Once a Viking fishing village, this island city is one of the most environmentally friendly in the world. Copenhagen boasts more eating and drinking establishments than almost anywhere in the world, with 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, including the perennial best restaurant in the world – Noma. Home to the second oldest amusement park in the world(Tivoli Gardens) and 55% of people get to work via bicycle… Is it any wonder that Copenhagen has been named the “Happiest City in the World”? Let’s visit Copenhagen!
Visiting Copenhagen? Here’s What To Do
There’s really so much to do, this place could keep you busy for days. Our list of must-sees will send your nervous system spiraling through this charismatic and captivating Scandinavian city!
Visit Copenhagen: Feel the wind blow through your hair
Rent a bike for the day and check out the best of Copenhagen architecture.
Visit Copenhagen town hall, located in the center of the city. The landmark building is famous for its 351-foot high tower displaying Jens Olsen’s world clock. This unique clock doesn’t just tell the time, the 14,000 moving parts display lunar and solar eclipses, as well as stellar bodies.
The largest railway station in Denmark is located just south of the city center. While the building and railways are a sight to see, we were amazed by the bicycle parking lot that holds over 3500 bicycles!
Det Ny Teater
This beloved theater is known for its unique façade and has been hosting Copenhagen’s best events for over 100 years.
If you really want to feel the wind through your hair, head to Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world. Complete with roller coasters, bumper cars, and our favorite, the Star Flyer, the worlds second highest swing carousel.
Old Stock Exchange
Also known as Børsen, this historic building is one of the oldest in Copenhagen. While the inside of the building is off limits, the famous green roof and dragon spire is impressive, nonetheless.
Visit Copenhagen: Don’t miss the best panoramic views!
This palace is home to all three branches of government and used by the Danish monarch. Located in central Copenhagen, this stunning building is where you’ll find the highest tower in the city. Head up to the viewing platform to get amazing panoramic views of the city below. Best part? It’s free!
Church of Our Savior
Located just east of the city center find this 330-year-old church and climb the 400 steps to the top of the spire, a corkscrew shaped tower. Be warned, on a blustery day, the slim steeple will sway in the wind!
Visit Copenhagen: Taste and smell all the amazing foods
Copenhagen is known world wide for its incredible gastronomy and Michelin star restaurants. But even if you don’t plan months in advance to get a reservation at a place like three starred Geranium, you won’t starve. Whether you’re in the mood for some tasty street food or something more upscale, we have you covered.
Copenhagen’s first covered food market is packed with over 60 stands selling exotic spices, fish, artisanal cheese, and organic coffee. You’ll also find plenty of options for lunch, ranging from tacos to sushi and everything in-between.
Known for creatively simple food; this mostly organic restaurant won’t break the bank. Get the 7-course chefs menu for only $40
Copenhagen Street Food
This pier overlooking Copenhagen harbor is home to recycled shipping containers-turned food trucks, fun music, and funky vibes. Name a cuisine and there’s likely a food truck honoring it. Authentic Turkish, Brazilian, South Korean, Italian, Thai, Colombian… You get it. Take your food, grab a beer, and head outside for a lounge chair and watch the sun set over Copenhagen.
That’s right, we’re recommending a hot dog. We accidentally stumbled on this street stall in the city center but had to go back the very next day. Get the ‘Alm Dog,’ it’s covered in raw and fried onions, ketchup, mustard, and pickles. It’s incredibly delicious!
Visit Copenhagen: Listen for the Happiness!
Did you know Copenhagen has been named the happiest city in the world? It’s no wonder, with all the amazing things the city has to offer. Keep an ear out for happy people singing and laughing throughout the city. Have a listen to what we heard on an afternoon bus ride.
Visit Copenhagen: All senses blast off at one of the unique places in the world
Just east of the Copenhagen city center you’ll see some unique colorful buildings in all shapes and sizes. Home to about 1000 residents, this self-ruled, autonomous neighborhood is famous for the legal sale of marijuana. As the green stuff is allowed here, you’ll smell an abundance of cannabis. Hear some funky tunes coming from one of the many clubs or bars and have a snack at one of the cafes. This 0.13 square mile spot on the planet is truly amazing.
We’ve teamed up with GPSmyCity and converted our Copenhagen travel guide into a downloadable application that comes complete with a GPS map of our recommendations and operates offline without any need of data plan or Internet connection. You can check it out here.
Getting to Copenhagen:
Getting to Copenhagen: FLY
If planned in advance you’ll find very reasonable flights into Copenhagen from other major cities in Europe: From Milan for $22, Prague for $29, Berlin for $29, Amsterdam for $30, and even Istanbul for $31 with our favorite flight search site, Skyscanner.
Copenhagen Flight Deals
Getting to Copenhagen: BUS
Buses are not our favorite mode of travel.. The seats are generally cramped, the ride is bumpy, and departure/arrival times can be unpredictable. This said bus travel is generally the least expensive. For example, the route from Hamburg, Germany is only $9 for the 6-hour trip.
Getting to Copenhagen: TRAIN
Trains throughout Europe are a great option; you’ll avoid lines at the airport, enjoy beautiful scenery, and can be very comfortable. A recommended departure city is Stockholm, Sweden – $60 for the 5 hours trip. Fares & Schedules
Airport to Copenhagen City Center
Fly into Copenhagen Airport (aka CPH or Københavns Lufthavn) and head towards the city center, about 8 miles away. How will you get there?
From Copenhagen Airport
The airport train station is straight across from arrivals area of Terminal 3. If arriving at Terminal 1 or 2, you can use the free airport shuttle to get to the train station. Purchase tickets for 36DKK(about $5.55) from the baggage area vending machines or from the DSB ticket sales counter in Terminal 3 and follow the signs for Track 2 towards Copenhagen Central Station and Nørreport Station. The train will get you to Copenhagen Central Station in about 13 minutes.
Purchase tickets towards Husum Torv and get off at Copenhagen Central Station, City Hall Square, or Nørreport for the city center. You’ll find ticket machines in Terminal 3 or you can purchase onboard with coins only. Since you’re coming from the airport, make sure to purchase 3 Zone Tickets for 36DKK(about $5.55). Exit Terminal 3, take a right and walk towards Terminal 2 until you see the line of buses on your right. Day or night, Line 5A will have you to the city center in about 35 minutes.
The airport metro station located at the end of Terminal 3. Following the Metro signs, walk straight across from arrivals area and take the escalator up a level. Purchase tickets towards Vanløse Station and get off at Christianshavn or Nørreport Station for the city center. If arriving at Terminal 1 or 2, you can use the free airport shuttle to get to the train station. Purchase tickets for 36DKK(about $5.55) from the vending machines in the baggage area, near the DSB ticket sales counter in Terminal 3, or at the Metro entrance. The metro will get you to the city center in about 13 minutes.
Find taxi stand just outside of the arrivals area. Including tax and tip, expect to pay a flat fare of 250DKK(about $39) during the day and 300DKK(about $46) at night and on weekends for the 20-minute ride to Copenhagen city center. UBER is not currently available in Copenhagen.
Getting around in Copenhagen
The Copenhagen public transportation system consists of the two Metro lines, seven Movia bus lines and four Movia water buses. Purchase Single Tickets within the city center (2 Zones) 24DKK(about $3.70) from metro or train station vending machines or on board. To make things easy, you might consider purchasing a City Pass. Starting at about $12 for 24 hours, the City Pass gives unlimited public transportation throughout the city. Tickets can be purchased at any city tourist center or online.
Expect to pay 24DKK(about $3.70), plus 15.25DKK(about $2.35) for each kilometer and 0.70DKK(about $0.12) per minute. Hail taxis with their vacancy light on or find one of many taxi stands throughout the city. UBER is not currently available in Copenhagen.
Walkscore.com gives the Copenhagen city center a score of 98, calling it a “Walker’s Paradise”. We also found this to be true and highly recommended exploring Copenhagen by foot.
Where To Stay in Copenhagen:
Where To Stay in Copenhagen: HOTELS
As one of Europe’s commercial capitals, Copenhagen offers a vast range of hotels to choose from. Options range from high-end hotels like Copenhagen Marriott Hotel or Absalon Hotel for $300 a night to more reasonable hotels like City Hotel Nebo or Hotel Copenhagen for $80 a night. When it comes to hotels, we recommend shopping Agoda.com, far and away the most competitive resource when searching for hotels in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Hotel Deals
Where To Stay in Copenhagen: HOSTELS
Copenhagen has surprisingly few hostels to choose from, so if looking for this type of accommodation you should plan in advance. Prices generally range from $35-$45 a night for a dorm room, while a private room will cost quite a bit more at around $100-$130 per night. Hostelworld is our recommended resource when searching for hostels in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Hostel Deals
Where To Stay in Copenhagen: AIRBNB
We love Airbnb! From private rooms to entire homes, there are plenty of choices when visiting Copenhagen. If you’re a first-timer with Airbnb, use this coupon and enjoy $35 off of your stay.
Where To Stay in Copenhagen: NEIGHBORHOODS
Choosing a neighborhood is an important part of trip-planning that should not be overlooked! Here are some neighborhoods worth considering when deciding where to stay in Copenhagen.
In the heart of the city, you’ll find the longest pedestrian street in the world, with tons of shopping and tourists. You’ll also find many of the city’s most famous churches, museums, and the historic Tivoli amusement park.
Known as the place for hipsters, this neighborhood located southwest of the city center and is the place for eclectic shops, cafes, and funky bars.
Located east of the city center you’ll find this neighborhood adjacent to the free town of Christiania
This multicultural neighborhood northwest of the city center is home to many students, a thriving middle-eastern population, and plenty of delicious ethnic restaurants.
This laid back neighborhood just north of the city center is home to many embassies, the famous Noma restaurant, and the iconic tiny Little Mermaid statue.
Located west of the city center is where Copenhagen’s wealthy live. You’ll find exclusive shops, grand townhouses, and historic pubs.
Copenhagen Travel Tips:
Copenhagen travel tips: Tipping
Tipping is not common in Denmark. In fact, Danish law requires service charges to be included in the menu price. Of course, if your server goes above and beyond, a 10% gratuity would be acceptable. Taxi drivers will not expect a tip, however rounding up to the next krone is common.
Copenhagen travel tips: Money
Denmark’s national currency is the Krone (NOT the Euro!) and is currently exchanging at 6.48DKK to $1USD. Credit cards are accepted at most places and ATM machines are readily available.
Copenhagen travel tips: Insurance
Traveling through Copenhagen is exciting and safe, but you never know when some good travel insurance could come in handy. World Nomads offers the best coverage in the business, is affordable, and is quick to act should something go wrong. For more info, check out our recent World Nomads blog post.