Cool Things to do in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is known as the city of hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah), or in other words, chilling out.  It may not be the beach or a secluded cabin in the woods, but there’s something about this northern European city that is relaxing. Maybe it’s being near the water; maybe it’s the “leave you alone” attitude of the Danes, but whatever it is, it’s an amazing feeling in a beautiful locale. We’ve written this helpful Copenhagen City Guide to help you plan your visit and find the cool things to do in Copenhagen to make the most of your time in this beautiful Danish city.

Copenhagen City Guide - Nyhaven

Nyhaven is one of the must-see things to do in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.

Disclaimer: Some of our articles may contain affiliate links; when you click on these links you'll have the option to purchase or register for a service at no extra cost to you, but doing so helps us run this blog. That's awesome!

Copenhagen Travel Guide

Copenhagen City Guide - Hygge

Enjoy getting your “hygge” or “relax” on as you dangle your feet, sip a glass of wine and watch the tourists go by the sightseeing cruises in Nyhaven.

One of the best places to experience hygge, and join in if you want, is in Nyhavn.The colorful port, especially during the summer, is a great place to grab a drink and hang out as you watch the people float or walk by. Nyhavn is also the place to start your explorations of Copenhagen with its cafes, boat tours, and a look at one of Hans Christian Anderson’s houses. Start here to see as much or as little as you want. It’s the place to get to know the locals and just have fun.

Best Things to See in Copenhagen by Boat

Copenhagen City Guide - Canal Tour

A typical day sightseeing should start with a canal tour where all the top things to see in Copenhagen are within sights.

A canal boat ride is a must.  As you can see, it’s not an original idea. It’s pretty inexpensive and such a perfect way to get oriented to this port city. The typical narrated cruise lasts about one hour and you get to enjoy many of the best things to see in Copenhagen. We passed the old Stock Exchange, the Opera House, the Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid, and Holmen Naval base, to name just a few. The boat ride is relaxing, informative and well worth the 80DKK/40DKK adult/child fare. To be honest, I did it for the great photo ops and to feel that crisp, cool wind in my hair. Surprisingly, I loved it.

You can purchase tickets directly at the Grand Tour kiosk at the end of Nyhavn where you board the boats. If it is a dry day, avoid taking a tour on a covered boat as the overhead windows act like a magnifying glass and obstruct the views. Also, check the size of the line waiting for the boat. If there are already a large number of people waiting to board, consider taking the next tour. You want to be near the front of the line so you have a better chance at grabbing seats on the outside, on the boats edges.

2 Days in Copenhagen - On the Water

Seeing the city from the water gives you a new perspective on all the unique things to do in Copenhagen. I was surprised to see people kayaking right in the middle of the downtown area.

The boat ride takes you through a number of canals with gorgeous bridges, spiraling church steeples, bars, and lots of other boats. I was surprised that you can kayak right down the center of the city as well.

Plenty of things to see from the Copenhagen Canal ride, like this bridge, the Cirkelbroen.

There are many cool sights in Copenhagen like this circular walking bridge called the Cirkelbroen.

One of the prettiest bridges is the Cirkelbroen, designed by artist Olafur Eliasson. It has five circles, with the middle one swinging when larger ships need to pass. At night it is lit up and is even more pleasing.

On your visit to Copenhage, great canal views like the one of this small pub, give you a different perspective.

Visiting cool pubs, cafes, and restaurants is one of the many top attractions of Copenhagen.

Scenes like this are one of the main reasons to see Copenhagen from the water.  Here we saw a small bar with great seating and a chance to enjoy the local culture.

Try to arrange hearing a concert at the Copenhagen Opera House

The modern opera house is one of Copenhagen’s must do attractions.

The modern Opera House sits majestically in the Inner Harbor.  Inside there are 14 floors, five of which are underground.  In order to attend, you must arrive by boat until a bridge is completed.

Opera House
Ekvipagemestervej 10, 1438 København K, Denmark

2 Days in Copenhagen give you plenty of time to see some out of the way places, like Holmen - a naval fortress.

Holmen is a beautiful spot to spend the afternoon, and one of the more unique attractions in the Danish capital.

Holmen, which used to hold the Royal Naval Base, is a picturesque part of the canal tour as well.

Some of Copenhagen's best restaurants and cafes can be found here at the Paper House.

Copenhagen’s, Paper House is filled with cool restaurants and is very busy on summer days and weekends. This is another great spot to enjoy some Danish hygge.

Papiroeen, or Paper Island, is where the Danes used to store paper but nowadays is used to house a huge food court and some art exhibits.  It’s a great place to grab one of Copenhagen’s famous open-faced sandwich, hang out for a few hours and get your hygge on.

Kronborg Castle
Fridge Magnet
Fridge Magnet 1
Fridge Magnet 12

Top Things to See in Copenhagen by Bike

Riding bikes around the city and especially the Kastellet is a must do in Cophenhagen.

Getting around Copenhagen by bicycle is a fantastic way to see all the best sights!

Denmark is also known as a bicycle country. So, while you’re there, why not rent one for yourself and take your time seeing the city? We rented e-bikes (electric bikes) from CityBike so that we could pedal when we chose to and let the bikes do all of the hard work at other times. Whether you love bikes or you just ride them occassionaly, this is definitely the way to go in this city with fantastic bike lanes. Regardless of whether you provide all of the pedal power or let a battery help you along, the city is laid out well for cycling.

Resting under the shade of a tree in Kastellet.

The built-in tablet on the handlebars has a GPS map to help you navigate around the city. With this handy device, we were able to search for restaurants, museums, castles, and even statues (like The Little Mermaid) and plan our route. Zipping around the city confidently with directions to the next destination really had us feeling like locals. To get started, create an account online at Bycyklen. You can do this directly on the bike’s tablet, but it is easier to do this before hand on your own device. Choose the “pay as you go” plan and expect to pay about $4.50 per hour for each bike.

Park the bikes in one of the CityBike parking stands around the city to recharge the bike and stop the time counter on your account. Later, you can just grab any of the bikes and get on the road again.

Getting Around Copenhagen

While Copenhagen is a bike city, it can be difficult to do all of your getting around on a rental bike. Happily, the bus, tram, and metro service is affordable and easy to use. Visitors have a variety of choices when it comes to buying tickets for the public transit system. There are single ride tickets priced on number of zones, day passes, a City Pass, and, of course, the Copenhagen Card. Your decision will be based upon how much you will be moving around the city, where you are staying, how many museums and attractions you plan on visiting, and your budget.

The Copenhagen Card is a good choice if you are going to pack in as much as possible in your time here. It includes unlimited travel on all transit, several boat tours, museum entrances, entrance to Tivoli Gardens (though it doesn’t include ride tickets), and discounts at several restaurants and cafes.

Copenhagen City Guide - Zone map

Which zone are you staying in?

If you are staying in the city center and won’t be making more than three trips via public transportation, then stick with single tickets. Is your hotel still in the city but outside the very center? In this case you’ll be using public transit more often and should consider the City Pass. For about $11.00 you’ll have unlimited travel within the majority of the city including to and from the airport. Purchase transport tickets online at visitcopenhagen’s website.

Must See Sights in Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid statue is a can't miss in Copenhagen.

This statue is definitely the number one attraction in Copenhagen.

Hans Christian Anderson’s the Little Mermaid statue sits right on the harbor. While we were there, we went by it twice.  The first time was on the canal boat and the second was on the e-bikes. No matter what time of day you go, there will probably be a bunch of people there. I think we counted four buses off-loading tourists to see her. Luckily when you are on your own schedule, you can find a time when you can get a clear shot.

Little Mermaid Statue
Langelinie, 2100 København Ø, Denmark

The Design museum is definitely one of the top ten things to do in Copenhagen, and it was my favorite.

Danish design is world famous, so visiting the Danish Design Museum is one of the many ultra cool things to do in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen City Guide - Design Museum Wooden Bike

The Danish Design Museum is full of innovative projects and really cool items. The chair exhibit was pretty amazing as you could see different chairs throughout the last century. I think some would look good in my living room. When we arrived, though, we were ready for lunch so we headed straight to the Klint cafe where we each ordered an amazing sandwich and a coffee. Then we took on the exhibits, everything from textile design to bikes. We loved it.

2 Days in Copenhagen give you plenty of time to check out Fredrick's Church.

With 2 days in the Danish capital city, there is so much to do and see just walking or biking around.

Walking into the center after the museum, we visited the Frederik’s Church, a baroque gem located not far from the Amalienborg Palace, which is well worth a stop. Don’t forget to see the Changing of the Guard everyday there at noon.

Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark

One of the top attractions is Tivoli Gardens.

You could easily spend one full day in Tivoli, especially if you are looking for things to do with kids in Copenhagen! It’s vintage, cool, and just a whole lot of fun!

One of the most popular spots in Copenhagen is Tivoli Gardens, which has been a place for families and the gentle folk to wander since the middle of the 19th century. It has a very nostalgic feel, and houses one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters. It’s pretty expensive, but it’s still well worth your trip. We would recommend against eating in the gardens as the prices are even higher than outside the park, the restaurants are crowded, and quality was not as high as we found at other restaurants outside the park.

Tivoli Park
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark

The Gefion fountain is one reason we've written this helpful Copenhagen City Guide to help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in this beautiful Danish city. citybreak | guide | destination | daytrip | topten | travelinspiration |

The Gefion fountain is a beautiful monument near the harbor, standing just outside the Kastellet. A team of animals are being driven by the mythical goddess and nowadays folks use it as a wishing well.

A quiet part of the city, today Kastellet is just one great green space.

Looking for some quiet time during your Copenhagen visit. Check out the colorful buildings of Kastellet.

The Kastellet is a five cornered, star-shaped fortress that does still house a few military buildings, but it is mainly just a beautiful park and historic site.

Gl. Hovedvagt, Kastellet 1, 2100 København, Denmark

Aaman's Deli front door, one of the best restaurants in Copenhagen.

While pedaling around the city, we worked up quite an appetite and so we headed for one of the most popular open-faced sandwich restaurants in Copenhagen at Aamans Deli. Their specialty is of course sandwiches and when we went, we didn’t have a reservation and were lucky to get the last table. We weren’t the last to ask, though, and many, many people had to take their sandwiches to go. The three of us each ordered three sandwiches and they were all amazing.

Aamans Deli
Address: Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København, Denmark

Aaman's roast beef sandwich was my favorite!

Open faced sandwiches are a Danish specialty, and they are served all over the city.

Beautiful green tree with two bikes and the people relaxing.

The beauty of taking a bike around the city is all the great places you can park and relax.

Copenhagen is full of green space like this beautiful park we discovered next to the Rosenborg Castle. You can take your sandwiches from Aamans to go, have a nice picnic here, and then visit the castle. There you will find the royal jewels and other historical exhibits.

Don't miss the Rosenborg Castle on your 2 days in Copenhagen.

 Lion's Gate at Rosenborg Palace - Copenhagen

Other unique things to see in Copenhagen include: 

  • The Carlsberg Brewery
  • The Fredericksborg Castle –  Frederiksborg Slot 10, 3400 Hillerød
  • Stroget, the shopping street
  • Alternative Christiana

And don’t forget to go to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kronborg Castle, only about an hour outside of Copenhagen.

Looking for an amazing hotel in the center of the city, check out these choice locations!

Have you been to Copenhagen? What was your favorite site?

Save Copenhagen City Guide for later!

The Little Mermaid is one reason we've written this helpful Copenhagen City Guide to help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in this beautiful Danish city. citybreak | guide | destination | daytrip | topten | travelinspiration | #TopTen #Denmark data-pin-description=

The Best Things To Do In Copenhagen

The Best Things To Do In Copenhagen


  1. I haven’t been to Copenhagen in a very long time. These photos bring back memories. However, when we were there, somebody had stolen the Little Mermaid’s arm. That sandwich certainly makes me hungry.

  2. This is one of the cities I hope to see next year. I’m trying very hard to catch up with all the beautiful countries I still didn’t explore in Europe.

  3. Copenhagen is a charming city and there is so much to experience. You have captured the essence of the place and your list of best things is a really great choice which would help first time travelers to the place. Indeed there is much more to Copenhagen than the Little mermaid.

  4. We hope to visit Copenhagen this summer. We love exploring a city by boat and bike, so your tips are perfect for us! I’m bookmarking your article for future reference. Thanks!

  5. Copenhagen looks so interesting! I really want to visit it but it’s such an expensive city… I need to plan something to make the trip more affordable…

  6. Thank you Corinne. David and I are planning a European trip next year, or the year after, and Copenhagen is one of the places we want to visit. We spent a couple of days there many years ago and loved it – especially the cycling. Your information about bike hire and public transport will be really useful.

Share your thoughts!