boat online well in advance.

hey captain copenhagen boat

If you don’t feel like steering the boat yourself, you can also relatively cheaply book a small boat with your own captain , who will take care of sailing you around to the most famous sights and the hidden gems you wouldn’t usually know about.

copenhagen harbour tour with captain

In addition, the captain tells you about everything you see from the boat, so if you want to get total value and see some of the city’s best sights from the canal in your own boat, it makes good sense to rent this boat.

See more and book online here .

tivoli gardens copenhagen

If you are going to Copenhagen, you must visit Tivoli .

It is always worth the time and the money to visit the beautiful garden and amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen.

If you want to make it easier for yourself to visit Tivoli, you can book your tickets from home.

You decide for yourself whether you want to settle for an entrance ticket so you can walk around and enjoy the garden or whether you also want a tour pass so you can come up and try the many rides.

Both tickets can be bought online.

winter in tivoli copenhagen

There are plenty of restaurants, bars and street-food options in Tivoli, so I got to warn you: once you go in, you might end up spending longer than you think 😀

Tivoli is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen, but it’s also close to every Danes’ heart as we’ve all got so many fond memories of coming here as children.

So this is truly one of the top things to do in Copenhagen.

Get tickets to Tivoli here and skip the queue .

Especially in the summer, there can be long queues, so getting a skip-the-line ticket is a good idea.

If you’ve bought the Copenhagen Card , your entry to Tivoli Gardens is covered.

amalienborg castle

If you are interested in the Danish royal family, you should make your way past Amalienborg Castle. This is where Denmark’s monarch lives, which means Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II at the time of writing.

You will find Amalienborg Castle close to several other attractions in the centre of Copenhagen, which are also worth visiting if you pass by.

If you pass by Amalienborg Castle, you can time it to experience the changing of the guard of the Queen’s Guards, which takes place at 12.

It’s not as spectacular as in London , but it’s worth seeing.

The castle square is surrounded by the four royal mansions forming Amalienborg Castle together. These are Christian VII, Christian VIII, Christian IX, and Frederik VIII.

In the latter, you will find the Amalienborg Museum, where you can step directly into history and see royal life from the inside.

The Copenhagen Card gives access to Amalienborg Castle.

Have you booked your hotel in Copenhagen yet? I’d recommend you check out my extensive guide on where to stay in Copenhagen .

christiansborg

When you have visited where the Danish regent resides, you should almost also make your way past Christiansborg Castle, or just Christiansborg as it is colloquially referred to.

You can visit Denmark’s most important workplace, Folketinget – the parliament.

One of the unique things about Christiansborg’s history must be that the castle burned down twice, so the building was built over three stages. The last time it burned was on 3 October 1884, and it was not until 1928 that the castle was considered to have been finally rebuilt.

Today, the castle is divided into two, with the Folketinget housed in one wing, while the Royal House represents the other.

christiansborg statue

It is possible to get guided tours of both the Parliament and the royal chambers, but you must be aware that the two bodies are divided, and you must therefore book tickets for both places if you want to see both parts of the palace.

By now, you’ve probably guessed what grants you access to Christiansborg?

Yep, the Copenhagen Card .

kronborg castle

The next castle on the list is Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, one of Denmark’s most important and beautiful castles. However, I would only recommend visiting it if you have several days to do well in Copenhagen.

The tour can quickly take a few hours out of your day, so if you are short on time and want to see as much as possible, you should focus on everything you can see inside Copenhagen itself. But if you have time, Kronborg in Elsinore is a great experience.

Here you can follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where Kronborg, or Elsinore, plays a central role. The castle was given precisely that location because of its location, right where Øresund is narrowest.

It was a strategically important location for Denmark to have a fortress because it was the only way to the baltic sea.

kronborg in elsinore

Since 1938, Kronborg has been open to the public, and you have the opportunity, among other things, to visit Holger Danske ( Ogier the Dane ), who sits in the casemates under the castle – ready to wake up if Denmark is in danger!

Book a day trip to Kronborg, Roskilde and Frederiksborg here (the tour gets fantastic reviews).

You could also take the train from Copenhagen Central Station to Elsinore which takes 45 minutes and then walk to the Castle in just about 15 mins.

And yes – the Copenhagen Card covers the entrance to Kronborg as well.

copenhagen canal tour

One of the best experiences and things to do in Copenhagen is a tour of the canals .

On a canal cruise, you will be sailed past some of the city’s most important monuments and buildings, and along the way, you will be told lively stories about the Copenhagen sights you pass along the way.

The guide will speak Danish and English, which is understandable for everyone.

Your canal cruise can start from Nyhavn, for example.

The trip around Copenhagen’s beautiful canals usually takes an hour, so there is plenty of room in the schedule to experience many other things in Copenhagen on the same day.

opera house copenhagen

On the trip around the canals, you will, among other things, pass monuments and buildings such as:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Christiansborg
  • Amalienborg Castle
  • The National Bank
  • The Opera House

You can find tickets for canal cruises online here (including Hop On Hop Off sightseeing busses as well).

the little mermaid copenhagen

Yes, I need to include The Little Mermaid in my guide to things to do in Copenhagen. Why? Because it is one of the city’s best-known sights and something many tourists want to see.

If you ask me about my honest opinion on The Little Mermaid, I would say that you shouldn’t go out of your way and see the little statue only for the experience – you should do it only if you fancy the walk from Nyhavn.

Here’s my video where I’m showing The Little Mermaid and what to do instead:

There’s a standing joke here in Denmark – and I’m not sure if it’s true – that once a tourist asked a tour guide if it was possible to get to “the top of the little mermaid”.

She was devastated when she learned that The Little Mermaid is, in fact – very little…

Okay, so I’ve mentioned her – no more about The Little Mermaid (Copenhagen’s most overrated thing to do) in this guide 😀

On the other hand, I would like to mention her neighbour, Kastellet.

copenhagen citadel kastellet

Right next to The Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s old defences, Kastellet .

Denmark’s military still uses the Citadel, but it is open to us ordinary citizens, and you can have a nice walk on the ramparts.

From here you can actually also look over to The Little Mermaid – if you can spot her (she truly is tiny) 😅

From Kastellet, you should also make your way past the beautiful Gefion Fountain and St Alban’s Church .

copenhagen bar crawl

If you want to get out and experience the nightlife in Copenhagen, it might be an idea to book a place on a genuine bar crawl.

You, and the rest of the evening’s group, will be guided around by a knowledgeable guide on the trip.

You will pass many different bars and clubs, and you can look forward to skipping the queue as part of the pub crawl group. Along the way, there will be free shots, drinks, access and wardrobe, and you will get special offers on drinks at the places you pass.

Please note that you must be over 18 to participate in a bar crawl, as under 18’s can’t legally buy alcohol in bars in Denmark.

These pub crawls bring together people from all over the world, so it’s the perfect opportunity to meet lots of new and exciting people.

Read more about the next bar crawl here and meet lots of new people.

beer tasting copenhagen

Denmark has some of the world’s best breweries. And I am not talking about Carlsberg, which, unfortunately, probably takes the prize for being the best-known Danish beer.

No, we have many exciting microbreweries, and the best-known in craft beer is probably Mikkeller .

Mikkeller has many bars around Copenhagen, and at several of these, you can go to beer tastings, where you can taste a variety of their best beers.

I’d recommend looking at places like Fermentoren , Warpigs , ÅBEN , People Like Us Nørrebro (my friend works here, so if you’re served by a guy called Mathias, say hi from Kris 😀 ), Himmeriget and BRUS for some fantastic craft beer in Copenhagen.

See the best-rated beer tastings in Copenhagen here .

walking tour copenhagen

If you are pushed for time and want to experience as much of the city as possible, a guided walking tour in Copenhagen is perfect.

The tour takes two hours, and along the way, you will pass as many of Copenhagen’s historical and cultural sights and buildings as possible.

In this way, you also avoid having to plan your trip around the city yourself. It has been taken care of for you, and you have a guide with you throughout the tour to explain and discuss the things and places you pass.

Along the way, you will pass by places such as Christiansborg, Amalienborg Castle, Strøget and Nyhavn.

If there are any of the places you would like to experience close by, you can always go back there yourself when the city walk is over.

The tour is the perfect starting point to form an overview of the city, which can be good to have during the rest of your stay in Copenhagen.

Read more about the two-hour walking tour .

copenhagen food tour

If you want to experience the best of Copenhagen’s food scene, you should go on a dedicated food tour with a guide who will take you past the city’s tastiest eateries.

There are several different tours, but a safe choice is CPH Foodtours . They have many years of experience and therefore know exactly how to organise the perfect food tour in Copenhagen.

On this food tour, you’ll start in Torvehallerne, which is Copenhagen’s best-known food market and past several places with everything from custard buns to smørrebrød (the famous Danish open-faced sandwiches ), so if you want to experience the best Copenhagen’s culinary scene has to offer, it’s an excellent choice – and your guide will take you under their wing, so you get lots of exciting information.

See more about the tour and book online here .

If there is one area that is a must to experience when you are in Copenhagen, it is, of course, Christiania .

The area has become Denmark’s answer and symbol of free spirit and, not least, freedom. At Christiania, creative and alternative initiatives and measures abound.

You will find, for example, venues, galleries, restaurants, cafes, workshops and a lot of other exciting and interesting places in the area. You will find many gift ideas and good craftsmanship in the small shops.

All kinds of people live in Christiania, but unfortunately, a small fraction helps to give Christiania a tarnished reputation in the media.

The area is much more than just Pusher Street . It is beautiful nature, happy people, music, colours, originality and ingenuity.

If you come to Copenhagen and have never been to Christiania, you should go out and experience it yourself.

Consider booking a private guided tour for the full experience.

As the name suggests, the Meat Packing District – or Kødbyen in Danish – is Copenhagen’s old Meat Packing District, which 20-30 years ago was anything but a thing to do in Copenhagen.

However, a lot has happened, and Kødbyen in the Vesterbro area is now one of the trendiest places to visit a restaurant or bar.

I love the beer bars Warpigs and ÅBEN, while you can also eat everything from burgers at Tommis Burger Joint to pizza at Mother and seafood at Kødbyens Fiskebar.

A perfect place to stop by if you want to experience Copenhagen nightlife.

copenhagen zoo

Whether you are travelling to Copenhagen with children or not, it is also recommended to take a trip past Copenhagen Zoo, which, together with the parks and gardens in the city, acts as a breather from the rest of Copenhagen’s hustle and bustle.

You can easily spend many hours in the Zoo, so if you need something to do one day, it is an obvious destination.

The Zoo here is open every day all year round, so regardless of when you come to Copenhagen, you also have the opportunity to go to the Zoo.

In the garden, you can greet hundreds of animal species, such as the newly arrived pandas, polar bears, hippos, chimpanzees, sea lions, flamingos, and many more.

You will also find several eating places in the Zoo, where you can have a hearty lunch before heading out to see the other half of the garden.

The entrance is included with your Copenhagen Card .

There is another amusement park in the capital area in addition to Tivoli – called Bakken .

Bakken is a beautiful destination for a fun day trip for the whole family. Here, young and old can have a fun and experiential day speeding across the field.

You can easily take the S-train to Klampenborg St, which is a few hundred metres from the main entrance.

You will find many rides, restaurants, stalls, cafes and candy shops on Bakken. It costs nothing to enter, so if you don’t want to try the rides, you can quickly go to Bakken and enjoy the atmosphere and surroundings for free.

Otherwise, you can buy a tour pass if you dare to try the slides and carousels.

Bakken is open from April to September, and there is a sea of ​​events and activities you can choose to participate in every year.

national aquarium denmark

The most visited attractions in Copenhagen are Tivoli, followed by Bakken and Copenhagen Zoo. Not far from these mastodons, which have existed for almost many years, we find a fascinating attraction which has only recently opened its doors.

I am talking about the National Aquarium of Denmark, which we call Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet), and you will find it in Kastrup on Amager – easy to get to with the metro line towards the Airport .

Over 600,000 people visit Den Blå Planet , Northern Europe’s largest exhibition aquarium, every year. Here you and the family can meet and greet over 450 different species and nothing less than over 20,000 sea animals.

At Den Blå Planet , you can try everything from diving with sharks and getting up close to the mighty sea turtles, or how about going behind the scenes and getting a guided tour of the vast aquarium?

Read more and get tickets here .

If you want a different and exciting taste experience out of the ordinary, you should also stop by Reffen – Copenhagen Street Food.

It is nothing less than Northern Europe’s largest street food market, where food stalls from as many as 17 different nationalities are gathered with one purpose – to serve delicious new and exotic dishes to both the locals and the tourists in the city.

However, the reef is only open seasonally, so the area is closed during winter.

At Reffen, you are guaranteed to find something for every taste, and you can already look forward to sinking your teeth into the many tasty delicacies.

You will find everything from appetisers to main courses and desserts, and next to that, you will also find a large selection of drinks, including cocktails, wine, water and beer.

If you doubt where to enjoy dinner, you should head for Reffen. There are so many stalls and specialities that you can go there many evenings without trying it all.

nyhavn cph

I have mentioned Nyhavn a few times in this article, but the harbour quarter also deserves a point of its own.

Hundreds of thousands of Danes and tourists drop by Nyhavn every year, and there is probably nothing more beautiful or charming than a warm sunny day in Nyhavn.

Whether you sit down at one of the many cafes or restaurants to enjoy a traditional Danish lunch or go for a walk along the water and soak up the good atmosphere, there is probably no cosier place in Copenhagen than Nyhavn.

For many years, the area has been one of the city’s iconic neighbourhoods. Although in the first many years, it housed taverns for the city’s many sailors, today it has taken on a much more positive appearance and now the image of Nyhavn is a much nicer and more peaceful one of a kind.

danish national museum

Between Tivoli and Christiansborg, you will find the National Museum , housed in the beautiful Prinsens Palæ , where it has been since its opening in 1849, as the Danish state took over the buildings.

If you want to get under the skin of Denmark’s entire history, the National Museum is the right place to visit. Here you can see treasures that are all significant relics from the shared Danish past.

A trip to the National Museum is the ideal thing to do in Copenhagen for the whole family, as even the smallest can join in.

Visit the National Museum and step directly into Danish and world history.

The museum also contains a café and a restaurant, where you can conveniently enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal on top of your museum visit.

Get tickets online here or simply use your Copenhagen Card .

malmo sweden

You can also kill two birds with one stone in Copenhagen and experience two countries on the same trip. Because Copenhagen is a short drive to Sweden , it is obvious to take a quick trip across the strait if you are in the capital.

For example, you can take a full-day trip across the Øresund Bridge from Copenhagen . On the trip, you will experience both Lund and Malmø, right on the other side of the water.

The trip lasts around six hours, and it is a unique opportunity to experience Swedish culture and history now that you are so close to our neighbouring country.

national gallery denmark

Here at the end of the guide to the best things to do in Copenhagen, we will also include a trip to the National Gallery of Denmark called Statens Museum for Kunst .

Close by; you will also find the Geological Museum and the State Museum of Natural History, which it is obvious to visit in the same vein.

The National Gallery, or SMK as it is also called, is Denmark’s leading art museum. Over a quarter of a million people come here every year. With the museum’s extensive and long-standing collection considered, it is not difficult to understand why it is so famous.

SMK has many Danish and international works of art, including works by artists like Rembrandt, Mantegna and Rubens. The museum’s collections span the last 700 years, so there is plenty to discover when you enter through the doors at SMK.

marble church copenhagen

One of Copenhagen’s most beautiful churches is between Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid. The church is called Frederiks Kirke but is known as the Marble Church – and that is also the name of the metro station ( Marmorkirken ) just below the church, so it is probably okay to call it that.

The church is from the 18th century, and the beautiful dome is the largest in Scandinavia.

You can come inside for services, and there are often concerts in the church.

Follow the church’s website here .

copenhill ski area in copenhagen

Admittedly, it gets freezing in Copenhagen in the winter, so we could probably have a ski slope or a ski area as we know it in Sweden or Norway. The problem is that Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark are almost as flat as a pancake.

So what do you do?

You build a ski area on an old waste plant in the middle of Copenhagen – welcome to Copenhill .

I don’t ski, but I have been out on Copenhill several times, which is free if you want to experience the view of Copenhagen – and I can recommend it.

You can either hike to the top (it’s steep but only takes a few minutes) or take the lift up to the top, where the ski slope starts, but where there’s also a large viewing area and a bar.

To ski, you must buy a Ski Pass or a combined Pass with rental equipment .

25. Rundetårn ( The Round Tower )

round tower copenhagen

Rundetårn is, as the name suggests – it means The Round Tower in Danish, a round tower, and with its location right in the centre of Copenhagen, this is undoubtedly the best place to get a 360-degree rooftop view of the entire Danish capital.

Rundetårn is located in the city centre on one of the pedestrian streets, and I must admit that I think this is one of Copenhagen’s best things to do.

And it’s value for money – it only costs DKK 40 to get up to Rundetårn. But then you also have to walk all the way, so for those with walking difficulties and the elderly, it is not the best attraction.

rundetårn copenhagen

The view from the top is magnificent. In the pictures here, I was up in the tower in December, right around sunset, and it was lovely!

I showed some English friends around Copenhagen, and they also loved Rundetårn, so foreign tourists approve it 😀

copenhagen skyline from the round tower

You buy tickets at the entrance, but if you have purchased the Copenhagen Card , the Round Tower is also included – just like so many other attractions and experiences in Copenhagen.

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen City Centre

Yes, another castle! But this one’s in the city centre, so I recommend dropping by Rosenborg Castle .

Rosenborg Castle is an absolute gem! Tucked away in the city centre, this Renaissance beauty is brimming with history and charm. It’s like stepping back in time, with royal treasures and the exquisite Danish Crown Jewels on display.

And if that’s not enough, the surrounding King’s Garden is a tranquil haven, perfect for a stroll or a picnic.

Frederiksberg Gardens

Frederiksberg Gardens is my favourite park in Copenhagen and it might even be considered a bit of a hidden gem for most tourists.

This park is located a bit away from Copenhagen’s main attractions, so most tourists don’t consider it, but you can reach it by metro extremely quickly from Nørreport.

This is where locals will chill out in the summertime and where I go for a walk if I need to clear my head and be surrounded by beautiful nature.

Frederiksberg Gardens

So if you’re looking for a free thing to do in Copenhagen and you’ve already been to the main attractions in the city centre, I recommend going to Frederiksberg Gardens.

Kristoffer from Destination Well Known in Copenhagen

Next to the park are a couple of traditional Danish restaurants where you can get smørrebrød and other conventional Danish dishes.

The Tube Copenhagen is a one-of-a-kind attraction within the Copenhagen Central Station, offering an escape into a realm crafted by eight ingenious artists.

As you step into its 17 immersive rooms, prepare to be whisked away on a whimsical journey through time, tales, and a shot at instant stardom.

The Tube is not your typical walk-through exhibit; it’s a playground of disordered perspectives, bewitching illusions, and reflective wonders that challenge the ordinary at every corner. Your senses will dance with delight as each room unfolds a new narrative, urging your imagination to roam free.

So, if you’re keen to flirt with the extraordinary and dip into a world where art meets adventure, The Tube Copenhagen should sit high on your Danish to-do list.

I hope you found my guide on the best things to do in Copenhagen helpful.

If you’ve any questions about my city, please comment below, and I’ll try my best to help you get a great trip to Denmark.

Read all travel blog posts about Copenhagen .

Copenhagen, our lovely capital, has so much to offer! We’re famous for our charming, colourful Nyhavn harbour, with its lively atmosphere and historic townhouses. And who could forget the enchanting Tivoli Gardens , a true fairy tale amusement park in the city’s heart?

We’re also proud of our sustainable living, bike-friendly streets and plenty of green spaces. And don’t even get me started on our fantastic food scene and cosy cafes. Copenhagen has a little of everything, to be honest.

In this guide, I’ve shared some of my favourite things to do and some hidden gems.

This is a good question that depends significantly on what you are for. I love boat tours in the inner harbour and Christianshavn’s Canal. You can see the city from the seaside and see many exciting things you wouldn’t notice when walking around the city.

There are many good, free things to do in our capital. I recommend lacing up a pair of good shoes and walking around the city centre, where you can make your way past Strøget , Christiansborg (you can go up the tower for free), Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid and many other exciting sights. This guide talks about several free things to do in KBH.

Now I live here, and it is best in summer. Winter is dark and cold, but in summer, Copenhagen is one of the best cities in the world.

Oh, you absolutely cannot visit Copenhagen without trying our beloved smørrebrød . These open-faced sandwiches are a Danish classic, made with a slice of dense, dark rye bread topped with various delicious ingredients – my favourite is the roast pork called flæskesteg . Check out my guide to the best smørrebrød in Copenhagen .

Websites I use to book my trips 👇 • Booking.com has the best offers on hotels and unique places to stay • GetYourGuide is the best place to book tours & activities with free cancellation • Omio is my go-to booking platform for trains in Europe • Welcome Pickups is the best & safest place to pre-book airport transfers Psst 👀 Have you subscribed to my Youtube channel and my Instagram where I provide more useful travel tips?

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Hi Kris! I love reading lists of things to do from locals themselves!

This is such an amazing list and has made me want to go back and explore more!

Thank you so much for sharing your insight to your amazing city!

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Thank you very much for your kind words.

Copenhagen is always a good idea 🇩🇰 😀

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Am leaving for Copenhagen in a week’s time and havent done any research. this article is like a gift from heaven. thanks a lot!

p/s: also watched the video on how to get to CPH central from the airport. again, its saves me the stress.

Thank you so much, Adam 🙌

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Hi! That was really helpful. Thanks a lot, Kris! It’s a shame that the National Aquarium of Denmark (The Blue Planet) is not included in the Copenhagen Card though 🙂 that would be lovely.

Thanks for the kind words 🙏🏻

Yes, I agree! I think it used to be included, so fingers crossed it will return.

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19 Best Things To Do in Copenhagen (2024) Must-visit attractions

  • Travel destinations
  • Copenhagen , Denmark , Europe , Scandinavia
  • Mónica Rodrigues Alves
  • March 14, 2024
  • No Comments

O que fazer em Copenhaga: visitar o Castelo de Rosenborg.

Article Index

Are you planning a trip to Copenhagen and searching for the best things to do in the capital of Denmark? Then continue reading, as I’ve compiled a list of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen, along with some offbeat tips that you’re unlikely to find in other travel articles!

I know this claim is bold, but I believe you’ll find everything you need here to organize your trip to Copenhagen and enjoy everything the city, known for having the third highest number of architects per capita in Europe, has to offer.

Denmark is the smallest of the Nordic nations, with 5.8 million inhabitants. Almost half of the Danes live on the islands of Funen and Zealand, and about a quarter of the Danes live in the capital, Copenhagen!

In addition to the Jutland Peninsula, Denmark has over a thousand islands, and its influence extends to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

King Frederik X is currently on the throne, after his mother, Queen Margrethe II, abdicated following 52 years of reign. Their ancestry traces back to the Viking kings of the 10th century! It’s incredible!

Another feature that impressed me in Denmark was its connection to architecture; it’s, in fact, the third country with the most architects per capita in Europe!

Regarding the best places to visit in Copenhagen, you’ve probably heard of the Little Mermaid, Tivoli Gardens, and Christiania, but there are many amazing places in Copenhagen that I want to share with you.

For example, the Marble Church, the wooden giants, and the Little Mermaid’s younger sister, which interestingly, few travelers are acquainted with…

Best Things To Do In Copenhagen (Must-see attractions)

Jardins do Tivoli, em Copenhaga.

Exploring the Historic Center of Copenhagen

Almost every itinerary starts this way, doesn’t it? Getting to know the historic center of Copenhagen is an excellent way to discover the capital of Denmark.

Rådhuspladsen, or City Hall Square, is where the City Hall is located and is one of the main entrances to the historic center of Copenhagen.

It’s a vast square, often with some street vendors, and it’s close to one of the entrances to Tivoli Gardens, the one with a statue of Hans Christian Andersen.

Discovering the Colorful Houses of Nyhavn’s Historic Harbor

As casinhas coloridas no Porto de Nyhavn, em Copenhaga.

Nyhavn is one of the most touristy spots in Copenhagen, but there are good reasons for that!

In the iconic 17th-century harbor, you’ll find the famous colorful houses, one of the most photographed postcards of Denmark.

Due to being such a popular tourist attraction, the docks, along with the old warehouses and fisherman’s houses, have transformed into restaurants and terraces bustling with tourists.

In other words, it’s a sought-after spot for visitors to have dinner or enjoy a drink in one of the many restaurants and bars in the area.

Despite its touristy nature, I must say it was amusing to notice that many of the century-old houses adapted into restaurants still retain their historic charm.

One of the most famous residents of Nyhavn’s Harbor was Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author of fairy tales and creator of the Little Mermaid, who lived in houses numbered 18, 20, and 67.

As for the oldest house in Nyhavn, it’s number 9 and dates back to 1681.

Witnessing the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg, Den Kongelige Livgarde (The Royal Guard of Denmark)

Render da guarda no Palácio Amalienborg.

The Amalienborg Palace, built in the mid-18th century in Rococo style, is a grand complex occupying an entire city block in the heart of Copenhagen.

It serves as the official residence of King Frederik X and the main royal residence in Copenhagen.

The Danish Royal Guard is an elite regiment of the Danish Army tasked with protecting the Royal Family.

The Changing of the Guard ceremony in Copenhagen takes place every day at 12:00 PM, a tradition spanning over 100 years.

Usually, around 38 soldiers, accompanied by the regiment’s drums, leave the Rosenborg Palace barracks at precisely 11:27 AM, making a 2 km march to Amalienborg Palace.

They traverse the old city, passing through Kongens Nytorv, the central square of the capital, before the grand arrival at the Palace.

The octagonal square of Amalienborg fills with tourists eager to witness the flag-handover ceremony, signifying the responsibility of the newly arrived group of soldiers to guard the King.

Right in front of this palace stands the Frederik’s Church (Frederiks Kirke), also known as the Marble Church of Copenhagen.

Explore Frederik’s Church (Frederiks Kirke)

Igreja de Frederico (Frederiks Kirke), a igreja de mármore de Copenhaga.

Frederiks Kirke, or Frederik’s Church, is an admirable architectural gem!

Not only is it constructed from marble, but it also boasts a dome that stands out among the remarkable buildings of the capital. And mind you, Copenhagen has impressive structures!

After all, Copenhagen’s Marble Church has the largest dome in Scandinavia (31 meters in diameter), reminiscent of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Visiting Christiansborg Palace

Palácio de Christiansborg.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849, with the Danish Crown enjoying the support of over 3/4 of the population, despite governmental powers residing in the Parliament, based in Christiansborg Palace, located in the heart of Copenhagen.

In fact, Christiansborg Palace served as the residence of the Danish monarchy until 1974 and is currently open for tours.

This palace features five attractions: The Royal Reception Rooms, the Royal Kitchen, the Ruins and the Royal Stables, and the Palace Chapel.

In other words, you can explore the rooms where monarchs received state figures and other important areas of the palace.

The highlight of the visit is often the ascent to the tower of Christiansborg Palace, offering a panoramic view of the entire city.

Visiting Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot)

O que fazer em Copenhaga: visitar o Castelo de Rosenborg.

Rosenborg Castle is a Renaissance palace and, in terms of size, is smaller than the other palaces in Copenhagen.

Entrance to the castle is paid, and there is usually a queue, so it’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance.

The main highlights of Rosenborg are the throne room and the collection of Danish Crown Jewels.

If you prefer not to pay for admission, you can freely explore the gardens and witness the changing of the guards daily at 11:38 AM, heading towards Amalienborg Palace.

Location : Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark.

Seeing Copenhagen Cathedral (Vor Frue Kirke)

Catedral de Copenhaga.

Copenhagen Cathedral, also known as Our Lady’s Cathedral or Vor Frue Kirke, follows a Protestant-Lutheran tradition.

There’s so much to say about this cathedral! The neoclassical exterior, featuring six giant columns inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, commands respect.

Inside, the simplicity of the decoration is taken to the extreme, with light colors on the walls and ceiling, prompting visitors to gaze upward. The exception is the shining marble statues, standing like sentinels watching over the faithful.

There’s plenty of space inside the cathedral, as it can accommodate around 1100 seated individuals! The cathedral measures 83 meters in length and 33 meters in width, with the nave reaching 60 meters in length and over 25 meters from floor to ceiling.

As you can imagine, it’s easy to feel small in such a vast space.

At the top of the 60-meter tower are the church’s four bells, with two deserving special mention:

  • Stormklokken, the largest bell in Denmark, weighing 4 tons.
  • The smallest bell in the tower is the oldest bell in the country, dating back to 1490.

Location : Nørregade 8, 1165 København, Denmark.

Entrance : Free.

Strolling in the historic amusement park of Tivoli Gardens

Montanha-russa no Jardim do Tivoli, em Copenhaga.

Roller coaster in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Tivoli Gardens is the third oldest amusement park in the world, delighting both children and adults since 1843.

In other words, several generations of Copenhagen residents have grown up playing here.

One of the highlights is the Star Flyer tower, standing at 80 meters, visible from any point in the city, as well as roller coasters and carousels.

There’s also a large lake and pathways to explore its shores! Tivoli Gardens operates during the following periods:

  • Summer 2024: March 22nd to September 22nd;
  • Halloween 2024: October 10th to November 3rd;
  • Christmas 2024: November 15th to January 5th, 2025 (closed on December 24th).

Stroll along one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, Strøget

Strøget, a rua pedonal em Copenhaga para compras.

If you consider that Strøget includes 5 interconnected streets, all bustling with shops, cafes, and restaurants, you’ll understand why this area is super lively and a paradise for those who can’t resist shopping while traveling.

There are plenty of shops, but also museums, such as the Guinness World Records Museum!

And mind you, just the main street of Strøget is 1.1 km long, so be prepared to walk a lot and bring a well-stocked wallet!

Rundetaarn, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe

Rundetaarn, em Copenhaga.

Rundetaarn, or the Round Tower of Copenhagen, dates back to the 17th century and is the oldest operating observatory in Europe.

To ascend the tower, you must climb a ramp that winds around seven and a half times. In other words, there are no stairs to climb but rather a giant ramp! You might feel a bit queasy if you go up too quickly.

Admission is paid (40 DKK; approximately 5.30 €), and you can purchase tickets upon arrival.

See the Little Mermaid on the shores of the Baltic Sea

O que fazer em Copenhaga: ver a Pequena Sereia.

The Little Mermaid statue, created by Edvard Eriksen, represents a character from one of the fairy tales of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.

This famous bronze statue is often considered one of the symbols of the city of Copenhagen and is located in Langelinie, along the shores of the Baltic Sea.

The sculpture stands at 125 centimeters, and there is often some surprise regarding its size, as it appears small in person.

Take the opportunity to visit Kastellet, a well-preserved 17th-century fortress located next to the Little Mermaid.

Explore the museums of Copenhagen

Museus em Copenhaga: Guinness World Records Museum.

I enjoy visiting museums during my travels, so I was pleased to discover that Copenhagen has a variety of interesting museums!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit them all, but to help you plan your trip, here’s a list of the main museums in Copenhagen.

By clicking on the museum’s name, you’ll be directed to its location on Google Maps, allowing you to save the location on your phone. In parentheses, you’ll find the museum’s name in Danish. I hope this information is helpful!

  • Guinness World Records Museum
  • National Gallery of Denmark (SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst)
  • Museum of Copenhagen (Københavns Museum)
  • Thorvaldsen Museum
  • Design Museum Denmark (Designmuseum Denmark)
  • The Happiness Museum (Lykkemuseet)
  • Danish Jewish Museu (Dansk Jødisk Museum)
  • Danish War Museum (Krigsmuseet)

Take a canal tour of the city

O que fazer em Copenhaga: passeio de barco nos canais.

The boats that offer canal tours in Copenhagen depart from the Nyhavn harbor, and although it’s possible to buy tickets on-site, I recommend purchasing them online in advance.

This is because many people want to take the boat tour through the canals, and if you don’t have your ticket beforehand, you might risk not getting a spot on that day or have to wait for the next cruise.

In other words, purchase your ticket here: Canal Cruise Tour in Copenhagen .

Take a chilly dip in the Baltic Sea

There are 93 cold-water swimming clubs in Denmark, with ‘Caracol’ in Copenhagen being predominantly frequented by locals.

These swimming platforms offer the opportunity to engage in one of the Danes’ favorite sports – taking a plunge into icy waters!

So, if you’re feeling inspired for extreme and adrenaline-pumping activities, don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Ski or snowboard on the roof of a power plant (CopenHill)

CopenHill em Copenhaga.

CopenHill, opened in 2019, is a mountain resort located on the roof of a power plant in the heart of Copenhagen.

See the smoke coming out of the building in the photo? That’s it!

The ski slope is 450 meters long and can be used for both skiing and snowboarding. Additionally, it boasts the world’s tallest climbing wall.

If you prefer, you can simply walk, as there are trails for those less inclined towards adrenaline.

Explore Copenhagen’s architectural legacy

Estação Central de Copenhaga.

Copenhagen was the World Capital of Architecture in 2023.

The title ‘UNESCO-UIA – World Capital of Architecture’ underscores the city’s strong legacy in innovative urban development, along with a commitment to sustainability and improving housing conditions in cities.

Those who love modern architecture will feel like they’re in paradise in Copenhagen, as there are many examples of charismatic buildings to be seen.

You’ve probably heard of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a group of architects, designers, and builders based in Copenhagen and New York, working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, research, and development.

However, there are other notable names in the field of architecture in Copenhagen. Henning Larsen Architects, Cobe, Gehl Architects, C.F. Møller, 3XN, Lendager Group, Dissing & Weitling, Lundgaard & Tranberg, Dorthe Mandrup are some examples to follow.

Explore Freetown Christiania

O que fazer em Copenhaga: visitar Freetown Christiania.

Freetown Christiania is a world of its own in Copenhagen!

The self-proclaimed Free City of Christiania has its own laws and does not pay taxes to the Danish government.

Many hippies around, as well as murals, street art, and some alternative activities. I think you know what I mean…

There are shops and cafes if you want to spend a couple of hours exploring the area.

Just remember that taking photos in Christiania is not allowed.

Copenhagenize: rent a bike and explore Copenhagen on two wheels

Alugar bicicleta em Copenhaga.

Cycling in Copenhagen is such a common activity that it has its own name: Copenhagenize!

So, ‘Copenhagenize’ is a term that refers to the process of making a city more suitable and safe for cyclists, modeling itself on the successful practices and infrastructure observed in Copenhagen.

You see, Copenhagen is considered an example of best practices when it comes to this two-wheeled transport!

This approach aims to promote cycling as an efficient and sustainable means of transportation by incorporating bike-friendly infrastructure, urban policies, and initiatives that encourage cycling as a viable option for urban mobility.

And this approach applies to both locals and tourists, so if you’re wondering whether it’s worth renting a bike in Copenhagen, the answer is yes!

In fact, Copenhagen is a city made for cycling, boasting an incredible network of bike lanes, clear signage, and a culture that loves bicycles.

Moreover, renting a bike, besides being environmentally friendly and good for your health, is the key to exploring the city in a unique and efficient way.

Rådhusstræde Cykler is one of the places where you can rent a bike in Copenhagen, but there are others in the city.

Visiting Malmö, Sweden

Câmara Municipal no centro de Malmö, Suécia.

The city of Malmö is very close to Copenhagen; in fact, you only need to cross the Øresund Bridge to reach the neighboring country, Sweden.

You can travel by train or bus, with the former being faster and the latter more economical.

I took the Flixbus early in the morning, giving me a full day to explore Malmö, which seemed sufficient.

By the way, the trick to finding cheap bus tickets is to book as far in advance as possible!

The train station in Malmö is a convenient 5-minute walk from the city center.

The Best Things To Do in Copenhagen For Free: Free Activities in Copenhagen

Capela de Christiansborg Palace (entrada gratuita).

It’s true that Copenhagen is an expensive city, but there are some activities you can enjoy to keep your travel budget in check.

Both watching the Changing of the Guard, seeing the Little Mermaid, or exploring Nyhavn harbor are free activities in Copenhagen that are well worth your time.

Moreover, while some parts of Christiansborg Palace require paid admission, the Palace Chapel is free to enter, as well as the galleries of Parliament when it’s in session.

By the way, guided tours of Parliament are also free, so take advantage of that!

Accommodation in Copenhagen. Best Neighborhoods and Budget Accommodation

Alojamento económico em Copenhaga.

It may seem contradictory to talk about budget accommodation in Copenhagen, as I found the city to be quite expensive!

However, we have to make decisions with the data we have, and the truth is that it is possible to find reasonable accommodation in the city center at acceptable prices.

So, my choice was the budget-friendly Cabinn City (2 stars), near the Central Station, but I must say it was far from everything else.

Therefore, if it were today, I might consider staying more centrally, for example, at Hotel Christian IV (3 stars) or Hotel Bethel (3 stars) in Nyhavn harbor.

Best Transportation in Copenhagen

Transportes em Copenhaga, Dinamarca.

Transportation in Copenhagen works well, but as the main tourist attractions are relatively close, I walked a lot.

In other words, I used the train to go from the airport to the center, the bus to go to Malmö, Sweden, and the rest of the time I walked.

I walked a lot, but for me, it’s the best way to get to know a city.

It’s worth mentioning that UBER doesn’t operate in Copenhagen, and bicycles are the most common way for people to get around.

All You Need to Know About Traveling to Copenhagen

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) no Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro, no Porto (Portugal).

Where is Copenhagen and how to get there?

Copenhagen is located in Denmark, in Northern Europe, in a region known as Scandinavia.

If you’re traveling from major cities in Europe or North America, the quickest way to reach Copenhagen is by plane.

Direct flights are available from various European cities, including major hubs like London , Paris, and Frankfurt. If you’re coming from North America, you can find direct flights from cities such as New York and Toronto.

The main airlines offering non-stop flights to Copenhagen include major carriers and international airlines, providing convenient options for travelers from different parts of the world.

How to get from Copenhagen Airport to the city center?

Aeroporto de Copenhaga - Copenhagen Airport (CPH).

The fastest way to travel from the airport to the center of Copenhagen is by train, or the S-Tøg.

The train station is inside the airport, and there are automated machines to purchase tickets. If you find it a bit challenging to locate the name of the central station in Copenhagen, there is assistance available to guide you through the ticket vending machines.

To buy a ticket to the center of Copenhagen, look for the name of the Central Station, which is København H. This station is right in front of Tivoli Gardens.

Payment can be made by card, and the platform number is indicated on the ticket. There are two platforms, one in each direction, so make sure you catch the right train.

There are machines on the platforms to validate tickets, but they are only for those using a regular transportation card, meaning you don’t need to validate tickets from the machines.

From Copenhagen Airport to Central Station, it’s 3 stops, approximately a 15-minute journey.

Is there Uber in Copenhagen?

Uber does not operate in Copenhagen, and taxis can be expensive. Therefore, I chose to walk or use public transportation during my trip.

What is the currency in Copenhagen?

The official currency of Denmark is the Danish Krone (DKK), so it is not possible to make payments in euros.

However, card payments are widely accepted. I didn’t need to exchange or withdraw money from ATMs in Copenhagen. In all the places I visited, including street shops, cafes, restaurants, and street vendors, they all accepted card payments.

I always used my Revolut card, and it worked perfectly.

How many days are needed to visit Copenhagen?

Caminhar no porto de Nyhavn.

A stay of three to four days is ideal to fully immerse yourself in the charm of the Danish capital.

This timeframe allows for a relaxed exploration of key attractions, such as the historic city center, Nyhavn’s colorful waterfront, the Little Mermaid statue, and the splendid Tivoli Gardens.

You’ll also have time to discover Copenhagen’s vibrant cultural scene, indulge in its culinary delights, and perhaps take a day trip to nearby destinations like Malmö in Sweden.

This balanced itinerary ensures you experience the essence of Copenhagen without feeling rushed.

Best time to visit Copenhagen?

When to travel to Copenhagen? Well, different times of the year correspond to distinct activities in the city.

In the summer, don’t miss the lively summer festivals, such as the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Copenhell, and the Copenhagen Opera Festival.

In the winter, besides the Christmas markets , when the lakes freeze, the Danes have fun skating and playing curling.

Moreover, they often say that spring and autumn are excellent times for those traveling to Copenhagen, as the days are mild, and hotel prices are more affordable.

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  4. Top 10 Things To See And Do In Copenhagen, Denmark

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  1. The most popular top attractions

    Tivoli Gardens. Magical Tivoli Gardens is Copenhagen's central theme park. And one of the oldest in the world. Info. See on map. Free with Copenhagen Card. Billedhuggeren Edvard Eriksens Arvinger. Photo: Rasmus Flindt.

  2. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Copenhagen

    14. Bakken: The World's Oldest Amusement Park. 15. Copenhagen Zoo. Where to Stay in Copenhagen for Sightseeing. Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Copenhagen. Map of Tourist Attractions in Copenhagen. 1. Tivoli Gardens.

  3. What to see and do in Copenhagen

    Rosenborg Castle: A Renaissance gem in the middle of town. Rosenborg Castle is a 400-year-old Renaissance castle located in the center of Copenhagen. In addition to the beautiful exterior and the royal palace park, there is a lot to discover inside the castle. Inside, you can see three life-size silver lions keeping watch, and do not miss the ...

  4. 19 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, Denmark

    Art lovers will delight in Copenhagen Contemporary, a contemporary art museum with rotating exhibits. And for the adventurous souls: Copenhagen Cable Park offers an opportunity to try water sports ...

  5. 20 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, Picked By Locals

    2. Tivoli Gardens. There's fun for all the family at Copenhagen's world-famous amusement park, which has stood on this site for more than 175 years and even inspired a certain Walt Disney ...

  6. 15 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

    Assistens Cemetery. This famous cemetery is smack in the middle of Copenhagen's hip Nørrebro district and doubles as a public park that people actually hang out at—and even sunbathe in ...

  7. Must-see attractions Copenhagen, Denmark

    Discover the best attractions in Copenhagen including Tivoli Gardens, Christiania, and Rosenborg Slot. Lonely Planet. Destinations. Planning. Inspiration. Shop. Search. Saves. Open main menu. Europe. Denmark. ... Copenhagen. The main sight of interest in the Lyngby area is Frilandsmuseet, a sprawling open-air museum of old countryside dwellings ...

  8. 9 of the best things to do in Copenhagen

    3. Go boating on Copenhagen's canals. Experience Copenhagen from the water with a boat tour or kayaking adventure along the city's harbor and canals. It's a great way to explore, and you'll pass one of the city's architectural gems, the Black Diamond at the Det Kongelige Bibliotek, on the charming Christianshavn canal.

  9. 20 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

    2. Ride a Nordic seaplane. Cavan Images/Getty Images. It's always a special experience to get a birds-eye view of a new city, especially one as lovely as Copenhagen. Cecilia Fonden, a concierge ...

  10. 35 BEST Things to do in Copenhagen (Written by locals)

    24. Get on a bike. One of the most Copenhagen-like things you can do is to go and explore the city on two wheels. Copenhagen is one of the biggest bicycle cities in the world. The locals always bike from A to B, so the bike lanes are really good, and the cars are used to looking out for bikes.

  11. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Copenhagen

    building filled with small unique vendors, and food trucks and a market outside. 9. Rundetårn. The Round Tower Lookout Tower - Observatory - Exhibitions - Concerts.One of the best-known and most popular structures in Denmark, the Round Tower has been a distinctive feature of the Copenhagen skyline since 1642.

  12. 22 Best Things to do in Copenhagen (for First-Timers!)

    11. Walk Through the National Gallery of Denmark. The country's main museum for visual art invites you to explore the extensive art collection, which includes over 260,000 pieces. The Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) is a true treasure trove of Danish art and culture in the heart of Copenhagen.

  13. 20 Top Attractions In Copenhagen

    2. Town hall square, Rådhuspladsen One of the most frequented and top Copenhagen sights is the town hall or Radhuspladsen. The main square of Copenhagen is simply called Copenhagen town hall square or Rådhuspladsen. It is fashioned in an Italian Renaissance style with Danish influence that was popular during the timeframe of its build. On the main tower of the town hall is a large ornate ...

  14. Copenhagen Attractions: Our 19 Favourite Things to Do and See

    Nyhavn is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen - and for good reason! The harbour was finished in 1673 and believe it or not, it was originally a strictly commercial port. The colourful houses that we see today were only built in the 18th and 19th century. As such, there's a ton of history surrounding the harbour.

  15. Copenhagen Attractions

    9. The Danish War Museum (formerly The Royal Arsenal Museum) This acclaimed museum of military history is located Christian IV's solid weaponry from 1604 right in the centre of power of Denmark's capital. Enter a Danish military camp from the war in Afghanistan, hear about life in the Danish Navy, and get an insight into Denmark's wars since ...

  16. 51 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, Denmark

    The Copenhagen Card is a good way to save money if you plan to visit several of these Copenhagen tourist attractions. It even includes local transportation. There are also plenty of Copenhagen ... Strøget is the main street for shopping in Copenhagen. The long pedestrianized street stretches from Rådhuspladsen to Nyhavn & is lined with shops ...

  17. Visiting Copenhagen, Denmark: What To Know Before You Go

    2. Little Mermaid Statue. The Little Mermaid statue is unquestionably one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions, a gift given to the City of Copenhagen from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen in 1938. This bronze and granite sculpture is inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson's famous fairytales.

  18. 28 Best Things To Do in Copenhagen + Hidden Gems (2024)

    2. Canal Cruise from Nyhavn (awesome way to see the city and The Little Mermaid) 3. Rent a GoBoat and cruise the harbour (my favourite thing to do in Summer) 4. The Round Tower (free entrance with the Copenhagen Card) 5. Guided Tour to Malmö, Lund and Hamlet's Castle in Elsinore.

  19. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Copenhagen

    building filled with small unique vendors, and food trucks and a market outside. 9. Rundetårn. The Round Tower Lookout Tower - Observatory - Exhibitions - Concerts.One of the best-known and most popular structures in Denmark, the Round Tower has been a distinctive feature of the Copenhagen skyline since 1642.

  20. 19 Best Things To Do in Copenhagen (2024) Must-visit attractions

    Transportation in Copenhagen works well, but as the main tourist attractions are relatively close, I walked a lot. In other words, I used the train to go from the airport to the center, the bus to go to Malmö, Sweden, and the rest of the time I walked. I walked a lot, but for me, it's the best way to get to know a city.

  21. Copenhagen Attractions Map

    Print. Get App. Interactive map of Copenhagen with all popular attractions - Nyhavn, Christiansborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle and more. Take a look at our detailed itineraries, guides and maps to help you plan your trip to Copenhagen.

  22. Copenhagen's hippie oasis wants to rebuild without illegal hashish market

    Area becomes tourist attraction Over the years, Christiania has become one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions, a magnet for Danes as well as foreigners.