10 of the Best Things to Do in Copenhagen
Are you planning on visiting Copenhagen? The Danish capital is chock-full of colourful waterfront buildings, canals and ships. The history of the city can be seen around every corner, with plenty of amazing tourist attractions peppering the area.
In this article, I’ll be sharing ten of the best things to do in Copenhagen. If you have any recommendations you would like to share, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.
Read More: 8 of the Best Hotels in Copenhagen
The Best Things to Do in Copenhagen
From waterfront strolls and theme parks to world-class eateries, there’s a lot to see and experience in Copenhagen. I would love to recommend:
1. See the colourful waterfront houses lining Nyhavn.
If you’re looking for a scene that’s frequently photographed and easily found when Googling Copenhagen, you’ll find it in Nyhavn. Originally a commercial port full of life, the entire canalside area is now relaxed, surrounded by colourful houses and boats docked in the water.
You can find plenty of restaurants in Nyhavn and it’s worth stepping in a few of them. There’s a little bit of everything, from traditional Danish meals and fresh seafood to pizzerias. Copenhagen is on the culinary map and is full of delightful restaurants, to the point where actually choosing where to eat can be quite the challenge.
While in Nyhavn, you’ll spot several houses that Hans Christian Anderson lived in. He wrote several classics while living at No. 20, including The Princess and the Pea and The Tinderbox.
2. Dive into a fairytale at Rosenborg Castle.
Nestled right in the heart of Copenhagen, Rosenborg Castle was originally built to be the summerhouse of Christian IV. The building itself is beautiful. It was built in Dutch Renaissance style and expanded as the years passed by.
Many iconic historical collections can be found at Rosenborg. Ole Rømer’s Room is one of our favourites, capturing the genius of a man who was building planetariums and calculating eclipses back in the 17th century. The iconic crown jewels can also be seen.
It costs DKK 120 per adult to visit Rosenborg Castle and children can visit for free. Rosenborg Castle is closed on Mondays, but it is open every other day between 11:00 – 16:00. The 1st Floor of Rosenborg Castle is currently only open during the weekend.
Learn More: Rosenborg Castle (Official Website)
3. Enjoy the rides at Tivoli Gardens.
Looking to give your adrenaline a push? Tivoli Gardens is Copenhagen’s amusement park, full of all sorts of different rides. The entire area looks like it has been plucked from a fairytale, with lots of nostalgic rides dotted around.
The most popular ride at Tivoli Gardens is the wooden roller coaster, first built in 1914. There are rides for families and rides for thrill seekers. Vertigo is one of my favourites, forcing you upside down at high speeds. If you want to see how brave you are, you might even want to step into the permanent scare house.
Entry prices start at DKK 135, but unlimited ride tickets start at DKK 245. You can also purchase tickets for Tivoli’s Aquarium or buy a ticket that includes entrance. Opening hours do vary so I would recommend checking the website in advance.
Learn More: Tivoli Gardens (Official Website)
4. Learn about Danish design at Designmuseum Danmark.
Set to open again in June 2022, Designmuseum Danmark is a worthwhile stop for any travellers interested in Danish design. The museum is currently undergoing a major renovation project and it will be interesting to see how it looks once all of the work has taken place.
The main goal of the museum was to show people the idea of quality in design, while also inspiring budding designers. You can find everything from decorative arts to industrial designs here, with international pieces showcasing the differences in design around the world.
I would recommend taking a look at the website closer to June 2022 to find out more about the new opening hours, tickets and prices.
Learn More: Designmuseum Danmark (Official Website)
5. Embark on a tour of Amalienborg Palace.
If you want to take a glimpse into the lives of Denmark’s royal family, Amalienborg Palace is one of the best places in Copenhagen to do exactly that. While some of the buildings are the Queen’s winter residence, Amalienborg Museum is open to the public.
Within the museum, you can trace the history of the royal family. It’s full of trinkets and treasures. Christian IX’s study is one of my favourite rooms, along with the Fabergé Chamber, full of Russian jewellery from the end of the 19th century to the start of the 20th. Many travellers also like to watch the Changing of the Guard.
At the moment, the Amalienborg Museum is closed until January 2022. A special exhibition is currently being prepared for HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. At the time of writing, tickets for adults cost DKK 125 and children can enter for free.
Learn More: Amalienborg Palace (Official Website)
6. Trace Danish history at the National Museum of Denmark.
The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is one of the best places to learn about how Denmark became Denmark. From the 25th June, The Vikings – On Raid will be exhibited at the National Museum of Denmark for three years. Part of the exhibition will include many illustrious treasures of the Viking Age. I would highly recommend catching that one if you get the opportunity to.
You can find the National Museum inside of The Prince’s Mansion. A palatial Rococo-style building, it’s quite the sight. The collections inside take you back through history, learning about the events that shaped Denmark.
During the summer months, the museum is usually open daily. During the rest of the year, it’s often closed on Mondays. It’s worth checking the website in advance to make sure that it’s open when you’re visiting. Tickets cost DKK 100 for adults and entry is free for children.
Learn More: National Museum of Denmark (Official Website)
7. See what you can find at the Botanical Garden.
If you’re looking to relax in Copenhagen, you might want to spend some time at the Botanical Garden. Part of the Natural History Museum, the Botanical Garden is home to one of the largest collections of living plants in Denmark.
There are several buildings in the Botanical Garden, including the Palm House and the Butterfly House. The Palm House is full of subtropical and tropical plants, while the Butterfly House lets you get up close and personal with the beautiful transformation of butterflies.
The external garden is open daily and free to enter, but it is worth noting that only guide dogs are allowed in the garden. Entrance to the Palm House costs DKK 60 for adults and DKK 40 for children.
Learn More: Botanical Garden (Official Website)
8. Go underground to see an exhibition at the Cisternerne.
I love looking for unique spaces while travelling. Cisternerne definitely fits in as one of those. A subterranean art space, Cisternerne is an old and sparsely lit reservoir. It’s enchanting, to say the least.
Many of the art projects that can be seen at Cisternerne are individual. It would be impossible to create them in other spaces and have the same effect. From Jeppe Hein: In Is The Only Way Out to Hiroshi Sambuichi: The Water, past exhibitions have perfectly captured the spirit of the Cisternerne.
I would recommend taking a little look online to see whether or not the exhibition space is being used for anything fun during the time of your trip. If it is, I’m certain it will offer a rather unique experience for you.
Learn More: Cisternerne (Official Website)
9. Take a look at the art-infused collection at the Glyptoteket.
Complete with thousands of works of art and archaeological finds, the Glyptoteket is a worthwhile stop for any art enthusiast visiting Copenhagen. You can find everything from the trinkets of Ancient Egypt to idyllic paintings from the last few centuries.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the collection, the Department of Antiquities captures several millenia’s worth of history. The Modern Department focuses on painting and sculpture, primarily from Denmark, with a few international pieces thrown in too.
Admission to the Glyptoteket costs DKK 155 for adults, while children can enter for free. The museum is closed on Mondays. It is worth noting that on Tuesday entry is free for everyone, but there is a small charge for the special exhibitions.
Learn More: Glyptoteket (Official Website)
10. Find out why Copenhagen is a mecca for foodies.
There are many places around the world that label themselves as culinary capitals and Copenhagen is up there among the best. Several decades ago, Copenhagen wasn’t blessed with such prestige, but the culinary movement we’ve seen over the past two decades or so has really changed that.
Noma was one of the restaurants that kickstarted the whole process. Many of the chefs trained there have started their own ventures, creating everything from no-waste restaurants to farm-to-table projects. There are amazing eateries all over the city.
It’s safe to say that there’s something for every type of foodie in Copenhagen. One of my current favourite experiences would have to be the Alchemist. The experience offered there is a little bit pricey, but it’s also incredibly unique. You get taken on an ethereal journey with fifty “impressions” leading the way.
Learn More: Alchemist (Official Website)
Enjoy Finding the Best Things to Do in Copenhagen
Hopefully my choices for the best things to do in Copenhagen have helped to fill you with ideas and inspiration. Copenhagen is a beautiful city to explore, where pastel-coloured houses sit aside canals and there are attractions for everyone.
Do you have any favourite things to do in Copenhagen? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.