I fell in love with Copenhagen the moment the plane landed. Everything about the city is beautiful, from the attractions and buildings to the food and the people. I couldn’t say anything bad about Copenhagen, except that it rains a lot. I spent five days in Copenhagen over Christmas in 2014 so let me show you around.
First thing’s first, get a Copenhagen Card. Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in the world and the card makes visiting tourist attractions cheaper and in some cases, free. We bought the 48-hour Copenhagen Card ($100 AUD) before we left Australia so we had time to read through the booklet on free attractions and plan what to see with the map they sent us.
Taxis, trains and buses are an easy way to get around the city, but they all cost quite a lot of money. It’s extremely easy to walk around. Most attractions are located within walking distance from one another and the city is extremely easy to navigate. Just pack comfortable walking shoes and wet weather gear. Alternatively you can join the locals and ride a bike. Copenhagen has some of the best bike paths in the world!
(TIP: Go on a free walking tour of Copenhagen. These guides are extremely knowledgeable and they’ll show you how to get around on foot. They’ll also explain how to get the most out of your visit without spending loads of money.)
If you join a free walking tour you’ll cover most of these attractions in a single day. But remember, there’s always a lot more to discover! All of the attractions we visited were free with our Copenhagen Cards so I strongly recommend you grab one!
Start with a visit to Town Hall where you’re welcome to venture inside. This is a good reference point to mark the city centre too. Just outside Town Hall is the Lure Blowers statue. Across the road is the H.C Andersen Museum which is only a small museum and takes around 20 minutes to walk through so check it out!
Copenhagen is home to a number of royal palaces and grounds which are always well kept and make for beautiful photos. The Botanical Gardensare well worth a visit in any season of the year. Walk through the grounds of Amalienborg (the royal palace) for photos of the castle and keep your eye out for the royal family! While you’re here, don’t forget to look across the water at the Opera House. The palace is also located close to Nyhavn– a canal district famous for its pubs, and the Little Mermaid statue – the most famous (and probably most disappointing) attraction in the city. Other castles worth visiting include Kunsthal Charlottenborg,Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle.
The National Museum of Denmark is located in the heart of the city and is home to a viking ship. It’s a large museum so if you want to see everything you’ll need to put some time aside. There are hands-on activities throughout the museum to keep you interested though.
One attraction you won’t be able to escape the sight of is the Round Tower. Muster up the willpower to walk to the top because the views are worth it! You’ll be able to see right across Copenhagen and you’ll even see part of Sweden. Not too far from the tower is an old and popular church, Copenhagen Cathedral, which you can enter for free.
The Carlsberg Brewery and museum is a fun and historical place to visit, even if you’re like me and you don’t drink alcohol at all. Your entry includes two drink coupons (per person) which can be used at any of the bars throughout the brewery for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The brewery is home to the Guinness World Record’s largest beer bottle collection and a lot of beer. It was surprisingly one of my favourite attractions.
The Copenhagen Card also gives you free entry into Tivoli Gardens (the world’s second oldest theme park) twice which is great because you absolutely need to visit the gardens by day and night. Because we travelled over Christmas there were a lot of extra decorations, activities, markets and rides. Santa was there too! There are machines all over the park where you can buy ride tickets. I recommend buying the unlimited one because there are a lot of cool rollercoasters and rides that offer great views of the city.
If you’re there over Christmas you must visit the Christmas markets. Local shops, designers and craftsman set up stalls to sell unique Christmas gifts. It’s a great place to do some inexpensive Christmas shopping, eat local foods and drink mulled wine.
The best place to do your shopping is also the main street in Copenhagen, Strøget. The road is vehicle-free so you don’t have to worry about the traffic. Here you’ll find the flagship Lego Store as well as all of your European favourites, Zara, H&M and much more.
What are your favourite things about Copenhagen? If you’re planning on staying in Copenhagen, check out my review of First Hotel Kong Frederik.