From fairytale-esque landscapes, vibrant waterfronts, to ancient fortresses, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, encapsulates a quaint charm and urban cool like no other city. One of Europe's oldest monarchies, Copenhagen emanates regal grandeur while embracing modernity with confidence, which is undoubtedly appealing to globe-trotters. Here are some must-see sights that throw light on the grandeur of Copenhagen.
Step into a world of wonder at the Tivoli Gardens, an iconic amusement park nestled in the heart of Copenhagen. Being the second oldest operating amusement park in the world, Tivoli blends the charm of its historic heritage with innovative rides and attractions. The park comes alive with a vibrant array of flowering gardens, twinkling pavilions, and bustling cafes, offering an immersive cultural experience for visitors of all ages. From exhilarating roller coaster rides to serene boat rides on the park's lake, adventure is always around the corner. During evening hours, thousands of colored lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that’s both romantic and magical. Throughout the year, Tivoli Gardens plays host to a range of cultural events, including concerts, theatre productions, and holiday celebrations. So whether you're a thrill-seeker, a nature enthusiast, a culture vulture, or a foodie, Tivoli Gardens promises an unforgettable excursion into Danish tradition and amusement.
Venture into the heart of Copenhagen and find yourself in the historic harbor district of Nyhavn, a must-visit jewel bursting with color, charm, and history. Begin your exploration amidst rows of vibrantly colored 17th-century townhouses, cafes, and restaurants, reflecting beautifully in the clear water of the old commercial port. This iconic district is where the famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, penned numerous fairy tales, adding a sprinkle of literary nostalgia to your visit. Stroll along the pleasant canal, indulge in local Danish cuisines at cozy eateries, or simply enjoy the lively ambiance while admiring the vintage ships dotting the harbor. Make your way up the timeless cobblestones to the northern end of the district and treat yourself to a splendid view of the city from the top of Charlottenborg Palace. Adventure, culture, and picturesque scenes await you in Nyhavn, making it an essential part of any Copenhagen trip.
Embark on a captivating journey through time at the National Museum of Denmark, located in the heart of Copenhagen. As the largest cultural history museum in Denmark, the Nationalmuseet possesses an unparalleled collection of Danish artifacts, including historical objects, archaeological finds, and cultural exhibits.
Visitors can explore Denmark’s story over the ages, from the reindeer hunters of the Ice Age to the Vikings, right up to contemporary Danish life. Marvel at antique treasures such as the 3,000-year-old Sun Chariot, wander through a Victorian apartment, or step into the Children's Museum to experience life from the children’s perspective through different historical periods.
The museum also hosts impressive ethnographic collections, including a comprehensive exhibit on the indigenous Greenlandic culture. With its dedication to education and preservation, the Nationalmuseet provides a layers-deep exploration of the historical progress of Denmark and the Danish people.
The Little Mermaid Statue
The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen is a unique testimony to the city's love for story-telling and the arts, and is a must-see for any visitor. Standing gracefully on the water's edge since 1913, this iconic figure is more than just a statue- it's a symbol of the city itself, an embodiment of its history and culture.
The statue is inspired by one of the most beloved fairy tales by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, connecting visitors to the rich literary history of Denmark. It's a perfect destination for families with children who have read or heard about the story, making their fairy tale experience come to life.
Moreover, the statue's location is both scenic and picturesque. Perched on a rock by the Langelinie promenade, it overlooks the beautiful harbor, providing a serene location for a laid-back stroll while soaking in the beauty of this historic city.
Every scar and scratch on the statue tells a story, making it a living piece of the city's history. Despite being vandalized numerous times, the statue has stood the test of time, much like the resilient spirit of the city.
In essence, visiting the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen is embracing a piece of timeless art and literary history. It's not just about seeing a statue, it's about experiencing a piece of Copenhagen's heart and soul.
Strøget, the longest pedestrian street in Europe, is truly the beating heart of Copenhagen. A visit here is a transformative travel experience that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and urban excitement.
This renowned district hums with life, from the melodies of talented street performers to the vibrant conversations of locals and tourists alike. As you wander along this 1.1-kilometer stretch, you'll be greeted by a vast array of shops ranging from high-end international brands to local boutique stores, offering the quintessential Copenhagen shopping experience.
Strøget is not just about retail therapy. It's also a delightful gastronomical journey, with numerous restaurants and cafes providing an array of tastes from traditional Danish cuisine to international dishes. Don't forget to indulge in a Danish pastry or a Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) to savor the authentic Danish flavors!
In addition to food and shopping, Strøget is home to some of Copenhagen's most impressive and historic landmarks such as the Stork Fountain, the old Stock Exchange, and the Royal Danish Theater - adding a layer of rich history to its lively atmosphere.
Rent a Bike
Riding bicycles is a common form of transportation for locals and tourists getting around the city. According to Visit Copenhagen, 49% of Copenhageners commute to work or school on a bike. There are more bikes than inhabitants!
It is easy to find a bicycle as many hotels provide them to guests.
Click here for bike routes and where to rent bikes.
A visit to Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen offers a unique blend of architectural grandeur, historical intrigue and political significance. Sited at the heart of the Danish capital on the tiny island of Slotsholmen, the Palace is the nucleus of Denmark's political power, housing the Parliament, Supreme Court, and the Prime Minister's Office. Visitors are fascinated by the Palace's exquisite sample of Danish architectural prowess, featuring nuances of Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. Touring the lavish Royal Reception Rooms, the Royal Stables, the Palace Chapel and, notably, the ruins underneath the Palace, provides an absorbing journey through Denmark's eventful past. Don't forget the added bonus of the Palace tower, the highest in Copenhagen, offering an unparalleled panorama of the city. From political aficionados and history buffs to lovers of art and architecture, Christiansborg Palace is a captivating attraction for all.
Taking a stroll through the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens is not just a walk in the park. It's an enchanting journey into a world of diverse flora, tranquil landscapes, and engaging exhibit. Home to more than 13,000 species of plants spread across different sections and greenhouses, the Botanical Gardens offer a unique opportunity to explore the globe's various ecosystems, right in the heart of the city. The centerpiece is undoubtedly the old Palm House from the 1870s; its intricate cast-iron spiral stair leading to a passageway with a stunning view of the exotic plants below. The gardens also function as a vital educational resource, housing the largest herbarium of Danish plants and fungi. It’s the perfect place to escape the city hustle for a breath of fresh air, learn about different plant species, and observe the stunning beauty of nature right at your fingertips. With its stunning aesthetics and tranquil environment, Copenhagen's Botanical Gardens offer a refreshing, educational, and restorative experience that appeals to all.
The David Collection
A visit to The David Collection in Copenhagen is an encounter with an exquisite world of art that transcends borders and time periods. Located in a grand, neoclassical building, this museum holds one of Northern Europe's most prestigious collections of Islamic art, offering a unique insight into the artistic richness and heritage of various Islamic cultures. It isn't limited to Islamic art, though; the collection also comprises European 18th-century art and an extensive array of Danish early modern art. One of the unique features of The David Collection is the contextual presentation of the art, providing fascinating connections between the artworks, their original cultural settings, and historical perspectives. Whether you are an art lover, history enthusiast, or simply a curious visitor, the diverse and meticulously curated collection is sure to leave you awe-inspired. A silent oasis in the middle of bustling Copenhagen, The David Collection is a must-see for an immersive, enlightening, cultural experience.
Bakken Amusement Park
A trip to Bakken Amusement Park in Copenhagen is a delightful blend of historical charm and modern-day fun, perfect for visitors of all ages. Often recognized as the world's oldest amusement park, Bakken, founded in 1583, has a rich history that's compelling and intriguing. It is situated in the heartlands of the lush Dyrehaven forest, creating a unique atmosphere where nature and entertainment intersect. The park houses a wide variety of exciting rides ranging from adrenaline-inducing roller coasters to fun traditional fairground games and children-friendly rides. If you're not a fan of thrills, you can spend time getting amused by the jovial clowns, watching live performances, or simply enjoying a meal in the brilliant array of restaurants sprinkled throughout the park. Bakken's charming old-world ambiance coupled with its lively energy makes it a must-visit destination, offering more than just rides; it’s an experience steeped in tradition and levity.
Visiting Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen is an enchanting trip back in time and an absolute must for those captivated by royal history and architecture. This 17th-century castle radiates Renaissance splendor and is a crowning jewel in the heart of the city. It hosts an impressive collection of royal artifacts, intricate tapestries depicting royal history, and the coronation thrones of Danish kings and queens, providing a deep dive into the country's illustrious past. With its beautifully preserved rooms, one can walk through the corridors of time and witness how royalty lived centuries ago. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly the treasury which houses the famed Danish Crown Jewels. Beyond the castle walls, the King's Garden charms with its elegant layouts, reflective ponds, and tranquil nooks, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll. In essence, a visit to the Rosenborg Castle is a fascinating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-see attraction in Copenhagen.
Experiencing nightlife in Copenhagen is a dive into the lively, vibrant energy of a city that truly knows how to have fun when the sun goes down. From cozy pubs, wine bars, and cocktail clubs to vibrant music venues and pulsating nightclubs, Copenhagen's array of options promises an unforgettable night out for every visitor. The city's nightlife scene majestically captures the Danish concept of 'hygge', essentially meaning comfort and togetherness. Copenhagen's Meatpacking District, a particular hot spot, is brimming with hip bars and clubs housed in converted butcher shops, an ambiance that is both trendy and unique. If live music is your rhythm of the night, venues like Vega or Pumpehuset are famous for hosting local and international bands. For beer enthusiasts, Copenhagen is a haven. It's home to numerous microbreweries that invite you to taste local craft beers. And let's not forget the allure of Tivoli Gardens, which transforms into a magical, illuminated wonderland at night. In essence, Copenhagen's versatile nightlife offers a blend of cozy charm and hip vibrancy, making it a must-experience for every social butterfly.
Church of Our Saviour
The Church of Our Saviour in Copenhagen serves not only as a place of worship but also as an eminent architectural marvel and an exciting tourist attraction. Known for its impressive Baroque design, the true enchantment is its distinct helix spire with an external winding staircase, making it a standout figure in Copenhagen's skyline. Visitors can challenge themselves with a 400-step climb, 150 of which are outside, leading to a rewarding, panoramic view of the city. Inside, the intricately crafted carvings and altarpiece demonstrate remarkable craftmanship, while the haunting melodies from one of Denmark's grandest organs echo against the majestic golden walls. The church describes a historic tale dated back to 1695, lending a deep sense of historical richness to your visit. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or a thrill-seeker looking for a unique vantage point, a visit to the Church of Our Saviour is an unmissable component of your Copenhagen experience.
Try Danish Cuisine
Sampling the varied cuisine in Copenhagen is an integral part of experiencing the rich culture and history of this fascinating city. Known as the culinary capital of Scandinavia, Copenhagen is a food lover's paradise, offering a diverse spectrum of culinary delights. From traditional Danish dishes like Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) to world-class seafood and baked goods, Copenhagen's gastronomical offerings are a true testament to the city's culinary innovation and appreciation of quality ingredients. This is not a city clinging purely to its culinary past, though. Home to an array of internationally recognized restaurants, such as Noma - repeatedly named the world's best restaurant - Copenhagen has firmly established itself at the forefront of gourmet cuisine. For those with a sweet tooth, Danish pastries are a must-try delicacy. The city's dynamic food scene also caters to a range of dietary preferences, with a growing number of venues offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. Exploring the food culture in Copenhagen not only satisfies your taste buds, but it also provides a delicious insight into Danish lifestyle and tradition.
Copenhagen will leave you with memories of a lifetime, so make sure you explore as much of the city as you can! Whether you are stopping here for the day, or plan to stay longer, reach out if you're prepared to immerse yourself in Copenhagen's rich culture.