Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Departing from Copenhagen for a Baltic Sea cruise? Maybe you’re planning to use it as a home base to explore other Scandinavian countries. No matter the reason, any time in Copenhagen is well worth it! Here’s how to get the most out of Copenhagen in a day.
Morning: Stroll down Stroget Street
This is a perfect place to start your day. Especially if you’re staying outside the city center and arriving by metro. The central train station is just down the street from the old City Hall, where you can stop for pictures, or take a tour if you start early enough.
From here, make your way down Stroget Street, which has a plethora of shopping opportunities for all tastes and budgets. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, treat yourself to a coffee and one of the delicious Danish pastries at Lagkagehuset. At the end of Stroget is Kongens Nytorv, a beautiful square next to the Charlottenburg Palace, which is now a contemporary art museum.
Noon: The Changing of the Guard
You’ll be tempted to go to Nyhavn from here. Instead, consider taking a quick peek inside the Marble Church and then heading over to the Amalienborg Palace to watch the changing of the guard. If you get there about 30 minutes ahead of time, you should be able to catch a prime viewing location in the front row. The guards will be marching from the military barracks near Rosenborg Castle, so alternatively you could position yourself anywhere along this route.
Amalienborg Palace is just a short distance from the famous Little Mermaid statue. On your way to the statue, stop to admire St. Alban's Church, the Gefion Fountain, and the surrounding park. At the statue, be prepared...the statue is small and the crowds are BIG. Just be patient and work your way up to the front. The best views are right up by the edge of the water.
Now it’s time to head over to Nyhavn! The walk along the water from here is beautiful, and will only take you about 10 - 15 minutes. Nyhavn is a picturesque canal dotted with shops, restaurants, and colorfully painted buildings, the most famous being the former house of Hans Christian Anderson. Lots of options for lunch here, including a historic boat that has been converted to a restaurant.
Afternoon: Bike Tour
If you truly want to explore Copenhagen like a local, rent a bike for the rest of the day. Your hotel may have them available, or you can rent one for very reasonable prices! One option is Copenhagen Bicycles in Nyhavn, which is just by the big pedestrian bridge.
Sightseeing possibilities that are easy to bike to from Nyhavn are: the Round Tower, Rosenberg Castle and the surrounding gardens, Christiansborg Palace, the Church of Our Savior, Carlsburg Brewery and Elephant Gate, the National Gallery, and the National Museum of Denmark.
Time your bike return so that you’re back at Nyhavn near sunset. The views are spectacular! Enjoy the view, rest your legs, and treat yourself at the Vaffelbageren for some ice cream, a waffle, or both! You’ve earned it, and burned plenty of calories riding your bike all around Copenhagen. It will be a deliciously perfect ending to your day!
If you’re lucky enough to have another day in Copenhagen, you should definitely check out Tivoli Gardens. It’s one of the oldest amusement parks in Denmark, and it's lots of fun for kids of all ages! There are adorable rides themed around Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, as well as roller coasters that will have you laughing and screaming like you’re a kid again!
Let your Danish adventure begin!
Spending more time in Copenhagen and need other ideas, or looking for where to go next? Send me a request here!