Let’s explore Copenhagen

Copenhagen travel guide

When I first visited Copenhagen, I was blown away by the beauty of the city, the friendliness of the locals, and the exceptional dining scene. 

I love that the impeccable style and cosiness you’d expect from a Scandinavian city is woven into every aspect of Copenhagen – from its beaches and harbour baths to the cafés and restaurants. 

About the author

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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

I’m pleased to say that Copenhagen is an easy city to reach, especially if you’re travelling from within Europe.

By plane: Copenhagen Airport is located just minutes from the city centre and offers direct flights from major airports around the world.

If travelling from the UK, a number of major airlines offer direct flights from London to Copenhagen, and the flight time is just under three hours.

There are a variety of transport options available from the airport, including trains, buses, and taxis.

By train: Copenhagen can be reached by train from other European cities, with regular service from destinations such as Berlin, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Jessie in Nyhavn
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

By boat: If you’re travelling from within Scandinavia, Copenhagen is served by a number of ferry routes from Sweden and Denmark.

By car: The Danish capital is accessible by car, with excellent highways connecting the city to the rest of Europe.

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


20 best luxury hotels in Copenhagen

From boutique inner city boltholes to grand palatial hotels, discover my pick of the best luxury hotels in Copenhagen for a trip to the Danish capital.


15 Michelin restaurants in Copenhagen

The Danish capital is the ultimate foodie destination for discerning diners. Here are is my handpicked selection of the top Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen.

How to get around Copenhagen

Despite being a relatively large city, I always find Copenhagen to be 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 get access to over 80 attractions in the city and won’t have to worry about buying lots of tickets. Purchase a City Pass in advance for ease when you arrive.

By foot: As with many European cities, one of the best ways to experience it is on foot. Copenhagen is a very pedestrian-friendly city and walking allows you to explore the nooks and crannies of the city centre.

Plus, you can work up an appetite for all that Danish cuisine in the process! However, it’s worth noting that Copenhagen is a large city, so you will need to get public transport to explore the different areas.

By train: The Copenhagen train and metro system is extremely efficient and very easy to navigate. It’s clean, fast and generally not overcrowded at all. I’d recommend getting the CityMapper app to help you get from A to B.

By bus: Copenhagen’s bus system is extensive and efficient, making it easy to get from one place to another. The buses are clean and comfortable, and they offer a great way to see the city.

Copenhagen is also a very safe city, and the buses are no exception. They are well-lit and well-marked, and they offer a safe and convenient way to get around. Again, use the CityMapper app or Google Maps to help you plan your route.

By bike: Copenhagen is a very bike-friendly city, with a network of well-maintained bike lanes and plenty of places to hire a bike. Cycling is a popular mode of transport, both for locals and visitors.

Copenhagen is relatively flat, so it’s perfect for cycling, with plenty of scenic routes to explore. Bike hire is readily available, and many hotels offer guests the use of bicycles during their stay.

By e-scooter: Electric scooters are available for hire all over the city, and you can use an app to find one near you. To hire a scooter, simply scan the QR code on the handlebars with your phone. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to unlock the scooter.

With an e-scooter, you can zip around the city without getting stuck in traffic. Copenhagen is a great city for scootering, with plenty of bike lanes and paths to explore.

By taxi: Given the efficiency of Copenhagen’s public transport system, as well as the ease of getting around by bike, it’s not likely that you’ll need a taxi.

If you do, you can hail a taxi on the street and your best bet is to head to train stations to do so. Uber is not available in Denmark, but there are other apps like Viggo.

By car: While it’s possible to get around Copenhagen by car, driving can be a bit challenging. The narrow streets can be difficult to navigate, the roads are often congested, and parking can be hard to find. If you’re planning on renting a car, it’s worth checking out the Copenhagen Car Rental company.

They offer a wide selection of vehicles, and their rates are very reasonable. However, I really wouldn’t recommend getting around Copenhagen by car, as the public transport system is incredibly efficient.


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 I’d say you’ll probably be better off visiting in the summer months.


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!


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. For those balmy summer evenings, there are numerous alfresco bars and restaurants, as well as outdoor concerts and movies.


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. 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.


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 go ice skating on the picturesque canals or sip hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire.

Browse and book the best activities and attractions in Copenhagen:

Frequently asked questions

How long to spend in Copenhagen?

If your main priority is checking out the sights of the city, then I’d say 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 good for solo travellers?

I think 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. Discover more of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

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.

I think it’s a super fun way to spend an afternoon in the city and one of the best things to do in Copenhagen.


16 best swimming spots in Copenhagen

From designated harbour baths and gorgeous sandy stretches, here is my pick of the best beaches and swimming spots in Copenhagen.


20 best brunch places in Copenhagen

From local Danish bakeries to the coolest spots in town, here is my handpicked selection of the best places for brunch and breakfast in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen highlights

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, I’d say 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.

Danish cuisine

One of my favourite things about Copenhagen is that it’s 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, I’m pleased to say that there are delectable pastries and desserts 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 (although it is closing soon, in 2024!). 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. I’d recommend sitting back and relaxing in a deck chair as you tuck into some delicious food while watching the sunset over the harbour.

Reffen Street Food Market in Copenhagen
Reffen Food Market

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 my pick of the best beaches and swimming spots in Copenhagen.

Want to save up to 25% on hotels?

Subscribe to the Pocket Wanderings newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.

Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.