Voted happiest city in the world and constantly topping the tables for being Europe’s most livable city, Copenhagen is a destination that deserves a top spot on your travel calendar should you find yourself north of the Old Continent.
For its compact size Copenhagen is crammed with world class experiences, history, culture and culinary excellence. Canals, cobbled winding streets and attractive locals on bikes. It’s easy to see how you could become distracted. With so much to do in the Denmark’s cosy capital, we are here to make sure you don’t miss all of the highlights.
1. Take up the Danish way of life and rent a bike
Welcome to the world’s most bike-loving city! Copenhagen is a city built with cyclists in mind, covering the city in over 350km of cycle paths and lanes. Don’t be afraid to hop onto two wheels, Copenhagen has won best cycle city by US sustainability experts Treehugger for the second year in a row! With over a third of commuters travelling by bike, you certainly won’t feel out of place. The city has rent-a-bike shops dotted all around the city, with the average price being around 75 KR for a day (£7 equivalent).
2. Peer over the city from the Round Tower
The Rundetaarn – Round tower is a must on your Danish adventures. As the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, the Round Tower is filled with rich history and stories. The long and winding walk to the top is all worth it when you are awarded with 360 degrees sweeping views of the old parts of Copenhagen.
3. Be dazzled by the Trivoli Gardens
Emerge yourself in the place that inspired Walt Disney himself! The Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a cultural wonderland concreted at the heart of Copenhagen. The Tivoli Gardens opened their gates in 1843, and is now the second oldest theme park in the world! A carousel of rides, attractions, restaurants and performances makes it a worthwhile trip for the whole family. You’re never too old to visit the fairground!
4. Head over to The Little Mermaid
She’s over 100 years but still Copenhagen’s most beloved attraction. Perched on Langelinje Pier, The Little Mermaid Statue was a gift from a Danish brewer to the City of Copenhagen. The sculpture was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s romantic fairy tale of a mermaid who swims to surface every morning in hope of catching a glimpse of her beloved prince!
5. Tired of cycling? Hop on the boat tour
Dotted around the city’s harbours and canals, boat tours are another great way to see another side to the city. Leaving from the cosy harbour of Nyhavn, the boat tours usually last around one hour. Pretty touristy ay? But you’ll be surprised, even at peak season, how many Danish locals you’ll find drinking beer and enjoying the Danish sunshine.
6. Indulge in Danish street food
The Copenhagen Street Food, located on Paper Island, is an indoor market that offers a selection of food from all stretches of the world. Overlooking the beautiful waterfront, the market aims to create affordable food dishes that are sustainable, made from scratch and taste good. Here at Wonderlust Europe, we think they’ve managed to do all three. If you’re heading there in the evening there are also stalls providing drinks and beers, which you can enjoy whilst listening to local Danish bands and DJ’s.
7. Fall in love with the colourful houses
The quayside of Nyhavn is the perfect place to end a warm summer’s day, along with good friends and Danish beer. Enjoy one of the many restaurants embedded between the stunning colourful houses. Here you will get the perfect picture to sum up your Danish travels!
8. Book a table at Denmark’s most exquisite restaurants
The Dane’s like to enjoy the finer side of life, meaning that Copenhagen is a gourmet food hotspot. Famous restaurant Noma has been ranked the Best Restaurant in the World from 2010-2014, and is definitely a must if you don’t mind the price tag that comes with it! Just don’t forget to book in advance.
9. Be wowed by Scandinavian design
From fashion to furniture, Danish design is renowned the world over and where better to marvel at their elegant creations than at The Danish Museum of Arts & Design in Copenhagen. Housed in a 17th century Rococo building, the museum exhibits a large permanent collection of applied arts and crafts with works by Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen, Kaare Klint and Poul Henningsen on display.
10. Discover off-beat Copenhagen at Christiania
Give yourself a culture shock whilst visiting the hippie free town of Christiania. In 1971 an abandoned military area in Christianshavn was taken over by squatters, so that they could create a free town. Meaning an area free of taxes and run by their own laws. As you enter, you are even met with a sign saying ‘You are now leaving the EU’. With over 1000 people now living there permanently, Christiania is a vibrant town full of free thinking and free spirited people. Visitors are welcome in Christiania all year round and can enjoy an eccentric selection of cafes, stalls, restaurants and bars.
The concept of Christiania has been a controversial topic, due to the town’s heavy trade of Cannabis. Although Cannabis is legal in Christiania, it is in fact not legal in Denmark so whilst visiting Christiania guests must abide by some strict rules. So make sure you brush up on your Christiania rules so you can get the most out of your experience.