Traditionally, the Danes have been in the top 3 of the happiest nations in the world, and it shows in the streets of its capital Copenhagen. You can sense the relaxed atmosphere - people are helpful and smiley.
It’s a perfect destination for a short city break, since everything is located within walking distance. Danish food culture is simple and unpretentious. The nation loves its hot dogs and smørrebrøds, the famous Danish open-faced sandwiches; it’s a must-try during your stay in Copenhagen.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
The ideal place to stay is close to the pedestrian street Strøget (which is a combination of several streets and marked with a red line on the map) and Nyhavn area (blue line). Most of the main attractions are to be discovered in that area. The distance between the photo tags 16 and 12 is about 2.7 kilometers. The distance from the photo tag 15 to Nyhavn is about 1.8 kilometers.
Things to do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a lively city offering plenty of activities all year round. Below, we’ve listed our top picks for activities in Copenhagen.
Canal cruise on a GoBoat
The canals in the center of Copenhagen offer plenty of attractions to discover by boat. A great idea to spend a sunny summer day is to rent a sustainable GoBoat that doesn’t require any licenses to maneuver or any prior experience. The boats are powered by solar energy, taking you slowly and silently through the canals of the city at a speed of three knots. The boats are equipped with a small table, suitable for having a lovely picnic on the boat. You can even order a picnic basket along with the boat. You’ll be able to see many lovely sites, such as Amalienborg Castle, The Church of Our Savior, Opera building and liberal neighborhood of Christiania. This is definitely one of the coolest ways to explore the city!
How to get: The metro stop Christianshavn is 1 kilometer away.
There are many companies offering canal cruises, ranging from bigger public boats with an audio guide, to private boats with your own private captain navigating through the canals.
The second oldest amusement park of Europe, Tivoli Gardens, is a must-see place at the heart of Copenhagen, right next to the central station. The scenery for an amusement park is exceptionally beautiful and unique with its spectacular architecture and well-cared green gardens. At night, thousands of colored lights create a fairy tale atmosphere. That’s why a dinner in Tivoli is a unique experience, and there’s a variety of restaurants to choose from. Many rides in the theme park have more of a nostalgic vibe, but there are newer modern rides available, too. Among many choices, the ride called Vertigo, that was voted as the Best Ride in Europe in 2014, will turn you upside down at 100 km/h.
Bike around the city
Along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen is one of the best cities to bike around. Biking also the preferred way for locals to move around the city. There is an endless count of bike rental companies for hiring bikes.
Food & drinks experiences
One of the most famous Danish specialties is their Smørrebrød. These open-faced sandwiches come with endless different toppings, from herring to raw beef, seafood and egg.
There’s an etiquette for a dinner with Smørrebrøds. A proper way to enjoy the sandwiches is with a knife and a fork. The traditional drinks to match the food are beer and snaps. The correct way to enjoy Smørrebrøds is to have different toppings in a given order; start with herrings, then continue with fish or seafood, then meat and, finally, cheese. Snaps are raised in between the courses - Skål!
You'll find a large selection of restaurants and kiosks offering these sandwiches. However, choose a place with quality. When it's poorly done, like any other food, the Smørrebrød can be a disappointing experience.
Lunch at Nyhavn
Nyhavn, with its old colorful houses, is a famous Copenhagen landmark. The old commercial dock is nowadays a living room for locals, who gather on the terraces for lunch, dinner, or simply for a beer at its many pubs and restaurants. In December, Nyhavn is the venue for the Christmas Market of Copenhagen, and the district lights up in a different but beautiful way.
One of the most famous beer brands in the world comes from Copenhagen. The first brew was finished in 1847 by its founder J.C. Jacobsen in central Copenhagen. The new brewery of Carlsberg is of course a modern facility. The guides will take you around the Carlsberg Brewery and introduce you to its fascinating history.
How to get: From Easter to Christmas, there’s a free shuttle bus to Carlsberg from the city center (Vesterbrogade 6) every hour from 11:00-17:00. It returns to city center every hour from 11:25-17:25. You can also take the train to Carlsberg Station (use the footpath and cycle lane leading directly to Visit Carlsberg).
Sites and places
The Freetown Christiania is a unique neighborhood right in the center of Copenhagen. The green, car-free neighborhood founded by hippies in the 1970s, respects its own set of societal rules completely independent of the Danish Government. It’s a safe place to visit as long as you respect the rules. Organic eateries, artisan shops, home-made houses are typical to Christiania. It’s everything you’d imagine a hippie village to be.
The royal family of Denmark resides inside the Amalienborg Palace, located in the city center of Copenhagen. There are guided daily tours inside the palace. At 12 o’clock noon, you can watch the Danish Beefeaters, the Royal Guard, to change guards. The museum presents the private interiors of the most recent kings and queens and an exhibit on the monarchy today with its many traditions.
How to get: Metro: Kongens Nytorv.
The castle was built in the early 17th century by Christian IV. One of the main attractions is the Knights’ Hall with the coronation thrones, three life-size silver lions standing guard and the crown jewels.
How to get: Rosenborg Castle is located in the King’s Gardens 200 meters from Nørreport Station.- The Castle has an entrance at Øster Voldgade 4a and via the bridge, over the moat from King’s Garden.
The Little Mermaid & Kastellet
Another Copenhagen landmark, along with the Tivoli and the Nyhavn, is the Little Mermaid Statue at Langelinje Pier. Unveiled on 23 August 1913, The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen. The sculpture, made of bronze and granite, was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.
Kastellet, translated as Citadel, is situated close to Little Mermaid statue. It was founded in 1626 by the king Christian IV. Today, the buildings inside Kastellet are used as military barracks and offices. However, the area is open to the public, and it’s a favorite place for locals to go jogging or for a brisk walk on the ramparts.
How to get: Bus number 1A goes to Esplanaden, a 15-minute walk away from the statue. Alternatively, you can take a train to Østerport Station from the central station, also a 15-minute walk away from the statue.
Copenhagen Card gives unlimited access to public transportation in the entire Capital Region of Denmark, including to/from Copenhagen Airport. In addition, it gives free entrance to more than 70 attractions and museums as well as discounts on several restaurants, sights, rentals and more.
You can pre-order the Copenhagen card online and collect it from the service information at terminal 3 of Copenhagen Airport. The card is ready to be used right away, e.g. on the metro to the city center.
If you’re coming for a short visit and intend to see many sites, this card might come in handy.
With a City Pass, you can enjoy unlimited travel on buses, trains and the metro in Copenhagen from the moment you arrive via the airport.
You can buy the pass upon arrival in the airport or in advance, so you can travel easily from and to the airport without having to think about where to purchase tickets, the types of tickets available or travel zones. With the City Pass, two children under 12 years of age can travel with you free of charge.
Prices in Copenhagen
Prices of restaurant and hotel services in Copenhagen are among the highest in the European Union.
Below, there are some examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Copenhagen. Costs of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
How to get there
There are several convenient ways to get into the city center from the Kastrup International Airport. The airport is located 8 kilometers away from the center. The metro and the train depart from terminal 3. You can take a free shuttle bus from terminal 1 to terminal 3, which will take 5 minutes.
Metro: The M2 line goes from the airport via the city center to Vanløse station. The ticket costs 36 DKK (approx. 4,80 euros), and children under 12 years travel for free with a paying adult. Journey time from the airport to Kongens Nytorv station in the city center takes 17 minutes. For Copenhagen public transport timetables and route advices, you can use their journey planner rejseplanen.dk.
Train: The trains run between the airport Terminal 3 and the central train station København H every 10 minutes. The journey time is 13 minutes and the tickets cost the same as the metro ticket, 36 DKK.
Bus: The bus line 5C will take you directly to Copenhagen Central Station, City Hall Square, Nørreport and other stations. By bus it takes about 30-35 minutes from the airport to the Central Station. The bus stop is situated between terminals 2 and 3.
Taxi: A taxi into the city center takes around 20 minutes. There are taxis waiting outside the terminals 1 and 3. A taxi ride into the city center costs 250-300 DKK.
Weather in Copenhagen
Winter: The winter in Copenhagen is mild thanks to the Gulf Stream. Temperatures are on both sides of 0°C from December to February. On the coldest days, temperatures may drop to -10°C, so a proper winter clothing, such as hat, winter shoes, gloves and scarf, is necessary.
Spring: The city turns green and temperatures are pleasant, 8°C - 15 °C. May can be a very warm month with temperatures exceeding 20°C occasionally. Evenings aren’t that warm, so it’s still good to have a coat, a jumper, and trousers with you.
Summer: June, July and August are the warmest months of the year with 30°C temperatures on the hottest days. However, these months are also the rainiest in Copenhagen. The temperatures are typically over 20°C, so you’ll be fine with shorts and t-shirts most of the day.
Autumn: Temperatures drop to 8°C - 15 °C during the Autumn months. In November, temperatures can reach 0°C. Similar clothing than in spring is advisable. September and October are the rainiest months, along with the summer months.