The gorgeous Danish capital of Copenhagen is full of history and culture and can easily keep you busy for an extended stay. This post features 25 things to do in Copenhagen so I can guarantee you’ll find a few of special interest to you.
Say Hello to the Little Mermaid
Undoubtedly the most well-known symbol of Copenhagen is the statue of the Little Mermaid, the title character from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales. While she may be smaller than you imagine, it’s probably difficult to visit Copenhagen and not stop by for the obligatory picture.
The Little Mermaid by blackplastic
Take a Canal Cruise
Like many northern European cities, you can really get a great view of Copenhagen by taking a cruise through its canals. It’s picturesque, relaxing and there are several guided versions that supply you with all kinds of interesting bits of information about the city as you cruise.
Cruising down Nyhavn
Stroll in Strøget
Strøget is the long pedestrian mall in the centre of Copenhagen and a must visit (hard to avoid, too, if you’re spending any time in Copenhagen!). It’s home to numerous shops and restaurants and is very often depicted in pictures of Copenhagen so you’ll no doubt feel like you recognise it.
Bicycles in Strøget by Mat McDermott
The winter home to the Danish royals, Amalienborg Palace is actually four (pretty much identical) palaces built around a square and it is most well-known to tourists as being the location for the daily march and changing of the guard (at midday).
Changing of the guard by VinayakH
Christiansborg Palace is home to the Danish parliament and thanks to several fires throughout its history, is a bit of a mishmash of architectural styles. It’s right in the city centre and is open to the public at various times for guided tours.
Christiansborg Palace by LH_Wong
Grundtvig’s Church is certainly a unique church, and one look at a photo of it explains why – its architectural design is something very special! It was built between 1921 and 1940 and is as impressive inside as out.
Grundtvig’s church by seier+seier
I first visited Copenhagen as a child and spending a day at Tivoli is one of my fondest memories of my entire childhood! Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world still operating. It has one of the world’s oldest (still functioning – and safe!) wooden rollercoasters and numerous other rides and attractions. It also has a concert hall and theatre on site which makes it a popular destination for all kinds of cultural activities.
Tivoli by night by virtualwayfarer
The other amusement park in Copenhagen, Bakken (or Dyrehavsbakken – Deer Park Hill) is actually the oldest in the world and is home to five roller coasters, including a popular wooden roller coaster which dates back to 1932. Although it receives slightly fewer visitors than Tivoli, many locals will tell you it’s the better choice for a fun day out!
Roller coaster at Bakken by Jens Gyldenkærne Clausen
The Freetown of Christiania may be in the middle of Copenhagen but it’s actually a self-governing city and it’s a unique place for a stroll (and these days, quite safe, too – although cannabis is still a very popular product there). It’s mostly a place that’s interesting simply to wander around and observe (it’s a residential area, in essence) and its variety of interesting buildings is worth a look; there is also lots of excellent vegetarian food to be found.
Christiania by burningmax
Ride a City Bike
Getting around by bicycle is both common and practical in Copenhagen, and just because you’re not a local it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Copenhagen has a great system of free bikes that you can take from stands at various locations and return to anywhere else within the city centre boundaries.
City Bike by
City bikes by PlanetGordon
The Rosenborg Castle and the beautiful gardens surrounding it are well worth a visit. The building is a renaissance castle built as a summer house in the early 1600s and now includes a museum of the Royal Collections, including the Danish Crown Jewels.
Rosenborg Castle and Gardens
Copenhagen Botanic Gardens
The Copenhagen Botanic Gardens are part of the Natural History Museum within the University of Copenhagen and they are particularly special thanks to a large collection of glasshouses. The gardens and houses contain thousands of species of practically every kind of plant you can imagine.
Palm House at the Copenhagen Botanic Gardens
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum
You may not expect to find a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in the heart of Copenhagen, but you can! It’s on City Hall Square and there are all kinds of bizarre things inside, such as a replica of the Taj Mahal built using 300,000 matches. A good outing for a family on a rainy day!
In the Ripley’s museum by Hubert Gajewski
Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale World
Nearly everybody’s grown up hearing the famous tales of Hans Christian Andersen, easily one of the world’s most famous Danes. The Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale World is a Ripley’s attraction in Copenhagen with numerous displays of scenes from his fairy tales which are “brought to life” with sound effects and lights.
Inside Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale House by kurozukin
Koncerthuset (Concert Hall)
The new concert hall (Koncerthuset) in Copenhagen is worth a visit just for the architecture. It’s (to date) the most expensive concert hall ever built but it’s something very different, and seeing the blue facade at night is amazing.
Koncerthuset by night by gudmundur.bjarni
Copenhagen Opera House
As an Australian, I’m particularly intrigued by the Copenhagen Opera House because it was a Danish architect who designed our iconic Sydney Opera House! The Copenhagen one is very new, opening in 2005, and was a particularly expensive one to build – as an example, the ceiling of the main auditorium was made from gold leaf!
Copenhagen Opera House by Wojtek Gurak
The Copenhagen Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and like many zoos around the world has been undergoing extensive renovations and improvements in the last couple of decades, with a focus on natural environments and species conservation. Most recently it has a new elephant house and an African savannah area.
Elephant at Copenhagen Zoo by shimgray
National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark or Nationalmuseet is one of Copenhagen’s largest museums and is right in the centre near the Stroget. The exhibits cover the history of both Denmark and other world cultures and include stone age tools, Viking weapons and Inuit costumes.
Statues at the Nationalmuseet by jmvhy
If you’re travelling with kids or have a bent for science museums then the Experimentarium should keep you satisfied for an afternoon – it’s full of hands-on stuff and regularly changing exhibitions too.
Fun at Experimentarium by fo.ol
The Rundetårn (Round Tower) is in the middle of Copenhagen and its round shape is hard to miss – and it’s a great experience to “climb” the spiral ramp inside to get to the viewing platform. It was initially built as an astronomical observatory but has good views over Copenhagen as well as to the sky!
Inside the Rundetårn by Cornybeard
Statens Museum for Kunst
The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) has a huge collection of (mostly Western) art dating from the fourteenth century until today, including as you’d expect a lot of Danish art, plus some big names like Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse. It’s free to get in.
Statens Museum for Kunst by only_point_five
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is mostly a sculpture museum with sculptures from both ancient times and modern works, including a collection of Rodin statues considered to be very important. There are also some paintings, though, including works from masters like Monet, Renoir and Cezanne.
In Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek by withoutnations
Museum of Copenhagen
If you want to know all about the history of the city, the Museum of Copenhagen is the place to see. There’s a scale model of medieval Copenhagen outside and inside are exhibits covering the development of Copenhagen from the twelfth century until today.
Museum of Copenhagen by bettyonline
Frederick’s Church, close to Amalienborg Palace, is usually known as the Marble Church. Its large dome is one of the biggest in Europe.
The Marble Church by the 8bit Banana
Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Star lovers will get a lot of the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen, a relatively new museum that has a star projector and various interesting astronomy exhibits – there’s also an IMAX cinema on site.
Tycho Brahe Planetarium by chrissthegirl