The Danish capital of Copenhagen has always been a popular destination, but with the recent trend of ‘hygge’ being all the rage the city is experiencing a tourism boom. The city is more than just a destination for cruisers and is not only becoming more affordable but also has lots to offer. Check out our ultimate Copenhagen bucket list and start ticking them off on your weekend adventure.
Originally a busy commercial port bringing goods to Denmark from all over the globe, Nyhavn is one of the most iconic, and photographed, areas of the city. The beautiful coloured town houses that line the canal have been converted in to restaurants and shops and you can also catch a boat tour around the city from here.
It’s a great area to visit any time of year, but particularly good in summer with live music outside, alfresco dining and endless sunsets.
Rosenborg Castle is one of Copenhagen’s most famous historical buildings and has been home to some of their most prominent kings and queens. Here you’ll find beautiful interiors, the coronation throne and the royal families elaborate crown jewels. Not to be missed!
Right in the centre of Copenhagen you’ll find a green oasis at the city’s Botanical Gardens. It’s free to visit and is enjoyable year round as a great escape from the cold in winter at one of their 27 glass houses and even better in the summer when you can roam the ten hectares of perfectly preened gardens. With over 13,000 species of plants there’s plenty to see.
The Round Tower
This 17th century tower is home to the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Denmark has a long and impressive history of astronomical achievements thanks to Tycho Brahe and after his death this tower was built to continue his research.
Unlike many observatories, The Round Tower has a unique sloping spiral to reach the top instead of stairs. Once there you’ll experience amazing 360˚ views of city.
Otherwise known as the Marble Church, Frederik’s Church is one of the oldest and most recognisable buildings in Copenhagen. With a beautiful copper dome that is the biggest in all of Scandinavia, you can climb to the top for a small fee to see magnificent views of the city everyday in the summer and weekends the rest of the year between 1pm and 3pm. Don’t worry if you miss the time slot though as the inside is still worth the visit.
Copenhagen Street Food
Copenhagen is famous for its many street food markets with one of the most prominent being Copenhagen Street Food on Papirøen (Paper Island). Just a quick walk across the bridge from Nyhavn and you’ll find yourself on a whole island dedicated to an awesome array of street food stalls all housed inside an enormous warehouse.
It’s packed full of food tracks and makeshift restaurants with food from all over the globe. What’s great is every stall has to include something on the menu for 50-75 DKK (£6-£9) which is very cheap for eating out in the city.
For great burgers and sweet potato fries give Fishart a go. They’re Surf and Turf and Devil’s burgers are immense.
Next up on the Copenhagen food market list is Torvehallerne, a great little indoor market in a beautiful modern glass building. Filled with stalls selling fresh produce, Danish delicacies and great coffee, Torvehallerne is the place to come for a nice relaxed shop, get a few gifts to take home and enjoy a light bite or drink.
Don’t miss Coffee Collective, which in my humble opinion is the best coffee stop in the city, but I’ll let the hoards of people and queues do the talking.
The Little Mermaid
This small and sweet statue has somehow become Copenhagen’s most famous attraction, although I’m not quite sure how. Now almost 100 years old, the Little Mermaid sees hundreds of tourists flock to have photos taken next to her everyday.
Rumour has it that every morning she swims from the bottom of the sea and perches on the rock and longingly waits for her true love, the prince, who is on the shore.
Personally, I’m not quite sure why it’s such a big deal, but I’m a big fan of mermaids so couldn’t not visit and it’s also a great opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the harbour.
You can’t visit Denmark or the city of Copenhagen without having a danish pastry or two and there’s no better place to indulge that Andersen Bakery. With every kind of pastry including cinnamon buns, fresh flaky croissants, custard tarts, macaroons, glossy cream cakes and savoury cheese breads it’s a must. Check out our visit here for more mouthwatering inspo!
National Aquarium Denmark
Otherwise known as Den Blå Planet, the National Aquarium Denmark is one of the biggest aquariums in the north of Europe and is home to the enormous ocean tank where you can be in awe of hammerhead sharks, eels and giant rays. With three main sections to explore it’s a great place to visit before catching a flight home as it’s so close to the airport.
Save yourself some well earned Danish krones by booking online beforehand and also gives you a queue jump if it’s busy!