Copenhagen is the biggest city in Denmark, and its popularity has been stretching to every corner of the globe for years. This beautiful city in Northern Europe has a little bit for everyone, from great food and great shopping to stunning architecture and exciting history.
One friend of mine explained this city to me before I went by saying “simply, Cope is dope.” After visiting, I can concur – Copenhagen really does rock! This post is going to take a look at everything you need to know about visiting Copenhagen, and will aim to answer the question “is Copenhagen worth visiting?”
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Best Things to Do in Copenhagen
From stunning avant-garde architecture and the happiest people in the world to some great food and really enjoyable things to do, Copenhagen is probably the coolest city in all of Scandinavia. Here is my list of the best things to do in Copenhagen.
1. Go for a Stroll and Sip a Coffee in Nyhavn
Nyhavn is the place that I think of the most when I think of Copenhagen. This wooden canal lined with brightly colored houses was the main thing I saw in pictures and blog posts before I traveled to Copenhagen.
This is one of the most iconic parts of the city, and the buildings lining either side of the canal are home to great bars, restaurants, and cafes.
I think the best time to visit is right before dinner time for either a beer or a coffee, as the weather is at its best and there are plenty of people around to interact with. Nyhavn isn’t necessarily filled with things to do, but rather is a place to go and enjoy the culture and feel of Copenhagen and its people.
2. Go Shopping Along Strøget
Strøget is a very long pedestrian street that is lined with trendy stores, restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for a place to go walk around and spend some time (and money), Strøget is absolutely that place.
There are stores of all kinds here, and you could spend an entire day just popping into different boutiques. Some of the stores are new, some are generations old, and all of them make this place one of the longest pedestrian malls in the world.
3. Walk Around Christiania
Christiania is a very interesting place that I recommend checking out, but be warned that it is not family-friendly. This area in Copenhagen is more or less a commune for…individualists?…that want more autonomy from the government.
Christiania began back in the 70s and has been a work in progress ever since. It is known for being a very hipster place with local artisans and creatives, and it is located on the sight of some old military fortifications.
While visiting you can see many cool shops, old military warehouses, and more. I say that it is not family friendly because there is a potent amount of illegal drug activity that goes on here. Don’t do drugs, please.
4. Trek to the Little Mermaid
North of the city, you can find a statue of a little mermaid that has somehow become iconic. I’m not sure exactly what has turned this little statue into a must-see, but nevertheless it has become one. It’s been around since 1913 and has become one of the most recognizable sights in Copenhagen. You can walk there from downtown, but be warned: it’s kind of far!
5. Learn About Vikings at the Nationalmuseet
The Nationalmuseet is Denmark’s national museum, and there are so many interesting things to see here! Every point of Denmark’s history is on display at this museum, and you can really learn a lot.
Norse mythology is especially interesting to me, and this museum has plenty of it. Speaking of Norse mythology, you should be sure to check out the Trundholm Sun Chariot, which is one of my personal favorite pieces on display in the whole museum.
6. Jump on The Secret Trampolines
You’re probably thinking, “what the heck? Secret trampolines?” Let me explain. While strolling around Copenhagen we stumbled upon these grates on the ground…at least we thought they were grates.
Except when we stepped on them, they caved in. And then pounced back up. Angel and I looked at each other and were like “Are these what we think they are?? Trampolines?!”
Now this isn’t the most thrilling activity on the list, but you have to admit it’s a pretty unique one. They were located about two blocks away from Nyhaven as the long strip of beautifully colored buildings was hidden around the corner. So go hunt down the trampolines, spend five minutes jumping them, and brag about your hidden find to your friends.
How to Get to Copenhagen
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport (CPH) is one of the busiest airports in Europe, meaning you have a great chance of finding a convenient and affordable flight route from anywhere in the world. When it comes to flying to Copenhagen, this airport is really your best and only bet.
There are no other major airports close enough worth looking into, and CPH is the biggest and best one in the area, anyway. I mentioned in my guide to finding cheap flights that utilizing hub airports is often the best way to find great flight routes and airfare, and CPH is exactly that.
Once you arrive in Copenhagen, the best way to get from the airport to your hotel in Copenhagen is by booking a private transfer with our partners at Welcome Pickups.
Welcome Pickups offers personalized, private, comfortable rides from the airport into the city for about the same price as a standard taxi. They monitor your flight status while you are in the air, and a driver will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name on it as soon as you arrive.
If you opt not to book a private transfer, your next best options to get to the city are the metro and a regular taxi. There is no Uber or Lyft in Copenhagen, as we will mention later, so you will be stuck using a regular taxi if that is what you choose to do.
The train and metro both travel from the airport to the city center in under 15 minutes, making them a very convenient option. At €4,80, tickets aren’t cheap, but aren’t nearly as expensive as some other things in this city.
Copenhagen is not really close to many other European destinations that you may be considering visiting. Hamburg, Germany, is the closest tourist destination and is about 4.5 hours away by train. Additionally, due to the shape of Denmark and the location of Copenhagen, you have to make a bit of an L across and down Denmark to get into mainland Europe.
If you are visiting Hamburg, then perhaps you would like to take a train from Hamburg to Copenhagen.
Personally, though, I recommend flying from pretty much wherever you are to get to Copenhagen. Budget airlines in Europe are extremely affordable, and they will deliver you safely to or from Copenhagen in a fraction of the time that buses or trains would.
Even if you are traveling to or from Hamburg, I recommend checking out the flight options to Copenhagen instead of the train. The prices are often the same, but the flight is only one hour!
How to Get Around Copenhagen
BIKES | TAXIS |
UBER | LYYFT
The preferred method of transportation in Copenhagen is the bicycle. Danish people love to ride bikes everywhere, and there are plenty of bikes available for you to use as a tourist via the city’s bike sharing program. In fact, many of the bikes are even electric! To use them you will simply need to have a credit card on hand to use the bike share kiosk.
There is no Uber or Lyft in Copenhagen, meaning that taxis are your best option for non-bicycle transportation. There are a few apps similar to Uber and Lyft that are available, but I think taxis and bikes are enough. The city is very walkable in the main parts, anyway, eliminating the need for either of these options a lot of the time.
How Many Days Do You Need in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen is a pretty big city, and I recommend going for several days to be able to really enjoy it the most. I think a day isn’t nearly enough time to explore Copenhagen, especially because one of the best things to do in Copenhagen is just relax and sip a coffee! You don’t have time for that if you’re on the go exploring, trying to cram everything into one day.
While you could spend a week in Copenhagen, I recommend a sweet spot of 4 days.
You can get away with less time, but I think 4 days is enough to truly do the city justice and visit all of its top attractions.
Is Copenhagen Expensive?
Copenhagen is a very expensive city. Scandinavia is known for being one of the most expensive regions in the world, and you will certainly notice that when you visit Copenhagen.
From higher prices for food and beverage, to expensive metro tickets, to taxi prices that make you do a double take, the prices in Copenhagen will not be very friendly to your wallet.
With that being said, I was actually surprised by the prices, in that I expected them to be even worse. Don’t get me wrong – Copenhagen is expensive. But it isn’t $10 for a cup of coffee expensive.
It’s more like “wait, I spent $100 today? When did that happen?” Essentially, not all of the prices will blow you away into another galaxy, but at the end of the day you may notice you spent more than you thought just by doing daily, normal things.
When is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Copenhagen?
The best time of the year to visit Copenhagen is from March to August. This is when the weather is at its best, which is crucial when visiting Northern Europe. Visiting Copenhagen in December is just not a good idea at all.
Within that window of March to August are really two different seasons. Firstly, you could visit in the summer, which is from June to August. This is when the weather is its nicest, and it is also when there are the most events going on.
Copenhagen only gets a few nice months of weather per month, so they try to celebrate as much as possible during that window! The downsides to visiting in the summer are the higher prices and the larger crowds. Copenhagen is already an expensive place – add July hotel prices on top, and your bank account might not be very happy with you.
The other main season to visit is the spring, which runs from March to May. The weather will not be nearly as sunny and nice in this season, but it will still be enjoyable and pleasant.
In March you may need a heavy jacket, but you shouldn’t need a heavy parka. In May, you can normally get away with just a sweatshirt. This season is recommended if you want to avoid the large crowds or take advantage of the affordable prices.
We visited in March, and while it wasn’t sunny and gorgeous outside, We were comfortable in jackets. Depending what you’re looking for and what your budget looks like, one season may be better than the other for you.
How Is the Weather in Copenhagen?
I mentioned in the previous section that there are two main seasons that visitors come to Copenhagen: spring and summer. This is because, frankly, Copenhagen is frigid in the winter and fall.
From May to the end of August, Copenhagen weather tends to stay between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 16 degrees Celsius). In March, April, and September, the weather tends to stay between 32 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (0 and 12 degrees Celsius), and outside of that the weather is almost always freezing.
To the right you can see Angel gracefully freezing in her parka. The winds got so high during our walk to the mermaid that she literally was being blown backwards. And this was in March! We can’t imagine how the peak of winter must be.
Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting?
After reading this post, I hope the answer to the question “is Copenhagen worth visiting?” is clear to you! Copenhagen is a really unique city, and its happy, friendly people make any visit to Copenhagen very pleasant – even if it is during the frigid cold months.
One of the best things to do in Copenhagen is simply sit back and enjoy a cup of nice coffee or a mug of nice beer while making conversation with the people who live there. From exciting museums about Danish history to great restaurants and cool neighborhoods, Copenhagen has a little bit of something for everyone. Just be careful not to overspend, as the costs here tend to add up!
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Copenhagen
Is 3 days in Copenhagen too much?
3 days in Copenhagen isn’t too much time at all. Copenhagen is a lovely city, and 3 days provides a fair amount of time to explore its highlights without feeling too rushed. You could stay a full week and still want more time.
Is Copenhagen walkable?
Copenhagen is walkable, at least within its major areas. While some of the city’s highlights are outside of the city center, they are easily accessed by bike. Biking is a very common way to get around in Denmark.
Which is better Copenhagen or Amsterdam?
Both Copenhagen and Amsterdam are great cities. Neither one is better than the other. Amsterdam is very peaceful and beautiful, while Copenhagen has better restaurants and nightlife.
That’s all we have for you about visiting Copenhagen! Hopefully this post is helpful as you start planning your journey to one of the most popular cities in Europe.
If you’re planning a trip to Copenhagen, let us know! Comment below! We’d love to chat ahead of time and answer any questions you have.