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Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, a beautiful country in Northern Europe. It’s a significant cultural and economic center and home to 800,000 people.
It’s worth mentioning that Denmark wins a regular place on the list of the happiest nations on earth. So, if visiting means you can find out the secret of their happiness, it’s definitely worth the trip.
Denmark’s capital offers so many attractions that even the pickiest travelers will find something to enjoy. Here are just a few of our recommendations for the top things to do in Copenhagen.
Top Things to Do in Copenhagen
Tour the best museums in Copenhagen to learn more about art history. Explore the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum with archaeological objects and sculptures.
At National Gallery, you can see many paintings and works of Nordic, French, European and modern art.
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We recommend visiting the Royal Opera, the national opera house of Denmark and the baroque Church of Our Savior. Don’t forget that Copenhagen Card will get you free entrance to dozens of museums and other attractions.
On a sunny day, you can walk through the Kastellet fortress or visit the Torvehallerne marketplace, where you can find fresh vegetables and Danish delicacies.
When you get tired of sightseeing, remember that Copenhagen has gained a reputation for its incredible food scene.
You can find the best restaurants with Michelin stars in Norrebro, the most vibrant part of the city. Don’t miss your chance to taste the traditional Smorrebrod dish, try modern Nordic meals, or enjoy international specialties.
In this part of the city, you can also find many designer shops with handcrafted goods. In addition, you can find many bars and restaurants in Vesterbro. This part of the city used to be an industrial district, but today it’s the epicenter of the city’s nightlife.
If you enjoy great views, climb the spiral walkway to the top of the 35-meter-high Round Tower. That astronomical observatory from the 17th century can offer a gorgeous panoramic view of Copenhagen.
Did you know that Copenhagen is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world? One of the most interesting ways to experience this Scandinavian city is to book a guided bike tour. The Canal Tour is also an excellent way to explore Copenhagen.
However, don’t forget to take the time and visit some interesting attractions outside the city. You can go on a day trip to Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or to Malmo, a city in Sweden that is connected to Copenhagen via the 8-km-long Oresund Bridge.
Explore the Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is home to 13,000 species of plants. The most attractive sections are the Palm House, Herbarium House, and Butterfly House, where you can explore the fascinating life of butterflies. You can also find a flower shop, a café, and a growth house.
The Garden was established in 1600, but it has existed in its current location since 1870. It is a part of the Natural History Museum at the University of Copenhagen. You can visit the Botanical Garden from April to the end of September for free.
Visit the Pretty Nyhavn District
The lovely bright houses in Nyhavn district are one of the most famous landmarks of Copenhagen. This colorful neighborhood was established in the 17th century by King Christian V as a commercial port.
Today, Nyhavn is a cozy place to have a meal, thanks to many restaurants and bars along its northern side. You can stroll beside the canal and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
On the south side of the canal, you can see museum ships owned by the Danish National Museum. There is also Memorial Anchor, a monument erected in honor of Danish officers and sailors from World War II.
Furthermore, did you know that the famous novelist Hans Christian Andersen lived here for decades? Living in house No 67, he wrote some of his best fairy tales.
Explore the Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Scandinavia and an essential part of every Copenhagen travel guide, with more than four million visitors annually. This theme park was opened in the mid-19th century and today is one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the world.
Some of the most attractive parts of Tivoli Garden are the old wooden roller coaster, the Demon roller coaster, the scenic railway, the Star Flyer swing ride, the Bumper cars and the Pantomime Theater with free pantomime shows.
If you are looking for some fun and an adventure in Copenhagen, the magical Tivoli Garden is an ideal place for you.
Visit the Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace is the seat of the Supreme Court, the Danish Parliament and the Danish Prime Minister’s Office.
There are many imposing rooms worth seeing. You can visit the Great Hall to see the Queen’s tapestries, the Royal Kitchen, the Royal Stables and Christiansborg Palace Chapel, which is used by the Danish royal family for weddings. However, the Palace is also used for various gala events.
Don’t forget to visit the 106-meter-high Christiansborg Palace Tower for a magnificent view of the city. There is also the Tower’s restaurant where you can taste Nordic cuisine.
Go Shopping at Stroget
Stroget is a shopping area in Copenhagen’s center, stretching 1.1 km from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv. This pedestrian zone includes Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, Ostergade and Frederiksberg streets. Plus the three squares of Nytorv, Gammeltorv and Amagertorv.
Along the Stroget, you can find many luxury boutiques and popular brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Boss. You can also admire beautiful sights like the Stork Fountain and the Church of Our Lady.
Many musicians, acrobats and street performers create a vibrant atmosphere, so even those who don’t like shopping will enjoy the walking tour of Stroget pedestrian streets.
Learn More About Danish History at the National Museum
The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) is a museum of cultural history located near the Stroget.
Museum exhibitions cover Danish history, from the Ice Age to the modern era. With the guided tour, you can see many artifacts like coins from the Viking and Roman times, helmets from the Bronze Age and copies of the two golden horns of Gallehus. You will also see objects from other countries and cultures, such as Egyptian mummies and pieces of Renaissance art.
In addition, the National Museum also offers engaging educational activities for children. The Children’s Museum is an indoor playground where your kids can explore the kitchen from the Middle Age, see the Viking ship, as well as how people dressed, worked and played hundreds of years ago.
See the Little Mermaid Statue
The sculpture of The Little Mermaid is a landmark of Copenhagen, like the Statue of Liberty in New York or Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. That 175-kilogram bronze statue displayed on a rock was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale.
The statue was a gift to the city from brewer Carl Jacobsen, whose father founded the famous Carlsberg brewery. The Little Mermaid was created by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen and unveiled in 1913 at the waterside at the Langelinie promenade.
During the past decades, The Little Mermaid was damaged by vandals several times, but it was restored every time.
Explore the Famous Royal Castles and Palaces
Amalienborg Palace is the seat of the Danish royal family. It includes four identical buildings, built by King Frederick V in the 18th century, in Rococo architectural style. You can visit the exhibit about the monarchy in the Amalienborg Museum and watch the changing of the Royal Guards every day at noon.
We recommend visiting the Rosenborg castle to learn more about the Danish monarchs. It was built in the 17th century by King Christian IV and was used as a royal residence.
Inside the Rosenborg castle, you can see the Royal collections, Crown Jewels, the Throne Chair of Denmark and other significant artifacts dedicated to the Danish royal family. In front of the castle, there is also a beautiful garden where you can stroll and enjoy a peaceful ambiance.
Discover the Bakken Amusement Park
Did you know that Bakken is the oldest amusement park in the world? It was founded in the 16th century and is still operating. Bakken amusement park is located 10 km north of Copenhagen, in the woods of Dyrehaven.
Bakken amusement park is a great place for the whole family. You can enjoy many games and rides, like a wooden rollercoaster from 1932, gaming arcades, shooting stalls and other attractions. There are also craft shops and restaurants where you can enjoy a traditional Danish meal.
This amazing place has 2.5 million visitors every year. The entrance is free, so you can walk through the park and pay just for those rides or games you want to play.
Visit the Hippie Freetown Christiania
Freetown Christiania is a commune of about 1,000 residents in the Christianshavn area in Copenhagen. It was founded in 1971 on the military base ground and has been famous for the cannabis trade on Pusher Street. The area has half a million visitors yearly.
You can see many self-build homes, galleries and workshops. But avoid photographing the residents because internal rules strictly ban it.
Christiania also has two breweries and many street food stalls with drinks and snacks. The best way to experience the Christiania lifestyle is to visit that place with local guides.
Book This Trip
Start planning your ultimate vacation to Copenhagen today. Get ready with insider tips on the best shops, hotel and VRBO accommodations, local restaurant favorites and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
Have even more fun on your trip with unique Copenhagen activities, expert-led tours and tickets to major attractions through Viator. Find more information and book your dates in advance here.
Find the best flight deals, train tickets throughout Europe and car rentals through OMIO Travel Partner.
Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty home-made lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family.