Copenhagen is a historic city centre, with a whole-host of attractions to view. The city is easy to navigate by foot, or you can join the many locals in cycling the streets with many hire options available. With a multitude of things to do, we list some of the main highlights below.
The Copenhagen Card
This is one of the best city cards on offer. It covers pretty much every main attraction any first-time visitor would want to see in Copenhagen, whilst offering you added benefits. 86 attractions and museums are included, allowing you free first-time entry to each attraction. The added benefit is free transport in the Copenhagen region, meaning you do not need to worry about transport zones and pricing. Just ensure you purchase the card which best suits your duration of stay (they offer 24-, 48-, 72-, and 120-hour card options).
View and purchase the card here - copenhagencard.com
A great way to get your bearings is to take a hop-on and hop-off bus tour, allowing you to see all the sights and attractions within this city. City Sightseeing* operate an open-top bus tour where you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you like at any of the bus stops on the route.
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park, located opposite to Copenhagen Central Station. Founded in 1843, the site offers a host of rides to enjoy, along with extensive gardens and a selection of places to eat.
The Little Mermaid
Located at Langelinje Pier, one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions is the Little Mermaid. The bronze and granite sculpture attracts a large amount of visitors throughout the day, wanting to have their picture taken beside it.
The Round Tower
This 17th-century tower and observatory, named Rundetaarn, is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Ascend its inner spiral ramp to the top, where you will find some steps taking you up to the observation area. From here you gain good views over the city, whilst you can venture inside and get a view of the telescope occupying the inner observatory part of the tower.
Offering a guided tour around the harbour and through the canals, the canal tours are a great way of seeing the sights of Copenhagen in one go. A guide will tell you about the buildings of Copenhagen, from churches and castles, through to the modern buildings now alongside the water. The tour is given in Danish and English, with some departures having a third language (this varies between German, Italian, French, Portuguese or Spanish).
The National Museum
The National Museum of Denmark hosts exhibitions from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History. There are linked rooms on multiple floors, and you can easily spend a good few hours browsing all the museum has to offer.
If you have an interest in royal history, be sure to check out Amalienborg Palace. The Danish royal family continue to reside here, and you can experience the royal history at the museum and watch the changing of the guard at the palace square.
Located to the west of Kongens Have parkland and gardens, Rosenborg Castle is a 17th-century palace and royal museum. View tapestries lining the walls, commemorating battles which took place between Denmark and Sweden. Here, you will also find Denmark’s crown jewels, kept in special vaults.
Kronborg Castle is one of Denmark’s most famous castles, known most for its association with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The castle contains beautifully decorated rooms which you can tour, to gain a real appreciation of how the residents of this 16th-century castle lived.
Take the train from Copenhagen Central Station north to Helsingør. You can walk to the castle from the station here, and at this point will be at the closest land-point to Sweden, which you can see across the water.
National Aquarium Denmark, Den Blå Planet
Northern Europe’s largest aquarium is surrounded by water on all sides, allowing the visitor the impression of being underwater.
Situated in Hillerød, to the north of Copenhagen, this Renaissance-era castle was build in the 17th-century. You can tour round the inner rooms, beautifully decorated with numerous portraits, paintings and furniture. The castle has been home to the Museum of National History since 1878, and provides a good, historical insight when you visit.
The castle is around a 15-minute walk from Hillerød train station, with trains to here departing from Copenhagen Central Station throughout the day.
Housing over 3,000 animals, Copenhagen Zoo offers a good experience if you have time to fit it into your trip.
Where to Stay
When visiting a city, booking a short hotel stay can allow you to have a good base to go on and explore the city centre and its attractions. There are a number of hotel options available in and around Copenhagen, including Crowne Plaza* and Radisson Blu*.
The above article offers an overview of some of the highlights this area has to offer, however for a more complete guide we recommend the travel guide for Copenhagen, from Lonely Planet.
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