Copenhagen Itinerary: 8 Things You Absolutely Cannot Miss
Looking for a Copenhagen itinerary and tired of seeing those “100 things to do in Copenhagen” posts? Me too! That’s why I’ve created this 8 Things You Absolutely Cannot Miss for a handful of the world’s most popular towns.
Copenhagen is such a wonderful city, one that I have been luckily enough to visit multiple times. Since I conveniently have a few friends that live there, I have had wonderful local tour guides showing me around each time I have visited. They’ve even introduced me to things I normally would not spend time doing because it seemed too touristy (hi, Tivoli!) but ended up truly loving.
So if you are looking for the best Copenhagen travel blog itinerary - here are the 8 things you absolutely cannot miss!
What to do first
Before we get into the essential itinerary items, let’s talk about what to do first. Whenever I visit a new city, the first thing I do is go on a tour. I find this to be imperative to get your bearings. This way you can also make note of interesting things you want to revisit in greater detail later. There are a handful of different Copenhagen tours available depending on your preference.
My very favorite way to do this is via bike. It’s quicker than walking and also allows you to get some exercise! Click here to see the latest prices for the tour I recommend.
If biking isn't your thing, there are plenty of other tours in Copenhagen. If you prefer to see Copenhagen on foot, click here to see the latest prices.
How about a Copenhagen food tour? Click here for that.
Prefer a segway tour? Click here.
Want to give yourself a tour instead? Click here for a bus and boat hop-on hop-off ticket. It's not just a sightseeing bus Copenhagen but also a sightseeing boat!
To save yourself time and money while visiting Copenhagen, consider purchasing a Copenhagen City Card. This Copenhagen travel pass gives you free entrance to 73 museums and attractions, discounts at many restaurants, and provide you with free transportation by bus, metro, and train. Click here to see the latest prices.
Copenhagen Itinerary: 8 Things You Absolutely Cannot Miss
Cocktails at Lidkoeb
Vesterbro is probably the most hip area in Copenhagen - an absolute Copenhagen must see item! It is my favorite part of the city (to stay, eat, drink, play) and home to my favorite place for cocktails: Lidkoeb.
Lidkoeb is located off famous Vesterbrogade Street in a building dating back to 1886. The bar opened in 2012 and has a cozy atmosphere and a wonderful selection of cocktails on a rotating menu. It is wonderful any time of year, as they offer outdoor seating (perfect for summer) and a beautiful interior (perfect for the colder months)!
Before or after drinks at Lidkoeb, grab dinner at Madklubben Vesterbro down the street. It is a beautifully designed urban space featuring a menu with food from all around the world and one of the top places to go in Copenhagen.
I learned while writing this that it is also the “most visited restaurant in Denmark”, and for good reason! Although the restaurant seats more than 300, it is incredibly popular and often books up completely so make sure to make reservations in advance. A definite can’t miss on your Copenhagen itinerary.
Photos via Lidkoeb.
Walk around Freetown Christiania
Christiania is, according to Visit Copenhagen, an "alternative hippie society". It is open to the public and incredibly interesting to explore. All of Christiania is completely green, car-free, and the people there follow their own set of rules completely independent of the Danish government. If you are looking for interesting things to see in Copenhagen, this is definitely one of them.
I don’t have any photos of it because you are not advised or permitted to photograph inside Christiania so make sure to keep that in mind if you do visit. Inside you will find many restaurants and if you are there during summer don’t miss Nemoland offering free concerts every Sunday.
Click below to book a tour. I would especially recommend the guided tour.
Spend an evening playing at Tivoli
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park located in the center of Copenhagen. It is the type of thing that seems a bit like a tourist trap on paper but in reality is a complete blast and something to not miss on your Copenhagen itinerary! Even if you only have 2 days in Copenhagen I suggest going here. It is especially lovely at night.
PS. looking for things to do in Copenhagen in winter? Even though this is outdoors, don’t overlook it! We bundled up and went at night in winter and it was one of the most fun nights I have ever had.
Tivoli opened in 1843 which makes it the second oldest amusement park in the world. It still has a lot of old school charm, in my opinion, and feels like a carnival without the modern cheesiness we often see at parks these days. There is something there for everyone, from the upside rollercoaster "The Demon" and "The Golden Tower" dropping 63 meters in a few seconds to the classic carousel (which I might have gone on myself while the boys went on The Golden Tower). If you are looking for a fun evening activity, the park is magical at night and stays open until 11 or midnight depending on time of year. In addition to rides there are also restaurants, concerts, and more.
Pricing options vary. Currently you can pay 120 DKK (currently ~$18) for entrance and then pay for each ride individually or buy an unlimited ride pass for 230 DKK (~$36). Assuming you plan on going on 5 or more rides, buy the unlimited pass!
Click here to book your ticket today (and avoid the long lines later!).
Photos via Tivoli Gardens PR.
Stay at Axel Guldsmeden
Axel Guldsmeden is an eco-conscious hotel located in my favorite neighborhood, Vesterbro! Even better, it is located just two blocks from the train station which you will more than likely arrive at (whether you come via train or plane). It is my #1 recommendation for where to stay in Copenhagen.
The entire hotel is beautifully decorated featuring southwestern decor and the bed was so comfortable I almost did not want to ever leave. There’s also an in-hotel restaurant which we did not visit but makes for a very convenient option if needed!
And, if you are up for a real treat, they have a Balinese-inspired spa that looks incredibly dreamy in their photos.
Brunch at Mad & Kaffe Vesterbro
Mad & Kaffe is a place I discovered during my first trip and fell in love with due to the fun breakfast concept. It is in my opinion one of the top things to do in Copenhagen. You get to create your own breakfast featuring any combination of items on the menu, selecting either 3 items, 5 items, or 7 items. The menu is split into different sections; “greens" such as 1/2 an avocado with chili oil and baked almonds, “dairy" like scrambled eggs with chives and mushrooms, “bakery” offering things like organic sourdough bread with organic butter, “meat and fish” including a chicken nugget with sweet and sour sauce, and more!
Sound amazing? It is! The only unfortunate thing being that it is apparently no secret because I went back this time and the wait was crazy. The waitress told us that they open at 8:30 and by 8:45 it is completely full so we headed back the next day at opening time and were able to score a table. By 8:45 every table was full and by the time we left the line outside was extremely long already.
If you do make it there and find the wait to be too long, check out Cafe Dyrehaven about half a block away. The avocado toast is delicious!
Eat street food on Paper Island (Papirøen)
On Paper Island (Papirøen) just across the bridge from Nyhavn is Copenhagen’s street food market. It offers beautiful views of the waterfront and 39 food and drink stalls from all around the world! The stalls themselves are inside, with seating options available both inside and out. Even on a cold day it is a wonderful place to visit and spend some time.
Try a traditional Danish pastry
While in Denmark, you must try a kanelsnurrer (English translation: cinnamon whirls)! Best place to try them? Meyers Bageri, a local chain started by a famous Danish chef. There are numerous locations around the city so check Google Maps to find the closest option for you.
Go on a Copenhagen Boat Tour Of Nyhavn
Anyone who has seen photos of Copenhagen has likely seen Nyhavn, the famous colorful waterfront and arguably most iconic spot in the city. While I usually try to stick to non-cliche things, this is one of touristy spots that I think you absolutely cannot miss. If you are looking for what to see in Copenhagen in one day, you should not miss this item.
Originally a busy port, today Nyhavn is filled with restaurants housed in renovated homes lining the canal. It is a beautiful place to go for a quick stroll or hop on a canal cruise to relax and take in the scenery.
Day Trips from Copenhagen
If you have the time, there are some great day trips from Copenhagen that you can take! My favorite tour company, Get Your Guide, has some highly recommended options.
The best day trips from Copenhagen:
FREDERIKBORG AND KRONBORG CASTLES — want to see some spectacular fairytale castles? This full day tour from Copenhagen allows you to do just that! Click here to see the latest prices.
MALMO — did you know Copenhagen is incredibly close to Sweden? Why not visit yet another country while you're visiting! Click here to see the latest prices.