25 Things to Do in Copenhagen: Guide to Denmark’s Capital
Welcome to Copenhagen, the enchanting capital of Denmark! As the largest city in Scandinavia, Copenhagen is filled with historical landmarks, modern architecture, and rich cultural experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through 25 must-see attractions and activities to make your visit to this beautiful city truly unforgettable.
Explore the Magical Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks and a true gem in the heart of Copenhagen. With its beautiful gardens, thrilling rides, and magical atmosphere, Tivoli offers something for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the park’s iconic wooden roller coaster, Rutschebanen, and the breathtaking Star Flyer ride. You can find more information and plan your visit to Tivoli Gardens here.
Walk Down the Colorful Nyhavn Harbor
Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s picturesque harbor, is famous for its vibrant, colorful buildings and lively atmosphere. Once a busy commercial port, Nyhavn is now a bustling destination filled with cozy cafes, charming restaurants, and historic wooden ships. Take a leisurely stroll down the harbor or enjoy a relaxing canal tour to truly appreciate the beauty of this iconic area. Learn more about Nyhavn here.
Admire the Impressive Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace, located on the small island of Slotsholmen, is home to the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court. This impressive palace complex features stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and exquisite royal reception rooms. Visitors can explore the palace, visit the Royal Stables, and even climb the palace tower for spectacular views of the city. Find more information on visiting Christiansborg Palace here.
Marvel at the Stunning Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle, a beautiful 17th-century Renaissance palace, houses the Danish royal family’s extensive collection of art, jewelry, and historical artifacts. The castle’s main attraction is the dazzling Crown Jewels, located in the castle treasury. While exploring the castle, don’t miss the enchanting King’s Garden, the oldest royal garden in Denmark. Learn more about visiting Rosenborg Castle here.
Discover the National Gallery of Denmark
The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) is the country’s premier art museum, showcasing an impressive collection of Danish and international art spanning seven centuries. From Renaissance masterpieces to modern contemporary works, the museum offers a diverse and enriching cultural experience. To plan your visit, check out the National Gallery’s official website.
Experience the Royal Life at Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the official residence of the Danish royal family and an architectural masterpiece. The palace complex consists of four identical buildings surrounding a beautiful octagonal courtyard. Visitors can explore the palace’s museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Denmark’s royalty. Don’t miss the changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place daily at noon. Learn more about visiting Amalienborg Palace here.
Visit the Iconic Little Mermaid Statue
The Little Mermaid statue, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, is one of Copenhagen’s most famous landmarks. This bronze statue, perched on a rock along the Langelinie promenade, has been captivating visitors since 1913. While the statue is smaller than you might expect, it’s still a must-visit attraction for anyone coming to Copenhagen. Discover more about the Little Mermaid statue here.
Climb the Unique Round Tower Observatory
The Round Tower (Rundetårn), built in the 17th century, is a distinctive observatory that offers stunning panoramic views of Copenhagen. The tower features a unique spiral ramp, which winds around the tower’s interior instead of traditional stairs. As you ascend the tower, take a moment to appreciate the beautiful architecture and the small exhibitions along the way. Learn more about the Round Tower here.
Uncover the Danish Resistance Museum
The Danish Resistance Museum (Frihedsmuseet) tells the gripping story of Denmark’s resistance movement during World War II. Through engaging exhibits, personal stories, and authentic artifacts, visitors can learn about the courageous efforts of the Danish people to resist Nazi occupation. Find more information on the Danish Resistance Museum and plan your visit here.
Enjoy the Scenic Kastellet Fortress
Kastellet, a well-preserved star-shaped fortress, is one of Copenhagen’s most beautiful and historic sites. Wander through the peaceful grounds, explore the old ramparts, and visit the charming 17th-century church and windmill. Kastellet is not only a fascinating piece of military history but also a lovely green oasis in the city. Learn more about Kastellet here.
Cycle Through the Vibrant City Streets
Copenhagen is renowned for its bike-friendly streets and dedicated cycling lanes, making it the perfect city to explore on two wheels. Rent a bike and join the locals as you navigate the city’s charming neighborhoods, picturesque canals, and bustling squares. Many bike rental shops offer guided tours, which provide an excellent introduction to Copenhagen’s history and culture. Check out this list of bike rental options.
Shop at the Historic Strøget Shopping District
Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping street, is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. Stretching over 1.1 kilometers, Strøget is home to an array of shops, from high-end designer boutiques to popular high-street stores. In addition to shopping, Strøget is an excellent place to people-watch, dine, or enjoy a coffee at one of the many outdoor cafes. Learn more about Strøget here.
Unwind at the Peaceful King's Garden
King’s Garden, located next to Rosenborg Castle, is the oldest and most visited park in Copenhagen. This beautiful green space offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city and features lush lawns, vibrant flower beds, and picturesque walking paths. King’s Garden is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply relaxing with a good book. Find more information about the King’s Garden here.
Embrace Sustainability at the Green Lighthouse
The Green Lighthouse, a pioneering sustainable building in Copenhagen, serves as a shining example of Denmark’s commitment to green living. This carbon-neutral building features innovative design elements, such as solar panels and natural ventilation systems. Visitors can take guided tours of the Green Lighthouse to learn more about its sustainable features and Copenhagen’s broader eco-friendly initiatives. Check out the Green Lighthouse website for more information.
Visit the Danish Jewish Museum
The Danish Jewish Museum, located within the Royal Library, is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and culture of the Danish Jewish community. Through engaging exhibits and multimedia displays, visitors can learn about the community’s 400-year history, including the inspiring story of how Denmark saved its Jewish population during World War II. Plan your visit to the Danish Jewish Museum here.
Wander the Atmospheric Freetown Christiania
Freetown Christiania is a unique, alternative community in Copenhagen that operates independently of the Danish government. Established in 1971, this colorful, bohemian neighborhood is known for its vibrant street art, eclectic architecture, and bustling marketplaces. Explore Christiania on foot, browse the local shops, and soak up the area’s distinctive atmosphere. Keep in mind that photography is restricted in certain parts of Christiania. Learn more about visiting Freetown Christiania here.
Get Inspired at the Danish Architecture Center
The Danish Architecture Center (DAC) is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in architecture and design. This cutting-edge cultural institution offers exhibits, workshops, and guided tours that showcase the best of Danish and international architecture. Don’t miss the center’s impressive building, designed by renowned architect OMA. Find more information about visiting the Danish Architecture Center here.
Discover the Maritime Treasures at the National Aquarium Denmark
The National Aquarium Denmark, also known as Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet), is Northern Europe’s largest and most innovative aquarium. With over 7 million liters of water and thousands of marine species, this state-of-the-art facility offers an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Highlights include the impressive Ocean Tank, the Amazonian exhibit, and the interactive touch pools. Plan your visit to the National Aquarium Denmark here.
Journey Through the Past at the National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark is the country’s premier cultural and historical institution, housing an extensive collection of artifacts that span from the Stone Age to the present day. Explore the museum’s captivating exhibits, which include Viking treasures, Egyptian mummies, and the famous Trundholm Sun Chariot. Don’t miss the fascinating Children’s Museum, which offers hands-on, interactive displays for younger visitors. Learn more about the National Museum of Denmark here.
Experience the Nordic Food Scene at Torvehallerne Market
Torvehallerne Market is a bustling, modern food market located in the heart of Copenhagen. With over 60 stalls offering a wide variety of fresh produce, gourmet treats, and delicious street food, this market is a food lover’s paradise. Sample traditional Danish smørrebrød, indulge in artisanal chocolates, or savor a steaming cup of coffee as you explore the market’s vibrant atmosphere. Find more information on Torvehallerne Market here.
Take a Canal Tour of the City
A canal tour is a fantastic way to experience Copenhagen’s picturesque waterways and see the city from a different perspective. Relax on a guided boat tour as you glide past historic landmarks, colorful Nyhavn, and the impressive Christiansborg Palace. Many tours also venture out into the harbor, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the iconic Little Mermaid statue. Learn more about canal tours and book your tickets here.
Marvel at the Royal Treasures at Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle, a stunning 17th-century Renaissance palace, is home to the Danish crown jewels and royal regalia. Wander through the opulent halls, admire the exquisite art and furnishings, and explore the castle’s fascinating history. Highlights include the Knight’s Hall, the King’s private study, and the magnificent Treasury. Plan your visit to Rosenborg Castle here.
Get Creative at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, located just north of Copenhagen, is a world-class institution that showcases contemporary art from around the globe. Set within a beautiful park overlooking the Øresund Strait, the museum boasts an impressive collection of works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney. In addition to its indoor galleries, the museum also features a stunning sculpture garden. Find more information about visiting the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art here.
Step Back in Time at the Open Air Museum
The Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet) is an expansive outdoor museum that offers a fascinating glimpse into Denmark’s rural past. Wander through the museum’s 86 acres of land and discover over 50 historic buildings, including farmhouses, windmills, and workshops, which have been carefully relocated from all over Denmark. The museum also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year, making it an engaging experience for the whole family. Learn more about the Open Air Museum here.
Explore the Vibrant Nørrebro Neighborhood
Nørrebro is a diverse and lively neighborhood in Copenhagen, known for its multicultural atmosphere, trendy cafes, and vibrant street art. Wander through the bustling streets, sample delicious ethnic cuisine, and browse the eclectic mix of shops and boutiques. Don’t miss the colorful Superkilen park, a unique urban space designed to celebrate Nørrebro’s diversity. Find out more about Nørrebro here.
Copenhagen, and Denmark as a whole, offers visitors a wealth of attractions and experiences that are sure to delight and inspire. From the vibrant neighborhoods and cultural institutions of the city to the stunning natural landscapes and historic towns beyond, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or simply exploring new places, Denmark is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure to Denmark today and discover all that this amazing country has to offer!