It is easy to fall in love with Copenhagen! Not only is it known as the happiest city in the world, but the capital of Denmark is also rightfully denominated as the City of Fairytales! We have every reason to believe that Copenhagen should be on every traveler’s bucket list!
From attractions straight from fairytale books such as The Little Mermaid, real-life centuries-old castles, and a magical amusement park, every tourist will feel like they are living inside an enchanted world in Copenhagen. As the world is slowly reopening, Denmark is one of the best countries to visit. There is no better venue to spend your first vacation in a long time than in the happiest city in the world.
In this article, we make a compelling list of why you should visit Denmark at least once in your life by specifically highlighting the top places to see in Copenhagen. We assure you that this city is truly worth it and you will have a blast!
Without further ado, here are the top 10 things to do in Copenhagen.
- Best Attractions in Copenhagen for Visitors
- Take a look at the famous The Little Mermaid Statue
- Learn about Danish art history in the National Gallery of Denmark
- Paint the town red at Tivoli Gardens
- Enjoy a sports day at Amager Bakke
- Get some down time at the Nyhavn
- See the historic royal house at Rosenborg Castle in the King’s Garden
- Visit the Christiansborg Palace
- See where the current royal family lives at Amalienborg Castle
- Get inside the towering Roskilde Cathedral
- Enjoy a food trip at Torvehallerne
- FAQs about things to do in Copenhagen
- Tips and Guide when visiting the Copenhagen City
- Other interesting things to do in Copenhagen
- COVID-19 Measures in Copenhagen
- Do’s and Don’ts in Copenhagen
- BookOnBoard’s Guide on Top Things to Do in Copenhagen
- Don’t forget to drop by in these countries too!
Best Attractions in Copenhagen for Visitors
Take a look at the famous The Little Mermaid Statue
You can’t visit Copenhagen without dropping by at one of its most iconic attractions, The Little Mermaid statue. This work of art by Edvard Eriksen is a nod to the classic fairy tale that every person has read which was written by Hans Christian Andersen about a little mermaid wanting to transform into a human to be with her prince.
The original bronze sculpture was first seen by the public in 1913. Since then, people vandalize this statue, causing recurring damages. However, the government restored it to its former glory. You can now find it on top of a big rock by the shore of Langelinie.
Although famous, The Little Mermaid Statue is actually really small with a height of only 1.25 meters. However, this does not take away the fact that it is one of Denmark’s most famous things that tourists want to see. While visiting around the area, you can take pictures while strolling leisurely to enjoy the view and the weather.
Learn about Danish art history in the National Gallery of Denmark
One cannot go to Denmark and not visit this place. It is located in the city center of Copenhagen and is the country’s largest art museum. If you are looking for must-sees in Copenhagen, Denmark, this is definitely a must.
The gallery exhibits the most intricate dating as far back as the 14th century. It also houses works of the 19th Century during what is known as the Danish Golden Age of creative production.
You can tickets for only 120 Danish Krone or $20. You can also book an English tour guide so you can have an in-depth knowledge of the history behind the artworks.
Paint the town red at Tivoli Gardens
Do you love thrill rides and adventure? Then you have to visit one of the oldest and still-operating theme parks to exist! The Tivoli Gardens has been around in Copenhagen for 178 years since its construction in 1843.
There are four different roller coasters in this amusement park, including a very unique wooden sit-down roller coaster ride called the Rutschebanen. This ride resembles a mountain and has been operating since 1914! You can also find plenty of classic amusement rides for adults such as a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, swing rides, and boat rides. Kids, on the other hand, will never get bored as the park offers amazing kiddie rides like the classic carousel, mini bumper cars, train rides, and a lot more.
Aside from these attractions, Tivoli Gardens amusement park is also home to a concert hall and a pantomime theatre. It is where you can take a break from sightseeing and have some stuff to do in Copenhagen.
Enjoy a sports day at Amager Bakke
Amager Bakke, also known as CopenHil, is Copenhagen’s waste-to-energy power plant that also houses a recreational sports facility. As a power plant, it can generate heat for around 150,000 households annually, all from non-recyclable trash.
If you are wondering what sports activity you can enjoy here, all you need to do is look at the design of the building. You will be amazed to find a 400-meter long artificial ski slope running from the top to its base. There is also an 85-meter climbing wall outside.
Entrance is free. If you are not into sports, you may opt to ride the elevator to the top of the building. Here, you can watch people as they ski while taking in the beautiful view around the area. A restaurant is also available in the area.
Since you can find lots of things to do in this single place alone, this is definitely one of the best Copenhagen activities you can find.
Get some down time at the Nyhavn
At the city center of Copenhagen lies the New Harbor, or as the Danish would call it, Nyhavn. It is a very picturesque place. Imagine a beautiful canal waterway surrounded by old beautiful and colorful buildings.
Nyhavn is definitely one of the best spots for tourists. Explore the area and you will surely find restaurants serving good nordic cuisine. Many people would visit, take pictures, and leave the place after lunch. However, we suggest slowing down, resting at a cafe while observing the people and the surroundings.
By nighttime, you will enjoy the relaxed ambiance of this unique neighborhood. Make sure to listen to jazz music as you have your romantic dinner. For other activities during the day, you can take canal cruise tours available.
See the historic royal house at Rosenborg Castle in the King’s Garden
If you want to see where the royal family lived during the 17th century, you can step inside the Rosenborg Castle located at The King’s Garden. The castle used the Dutch Renaissance style and was built by Christian IV who wanted a residence that is more reflective of his personality. In fact, when you visit the castle, you can see the actual chamber where the king breathed his last.
In addition, there is an entire museum inside where you can find the treasury housing the famous Danish Crown Jewels. A spectacular array of gold and silver jewelry are displayed dating back to the 18th century. Along the way, you can also find a royal throne and several weaponries.
Museum ticket prices vary for adults, students, and visitors in groups. Tourists can avail guided tours for a fee. Just be sure to book at least two weeks in advance. You can explore the Knights Hall and The Treasury where a collection of Danish crown jewels are on display.
Visit the Christiansborg Palace
The Christiansborg Palace is one of the most famous Copenhagen attractions. While the Rosenborg Castle is a symbol of the monarchy, the Christiansborg Palace houses the democratic part of Denmark. Currently, it is where you can find the Danish Parliament, the office of the prime minister of Denmark, as well as the Danish Supreme Court.
While it used to be the main residence of the royals from the 1400s to 1700s, you can still definitely indulge in culture and history on your visit. Elegant halls, classic pillars, massive statues, grand chandeliers, and art patterned floors will welcome your arrival.
Among the places open to the public include The Royal Reception Rooms, The Royal Stables, The Royal Kitchen, and The Christiansborg Palace Chapel. This is indeed a great place to explore! You can also visit the nearby ruins of Absalon’s Castle.
See where the current royal family lives at Amalienborg Castle
Amalienborg Palace is where the current Danish royal family resides and a popular Copenhagen site. As such, there are royal guards protecting the area. Many spectators take time to drop by at noon to witness the daily changing of the guards in front of Amalienborg.
The whole place consists of four grand palaces but only two of them are open for visitors. These are the palace of Christian VII, formerly called Moltke’s Palace, and the palace of Christian VIII, formerly called Levetzau’s Palace.
Inside the palace museum, you can learn more about the past and present royals. Don’t miss out the chance to wander around the fabulous royal reception rooms and get a glimpse of the private bed chambers of former royalties. Definitely an experience worth remembering!
Get inside the towering Roskilde Cathedral
One of the many interesting places in Copenhagen is the Rosilke Cathedral. It is very famous for two unique reasons. First, it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Second, it is the resting house of royals.
That’s right! When you visit this cathedral, not only will you get to step inside a Gothic-style architecture building but you will also be fascinated to see the burial place of many important persons in history.
From the outside, you will right away notice that it is made of spectacular bricks. Inside, you will definitely marvel at the monuments of the royals buried there.
Visitors can ride the train from the Copenhagen Central Train Station and alight at the Roskilde Train Station. Other transportation options include riding a bus, taxi, or your own car.
Enjoy a food trip at Torvehallerne
Copenhagen is not only famous for its palaces, its delicacies are also a class of their own. If you want to get a feel of what is like to be local in Copenhagen, this is the best place to be. you can spend your free time here drinking wine and eating scrumptious food with friends.
Spending your breakfast here will start your day right. You will see farmers deliver fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farms and local gardens. Friendly waiters and restaurant owners serve their freshly-baked signature delicacies such as danish pastries. Also, don’t miss out on trying smørrebrød which is a local Danish delicacy.
The nightlife is just as enjoyable. Bars serve exquisite liquor and wines which makes Danish drinking culture something to look forward to when visiting Copenhagen.
FAQs about things to do in Copenhagen
- Where exactly is Copenhagen?
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, a quiet and beautiful country in northern Europe. Specifically, Copenhagen is mainly located on the eastern part of Zealand island and is separated to Sweden by the Oresund Strait. A portion of the city also lies on Amager island. You can find the exact coordinates of Copenhagen here.
As the largest city in the country, it is also the most populous. You can enter Copenhagen through the main international airport called Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup located on the island of Amager. If you are coming from Denmark or Sweden, you can even travel to the city by road.
- What is Copenhagen best known for?
You might think that Copenhagen is famous for its Royal Culture with all its palaces, however, City of Fairytales takes the honor of being the most famous place there. It owes its moniker to Hans Christian Andersen, a legendary children’s books author. The Little Mermaid Statue alone continues to attract tourists from all over the globe.
Moreover, the cityscape is a sophisticated mix of old and new, with canal waterways, preserved buildings, historical mansions and palaces, and developed urban clusters.
Aside from excellence in art and literature, Danish people are known to be the happiest and most trustworthy. Trust extends not just within ordinary people but to government institutions as well.
Famous Danish cuisine include smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich consisting of rye bread with cold cuts of meat or pieces of fish, complete with cheese and vegetable toppings.
- What should you not miss in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen has a lot to offer. If you are into architecture, then we highly suggest visiting the aforementioned palaces and cathedrals.
Aside from those, you may also want to take a loot at The Round Tower which was built for astronomical observation. If you are already leaving Copenhagen, then you may want to visit Kronborg Castle along the way.
The palaces, museum, and art galleries are also great for history and art lovers. If you want to see timeless artworks from the 1400s up to the Golden Age of the 19th century, this is the place to be in.
For nature lovers, you must not miss the Open Air Museum. Here you can find farms, windmills, and bask in the glory of flowers and fresh air. Spending your time here is like being transported into a different world – Old Denmark.
- How can I spend 3 days in Copenhagen?
Making the most out of Copenhagen in three days can be quite tricky. But do not worry as we will lay down how you can spend your day without booking expensive guided tours.
On the first day, it’s best to check out all the Copenhagen highlights such as The Little Mermaid Statue, Tivoli Gardens, and the National Museum. A tour of the National Museum may take hours so it is best to visit it as early as possible.
On the second day, you may want to explore historic sites such as the palaces and cathedrals where you can get a feel of what it is like living as a royal. It is best to spend your time in Copenhagen’s royal places at once.
By the third day, you can spend it at Amager Bakke and end the night at the food market in Torvehallerne. This way, you can ski or climb all you want without spoiling your vacation.
- Is Copenhagen worth visiting?
Great culture, delicious food, and friendly locals, Copenhagen is definitely worth visiting. It isn’t dubbed as the happiest city for no reason. You will definitely have a blast when you explore Copenhagen as it is filled with the best things about being a Danish local.
- When is the best time to go to Copenhagen?
The summer season running from March to May or June to August is the typical option. However, if you like to check out lower rates and avoid larger crowds, then it is best to have your vacation outside these months.
Tips and Guide when visiting the Copenhagen City
Another good thing about the city is that almost all shops accept US Dollars, Euros, and Swedish Kronar. So, you do not have to worry about converting your money all the time.
Speaking of money, Copenhagen can be expensive if you don’t know where to look. To help you get the most out of Copenhagen’s beauty without breaking the bank, here are the best options for your pocket.
Low-cost Flights to Copenhagen
If you are flying from New York:
If you are flying from Los Angeles:
- Swiss Air
- Air France
Cheapest Hotels to Stay At in Copenhagen Denmark
- Axel Guldsmeden
- Hotel Herman K
- Copenhagen Downtown Hotel
Best Places to Eat in Copenhagen
- Kadeau Copenhagen
Common Prices when visiting places in Copenhagen
A budget of $80 to $130 per day (without hotel accommodation) is a great deal for budget travelers when in Copenhagen. Here is an overview of the average expenses to expect:
- Museum entrance fees – $20
- Food – $30 per meal
- Tour Guide – $15 per hour
Other interesting things to do in Copenhagen
Aside from those named in the list, there are also other things to do in Copenhagen during your free time. The round tower is for one a great place to get a view of the city. Reffen Copenhagen Street Food is one of the local attractions to experience urban nordic dining.
Also take note that the local language is Danish. However, most locals are able to speak English fluently. You can book a guided tour for a day so that you can understand Danish writings, especially in museums and art galleries.
COVID-19 Measures in Copenhagen
The Danish government allows travelers from the United States to visit Copenhagen for tourism purposes.
Fully vaccinated individuals can skip testing and quarantine restrictions upon entry in Denmark, provided, you show proof of vaccination. For the unvaccinated individuals, passengers can still travel subject to restrictions such as a COVID test upon entry.
In Copenhagen, travelers must observe COVID preventive measures. Masks and social distancing are required and there is a curfew at 11 P.M. Gatherings of more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are prohibited.
In addition, individuals must secure a COVID-19 passport also known as Coronapass to enter establishments. It is a digital certificate showing that you are vaccinated or have a negative result for the last 72 hours.
Do bring extra layers
The weather in Copenhagen can be quite chilly. Even if there may be lots of people in the city center, this might not spare the weather from getting in your bones. It is best to pack heavy and bring your scarves and jackets.
Do be friendly
It is the locals that makes the city get the title of being the Happiest City in the World. They are very friendly so always try to return the favor.
Do be wary of cyclists
There isn’t technically a large number of cycling accidents. However, do be wary where you are walking especially if there are lots of people on bikes.
Do get a Copenhagen Card
As you are traveling a lot, a bus card with unlimited rides is the budget-saving option. However, if you have the means, renting a car is also great to avoid crowded places and risk COVID infection.
Don’t go out without a Corona Pass
This is important to enter establishments. If you do not secure one then you might be punished for going outside without it.
Don’t smoke too much
Some establishments do not allow indoor smoking. So, if you are not sure, it is best to avoid smoking all throughout Copenhagen.
BookOnBoard’s Guide on Top Things to Do in Copenhagen
The City of Fairytales, the Happiest City in the World, and one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world, these titles definitely show that Copenhagen has the most wonderful attractions to spend your vacation in.
Experiencing its culture and history firsthand will be one for the books. With luxurious palaces, lush gardens, and happy locals, this is one of the safest and most enjoyable cities to spend in especially after the grueling one-year lockdown.
Copenhagen’s reputation is truly something to be experienced. Book your trip now and live out your fairytale dreams in this enchanting city!
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