A trip to Copenhagen, Denmark‘s capital, makes for a wonderful city break, or a longer visit if you have time. The city has historical castles and palaces, fantastic museums, beautiful canals and so much more. Whilst visiting Copenhagen you will probably receive countless smiles from the friendly and welcoming Danish people. The Danes are in fact often referred to as the World’s happiest people and the people I met definitely appeared this way. In this guide I will give you information on getting around, things to see and do, restaurant ideas, accommodation suggestions, photography tips, and some general helpful information on the destination.
When visiting it’s worth getting the Copenhagen Card. This card gives you free entry to 79 attractions in the city. If you are like me, then you’ll most likely visit an awful lot of things during your visit, which makes it totally worthwhile. On top of the attractions, you can use public transport such as buses, trains and the metro within the entire Copenhagen Region as much as you like. This includes areas outside of the city, such as Helsingør, Roskilde, Køge and many more places, many of which have attractions you can visit for free using the card. Head to www.copenhagencard.com to read more about this card and what’s included.
I visited Copenhagen for 3 days during my trip and explored many of the attractions using the Copenhagen Card (mentioned above). Some of my favourite attractions are below, and you’ll find lots more in my post Top Things to See and Do in Copenhagen.
A highlight and must-see for anyone visiting Copenhagen is the Nyhavn. This area is an old fisherman’s neighbourhood from the 17th century and is one of the most beautiful parts of the city. Along the canal, you will also find lots of places to eat, drink and relax within a great atmosphere. You will also find boat tours leading from this location.
Christiansborg Palace is a stunning palace and government building. During my trip I visited the Royal Reception Rooms which includes 19 areas, and some of them such as the Great Hall (seen below) are breathtaking.
Address: Prins Jørgens Gård, 1468 København
Tickets and more info: www.kongeligeslotte.dk
Copenhagen even has it’s own amusement park called Tivoli Gardens which opened in 1843. Here you’ll find various rides including a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, dragon boats and lots more. The gardens are particularly nice at night when it gets lit up. You can enter the park using the Copenhagen Card (or an entry only price), and then once inside you pay extra for rides. There are other tickets available which include rides which you can find via the website below.
Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København
Tickets and more info: www.tivoligardens.com
Rosenborg Castle is from the 1600’s and was built by Christian IV. It has been a museum since 1838 and has three floors and a basement which contain various rooms for you to visit. I really enjoyed visiting this castle and found the architecture inside intricate and beautiful. It’s also a very photogenic spot.
Address: Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København
Tickets and more info: www.kongernessamling.dk/rosenborg
Check out a viewpoint
You’ll find lots of fantastic viewpoints around the city, allowing you to enjoy Copenhagen from a nice high perspective. Visit my post The Best Viewpoints in Copenhagen for some of the best spots in the city.
More things to do
Places to Eat and Drink
Throughout the entire city, I saw countless restaurants all with tasty menu’s. Many of them had outdoor dining tables which are perfect for the warmer months. The price of a meal in Copenhagen can range a lot, from a cheap lunch costing only 70 DKK to upwards of 200 DKK. I found on average during my stay I was spending around 150 DKK on a meal which included a drink.
When visiting Copenhagen you should try Smørrebrød which is a classic Danish dish. This is a delicious open sandwich served with toppings on Rye bread. I enjoyed Smørrebrød at a few places mentioned below and they were very tasty.
Below are a few places to eat that I went to:
Lining the canal along Nyhavn is a large range of restaurants serving delicious dishes. I went to Hyttefadet and had a classic fish and chips dish. The atmosphere at night is fantastic and I recommend eating around this area at least once.
- Far’s Dreng
Here I had my tastiest Smørrebrød serving with a chicken salad topping. They have a fantastic lunch price of only 70 DKK for many of the sandwich options. The cafe also had a cute decor and a few seats for outdoor dining.
Website: www.farsdreng.com (Non-English)
Recommended for: Lunch/Snacks/Danish Smørrebrød
Close to Christiansborg Palace is Katz where I had one of my tastiest dishes during my stay. The dish was called Hakkebøf and consisted of a beef patty, potatoes in a delicious sauce. The waiter said it was a very Danish dish, so if you visit I highly recommend it.
Recommended for: Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch/Dinner
- Restaurant Koefoed
I went for lunch at Koefoed and the food was nice, as was the restaurant and ambience. The restaurant is a short walk from Nyhavn and a bit fancy. They serve some traditional Danish food, such as Smørrebrød and also have an evening tasting menu.
Recommended for: Lunch/Dinner/Fancy
- Copenhagen Street Food
A cool and popular place to go and get some food is Copenhagen Street Food, which is an indoor food market on Paper Island. Inside you’ll find countless stalls selling cuisines from all over the world, such as Mexican Burritos, India wraps, Sushi, Korean and much more. If it’s sunny you could also eat outside by the waterfront.
Recommended for: Lunch/Dinner/Snacks/Casual
- Meatpacker District
I didn’t end up eating at the Meatpackers district although I had intended to. I did, however, take a walk around the area which is full of restaurants.
Website: www.visitcopenhagen.com (VisitCopenhagen’s guide to this district
Recommended for: lunch/dinner/casual
Other places to eat and drink – I recommend having a look on Tripadvisor.co.uk for more ideas and also reviews.
Places to Stay
Copenhagen has a good range of accommodation options, from cheap hostels, boutique hotels, Air Bnb’s and luxury hotels. Here are some suggestions on places you could stay.
- Budget – Generator Copenhagen (Based on reviews) – This hostel is in a great location not far from Nyhavn and close to Amalienborg Palace. The hostel has received an excellent review average of 8.0/10 from over 6,900 reviews.
- Mid-Range/Boutique – Andersen Hotel (Based on personal experience) – During my visit I stayed at Andersen Boutique Hotel, which is a hotel west of the city centre and close to the main train station and Tivoli. The hotel was very cosy and I felt they tried to bring new ideas into the hotel to make your stay special. A few things included free wine between 5-6 every evening and various treats on each floor, such as cookies on one and toffees on another. They also provided Green Park toiletries (A brand by Molton Brown) and the room decor was also great.
- Luxury – Nimb Hotel (Based on pictures, location and reviews) – A luxury hotel located in the beautiful Tivoli Gardens. The hotel has a stunning design and has received an average of 9.1/10 for over 200 reviews. The Tivoli Gardens is an old amusement park and makes for one of the cities top attractions.
- Something Unique – Central Hotel (Based on uniqueness) – For a really different experience consider staying at the Central Hotel. This hotel is the smallest in the world and consists of one bedroom and a small cafe beneath. The hotel is designed with the 1920’s in mind so has an old look. If you are wanting to stay here you should look at booking around six months in advance, as of course they don’t have much room!
Have a look on Booking.com for other options.
To/From the Airport
Getting to and from the airport is easy and takes minimal time. There are options to get the metro, the train, or shuttle bus. On my arrival, I took the Metro to Nørreport which is towards the centre of the city, and it took around 15 minutes and only cost 36 DKK. On my return to the airport, I took the train from the Central Station, which also took around 15 minutes. I used my Copenhagen Card (more on this card below) for the return so I didn’t pay any extra. There are also taxies available if you prefer.
Within the City
Copenhagen felt like a walking city, and if you are intending to explore, then it’s likely you will walk most places once you are in the city centre. There is also the subway and bus services available, taxies and Uber. Currently, there aren’t that many stops on the subway though.
Alternatively, you could consider getting around like a local and hiring a bike. The city has a fantastic bike path network around the city that allows you to get around safely.
Copenhagen General Destination Info
- Destination type: City, Architecture, History
- Currency: Danish Krone (DKK): Euros are often accepted although you get change in Danish Krones
- WiFi: I found the WiFi easy to get hold off and extremely quick when I was connected. Most hotels, the airport and also many restaurants and attractions provided it for free
- Emergency numbers: Dial 112 for police, fire and medical emergencies
- Arrive/leave by air: Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is just south of the city and easily reachable via the metro, trains, taxi or Uber</a
- Arrive/leave by train: Head to www.dsb.dk to search for tickets, or www.goeuro.com
- Arrive/leave by bus: I often use FlixBus to travel around Europe who offer cheap tickets and a good quality service
- Language: Danish – English was fantastic
- Power supply: To ensure your devices work I recommend taking a plug adapter such as Skross PRO World Travel Adapter. Also remember to check the local voltage and frequency as you may need a converter depending on your electronics. A site I use for this is www.power-plugs-sockets.com
Copenhagen Photography Tips
- Tivoli at night – Tivoli at night is fantastic and extremely photogenic. If you are coming at night remember your tripod to get good quality images.
- Canal reflections on the Nyhavn – Try and get reflection shots along the Nyhavn. If it’s windy then you may have to return another time. If a boat disturbs the water then just wait a while for it to calm down again.
- Stroget – Head up to the second floor of Cafe Norden restaurant in Hays House for a great angle over the Stroget
- Royal Reception Rooms – Go to the Royal Reception Rooms of Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg for some stunning architecture and interiors.
- Christiashavn – Walk along the Christiashavn for more beautiful canals.
- Sunset spots – For the best sunset spots I found head to: The Best Sunset Spots in Copenhagen
- Viewpoints – For amazing viewpoints in the city head to : The Best Viewpoints in Copenhagen
For photo spots head to 12 Top Instagram and Photography Spots in Copenhagen.
More travel photography tips: Ultimate Tips for Travel Photography
- Copenhagen felt to me like the kind of city you would mainly walk around. For this reason make sure you bring some comfy footwear.
- Consider getting the Copenhagen Card to save on attractions.
- Copenhagen isn’t the cheapest destination. For that reason consider your budget and use an app such as XE Currency app to see how much you’re spending.
- For ease of exploring the city, I recommend staying close to the centre, between the Meatpacking district and Kastellet.
Extend Your Trip
Why not extend your trip and visit multiple destinations. Using a bus service such as FlixBus you can cheaply get tickets to travel to Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin and many other places in neighbouring countries.
Sometimes it helps to take a guidebook on your travels. Below you will find a suggestion that is available on Amazon.
Tourism website: visitcopenhagen.com
Europe tips: Top Tips for Travelling in Europe for the First Time