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Cool Things to do in Copenhagen

Get your hygge on in Copenhagen! We’ve found and share all the best things to do in Copenhagen. Planning a trip to this amazing city? Look no further!

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 all the fun, unusual, and cool things to do in Copenhagen to make the most of your time in this beautiful Danish city.

Taking a harbor cruise from Nyhaven is definitely one of the cool things to do in Copenhagen.
Nyhaven is one of the must-see things to do in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.

Denmark is a great destination, and we’ve been a number of times. This last time we decided to take it easy and only visit a few places. We stopped in Odense where Hans Christian Andersen was born, took a look at the amazing jelling mounds, crossed the bridge over to Sweden to visit Malmo again and drove up to see the Ikea Museum in Amhult.

However, we also decided to spend a few days just in Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital is just so cool and fun with lots of things to do. Before heading home, we headed to Kronborg Castle for a little jaunt, an easy day trip from Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Travel Guide

Relax and watch the boats go by, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen on a sunny summer afternoon.
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.

There are many fun facts about Copenhagen, but one of the best oneis called “hygge,” a way of living. The city is 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

Crowded cruise boats in Nyhaven show just how this is a must do in Copenhagen.
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 go kayaking 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.

Small pub on the river, a cool thing to do in Copenhagen.
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.

One of the top attractions in Copenhagen is the 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.

Other Boat Trips You Might Enjoy around the World:
France: The Scandola Nature Reserve
Sweden: Tall Ship Sailing
Croatia: Rowing on Lake Bled
Turkey: Lake Van
Botswana: Chobe National Park
Uganda: The Kazinga Channel
USA: San Juan Island, Washington

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.

Top Things to See in Copenhagen by Bike

Riding ebikes around the city and especially the Kastellet is one of the more unusual things to do in Copenhagen.
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 occasionally, 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, maybe it's not a must do, but it's a should do!

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, which is definitely one of the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids. 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.

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, and it's one of the cool things to do in Copenhagen since you have to walk or ride your bike to get out there and see it.
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.
Danish design is world famous, so visiting the Danish Design Museum is one of the many ultra cool things to do in Copenhagen.
The Design Museum is one of the best places to visit in Copenhagen that will truly increase your cool factor.

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.

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.

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. If parks and free are things that you like to do, check out this post on free activities in Copenhagen.

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

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
 Lion's Gate at Rosenborg Palace - Copenhagen.

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


Whether you go by boat, bike, or by your own two feet, there is plenty to keep you busy in this cool city! Don’t miss out on the fabulous food, especially the open-faced sandwiches and the many amazing museums.

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

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The Best Things To Do In Copenhagen.


Thursday 18th of May 2017

very beautiful

Corinne Vail

Thursday 18th of May 2017

Thanks Yukti!

Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields

Sunday 26th of March 2017

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.

Jim Vail

Sunday 26th of March 2017

You'll definitely enjoy Copenhagen, Lyn. It is truly a biker's city.


Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

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...

Corinne Vail

Thursday 23rd of March 2017

Good luck! It's worth it in the long run!


Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

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!

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Eulanda, I think you really enjoy Copenhagen. It's beautiful.

Kevin Wagar

Tuesday 21st of March 2017

The colours here are incredible! And that bamboo bicycle is one of the coolest things!

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Kevin, Copenhagen is a great destination. Have you been?