There’s something special about Copenhagen that keeps tourists coming back year after year. Maybe it’s the city’s fairy-tale like atmosphere, with its winding cobblestone streets and quaint canals.
Or maybe it’s the endless array of things to see and do, from thrill rides in Tivoli Gardens to marveling at the art in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum.
Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: Copenhagen is a city that will enchant any visitor. And with so many convenient, 90-minute flights from other cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, and London, there’s no excuse not to add it to your travel list if you’re making your way across Europe.
With so many options to choose from, here is our list of the 17 best things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1) Check out the Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter residence of the Danish royal family. Located in the heart of Copenhagen, the palace consists of four identical buildings that surround a central courtyard.
The palace was built in the 18th century by Frederick IV, who intended it to be a new home for the royal family after the old royal palace was destroyed by fire. Today, Amalienborg is used as a residence for the Danish royal family as well as a venue for official events and ceremonies. The palace is open to the public during certain times of the year, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen.
2) Stroll Through the Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is a free public space with an impressive collection of rare trees, shrubs and herbs, located just a few steps from Nørreport Station.
It is home to over 13,000 different species of plants, including a wide variety of rare and exotic specimens. The garden is particularly famous for its collection of orchids, which are displayed in a beautiful glass conservatory. Other highlights include a rock garden, an arboretum, and butterfly house that is open during the summer.
If you are looking for a relaxing and scenic afternoon, the Botanical Garden is well worth the visit!
3) Visit the Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace is the headquarters of the Danish government, and it is also where the Danish Parliament and the Supreme Court are located. The palace is situated on an island in central Copenhagen, and it is a popular tourist destination.
Christiansborg Palace has a long and eventful history: it was originally built in the 12th century, and it has been rebuilt several times since then. In 1794, a fire destroyed much of the palace, and it was rebuilt again in the 19th century. Today, Christiansborg Palace is open to the public, and visitors can explore its many rooms and corridors, as well as its beautiful gardens.
4) Spend a Day (or night) At Tivoli Gardens
Visiting Tivoli Gardens should make it on anyone’s list who is visiting Copenhagen. From thrill rides to an aquarium to floral gardens, there really is something here for the whole family.
The Tivoli Gardens have different sections of the park open during different seasons, so be sure to check that here before planning your trip. Admission is free for children under the age of 7, and discounts are available for seniors and students. With so much to see and do, the Tivoli gardens are a great way to spend a day in Copenhagen.
5) Take a Bike Tour Through Copenhagen
Similar to Amsterdam, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s culture is to embrace the city’s love for cycling, and what better way is there to do that than by taking a guided bike tour through the city.
There are plenty of tour operators that offer guided bike tours, and many of them depart from central locations like Nyhavn or City Hall Square. The routes vary depending on the operator, but most of them include some of the city’s most iconic sights, like the Little Mermaid statue and the Royal Palace.
Of course, no Copenhagen bike tour would be complete without a stop at one of the city’s many charming cafes. So whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a complete novice, a bike tour is a great way to explore Copenhagen.
6) Visit the Rosenborg Palace
Rosenborg palace is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture, and it has served as the royal residence of the Danish monarchy for centuries. Built in the early 17th century, Rosenborg Palace is best known for its grand hallways and sumptuous state rooms.
However, the palace also houses an impressive collection of artwork and artifacts, including the Crown Jewels, In addition, the gardens of Rosenborg Palace are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe. With their manicured lawns and perfectly pruned hedges, they provide a peaceful oasis in the heart of Copenhagen.
Visitors to Rosenborg palace can tour the state rooms, marvel at the artwork, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens. Regardless of what they do, visitors are sure to be impressed by this magnificent building.
7) CHeck the Events at the Royal Danish Theatre
The Royal Danish Theater is the national theater of Denmark. The royal Danish theater is primarily a ballet theater, and is home to the royal Danish ballet, as well as the royal Danish opera.
The theater buildings are also used for other performing arts such as concerts and dramatic productions. The royal Danish theater has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, and it is worth checking their calendar to see if any of the productions interest you.
8) Visit the Round Tower
Built in the early 17th century, the Round Tower stands at a height of approximately 200 feet and offers stunning views of the city. The tower is open to the public and can be accessed via a steep ramp or an elevator.
Visitors can also choose to walk around the outside of the tower, which is illuminated at night. In addition to its unique architecture, the round tower is also home to a small planetarium and an observatory. The planetarium offers shows throughout the day, while the observatory is open for special events and offers views of the night sky. Whether you’re interested in architecture, astronomy, or simply want to enjoy a good view, the round tower is the location for you.
9) Kronborg Castle
Kronborg castle is a historic fortress located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Construction of the castle began in 1574, and it served as a royal residence for many years.
In 1629, King Christian IV transformed Kronborg into a star fort, which was used to control the Baltic Sea. Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and galleries, or take in panoramic views of Copenhagen from the top of the fortress walls. Kronborg castle is a truly unique and fascinating landmark that is well worth a visit.
10) The Copenhagen Opera House
The Copenhagen Opera House is a world-renowned performing arts venue located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed by architect Henning Larsen, the Opera House was inaugurated in 2004.
Since then, it has been home to the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Danish Opera. The building itself is an architectural marvel, with its sweeping curves and glistening white exterior. Inside, the auditorium is divided into four tiers of seating, providing excellent views of the stage from all sections of the house.
The acoustics are superb, and the lighting is adjustable to create the perfect atmosphere for each production. With its stunning setting and impeccable facilities, the Copenhagen Opera House is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world.
11) Go to Bakken, the World’s Oldest Amusement Park
Another great way to spend a day in Copenhagen is by visiting Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park. Bakken dates back to 1583, when King Frederick II declared it a royal hunting ground.
In 1615, a well was built on the site, which quickly became a popular gathering place for locals looking to escape the city heat. Over time, Bakken evolved into an amusement park, with rides and games for all ages. Today, Bakken remains one of Copenhagen’s top attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world.
12) Check out Sondernmarken
Sondernmarken is known for its picturesque canals, quaint shops, and colorful buildings, making it the perfect place to relax and stroll around. Visitors can also enjoy the many parks and gardens, as well as the many museums and art galleries.
Sondernmarken is also home to a number of businesses and government offices. The area is served by several bus and train lines, making it easy to explore all that Sondernmarken has to offer. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of Copenhagen or experience the city’s vibrant culture, Sondernmarken is sure to have something for you.
13) Take a Canal Tour through Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with a rich history, and there’s no better way to see it than from the water. Canal tours are a popular way to explore the city, and they offer a unique perspective on some of Copenhagen’s most iconic landmarks.
The tours typically last around an hour, and they provide a great opportunity to learn about the city’s past while taking in the sights. Best of all, canal tours are relatively affordable, making them a great option for budget-minded travelers. So if you’re looking for a fun and informative way to see Copenhagen, be sure to add a canal tour to your itinerary.
14) Visit the National Museum
The National Museum is one of the best museums in Copenhagen and it houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts from around the world. The museum truly is a must-see for anyone interested in history or culture.
The National Museum is also home to a range of interactive exhibits, making it a great choice for a family day out. Whether you’re interested in learning about the Vikings or exploring Egyptian art, the National Museum in Copenhagen is sure to have something to capture your imagination.
15) Love Shopping? Check out the Danish Design Center
The Danish Design Centre is a store in Copenhagen that offers shoppers a wide range of products from some of Denmark’s most popular designers. The store is divided into two sections, one for retail and one for wholesale.
The retail section features a wide variety of items, including furniture, clothes, and accessories. The wholesale section is geared towards businesses and offers a more limited selection. Both sections are well-stocked and offer a great way to browse the latest Danish designs.
The store also has a cafe, which is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping. The Danish Design Centre is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Copenhagen.
16) Check out the Little Mermaid Statue
The little mermaid statue in Copenhagen is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the statue was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and unveiled in 1913.
Standing on a rock in the harbor, the mermaid gazes longingly towards the land, her tail split in two to form a graceful curve. The statue has become a national symbol of Denmark, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen. Every year, thousands of people visit the mermaid to take photos and enjoy the stunning views of the harbor. If you’re ever in Copenhagen, be sure to check out this famous landmark!
17) Enjoy Copenhagen’s Nightlife
Copenhagen is a city that comes alive at night. When the sun goes down, locals and tourists alike flock to the bars and clubs that line the streets.
Whether you’re looking for a lively club scene or a more relaxed atmosphere, you’ll find it in Copenhagen. The city’s nightlife is centered around the central district of Indre By. This area is home to some of the most popular clubs, including Rust and Jazzhouse.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, you can head to one of the many bars in the area, such as WarPigs Brewpub. No matter what your taste, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot to enjoy a night out in Copenhagen.
Recap of Best Things to do in Copenhagen
- Amalienborg Palace
- Botanical Garden
- Christiansborg Palace
- Tivoli Gardens
- Bike Tour
- Rosenborg Palace
- Royal Danish Theatre
- Round Tower
- Kronborg Castle
- Copenhagen Opera House
- Canal Tour
- National Museum
- Danish Design Center
- Little Mermaid Statue
Where to Next?
Looking for a similar city? Why not explore the museums, history and culture of Amsterdam next?
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