Planning a city break to Copenhagen and want to know the best things to do, the coolest places to wine and dine, the trendiest places to shop and the best places to stay in the Danish capital? Read my ultimate guide to Copenhagen, and I have got you all covered!
Being born and raised in Copenhagen, it’s probably no surprise to you that this city holds a special place in my heart. I love Copenhagen and all its facets, and especially on a warm and sunny day, I can’t think of a better place to be. During winter, it’s another story…
Copenhagen is beautiful, and the Danish capital offers an interesting mix of detailed historic buildings and modern architecture, plenty of water and lots to do for its visitors. Stroll around the diverse areas or do as us Copenhageners and experience the capital by bike, grab a meal or two at one of our excellent restaurants or relax and enjoy and simply practice Danish “hygge”. I sincerely hope you will love Copenhagen just half as much as I do!
Here is my ultimate guide to Copenhagen packed with insider tips and tricks to ensure you make the most of your visit and have an epic time in the best city to visit in 2019 according to Lonely Planet.
My ultimate guide to Copenhagen, Denmark
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 is situated only eight kilometres outside the city centre, and the easiest way to get to the city 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 considered the best time 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)
What to do in Copenhagen
Enjoy the view from the Round Tower
You get one of the best views of Copenhagen from the top of the Round Tower, and especially during sunset, the view is magnificent. The tower is 36 metres tall and was built as an observatory to continue the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe’s science after his death in 1601. To get to the observation platform, you need to walk up the spiral walk that is around 200 metres. The entrance fee is 25 DKK.
Købmagergade 52A, København K (www)
Experience Copenhagen from the water side
Copenhagen is full of waterways, and there are plenty of opportunities to see the city’s beauty from the water side. Go on a traditional canal tour with Canal Tours Copenhagen, rent your own little boat where you can either be the captain yourself with GoBoat or have someone to sail you around with Hey Captain or take the waterbus and commute to different areas of the city.
Explore colourful Nyhavn
Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most popular streets, and especially on a sunny afternoon and evening, people go to the little street by the canal known for its colourful houses. Nyhavn is one of the most photographed spots in Copenhagen, and the best time to take photos of the coloured houses is around sunset.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars located in the little street, making Nyhavn a vibrant place. However, the prices are typically very high and reflect the street’s popularity, and it’s therefore recommended to eat and drink somewhere else.
Nyhavn, København K
Look at art at Glyptoteket
Glyptoteket displays ancient and modern art in beautiful surroundings in the heart of Copenhagen. The museum has several exhibitions and shows everything from 3500-year-old sculptures to modern paintings from the 20th century. There are lots of incredible art pieces worth looking at, but what I love the most about Glyptoteket is the Winter Garden that is the perfect place to unwind on a cold and rainy day.
Dantes Plads 7, København V (www)
Relax and unwind in the Botanical Garden
I can highly recommend spending some time at the Botanical Garden. And with its many greenhouses, the garden can be visited all year round. At the Botanical Garden, you find thousands of interesting plants that are spread out on a 10-hectare large area. When visiting, you shouldn’t miss the noticeable Palm House that was built in 1826 and is my favourite area of the garden. The Palm House entrance fee is 60 DKK.
Gothersgade 128, København K (www)
Spend an evening in Tivoli Gardens
No visit to Copenhagen without a visit to Tivoli Gardens. Whether you love an adrenalising ride, a nostalgic ride or no ride at all, you will most likely love Tivoli Gardens. There is something for everyone in the old park; thrilling rides, beautiful gardens, great restaurants, lots of concerts and much more.
Tivoli is open during the long summer season, the scary Halloween period, the cozy Christmas period and the short winter period where the garden is decorated to convey the characteristics of the different seasons and periods. All times of the year are great, but my personal favourite is Christmas.
Vesterbrogade 3, København V (www)
Visit Amalienborg Palace
Denmark has the oldest monarchy in the world, and most Danes are proud of the Danish royal family. Our ruling queen, Queen Margrethe, and the crown prince family reside on Amalienborg Palace, and you are allowed to enter the palace square and get quite close to the beautiful buildings.
At the palace square, you find the royal guards that protect the royal family. Every day at 12 pm, you can experience the changing of the guards as they march from their barracks at Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace, making it the best time of the day to visit.
Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, København K (www)
Walk around in Christiania
One of Copenhagen’s most interesting places is Christiania. Christiania is a free town where around 1000 people live and around 500.000 people come to visit each year. The main street is the controversial Pusher Street where hash and pot are sometimes traded illegally. However, Christiania is so much more than Pusher Street. My favourite things to do at Christiania include walking around in the beautiful area and look at all the self-made houses that the villagers have built.
Prinsessegade, København K (www)
Looking for more stuff about Copenhagen?
Where to eat and drink in Copenhagen
Restaurants in Copenhagen
Barr is a restaurant and bar located in the rooms where the world famous restaurant Noma used to be. Barr’s owners have kept the raw interior design and decór, making it a great-looking spot to enjoy dinner and drinks. The restaurant area is informal and serves food inspired by Northern European cuisine while the bar area focuses mainly on beer.
Strandgade 93, København K (www)
If you are into pizza, you should eat at Bæst in Nørrebro. Bæst uses organic products of the highest quality and makes their own mozzarella and charcuterie. All pizzas are served family style so you can taste everything on the table. Despite the pizzas, Bæst also has small dishes on the menu that are perfect to start with if you are really hungry.
Guldbergsgade 29, København N (www)
One of my favourite restaurants in Copenhagen is Høst. They serve a variety of delicious dishes based on the New Nordic concept where focus is on local ingredients and greens. However, you shouldn’t come for the food alone. Høst has won several design awards for its interior design and is among others awarded the most beautiful restaurant by Travel + Leisure.
Nørre Farigmagsgade 41, København K (www)
Kiin Kiin is the only Thai inspired Michelin restaurant in Copenhagen and one of few worldwide. It’s an expensive place, but if you are keen to splurge a little bit, eating at Kiin Kiin is going to be a memorable experience. The restaurant has a set menu where you start with a few street food style snacks in the lounge area after which you go to the restaurant area and enjoy a delicious seven-course meal.
Guldbergsgade 21, København N (www)
Kødbyens Fiskebar is located in the trendy Meatpacking District and is a great place to enjoy a proper seafood meal. Both interior design and menu reflect the area’s characteristics and is raw and rustic. Despite fresh fish and seafood, Kødbyens Fiskebar also serves great cocktails and wines.
Flæsketorvet 100, København V (www)
Kødbyens Fiskebar’s little sister is Musling Bistro, and both restaurants serve fish and seafood and drinks and wine of high quality. Musling Bistro is more informal than its big sister, which means you aren’t supposed to make a reservation but just drop in and get a table.
Linnésgade 14, København K (www)
If you are looking for the best place to start a fun night out, you should go to Neighbourhood. Neighbourhood serves delicious organic pizzas and cocktails to the tones of great music. Their tables are only available for walk-ins, and you really should walk in because the pizzas are amazing and the cocktails very tasty. You can also find Neighbourhood in the Inner City where it’s possible to make a reservation.
Istedgade 27, København V (www)
No. 2 is the Michelin restaurant AOC’s little sister. The restaurant is beautifully located in Christianshavn overlooking the canals and provide the perfect setting for a luxury gourmet dinner where focus is on the best from the Nordics.
Nicolai Eigtvedsgade 32, København K (www)
Osteria 16 doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the small restaurant and bar is a hidden gem. They serve tasty Italian antipasti with ingredients imported from Italy that reflect the different seasons. In addition, you get the best Aperol Spritz in Copenhagen at Osteria 16!
Haderslevgade 16, København V (www)
Oysters & Grill
The closest you can come to eating at a French Riviera fish and seafood restaurant in Copenhagen is at Oysters & Grill. Oysters & Grill is an informal bistro that serves the best seafood in town. Try their delicious oysters, shrimps, various types of mussels and clams and lobsters etc. If you aren’t that much into seafood, Oysters & Grill also serves great steaks and other types of meat.
Sjællandsgade 1B, København N (www)
Scarpetta is a great and authentic Italian restaurant located in Islands Brygge. They mix classic and modern Italian dishes and give you the opportunity to taste a variety of the different Italian cuisine flavours. I can highly recommend their five-dish-menu for the ultimate feast. You also find Scarpetta in Nørrebro.
Islands Brygge 81F, København S (www)
Cafés & coffee shops in Copenhagen
Granola is a lovely little café located at one of my favourite streets in Copenhagen, Værnedamsvej. They serve a variety of classic breakfast and lunch plates and probably the best milkshakes in town in beautiful French vibe surroundings. Granola is a popular place, and you might have to wait for a while to get a table. However, I promise you it will be worth it.
Værnedamsvej 5, Frederiksberg C (www)
Mad & Kaffe
Mad & Kaffe is a café with a great breakfast concept and tasty lunch and dinner plates. For breakfast, you pick either three, five or seven dishes of your own choice. They have a variety of baked and sweet stuff, meats and dairy products and fruits and greens to choose from, so you sort of create your own plate. Their lunch and dinner menu is more traditional. You also find Mad & Kaffe on Amager and in Frederiksberg.
Sønder Boulevard 68, København V (www)
Prolog Coffee Bar
You get the absolute best coffee at Prolog Coffee Bar. It’s a small place located in the Meatpacking District with a classic coffee menu. There are only limited tables inside, but you can always get your coffee to go. My favourite is their tasty and classic cappuccino.
Høkerboderne 16, København V (www)
The absolute best brunch spot in Copenhagen is Sidecar. During weekdays, you choose a traditional brunch plate and during weekends, you choose one or more hot parts and pick everything else you would like from a large buffet. Sidecar is a very popular spot, and you might have to reserve a table for the weekend brunch a few weeks in advance.
Skyttegade 5, København N (www)
Bars in Copenhagen
If you are into beer, Brus is the place to go to. Brus is located in Nørrebro and is a brewery and beer bar with tasty homemade beers and other drinks. They have a large selection of beers from tap, and especially their IPAs and pale ales are amazing. Despite their impressive drinks menu, Brus also has a great food menu consisting of burgers, Asian style finger food and other snacks.
Guldbergsgade 29F, København N (www)
Kassen is a great place if you are looking for a fun night out. It’s a vibrant bar that serves delicious cocktails and other drinks to the tunes of good music. Come on a Friday and enjoy happy hour from 4 pm-22 pm where you get two drinks for the price of one or come on a Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 20 pm where the place might be a bit less crowded.
Nørrebrogade 18B, København N (www)
Lidkoeb is housed in a beautifully renovated building located in a hidden alley in Vesterbro. It’s a large bar on three floors with different purposes. On the ground floor, you find a long wooden bar and plenty of tables, on the first floor, the atmosphere is more intimate and you find a small bar and an assembly room and on the second floor, you find a whiskey bar. All floors are decorated with heavy but charming furniture and have a cozy vibe.
Vesterbrogade 72B, København V (www)
The Bird and the Churchkey
If you love gin just half as much as I do, you should go to The bird and the Churckey that is probably the best gin bar in the city. They have a large variety of different gin and tonics and other nice gin cocktails that are worth trying. If you aren’t that much into gin, they also have many beers, ciders and sodas on the menu.
Gammel Strand 44, København K (www)
Fast food & takeaway in Copenhagen
Gasoline Grill is located at a petrol station and doesn’t look like much from the outside. I admit that I had walked by many times and never entered the burger joint before Bloomberg published an article in early 2017 about the best burger places worldwide where Gasoline Grill was named one of them. Since then, it has become a popular burger chain with restaurants several places in Copenhagen. The one on Landgreven is the original one.
Landgreven 10, København K (www)
Tommi’s Burger Joint
Tommi’s Burger Joint is located in the Meatpacking District of Copenhagen and serves the absolute best burgers. Their menu is simple with different types of classic burgers and several add-ons. Tommi’s Burger Joint started in Reykjavik, Iceland where its rapid rise of popularity hs made it possible for the owners to open up several burger joints in Iceland and Denmark. You also find Tommi’s Burger Joint in Lyngby outside Copenhagen.
Høkerboderne 21-23, København V (www)
If you are looking for a healthy quick meal, you should go to Wedofood. Wedofood makes great salads, and you can both choose one of their classic salads or choose your own ingredients. Despite salads, Wedofood also sells tasty bread and healthier sweets. Wedofood has become popular, and despite the spot in Vesterbro, you now also find them in Frederiksberg, Vanløse and Østerbro.
Halmtorvet 21, København V (www)
Food markets in Copenhagen
Tivoli Food Hall
Tivoli Food Hall is a relatively newly opened food hall with several restaurants and bars. You find everything from Asian street food and delicious fast food to traditional Danish “smørrebrød” and classic pizzas. There is something for everyone at Tivoli Food Hall, and you can either enjoy your food from inside Tivoli Gardens or from the street where you can look out at the amusement park.
Bernstorffsgade 3, København V (www)
Torvehallerne is a food market with more than 60 stands varying from restaurants, cafés, bars, delis and other shops. You can get pretty much everything eatable and drinkable here, and since its opening in 2011, the food market has only increased its popularity.
Frederiksborggade 21, København K (www)
Where to shop in Copenhagen
Most of you are probably familiar with COS, the Swedish brand that is part of the H&M empire. COS creates clothes inspired by art and design that are made of great quality fabrics. The styles are mostly classic with a modern twist that can last for many seasons, and they both have men’s and women’s styles. COS has several stores in Copenhagen with the one on Østergade (Strøget) being their Danish flagship store.
Østergade 33-35, København K (www)
You find the most beautiful furniture, accessories and stationery at DANSK. DANSK means Danish, and everything in the interior store is very Danish in style and expression. I would love to go crazy in there and buy everything they have!
Istedgade 80, København V (www)
One of my favourite Danish brands is Ganni. The Copenhagen-based brand makes both classic everyday styles and trendy clothes perfect for a night out, and what all styles have in common is the effortless Scandinavian feel. Ganni started as a small family-owned company and has since then grown to become one of Denmark’s most successful fashion brands with several stores in Denmark and worldwide.
Store Regnegade 12, København K (www)
HAY House is by far the coolest interior and design store in Copenhagen. The Danish brand creates fancy Scandinavian furniture and all kinds of interior accessories and stationery, and their flagship store is definitely worth a visit. During the last few years, HAY has become an international interior darling, and stores keep popping up all around the world from several places in Europe to far away countries such as Australia, China and the US.
Østergade 61, 2, København K (www)
Storm sells clothes from high-end brands with cool, quirky and sporty vibes. I must be honest and admit that the clothing doesn’t really suit my style, instead, I’m much more into their accessories that vary from fragrant perfumes from Byredo and Diptyque and classic sunglasses from Céline and Moscot to statement jewellery from Maria Black and Helena Rohner and books and magazines etc.
Store Regnegade 1, København K (www)
& Other Stories
Just like COS, & Other Stories is part of the H&M empire. But where COS centralises around classic and art and design inspired styles, & Other Stories is more playful and feminine with clothing inspired by Paris, Los Angeles and Stockholm. Despite beautiful clothes, & Other Stories also sells high-quality accessories and beauty.
Amagertorv 29, København K (www)
This was my ultimate guide to Copenhagen. I hope it has been an inspiration for you and given you an idea of what to do, where to eat and drink, where to shop and where to stay in the Danish capital. If there is anything else you would like to know that you can’t find in this Copenhagen city guide, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.
Read more posts from Denmark here.