Copenhagen Travel Guide – Everything You Must Do, See, and Eat

International Travel | Travel
September 15, 2023
Copenhagen has been rated “the happiest city in the world” multiple years in a row and we went deep in the drenches to see why. We traveled to Copenhagen for a soccer trip, but luckily had ample time to get to explore this fabulous city in between practices and games. We spent a total of five days in Copenhagen (plus one when our flight home got canceled) and tried to do all the must-dos of the city.

Copenhagen is home to an astounding 26 Michelin-star restaurants, two of the world’s oldest theme parks, and the world’s longest pedestrian-only shopping street.

Biking in Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Things To Do

1. Rent bikes and explore the city.

Our hotel, Copenhagen Island, had bikes to rent in the lobby and with a city full of bikes, I’m certain most hotels have them available for guests. This was the best way to see what the city had to offer and the bike paths and bridges have priority in this bike-friendly city.

2. Spend the day and night at Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli is the world’s second oldest amusement park, and it was hands down the most beautiful park I’ve ever visited. Beyond the rides and roller coasters, there are manicured gardens, lighted decorative pathways, and delicious foods from around the world. Tivoli Gardens is so impressive, it’s said to be the park that inspired Walt Disney World.

3. Right outside of Copenhagen, is Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park!

Dating back to 1583, the city’s healing spring water attracted many people who eventually constructed tents and stalls to create Bakken. Here, you’ll find an 82 year old wooden roller coaster, along with plenty of entertainment for a day of wholesome family fun! There’s no cost to enter!

4. Take a Copenhagen Culinary bike tour with fellow foodies.

This is the best way to get all the must do foods in one day!

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

5. Vesterbro

Vesterbro has become a very trendy spot in Copenhagen and a must do when looking for a place to eat and shop! Istedgade is the “go-to street” in Vesterbro and where you’ll find most things.

6. Explore Nyhavn.

We biked from our hotel to Nyhavn, then parked and explored the historic Instagram-worthy area by foot. This is a very picturesque part of Copenhagen, with so many multicolored buildings and historic boats. Sit outside at Restaurant Havfruen for amazing food and people watching.

Nyhavn in Copenhagen

7. Rosenborg Castle

Just beyond Nyhavn is Rosenborg Castle. We walked to this castle after exploring Nyhavn, which was a great activity after eating through the cute cafes, restaurants, and bars. The King’s Garden at Rosenberg castle is the oldest and most visited park in Copenhagen. This 30 acres urban park was a great place to let the kid’s run around.

8. Strøget

Take a stroll down Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian-only streets. There is lots of fabulous boutiques along this street.

9. Little Mermaid Statue

Visit the Little Mermaid Statue, an ode to the famous fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. While the statue itself is small, the history around it is not! We saw this statue while on our canal tour, and I’m glad we did because there were so many people crowded around, on land, trying to see the small statue.

Nyhavn in Copenhagen
Nyhavn in Copenhagen
Nyhavn in Copenhagen

10. Reffen

Enjoy amazing street food in Reffen, an outdoor shipyard turned creative playground.

11. Freetown Christiania

Visit Freetown Christiania, a self-governing community inside Copenhagen. Christiania is a car-free neighborhood with colorful street art and unique cafes. Please note Christiania has it’s own set of rules and regulations, including no pictures and no running.

12. Church of our Saviour

Climb the spire at the Church of our Saviour for 360 views of Copenhagen. This is an easy climb, with just about 400 steps.

13. Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg

Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg. Each day at 12 noon, the Danish Royal Guard parades through the streets of Copenhagen, ending at Amalienborg where the old watch is relieved with the new watch.

Places To Eat

1. Conditori La Grace

Have coffee and cake at Conditori La Grace. The oldest pastry shop in Denmark, dating back to 1870. Highly recommend getting the house speciality, Sportskage.

2. Faergekro Restaurant

Go to Faergekro Restaurant for a traditional Danish meal, including 10 different ways of cooking Herrings. (It’s a Danish thing…)

3. Cafe Dyrehaven

Cafe Dyrehaven for a perfect Danish twist on avocado toast paired with a cozy coffee.

4. Meyers Bageri

Try a kanelsnurrer (cinnamon whirls) at Meyers Bageri, a local chain started by a famous Danish chef!

5. Hallernes Smørrebrød

You can’t leave Copenhagen without indulging in some traditional smørre­brød. A smørre­brødis equivalent to an open face sandwich and seems like the combinations are endless. The best variety I found was at Hallernes Smørrebrød, but almost all my suggested restaurants offer them!

Check out one of the 26 Michelin Starred restaurants this incredible city has to offer! To put this into perspective, the entire US has only 200.
Places to Eat in Copenhagen
Places to Eat in Copenhagen
Places to Eat in Copenhagen

Where to Stay

Copenhagen Island Hotel is where we stayed with our soccer group. We had a wonderful view over the harbor and enjoyed The Harbour Restaurant’s outdoor terrace and harbor swimming! It was located right next to Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall and offered bikes to rent.

Manon Les Suites was all over my feed when looking for hotels. This unique hotel will give you a 5-star experience with its bohemian luxury design.

Marriott Copenhagen was our lodging last night’s lodging and had much bigger rooms than Copenhagen Island. This Marriott is more centrally based and located on the harbor.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen
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