Copenhagen is the promised land for anyone in love with the Scandinavian charm. Pristine nature, minimalistic architecture and a charming waterfront … It’s hard not to like Copenhagen, given its elegant demeanour. But it offers much more than just relaxing strolls and beautiful architecture. It is the foodie capital of Denmark, with as many as 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, with the famous Noma among them, and plenty other, no less spectacular eateries and bars. The cultural riches of Copenhagen are no less impressive than the restaurants. Be it the Viking treasures or the iconic Danish chairs, Copenhagen offers a plethora of historical treasures and valuable art, with the famous National Museet being a prime example of what you can expect from Danish museums. Once you get your fill of galleries and displays, hop on a bike and marvel at the beauty of one of the cleanest and greenest urban centres in the world. The pristine nature surrounding Copenhagen is as awe-inspiring as any of the sights that you can admire inside the city.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Copenhagen
Grand Day Trip around Copenhagen
If you are interested in learning a thing or two about the Danish history, this tour is just for you. The trip will take you along four important historical sites of Denmark, including the most popular castles and a cathedral. A small group of sixteen people will allow the guide to pay you plenty of personal attention.
Castles Tour from Copenhagen
This day trip will take you through some of the gorgeous castles of the North Zealand region. You will be able to see the town of Elsinore, which was made famous by Shakespeare's Hamlet. Next, you will see the Kronborg Castle, the setting of Hamlet, as well as the Fredensborg Palace which is a home of the royal family.
Copenhagen Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Allowing you to freely discover the city of Copenhagen on your own, this tour provides you with plenty of buses and boats, which you can use at any time to travel from one attraction to another. The ticket is valid for two days, and, moreover, provides you with a free audio commentary regarding the sites.
Copenhagen Food Tour
This tour will provide you with an insight on Copenhagen's traditional and modern food, as it takes half-a-day to teach you the recipes. A guide who is also a chef will show you the delicacies of Danish cuisine, as you taste and prepare your own contemporary and old-fashioned treats, from cheese to smørrebrød.
Copenhagen Small Group Bike Tour
Saving you the trouble of walking on foot, this tour provides you with a free bike to travel the streets with a guide. The guide will take you along such sites as Amalienborg Palace and Kastellet fortress, as you skip the traffic of the city with a small group limited to ten people for the best, personalised experience.
Grand Walking Tour of Copenhagen
With an affordable price and a well-accustomed guide to show you around the highlights of Copenhagen, this tour allows you to see some of the city’s sights in a slow-paced manner. This walking tour allows you to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city as you travel along the narrow streets.
Danish Hygge Culture and Historical Copenhagen Walking Tour
This tour will show you some of the preferred spots by locals, with an in-depth explanation of the word hygge. Free coffee and pastry from a local coffee shop are included with the ticket, as well as a suggestion of places to visit afterwards from the local guide.
Grand Inner City Tour of Copenhagen
Not only will this tour provide you with an interesting commentary given by a professional local guide, but you will also be provided with an air-conditioned minibus to travel through the city. The size of the group is limited to sixteen people or less, allowing you to freely ask questions to the guide.
Copenhagen Small Group Walking Tour
Taking only three hours of your time, this tour will allow you to see some of the most prominent sights of the city of Copenhagen. A local guide with a lot of experience will show you around the city as you visit such monuments and sights as the medieval square of Amagertorv, Christiansborg Palace, and more.
Alternative Tour Copenhagen
This tour will show you some of the lesser known attractions of Copenhagen, which you probably would not find on your own. A guide will give you detailed information on the underground culture of the city as you see for yourself the neighbourhood of Vesterbro, a homeless shelter, and the red-light district.
Other Things to See and Do
If you have some spare time in your daily schedule, make sure to come to Amalienborg to see the changing of the guard ceremony. Moreover, the square located in front of the Queen's house fills with soldiers from the Danish Royal Guard, who play music, wear funky hats, and march loudly as they change their colleagues.
Among locals known as the marble church, the Frederiks Kirke was built in 1894 and looks like a miniature version of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Still, the church is quite huge and is the biggest church in all of Scandinavia, famous for its copper-clad dome and a gorgeous tower.
While the park around the cemetery provides a lush, tranquil spot for an afternoon walk, there is also a second reason to visit Assistens Cemetery. Inside the cemetery, there are a bunch of graves of famous people from Denmark, such as Hans Christian Andersen, best known for his fairy tales.
Located just a bit south from the Østerport train station, there is a bright yellow row of houses in Nyboder district. The district itself was made in the 1600s in order to house the local sailors, and its buildings are lined in a straight row of colourful buildings, which are to this day used by the city's sailors.
To visit Dyrehavsbakken you will have to take a twenty-minute train from the centre of the city, but it is definitely worth it. The world's oldest amusement park, of course, requires a ticket to enjoy the old-fashioned rides among its premises, but it still free to wander around, admiring the sights of the retro rollercoasters.
Being a gorgeous 17th-century church in itself, the Trinitatis Kirke is also widely known as a place where you can listen to some free classical music. While the church itself presents a marvellous, gilded interior, it also puts on concerts which are free to attend on Fridays and Wednesdays but make sure to check the schedule.
If you have a free evening and a night ahead of you, take a walk to the Zulu Sommerbio, located in the Fælledparken. Take some drinks and snacks with you, as you will probably be staying up late watching movies under the stars on a huge screen, usually taking place on six consecutive nights in August.
Royal Danish Theater
While you are surely required to pay a lot for tickets to the most famous performance of the Royal Danish Theater, you can still discover its chambers and hallways for free, admiring their architecture. Moreover, there tend to be some free shows, so make sure to check the online calendar for current info.
Statens Museum for Kunst
Searching for a place to marvel at some of the local art? Take a hike to the Statens Museum for Kunst, one of Denmark’s national galleries. The gallery showcases a grand collection of Nordic art from seven centuries and of numerous styles, but check the museum’s website to find out when it is free to visit.
National Museum of Denmark
With a collection of international artifacts from all over the globe, the National Museum of Denmark sure is a place worth visiting. With a couple of days each month when the admission is free, the museum will show you antique pieces from the Egypt, Greece, as well as remnants of the Vikings of Denmark.
This museum has a unique theme and approach to its content, as it showcases the history and intricacies of beer making. The museum contains a huge collection of art and antiquities connected to beer, collected by one of the early directors of the Carlsberg brewery. Make sure to come on Tuesdays when it’s free.
Located near the Statens Museum of Kunst, this museum showcases some of the masterpieces of art from the Danish Golden Age. The museum houses a vast collection of Danish art from the 19th and early 20th century, with representatives of Skagen Painters as well as the Modern Breakthrough movement.
Dedicated to a famous Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, this museum shows exactly why the artist gained international recognition and even made sculptures for the Pope himself. The museum is located near the Christiansborg Palace and is generally free to visit on each Wednesday.
Royal Danish Arsenal Museum
Showcasing the history of Denmark’s military and conflicts across the ages, both old and more recent, the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum hosts a great collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the times of violence in Denmark, along with weapons and recollections of stories from people who lived in such times.
While nowadays it’s a museum dedicated to the industrial development of Denmark, the Brede Værk was once a textile factory located in the countryside of Denmark. While the museum is worth to visit if you want to learn some history, take notice that you will most likely have to use a train to get there.
Rosenborg Castle Gardens
For a romantic afternoon stroll, stop by the Rosenborg Castle Gardens, located around the four-centuries-old castle. The gardens are always kept neatly clipped and well-maintained, creating a cosy place for a picnic and general sightseeing, and, of course, they are free to visit at any time.
If you have some spare time and are looking for a workout, make sure to rent a bike and come to the Jægersborg Dyrehave Park, which has more than a thousand hectares and is home to plenty of bike routes. Moreover, there are more than two thousand free-roaming deer around the premises of the park.
If you happen to visit Copenhagen during the hot summer months, make sure to stop by one of the beaches. The Amager Strand is especially popular among the locals, as it is a frequent place they attend to sunbathe and swim, whenever it is warm enough, or even kiteboard.
Allowing you to gain an insight on the life of poor farmers and peasants of medieval Denmark, this open-air museum hosts quite a number of historic buildings which are dedicated to the history of the land. While some of the buildings require a fee to enter, there is still quite a few free exhibitions to see.
During the summer months on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a gym chain called Friskis & Svettis organises free outdoor workout sessions in the Fælledparken. Many personal trainers attend the event to show the locals and tourists alike how to keep fit and healthy, all with funky music in the background.