Planning a weekend in Copenhagen? Here is my comprehensive itinerary for the perfect two days in Copenhagen, including what to see, where to find all the food you need to taste and where to stay.
With its charming streets, picturesque canals, world-class cuisine, laidback lifestyle and sublime focus on sustainability, Copenhagen embodies the cool Scandinavian feel and is a must visit at least once in a lifetime. Copenhagen is relatively small, and even though I would recommend a few more days to explore the Danish capital, you can get a good grasp of the city during a weekend.
Copenhagen is my beloved hometown, and in this two-day itinerary for Copenhagen, you will experience some of the city’s biggest attractions and a few of my favourite places as well – ideal for first-time visitors.
A weekend in Copenhagen: My perfect two-day itinerary
Have breakfast at the Union Kitchen
Start the day with breakfast at the Union Kitchen that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle in the early hours of the city. Try one of their classic brunch plates or get yourself a croissant and a coffee and people watch in one of the large windows towards the street.
Store Strandstræde 21, København K (www)
Explore the city centre on foot
After breakfast, it’s time to explore Copenhagen’s city centre the best way, on foot. The city centre enjoys several charming streets and a few famous sights that are situated in short distance from each other. So get ready for a little walking tour.
Start in Nyhavn that is only a two-minute walk away from the Union Kitchen. Known for its colourful old townhouses and charming vessels, Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most popular spots. It used to be drunken sailors and prostitutes that hung out by the canal and made it a seedy area. Today they are replaced with aspiring photographers and tourists.
Walk for ten minutes and you will find yourself at Amalienborg Palace where the Danish royal family resides. You are allowed to enter the palace square and get quite close to the beautiful buildings. However, the main reason to visit Amalienborg Palace is for you to experience the changing of the royal guards that happens every day at 12 pm when they march from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace.
Relax and unwind in the green area of the King’s Garden that is a 15-minute walk from Amalienborg Palace. Roam around the green alleys, adore the view of Rosenborg Castle and the surrounding flower beds and enjoy a quiet moment in the heart of Copenhagen.
Last stop before lunchtime is the Round Tower that boasts to have one of the best views of Copenhagen. Walk up the spiral walk to the 35-metre tall platform and feel the cool wind on your face while looking at famous landmarks and old, charming houses. The Round Tower was built in 1642 as an observatory for aspiring astronomers and stargazers. The entrance fee is 25 DKK.
Nyhavn: Nyhavn, København K Ι Amalienborg Palace: Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, København K (www)
The King’s Garden: Øster Voldgade 4A, København K (www) Ι The Round Tower: Købmagergade 52A, København K (www)
Eat lunch at Torvehallerne
Get yourself a delicious lunch from one of the 60 stands in Torvehallerne that varies from restaurants, café, bars, delis etc. There is something for everyone at the popular food market, and deciding what to eat might be a tough choice.
If you want to try something Danish, head to Hallerne’s Smørrebrød and get “smørrebrød”, an open sandwich that comes with several types of cold cuts on top. Alternatively, the pizzas from Gorm’s, the porridges from Grød and the Vietnamese dishes from LêLê Street Kitchen are also worth trying.
Frederiksborggade 21, København K (www)
Denmark is known for its classic and minimalistic design both when it comes to fashion and interior, and in the area around Strøget, you find some of the best stores.
Look for famous Danish brands such as By Malene Birger, Designers Remix, Ganni and Mads Nørgaard, visit some of my favourite clothing stores that include Another Nué, COS, Storm and & Other Stories or find your own favourites by strolling around.
Have dinner at Høst
Copenhagen enjoys plenty of great restaurants, and tonight you are going to eat at one of them. Experience the best of the Nordic cuisine at Høst and enjoy a three or five-course dinner with dishes dominated by Scandinavian ingredients. For the ultimate experience, try to get a table at their beautiful inside garden area.
Especially during weekends, Høst is popular, so remember to book a table online in advance.
Nørre Farigmagsgade 41, København K (www)
Visit Tivoli Gardens
No visit to Copenhagen without a visit to Tivoli Gardens where you should spend the last hours of your first day in the Danish capital. Try all the different rides, get lucky at one of the tombolas or walk around and look at the beautiful gardens and the many light installations that Tivoli Gardens among others is so famous for.
Vesterbrogade 3, København V (www)
Rent a bike
On your first day in Copenhagen, you will probably discover that the locals love riding their bicycles, and today you are going to explore Copenhagen by bike. There are plenty of bike rentals all around the city, but I can recommend both Copenhagen Bicycles in the city centre and Baisikeli in Vesterbro.
Enjoy brunch at Sidecar
The first stop on today’s bike tour is the café Sidecar because there is simply no better way to start a Sunday than with a proper brunch. And you get the best brunch in Copenhagen at Sidecar. Order a few hot dishes and pick all the sides you want from the large buffet table.
Sidecar is popular and especially during weekends, so to secure a table you might need to make a reservation a few weeks in advance.
Skyttegade 5, København N (www)
Explore the area of Nørrebro
Known for being a multicultural melting pot, Nørrebro is a fun area to explore.
First stop is Superkilen that is an imaginative urban space with three main areas. Explore the Moscow inspired red square where every part is kept in shades of red. Discover the black market where benches and fountains are placed on black flooring with white stripes. And enjoy a relaxing moment at the green park and look at people do sports, walk their dogs, picnics etc.
Afterwards, head to vibrant and colourful Jægersborggade that is only a three-minute bike ride away. In Jægersborggade you find plenty of cute little shops along with several restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
At the end of Jægersborggade lies the Assistens Cemetery (entrance around the corner at Nørrebrogade) where prominent Danes like H.C. Andersen, H.C. Ørsted and Søren Kierkegaard are buried. Do as the locals and hang out in the green area or go for a walk and look at all the tombstones. Rumour has it that the young woman, Giertrud Birgitte Bodenhoff, was buried alive at the cemetery.
Superkilen: Nørrebrogade 210, København N Ι Jægersborggade: Jægersborggade, København N (www)
Assistens Cemetery: Kapelvej 4, København N (www)
From one alternative place to another.
Hop on the bike and head to Christiania. Creative self-made houses, quirky people, interesting galleries and shops, popular venues and cheap places to eat define Christiania. Take some time to soak it all in. Don’t forget to grab a bite at one of the restaurants or cafés around. For example at Café Nemoland, Morgenstedet or Månefiskeren.
Prinsessegade, København K (www)
Explore the area of Vesterbro
Known for being a hip area, you definitely need to explore the area of Vesterbro during your time in Copenhagen.
As the name implies, Carlsberg Byen (meaning the Carlsberg City) was where the Carlsberg Brewery was located from 1847-2008. In 2008, the brewery moved elsewhere and a huge renovation of the historic area started. Today, Carlsberg Byen is a cultural neighbourhood where old and new are mixed in a unique way. Stroll around in Copenhagen’s newest area or take a tour at Visit Carlsberg (currently undergoing renovation) and learn about the story behind Carlsberg.
Afterwards, head to charming Værnedamsvej that is five minutes away on bike. By the locals, Værnedamsvej is referred to as Little Paris. And when you stand in the little street with the many French-inspired bistros, cute cafés, great delis and other shops, you understand why.
Last stop in Vesterbro is Kødbyen located five minutes ride from Værnedamsvej. Kødbyen is the old meatpacking district. The area has undergone a large renovation and is now one of the trendiest places to go out. Restaurants, bars, coffee shops and nightclubs lie next to slaughterhouses that are still in function, art galleries, creative offices and modern hotels, making it an interesting spot.
Carlsberg Byen: Carlsberg Byen, København (www) Ι Værnedamsvej: Værnedamsvej, Frederiksberg C (www)
Kødbyen: Kødbyen, København V (www)
Have dinner in Kødbyen
With plenty of great restaurants, why not stay and enjoy dinner in Kødbyen before it’s time to leave Copenhagen?
Start with a sneaky Aperol Spritz at Kødbyens Fiskebar, and if you are into fish and seafood, just stay where you are and enjoy a delicious maritime inspired meal. If you are more into meat, head to Restaurant Kul and if you crave some greasy fast food, go to Tommi’s Burger Joint that serves Copenhagen’s best burgers.
Kødbyen: Kødbyen, København V (www)
Looking for more stuff about Copenhagen?
How to get to Copenhagen
Flights to Copenhagen
Being the biggest airport in Northern Europe and with several daily routes from all over the world, flying to Copenhagen is easy. Momondo (affiliate link) is my preferred site for finding cheap flight tickets.
Copenhagen Airport lies only eight kilometres outside the city centre. The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is by metro or train, which takes around 20 minutes. The metro stops at the centrally located Nørreport Station and Kongens Nytorv Station while the train stops at Copenhagen Central Station. From both Nørreport Station and Copenhagen Central Station, you can catch several trains and buses.
Ferries and cruise ships to Copenhagen
You can catch the DFDS Seaways ferry to Copenhagen from Oslo, Norway or sail to other harbours in Denmark and get to Copenhagen from there. You can sail to Denmark from the Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Poland (via Ystad, Sweden) Norway and Sweden.
Trains and buses to Copenhagen
If you prefer slow travel, catching a train or bus to Copenhagen is probably your best option.
Trains to Copenhagen Central Station run daily from several cities and towns in Germany and Sweden. You can either purchase a regular ticket from the train operators (DSB, Deutsche Bahn and Swedish Railway) or purchase a Eurail Pass that allows you to travel around one or more countries with a single pass.
FlixBus has frequent routes to Copenhagen from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
How to get around in Copenhagen
I love to walk around cities and explore at my own pace, and Copenhagen is no exception. Copenhagen isn’t that big, and it’s therefore extremely walkable. Especially the city centre is best explored on foot because of the short distance between the many famous sights and attractions. However, also Vesterbro and Nørrebro are great areas to walk around in.
Ride a bike
If you want to explore Copenhagen the most authentic way, you should rent a bicycle. We Copenhageners love to ride our bikes. And due to the flat terrain and the abundant bike lanes, it’s an easy way to get around. There are tonnes of bike rentals in the city, and my favourite one is Baisikeli located in Vesterbro.
Before you decide to rent a bicycle and hit the bike lane, you should know that there are certain rules on how to behave on the bike lane. Ask at the bike rental or look at these cycling guidelines to secure a pleasant experience.
With both buses, trains, metros and waterbuses running frequently and covering all areas of the city, the public transport in Copenhagen is excellent.
You can access all public transport with the same ticket. Copenhagen and the Greater Copenhagen area are divided into different zones. So the only thing you need to know before using public transport is how many zones you will pass on your journey. The fare is determined based on the number of zones you need.
Alternatively, you can purchase a City Pass that gives you unlimited access to public transport in the four most central zones in Copenhagen including the ones to and from the airport for between one and five days. Or you can purchase a Copenhagen Card that gives you unlimited access to public transport in the entire Capital Region plus free admission to some of the biggest attractions and museums in Copenhagen as well as discounts on several restaurants, cafés etc.
Best time to visit Copenhagen
Denmark has several times been ranked the happiest country in the world, but I doubt that it’s because of the weather here. The weather in Denmark is often cloudy, windy and rainy. However, due to the North Atlantic Current, the temperatures are considered fairly mild compared to other countries situated on the same latitude. It’s 19 degrees on average during summer and 3 degrees on average during winter.
Denmark enjoys long days during summer with around 17 hours of daylight being maximum during summer solstice and short days during winter with around seven hours of daylight being maximum during winter solstice.
Danes love the bright days and the warmer temperatures during summer. Copenhagen becomes more vibrant and lots of festivals and events are held. These are the main factors for why June, July and August are the best months to visit Copenhagen.
Read more about the different festivals and events that are held in Copenhagen here.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
Andersen Boutique Hotel
Andersen Boutique Hotel is a modern boutique hotel where design and comfort are key. The hotel is located in vibrant Vesterbro close to some of Copenhagen’s best restaurants, bars and shops. They have 69 rooms decorated in three different styles and offer a CONCEPT24 service that means you can have your room for 24 hours from check in to check out. Andersen Boutique Hotel has won several prizes including the TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award in 2017. Read more, check availability and prices and book your stay here (affiliate link).
Helgolandsgade 12, København V (www)
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel is located in the heart of Copenhagen within short distance of the biggest attractions. The hostel has a funky vibe and offers visitors a budget-friendly place to stay in a modern and newly renovated environment. They have several room options plus a large shared kitchen and nice dining facilities. Read more, check availability and prices and book your stay here (affiliate link).
Vandkunsten 5, København K (www)
With a focus on traditional Danish design and architecture, Hotel Alexandra is a beautiful spot to stay during your time in Copenhagen. The hotel has 61 rooms that are all decorated with Danish design classics and modern facilities. In addition, Hotel Alexandra is nicely located in the centre of Copenhagen right next to the vibrant City Hall Square. Read more, check availability and prices and book your stay here (affiliate link).
H. C. Andersens Boulevard 8, København V (www)
Hotel SP34 is a charming and modern boutique hotel located in Copenhagen’s Latin quarter. The hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms where Scandinavian design dominates and is nicely chosen to fit in with the surrounding area’s characteristics. In addition, you find two á la carte restaurants, four bars and a large rooftop at Hotel SP34. Read more, check availability and prices and book your stay here (affiliate link).
Sankt Peders Stræde 34, København K (www)
Ibsens Hotel is a nice mid-range hotel where comfort and Danish “hygge” are central. The hotel is located within short distance of many of Copenhagen’s best restaurants, cafés and bars and the Lakes that the Copenhageners love to walk or run around. Read more, check availability and prices and book your stay here (affiliate link).
Vendersgade 23, København K (www)
Read more posts from Denmark here.