COPENHAGEN TRAVEL GUIDE

Copenhagen is an effortlessly stylish city where modern scandi feel meets cosy nostalgia. It’s a city driven by design and cool aesthetics – from its buildings to its people. With gardens, canals, beaches and even a ski slope, the Danish capital is a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to explore.

As you’d expect from the capital of such a forward-thinking country, Copenhagen is a place of dynamic culture, innovation and sustainability. These qualities underpin every aspect of the city, from its shopping and cuisine to its attractions and architecture.

From iconic Nyhavn where colourful houses line the shimmering canal to pockets of eccentricity and bohemian soul in places like Christiana, Copenhagen is a wonderfully multifaceted city. The transport is efficient, the streets are safe, and the locals are friendly, making the Danish capital an easy city to explore for every type of traveller.

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How to get to Copenhagen

Copenhagen is an easy city to reach, especially if you’re travelling from within Europe.

Top tip: If you want to take the stress out of getting from the airport to the city centre, book your Copenhagen airport transfer here for an English-speaking, professional driver.

Tivoli Gardens Swing Ride
Jessie in Nyhavn
Reffen Street Food Market in Copenhagen

How to get around Copenhagen

Despite being a relatively large city, Copenhagen is very straightforward to navigate, especially when you have CityMapper or Google Maps to hand. Its public transport system is wonderfully efficient and many of the more central areas are explorable on foot.

Top tip: I’d recommend purchasing a City Pass for the length of time you’re going to be in Copenhagen. It’s a really cost effective way of getting unlimited travel while you’re exploring the city. Plus, you won’t have to worry about buying lots of tickets. Purchase a City Pass from one of the ticket machines as you’re leaving the airport.

Best time to visit Copenhagen

Copenhagen offers an inviting charm all year round, from the pretty views of springtime and warmer days of the summer to the sparkle and magic of the winter months. If you have an aversion to cold weather then you’d probably be better off visiting in the summer months.

Spring

Copenhagen is a charming city to visit in any season, but it is especially lovely in the springtime. The days are getting longer and the flowers are starting to bloom, making it the perfect time to explore everything Copenhagen has to offer. See all the parks and gardens in full bloom or take a leisurely stroll along the canals. Note that Copenhagen is still pretty chilly in the spring months, so be sure to wrap up warm. Although rain is less likely than it is in the winter months, it’s best to be prepared for everything!

Summer

Copenhagen is a beautiful city to visit in the summer months. The streets are lined with trees and the city takes on a vibrant and colourful feel. Copenhagen is also within easy reach of a number of beaches, making it the perfect place to relax in the sun. Not to mention all the harbour baths across the city, where you can sunbathe, socialise and swim. Copenhagen's many parks also make a charming spot for picnicking. For those balmy summer evenings, there are numerous alfresco bars and restaurants, as well as outdoor concerts and movies.

Autumn

Copenhagen in autumn is a magical sight. The leaves of the trees turn red, orange, and yellow, creating a truly picturesque scene. The city's parks are especially lovely during this time of year, as they are adorned with colour. Copenhagen comes alive with festivals and celebrations in the autumn months, making it an ideal time to visit. There are plenty of things to see and do in Copenhagen in autumn, from exploring the museums and galleries to indulging in hearty stews and freshly-baked pastries.

Winter

Copenhagen in winter is a wonderland of snow-capped rooftops and sparkling canals. The city lights up with Christmas markets and unique Copenhagen traditions, such as riding on the Tivoli Gardens roller coaster in the snow. There is something truly magical about visiting in winter. Festivities start to ramp up and the air is filled with the scent of gingerbread and chocolate. Locals and visitors alike go ice skating on the picturesque canals or sip hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire.

 Copenhagen highlights

Danish cuisine

Copenhagen is a foodie paradise, with a wide variety of cuisines on offer from all over the world. The city is especially renowned for its classic Danish cuisine, which can be found in many of the city’s cafes and restaurants.

The most famous dish is probably Smørrebrød, a type of open sandwich that is traditionally served on dark rye bread and topped with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables. Another popular dish is Kartofler, a potato dish often served with gravy. For those looking for something a bit sweeter, delectable pastries and desserts are available around every corner.

As you’d expect, Copenhagen also has its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants. One of the most notable of these is Noma, which is often hailed as one of the best restaurants in the world. There’s also the wonderfully unique and totally immersive The Alchemist.

For something more relaxed, a visit to Reffen street food market is an absolute must. It’s a haven of mouth-watering fare from all over the world. Sit back and relax in a deck chair as you tuck into some delicious food while watching the sunset over the harbour.

Copenhagen museums

Copenhagen is home to a number of world-renowned museums, each of which offers a unique window into the city’s culture and history. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, for example, houses an impressive collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. While the Nationalmuseet chronicles the development of Denmark from the Stone Age to the present day.

For those interested in Copenhagen’s rich artistic heritage, the Statens Museum for Kunst is a must-see, with its wide-ranging collection of Danish and international art. Just outside the city centre lies the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, set amidst stunning gardens and offering breathtaking views of the Øresund strait.

Whatever your interests, Copenhagen’s museums are sure to provide a fascinating glimpse into the soul of this historic city.

Swimming spots

There aren’t many cities where you can don your swimsuit and dive into the city canals. I wouldn’t even think about dipping a toe in the River Thames in London, my home city! In Copenhagen, the water quality at all the designated harbour baths is closely monitored by the city authorities.

There are plenty of harbour baths dotted around the city, as well as natural sandy bays and salt water pools. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can hang out on one of the wooden piers or decked areas. It’s a central part of the social scene in Copenhagen, so going for a swim is a great way to blend in with the locals.

Just be sure to stick to the designated swimming areas and don’t swim if a red flag is flying. A dip in the water is the perfect way to cool off in the summer months, or feel invigorated in the winter months – if you’re brave enough!

Discover the best beaches and swimming spots in Copenhagen.

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Frequently asked questions

How long to spend in Copenhagen?

If your main priority is checking out the sights of the city, then three days is a good amount of time to spend in Copenhagen. A long weekend is the perfect way to experience a lot of what the city has to offer.

But Copenhagen is more than just a pretty city – it’s also a great place to relax and people watch. So if you want to really experience Copenhagen life, consider spending a bit longer in the city. That way, you can explore all the different neighbourhoods and get a feel for what it’s like to live there.

Is Copenhagen a good destination for solo travellers?

Copenhagen is the perfect destination for solo travellers. It is an incredibly safe city, plus the locals are exceptionally friendly and helpful. I was shocked to see that the majority of people leave their bikes unlocked, which is testament to the low crime rate in the city.

The transport system is clean, safe and easy to navigate, plus there are plenty of things to see and do for solo travellers. Copenhagen is undoubtedly one of the best cities in Europe – if not the world – to explore on your own.

Is Copenhagen expensive?

There is no denying that Copenhagen is not an affordable city. As one of the most expensive cities in Europe, it does put a strain on the purse strings. That’s not to say that Copenhagen can’t be explored on a budget, especially if you plan ahead. But to really experience all that this beautiful city has to offer, it’s worth accepting that you may have to spend a fair amount of money. Is it worth it? In my opinion, absolutely yes!

How many Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is home to an impressive 15 Michelin star restaurants. Two establishments hold the coveted three Michelin stars: Geranium and noma, the latter of which also holds a Michelin Green Star. While 12 Copenhagen restaurants hold the Bib Gourmand accolade. Read my guide to the best Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen.

Are there Christmas Markets in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is a truly magical place at Christmas time, as it lights up with festivities and vibrant Christmas markets. There are three key Christmas markets to be aware of: Christmas in Tivoli Gardens, Christmas at Bakken, and Christmas market in the Zoo.

Can you go skiing in Copenhagen?

It may surprise you to learn that yes, you can go skiing in Copenhagen! Not on real snow though. Copenhill is an artificial ski slope and recreational hill built on top of an industrial power plant. It’s a super fun way to spend an afternoon in the city and one of the best things to do in Copenhagen.

Luxury accommodation picks

Whether you’re after an indulgent five-star stay with every luxury imaginable, or you’re simply after the best hotel views in the city, here are some of the best hotels in Copenhagen.

Nimb Luxury Hotel in Copenhagen
NIMB
HOTEL

The ultimate five-star experience.

Skt Petri Room
SKT
PETRI

Luxury with a more laid-back approach.

CHARLOTTE
HAVEN

Impeccable interiors & incredible views.

Hotel D'Angleterre Spa
HOTEL D’ANGLETERRE

An indulgent boutique luxury hotel.

Top Copenhagen restaurants

Copenhagen is a playground for foodies. From world-renowned restaurants and Michelin-star dining to more laid-back venues offering the best of Danish cuisine, here are some bucket list restaurants in Copenhagen.

VÆSKT

Incredible Nordic cuisine with a focus on fresh vegetables.

NOMA

Considered to be one of the best restaurants in the world.

SELMA

The place to try traditional Danish smørrebrød.

THE ALCHEMIST

An immersive experience with a 50-course tasting menu.

Copenhagen brunch & breakfast spots

Copenhagen does brunch very well indeed. From traditional open sandwiches to classic breakfast dishes, discover the best breakfast & brunch spots in Copenhagen.

SIDECAR

Indulge in delicious brunch boards.

Ø12

Mouth-watering dishes and great coffee.

SIXTEEN TWELVE

A healthy option with cool interiors.

BOWL MARKET

For cosy porridge or healthy acai bowls.

Copenhagen swimming spots

There are a number of inviting swimming spots scattered across the city. From harbour baths to beaches, find the best places to go swimming in Copenhagen.

La Banchina

LA
BANCHINA

Harbour swimming with sauna and eatery.

Krøyers Plads in Copenhagen at dusk

KLØYERS
PLADS

Popular swimming spot with a pretty backdrop.

Kastrup Sea Bath

KASTRUP SEA BATH

An outdoor city sea water pool, free to enter.

Amager beach in copenhagen

AMAGER BEACH PARK

Beautiful beach with three swimming pools.

Copenhagen landmarks & attractions

The Danish capital is awash with iconic landmarks and tourist attractions. Hopping from amusement parks and beautiful gardens to stately castles and spectacular viewpoints, discover the best things to do in Copenhagen.

TIVOLI
GARDENS

A world-famous amusement park.

Nyhavn Townhouses

NYHAVN COPENHAGEN

The beautifully iconic canal and harbour.

View from Church of our Saviour

CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR

For stunning views across the city.

Rosenborg Castle

ROSENBORG CASTLE

Experience 400 years of royal history.

Copenhagen travel inspiration

Planning a trip to Copenhagen? Have a read of these Copenhagen travel articles to help you plan your visit.

Best Luxury Hotels in Copenhagen

20 best luxury hotels in Copenhagen

Are you looking for the best luxury hotels in Copenhagen which tick all your boxes? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to find the best spa hotel in Copenhagen or are more

Kong Hans Kælder Copenhagen

15 best Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen

Dining out in the Danish capital can be a real treat for not only the taste buds, but all the senses. This range of Copenhagen Michelin restaurants includes a pair of three star establishments: places

Nyhavn Wide Angle

16 best things to do in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Europe. Whether you’re after unforgettable fine dining, a rush of adrenaline or a relaxing city break, there is something for everyone in Copenhagen. There

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