Why visit Copenhagen? Copenhagen, Denmark, is a vibrant and captivating destination that invites you to explore its rich history, culture, nature, and gastronomy. You will be charmed by its colorful buildings, cozy cafes, and friendly locals. Its innovative architecture, design, and sustainability will also amaze you. Copenhagen has something for everyone, whether you want to enjoy the classic attractions like the Tivoli Gardens, a 19th-century amusement park, or discover the hidden gems like Assistens Cemetery, where you can pay homage to famous Danes, or Paper Island, a street food mecca in an old warehouse.
Join us on this journey and uncover the best of Copenhagen.
Five Fun Facts About Copenhagen
- Copenhagen, one of the world’s safest and most environmentally friendly cities, is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. With an extensive network of over 250 bike lanes, it prioritizes cycling for residents and tourists. In 2021, The Economist ranked it as the safest city globally.
- Copenhagen’s culture is rich and diverse. Its art, history, and royalty are seen in many museums, galleries, and palaces. You can also enjoy its music, theater, and nightlife. Copenhagen has the world’s best restaurant, Noma, with four Michelin stars.
- Copenhagen has the world’s oldest theme park, Tivoli Gardens. It is a lovely and nostalgic park with rides, games, shows, and gardens for everyone. It becomes even more enchanting at night with fairy lights.
- Freetown Christiania is a self-ruled area in Copenhagen. It was founded by hippies-squatters in 1971 on a deserted military base. It has its own rules, money, flag, and song. It is also famous for its drug market.
- Strøget is the world’s longest car-free shopping street in Copenhagen. It is 1.1 km long and has many shops, cafes, and street performers. Every year, it draws millions of people.
Experience the local things to do in Copenhagen
Discover the beauty of Copenhagen’s remarkable parks and gardens, where nature thrives in all its splendor. Immerse yourself in the enchanting King’s Garden, a majestic oasis boasting vibrant flora that dazzles the senses, especially in summer. For a truly breathtaking experience, make your way to Ørstedsparken, a picturesque haven adorned with serene lakes and stunning foliage, exuding an undeniable charm bound to captivate your heart.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Danish culture and indulge in the astonishing artwork surrounding every corner of Copenhagen. Visiting the magnificent Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish government, is a must-do to admire its captivating architecture. For an awe-inspiring cultural experience, visit the National Gallery of Denmark and witness the world-class collection of paintings from internationally renowned artists alongside original Danish artwork. Delve deeper into Danish history and culture by exploring the enlightening exhibits at the National Museum of Denmark, one of the most enriching activities in Copenhagen.
Top Things to Do in Copenhagen
However, Copenhagen is a city that offers something for everyone, from its famous landmarks like the Little Mermaid and Tivoli Gardens to its vibrant culture and nightlife. But to experience the city beyond the tourist trail, you must explore its hidden gems. In this guide, we will show you some of the best secret spots that will make your trip to Copenhagen unforgettable. Here are some of the places you should not miss on your trip to Copenhagen:
1. Assistens Cemetery
The world has many war memorials to marvel at, but Assistens Cemetery is different. It is located in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen and is a peaceful spot to wander around. Many notable Danes, including writer Hans Christian Andersen, are buried here. The cemetery is also famous for locals to gather for picnics and catch-up sessions. You can spend hours exploring the beautiful winding paths of the cemetery and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere.
2. Christianhavn’s Free Town Christiania
Christiania is a semi-autonomous community within Copenhagen that’s been around since the 1970s. It’s an area where visitors can find a unique bohemian vibe, artistic creations, and an alternative way of life based on freedom, harmony, and acceptance. If you’re a food lover, take advantage of the opportunity to try freshly baked bread from the bakery in Christiania.
3. Brus Brewery
Brus Brewery is a newly established microbrewery in the heart of Nørrebro, and it’s one of the trendiest spots to visit in Copenhagen. The building used to be a car repair shop, but now it’s a hip and happening brewery that serves a range of craft beers, and if you’re hungry, they serve up tasty food options, too. You’ll love the laidback atmosphere and friendly staff.
4. Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli is an amusement park that’s been around since 1843 and is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. It’s not mainly unknown, but many visitors overlook it during their trips to Copenhagen. While it’s not a hidden gem, it’s a place you should notice. The park has fantastic rides, delicious food, and stunning city views. Go in the evening to see the park illuminated with lights.
5. Freetown Christiania’s Bikes
When visiting Christiania, you’ll likely witness locals cycling around on their striking and vibrant bikes. Don’t hesitate to rent one of their unique bikes and take it for a spin around the city. It’s the perfect way to explore the area and fully experience the unique culture of the inspiring community at Christiania. You can also check out a few other thrilling bike routes in Europe to unleash the adventurer in you.
6. Frederiksberg Have
Frederiksberg Have is a serene park in one of Copenhagen’s most attractive residential areas, Frederiksberg. The park boasts a beautiful rose garden, a Chinese pavilion, and an impressive scenic view of the Frederiksberg Palace. Locals love coming here to relax, jog, and stroll.
7. Street Food on Paper Island
Paper Island (Papirøen) was closed in 2018 due to construction work; however, the street food stalls moved to a new site on Refshaleøen Island. With more than 40 stalls offering food worldwide, it’s a perfect spot for foodies to taste new flavors while enjoying the lovely views of the surrounding waterfront.
8. Mikkeller Bar
Mikkeller Bar is located on Vesterbro and is a stylish bar with a vast selection of beers by Mikkeller, a renowned Danish microbrewery. You can try various beers while munching on tasty snacks such as charcuterie boards, cheese platters, and fries. The bar’s interior is designed with more than 20,000 Lego bricks that form an eye-catching centerpiece behind the bar.
9. Kayak Tours
Copenhagen is known for its well-developed infrastructure for cycling. The city also allows you to explore the waterfront once you bike or walk. However, a kayak or canoe tour from Kayak Republic is a novel way to navigate the waterways. This way, you can see the city from a unique angle and pass by spots that can be difficult to navigate by bike or foot.
What to Expect From the Culture of Copenhagen
When you embark on a journey to Copenhagen, you’re not just visiting a city – you’re stepping into a world of rich cultural experiences. From dining etiquette to accommodation choices, understanding the cultural norms of Copenhagen will enhance your visit and ensure a respectful connection with the local way of life.
Tipping in Copenhagen
Tipping is appreciated in Copenhagen, but it’s not obligatory. A 10% to 15% tip is customary in restaurants if the bill doesn’t include service. For cafes and bars, rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount as a token of appreciation is a kind gesture.
Embracing Respectful Behaviour
Copenhagen’s residents are known for their friendliness and politeness. When greeting someone, a simple nod or handshake will do. Remember to address locals using their titles (Mr., Mrs., etc.) until invited to use first names.
In this open-minded city, there are a few cultural norms to be aware of. Avoid discussing personal finances or prying into someone’s private life. Also, avoid excessive physical contact in public, such as hugging or kissing, unless you are close friends or family.
Photography is generally acceptable, but always ask before taking photos of people, especially in more intimate settings.
Embracing Local Life
Immerse yourself in local culture by attending cultural events and festivals. Watch for events like the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Distortion, a unique street music festival. Exploring markets such as Torvehallerne and visiting local galleries will also give you a taste of everyday life.
Cultural Immersion for Travellers and Explorers
A Trip to Copenhagen is where you can experience culture in every aspect of your life. You can learn from the locals, respect their traditions, and stay in lively neighborhoods. This will help you connect with the city on a deeper level. You will discover how culture enriches your journey and creates lasting memories. Copenhagen is a city where you can grow as a traveler and as a person.
Accommodations In Copenhagen
Choosing the right accommodation can greatly enhance your cultural immersion in Copenhagen. The neighborhoods of Vesterbro and Nørrebro are known for their vibrant atmosphere, eclectic boutiques, and diverse food scenes. These areas provide an authentic glimpse into the modern Danish lifestyle with trendy cafes, local markets, and stylish boutiques. For a more historic experience, staying near the city center allows easy access to landmarks like Tivoli Gardens and the Round Tower.
Staying in Vesterbro and Nørrebro, Copenhagen
When choosing the perfect lodging for your trip to Copenhagen in the lively neighborhoods of Vesterbro and Nørrebro, you’ll discover various options to match any traveler’s tastes and budget. Both districts are renowned for their vibrant ambiance, fashionable boutiques, and an array of dining choices, making them highly sought-after destinations for those searching for an authentic Copenhagen experience.
Vesterbro is a lively and diverse neighborhood in Copenhagen where you can find various accommodation options to suit your needs and budget. Whether you want to save money, enjoy comfort, or splurge on luxury, Vesterbro has something for you. You can choose from cozy hostels, stylish hotels, or elegant apartments, all within walking distance of the city’s attractions. Vesterbro is where you can experience the local culture, nightlife, and cuisine while staying comfortably and conveniently. These are the hotels you can find in Vesterbro.
Budget Option (Approx. $50 – $100 per night)
- Wakeup Copenhagen – Perfect for budget-conscious travelers, this modern hotel offers a sleek and minimalist design. Prices for a room start around $60 per night. It’s a great base for exploring the neighborhood’s hip cafes, galleries, and boutiques.
Mid-Range Options (Approx. $100 – $200 per night)
- Axel Guldsmeden – This eco-friendly boutique hotel combines Danish design with sustainability. With prices ranging from $120 to $150 per night, you can indulge in comfortable accommodations close to attractions like the Tivoli Gardens and Vesterbro’s nightlife.
- Scandic Kødbyen – Located in the trendy Meatpacking District, this contemporary hotel offers rooms ranging from $130 to $160 per night. Its stylish interiors and proximity to popular restaurants and bars make it an attractive choice.
Upscale Options (Approx. $200 and above per night)
- Tivoli Hotel – Offering elegant rooms and often spectacular views of Tivoli Gardens, this upscale hotel provides a touch of luxury starting from around $220 per night. Its location makes it convenient for exploring both Vesterbro and the city center.
- Hotel Ottilia – Set in the Carlsberg City District, this upscale hotel offers sophisticated accommodations starting at $250 per night. Its combination of modern design and historical charm adds to the allure of your stay.
Nørrebro is a colorful and lively area of Copenhagen. Here, you can find a cozy and affordable hostel, a convenient and comfy hotel, or a lavish and classy apartment. Nørrebro is where you can explore Copenhagen’s many facets while feeling at ease in your accommodation.
Budget Option (Approx. $50 – $100 per night)
- Sleep in Heaven – For budget travelers, this vibrant hostel offers dormitory beds for around $30 per night. It’s a hub for socializing and immersing yourself in the youthful atmosphere of Nørrebro.
Mid-Range Options (Approx. $100 – $200 per night)
- A&O Copenhagen Nørrebro – With prices typically ranging from $110 to $140 per night, this modern hotel offers a range of room options. It’s an excellent choice for travelers seeking comfort and convenience.
- Hotel Kong Arthur – Starting around $150 per night, this boutique hotel brings a touch of coziness to your stay. Its location in Nørrebro allows you to explore the local scene with ease.
Upscale Options (Approx. $200 and above per night)
- Manon Les Suites – With prices starting from $250 per night, this upscale hotel offers luxurious suites and a stunning pool area. It’s a retreat of sophistication and relaxation.
- Scandic Falkoner – This modern hotel’s prices typically range from $200 to $250 per night. Its central location and sleek design make it an attractive choice for those who appreciate style and convenience.
Choosing Your Ideal Accommodation
Both Vesterbro and Nørrebro have accommodations that reflect the unique character of their neighborhoods. Whether looking for affordability, comfort, or luxury, these options glimpse Copenhagen’s dynamic and captivating lifestyle. Remember that prices vary based on season, availability, and room preferences, so you should check directly with the hotels for the most up-to-date rates and information.
Is It Safe to Solo Travel in Copenhagen?
According to the esteemed Safe Cities Index by The Economist, Copenhagen proudly takes the top spot as the world’s safest city in 2021. This accolade is attributed to the city’s meager crime rates and the prevailing sense of trust among its people, a fundamental aspect of Danish culture. While unforeseen circumstances can happen anywhere, Copenhagen generally offers a secure environment for residents and visitors alike. As with any destination, it is prudent to exercise regular precautions, such as avoiding public displays of valuable possessions or wallets.
Famous Local Dishes to Try in Copenhagen
If you plan your culinary adventure during your trip to Copenhagen, prepare for a delectable experience with these seven must-try dishes. As Denmark’s dynamic capital, Copenhagen boasts a delightful fusion of traditional and modern flavors that cater to every palate. From beloved classics to inventive culinary creations, the city’s gastronomic scene is a thrilling journey, particularly for first-time visitors exploring Copenhagen.
1. Smørrebrød – The Iconic Open-Faced Sandwich
A true embodiment of Danish culture, smørrebrød is a beloved open-faced sandwich that captures the essence of simplicity and harmony. Comprising a slice of rye bread adorned with an array of toppings like pickled herring, roast beef, or cheese, smørrebrød is a symphony of flavors that come together harmoniously. To elevate your experience, consider dining at Restaurant Palægade for gourmet renditions or explore tradition at Restaurant Puk with its vintage ambiance.
2. Frikadelle – A Twist on Traditional Meatballs
Embark on a culinary adventure with frikadelle, Danish meatballs that present a unique twist on a comforting classic. Served alongside potatoes and complemented by a tangy pickled cucumber, frikadelle offers a delightful journey for your taste buds. For an authentic experience, head to Torvehallerne, a bustling food hall where Danish cuisine shines. Try their exceptional frikadelle or even the fish cake variation.
3. Pickled Herring – A Delicacy of the Sea
Embrace Danish culinary history with pickled herring, a culinary tradition rooted in the nation’s maritime heritage. This delicacy, delicately cured and gently sweet, is often enjoyed atop buttered rye bread, creating a medley of textures and tastes. Venture to Torvehallerne to delve into this culinary art form and explore other fishy delights, such as smoked mackerel.
4. Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs – Denmark’s Pride and Joy
Unveil the heart of Danish comfort food with “Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs,” a dish that exudes warmth and tradition. This national treasure invites you on a journey of flavor and nostalgia, featuring crispy pork belly strips with creamy parsley sauce and boiled potatoes. Borgergade Køkken is your destination for savoring this mouthwatering dish that embodies Denmark’s culinary heritage.
5. Grød – A Nutrient-Packed Danish Porridge
Discover the nourishing charm of grød, Danish porridge that showcases a contemporary twist on a traditional dish. With options like rye, rice, quinoa, or buckwheat flakes, grød offers a modern take on porridge. A visit to “Grød” at Torvehallerne food market introduces you to a world of choices, including the famed oats with toasted almonds, homemade caramel sauce, and apples.
A trip to Copenhagen offers diverse experiences to cater to every interest. This Danish gem has everything from art and history enthusiasts to food lovers and those seeking cultural immersion. By customizing your itinerary, indulging in the delectable cuisine, embracing the local traditions, selecting suitable accommodations, and venturing forth confidently, you can create lasting memories in this enchanting Scandinavian city. Discover the vibrant tapestry of Copenhagen and embark on a journey that promises something special for every traveler.
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