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Updated 2019:Firstly, my main reason for choosing to go to Copenhagen was because I got flights from London Luton to Copenhagen with Ryanair for £9.99 each way! Yes really!
Visiting Copenhagen was my first time in Scandinavia and Copenhagen really showed me what I have been missing out on. Here is my full guide to Copenhagen based on my 2 days in Copenhagen to help you out with where to stay and what to do in Copenhagen!
Lets start with where to stay. I stayed at the Generator Hostel, I chose this hostel as it had great reviews, I saw some other bloggers had recommended it and I was really happy with my choice, I booked it on Hostelworld which you can do here too! It’s been decorated really nicely with a good bar and common area, the beds were super super comfy and best of all it was in a great location, literally just down the road from Nyhavan which is the best area to stay in in Copenhagen (aka the iconic colourful buildings by the canal), if you’re not staying in a hostel then I would suggest staying anywhere in a similar area as it was a great central location!
Now, places to visit in Copenhagen. I spent 2 days in the city and although we always want more time, I was happy with what I managed to see in these 2 days (and yes I was exhausted after it!).
Here are the key places I would recommend adding to your itinerary.
First off, Nvhavn is a good place to start because it’s the iconic Copenhagen that you see in photos, I arrived there early on my first morning and despite the grey skies it was just as picture perfect as I imagined and even better once the sun came out and the sky turned blue! It does get very busy here later on in the day so morning is best if you want a relaxed walk and to be able to see it without too many people.
From here I would suggest taking a boat trip around Copenhagen, I felt it was a great way to see the city from a different perspective and get some information on all the buildings. We went for the first company we saw which was at the top of the canal and paid 80KR/£9.00, afterwards we saw a company selling the trip for 40KR however their boats were completely packed whereas ours was a half full and seemed a lot more pleasant.
A few hours spent in the Freetown area of Christiania is a must. This is the hippy part of the city where the residents occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government. In the walled area of the Freetown you cannot take photos or videos and it’s important to respect this, it’s a cool area to go during the day as i did but i can imagine it really comes alive in the evening, especially the weekend.
Away from the walled off area you can take photos and it was actually my favourite part of the city. Here you can walk along the canal and take in all the beautiful coloured buildings with it not being as busy as Nvhavn.
The Little Mermaid Statue may be one of the most random ‘tourist attractions’ I’ve gone out of my way to see but as she has been perched up on her rock since 1903 with her head cut off twice I feel like a visit to see her is a must. People do go pretty crazy over her though and I was waiting to see someone slip into the water whilst trying to get a photo so I would suggest not getting your heart set on getting a photo next to her!
On your way to or from seeing the little mermaid statue I would recommend walking through Kastellet which you can’t miss on the map because the grounds of the fortress are actually in the shape of a star. There’s a nice track to walk around a long the top with lots of Danish buildings in the middle and a windmill at the top.
Whilst in the main bit of the city a visit to Amalienborg Palace is also a must, the royal family live here and my friend said often you do see them walking in and out of the palace as the grounds are not fenced off which is something that I really liked and the area really made me feel like I was stepping back in time.
I love to go up high and get a good view of a city and The Round Tower in the centre of Copenhagen is perfect for this and at 25KR/£2.80 it’s pretty cheap and it wasn’t actually that hard to climb as there’s no stairs and instead a flat surface and the 360 view from the top was totally worth it, you can even see the bridge that links Denmark to Sweden!
For something a bit different my friend who I spent my first day with and who is from Denmark recommended we take the metro (which is really easy to use) and out of the city to Klampenborg and go to the Dyrehavsbakken amusement park. I really loved going here as it has such a local feel to it and i wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for my friend. We went on a sunny Friday evening and lots of people seemed to be there for afterwork drinks and fun. They have lots of rides, both old and new including a roller coaster which was built in 1932 so pretty old which we went on and enjoyed. There’s also lots of outlets to get food and drink and all in all we had a great evening there!
After filling my first day with all of the touristy activities that I have mentioned above, I decided to take my second and last day a bit slower and instead explore the city with no set plans or direction. This is something I love to do when I travel as it ensures the tourist spots are seen but you also come across new and unknown parts of the city.
My wanderings firstly brought me to the Botanical Gardens which were just up the road from the hostel, like in most cities they were so quiet and peaceful and a good way to escape from the city however I didn’t feel like I needed to escape the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen as apart from the many bikes there isn’t much! (The bike situation is ridiculous!)
I then headed North across the river and up Norrebrogade Street and although this street isn’t overly pretty there seemed to be less tourists. From here I did a U shape back across the river and walked aimlessly via Christiansborg Palace which is really nice until I hit Christiania again where I had a nice peaceful walk along the canal as this was definitely my favourite part of the city!
Now you know where to go, it’s time to know the things to eat in Copenhagen.
It goes without saying that whilst in Denmark you need to have a Danish Pastry! There’s plenty of bakeries around so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one!
It also goes without saying that as Carlsberg beer is a Danish beer (which i didn’t realise until i arrived) this is a mandatory drink to have whilst you’re there!
A popular Danish dish is Stjerneskud (or Shooting star in English) which is basically an open sandwich on rye bread with lots of different seafood on top.
One thing I didn’t expect to find differently in Copenhagen was ice cream, but it seems that soft serve ice cream in a cone rolled in chocolate bits or chocolate powder is very common and very yummy! I got this one at a kiosk by the Little Mermaid Statue!
In terms of the best places to eat in Copenhagen, Nvhavn is of course a popular place, these restaurants are all very touristy and as in any city the prices will show in this however if you are happy to pay more for a meal then this would be a nice place to eat.
We found a lovely lunch spot when walking from the Palace to the Little Mermaid statue called Cafe Oscar on the corner of Bredgade and Fredericiagade street, the food was great and the prices were very reasonable!
For some street food then the place to go seems to be Paper Island, unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit but it’s a really urban area and easy to get to. The street food has an entire hall which it occupies and has plenty of choice!
Another great area I found on my second day when I went North of the city was Blagardsgade street, just off Norrebrogade Street. I actually headed there in search of Blue Taco as recommended by Yoko Meshi however I got there quite early and they weren’t open so I walked further up the road and got something from Fresh & Fruity. There were loads of little cafes and restaurants a long this road, a lot of which seemed very vegetarian and vegan friendly and seemed very local so I would recommend heading up there!
For some really cheap eats then the 7/11 supermarkets are everywhere in the city and they have a huge selection of snacks and pre-cooked food so if you need something quickly and cheaply then head there.
Now for Important information for your trip to Copenhagen:
Firstly note that even though flights to Copenhagen may be quite cheap, it isn’t a cheap destination. I paid £30.00 a night to stay in the hostel, beers were about 40KR/£5.00, cheap meals that I found were between 100-125KR/£12.00-£15.00, entry into the Round Tower was 25KR/£2.80 and the metro was 36KR/£4.00 from the city to the airport (these last 2 things were actually cheap but you get the idea!)
It can be done on the cheap which I certainly tried my best to do however had I been in Prague or Budapest I would have spent a lot less in 2 days that I did there (but the price of the flights helped make that up for me!).
Secondly, the weather was very nice when I visited at the start of June but it does get very cold in the winter! A few people I’ve spoken to went in December or January and said they were freezing so bear this in mind!
I have seen lots of blog posts recommending that you get the Copenhagen pass which I believe includes transport and a few attractions, I didn’t get this and personally I don’t think it was needed, apart from going out of the city the city is very walkable and you shouldn’t need to be constantly using the metro.
Talking of getting around, the Danish love their bikes but unless you are an experienced rider then be careful riding a bike around the city, the locals are pro’s and won’t care much for you stopping and starting and not following their bike etiquette!
And lastly, they say that the people of Denmark are the happiest in the world so remember to take a smile with you and join in on their happiness and with a city this colourful how can you not be happy!
loved Copenhagen and i would 100% recommend visiting! Check out my Copenhagen vlog on my YouTube channel to see what I’ve mentioned above in video form!
*Have you been to Copenhagen, is there anything else you would recommend??*