It was about 12am and after a long shift at work I thought it would be great idea to book a trip away so I did just that. It’s something I had been thinking about for a while but kept changing my mind about where I wanted to go and convincing myself that I should probably go with a friend. The tiredness crept in and I booked the flight on a whim, when I woke up the next morning I totally forgot I booked it and genuinely thought I had dreamt it.
I soon came to the realisation that it was not a dream, I had booked a trip to Copenhagen for 8 days and I was bloody excited, albeit a little anxious, I’d never been to another country by myself so for me it was a big thing. The only things I ended up booking were the flights and accommodation, I didn’t have an itinerary for the trip and just kind of winged it. THE BEST DECISION. Just knowing that I can do something like this has given me so much more confidence in myself and I am now consumed by wanderlust.
So that’s the backstory, now lets get on to the stuff you’re really here for. The Copenhagen Guide is something I hope you find useful if you’re travelling to Copenhagen and like me you’re awful at planning and have left everything to the last minute. So grab yourself a cuppa tea, pen and your notebook, if you still love writing down places to visit like I do.
I’ll include links where possible to make your life easier to check out these places. The last few suggestions are slightly outside of central Copenhagen but nevertheless are worth checking out and easy to get to from Copenhagen Central Station.
- Copenhagen Free Walking Tours– Whether you’re travelling on your own or in a group I definitely recommend doing the free walking tour. They have a couple of tour options which you can check out on the website. I did the Grand Tour of Copenhagen and the Christianshavn Tour, both I thoroughly recommend. It’s a great way to learn about the City and get the lowdown from people in the know. You can also pop places on your list which you want to re-visit throughout your trip and ask the tour guides for other places to visit on your stay which is what I did and got some great recommendations. They have become the highest rated walking tour organisation on Trip Advisor and earn their money solely through tips which means they’ll always deliver a top notch tour!
Zach from the US
Frederiks Kirke | The Frederiks Church
Chrisianshavn | Christiania
- Pub Crawl Copenhagen– Organised by the lovely people of the Free Walking Tours, you can discover Copenhagen’s nightlife with a pub crawl. A great way to meet fellow travellers and feel at ease whilst doing so, you will receive free drinks and discounts at each bar. You can purchase tickets whilst you’re on the walking tour for a reduced price or full price on the evening. Their website gives you all the information you need to know and where to meet.
- Tivoli Gardens– The world’s second oldest amusement park is located in the heart of Copenhagen. You’ll have plenty to see at this attraction, when I went it was decorated for Halloween and it was spooktacular (awful pun I know) and there were pumpkins everywhere! I loved it. With loads of attractions and rides you won’t be bored, you can fill up on your choice of food, take a stroll around the park and stop at whatever tickles your fancy. I chose Mazzoli’s for some pizza because pizza is always a good decision. No doubt the place will be decked out for christmas and it will be a festive overload.
Pumpkins and Lanterns at Tivoli Gardens
Pumpkins on the lake
- Christiania– A self proclaimed autonomous state, Christiania is a unique neighbourhood in Copenhagen. It is a self governing society with their own laws and their own flag. Christiania is best known for the alternative lifestyle of it’s residents, you have to apply to be a resident within the community and you need to be able to offer some value to the community and even then you’re put on a waiting list! There are plenty of places to eat from cafes to restaurants and loads of things to do from workshops to the art and culture scene, my personal favourite was Gallopperiet- Christiania’s Museum of Art. A word of advice- don’t take any photographs whilst on Pusher Street but there are signs before you enter this area of Christiania on their Do’s and Don’ts.
- Nørrebro– Now known as one of the hippest area’s of Copenhagen with a great nightlife I definitely recommend checking out the area, if only for the two food places I will mention later! Nørrbero is home to the Assistens Cemetery where you will find the graves of notable Danes such as Hans Christian Anderson, the author most famous for his fairy tales. Take a stroll down Ravnsborggade and have nosy around the antique dealers and vintage stores- the perfect way to spend an afternoon whilst waiting for Bæst to open. (You’ll find out more about this below.)
Skate Park in Nørrebro
- Vesterbro– A former working class area, Vesterbro is now a hotspot for locals and tourists. The Meatpacking District is filled with restaurants and bars, you’re sure to find something that will cater to your stomach’s needs! The area is close to the centre and you can walk from Central Station in around 10-15 minutes- depending on how speedy you are.
- The Little Mermaid Statue– If you’re in Copenhagen then make sure you see one of their most famous tourist attractions, The Little Mermaid Statue. Mainly just to say that you’ve seen it because it is rather underwhelming if I’m completely honest so don’t get too excited. Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale, the statue was made by Edvard Eriksen and commissioned by Carl Jacobsen- the founder of Carlsberg . Thankfully when I went, there weren’t too many people but if you’re wanting to snap a picture with the mermaid in the background prepare to join the back of the queue.
The Little Mermaid
- Nyhavn– This was one of the cutest places I visited. From here you can take canal boat tours or choose one of the many restaurants to grab some food and have a drink. The buildings are colourful and it really has such a great atmosphere, I could imagine this being a beautiful place to hang out during the warmer months just sitting along the canal having a drink.
- Netto Canal Boat Tour– Starting at Nyhavn and with a pickup at Holmens Church opposite the old stock exchange, Netto Canal Boat Tours have made it easy to find out more about the city on water, the tour guide speaks in Danish, English and German. I got on at Nyhavn, from there you have two options of which company you would like to ride with, Copenhagen Boat Tours or Netto Canal Boat Tours. I’d recommend going with the latter company as it’s cheaper and they both do the same route. Wrap up warm if you decide to take a boat tour, I did start losing feeling in my fingers towards the end.
Canal boat tour
- The Round Tower-The cobbled spiral ramp is the only way to get to the top of the tower, it twists 7 1/2 times around The Hollow Core which you’ll be able to see when you get to the 25 meter mark and step onto the glass platform to look down. (Not advised if you’re scared of heights or the dark.) I’d advise wearing some comfy shoes or trainers if you’re heading up the tower for your own comfort. There are a couple of things to stop off at as you’re making your way to the top, The Library Hall hosts art exhibitions and cultural events all year round and The Bell Loft has a collection of historical items. When you get to the top you get the most beautiful view of the city, wrap up warm as it’s bloomin’ windy. The Round Tower also houses Europe’s oldest functioning Observatory- so if you fancy a chilled evening looking at stars pop that into your diary!
Rundetaarn | The Round Tower
The Cobbled Slope
The Hollow Core
The Bell Loft
The view from the top
- Mirabelle Bakery– Looking for a delicious breakfast that’s going to fuel you for the day for your walk around Nørrbero? Then look no further, the lovely people at Mirabelle’s have got you covered. With certified organic food on the premises it’s a hit with the locals as well as tourists, so much so I went twice during my travels. My personal favourite was their sourdough bread, that with a boiled egg and a cappuccino was divine. You can also grab some mozzarella, made next door in Bæst restaurant. I love it when local businesses support each other. I bought back two massive bags of goodies to London as well, including their sourdough bread, rye bread and an assortment of jams and marmalades. It’s located on Guldbergsgade with Bæst restaurant next door.
- Bæst Restaurant– Open everyday from 5-10.30pm, Bæst is a restaurant I cannot recommend enough, make a reservation though as they do tend to get busy towards the later part of the evening. Located in Nørrbero you can spend your whole day there. Head for brunch at Mirabelle’s, roam around the antique dealers, stroll around the Assistens Cemetery and walk back to Guldbergsgade for dinner. If you’re a pizza lover, and lets face it who isn’t, then this is for you! Pizza’s are made from local flour and cooked in a wood fired oven (which was made for them in Naples) at 500 degrees, so your pizza is only in the oven for a couple of minutes and boy can you taste the authenticity! Their mozzarella is made from local organic milk and hand stretched several times a day. The bread is made in the bakery next door by Mirabelles and it’s little things like this that made both Bæst and Mirabelle’s a hit for me!
Delicious pizza from Bæst
- Sticks N Sushi at Tivoli Hotel– Got a craving for some Sushi and want a view of Copenhagen? Book a table at the top of Tivoli Hotel with Sticks n Sushi and you get just that. Great sushi, great service, great view. Personal favourite from here was the Coal Crab.
Stick N Sushi at Tivoli Hotel
- Frederiksborg Castle– Located in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen Frederiksborg Castle is the most picturesque piece of architecture I ever did lay my eyes on. I saw the castle across the water and it took my breath away. One of those moments where I truly appreciated coming on this journey and doing it by myself. The castle houses the Museum of National History so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the museum as well as the beauty of this place.
Frederiksborg Castle from across the water
Frederiksborg Castle up close
- Kronborg Castle– The famous Danish castle known from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, gives you plenty to see. You walk around the castle going through each wing and end up at the courtyard. The casemates is a section below the castle which was the soldiers courters during war. I wouldn’t recommend going this way if you’re not too keen on the dark or claustrophobic- they have torches which you can buy before entering this section.
Kronborg Castle. The Casemates
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art– The Danes sure know how to make a building look good, I absolutely loved the design of this building. The Museum presents six to ten exhibitions annually along with their permanent collection. I saw a retrospect of Yayoi Kusama’s work from 6 decades across different media. It’s on till the new year, if you get the chance to see it then do so, it was great.
- Malmö– If you’re hanging about it Copenhagen for a few days then grab a ticket to Malmö Sweden. I got a return ticket from Central station, the journey was about 20 minutes and you get some great views as you’re crossing over the bridge. If you’re using cash then make sue you swap your Danish Kroner for Swedish Kroner when you get to Malmö station. I met a friend of a friend over there who showed me round, we sat along the water drinking some coffee and headed to Malmö Museer which holds an assortment of treasures to look at including an aquarium. Take a look at what’s on at Malmö Konstmuseum, it’s one of the leading art museums in Scandinavia and has some great exhibitions on at the moment.
Locks in Malmö
Well that’s a mighty list and should keep you busy for your trip to Copenhagen. If you do want to head outside of of Copenhagen to Frederiksborg Castle, Kronborg Castle and Louisiana then purchase a ticket from Central station to which will allow you to travel to Hillerød, Helsingør and Humlebæk where these destinations are located. It will be a long day but it’s so worth it and saves you money so you don’t have to spread the cost of travel over a couple of days from Central Station.
Copenhagen is so small you can walk everywhere which is great as you save some money in an expensive city, alternatively you can cycle, which is the most common way to get around. Save those Kroner’s for a hotdog from a cart, a decision you will not regret I assure you and they have vegetarian hotdog options available too in some cases.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful if you’re heading to Copenhagen, who knows maybe it’ll inspire you to take a trip there. I met some awesome people along the way and it’s a trip I’ll have the fondest memories of. It’s the happiest nation on the planet so they must be doing something right, I know I’ll be going back some day.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve visited Copenhagen and what your favourite spot is. I’ll pop it on the list for next time.
P.S. Get a selfie stick, it’ll help!
Copenhagen, featured, Malmö, Sweden, travel