Copenhagen's history is vast, it has been one of the most important cities on the Baltic Sea for centuries and has preserved many iconic monuments ever since. However, the city doesn't just live in the past, it is a trendy destination with character and personality. This list of the best places to see in Copenhagen will help you not miss a thing while visiting one of the most beautiful and amazing cities in Europe.
What to do and see in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with canals and streets surrounded by beautiful buildings with colorful facades, relaxing parks, fairytale castles and palaces, vantage points with fantastic views.
There are numerous free activities in the city such as The Little Mermaid, Christiana, the famous Nyhavn canal, Børsen (the beautiful old stock exchange building) and the Botanical Garden. Then guided tours, several historical museums, numerous public city parks, as well as many restaurants and bars where you can taste Nordic cuisine.
The city is small and it is easy to get around on foot to visit its attractions. For an authentic experience of the Danish lifestyle a must do bike ride along the vast network of cycle paths!
Here is a list of the best things to do and see in Copenhagen:
Take a free tour in Copenhagen
Join a local guide for a free tour walking distance of the center of Copenhagen! There are several tours, from the 3-hour guided walk from City Hall to Amalienborg Royal Palace to a shorter 90-minute ride from Christianshavn at the entrance to Christiania.
See Copenhagen from above
For a wonderful 360 ° view of the city you can climb to the top of the Round Tower (Rundetårn tower). This original 3,50th century building, in addition to its architecture and magnificent views, stands out because the ascent is made by a huge internal spiral-shaped ramp, without steps. Admission costs only € XNUMX and is included in the Copenhagen Card.
Alternatively, you can admire the city from the top of the The tower of Christiansborg Palace, the tallest tower in Copenhagen. The visit is free and on clear days you can also see Sweden.
The Nyhavn or “New Port” is the most famous channel and one of the most beautiful places to see in Copenhagen. Built in the seventeenth century, as an entrance by sea for merchants who came to do business in the city, for many years it was inhabited by prostitutes and sailors, although today it is frequented at all hours by tourists who stay there fascinated by the colorful facades and the wooden boats moored on both sides.
It is interesting to know that this place served the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen to write some of his most popular stories during the time he lived in buildings 6, 18 and 20.
We recommend exploring Nyhavn both day and night, when the atmosphere on the café and restaurant terraces is incredible. It can not miss boarding on one of the cruises that depart from the port of Nyhavn and run through most of the canals of the historic center, an experience that offers another point of view of the city.
A great option to save time and money during your visit is to purchase the Copenhagen Card, with which you have unlimited use of transport and free admission to 79 attractions, including the boat ride.
The little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid sculpture, based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen, is the city icon and one of the main places to see in Copenhagen. Created by sculptor Eriksen in the early 1th century on behalf of the Jacobsen family, the family that owns the Carlsber Brewery, this XNUMX meter high bronze sculpture was donated to the city and placed on a rock near the harbor.
Despite having suffered several acts of vandalism such as amputating an arm or throwing paint on it, The Little Mermaid continues to be Denmark's most visited monument.
After visiting the Little Mermaid, don't miss it Kastellet fortress, one of the best preserved in Europe, the font Gefion and the beautiful church of Sant'Albano, all very close.
Christiania is the most alternative neighborhood in Copenhagen, an area of the city self-managed by its residents, considered independent of Denmark. Its story begins in 1971 when several parents occupy this place to have a space to play with their children and little by little it turns into a political movement that breaks with the most common lifestyle in the country.
Today it is a municipality of about 1000 people, where the consumption of marijuana or hashish is allowed, albeit always with the supervision of the Danish government.
Christiania is a curious place to see in Copenhagen. We recommend taking a stroll on Pusher Street, the main street, eating in one of its vegetarian places, buying some original handicrafts, as well as enjoying an alternative environment.
It should be borne in mind that taking pictures in it is prohibited.
Stroget Street, one of the places to see in Copenhagen
Stroll through Stroget, the longest pedestrian street in Europe, is one of the best things to do in Copenhagen. This street runs from Radhuspladsen square, which has as its main elements the municipality and sculpture by Hans Christian Andersen, at Kongens Nytorv square, surrounded by historic buildings such as the royal theater.
As you stroll through Stroget you will see a multitude of shops, including the LEGO store, the Royal Copenhagen porcelain shop and the Magasin du Nord shopping center, among many others.
Around this street are concentrated some of the best restaurants to eat in Copenhagen and try the local food. In addition to Strogett, we recommend that you stop by the pretty ones as well piazze Nytorv, Hojbro Location o Grabrodretorv, the latter located in an adjacent street.
Rosenborg Castle, a ancient palace of the seventeenth century with an impressive garden, it is one of the most beautiful places to see in Copenhagen. Built as the summer residence of the monarch Christian IV, the palace stands out for its Renaissance style which, together with its beautiful garden, gives it a fairytale-like castle appearance.
You can see it from the outside for free or you can visit the inside for a fee. Admission is included in the Copenhagen Card.
Next to this castle is the magnificent Copenhagen botanical garden, another place that is really worth visiting with a pleasant walk reaching the shore of a lake where there are several glass greenhouses.
If you are a castle lover, one of the best excursions in Copenhagen is to visit the castles in Kronborg, Frederiksborg and Fredensborg, all close to the capital.
Church of Our Redeemer
The Church of Our Redeemer, as well as being another of the essential places to see in Copenhagen, is one of the best viewpoints in the city. This Baroque-style church, visible from many points of the city, is known for its spiral-shaped external staircase located at the top from where you will have the best panoramic views of the city.
Inside, the altar in white marble and a three-storey organ from the seventeenth century stand out, and as a curiosity it is interesting to know that on the outside it was added a carillon, the largest in northern Europe, and it rings every Saturday at four in the afternoon.
Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks on the planet
Don't miss a visit to the Tivoli Gardens (entrance included in the Copenhagen card), the world famous amusement park. Created in 1843, it is the second oldest amusement park in the world (the oldest is that of Bakken, a park inaugurated in 1583 which is very close to the Danish capital).
Tivoli has inspired Walt Disney's theme parks, and offers plenty of attractions, including roller coasters, rides, bumper cars, theatrical performances, concerts and restaurants to suit all budgets, all to delight young and old.
With nearly four million foreign visitors a year, this is one of the essential places to see in Copenhagen, and unlike most amusement parks, it is located in the heart of the city between the Central Station and the Town Hall.
Not to be missed especially ad Halloween when the setting in the park is truly wonderful or in November / December, when a friendly is set up Christmas market. Admission is free with the Copenhagen Card.Book and buy admission to the Tivoli Gardens
Amalienborg Palace and Marble Church
Amalienborg Palace, la official winter residence of the royal family, and the Marble Church (Frederiks Kirke) in front of the building, are two of the most beautiful places to see in Copenhagen.
The Rococo-style palace is made up of four large buildings surrounding a large square dominated by the statue of King Frederick V, which is worth visiting at 12 in the morning, when a curious changing of the guard.
The Baroque-style marble church is striking large green dome, inspired by that of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
Entrance included in the Copenhagen Card.
Slotsholmen (Castle Island) is a small island surrounded by a beautiful canal and located very close to the old town, in the port of Copenhagen. In addition to walking along the canal, we recommend that you see hers three most important buildings: Christiansborg Palace, the Royal Danish Library and the historic Stock Exchange building.
Christiansborg Palace, the current seat of Parliament, was built in 1928 and you can visit several rooms, including the Hall of the Throne and Great Hall (Great Hall), place of reception for the Queen's gala dinners.
Entrance to the palace, the public galleries and the tower are free. The Danish parliament can only be visited through guided tours booked well in advance. Entrance included in the Copenhagen Card.
The old building of the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (Børsen) is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, built between 1619 and 1640, in red brick and in the Renaissance style. Its most prominent feature is the 56-meter-high spire, made up of four dragon tails that join in the shape of a spiral.
La Royal Danish Library, the largest of the Nordic countries, is one of the must-see places in Copenhagen. It is made up of several buildings among which the one known as the Black Diamond stands out, an architectural masterpiece made of black marble and glass, which thanks to the material used changes color depending on the reflection and the sun. Inside it contains nearly 5 million one-of-a-kind books and 6 manuscripts.
Museums not to be missed
There are numerous museums with free admission, including the National Museum, which traces Danish history from the Stone Age and the Vikings to the present day, or the Gliptoteca Ny Carlsberg, which on Tuesdays offers free access to the museum's beautiful winter garden and more than 10.000 masterpieces from Scandinavia's largest collection of French Impressionist works.
Lo Statens Museum for Art (National Art Gallery) offers free access to permanent exhibitions, which feature outstanding collections of Danish and international art from the past seven centuries.
For lovers of contemporary art and more, we recommend a visit to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (admission fee and included in the Copenhagen card) overlooking the sea about 45 minutes by train from the city center.
The building houses a permanent art collection of over 3.500 contemporary works, as well as temporary exhibitions of international caliber. In addition, the museum has a magnificent garden with beautiful sculptures, a stone's throw from the sea.
With the Copenhagen Card, you can access these attractions and many other museums in the city for free.
Eat and drink on a budget in Copenhagen
With 18 Michelin stars awarded to 15 restaurants, Copenhagen is known as the capital of New Nordic Cuisine. The city also offers many high-end gastronomic experiences for all budgets.
Il Copenhagen Street Food, for example, opened in 2014 on Paper Island, offers imaginative, sustainable and affordable street food from around the world in a colorful space dotted with food trucks and stalls.
For a refined yet budget-friendly dining experience, the city offers 10 award-winning restaurants Bib Gourmand, the Michelin Guide recognition category for adults restaurants more accessible and with a excellent value for money.
For a light bite, however, the city offers a great variety of cafes and organic places. Lovers of take away or quick snacks can make a stop at the Torvehallerne covered market, also in Nørrebro where you can taste the best Hot Dogs (typical street food) in Denmark.
Where to sleep in Copenhagen
To comfortably visit all the sights in Copenhagen, it is best to stay in the city center. It is true that accommodation in the Danish capital is very expensive. To choose the best area to stay in the city can help you decide our article «Where to sleep in Copenhagen, the best areas! ».
The economic WakeUp Copenhagen offers two central hotels of the famous Danish architect Kim Utzon, both characterized by a modern and minimalist design but at the same time fashionable and of high quality.
For cool and well-priced accommodation, we recommend the Hotel Cabinn and for those who cannot give up on Design, we recommend theStealhouse hostel to stay in the capital in style.Search for a hotel in Copenhagen
How to get to Copenhagen
Copenhagen is easily accessible by direct flights from several cities with various airlines low-cost.
How to get from the airport to the center of Copenhagen?
The airport is located just 9 kilometers from Copenhagen. It is very well connected and there are several ways to get to the city center. Transportation is free with the Copenhagen Card which can be purchased at the airport.
The metro is one of the best ways to get to the center to visit all the places to see in Copenhagen from there. The journey takes about 15 minutes and to take it you need to go to the station located in Terminal 3. It leaves every 5 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes at night.
Reach Copenhagen by Train
Another easy way to get to the city center is by train. The station is located in Terminal 3, the train frequency is 10 minutes. The destination is Copenhagen Central Station (Hovedbanegården) in the heart of the city, right next to Tivoli Gardens, one of the most important places to see in Copenhagen.
Bus to Copenhagen
The bus to reach the center of Copenhagen is 5A and leaves from Terminal 3. Tickets can be purchased in cash directly on the bus or at the ticket office in Terminal 3.
Taxi to Copenhagen
There are taxis outside the various terminals. This is obviously the most expensive vehicle as it will cost you around DKK 200 during the day and DKK 250 at night and on weekends.Book a private transport to get to your hotel