Denmark plays an important role in my travel plans. It was the second solo travel for me. You may ask why it still plays an important role, because first one is in Germany and I have been in Germany before, so no surprises were expecting me. I was always interested in Denmark just because LEGO is my dream company. I was also planning to visit LEGO Land eventually, unfortunately where LEGO Land is located was very far away and it was closed at that time due to winter season.
Copenhagen was also the first country I visited in Nordic countries. These countries are always on top of the list with their respect to people, so I was really curious whether I will experience that even in a short trip. The answer is a big yes! You just start to feel freedom, but at the same time you also start to feel like a poor guy. So, be prepared to see higher prices everywhere.
My first and only warning, Euro is not accepted. So, you may want to exchange certain amount of money, but it is very common by everyone using credit/debit cards. Probably I used only 100 EUR for exchange and it was only for street food and some souvenir shopping.
Arriving & Travelling Around
You will eventually fly to Copenhagen airport unless you are not coming from a close city. Believe me, no city is close to Copenhagen. If you plan to go Malmö in Sweden, Copenhagen Airport is again your address. After arriving Copenhagen airport, you have bus, metro and train options to reach Copenhagen.
Metro and train stations are very close to each other. If you plan to use metro, you will pass through Kongens Nytorv and Norreport by using M2 line. These two stations are the ones located close to center. This means, metro line does not pass from anywhere close to main train station, but of course if you make just one transfer after reaching Norreport, it is still easy. Airport is located in zone 4. This means you have to buy a single ticket which covers transportation from Zone 4 to Zone 1. This ticket costs 36 DKK which is around 5 EUR. Same ticket is valid for 60 minutes, this means you don’t have to buy a separate ticket when you reach Norreport. You may continue using same ticket until 60 minutes is over.
Train and bus options are also available for reaching city center. If you plan to use train, train will directly take you to the main train station. So, if your hotel is close to main train station, you may consider using train instead of metro. Price is same, so it really depends on where you stay. Train operator in Denmark is DSB. You may also prefer to download official application to your mobile phone.
Other options are buying City Pass or Copenhagen card. Both cards offer you free and unlimited transportation by bus, train and metro. Copenhagen card also allows you to enter more than 50 museums free. A 72-hours card will cost you around 100 EUR for Copenhagen card and 20 EUR for City Pass. 80 EUR difference may be worth it only if you are interested in visiting these museums. So, just check whether these museums are in your interest by visiting official Copenhagen card. Both of these tickets are not valid for visiting Malmö. Considering everywhere is close to each other, you may not even need to buy a city pass. So, it is really up to you. If you ask me, I didn’t buy it because the best way for exploring a city is by walking.
Where to stay
Copenhagen is a very small city, so if you find a suitable hotel located in Zone 1, I think you will enjoy your holiday better. I prefer to stay close to Tivoli. Considering you may want to visit Malmö and spend your nights in Tivoli, the best location is train station. Copenhagen is one of the most secure cities in the world, so it will not be a problem where you stay. So, just check whether it is located close to city center.
What to do
My hotel was close to train station. It means I was also close to one of the most popular locations in Copenhagen: Tivoli. Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe which closes around 11 PM most of the time. Considering most of the places will be closed very early in city center, Tivoli may be a better option to go there in the evening. Tivoli is not open all year round. Be sure to arrange your holiday in one of the four seasons –these seasons are Halloween, Christmas, Winter and Summer- to have access to Tivoli. Two less popular attraction close to Tivoli are Glyptoteket and City Hall. Glyptoteket is a museum offering both art and archeological objects. On Tuesday entrance is free.
Next location you should look for is Hard Rock Café. That’s not because you must eat there, but it is the starting point of most popular shopping street in Copenhagen, but I also highly recommend you to visit Hard Rock Café too. This Hard Rock Café is on my top 3 list in Europe. The ambience was really nice compared to other ones I have visited. Frederiksberggade is the street you are looking for. You will start to see many shops. I really find no sense to give more details here, because once you are here you will really understand where you have to walk. Follow the crowd! If you still need help, just ask where LEGO or Disney store is located. Both stores are located on this popular shopping street.
When you pass Disney store, you will reach to a very small square where a fountain exists. It is called Stork Fountain or Storkespringvandet in Danish. This square is an intersection point of two shopping streets. So, you may want to also visit other shops located on Købmagergade. If you are interested, T.G.I. Fridays is also very close to this square. Anyway if you continue walking on this street up, you will be reaching to one of the interesting attractions: Rundetårn. It was built as an observatory in 17th century where you walk on a helical corridor to reach top. You have a chance to see Copenhagen from top. Øresund Bridge which you will use to go Malmö can be also seen on top. If you have preferred to walk south instead of north from the square I just mentioned before, you will be reaching Christiansborg Palace. If you are interested in visiting palaces, this is the best one in Copenhagen.
My next stop was Kongens Nytorv. It is the one of the metro stops and probably the one if you have preferred using metro from the airport. Nyhavn, the most famous spot in Copenhagen is just 2 minutes walking distance. If you are interested in visiting department stores or looking for somewhere to hide in bad weather, you may consider visiting Magasin just located in front of metro station. Your another option for that is Illum located near Stork Fountain. Anyway, once you arrive Nyhavn, you can enjoy watching the colorful houses. It is the most touristic spot in Copenhagen, so you may expect to see higher prices in restaurants.
Nyhavn is also the starting point of boat tour. I highly recommend you to have this trip. It does not offer you scenic areas like in Amsterdam, but you have a chance to see many attractions in short time. These are not small canals located inside the city, so be ready to face with wind. Opera House, The Little Mermaid Statue –it is really little-, main library are just the few places you will be seeing on your boat trip. You will also pass through narrowest canals once you are travelling around Christiansborg Palace.
After visiting Nyhavn, you may still continue walking east. Street is called Bredgade. After walking 1 km, you will reach Kastellet. This is one of the best preserved fortresses in Europe. The best picture here can be taken by a drone. This is because the area was designed as a pentagram. It is used as a public park, so it may be a good idea to rest here. When you are walking to Kastellet from Nyhavn, you will also see some other famous landsmarks such as Frederiks Kirke, Amalienborg Palace and Designmuseum. If you couldn’t see the Little Mermaid during the boat trip, you may want to walk from Kastellet just by 5 minutes to see it closer.
There are also few places you may consider to include in your trip if you have time. First ones are Botanisk Have and Rosenborg Slot. Botanisk Have is part of Natural History Museum of Denmark but it offers you living things. You have a chance to see many extinct plants and learn information about them. Rosenborg Slot is a castle with four floors very close to the Botanisk Have. The castle closes very early such as between 2 PM – 4 PM depending on the season, so do not leave visiting here at the end of your day. Otherwise, you will be disappointed like me.
My last stop in Copenhagen was visiting Grundvigs Church. This is the only place you can not walk. You will definitely have to use a bus. If you are interested in visiting church with an expressionist design, here is what you are looking for. I have seen many churches, but this one is the most interesting one so far. The façade was really gorgeous. Easiest way to reach here is by bus 6A or bus 66. You have to leave at Bispebjerg Torv bus stop.
You may probably noticed I did not mention about the restaurants I have visited in Copenhagen. That’s because I didn’t visit any luxury or mid-range restaurants. I spent my two nights in Hard Rock Cafe and T.G.I. Fridays. Rest of the time, I preferred enjoying street food. When I say street food, don’t imagine street market like in Far East. There is also a popular Street Food Market located on the other side of river. If you have time, spare some time to visit there. I hope you enjoy Copenhagen as I did and visit more places than me. I had only 3 days for visiting Copenhagen, but I believe I had a chance to visit most of the attractions by also including a half-day trip to Malmö.
The most well-known day trip from Copenhagen is visiting Malmö for a half day. Click below picture to check my Malmö post…
Airport & Transportation
- Airport – https://www.cph.dk/en/
- Metro – http://intl.m.dk/#!/
- Copenhagen Card – http://www.copenhagencard.com/?ld=0
- DSB (Train operator) – https://www.dsb.dk/
- Travel Planner – https://www.rejseplanen.dk/webapp/index.html
Attractions & Museums
- Tivoli – http://www.tivoligardens.com/en/
- Glyptotek – https://www.glyptoteket.dk/
- Rundetaarn – http://www.rundetaarn.dk/
- Christiansborg Palace – http://kongeligeslotte.dk/en/palaces-and-gardens/christiansborg-palace.html
- Bibliotek – http://www.kb.dk/da/index.html
- Amalienborg Palace – http://www.kongernessamling.dk/en/amalienborg/palacesquare/
- Botanisk Have – http://botanik.snm.ku.dk/
- Rosenborg Slot – http://www.kongernessamling.dk/rosenborg/
- Gruntvigs Kirke – http://www.grundtvigskirke.dk/
Shopping & Eating
- Magasin – http://www.magasin.dk/
- Illum – http://illum.dk/
- Street Food – http://copenhagenstreetfood.dk/