Copenhagen is a notoriously expensive city but there are plenty of things to do in Copenhagen that won’t break the bank. I had been warned by several friends of pricey food, drink & accommodation. Luckily I had friends in Copenhagen whom I had met on my kite-surfing trip that were kind enough to put a roof over my head. So that got rid of the accommodation expense. But enough about the prices, there’s so many things to do in Copenhagen. Let me fill you in with my guide to Copenhagen.
SO, you’ve already decided you’re going to Copenhagen, now you need to know what to do/eat/see there, right? Well, look no further, here’s my mini guide of what to eat, how to get around and things to do in Copenhagen (don’t worry, most of them are cheap or entirely free).
Now, don’t look so confused, I’m going to explain. Basically “hygge” is a Danish expression meaning to create a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy the best things in life with great company. It can be enjoyed year round but is most prominent at Christmas. No wonder then, with all this “hygge”, that the Danes are the happiest people in the world. That’s a fact. There have been studies. I’m not citing any of them because this is not a science journal. Google it if you’re curious. Maybe it has to do with all the fun things to do in Copenhagen??
Things to do in Copenhagen
Canal Tour; even Copenhagenites (Yep, that’s happening) recommend this as the first thing a tourist should do in Copenhagen. There are several different companies operating these tours but the best one is in Nyhavn and is only 40kr (£4) with a guided tour.
Tivoli; This is one of my favourite things to do in Copenhagen. It’s an amusement park in the centre of the city with rollercoasters and themed restaurants etc. I highly recommend going at night when everything is lit up and you can really feel the hygge. I just visited the Halloween festival there and it was AMAZING. I recommend the “glogg”, with peach schnapps.
Christiania; A lawless sort of hippy commune where joints and hash brownies are sold by men wearing balaclavas from behind old army mesh nets. Everything is brightly painted and cheaper than other parts of Copenhagen. A can of Tuborg cost 10kr (£1). There’s a skate park and every Sunday they have free open air concerts in an area called Nemoland. The street art here is also incredible.
Get The Train to Sweden: Easy! Only 30mins to Malmo or 40 mins to the cute university town of Lund (I highly recommend Lund, it is so beautiful). You go over a giant bridge attaching Denmark and Sweden. It’s really a lovely experience even if you have no good reason to be in Sweden. Malmo is also a gorgeous city. This is one of my favourite things to do in Copenhagen because my boyfriend usually lives in Lund, hehe.
Louisiana Gallery: If you have a car it takes about 40minutes to get here from Copenhagen but it is well worth it.You can also get the 388 bus or the train to Humlebeck. The art is amazing and they have activity rooms for kids, or adults…… I spent a lot of time there too 😛
Climb The Spire of Church of Our Saviour: It costs 40kr (£4) to climb to the top. It’s a fair amount of stairs, so probably don’t bring your granny. Definitely not for those that are afraid of heights. I’m not usually, but even I felt a little bit like I might just jump over the edge without even meaning to. But if you can be brave, the views of the city from here are spectacular.
The Palace: Where the queen and her crew live. Definitely worth seeing. There are guards with fluffy hats and a great view of the opera house across the water. The palace courtyard is beautiful as well. Best to go early to avoid the crowds.
Nyhavn: The iconic photo you will always see of Copenhagen is usually Nyhavn (New harbour). This is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen. With it’s colourful buildings and beautiful boats it’s easy to see why. It is very touristy but it’s worth visiting just for the view. Make sure you get ice cream at Rajissimo here! You can watch them make the waffle cones from scratch.
Lego: Denmark is the home of Lego. It’s worth visiting one of the main stores to see what giant lego sculptures they have on display. There’s also a pick and mix station if there’s just that ONE block you need! There is a LEGOLAND….. but that’s out in Billund. Though it is possible to get there via train.
Experimentarium: This is now on Paper Island. Basically a sort of science museum that’s fun for adults and children. I love these kinds of places. Experiments and fun interactive exhibits make it the perfect place for a quirky date actually.
What About Food?
What is a guide to Copenhagen without talking about food? Eating is also one of my favourite things to do in Copenhagen. Danish people LOVE healthy, organic, guilt-free food……and liquorice, they are CRAZY about liquorice. They prefer to shop local and support small business owners than use chains. I love the conciousness of the Danish people. ANYWAY, the food!
Bio Mio is an amazing organic, healthy food place in the trendy Meatpacking District. It’s great for vegetarians. By day there’s an array of eateries all around this area as well as fresh markets.
Joe & The Juice is a Danish juice bar chain founded in 2002 that has now reached as far as America, Korea and the UK! You’ve got to try it. I love their Coffee shake and avocado sandwich. It feels a bit like they’re having a party 24/7 and the staff are always friendly.
Try a Danish Smørrebrød (Open Sandwich). This is basically a piece of Danish rye bread smothered with all types of toppings/ fillings. Very traditional. I had one in Louisiana National Art Gallery and it was amazing.
Flødeboller is a traditional Danish treat. Basically like a sort of chocolate covered marshmallow on top of a biscuit with some sort of surprise centre. Sometimes there’s liquorice, marzipan or peanut flavoured fillings. As I said, they love liquorice in Denmark. However, you can ask for non-liquorice flavoured ones. USUALLY the white chocolate coated ones that look like they might be some sort of coffee flavour are, in fact, liquorice, so just ask! You’ll see them everywhere.
Torvehallerne is THE place for foodies! It’s a food market near the Nørreport metro station. There are stalls inside and out with all sorts of meat, sweets, bread, juices and anything you could possibly imagine. I LOVED THE FLOWERS. But I’m a flower freak to be honest.
Bikes are the most popular form of transport in Copenhagen. So much so that the phrase to “Copenhagenise” a city has been coined when introducing cycle lanes/cycling culture to a city. You can walk around Copenhagen but it would involve a LOT of walking, plus you need to be very careful when crossing roads (getting hit by a bike is not fun).
I did a fair amount of walking (mainly because I can’t actually cycle) when I was there, but in the end resorted to using the metro. A day ticket costs 80kr(£8), which is £8. Where as a single journey costs 24kr (£2.40). The day ticket is valid on metro, bus and trains for 24hrs. They are currently extending the metro in Copenhagen, but it’ll be a good few years before they finish that. Renting a car isn’t necessary, unless you plan on doing a road trip to a different part of Europe.
To get to and from the airport you can use the metro. It goes directly into the main terminal. The airport stop is called “Københavns Lufthavn”. It takes about 20minutes from the centre of Copenhagen to get to the airport. Trains also stop at the main airport building. It’s all very convenient.
Want to see it First Hand?
I hope you’ve found my guide to Copenhagen useful, but if you need a little something extra then it’s your lucky day! I made a video while I was there with Janet (Journalist on the Run). It’s my first video so it’s not INCREDIBLE, but it’s nice to see what to expect if you’re heading over there yourself 🙂 Have a look at all my favourite things to do in Copenhagen!