Copenhagen has the buildings of a rich medieval city that has been transported to the present, cleaned up and given a cool vibe. The city has something for everybody, whether you are interested in attractions such as museums,culture, statues, relaxing by a park or finding somewhere to have a quite pint or stimulating coffee there is plenty to offer. With this in mind I have put together my list of the what to do in Copenhagen. Visiting Copenhagen is expensive but there are plenty of things to see and do that don’t cost a penny
Time to Do: To do everything mentioned in this post takes 2 days, a full weekend
The little mermaid is not worth seeing and is 2km north of the city centre but you cannot really leave Copenhagen without seeing the main sightseeing attraction. Can you?
What to do in Copenhagen – Christiania
This amazing part of Copenhagen has to be visited to be believed. This is what the people who live there call ‘The Freetown of Christiania’ and is a commune and community with its own rules and regulation and right in the heart of Copenhagen, free of the Danish government. It is a social experiment that started in 1971 on land vacated by the military with the squatters that moved in and after years of ups and downs, drugs and entrepreneurship, there is a thriving community. When first arriving you are struck by the graffiti on all the walls, general chaos of everything and the selling of ‘hash’ on Pusher Street. Because they see this as a separate country this is okay in Christiania but only after many years of the trials of ‘hard drugs’ and now any member caught with hard drugs will be expelled from the community. The Copenhagen city council seem to be on Christiania’s side and has recently agreed that hash should be legalised but this need to be ratified by the Danish parliament before any changes will take place in law.
This little town does everything by agreement and there is no ‘prime minister’ or government. Every month there are different meetings that anybody can attend to air their views and although some decisions can take a very long time we were assured that everybody is always happy with the outcome.
Although most of the buildings looks dilapidated on the outside when you venture inside you may find the grocery shop, restaurant, jewellery shop and even a bathing house and wellness centre. Musicians and artists are to be found all over and one of their best known exports are the 3 wheeled bicycles with a small carrier trolley that can be found all over the city and indeed Denmark. A tour takes place once a day every weekend all year and every day during the summer months at 3pm at a shabby sign just inside the main entrance.
What to do in Copenhagen – Rent a Bike
One of the best things that you can do in any city but especially Copenhagen is rent a bike. Copenhagen is one of the world’s most bicycle friendly cities with almost every road having a dedicated cycle path and even bicycle traffic lights at the main junctions. Renting a bicycle makes exploring the tourist map and seeing any attraction a much easier proposition. For example the Little Mermaid is a 25min walk from the city centre and although not much to see when you actually get there is still something that most people feel they shouldn’t leave Copenhagen without having seen her saddened face. This though on a bike takes less than 10minutes and when you factor this over the day you can see twice as much and not feel like you are after being on your feet all day.
There are free bikes that you can pay 20DKK and take them just like a shopping trolley and you get your money back upon return but these are very difficult to come by and are nearly always gone. Failing this any hotel or bike shop (of which there are plenty) will rent you one for the day.
What to do in Copenhagen – Wander around the City Centre
There are so many ancient buildings and towers for your eyes to feast on within such a small area you would think that the place is made of churches. This though is not the case but the architects in the 17th and 18th centuries definitely liked spires and towers. The city centre and around Stroget has plenty of bustling pedestrian streets that are easy to get lost in, stop for a drink or to do some shopping. But there are so many attractions that I could bore you with details of all of them so on your wanders you should encompass the following:
Radhus Pladsen (above): Opposite Tivoli Gardens, this monstrosity of a redbrick building that is both the city hall and a wedding venue contains huge courtyards to amble in as well as an unbelievable feat of engineering and precision in the Jens Olsen clock. Although it could be argued how useful! As well as telling you the time and date it can do so much more. It has 14,000 parts and its slowest moving gear moves one revolution every 25,700years!
Tivoli Gardens: Denmark’s most visited attraction is full of bright lights, amusement rides, theatres and plays, flowers and lakes and above all excitement and intrigue. Is only open from April to September each year
Christianborg Palace: An impressive palace with huge courtyards
Nyhaven: The place on all the postcards full of restaurants and the start of the city canal tours
What to do in Copenhagen – Museums and Art Galleries
Ny Carlsberg Glypotec (left): Featuring a stunning entrance and works of sculpture and paintings of both Danish and international stars such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet and Rodin.
The National Museum: Located in the stunning surroundings of the princes palace.
The Round Tower: Okay, it’s not free but for 20DKK it almost is. Great panoramic view of the Copenhagen.
What to do in Copenhagen – Rosenborg Castle
This Disney style castle situated in the perfectly manicured Rosenborg Have Park and was the seat of the Royal family for centuries and is currently a museum that houses the crown jewels and other priceless tapestries and paintings that are over 300years old. Even if you don’t fancy seeing the inside of a castle, the park is an attraction in itself and the views of the castle are superb from the outside.
Practicalities – About Copenhagen
- 1€ = 7.45DKK $1=5.80DKK
- Price of a nearly pint (500ml) of beer: 50DKK
- Reasonably priced Double room: around 500DKK
- Transport: Flights can be taken from any major European city and from cities all over the world
- Trains: Trains from Copenhagen Central Station (Kobenhaven H.) are efficient and go to all over the country. The station is only a 20min ride from the airport
- Population: 560,0000
What to do in Copenhagen – Map of Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Rådhuspladsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiania, Bådsmandsstræde, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christiansborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nyhavn Harbour, Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kongens Have / Rosenborg Slotshave, Copenhagen, Denmark
|The National Museum|
Vester Voldgade, Copenhagen, Denmark
Rundetårn (The Round Tower), Købmagergade, Copenhagen, Denmark
|Ny Carslberg Glypotek|
H. C. Andersens Boulevard, Copenhagen, Denmark
|The Little Mermaid|
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
My Gallery of Copenhagen, Denmark