The most notable characteristic is the hoards of bicycles that travel along the bike lanes without crashing or fist waving – all day long! Their bicycle system is a way of life that has truly been perfected. You’ll see cargo bikes carrying kids, kids riding at the age of 3, women in heels and skirts, even the elderly! They even have monument meters telling you how many bicycles have passed that intersection, and we’re not talking a few hundred, we’re talking thousands!
Artistic and innovative design is woven into the fabric of the city. Just about every restaurant, building, cafe, music venue, clothing store and park has some amazing element of art. Danish art is known for being edgy, functional, and minimalistic, which gives it a clean and simple look. What the Danes have also incorporated into their designs is sustainability. Their perspective is that if you make it a way of life, it becomes a part of you. And you can see how it applies. Here’s a sampling of modern buildings that have awards in the international community of design and architecture: 8tallet, National Aquarium (Den Bla Planet), The Black Diamond, M/S Maritime Museum (free with Copenhagen Card), The Royal Danish Opera House, and there are more.
Places to Visit in Copenhagen
- Tivoli Gardens
- Christiansborg Palace
- National Museum of Denmark
- The Round Tower of Copenhagen
Unique Things to See and Do in Copenhagen
- Experience Copenhagen cycling
- Take a canal tour in the colourful area of Nyhavn
- Explore the Frederiksborg Castle
- Day trip to the Elsinore Castle from Shakespeare’s Hamlet
- Admire Frederiks Kirke (The Marble Church)
- Stroll by the water to see The Little Mermaid
- Take a train/cycle tour to the white cliffs of Møns Klint
Copenhagen Culinary Scene
It’s difficult to talk about Copenhagen without talking about the restaurant scene because it is that good. As with the rest of the city’s designs, the varying types of restaurants are equally pretty, modern, funky, edgy, or extremely exquisite. You can find restaurants for all budgets, from having lunch at the Canteen, snacking on open-faced sandwiches called Smørrebrød or dining in one of the world’s best Michelin starred restaurants such as Noma (expect a $400 bill per person if you like to pair your meals with wine!). Plus, Copenhagen has plenty of pubs and bars serving up their famous Tuborg and Carlsberg beers.
Another must try is the Copenhagen Street Food Market where you can enjoy a glass of wine, listen to live music, see street performers, relax in the sun, all while you enjoy a tasty meal. What you may not expect, but will soon come to realize, is that Copenhagen embraces many different ethnicities. The food trucks range from Mexican, Spanish, Danish, to Italian, and so on!
Another aspect of Copenhagen’s culinary scene is the movement towards sustainable foods, grown and prepared locally. A true plus for most travellers that really want to learn about the culture. There are plenty of amazing places to try and it’s hard to narrow it down, but if you can afford a Michelin starred restaurant it is well worth it.
Getting Around Copenhagen
As you’ve probably imagined already, the Danish are pretty well organized which means transportation around Copenhagen is simple and easy to use. Of course, the most popular way to travel is by bicycle, and well worth it for sightseeing around the city.
Pickup a Copenhagen Card for unlimited public transit, including the airport (trains leave from Terminal 3), and this card will get you free entrance to 72+ attractions and museums, plus give you discounts at restaurants, car hire and sights. The card also includes free access for 2 children under the age of 10.
Public Transit options are water taxis, buses, the Metro (all day service), and trains. All run frequently and on time. If you are purchasing tickets, the number zones determine the prices, but 2 zones will get you to most of the central sights, 3 zones to the airport, and then day excursion destinations will vary.
Did you know…?
That Stroget street is Scandinavia’s longest car-free, tax-free, luxury goods shopping zone? And don’t worry men – there’s dining, street entertainment, and people watching to be done too!
Did you ALSO know…?
There is a controversial little town called Christiania or “Freetown” where they are self-governing and have no rules!
Best Time of Year to Travel to Copenhagen
Sidewalk cafes, outdoor festivals, live music, and people enjoying the warm weather is Copenhagen in the summer time, and, therefore, the best time of year to go.
Summer months last from May to September with the temperature ranging between 10°C to 20°C. If you chill easily, wear layers for the cool winds but be prepared to carry that sweater for part of the day.
Springtime is from March to May and is cooler which means fewer people and cheaper rates. Beer lovers – listen up! The Copenhagen Beer Festival takes place in May…you don’t want to miss that!
Fall months are cold, so bring sweaters or prepare to shop. From September to November the temperature drops as low as 3°C with highs ranging from 17°C down to 7°C. It feels even cooler with the north winds.
Then there are the winters which are cold, plain and simple, but if you’re planning on being in Copenhagen during Christmas the city is beautifully decorated and you can even have a beer outside on heated patios!
Ready to plan your visit to Copenhagen? Check out these popular guides and trips.