- The capital and largest city of Denmark, with a population of ~1.2 million.
- Originally a Viking fishing village, Copenhagen became a city in the 13th century.
- The main political, cultural, and economic hub of Denmark.
- Known for its beautiful waterfronts and classical architecture.
- Nicknames: City of Beautiful Towers, City of Spires
- Currency: Danish Kroner (DKK)
- Spoken languages: Danish (English is widely spoken)
- Best time to visit: from May to August (the warmest time of year)
- Arriving via airport: take the train into town for 36K; taxi fare is 250-300K.
WHERE TO STAY
Copenhagen has a wide range of hotel options, though accommodations are on the expensive side. Most hotels are located in the Indre By and Vesterbro areas. Unique accommodation options include sleeping in the old fort at Flakfortet, or on the floating houseboat hotel CPH Living. Many of the cheap hostels are dormitory facilities that are only open in the summer.
- Copenhagen has an extensive and efficient public transport system that integrates the S-train network, intercity trains/buses, and metro Copenhagen buses. There are two main hubs, Central Station and Norreport Station, both of which provide access to the entire city.
- Boat canal tours are very popular in Copenhagen. For 220K you can get a two day unlimited pass with DFDS Canal Tours – hop on and off boats as you like.
- Taxis are available in Copenhagen but tend to be very expensive.
- Renting a bicycle in Copenhagen is a popular way to explore the city, and daily rentals can run as low as 75K.
- Drinking age is 16 (though you have to be 18 to be served alcohol in bars).
- Upscale clubs and drinking establishments are in Nyhaven.
- More affordable hotspots can be found in Nørrebro and Vesterbro.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen also serves as the main residence of the Danish Royal Family. The changing of the guard takes place every day at noon, and is worth seeing.
- The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum holds an art collection, with works from masters like Picasso and Matisse. Make sure you check out the museum’s beautiful winter garden.
- The iconic Rundetårn Tower is worth a visit – the observation platform provides a great view of classical architecture and the cityscape.
- The Marble Church in Indre boasts one of the largest church domes in Europe, with a span of 31 meters.
- Visit the home of Hans Christian Andersen and explore the 17th century buildings in Nyhavn.
- Explore the Old City of Copenhagen on foot. This is a great chance to see traditional Danish architecture, and explore the various museums and galleries.
- Stroget is a traffic free shopping district in central Copenhagen where you can shop and explore without having to dodge vehicles.
- Take a stroll through the Kongens Nytorv – this is the city’s largest square, and is surrounded by statues and restored antique buildings.
- Denmark has some very unique culinary delights that you don’t see broadly exported to other countries. Dishes to try: musk ox, icelandic seaweed, and wood sorrel.
- Visit Copenhagen in August to catch one of the city’s major summer music festivals.
- Where to find good cheap eats: while it is difficult to find anything cheap in Copenhagen, it is not impossible. Try restaurants and cafes in the residential areas of Nørrebro (known for its wide range of cuisines) and Vesterbro.
- Dangerous areas: none in particular, as Copenhagen is very safe. To stay on the safe side, avoid: the outskirts and Mjølnerparken in NV (North West) at night. Keep an eye out for pickpockets and bicycle thieves.
RECOMMENDED COPENHAGEN GUIDE BOOKS
- Rick Steves Snapshot Copenhagen & the Best of Denmark
- Copenhagen: The Best Of Copenhagen For Short Stay Travel
- Copenhagen for Free 2016 Travel Guide (2nd Edition)
Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days