Copenhagen is the most famous city of the land of the Andersen’s fairy tales – Denmark. This city brings the cold beauty of northern Europe, but there are also many features of the European continent below, because this city is closest to Europe compared to the Nordic countries. The colorful houses by the harbour of Nyhavn are reminiscent of a fairy-tale Amsterdam, or endless walking streets, and much more to discover in Copenhagen. So, what to do in Copenhagen? Let’s check out our Copenhagen travel blog (Copenhagen blog) with the fullest Copenhagen travel guide (Copenhagen city guide) for a wonderful trip to the capital of Denmark for the first time from how to get there, best time to go, where to stay, where to go… to find out the answer!
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Copenhagen travel blog: Overview of Copenhagen
The currency of Denmark is DKK (Danish Krone), exchange rate of 1 Euro ~ 7.5 DKK. When you traveling to Denmark you need to exchange money to spend in Copenhagen because the Euro is not used here. But you should not exchange at the airport or central station because the exchange rate is quite low and there is an additional charge. If you need to buy tickets to the center right away, you can use credit card.
You can go to some money exchangers in the city center like King’s New Square in Kongens Nytorv, or the banks in the city. Exchange rates will be better at the train stations. In general, the living cost in Copenhagen is quite expensive, the trip costs for food and traveling in 3 days is about 100-150 Euro is fine, you can be used in combination with cash and credit card.
Copenhagen travel guide: How to get to Copenhagen?
If you want to flying from Vietnam directly to Copenhagen, you can choose from major airlines such as Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, .. These carriers have to transit at least 1 point. Currently, Vietnam Airlines has not had direct flight (long-haul flight) to Copenhagen but still has to connect and link with another airline.
If you come to Copenhagen from other European cities there are many ways, from air to train, boat and bus.
Flying to Copenhagen
Normally, when flying to Copenhagen you will landing at Copenhagen Airport (Københavns Lufthavn). There are many routes between Copenhagen and other Scandinavian or European countries, the popular airline and the good price is SAS.
Copenhagen Airport is quite close to the city center and only takes 15 minutes by Metro. It is rare for an airport in a major European city to be so close to the center and convenient to travel.
How to get from the airport to city center: You take the Metro M2 line from the airport and don’t have to change trains. Get off at Kongens Nytorv station is to the famous Nyhavn Canal. Or if you depart from another location can change trains from Kongens Nytorv because this is the central station with quite a lot of lines intersecting here.
Go to Copenhagen by road
Taking a bus is probably the cheapest means of transportation between Copenhagen and other European cities. Flixbus can be easily booked for a very good price and usually takes 1 night to travel between Copenhagen and other Swedish cities like Malmo, Gothenberg or Stockholm. The one way price from Stockholm is about 300 – 500 DKK.
I’m go to Copenhagen from Hamburg on a 7-hour night bus. Comfortable space and only after a sleep is arrived. You can go from many other cities like Paris or Berlin but the travel time will be longer.
You can take a train between Copenhagen Central Station (København H) and Stockholm Central Station (Stockholm C), the fast train goes straight about 5 hours and if stopping at Malmo, Gothenberg it takes about 7 – 8 hours. The train is quite nice, with free-wifi, the price ranges from 280 – 920 DKK, the earlier you book the price is better.
If you traveling from other cities in Europe you often will have to have a transit point in Germany is Hamburg. From Hamburg take the Danish IC3 Intercity train leaving Hamburg Hbf at 8:53am daily, arriving at Kolding at 11:40am, Odense at 12:19pm and Copenhagen at 1:33pm. Later trips at 12:53pm and 4:53pm.
Copenhagen city guide: Getting around Copenhagen
Bus and Metro
Public transport in Copenhagen is quite diverse, the most popular is still Metro although I realize that Metro in this city does not have many lines and is still simple. Therefore, if you only traveling by Metro, you still have to walk a few hundred meters from the Metro stations to the attractions. Metro operates daily during the week, you can combine with local trains that stop at many stations in the city.
If you go by bus, you will not have to walk more than Metro because of the wider bus network. Bus and Metro share a public transport ticket system, some bus lines operate all night.
The single ticket for public transport is quite high, 24 DKK / trip. You should buy a 24-hour ticket for only 80 DKK apply unlimited travel from Zone 1-4 and need to validate the ticket. Note that the airport is also located in Zone 1-4. Taking Metro in Copenhagen without barrier, the supervisor also only works as a guide rather than checking tickets. Therefore, the purchase and use of tickets is completely dependent on each person’s consciousness.
Boating around Copenhagen by Harbour bus (water bus)
If you want to explore Copenhagen in a different way, you can try the Harbour bus. There are 3 main lines with 10 different points including 6 Zealand-side lines and 4 Amager-side lines. The Harbour bus operates with the same management company as the regular bus, so the tickets you buy also apply to the Harbour bus. The Harbour boat is also docked at many famous attractions such as the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn Habour, Christianshavn and Royal Opera House.
Copenhagen travel blog: Where to stay in Copenhagen?
Because I traveling alone for 3 days in Copenhagen, so I just stayed at Hostel Generator Copenhagen (Agoda.com or Booking.com). This is a hostel located in the central area about 400m from Kongens Nytorv station. The room rate is about 100-120Euro/night, and dorm bed is about 30 Euro/night.
Although located in the central area, this hostel is in a quite quiet corner, super wide floor and up to 7 floors. The 2nd floor is a shared living area with lots of utilities, a dining and working area. Unfortunately, this hostel does not have a kitchen so people can’t buy food to cook.
With a more abundant budget you can refer to some good, upscale hotels with beautiful views in Copenhagen below.
71 Nyhavn Hotel: The hotel consists of two buildings, the yellow and red buildings, built in the 19th century and was renovated, located at the corner of Copenhagen harbour and overlooking beautiful views to the harbour. (Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Copenhagen blog: What and where to eat?
Because Denmark is adjacent to the continental part of Europe and Northern Europe, so Copenhagen’s cuisine is also a delicate combination between these two regions. Copenhagen is famous for its delicious cakes and sausages.
Wienerbrød pastry: A type of cake with almonds, jams inside, outside covered with a thin layer of cream or chocolate.
Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs): Similar to pork meatballs in Vietnam, but raw ingredients from beef or veal, with onions, custard or other spices.
Smørrebrød bread: Danish bread is also quite famous, but the Smorrebrod type is black butter bread, or more diverse with meats, jambon, fish, …
Rød Pølse Sausage: The most famous Danish sausage. You can easily see them at street kiosks served with bread.
Also you can find food at the supermarket, very cheap. Every day I have to go to the supermarket to buy drinks, fruits and extra cakes (traveling spend a lot of energy). In my opinion, buying items at supermarkets spend only 7-8 Euro/time is full for a meal is enough including bread, hotdogs, hams, juice and fresh fruits.
Some good restaurants and dining areas in Copenhagen
Nyhavn Area: This is the area concentrates many restaurants are located along the Nyhavn Canal. Price of a meal here ranges from 150-200DKK/person. The restaurant that I eat is Skipperkroen Restaurant (Address: Nyhavn 27, 1051 København, Denmark / Hours: 8AM–10:30PM ; Friday, Saturday: 8AM–11PM) with view straight to Nyhavn canal, the food is delicious and good service. Main dishes include salmon with mussel sauce, wonderful aromatic.
The second restaurant I dined with was Zeleste (Address: Store Strandstræde 6, 1255 Copenhagen K, Denmark / Hours: 12–9:30PM), located in the central area. Since the afternoon has been eaten quite full in the Christmas night market near King’s New Square, so I only called a little of bread and grilled shrimp. Generally good, this restaurantn is a bit more expensive than Skipperkroen.
Copenhagen travel guide: Best places to visit, top things to do in Copenhagen
In general, the places to visit Copenhagen center are quite close to each other. So you can spend a whole day just walking and you can visit many places here.
King’s New Square
The largest square in Copenhagen. If you come right at Christmas, here is a beautiful Christmas market with lots of stalls, food courts with full of traditional Danish dishes. High-class restaurants and luxury brands in Copenhagen are also located around this square.
Colorful houses in Nyhavn
The most famous harbour in Copenhagen, like a miniature Amsterdam. Along the canal are houses painted in vivid colors, and the harbour for boats and yachts to park. Not to be missed to take the best pictures here. The harbour is just a few steps from King’s New Square.
Nyhavn Harbour used to be the place where many large and small boats docked in and out of Copenhagen before. Each house with different colors has its own highlight, and their combination creates a picturesque street in every Andersen’s fairy tale.
Strøget walking street
This is one of the longest walking streets in Europe in the heart of a large city. Perhaps Strøget must be on par with La Rambla in Barcelona. Just walking here you can feel a part about the ancient Copenhagen, the bustle of tourists, the music from the freedom artists, and the delicious street food.
The Round Tower
Strolling around Stroget, you will not be able to ignore Rundetaarn (Round Tower). Rundetaarn Tower was built in the 17th century as an observatory and can even see Sweden when standing from the top of the tower. If you come here remember to climb the tower to see the busy streets in central Copenhagen.
Magstræde colorful houses
You will encounter the ancient and colorful houses in Magstræde if you continue to explore the streets of central Copenhagen more deeply.
Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park
This is the largest and oldest amusement park in Copenhagen similar to Disney Land in Paris. This amusement park was built in 1843, ranked 2nd in the list of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Walt Disney has been visited here many times and Tivoli inspired him to build his own amusement park.
Located right next to Copenhagen Central Station, it is very convenient to go, exit the station is a park right on the road. Tivoli Gardens is suitable for those who travel with their families with children, with lots of interesting games.
Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
Another small, quiet neighborhood with colorful old houses in Copenhagen. Very suitable to pose to get beautiful photos on Instagram.
Torvehallerne Central Market
This market includes many stalls that are sold both indoors and outdoors. The interior is quite similar to the Colmar central market in Paris, from fresh seafood to restaurants, bars and small food stalls. If you come here at meal time, do not hesitate to choose a restaurant and enjoy the typical local cuisine of Torvehallerne.
Address: Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 København, Denmark
Frederik’s Church and Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg is the residence of the Royal Danish Family, surrounded by a large square. At the end of Amalienborg you will see Frederik’s church, looking from the outside extremely majestic and overwhelmed. However, going inside the church is extremely quiet, especially when going in winter with cold weather, coming here to feel the peace, warmth and the feeling of letting go of the troubles in the life.
Address: Frederiksgade 4, 1265 København, Denmark
How to go: Take the Metro M3 line to Marble Church Station
Rosenborg Castle and Kongens Have Park
Rosenborg Ancient Castle was the residence of the Royal Danish Family until 1710, but now the castle is used as a giant museum with many Royal treasures to serves visitors. The castle is surrounded by strongholds and is located right next to Kongens Have park so the air is very fresh and cool.
Address: Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark
This park is located quite far from the city center in the multicultural residential area of Nørrebro, divided into 3 different areas: The Red Square, The Black Market, and The Green Park. Each area is decorated with emblems from different countries. This is also a great photo spot because of the excellent layouts.
Address: Nørrebrogade 210, 2200 København, Denmark
Freetown Christiania (Christianshavn Autonomous District)
A district that clearly shows the multicultural and wild nature of Copenhagen. Christianshavn is called “Autonomous District” in its literal sense, because this place is inhabited by a part of people – young people outside the control area of Denmark. They set up their own “nation”, self-governing, managing and living.
Having visited Copenhagen, Christianshavn cannot be missed to visit a miniature country, full of bustling shopping streets, restaurants, and unique mural paintings. Here they sell cannabis publicly, and “no photo”.
Coming to Christianshavn you also can not miss Christianshavn harbour with colorful houses on both sides of the canal, quite similar to Nyhavn but smaller.
The Little Mermaid
The famous mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen is often referred to as a symbol of Denmark like the peeing boy statue in Brussels. The statue is located in the Langelinie area surrounded by a number of small stones.
Copenhagen travel blog: Day trips from Copenhagen
If you come to Copenhagen with abundant time, you can refer to the day trips to the suburbs, the surrounding areas or even a short trip to Sweden. Refer to some destinations below:
Roskilde: Just 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen, this is the perfect destination for a day trip from the Danish capital. The city is an attractive destination with long-standing historical values, typical Gothic-style churches, Viking Ship museum and beautiful coastline.
Malmo and Lund: Sweden’s destinations are right next to Copenhagen. You can take the train or flixbus here during the day very convenient and cheap. Malmo is an easy go, a Swedish coastal city with many attractions.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Copenhagen you can refer to
- Copenhagen Card
- Copenhagen Panorama Guided Sightseeing Bus & Boat Tour
- Copenhagen Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Boat Pass
- Copenhagen City Walk Tour
- Copenhagen Canal Tour
- Copenhagen City Train Tour
Are you looking for more Copenhagen travel guide and top things to do in Copenhagen: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: 1 day in Copenhagen — Copenhagen 1 day itinerary & how to spend 24 hours in Copenhagen pefectly? and check it out here.