The Danes have been traditionally 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 a walking distance. Danish food culture is simple and unpretentious. The nation love their hot dogs and smørrebrøds, the famous Danish open-faced sandwiches, which is 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 actually is a combination of several streets and marked with a red line) and Nyhavn area (blue line). The majority of the main attractions are in that area. Both places are marked on the map with red lines. The straight line distance between photos 11 and 17 is about 3 kilometers. The distance from picture nr. 20 to Nyhavn is about 1.7 kilometers.
Things to do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a lively city that offers plenty of activities all year around. Here are our top picks for what to do in Copenhagen.
Canal cruise on a GoBoat
The canals between in the center of Copenhagen offer plenty sites you can discover from your boat. One great way to enjoy 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, moving the boats with a speed of three knots, taking you slowly and silently through the city's canals. The boats are equipped with a small table for enjoying a lovely picnic on the boat. You can even order a picnic basket through them. You can see 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: Metro stop Christianshavn is 1 kilometer away.
There are many other companies offering canal cruises. You will find a selection from bigger public boats with an audio guide to private boats with your own private captain navigating through the canals.
Europe’s second oldest amusement park Tivoli Gardens is a must-see place in 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 is a big 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. One among many, the ride called Vertigo, that was voted Europe’s Best Ride in 2014, will turn you upside down at 100 km/h.
Bike around the city
Copenhagen is one of the best cities along Amsterdam to bike around, and that's the preferred way to move around the city among locals. There is an endless count of bike rental companies where you can hire bikes.
Food & drinks experiences
One of the things the Danes are most famous for is their Smørrebrød. These open-faced sandwiches can have almost a limitless number of different toppings, from herring to raw beef, seafood and egg.
There is on own 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 order to enjoy Smørrebrøds is to start from the herrings, then continue with fish or seafood, then meat and finally to finish with cheese Smørrebrøds. Snaps are raised in between the courses - Skål!
You'll find a large selection of restaurants and kiosks offering these sandwiches, but choose a place that looks like they have quality. When it's poorly done, like any other food, the Smørrebrød can be a disappointing experience.
Lunch at Nyhavn
The colorful houses at Nyhavn is a famous Copenhagen landmark. The old commercial dock is nowadays a living room for the locals, who gather on the terraces for lunch, dinner, or simply for a beer at its many pubs and restaurants. In December, Copenhagen’s Christmas Market is set up at Nyhavn, 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 where the guides will take you on a journey around the Carlsberg Brewery site and introduce you to its fascinating history.
How to get: There is a free shuttle bus that will take you to Visit Carlsberg from the city centre from Easter to Christmas (Vesterbrogade 6). The shuttle runs every hour from 11:00-17:00 and returns to city centre 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 an unique neighborhood right in the center of Copenhagen. The green, car-free neighborhood founded by the hippies in the 70’s respects its own set of society rules completely independent of the Danish Government. It’s a safe place to visit as long as you respect the do’s and don’t’s at the entrance of the town. Organic eateries, artisan shops, home-made houses are typical to Christiania, it is like you can 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 tours daily inside the palace. At 12 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 early 17th center 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 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.
Close to Little Mermaid statue is located Kastellet, translated as Citadel. 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 its' favorite place for locals where to have a brisk walk or jog on the ramparts.
How to get: Bus number 1A goes to Esplanaden, from where it takes 15 minutes to walk to the statue. Alternatively, from the central station you an take a train to Østerport Station, a 15 minute walk away from the statue.
Copenhagen Card gives you unlimited public transportation in the entire Capital Region of Denmark incl. public transportation to/fro Copenhagen Airport. In addition, you get 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 card online and pick up your Copenhagen Card in the service information in Copenhagen Airport, terminal 3. Then you can start using your Copenhagen Card right away on e.g. the Metro to the city center.
If you’re staying only for a short time at the city and intent to visit 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 in zones 1-4, from the moment you arrive in Copenhagen via the airport.
You can buy the tickets 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 your 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 of European Union prices.
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 centre from the Kastrup International Airport. The airport is located 8 kilometers away from the centre. 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 city centre to Vanløse station. The ticket costs 36 DKK (approx 4,80 EUR) and children under 12 years travel for free with a paying adult. Journey time from the airport to Kongens Nytorv station in the city centre 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 in 10 minutes interval. 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 outside between terminals 2 and 3.
Taxi: A taxi into the city centre takes around 20 minutes. There are taxis waiting outside the terminals 1 and 3. A taxi ride into the city centre costs 250-300 DKK.
Weather in Copenhagen
Winter: The winter in Copenhagen is mild thanks to the golf stream. The temperature from December to February goes both sides of 0°C. On the coldest days it can get to -10°C, so a proper winter clothing is necessary, such as hat, winter shoes, gloves and scarf.
Spring: The city turns into green and temperature is pleasantly between 8°C - 15 °C. May can be already a very warm month with temperatures going occasionally over 20°C. The evenings aren’t that warm so it’s still good to have a coat with you along with a jumper and trousers.
Summer: June, July and August are the warmest of the year with temperature climbing to 30°C on the hottest days, nevertheless, these months are the rainiest months in Copenhagen. The weather is approximately over 20°C so most of the day you’ll be fine with shorts and t-shirts.
Autumn: The temperatures drops to 8°C - 15 °C during the Autumn months. In November, the temperature can be already at 0°C. Similar clothing than in the spring time is advisable. September and October are the rainiest months along the summer months.