Den ultimata guiden till Köpenhamn
Welcome to Copenhagen!
She knows she’s stylish, refreshing and hasn’t got time for fuss. Copenhagen is like those coolish grandmothers you see in the movies. You know her – she doesn’t give a rats ass about what anybody thinks of her – she’s direct yet warmly reassuring! As the cooler big sister in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, in the land of ”hygge”, is one of the most welcoming cities in the world.
You’ll notice two things about Copenhagen. Water and buildings! You’re practically surrounded by the wet stuff just below your feet. Looking up, the architecture is bursting with colours and great design. A city founded in 1167, where the most famous buildings were built in the 1600s and 1700s. Bask in the centuries of this flowing, colourful city … preferably with a Danish hot dog!
Copenhagen’s city centre is very compact and easy to explore by foot or bike. And if you are ready for more, it’s time to explore the exciting and unique districts of Denmark’s capital. All perfectly connected by the efficient metro system, busses or water busses.
Indre By is the inner-core of Copenhagen. Getting off at the Central Station, you can walk straight into the romantic and exciting Tivoli – one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Like tons of towers? Who doesn’t?! The nearby City Hall’s structure might remind you of a famous tower in London. Next, the Round Tower will give you a fantastic view of the city, and from here you can see Christiansborg Palace. The home of the parliament, and… yes… it also has a tower! This one ’wins’ as it’s the highest in the city!
All towered out? Continue along Strøget, the main shopping street and one of the longest pedestrianized shopping streets in the world, to get to the King’s New Square and Nyhavn. Take a walk around the Royal Playhouse, enjoy the view of the inner harbour and the Royal Opera before your jaw will drop by the sight of Amalienborg Palace and the Marble Church.
Vesterbro & meatpacking district
Welcome to the bohemian belt of Copenhagen. Close to the Central Station, Vesterbro blooms with colourful tattoo shops as well as artistic and vintage stores. In Kødbyen hang out with the locals in the old butcher’s district. Similar to the Meatpacking District in New York, you’ll find a bunch of bars, exhibition venues and restaurants located here. Suitable for vegetarians!
This rebellious district has become one of the hottest areas of Copenhagen in recent years. If you prefer locals over travellers, youngsters over old peeps, just pop over Dronning Louise’s Bridge from Indre By and feel how the atmosphere changes. Microbreweries, cafes and restaurants – new ones are popping up all the time. Check out streets like Blågardsgade, Jægersborggade and the area around Sankt Hans Torv for eateries, cafés and shopping. Ready for it to be quiet? Assistens Cemetery is a true hidden gem in lush surroundings. Superkilen has three distinctive parts – the modernly urban Red Square, the classical square of The Black Market and the aptly named picnic-perfect Green Park.
An often forgotten area, Christianshavn deserves to be remembered! Its closeness to popular Nyhavn makes it easy to get to via the bridge Inderhavnsbroen. It’s most famous sight is the free-town of Christiania, an enclosed self-proclaimed district – a city within the city – in which you’d be outside the European Union when visiting. Don’t let its controversy cloud your curiosity as Christianshavns characteristic slanting roofs and canals, as well as the tremendous Church of Our Saviour, are well worth seeing. Not to forget the Færgecafé or Café Parterre who are both worth visiting.
The legendary hippie community of Christiania is now one of the main sites to see in Copenhagen. Around 850 people live on the old military grounds since 2012, officially owned by the residents. It’s a hugely creative area, apparent with street art, houses built of recycled materials and artists workshops. Green and car-free, this area became a dream destination for many bohemian artists and musicians, why you’ll find the odd music event here too.
The creme de la creme of the capital. Posh Copenhagen! Well, it’s reputation is that at least. It’s green spaces and beach traditionally makes it a place of leisure for those with cash to splash. If you’d like to take a wander with your credit card, the mostly-designer stores and fancy cafés aplenty might be of interest. The most famous iron-lady of the country lives here – The Little Mermaid – and you’ll find the impressive Citadel grounds nearby. The largest public park in the country, Fælledparken is here too.
If you’ve seen the film Notting Hill, or if you have been to this area in London, the area of Frederiksberg will feel familiar. Luxurious residential houses mixed with greenery, this has for many years primarily been a district where the older and established Copenhagers live. Well worth a visit, indulge in diverse shopping, take a breath of fresh air at Frederiksberg Gardens and fill your appetite at Værnedamsvej – the area’s own foody street with a distinctly French atmosphere. The area is now transformed into a new but still historic city district of its own, called Carlsberg City. Being the former home of the world-famous Carlsberg Brewery, it will be fully developed by the year 2024. Special Tip: The Cisterns is an exhibition venue found nowhere else in the world. The old underground water reservoir provides a spectacular setting for art exhibitions and events.
Refhaleøen is the new Hipster Hotspot in Copenhagen. A creative melting pot for start-ups, workshops and restaurants this former industrial area’s gigantic warehouses dominate. It is also home of Reffen, Copenhagen’s famous street food market – discarded shipping containers become a treasure trove of food from around the world. The area, meaning foxtail island because of its shape, is the home of two big summer festivals: Copenhell is a must for Heavy Metal fans while if Electric gives you the spark, discover Distortion. Only 15 minutes by bicycle from Nyhavn, or a water bus across the harbour.
Travelling to & from Copenhagen
Wherever you’re coming from and however you’re getting here, we’re here to make it easy for you to start exploring as soon as possible. Here’s how to get here:
When you arrive at Copenhagen Central Station, you can continue your journey via public transport. DOT offers train, metro – M3, or by bus. When you arrive at Nørreport Station, you can continue your journey via train, metro – M1 or M2, or by bus.
Kastrup airport is one of the most central airports in Scandinavia. To make your way to the city centre of Copenhagen, you have plenty of options. Metro line M2, only departs in the right direction, meaning out from the airport. Stops in the city centre are Christianshavn, Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport. From Terminal 3 you can take the train directly to Copenhagen Central Station. Departing every 10 minutes, you can make your way to central Copenhagen in only 13 minutes. With bus 5A you can make your way directly to Copenhagen Central Station, City Hall Square or Nørreport Station. It takes approximately 35 minutes to get to the Central Station in Copenhagen. Tickets for above mentioned can be bought at Terminal 3 and Taxis can be found outside each terminal.
Port – Langeliniekaj and Færgeterminal Søndre Frihavn
You can take the 26 bus (towards Valby Ålholm Plads) into the city centre. But it is also possible to walk, the famous Nyhavn is just a 30 minute walk away, and on your way there you would already have seen famous sights like the Little Mermaid, Gefion Fountain, Amalienborg Palace and the Opera.
Port – Oceankaj
You can take bus 27 to Østerport Station and change to the S-train (getting off at Copenhagen Central Station or Nørreport) or metro (getting off at Rådhuset /City Hall, Copenhagen Central Station or Gammel Strand). You will need a two zone ticket to cover your travels from the cruise terminal to the city centre.
Port – Nordre Toldbod
From here you can easily walk to the city centre. Main sights like the Little Mermaid or Amalienborg palace are just a five minute walk away.
Travelling within Copenhagen
With so much to see and do in Copenhagen, we want to make sure you know exactly how to do just that. However, you like to see the sights, we’ve got it all covered:
The public transportation system in Copenhagen is straightforward. Tickets can be bought at each station or smaller kiosks like 7-Eleven. Offering busses (including the Harbour Bus), Metro, and S-Trains, you can choose your own budget and pace, depending on where you want to go. At Rejseplanen you can plan your trip with public transportation easily and see what options suit you best. The best option for you might be a City Pass for 24/48/72hs, valid in zones 1,2,3 and 4 (city centre and to/from the airport). See prices and get a ticket sent to your phone here.
It is very easy to explore this compact city and the main sights on foot. The distance from the Central Station in Vesterbro to the Little Mermaid in Østerbro is just 3,7km, you would need approximately 45 minutes to get from one point to the other. In between, there is so much to see: Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen City Hall, Church of Our Lady, Christiansborg Palace, Kongens Nytorv, Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, Gefion Fountain and much more! See the main sights on our classic Copenhagen Old Town Walk and Copenhagen City Walk. Want more? Behold fun, and vibrant Copenhagen strolling with us through Multicultural Nørrebro or meander along the canal of Christianshavn on our tour Cultural Christianshavn.
We can’t mention getting around in Copenhagen without bringing up biking. To bike in Copenhagen is almost as ”normal” as having breakfast in the morning – everybody does it. Even in the winter. Here are some places where you can rent a bike for your vacation. We’ll help you see the essential city sights with our tour Complete Copenhagen by Bike, or the extraordinary and vibrant neighbourhood Nørrebro on our tour Multicultural Nørrebro by Bike.
There are a variety of providers to choose from. The system works the same everywhere. To unlock the scooter, get the app of the provider and scan the barcode. You pay with your credit card. There is a starting fee, and then you pay per minute. The most popular providers are LIME, TIER and VOI. A scooter can go pretty fast and they are not so easy to hear coming, so make sure you feel safe on the scooters first! Learn more about the rules when driving an e-scooter here.
The most common providers are Amager-Øbro Taxi and Taxa 4×35. Tips are not expected, but you can give something if you wish. A basic fare for 5km is approximately 100-120 DKK (15 USD).
Practical information for Copenhagen
Get in-the-know on how things work in Copenhagen:
Card is king
The Danes are used to paying everything with their bank card – even just a little coffee. There are even some places that do not accept cash as payment. Card is King! If you prefer to pay cash that is still fine in most of the places. In very few places you can pay with Euro, but you will get Danish Kroner/DKK as change.
There’s a number of currency exchange offices around the city but we suggest you stick to the major companies like Ria. Our advice is always to only use cash as a last resort.
Check here to see how much your home currency is in Danish Kroner.
Weather & Seasons
Even though March could still be considered a winter month, the days are definitely getting longer! In April the weather is better, yet still kind of shifty. May is the month where Copenhagen begins to awaken from its winter slumber, and the parks start turning green again. The average temperature is 12 °C (53 °F) but occasionally it rises to 20 °C (68 °F).
The main travel season for Copenhagen will always be the summer because the average temperatures at this time are just right for city explorations and certainly better than brooding heat. If you get so lucky that you’ll experience the warmth, it will call for a swim in one of the harbour baths. But let’s face it, there is still a chance you’ll experience a shower.
Weather & Seasons
Although the number of sunshine hours drops noticeably, nothing compares to the quaint cosiness in fall when the air becomes crisp and fresh, and the leaves change to brilliant colours of red and orange. Remember to bring an umbrella!
The temperature might not be super-cold in Winter in Copenhagen, but strong winds make it quite chilly. The city is still quite magical. The Christmas markets open already in the middle of November so that you can warm up with a hot Gløgg! Expect 10 to 13 rainy days per month.
Denmark’s universal health care is famously one of the best in the entire world. So if you’re visiting Denmark or staying for an extended period don’t worry, you’ll be in the safest of hands. Also, when coming to Copenhagen, you don’t need to think about vaccines and the tap water is safe to drink. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in nature, be sure to check yourself for ticks.
A doctor’s appointment may cost around 350-500 DKK (52-74 USD). In case of an emergency call 112 to reach out for police, ambulance or fire brigade.
Click here for updated information about healthcare in Denmark.
Generally speaking, you can stay in Denmark for up to 90 days if you are an EU or US citizen.
However, wherever you are coming from, with migration policy subject to change, you can check here for the latest visa status and requirements to visit Denmark from your home country.
In Copenhagen, it’s most common to give tips to servers, restaurant staff, and Taxi drivers. It’s completely voluntarily (unlike many other countries, it’s simply a bonus on top of the person’s regular salary). It’s common to tip at approx. 10-20% of a bill’s sum if you feel you have had excellent service. If you want to show someone a bit of extra love, that’s nice of you. If you don’t tip, don’t feel bad – it’s stated in the law that tipping is included in the price at restaurants.
Voltage and adapters
The voltage in Denmark is 220, 50Hz current and uses two-pin continental plugs.
Denmark uses the standard European grounded socket. The adapter is known as type E or F.
- Hi = Hej
- Goodbye = Hej hej
- Good morning = God morgen
- Excuse me = Undskyld
- Thank you = Tak
- Thank you so much = Mange tak
- Do you speak English? = Taler du engelsk?
- Where is the toilet? = Hvor er toilettet?
- Can you help me? = Kan du hjælpe mig?
- I don’t understand = Jeg forstår ikke
- This smørrebrød tastes really good! = Denne her smørrebrød smager virkelig godt!
- Boat = Båd
- Beer = Øl
- Wine = Vin
Want to make sure you don’t miss any off the stops? Doin’t miss our Oslo Must Sees TourLäs mer & boka
Copenhagen’s top stops
OURWAY Guides’ top stops
Hungry? Pay Torvehallerne a visit – two market halls with over 60 market stands. Torvehallerne opened in 2011 inspired by the market halls of southern Europe. Taste some typical Danish products like Flødeboller and Smørrebrød, have a fantastic coffee and pastry and be overwhelmed by the variety of gourmet and fresh produce.
The former red-light district of Copenhagen, Latinerkvarteret has been transformed into one of the most authentic, lively and cosy quarters of the city. Here, little individual boutiques, shops, cafés and restaurants are found in the colourful old houses.
Promenade along the Royal Playhouse and Ofelia Plads
A wonderful place to hang out, grab a beer or some food from the food trucks, sunbathe, watch people and enjoy the view. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to hear a jazz concert performed on the swimming stage or you could join a yoga session. This area was designed for people to have a good time – and it turned out better than expected!
Museums in Copenhagen
If you thought Denmark was just about Lego and beer, think again. Delve into Danish history and culture with some of the most popular museums in Scandinavia:
Most visited museums
This beautiful renaissance castle was turned into a museum packed with treasures! The main ones are the coronation throne and the crown jewels and crown regalia, but if you ever wanted to know how a night cab of a king looks like, you will be able to see that too.
This museum can be visited on our private tour Copenhagen Old Town & Rosenborg Castle..
You are eager to learn more about Danish history? Vikings and stuff? This is the place to go, it’s the biggest museum in Denmark. From the stone age to modern Danish history countless objects are waiting for you to be inspected.
Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery)
The largest art museum in Denmark is showing you the works of international artists as well as Danish painters and sculptors of the last 700 years. The museum is famous for its collection of paintings of the Golden Age of Denmark as well as their Matisse collection. Even the café is a piece of art!
Most visited museums (Continued)
This beautiful renaissance castle has been turned into a museum packed with treasures! Home to the Coronation Throne, Crown Jewels and Regalia, and if you ever wondered what the night cab of a king looks like, you’ll find that here too!
This museum can be visited on our Copenhagen Old Town & Rosenborg Castle Private Walking Tour. Don’t want to walk? We do tours with transport too.
Are you eager to learn more about Danish history and customs? Perhaps the Vikings? Then the National Museum, as the biggest museum in Denmark, is the place to go. From the stone age to modern Danish history, countless objects are waiting for you to be inspected.
Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery)
The largest art museum in Denmark gives you works made by international and Danish artists, painters and sculptors, of the last 700 years. The museum is famous for its collection of paintings from the ”Danish Golden Age” as well as their Matisse collection. Trust us when we say that even the café is a piece of art!
Must unique museums
This museum is unique in many ways. Opened in 1848 it was Denmark’s first museum. It’s dedicated to Bertel Thorvaldsen, who also is buried in the inner courtyard of this beautiful Pompeian style museum. The building provides the perfect exhibition space for his neoclassical sculptures, some of them being up to 7m tall.
Danish design is known all around the world. Arne Jacobsen’s iconic egg chair and Poul Henningsens famous PH lamps have become design classics. Located in the first public hospital in Denmark this museum shows western design as well as Asian design from the middle ages up to today. Our favourite: The exhibition ”The Danish Chair”.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
”A Carlsberg? Yes, please!” Just a second. This is not a brewery, it’s a museum! The son of the founder of the famous Carlsberg brewery was an art collector, and he gave his collection to the city of Copenhagen after they built a museum for it. Visit this unique collection, among it Roman and Greek sculptures, paintings of French impressionists and Egyptian mummies. When you’re done, treat yourself to a cold Carlsberg in the charming café right next to the museum’s beautiful conservatory.
Outdoor & indoor activities in winter
Copenhagen has visitors all year round, why not make the most of the colder weather? Wrap up and enjoy:
”Skiing in Denmark, are you joking? There are no mountains at all!” You couldn’t be more wrong! There is, for example, the Sky Mountain, Himmelsbjerget, and it is 141m high!!!! There’s also a ski slope in the middle of the city, built as an incinerator called Amager Hill, Amager Bakke. The famous architect Bjarke Ingels built a ski slope on top of the incinerator, where you can go skiing all year round! Fantastic if you ask us! Discover Copenhill here.
Every year at wintertime the entrance of Frederiksberg park is transformed into an ice rink – and the entrance is free! Bring your own skates or rent a pair per hour and enjoy some real winter ”hygge”! Then there’s the Broens Gadekøkken ice rink. Open in late November available almost every day throughout the winter season. Here you can also rent skates and enjoy snacks and drinks from the street food containers.
Harbour baths & sauna
In Østerbro’s Øbro-Hallen and Kurbad you can combine swimming in Denmark’s first public indoor pools with some relaxing time in the spa with sauna, steam bath, a jacuzzi tub and much more.
Outdoor & indoor activities in summer
Long summer days await you! Scandanavian summers may just be the holiday sector’s best-kept secret, but we’re happy to share it and all the things you can do in Copenhagen at this time:
Copenhagen is perfect for exploring from the water. Of course, it can be done by going on one of the big canal boats, but why not get into action? The Kayak Republic is waiting for you right next to the beautiful Old Stock Exchange. Regardless if you are a beginner or a pro, if you want to join a guided tour or paddle around by yourself – is a great way to see the city from a different angle. Highlights, you ask? How about the houseboats in Copenhagen’s ”Little Amsterdam” Christianshavn and enjoying a refreshing beer at the Kayak Bar after your tour. For Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) try Kajakole at Kalvebod Brygge, who also offer Kayak Polo.
Swimming: Beaches & baths
A 700m long beach awaits at Bellevue, just 10km outside of Copenhagen. Take the S-train to Klampenborg Station, walk another five minutes and – tadaa – you are there. While you are at Bellevue, visit the idyllic fishing village Tårbæk or Dyrehaven, a beautiful deer park, also perfect for picnics. There’s also Svanemølle Beach, a modern classic with lifeguards during high season. The atmosphere here almost compares to that of the Mediterranean. It’s child-friendly, and its soft sand is perfect for building sandcastles. Harbour baths are found at Islands Brygge, Sandkaj (Nordhavn) and Fisketorvet (Vesterbro). The harbour baths offer a variety of facilities, and Fisketorvet is located right next to the fantastic bicycle bridge Cykelslangen. Finally, if your dream is to cruise through the harbour of Copenhagen in a hot tub, your wish can come true with Copenhot. You can take up to five friends with you.
Wherever you are in Copenhagen, you will never be far away from a green area. And each one is special! Parks like Ørstedsparken and Østre Anlæg (the latter is English and more of a kid’s playgrounds) were once part of the old fortification system, just like the ramparts of the Citadel and Christianshavn that are still visible today. Others were built for the royals, like the King’s Garden and the magnificent Frederiksberg Park. In the Botanical Gardens, you will be surrounded by thousands of different plants and Assistens Kirkegaard in Nørrebro is a cemetery, yet considered an enjoyable, public green space where visitors can picnic amongst the locals. Should you wish to, you can also visit the grave of H.C. Andersen while you are here.
Activities for children
At the top of the list of places to visit with children in Copenhagen is, of course, Tivoli. Parents will love it just as much.
This small and compact amusement park located in the middle of the city between the Copenhagen City Hall and the Copenhagen Central Station has retained its authentic atmosphere.
Even grandmas and grandpas usually have a wonderful time. The beautiful gardens, exciting rides, or adorable kid-friendly versions of them, the old Pantomime Theater… Your eyes won’t stop sparkling.
Since Tivoli is not only open during summer, you should check out the different seasons and themes and activities to go with them!
How about a picnic on a boat? Be your own captain and sail through the canals of Copenhagen on one of the solar-powered blue GoBoats.
This is a fun and silent way to explore the city. The boats are straightforward to operate, and you can order a picnic basket in advance or bring your own food and drinks.
Don’t forget to greet the other boats passing!
Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
Right next to the GoBoat pavilion you will find Islands Brygge harbour bath.
Entrance is free, and there is a lifeguard present. The quality of the water is checked daily.
If your kids like heights and adventure, they will love the diving tower! Enjoy the view and meeting the locals.
The weather is not playing along, and you are looking for an indoor activity?
Travel back in and visit the gigantic dinosaurs at the Zoological Museum.
Get in touch with science and technology in the most fun way imaginable.
Experimentarium offers interactive and hands-on experiments as part of 18 different exhibitions.
The experiments include the senses, physics, chemistry, construction and energy, just to name a few.
Parks & Green areas
There are plenty of beautiful spots to get a slice of nature within Copenhagen. Here are a few of our favourites:
The King’s Garden
Get yourself a picnic blanket, a nice cold beer and some snacks from the supermarket and meet the locals at the King’s Garden, not very far from Nørreport Station. Established already in the 1600s this beautiful park is a very popular place to hang out. Have you ever heard about a game called ”Kubb”? If not, you are likely going to see people playing it here. Walk around, look at the many sculptures (there will be one of our famous friend H.C. Andersen) and enjoy the view of Rosenborg Castle with it’s the rose garden. Your kids will be happy to explore the artistic adventure playground. And if you visit during the famous Copenhagen Jazz Festival, you can listen to music while you practice your hygge skills.
Botanical Gardens (City Centre)
Right next door to the King’s Garden, the Botanical Gardens are waiting for you. Walk around, relax, take a deep breath and be surprised to see thousands of different plants in the many sections. There’s the rock garden with plants from mountainous areas, the Rhododendron garden and Beer Garden (where they grow the ingredients!) to name but a few. You can not miss the beautiful and stunning 16m tall Palm House from 1874. During the summer season, and for an extra fee, you can get very close to living butterflies, if you visit the Butterfly House.
Amager Beach Park
Copenhagen’s beach area is called Amager Beach Park. Just jump on the metro and get off at ”Amager Strand”. A little paradise awaits! Relax, while you enjoy the view of the Off-Shore-Windpark and the famous Øresundbridge. The beach is 4.6km long, so there is a lot of space to enjoy all your much-loved summer activities like sunbathing, kayaking, surfing and swimming. Not to forget having an ice cream or a cocktail. There is a more shallow area, ideal for kids, and an artificial island, connected via three bridges.
Konditaget Lüders (Nordhavn)
Konditaget Lüders is a unique urban space at the top of a parking garage in Nordhavn. The 2.400 m2 roof provides space for a playground for adults and kids. JAJA Architects has designed the building, which rises 24m from the ground and thus boasts of a beautiful view of the harbour. Take the kids on an active excursion or use the roof facilities for your morning workout.
Impressive Instagram view points!
Who doesn’t love a good panorama?! We have listed some key spots where you can get a great view of Copenhagen that will also get you a whole lot of love (or likes) from your online followers:
The narrow canal with the colourful townhouses and old sailing boats is pretty, and that’s a fact! Come in the morning or evening to avoid the crowds of people, who also want to see if it’s true. It is! See for yourself!
The Royal Palace(s) has a visual axis unequalled in the world with the spectacular Opera on one end, Amalienborg square with the statue of Frederik V and the four palaces surrounding it in the middle, and the stunning Marble Church on the other end.
Your confused Instagram followers might think you have made a mistake, describing the beautiful canals and houseboats as an area in Copenhagen, since it looks so much like Amsterdam. Needless to say, the are was very much built by the Dutch.
Buildings constructed by Christian IV are spread all over the city. Rundetaarn is yet another lovely building we thank him for. In this instance, perhaps mostly so because of the view that it provides. Try not to get dizzy walking up the 35m high tower and spiral ramp, we’ll turn total of 7,5 times! To complete the experience, there are some steps at the end: are you ready to enjoy the view?!
Christiansborg Palace Tower
How convenient is that? The highest tower in Copenhagen (106m) has an elevator. And the entrance is free!!! Ok, one little thing before you can enjoy the fantastic view: make sure that you have time on your side. Because it’s free, you might have to wait in line, and there will be a security check before you get to step into the elevator. But it’s worth it! Maybe you want to combine your visit with a nice lunch at the tower restaurant ”Tårnet”?
Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour’s Church)
Last but not least, the best view of the city from the top of the 90m tall spire. The climb is not for the faint-hearted! To get to the top, you have to climb 400 steps, which might not sound so bad. But be prepared, as the last 150 steps are located on the outside of the spire. And as if that wasn’t enough, the tower is made of wood, so if it is windy, you will feel it. We wish you the best of luck!
The hidden gems of Copenhagen
Even though this picturesque square is right in the city centre you might not stumble over it, it’s a well-kept secret hiding a little out of sight. Get away from the bustling shopping street Strøget, sit on a bench under the big tree or in one of the cafés, enjoy the sun and admire the colourful townhouses that set you back in time. Want us to take you there? No problem, join our Copenhagen Old Town Walk, and we’ll happily do so.
The Mosaik under the New Stage
You might have already admired the beautiful facade of the Royal Danish Theatre, also called ”Old Stage”. Maybe you have noticed the building to the left of it, also known as the ”New Stage”? Did you walk through the passage underneath it? Most importantly, did you lookup? A real hidden gem is waiting for you if you didn’t! Imagine a mosaic made of three million glass pieces, depicting figures of the world of art and radio. The radio, you ask? We’ll show and tell this hidden gem, on our Copenhagen City Walk.
Royal Library Garden
This little park is a real city oasis. Between the old Royal Library and Christiansborg Palace this peaceful garden, decorated with a statue of Danish philosopher Søren Kirkegaard, was created in 1920 at the location of Christian IV’s old naval port. Since the parliament is located right next to the park, you might be joined by some Danish politicians, enjoying their lunch break or a cup of coffee.
Activities outside the city
Like to go on an outer-city adventure or maybe you’ve got a few more days to explore the area? Expand the horizon of your visit to Copenhagen with a few suggestions from us:
The first capital of Denmark is just a 30 minute train ride away from central Copenhagen. It’s famous for the largest cultural festival in Northern Europe, the Roskilde Festival, taking place every year in July. Visit the famous Roskilde Cathedral, the burial place of 38 kings and queens. Or go for a stroll on the shopping street Algade which has a cute mix of shops. Another highlight is the Viking Ship Museum, where you can see the original Viking ships from around the year 1000 found in the fjord and restored. For the adventurous, it’s possible to sail on a rebuilt version during summer. Channel your inner Viking!
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Take the train north along the coast to Humlebæk and visit this world-class museum, surrounded by a beautiful park with sculptures. Works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol or Georg Baselitz and many others can be admired, and the temporary exhibitions make the experience complete. Oh, not quite! Enjoy at least half an hour in the café, it offers sun, coffee, cake and a beautiful view over the Øresund.
If you are looking for some authentic danish ”hygge”, leave the big city behind and go on a day trip to the idyllic fishing village Dragør with its picturesque harbour. Only 30 minutes from Copenhagen, one of the unusually beautiful things in Dragør are typically Danish yellow houses, aligned on cobblestone streets, built between 1700-1850. Check public transport here.
Looking for the perfect gift for someone back home, or just looking to treat yourself? Amongst typical Danish souvenirs, you’ll find liquorice, Hoptimists and Lego or why not bring the cosiness back home with ”The Little Book of Hygge”. Whatever you’re looking for, here are a few tips for shopping in Copenhagen:
Interesting shopping streets
A few years ago, Jægersborggade was best known for bullet holes, cannabis trade and gang wars. What a transformation! Today, the cosy, cobbled street in Nørrebro has transformed itself into one of the city’s trendiest streets with cute shops, selling ceramics, fashion, art, caramel, chocolate and much more.
Larsbjørstræde has a relaxed and casual vibe. The colourful old townhouses will make you smile on a grey day, and little individual shops are waiting to be explored. Here you will find vintage stores right next to exquisite fashion boutiques of local designers.
This charming street will make you feel like you were just beamed to Paris. Interior design, french delicacies, a cheesemonger, jewellery and of course fashion is sold on this – oh là là – street.
This premium department store on Strøget next to Amager Square offers the best Scandinavian and international brands in fashion, beauty and design. Take a break from carrying all those heavy shopping bags and enjoy the view of Christiansborg and Amagertorv from the rooftop café and balcony.
Magasin du Nord
The grand dame of department stores situated at Kongens Nytorv turned 150 years old in 2018. Behind the beautiful facade in classic French new Renaissance style, a world of fashion is waiting. The main focus is on Scandinavian brands, but you will find international ones as well. In the ’living’ department, you find both classic Danish design as well as modern brands.
The Danish company Wood Wood’s unique universe can be described as high-end fashion that meets authentic underground style. Blending high fashion, sports and streetwear with culture, art and music, it creates a mix that results in exciting collections that perfectly balance style and function.
Baum und Pferdgarten
The design of Baum und Pferdgarten, one of the leading Danish fashion brands, can be described as timeless and full of unexpected playful contrasts. Their charming pieces are made of beautiful fabrics, memorable prints, and they are not afraid of colours.
You could call Henrik Vibskov’s fashion playful, colourful, original and imaginative. And you could call Henrik Vibskov himself an avant-garde fashion designer. He is also a musician!
Danish interior design
Danish design is famed for its lightness and elegance in everything from buildings to furniture, lighting, textiles, silverware and porcelain. The chairs of Arne Jacobsen and lamps of Poul Henningsen (called P.H.) designed in the 1950s are still in high demand around the world today.
Some pieces have become timeless classics such as Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair which is now considered to be a sculpture displayed in art museums. Jacobsen’s formula of combining economy, function and style made functionalism a global trend.
Other timeless Danish designs include the label on the Carlsberg bottle, the Red Post Boxes and Georg Jensen’s silverware. The Royal Copenhagen ceramic design from the 1700s and Bang & Olufsen’s ultra-modern electronics are also examples of classic Danish design.
Go nuts for Danish design in these shops:
If you just had to pick one place to get to know Danish design, this is the place to go. This shop is like a design temple. Right in the middle of Strøget, in the neighbourhood of Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen, you can take a seat in Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair or shop for decorations, clothes and much more. Illums Bolighus has the honour of being a supplier of the Royal Court.
Hay designs modern furniture and design products with a view to a modern lifestyle. It is located on the Strøget, on top of Café Norden. Here you will find furniture in original forms. If you are looking for small, unique things for your home, you have a variety to choose from: from designer pillows and kitchen towels to wall clocks and vases.
If you have more time, check out Bredgade, located between the Citadel and Kongens Nytorv, it’s filled with high-priced design shops and art galleries.
Food & drinks
Everyone has heard of the Danish national dish Smørrebrød, but there is much more to discover. Fresh fish and seasonal vegetables have high priority in the restaurants, and sweet Danish pastry makes your mouth water. New Nordic cuisine became world-famous, and Copenhagen boasts a wealth in the form of Michelin-Starred restaurants.
The range of culinary delights ranges from down-to-earth to sophisticated-upscale. Self-caterers will find what they are looking for at the market stalls at Torvehallerne, where they can get top-quality fish and vegetables – directly from the producer in Denmark. Strædet (the little sister of Strøget, the main shopping street) and Kødbyen (the old meatpacking district in Vesterbro) or Larsbjørnstræde in the Latin Quarters, all hold plenty of cafés and restaurants.
New Nordic Cuisine has developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia in particular since the 2000s. The idea was to use local, natural and seasonal produce as a basis for new dishes. Old techniques for preserving food were adapted while giving the traditional Scandinavian recipes a twist and aiming for ”freshness and purity”. Restaurant Noma was the flagship of the movement, as New Nordic Cuisine was recognised around the globe. Some of the chefs who worked at Noma, went on to open their own restaurants in Copenhagen. This might be one of the reasons why Copenhagen has exceptionally many Michelin-Starred restaurants.
You can find a comprehensive list of cafes and restaurants on our website. Here are just some of our favourite suggestions and places and goodies to try:
Let yourself be enchanted by the many pleasures that are Danish delicacies including:
Danish Hot Dogs
A grilled wiener sausage (traditionally pork) in a bun, topped with crunchy fried onions, raw onions, thinly sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup and remoulade. At Den Økologiske Pølsemand, all ingredients are 100% organic, and you can choose from a variety of different sausages (pork, beef, chicken, vegetarian and more). Did we mention that all the packaging is biodegradable? You find them in front of Helligåndskirken on Strøget and next to the Round Tower on Købmagergade.
A traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich, usually eaten at lunch, that consists of a slice of buttered rye bread, topped with cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or
spreads, and garnishes. At Hallernes Smørrebrød in the city’s beautiful market halls Torvehallerne, this proud Danish classic is made with today’s fresh ingredients from the square. Or in the city centre, try Schønnemann, established in 1877. This restaurant is one of the oldest in the capital, and it is well known for its delicious smørrebrød.
Amazing street food
At Copenhagen’s street food market, you can get your taste buds to dance the Samba (or the Tango or…). Taste food from Jamaica, Greece, Morocco, Manila and many other places and enjoy the inspiring and chilled atmosphere with a perfect view of the harbour. Please note: Reffen does not accept cash.
The little brother of Reffen is open from April to October. Located on Christianshavn, by the Greenlandic Trading Square, Broens Gadekøkken, serves delicious food sold out of old shipping containers. Here you can get world-class street food with a focus on ecology.
Cafés – for the best fika
The Coffee Collective
Experience great coffee in cafés with a fresh and cosy atmosphere. The Coffee Collective is a micro-roastery, and they make one of the best cappuccinos in town! Of course, the coffee beans are produced fair and sustainable. The Coffee Collective has locations in Jægersborggade, Torvehallerne, Bernikowsgade and Godthåbsvej.
Is a cosy, cool and relaxed place located on Griffenfeldsgade, a side street of Nørrebrogade, that is definitely on Nørrebro’s ”hygge list”. Here you can spend time amongst the locals, whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just cocktails and wine with friends, it’s a fabulous spot.
Conditori La Glace
Founded in 1870, it’s the oldest and probably best patisserie in Denmark. It is a unique experience to visit the beautiful old rooms of mahogany, glass and brass where coffee, tea and hot chocolate are served from silver cans to create an authentic pastry atmosphere.
Restaurants – Cheap eats
Det lille Apotek
This restaurant (The Little Pharmacy) is the oldest in Copenhagen, dating all the way back to 1720. None other than Denmark’s most beloved author, H.C. Andersen, used to eat here. Enjoy the simple but delicious meals that are based on old recipes.
This establishment has two restaurants in Copenhagen, one is located on St. Kannikestræde and the other at Kompagnistræde. Try their buffet or choose from the menu. There are plenty of options, whether you are a vegetarian or a fan of fish or meat, all revolving around Mediterranean cuisine.
If you want to experience what it was like to travel with a Copenhagen tram (trams were replaced by buses in 1972), visit this cosy little burger restaurant on Gråbrødre Square. Vegetarian options are available.
Grød is Danish for porridge. Porridge? Yes, porridge! But of course not just some plain, boring version of it. Come for breakfast, lunch, dinner and try a delicious, surprising, inexpensive and filling meal – sweet or savoury. The restaurant has various locations in the city, for example in Torvehallerne or Jægersborggade.
Restaurants – mid-range
The Union Kitchen
The retro decoration of this restaurant, located right next to Nyhavn, is inspired by the 1930s. Meatballs are their thing; they come in all kinds of variations and are inspired by many different cuisines around the world. Are you a vegetarian? No problem, you will find a variety of dishes to choose from.
Located in the Royal Danish Playhouse this restaurant doesn’t only serve delicious food (changing according to the season, using organic produce of the region)! It also provides a great view of the harbour through the big glass front.
This beautiful restaurant and wine bar hide inside the Nikolaj Church, just a stone throw away from Amager Square on Strøget. The food is classic and simple and made from the best ingredients, served in an elegant, historic and relaxed atmosphere.
Madklubben owns several very different eateries in Copenhagen. If you visited their location in Vesterbro, Copenhagen would feel like a big city of international format even on a regular Tuesday. The menu offers a mix of classic Danish dishes and international bestsellers.
Restaurants – Lyxury & Michelin
Relæ offers creative, tasty cuisine that does not need a lot of frills. The atmosphere in the restaurant on Jægersborggade in Nørrebro is unpretentious, warm and inviting -its a place where everyone feels at home!.
The older brother of Kadeau is located on Bornholm, Denmark’s sunshine island. Inspired by Bornholms specialities, Kadeaus cuisine is regional but yet influenced by flavours from around the world. The chefs follow the rhythm of the year and the cycle of seasons.
You could call Noma ”The Godfather of New Nordic Cuisine”. The man behind it, René Redzepi, closed the original Noma (awarded as the ”World’s best restaurant” four times) in February 2017, took a break to find new inspiration and…found it! He opened the new Noma at a more spacious location in the neighbourhood of hippy Christiania and hipster Refshaleøen where they started growing their own vegetables, fruits and herbs. The restaurant gained two Michelin Stars in 2019.
Bars & nightlife
Restaurants where you can dance at night, a wine bar where Copenhagen’s best beer is tapped, live stages where DJs are spinning, and cafés that serve much more than coffee – Copenhagen’s nightlife doesn’t fit into one box.
The borders are blurred, and there are many possibilities to choose from.
Snarens Kvarter in the city centre is famous for Blues, Jazz and Rock. In Vesterbro’s Kødbyen restaurants, bars and clubs lie side by side, and in Nørrebro, you will find plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs in the area between Sankt Hans Torv and Blågårdsgade.
Or there are a few specific places we can recommend:
Small and trendy Cocktail Bar located on old street in the romantic Old town.
Trendy wine pub. The long tables and the extensive wine rack create an enjoyable and cosy atmosphere.
Club for chic party people in their twenties. They play electronic music and have several bars and dance floors.
Plays everything but mainstream, three minimalistic floors, enough space for 530 guests, where the average age of it’s visitors are in their mid-twenties to thirties.
Very popular underground-club in the old Meatpacking District. They serve up live-concerts during the week and electronic music on the weekends, all the way until 6am. If you want to party all night, this is the place to do it!
A two-stage venue that attracts big names. With its Scandinavian style interior and a well-dressed crowd, it could easily be mistaken as a place for snobs. Think again! On the ground floor, you will find a bar by the name of Ideal Bar, also famous for live concerts.
Cultural centre with live stages for local rock and jazz bands. The place is somewhat alternative with an arthouse cinema, a theatre and the Bastard café, specialised in board games.
Mojo Blues Bar
Daily live concerts, played by Danish musicians. One of the best of its kind in Scandinavia. Small and cosy.
Staying in Copenhagen
Whether you are looking for design, luxury or just functionality, a cabin on a ship or a room in the smallest hotel in Copenhagen (which has only one room!) – Copenhagen has it all, and you’re spoiled for choice. However, finding a cheap place to stay, that is like the famous saying ”searching for a needle in the haystack”! Remember, rooms are usually more expensive during the week than on weekends, the cheapest night is Sunday to Monday.
Even low-budget hotels are comfortable and stylish (many places save money on staff rather than amenities, why check-in and check-out usually take place at the self-service terminal). Hostels are equipped with lounges and bars and many single and double rooms (often with their own ensuite), making them a fresh alternative for every age group.
Hotels – On a budget
Steel House Copenhagen
This stylish luxury hostel even has an indoor pool and training facilities.
An attractive new building (close to Nyhavn) by the well-known Danish architect Kim Utzon who had set himself the task of offering a top-modern interior at a reasonable price in the city centre.
A stone’s throw from Kongens Nytorv square and well-connected to most points of interest accessible by foot. Choose from private and shared rooms. Don’t forget to check out the terrace!
Hotels – mid-range
Situated in vibrating Vesterbro you can stay in quiet rooms with four-poster beds and exotic furnishing. Most of the rooms are facing the quiet inner courtyard. Start your day with a delicious and sumptuous organic breakfast buffet.
Hotel SP 34
Every room is a bit different in this boutique hotel. Enjoy the cosy bar, rent a bike or go for a walk in the lively streets of the bohemian part of the city, the Latin Quarters.
The old harbour-front warehouse, restored with an interior in keeping with Scandinavian design, inspired by light, water and Danish “hygge”, is located next to Nyhavn. A perfect location to begin your Copenhagen explorations.
Hotels – luxury
The ”White Lady”, one of the finest hotels in Scandinavia, overlooks the beautiful Kongens Nytorv and charming Nyhavn insight.
Feel like a Moorish prince or princess in the exclusive boutique hotel situated in the romantic Tivoli Gardens.
One of the most recently opened hotels in Copenhagen. With love for contemporary design, architecture and timeless classics, this gem of a hotel is located next to the Copenhagen Central Station and Tivoli.
Visiting Copenhagen at any time of year is an exciting adventure, with lots to see and do. Why not combine your visit with one of the following events!? Join the locals Danes as they flock to the capital for these festivities:
CPH Dox, March
The biggest Documentary festival in Scandinavia, shows around 200 films from all around the world, in ten days.
Birthday of Margrethe II, April 16th
If the queen is in town her birthday will be celebrated with a big military parade at Amalienborg Palace at noon. Do as the Danes do, grab a little Danish flag and wave it around in honour of her.
Up to 40.000 people come together and celebrate electronic music for five days by dancing in the streets and filling up clubs.
Celebrate the longest day of the year amongst the Danes, for example at Islands Brygge or in Frederiksberg park.
Roskilde Festival, July
One of the biggest music festivals in Europe with seven stages, hosting 170 bands and welcoming 75.000 guests each year. People from all over the world come to enjoy a great mix of Electric, Hip-Hop, Rock and World music.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival, July
Ten days of free Jazz concerts all over the city. Not to mention the dozens of events available through ticket sales.
Copenhagen Pride, August
A big stage is found at the City Hall Square, and an even bigger parade takes place on Saturday. Imagine one whole week to celebrate the LGBT community!
Copenhagen Cooking, August
Celebrate New Nordic Cuisine at this 10-day long gastronomical festival.
CPH Pix, September
Young festival showing Arthouse movies from all over the world.
Copenhagen Blues Festival, October
Five- day festival with blues concerts performed on the city’s many stages.
Kulturnatten (Cultural night), October
One night (Friday to Saturday) with around 500 events all around the city. Get your Kulturnatten-pass for a small fee, and visit museums, libraries, churches, ministries and much more.
Christmas markets, November-December
One of the best things about winter is all the markets that are put on, which start as early as mid-November.