Copenhagen is a city waiting to be discovered: multifaceted, colorful, lively, full of charm and contradictions, ideal for a city break in Europe. But what can we see in the beautiful Danish capital?
There are many attractions that this city of 600.000 inhabitants has to offer to those who visit it, get lost in its streets to discover its wonderful historic buildings, museums and art galleries, and let yourself be conquered by its timeless charm. Here are the 10 things you absolutely must see in Copenhagen.
- The little Mermaid
- Rosenborg Castle
- Christiansborg Palace
- Royal Palace of Amalienborg
- TiFlights Gardens
- Kronborg, the Castle of Hamlet
- Circular Tower of Copenhagen
- Carlsberg Brewery
- 5 things to do in Copenhagen
- User questions and comments
1 - The Little Mermaid
The little Mermaid, sitting on a rock admiring the sea, is without a doubt the most famous tourist attraction in all of Denmark, and you can find it on the city waterfront, at the entrance to the port.
Inspired by the fairy tale The Little Mermaid, written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, in 1909 it was commissioned by Carl Jacobs (patron and owner of Carlsberg beer) to the sculptor Eriksen, so as to embellish the port of the city. It is undoubtedly an unmissable stop in the city, a real one Copenhagen emblem.
- is located at the entrance to the port, accessible by bus n. 27 - Get directions
- always open
Don't be disappointed: let's face it, many are disappointed after seeing it, perhaps due to too high expectations. But the beauty of the Little Mermaid is not so much in the sculpture itself, but in the stories, fables and legends that revolve around it. For this, we suggest a tour with curiosity about the Little Mermaid, we are sure that the anecdotes will make you fall in love with it!
2 - Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot) definitely is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city and what's more it is included in the Copenhagen card. In Renaissance style, it is located in the center of Copenhagen. Former royal residence, the castle is now home to the Danske Kongers Kronologiske Samling, il Museum of the Danish Royal Collections, where the Crown Jewels are kept collected over a period of about 400 years, from 1500 to 1900.
The castle and its gardens are open to the public Since 1833, one of the favorite destinations of Copenhageners has been the famous Kongens Have Gardens, the King's Gardens, which surround the castle.
Next to the castle you can also visit the Amalienborg Museum, where you can admire the continuation of the royal collection of Rosenborg Castle.
- is located in the center, reachable in a few minutes on foot from the metro stop (lines M1 and M2) Nørreport Station - Get directions
- the gardens are always open / the castle has the following opening hours 2 Jan-15 Apr: Tue-Sun 10: 00-15: 00. 16 Apr-31 May every day 10: 00-16: 00. 1 Jun-31 Aug every day 9: 00-17: 00. 1 Sep-31 Oct every day 10: 00-16.00. 1 Nov-31 Dec Tue-Sun 10: 00-15: 00
- the entrance to the gardens is free / the entrance to the castle costs 115 DK (about € 16,00); reduced over 65 and students 70 DKK (approximately € 8,30); free under 18
3 - Christiansborg Palace
Another historic building not to be missed, the Christiansborg Slot is the royal palace in Copenhagen, located on the islet of Slotsholmen, in the historic center. It is one of the most popular stops on the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus.
Today it is the seat of the Danish parliament, as well as the offices of the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court of Denmark, thus incorporating the three Danish supreme powers into a single building. In addition, some parts of the palace are used by the royal family, such as the state rooms, the royal chapel and the royal stables.
Do not miss a visit to the basement of the palace, with noteworthy architectural relics, where it is possible to admire the ruins of previous buildings, ranging from the th to the th century, including the circular plan of the original fortress and the Blue Tower (Blatarn), used in the past as a prison of State.
- the building is located on Slotsholmen islet, accessible by metro M3 or M4 to Gammel Strandvia - Get directions
- Apr-Oct every day 09: 00-17: 00. Nov-Mar from Tue-Sun 10: 00-17: 00 (closed on Mondays). Some areas of the building have specific times, more info on the official website
- combined ticket 150 DKK (approximately € 21,50); free under 18 and for those with the Copenhagen Card. Some areas of the building have specific prices, more info on the official website
4 - Royal Palace of Amalienborg
Winter residence of the queen, Amalienborg is considered to be one of the most important examples of the Rococo style of Danish architecture, and was erected in 1750 to a design by the court architect Eigtved during the reign of Frederick V. The attraction is included in the Copenhagen card.
The residence consists of four identical buildings: Levetzau (Palace of Christian VIII), Brockdorff (Palace of Frederick VIII), Schack (Palace of Christian IX) and Moltke (Palace of Christian VII), which are arranged around an octagonal courtyard, in the center of which is the imposing equestrian statue of King Frederick V, considered one of the most important equestrian statues in the world.
The complex is also surrounded by a beautiful garden, which separates the palace from the harbor basin.
- bus n. 66 or 1A - Get directions
- generally Tue-Sun 11: 00-16: 00. For specific times, visit the official website
- full 95 DKK (about € 8,50); reduced 65 DKK (about € 6,00). Free under 18
5 - TiFlights Gardens
These gardens are one of the symbols of the city as well the oldest amusement park in the world.
Inaugurated in August 1843, it is characterized by its unique atmosphere, full of magic: the park it is located in a large green oasis in the city center consisting of ponds, a theater, a series of rides such as roller coasters and vertigo and many kiosks with sweets and typical sweet and savory food.
The appearance of the park has been perfectly preserved, the main entrance is still where it stood in 1843, and immediately at the entrance is the Pantomime Theater, an original Chinese-style building, erected in 1874.
- the park is in the city center, a few steps from the central station, otherwise it can be reached by bus n. 26 - Get directions
- Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 - 23:00; Friday and Saturday: 11:00 - 24:00
- full 110 DKK (about € 15,00); reduced 50 DKK (about € 6,00); are included in the Copenhagen Card but only the entrance while the rides have an extra cost ranging from 30 to 90 DKK (from € 4,00 to € 12,00)
Watch out for queues: the park, which welcomes millions of visitors every year, is still the most visited in Scandinavia and the second in Europe, after Disneyland Paris. Precisely for this reason, the risk is to waste hours in queue waiting for your turn. To avoid wasting precious time, we recommend that you buy the priority entrance ticket directly online, so you will lose less time in queues and have more time to have fun inside the park!
6 - Kronborg, the Castle of Hamlet
Located in Helsingor, just 45 minutes by train from Copenhagen, you cannot miss the wonderful Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO site, and one of the most important and famous Renaissance castles in Northern Europe, it is a splendid manor dating back to 1574.
The Castle is known throughout the world for being the place where the events of Shakespeare's Hamlet come alive, and is visited by around 200.000 people each year, among the most visited castles in Denmark.
The castle is also famous for the famous Hall of the Knights, one of the longest corridors in Europe with its 62 meters, and inside which is housed the statue of the national hero Holger Danske; according to legend, in case of imminent danger to the kingdom, the stone figure of the hero will turn into flesh and blood to fight the enemy.
- from the central station, take the regional train to Helsingor (approximately 45 minutes) - Get directions
- from Tuesday to Sunday 11: 00-16: 00
- 75 DKK (about € 10,00)
Not just the Castle of Hamlet: just outside Copenhagen, within about 50 km, there are other masterpieces that are worth a visit. Our advice is to dedicate a full day to visit 3 landmarks with a tour of Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castles and Roskilde Cathedral. In one day you can easily visit, including stops, packed lunches and walks in the wonderful gardens, you can take the opportunity to discover the surroundings of the capital and experience a less metropolitan cross-section of Denmark.
7 - Circular Tower of Copenhagen
Another building that you absolutely must not miss. Rundetårn is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, dating back to 1642. The Tower was built by King Christian IV at a time when Denmark was at the center of astronomical discoveries thanks to the work of the astronomer Tycho Brahe; when Brahe died in 1601, the king continued his research inside the tower.
Today it serves as an astronomical observatory for purely tourist purposes: here it is possible to use the astronomical telescope to observe the stars during the winter and, for a shorter period, also in the summer. It is a magnificent building, surrounded by an external platform that gives visitors who manage to walk the entire 209 meters of ramp, a spectacular view of the ancient Latin quarter of the city.
- in the center, easily reached on foot from the Nørreport Station metro stop (lines M1 and M2) - Get directions
- Monday to Sunday 10 am-00pm
- full 25 DKK (about € 3,00); reduced 5 DKK (about € 0,60)
8 - Christiania
To know one Copenhagen outside the box and from the most traveled routes, we recommend a visit to the controversial and peculiar Christiania neighborhood, a unique place to visit.
The colorful free city of Christiania was born in 1971, in an old abandoned military area of about 30 hectares in the district of Christianshavn, when it was occupied by hippies and Danish squatters who have proclaimed it a free city, therefore not subject to taxes and independent, thus giving life to one self-managed community which is inspired by the values of freedom, sharing and peace.
Over time, many inhabitants have flocked to this alternative neighborhood, transforming the area into a real town in the middle of the capital, where today about 1.000 people live. Visiting Christiania is an unparalleled experience: walking through its colorful streets you will come across many open-air bars, special shops, a mixture of warehouses, shacks and museums where sculptures and works of art are exhibited. An experience definitely not to be missed.
- Christiania is located in the district of Christianshavn, it can be easily reached by metro (lines M1 and M2), getting off at the homonymous stop, or by bus n. 66, 19 and 47 - Get directions
- always open
Watch out for community rules: it is good to know that access is only allowed on foot or by bicycle. Furthermore, Cristiania has her own rules that must be respected: no hard drugs, respect for the privacy of the inhabitants, so if you want to take pictures, do it with discretion and ask for permission. Ah, it is not allowed to run ...
If it is your first time in Copenhagen, we recommend that you visit Christiania with a local guide, who will be able to show you what to do and what not to do, but above all he will be able to guide you among the most interesting artistic workshops, the craft streets, the clubs, for finish with a dinner in the community kitchen!
9 - Nyhavn
One of the most famous and fascinating attractions in Copenhagen. A picturesque canal, seat of the ancient city port (active until 1950), one of the most visited places in the city.
The port area is a real must see of the Danish capital: the writer Hans Christian Andersen lived here for many years (at n. 20, 67 and 18), writing some of his most famous works (such as The Little Mermaid). Without forgetting the peculiarity of this place, that is the colorful Danish-style houses that overlook its banks, dating back to the 600 and 700, which made Nyhavn one of the most loved places in Copenhagen. Enjoy a relaxing stroll among quaint taverns and bars and old wooden boats that line its banks, and don't miss the experience of a canal cruise from Nyhavn aboard a typical wooden boat.
- by underground (lines M1 and M2), Kongens Nytorv stop, or by bus n. 901, 902, 903 and 904 - Get directions
- always open
10 - Carlsberg Brewery
Another unmissable stop in town is the famous Carlsberg brewery: the brewery that produces the most famous Danish beer in the world, over the years it has become the destination of a real pilgrimage among enthusiasts. Admission is included in the Copenhagen card.
It is not just a company where beer is produced, but a very special building, famous for its "elephants". Here you can participate in different types of tours in the brewery (Carlsberg Classico, the Cellars, the Old Brewery, the New Carlsberg, etc.), which begin with a tour of the old factory.
Obviously, the tasting moment cannot be missed: the bar inside the Carlsberg offers many variations, all definitely worth tasting. The Aroma room is also interesting, where visitors can smell different aromas and try, through a special form to fill out, to create a new beer with their favorite aroma.
- from the central station with the S-Train Lines B and C, getting off at Enghave Station or Valby Station, or with buses n. 18 or 26 - Get directions
- Monday to Sunday 10 am-00pm
- full 100 DKK (about € 13,00 including 1 beer tasting); reduced 70 DKK (about € 10,00)
5 things to do in Copenhagen
It is really difficult to limit the things to see in a rich city like Copenhagen to 10. Therefore here is a short list of at least 5 other attractions and activities not to be missed if you are in the Danish capital:
- Stroll through Strøget, the heart of Copenhagen
Heart of the city as well as the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It connects two squares at the ends, namely the Town Hall Square and Kongens Nytorv. During the day a succession of boutiques, shops and clothing chains, in the evening it is the center of the nightlife with bars, pubs and live music.
- Visit other must-see attractions
Beyond the top 10, you can't miss the Black Diamond, one of the largest libraries in Scandinavia, made with slabs of black marble and smoked glass; the Opera House, one of the most modern and most expensive theaters in the world with a ceiling covered with 105.000 gold leaves and antique oak floors; the Marmorkirken, a majestic marble church with a gigantic dome just in front of the Amalienborg palace.
- Visit the Copenhagen Zoo
It is one of the oldest zoological gardens in Europe, with rare species such as the Tasmanian Devils but also polar bears, kangaroos, elephants, sloths. Full of interactive areas dedicated to children, admission is free with the Copenhagen card.
- Food and wine experience and street food tour
Be wary of the restaurants along the Nyhavn canal, rather, rely on a gastronomic tour and taste the best of street food: Smørrebrød, Frikadeller, Røde Pølser ... to find out what they are, the best place is the Island of Carta (Papiroen), which houses the Copenhagen Street Food warehouse just in front of Nyhavn.
- Spend a day at the TiFlights Garden
It is not just a park, but a significant piece of Copenhagen's identity. It is the most visited in Scandinavia and the second in Europe after Disneyland Paris. Watch out for the queues, if you don't buy your ticket online with priority entrance you risk wasting hours in the queue!
Plan your stay in Copenhagen: flights, hotels and tours
Copenhagen is an easy and safe city to visit. The city center is quite small, and it is easily accessible on foot in a short time. The public transport system is efficient and practical, moreover, most of the tickets can be used on all means (metro, bus, train, harbor bus) both in the city and in the surrounding areas.
The transport network operates 24 hours a day, every day, thanks also to the night services of buses, metro and trains. It may be useful to buy a City Pass, available in 24 and 72 hour versions, which allows unlimited travel up to 4 zones, including the city center and travel to and from the airport.
- starting from € 49,98 -
- Hotel and b & b from € 75,00 per night -
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