I visited the Danish capital, Copenhagen for the first time this year, here are my top recommended things to do in Copenhagen for first timers. Whilst there, I found out that it is one of the safest cities in the world and was voted one of the happiest cities to live in – if you’ve ever met a dane, I’m sure you’ll understand why!
One of the most interesting things I learnt on my trip, was just how good the Danish are at inventing stuff, including Lego, Insulin and Bluetooth. This reminds me of an interesting fact – one of the local tour guides explained that the technology Bluetooth, was named after a famous viking – Harald Bluetooth, who help establish communication between Denmark and Norway.
Visit the Nyhavn
The Nyhavn (New Harbour) is a beautiful area, brightly coloured cafes, bars and restaurants line the canal and the wooden ships give it an authentic feel, even if they are only there for show. There is always a great atmosphere in this area of town, especially when the sun is shining!
Free Walking Tour
The Sandermans New Europe free walking tours are a favourite of mine, the Copenhagen tour did not disappoint. You’ll visit all the best attractions from the home of Hans Christian Anderson to the Danish Parliament.
It runs every day at 11am from the Dragon fountain. Remember, the tour may be “free” but the guides work for tips so I’d always recommend having some change to hand.
Take in the Views from Christiansborg Palace Tower
For a fantastic view of the city, consider visiting the tallest tower in Copenhagen at Christiansborg Palace – best of all, it’s completely free to head up the tower. Entry to the palace itself starts at 50DKK (about £6/€6.70/$8).
Christiania is the alternative neighbourhood of Copenhagen, originally a military base it was taken over by hippies in the 70’s. It’s a strange area and is best known for its vibrant scenery and open cannabis trade.
Take a Bus Boat
One of my favourite things to do in Copenhagen was to experience the city by water, you can either take the hop on hop off boat for a guided tour or use the cheaper harbour bus. The boats go right up to the sea near the little mermaid statue and all the way back to the royal library.
This 17th century castle is located in the heart of Copenhagen next to the botanical gardens, making it easily accessible. If you want to head inside it will cost you 110DKK (about £13/€14.80/$17.50) but just experiencing the gardens was enough for me, it’s a wonderful place to relax and watch the world go by.
Little Mermaid Statue
An iconic statue in Copenhagen, no trip would be complete without a visit to the little mermaid. The statue itself may be a little underwhelming but the stroll up to the statue and the wonderful views across the sea makes it a worthwhile way to spend a few hours.
Copenhagen Street Food
The street food market on Paper Island was one of my favourite places to visit in Copenhagen. Located in an old warehouse it consists of vendors selling food from all parts of the world as well as drinks and a great atmosphere. I was disappointed to hear it will be coming to a close at the end of the year but fingers crossed they will find a new venue!
Cycle the City
Everyone knows that Danish people love to cycle – Copenhagen looks like it was built for cycling. In fact there were probably more bikes than cars and there are cycle lanes everywhere.
You can hire a bike from one of the many bicycle hire shops about 75DKK (around £9/€10/$12) or use the city bikes that have a built in screen for navigation.
Do Some Shopping Along Strøget
At 1.1km, this is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, it consists of expensive brands like Louis Viton right down to H&M. It can be very touristy during weekends but is great for a spot of window shopping.
Thanks for checking out my post! If you have any other interesting things to do in Copenhagen, let me know in the comments.