Your session will timeout due to inactivity, please choose to continue your session if you’d would like to continue.
The coastal city of Copenhagen is packed with old-world charm alongside avant-garde architecture. It's a vibrant and modern city, with a long and fascinating history. It has been the capital of Denmark for nearly 600 years and is home to the oldest resident monarchy in the world.
Copenhagen is the biggest city in Scandinavia, occupying a pleasant and strategic spot on the Baltic east coast of Denmark's largest island, Zealand. Its harbour is overlooked by the world-famous statue of the Little Mermaid.
Visitors are often first struck by the cleanliness and orderliness of this busy and dynamic capital. This is epitomised in the suburb of Christianshavn, with its picturesque canals and old cobbled streets all in pristine condition.
Most of the attractions in Copenhagen are situated within one square mile (3 square km) of flat terrain in the centre, making it easy to explore on foot or by bicycle, the vehicle of choice for locals.
Five streets in the heart of the city have been merged to provide the world's longest pedestrian mall of Strøget, running between Rådhuspladsen and Kongens Nytorv. It's packed with historic gabled buildings, dynamic department stores, numerous interesting little shops, restaurants, pavement cafes, theatres and world-class museums and galleries.
Copenhagen is not short on green lungs either. Parks such as the ever popular Tivoli Gardens abound in this city, which prides itself on its strict anti-pollution laws and lack of glass and chrome skyscrapers.
The world-renowned Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen is one of the world's most thrilling entertainment complexes, drawing about three million visitors during its five-month summer open season each year. Tivoli dates back to 1843 when Copenhagen was still a fortified city surrounded by tall ramparts and a deep moat. Today, the Tivoli Lake is all that remains of the moat, which now reflects the incredible trademark fireworks displays that light the sky over the gardens twice a week. Tivoli is split in two, one section housing the beautiful miniature gardens where more than 100,000 flowers bloom, and the other has the theme park, with arcades and thrill rides. Tivoli also boasts a concert hall and open-air stages where dozens of concerts, pantomimes and circus shows come to life.
From the Viking Age through to World War II resistance, the rich history of Denmark is encapsulated in fascinating collections of artefacts housed in a series of museums in Copenhagen. The Prince's Palace houses the National Museum, covering Danish history and international antiquities. A few miles north, the open air museum makes for a fascinating excursion. Spread over 86 acres, its 100 or so historic buildings are built to illustrate and represent regions and periods across Denmark. Visitors can get up to date on the history of the city itself at the Museum of Copenhagen.
The picturesque and historic Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen dates from 1673 when it was built to connect the inner city to the sea. Today, it's jokingly referred to as the longest bar in Scandinavia because of the numerous restaurants, pubs and cafes fronting the pretty pastel-painted townhouses. The canal itself is crammed with old wooden sailing ships which only add to the atmosphere. The area is strongly associated with fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, who occupied three houses in the district throughout his life. Visitors can take one of the many boat trips on offer to explore the canal and familiarise themselves with the area.
The attractive Dutch Renaissance-style Rosenborg Castle was designed by King Christian IV and served as his home until he died in 1648. Today, the castle is an important cultural institution and acts as a public museum detailing the history of Denmark's royal family. It also acts as a repository for the Danish Crown Jewels and royal regalia, which are kept in the castle cellars and can be viewed by the public. Although opulent, the castle also feels surprisingly personal and intimate for a royal residence, with the magnificent gardens a welcome retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.
The Little Mermaid, so synonymous with writer Hans Christian Andersen, sits on a rock at the Langelinie Harbour and is one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions. The sculpture was built in 1913 and enchants over a million visitors every year. At only about four feet (1.25m) high, she is small and seems to be in her true element when the waves crash against her rock. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen modelled the head after ballerina Ellen Price. It's beautifully executed and fits so well into its natural surroundings that it may take a moment to notice it.
When sightseeing in Denmark, architecture enthusiasts and history buffs fall in love with the Christiansborg Palace. A winter snowfall adds to its romantic fairytale appearance, its appeal further enhanced by the presence of ruins dating as far back as 1167 AD, when it existed as Absalon's Castle. The complex consists of several different buildings, centred round a Baroque Revival core and home to important institutions such as the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court. The royal family uses the palace church, the Royal Reception Rooms and the Riding Ground Complex.
The oldest amusement park in the world and one of Denmark's favourites, Bakken Amusement Park has delighted countless visitors since it first opened in 1583. Despite its age, the park and its amenities are modern and safe, featuring 34 thrilling rides. There are also lots of games, activities and gambling facilities. Bakken has about 40 restaurants and bars where families can relax and refuel. Just outside the amusement park gates is the beautiful woodland area of Dyrehaven, which offsets the artificial glories of the park with natural charm. The woods are a lovely place to stroll and are home to thousands of free-roaming deer.
The Denmark Aquarium boasts more than 300 species of marine life from across the globe. It's not large compared to other huge aquariums in Europe, but it's well maintained and a wonderful attraction for the whole family. Kids adore this magical underwater world, making for a good break from traditional sightseeing in Copenhagen. They will love the themed interactive exhibits and touch pool, while other facilities include a cafe where visitors can take a break and enjoy lovely views with tasty meals, treats or hot drinks.
Founded in 1859, the Copenhagen Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and features an amazing selection of animals from all over the world. Some of the zoo's most popular features include the Elephant House, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster; Tasmanian Devils, very rarely found in any zoo outside of Australia; the polar bear enclosure; and the lion den. Notable animals in the 27 acre (11 hectare) park include tigers, red pandas, hippos, yaks and camels. The animals are well looked after and the habitat designs are impressive. The staff are famous for their care for their animals and are usually willing to chat to visitors about them.
Featuring almost 300 interactive exhibitions for children of all ages, the Experimentarium is a hands-on science museum that aims to encourage youngsters to take an interest in science in fun ways. There are various exhibits, including ones on energy, the human body and mathematics, as well as other interactive areas. With permanent and temporary exhibitions, visitors can be sure that there is always something new, fun and exciting for children to enjoy. The bubble section tends to be a big favourite, while the museum also features a cafe and restaurant, workshop facilities and a gift shop with exciting scientific toys and games. This is a great activity for the whole family and is the perfect kid-orientated break from traditional sightseeing.
Copenhagen is a safe and friendly place with world-class amenities. Visitors travelling with children in Copenhagen will find an abundance of fantastic and exciting attractions geared towards kids, making this a wonderful city for the whole family to enjoy.
A trip to Copenhagen must include a visit to Tivoli Gardens, which boasts beautiful miniature gardens, a theme park with arcade games and rides, and even open air stages where plays and concerts take place.
The Bakken Amusement Park is great for warm days and is the oldest of its kind in the world, having opened in 1583. The Nature Playground, located at Valbyparken, is also a must for a picnic out in the sunshine and fresh air. Indeed, there are numerous parks and green areas in Copenhagen where families can play and relax.
On colder days when outdoor activities with kids aren't an option, head off to the Denmark Aquarium, the wonderful Copenhagen Zoo or the Mystic Exploratorie, a fantastic place where kids are equally thrilled and perplexed.
For toddlers, the Kompan indoor playground is a wonderland of slides, balls and bright colours. Children will also enjoy some of the more traditional sightseeing attractions, such as palaces and castles which delight young imaginations.
Copenhagen's continental climate is mild through all four seasons. Summers (June to August) bring temperatures averaging around 68°F (20°C), while in mid-winter (December to February) temperatures hover just above or below freezing. The hottest month is July and the coldest month is February. Rainfall is moderate too, but showers are possible in any season. Winter days get far fewer daylight hours than summer days, which are long. Early summer is the best time to visit Denmark; the month of June is particularly lovely because the days are longest and the weather is at its most pleasant.
The guarantors of Michelin dining have bestowed 15 restaurants in Copenhagen with their prestigious mark of excellence. While obviously many popular restaurants in Copenhagen are not included, the honours are indicative of how far dining has progressed in the city.
Traditionally, Denmark has not been known for its food; Frikadeller meatballs and cabbage are among the most popular dishes. While there are some great Danish foods such as their hotdogs and open-faced sandwiches, much of the truly great culinary experiences in Copenhagen deals in international cuisine, particularly French and Asian.
Dining in Copenhagen is usually a leisurely affair and patrons are encouraged to take their time and make a night of it. For quicker eats, cafes and hot dog stands are very popular and a fun way to meet people, or you can grab a fresh sandwich at one of the city's many bakeries. Stoget, Central Station and Grey Friars Square are all hotspots for restaurants. Tivoli also has a great selection of casual eateries in fun settings.
A service charge is included in the bill, but great service is often rewarded with a tip regardless. Save money by paying with cash, as many restaurants charge a fee for transactions on foreign credit cards.
Ida Davidsen is the queen of the smorgasbord in Copenhagen, specialising in Denmark's undisputed gourmet speciality. Known as smørrebrød, smorgasbord refers to a range of open sandwiches served for lunch and usually made up of a variety of fish and seafood. The owner of the eponymous restaurant is the fifth in her family to serve this unique cuisine and offers the longest smorgasbord menu in Denmark, measuring six feet (2m) long. A favourite is the Preben Elkjær, a mix of plaice fillets, asparagus, and smoked salmon on rye bread. Open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 5pm. Reservations recommended.
Situated in a busy bookshop and art gallery popular with Copenhagen's student population, this cosy restaurant is a great place to relax whether you want a small cup of coffee or a huge plate of lasagne. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the cafe offers local beer on tap and is the perfect place to simply watch people go about their daily lives. There is a good selection for vegetarians too. It's open the whole week, usually closing at 10pm except on Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 11pm.
For a traditional meal bound to bring a smile, follow the locals to the popular lunch spot of Cafe Sorgenfri. The simple 19th-century basement restaurant in the heart of the city's pedestrian precinct was originally a sailors' tavern and is still a very lively drinking hole once the kitchen closes. The décor reflects old Copenhagen with its gilt-framed pictures, wrought-iron chandeliers and leather-panelled walls. At lunch time it serves excellent classic smorrebrods (open sandwiches), ideally washed down with a local brew. Open daily from 11am to 9pm, with Sundays closing at 6pm. Reservations recommended.
Known as the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen, Det Lille Apotek is a gorgeous trip back in time. Its four low-ceilinged rooms were frequented by such famous artists and writers like Hans Christian Andersen, with leaded window panes and woodland motifs of forest gods and nymphs resplendent in the glow of petroleum lamps. Translated as 'The Little Pharmacy', it aims to offer a genuine Danish culinary experience with selections of smorgasbords, lunch and dinner menus, and a delightful choice of desserts, coffees, and cheeses. Det Lille Apotek is open every day of the week.
In Copenhagen's famous Tivoli Gardens, the bustling Restaurant Promenaden is a great place for the whole family. On offer are staples like its steaks, pastas, or its famous barbeque ribs, along with affordable snacks at the sausage bar and beef sandwich deli. It enjoys live music performances on weekends, with a vibrant atmosphere and international menu catering towards locals and tourists alike. The restaurant functions during the summer season only when Tivoli itself is open from 12pm to midnight.
Known as one of the classiest establishments in Copenhagen, Restaurant Godt is an exclusive restaurant catering to a maximum of 20 guests at a time. The setup makes for a personalised and intimate dining experiences. This refined approach is extended to the polished Danish menu, offering a selection of the finest veal, seafood, and vegetables, all prepared with fresh local herbs. Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and reservations are essential.
Set in an 18th century waterfront warehouse, Noma exudes Nordic charm in its functional simplicity. The décor combines oak, stone, and leather with glass and metal in a light and spacious dining area. Its menus are split into three seasons, each with a distinct flavour: vegetable season, seafood season, and game and forest season. Vegetables are foraged from local woodlands, meadows, and streams, while some crops are grown on its very own farm. During the meat season, offerings cover leg of moose, wild duck, and reindeer tongue. Open for lunch Tuesday to Saturday, and dinner Monday to Saturday. Reservations recommended.
Set in Boltens Gård, Khun Juk is a stylish Thai restaurant celebrated for its authentic cuisine. Favourites from the menu include spicy Thai beef salad or steamed mussels with horapa (Thai sweet basil) and lemongrass. The dining room has classic décor and a warm atmosphere, while the outdoor area has lovely café umbrellas and potted plants. Open Monday to Saturday for dinner, reservations recommended.
Restaurant Peder Oxe is set in an historic 19th-century building on Gråbrødretorv, one of the oldest squares in Copenhagen. Visitors will sit in lovely light-filled rooms with classic décor and high ceilings. The kitchen focuses mainly on high quality steaks and a mix of French and Nordic influences. Menus vary with the changing seasons, including everything from classic lamb and beef dishes to fresh seafood and game. For something lighter, there are selections of cheeses, desserts, and Danish . Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Copenhagen's harbour comes alive every year when four days of dance, music, theatre, art and sports descend upon its seas and shores. Events include regattas, trampoline-diving, evening concerts by the water, workshops for children, a triathlon and more. All the cultural and leisure activities are open to participation for locals and visitors alike, and are free of charge. They are organised to celebrate and promote the culture and traditions of Copenhagen's lively harbour. It's a festival for all ages so there are also numerous activities for children, making it a perfect event for a family holiday in Denmark.
Not just a venue for summer fun, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park has opened for the Christmas season in a festive guise. It provides an unforgettable yuletide experience for hundreds of thousands of visitors, young and old. Not only are many of the rides open, but there are the added attractions of thousands of fragrant Christmas trees, miles of fir garlands, candles and a skating rink. Shoppers can also find an array of presents in Nordic Village, Alp Village, Forest Troll Town or Old England. Restaurants serve up traditional Christmas fare, while several musical and theatrical productions take place in the park's indoor entertainment venues.
Nightlife in Copenhagen has a couple of gears and the real party doesn't start until late at night. Most jumpstart the evening in a variety of cafes and bars, ranging from renovated historic buildings with new edgy decor to newly-built and fashionable eateries.
Hybrid bars are a perfect way to begin the night as they change themes and almost reinvent their venue several times in a single night. This lets patrons enjoy easy listening music and nice meals before late night DJs take over with more energetic tracks. Certain areas of the city, such as Nyhavn and Boltens Gård, are long-time Copenhagen nightlife districts that always promise great venues, often staying open until about 5am.
The 150-year-old Pantomime Theatre stages commedia dell'arte productions with free admission, while the modern Tivolis Koncertsal offers classical entertainment from opera to symphonies. You can often find last-minute discounted tickets at the ticket kiosk across from the Nørreport train station at the corner of Fiolstræde and Nørre Voldgade.
A day of shopping in Copenhagen is brilliant but can be a spectator sport for those without large amounts of money to spend. Strøget is the longest pedestrian mall in the world, comprising five streets and two miles (3.2km) of retail heaven.
Copenhagen's main stores can be found along here, as well as cafes for weary shoppers to stop and refuel. At the top end of Strøget, shoppers with a penchant for designer labels can splurge at Prada, Chanel and Versace, while Magasin du Nord, Scandinavia's largest department store, is also found in this area.
Nørrebro Flea Market on Nørrebrogade and the market on Israels Plads are the biggest and oldest flea markets in Copenhagen. They run from April to October and stock a vast variety of items, from souvenirs and antiques to ramshackle trinkets.
Lego can be scooped up cheaply, while Scandinavian Crystal and Royal Copenhagen porcelain are not to be forgotten. Shops in Copenhagen are mostly open from 9.30am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.
and trains in the city and surrounds operate on a one-fare system, where tickets are valid for all three types of transport with no extra cost for transfer.
Bus services are frequent between 5am and 1am, with night buses operating after regular hours. The metro runs from Vanlose Station to Lergravsparken in East Amager, to Orestad in West Amager and to Frederiksberg, operating on a 24/7 basis.
A favourite mode of transport for locals and visitors is the bicycle, and Copenhagen has cycle paths and routes along all major streets. Copenhagen is also well supplied with licensed taxis, but traffic is usually congested in the city centre and a car can be a liability rather than an asset.
Attractions in Copenhagen are a mix of fascinating history and fun activities. Its many cobblestone streets and rows of old Danish houses are much like they've been for centuries, occupied by wonderful shops and carnival-style entertainment.
The Little Mermaid statue in Langelinie harbour is one of the city's most sought after sights for visitors, despite its small size. Other attractions await in unique neighbourhoods, grand museums and entertainment venues, usually reached on foot and mostly found in the old city centre of Copenhagen.
A walk along Nyhavn Canal reveals the best of historic Copenhagen with old architecture and wooden boats showcasing the city's maritime history. For those interested in delving deeper into the Danish past, the National Museum at the Prince's Palace is a central Copenhagen attraction, as is the Copenhagen City Museum.
Copenhagen also has a proud heritage of art and design, well showcased in numerous museums, galleries and architecture. Of course, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without idling in the Tivoli Gardens or playing in its famous theme park.
The Copenhagen Card is useful too, giving free entry to more than 70 museums and attractions, free rides on public transportation, and discounts in many restaurants and shops. The cards can be purchased at the airport or at many tourist offices around Denmark.
60 miles (96km) west of Copenhagen and located on the island of Funen, Odense is Denmark's third largest city and a vibrant centre of commerce and nightlife. In this busy harbour city, the quaint streets of the Old Town offer interesting shops, cafes and restaurants all buzzing with activity. Odense has a long history going back thousands of years, with archaeological finds dating to the Viking era. Birthplace of famed storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, there's a strong affinity between the city and the writer, with a number of shops and restaurants dedicated to him. The town also has several beautiful castles, cathedrals and museums, while the music and nightlife is among the best in Denmark, with symphonies, theatre and non-stop outdoor festivities in the idyllic summer months.
Sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Baltic, Bornholm is wildly popular as a holiday destination for people from Sweden, Poland and Germany. Often overlooked by visitors from the US and UK, tourists enjoy the island's sunny beaches and natural beauty. It's loved for activities such as sailing, fishing, camping and hiking. The Almindingen Forest is among the largest in Denmark, while Dueodde boasts some of the best sandy beaches in the Baltic. A number of small towns have their own attractions, including Gudhjem's sunrises and charming winding streets, the jazz festival at Allinge and the bustling markets and local beers of Svaneke. The biggest town on Bornholm is Rønne, where most ferries disembark, and it features pretty 19th-century architecture and a collection of museums, shops and restaurants.
The original Legoland is a holiday must for children visiting Denmark. Opened in 1968, it welcomes visitors from all over the world and is conveniently situated next to the original Lego factory. The theme park is divided into different worlds with different themes, often based on the latest Lego ranges. With a legendary selection of rides, shops and eateries, Legoland Billund has something to offer everyone and is a must-do for families on holiday in Copenhagen. The admission costs vary because there are so many different ticket options, including season passes, family tickets, multiple pre-booked online ticket options, as well as ordinary gate prices. So it's best to double check the website.
Esbjerg is a popular holiday town, loved for its gorgeous beaches, art scene and thriving cafe culture. Most of Esbjerg's tourist attractions are nautical by nature, including the Sealarium at the Fisheries and Maritime Museum. A boat trip round the harbour is a must, while there's plenty of golf and watersports to indulge in. Being a city with a large youthful population, there's always a fair amount of dancing and music in its bars and clubs. But the best thing about Esbjerg is its proximity to the scenic Jutland Peninsula, with wide windswept sand dunes and popular family attractions such as Legoland at Billund, as well as the picturesque medieval town of Ribe, and offshore resort islands such as Romo and Fano.
Your session will timeout due to inactivity, please choose to continue your session if you’d would like to continue.
Your session has timed out due to inactivity.