There is so much to see in Copenhagen, but in just three days you can cover a lot of ground. I visited with a friend and we certainly did, unintentionally averaging 10 miles a day! The best way to explore the city is to relax into it, enjoy the experience and not put pressure on yourself to see everything. Fortunately, because it is quite compact and walkable you can easily get around without public transport and truly experience life in the city. With our highlights in mind, here are some tips for seeing the city:
See Picture-Perfect Nyhavn and take a boat tour: We’ll start with perhaps the most obvious. I would say Nyhavn is probably the most photographed and most famous part of Copenhagen. This colourful and picturesque stretch of buildings beside the water is a hub of activity. From here you can catch a boat tour, which was one of my favourite parts of the trip as it’s a great way to get your bearings and see parts of the city away from the Nyhavn area. From the water you can see the impressive contemporary buildings which are home to the Royal Danish Playhouse and the Royal Danish Opera House, head through the pretty area of Christianshavn and catch a glimpse of the famous mermaid statue.Admire the beauty of Scandinavian design: Of course there is much more to Copenhagen than Nyhavn. To fully experience the charm of the city you need to see the parts a little more off the beaten track. Heading to the cafes and shops is a great way to not only see what living in the city is like, but also to enjoy Scandinavian design. A lot of the eateries, such as Atelier September, and home stores like HAY and Illums Bolighus, are beautifully styled and give insight into the beauty of Scandi design. Make sure to also visit Jaegersborggade in Norrebro, a pretty street which is home to a whole host of cool shops and cafes. Experience Copenhagen’s unique quirks: To get to grips with Copenhagen culture try to live like the locals. Head to Assistens Kirkegard, a cemetery in Norrebro (the burial place of Hans Christian Andersen), which is used as a park and sit amongst the trees for a while. Also worth experiencing are the restaurants and bars in Vesterbro. We went to Neighbourhood which offers crisp, organic and healthy pizzas, very different from your typical pizza. The Meat Packing District is a unique spot, definitely worth a visit. It has been turned into a quirky creative space with trendy bars and restaurants. Another option if you’re looking for street food is Reffen – Copenhagen Street Food, which has a lot of great food options, a bustling atmosphere and a great location by the water.
Take a break from the city in the Botanical Gardens or on a swan ride: We unintentionally stumbled upon the Botanical Gardens while walking to Norrebro from Nyhavn and I’m so glad we did, they were a beautiful little haven. It was so lovely to have thirty minutes of calm and quiet away from the bustling city. If I lived in Copenhagen I would definitely visit these gardens quite a bit, they are so pretty!On our way back from visiting Norrebro we spontaneously decided to hop on a swan pedalo for 30 minutes on the Copenhagen Lakes. It was a fun and relaxing way to take in the city and enjoy the view.
Visit Freetown Christiania: When in Copenhagen you just have to go to Christiania. This is unlike anything else you’ll ever see, it feels like you’ve gone back in time to the sixties and/or been transported into a cult. It’s an experience that can’t quite be described. An “intentional community and commune” if offers an alternative lifestyle. The houses are built by residents, largely from recycled and found materials and some are awash with bright colour. Christiania has been a very controversial topic since its creation in 1971 and was temporarily shut down in 2011 by the Danish government. Now reopened, it has an interesting mix of residents and tourists and is definitely a fascinating place to see.This was my first visit to Scandinavia after years and years of longing to go. I absolutely loved Copenhagen; the lifestyle, the cafes, the shops, the buildings. It made me want to visit more cities throughout Europe, particularly those in Scandinavia, so hopefully I’ll get chance to soon!
– Thanks for reading!