7 Top Things To Do In Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Denmark is often considered one of the happiest countries on the planet, while its lively capital, one of the world’s most liveable cities.  Copenhagen is cool and cosmopolitan and I got to see what all the fuss is about first hand on my visit in November. There is no shortage of things to see and do and I’ve put together my top 7 below!

Eat around Copenhagen’s Food Markets

Copenhagen’s food scene is as eclectic and diverse as the city itself. Home to 16 Michelin-starred restaurants, including world-renowned Noma and Geranium, the city’s first three-starred restaurant, there is no shortage of quality offerings here.

If food markets are more your thing, Copenhagen has got you covered. Visit the mouth-watering collection of stands and shops at Torvehallerne on Frederiksborggade or eat your way around Papirøen island, home to the Copenhagen Street Food market (thanks to Becky from http://gotthepostcard.com/ for the tip!). In summer months, check out the Meatpacking District Food and Market (Kødbyens Mad & Marked) or try and pin down Rebel Food’s trucks around the city.

Check out my earlier post: Torvehallerne: Eating Around Copenhagen’s Best Food Market

Smørrebrød
Smørrebrød

Visit alternative Christiania

If you are drawn to anything “alternative”, then you can’t leave Copenhagen without visiting one of its edgiest areas.

Freetown Christiania started life in 1971 as a self-governing “social experiment” on the site of former military barracks in the borough of Christianshavn. Despite years of clashes with the government and the police, Christiania remains partly self-governed.

The area is open to visitors and there is plenty to see beyond the infamous Pusher Street and its hash dealers. Colourful murals, independent cafes and quirky shops await those who decide to explore this small corner of the city. Bear in mind that photographs around Pusher Street are not allowed.

Copenhagen

Get your thrills at Tivoli Gardens

The 173 year old Tivoli Gardens is one the world’s oldest and most famous amusement parks. Located in the heart of Copenhagen, across the road from Central Station, Tivoli features rollercoasters, amusement rides, theaters and even an aquarium. There are frequent live music performances and fireworks in the summer as well as special events for Halloween.

The park gets a magical winter makeover every November for the famous Tivoli Christmas Market, with thousands of lights, pop-up stalls selling crafts and decorations and all the candy and mulled wine you can manage. The park reopens for 2016 on 6th April.

Copenhagen
Tivoli Christmas Market

Visit world class museums

Copenhagen has a number of world-famous museums and due to its relatively small size, it’s pretty easy to get around a few of them over a weekend. National Museum of Denmark has an impressive Prehistory Collection and Viking exhibits while the nearby Glyptotek houses a mix of ancient and modern art.  Christiansborg Palace, the home of Danish Parliament is on the nearby island of Slotsholmen.

The Design Museum is well worth checking out on your walk to The Little Mermaid statue and the 17th century Rosenborg Castle is an impressive former royal residence which currently houses the Danish Crown Jewels. Art fans should get up early and head to renowned Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, around 40 km north of the city.

I recommend purchasing a Copenhagen Card, which includes entry to over 70 museums, free public transport and a range of discounts.

Copenhagen
National Museum of Denmark

Tour Carlsberg brewery

Learn about the history of one of the world’s largest beer companies in the world, with a tour around where it all started – the Carlsberg brewery in Vestebro set up by JC Jacobsen in 1847. Wander the old brewhouse, check out the largest beer bottle collection in the world and say hello to the Jutland horses in the brewery’s stables.

No visit would be complete without sampling the beer itself and it doesn’t disappoint, with various options on offer and even a chance to take some bottles home with you. I recommend the extended guided tour of the brewery, which is very informative. On your way out, take a detour and walk a few minutes to the iconic Elephant Gate, which marked the entrance to the New Carlsberg Brewery, built in 1901.

Copenhagen
Carlsberg brewery

Explore Nyhavn

The colourful houses lining the canal in the 17th century port district of Nyhavn are a symbol of Copenhagen, even counting Hans Christian Andersen as one of its former residents. Today the area is full of restaurants and bars, tourists and locals alike enjoying a beer on a warm summer’s day or a mulled wine in the colder months.

Stroll down the pedestrian street alongside wooden sailing boats, listen to live music in one of the jazz bars or take a canal boat tour to learn more about the history of the area. The Royal Danish Playhouse, home to the Royal Danish Theatre is around the corner on the harbour front.

Copenhagen
Nyhavn

See Copenhagen on two wheels

Copenhagen has been regularly voted as one of the best cycling cities in the world, with its network of dedicated cycle lanes, an efficient bike rental scheme and availability of cycling trips in and around the capital. Cycling is very much a part of the culture here.

As many as a third of Copenhageners use a bike for commuting to work and the city is one of the safest for cycling. Grab a map from your accommodation and start exploring! Cycling Copenhagen offer group tours in summer months.

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34 thoughts on “7 Top Things To Do In Copenhagen

  1. David (Travelsewhere) says:

    Man, last time I was in Copenhagen I only had a few hours while I waited for a flight. Only got to see Nyhavn, but wish I had had time to do the rest too. Also turned out to be the Queen’s birthday and I missed seeing her from the palace balcony by meer minutes! Gah, next time! Great stuff as per usual.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Thanks David! At least you got to see some of the city – many people wouldn’t even leave the airport! It’s a great place and I really want to go back in the summer!

  2. Maria says:

    What a great guide! If you like beer, the Carlsberg Brewery is an excellent suggestion – went there myself this summer and had a great time. (I live just outside Copenhagen). Didn’t really know what there was at the National Museum, I think I’ll check that out when I get the chance 😛

    • Travel Lexx says:

      I really enjoyed the National Museum! Some really cool exhibits and was great to learn about the region and its history! I will make sure to give you a shout next time I am in Denmark!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Tivoli is fantastic – just make sure to check the opening times when you go as it’s not open all year round! Oh, the cafes and bakeries are amazing – makes me want to go back just for those!

  3. Garth says:

    Ah we love Copenhagen! The Danes are just ridiculously cool and arty! Great suggestions of things to do, we did a few of them. Smørrebrød is delicious and Nyhaven is touristy but beautiful, we were lucky with the weather when we visited and enjoyed a few beers there!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Garth, glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, I probably would stay away from the restaurants in Nyhavn but walking through it or grabbing a beer on a summer evening would be so great!

  4. Lisa says:

    Looks pretty fascinating. Gardens, great food, and a brewery, what’s not to like? Nyhavn sounds like a cool place to wander around catch a little history with a jazz tune or two. Hope to visit one day! Thanks for the nice post.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Kelly, I will stay in there with him while you explore! The beer is great and the tour was really informative. Nyhavn is fantastic too!

  5. Barry says:

    I planned to visit Denmark on a road trip in 2015 but the old car kept breaking down so we ended heading back down through Germany. I would still like to visit Denmark and Copenhagen though and will be in Europe mid this year, so maybe I will.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Barry, that’s a shame but good that you will have another chance to go. It would be great to visit in the summer – many of the things I mention in the post would be even better to do in warmer weather!

  6. Angie (FeetDoTravel) says:

    Wow, Copenhagen has 16 Michelin starred restaurants? Awesome! I love your idea of hiring a bike and cycling around, I don’t believe anyone else has suggested that before and I wouldn’t have thought of it although I have no idea why – the CIty is perfect for cycling! Some really interesting suggestions here, I particularly like Christiania, the museums and the food markets! Thanks for sharing #feetdotravel

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Copenhagen is practically made for cycling, just like Amsterdam! I do get intimidated by people going really fast around me as I am not the best cyclist (I tend to swerve a bit) but it’s great fun!

  7. Sina says:

    I’ve been to Copenhagen when I was 12 and love to go back! The food looks amazing and I love the colourful houses. Sounds like it’s also a great city to explore by bicycle 🙂

    • Travel Lexx says:

      You should definitely try and make it over there at some point – the city is beautiful, the people friendly and you get to experience hygge for yourself!

  8. Kreete says:

    I have been to Copenhagen when I was 15 and to be honest, all I can remember is that I liked the architecture and the colourful houses. I have heard a lot about Christiania from friends and other bloggers and believe it to be similar to Uzupis in Vilnius. We have a travelling Tivoli in Estonia in the summer. I never knew they would use the same name for an amusement park somewhere else. To be fair, that’s where Estonians probably got the name for it. Anyway, looks like I have to go back and refresh my memory!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      You should definitely head there when you are back in Europe – it’s a great place to explore and there are plenty of things to do outside the city too! Really interesting about the travelling amusement park!

  9. Raymond Carroll says:

    My home-town in Scotland (East Kilbride) is twinned with Ballerup in Denmark. I was supposed to go there 30 years ago when I was sixteen on an exchange program but I had to pull out at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. I was so jealous when all my pals came back with their Copenhagen Christiania Hash stories. Nyhavn looks lovely! Nice post.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Well it’s never too late to go! Christiania is definitely different to what you would experience back then but still a unique place to visit!

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