Best Things to Do in Copenhagen
This post provides the 25 best things to do in Copenhagen throughout the year, including ideas that are free, family-friendly, and fun after dark.
For even more ideas, make sure to read our posts covering the following tours, services, and historic sites.
1. Visit a Historic Castle/Palace
Some of the most interesting attractions in Copenhagen are their many castles and palaces.
If you want to see some of the most historic landmarks in the city, consider visiting one of the following locations:
Although each of these locations requires a ticket to enter, you can save money on admission by using a Copenhagen discount pass.
2. Attend a Sporting Event
When it comes to sports, Copenhagen is definitely a football (soccer for the Americans) town.
The Denmark National Football Team plays at Parken Stadion for notable events such as the European Football Championship each year.
Every now and then there will also be athletic activities hosted by the Royal Arena, such as the ATP Auckland Open Tennis competition.
Sadly, there aren’t many other teams or sports to enjoy in this city, but if you want to see everything going on during your visit, check this list of Copenhagen sporting events.
3. Spend a Night at the Theatre
While Copenhagen doesn’t host a lot of Off-Broadway productions, there are some pretty historic and notable theatres in this city that provide a venue for many different types of theatrical performances.
In addition to musicals and plays, you can also expect to see operas and ballet at the following locations:
- The Royal Danish Theatre
- The Royal Danish Opera House
- The Royal Danish Playhouse
- Bellevue Theatre
- Det Ny Teater
If you’re a fan of the theatre, chances are you’ll be able to find a production to attend at one of these venues.
4. Go to a Concert
Depending on when you visit Copenhagen, you may find that one of your favorite musical artists is in town to perform a concert.
There are two venues that host more concerts than any other in the city, so you may want to check their event calendars to see what they have planned during your trip.
Of course, even if these are the most popular venues, that doesn’t mean they’re the only locations where you can catch a great show.
Check this list of concerts in Copenhagen to see who will be playing when you come to town.
5. Take a Sightseeing Tour
There are several different types of sightseeing tours available in Copenhagen, so if you’re looking for a guide to help you learn about the city and see all the most historic landmarks, there are plenty of options.
Alternatively, you may also want to consider a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to make transportation around the city much easier.
6. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
If you’re planning to visit more than one or two attractions or enjoy at least one tour and an additional activity while in this city, you might be able to save some money by using a Copenhagen discount pass.
These services include admission to dozens of activities, tours, museums, and attractions. Depending on how you use a tourist pass, you could save up to or around 50% off tickets.
Here are a handful of the most popular things these passes cover:
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
- Hop on Hop off Boat Tours
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not
- Christiansborg Palace
- Frederiksborg Castle
- CopenHill Ski Slope
- Rosenborg Castle
- Kronborg Castle
- Copenhagen Zoo
- And more!
For additional details about how these services work, which attractions are included with each pass and more useful information, please read our post covering Copenhagen tourist passes.
7. Go to the Tivoli Gardens
If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, there are few places in Copenhagen better than Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second-oldest amusement park.
In addition to a variety of amusement rides, there is also a beautiful garden with beautiful floral arrangements, fountains, and a variety of foliage.
During major holidays such as Christmas, this amusement park is lined with decorations, lighting displays, and other festive things to enjoy.
The best part of Tivoli Gardens is that you can get tickets at a discount using either a Copenhagen tourist pass or a combo package.
That said, even if you’re only interested in going to the park, you can still purchase individual tickets to Tivoli Gardens online and skip the ticket line.
8. Go to the Copenhagen Zoo
Not to be outdone by Tivoli Gardens, the zoo is another fantastic attraction for families and there are a lot of fun things for both kids and adults to see and experience.
There are a variety of different animals at the Copenhagen Zoo including Pandas, Elephants, Lions, Tigers, Rhinos, Hippos, Zebras, Camels, Bears, Primates, Kangaroos and many other beautiful species.
In addition to that, there is also a Children’s Zoo where kids can come and interact with some of the animals!
Tickets are included at no extra cost with at least one Copenhagen tourist pass, and that is probably the easiest way to save money on admission.
9. Visit a Museum
There are a variety of great museums in Copenhagen, including locations focused on science, history, art, and even culture.
Here are a few of the most notable examples:
- Guinness World Record Museum
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Each of these museums is included at no extra cost with at least one Copenhagen tourist pass, so you don’t even have to pay full price for tickets!
10. Take a Food Tour
If you’re looking for delicious food to eat in Copenhagen, it might be difficult to find the best restaurants without a little help. Thankfully, there are food tours you can take which cover some of the most popular dishes in the city.
There are a variety of different tours ranging in length from 2 – 4 hours depending on how far you want to dive into the culinary culture of Copenhagen.
If you’re interested in a shorter outing, Sandemans currently offers a 2-½ hour outing which includes 5 stops, 3 samples, a desert, and 2 local beers.
Alternatively, you may also want to consider a longer 4-hour Culinary Experience tour which provides samples of 3 organic cheese, multiple sweets like licorice and toffee, 4 types of open-faced sandwiches, 3 beers, a Danish hot dog, and more!
11. Visit the Blue Planet Aquarium
If your kids want to see even more animals than what they have at the zoo, you may want to consider a trip to the National Aquarium of Denmark, otherwise known as “The Blue Planet.”
This attraction is home to a variety of aquatic life including hammerhead sharks, octopuses, stingrays, sea otters, piranhas, arapaimas, and many more.
In addition to the fish and invertebrates, the Blue Planet is also home to a Tropical Rainforest exhibit with butterflies and other exotic animals.
Admission to the National Aquarium of Denmark is included with at least one Copenhagen tourist pass, but if you’re not interested in saving money with those services, you can also get skip-the-line tickets to the Blue Planet online.
12. Experience the Copenhill Ski Slope
Fans of skiing will be happy to hear about the unique 1,500-foot ski slope now sitting atop a power plant in Copenhagen. This artificial slope is designed to remain open all year, so you can visit anytime!
Visitors can either bring their own skis/snowboard or rent them on site. There is also a hiking/climbing area for anyone who isn’t quite as interested in skiing.
No matter what kind of extreme sports or fitness activities interest you, chances are there is something fun for you to do at Copenhill.
Admission to this attraction is included with at least one major Copenhagen tourist pass, allowing you to save money on tickets.
13. Go on a Ghost Tour
In Copenhagen, tours covering the haunted and supernatural side of the city often also include information about some of the mythology and legends from throughout the history of this region.
If you’re interested in learning about the dark and mysterious tales from Copenhagen’s past, consider taking a ghost tour for a different perspective of the city.
These outings cover a wide range of subjects including epidemics, disasters, ghosts, guardian spirits, monsters, and other creatures from Danish folklore.
This trip is available either as a guided walking tour or a self-guided audio tour, which means you can enjoy a unique look at Copenhagen whether you want to join a tour group or just explore the city at your own pace.
14. Take a Danish Market Tour
There are some great local marketplaces in Copenhagen where you can find a variety of foods and other goods. If you’re looking for some help navigating these sites, consider taking a Danish Market tour.
This private tour is led by a local guide who specializes in Danish foods, and in addition to showing you the best markets, they’ll also provide information about delicious ingredients you can use to make authentic Danish cuisine.
During the outing, you’ll also have an opportunity to taste some of the best local dishes, so it’s basically part food tour as well!
15. Visit a Vineyard
Copenhagen may not be the first name you think of when it comes to wine, but there is at least one winery just outside of the city which offers admission for small group tours.
The Vesterhavegaarden Vineyard produces a variety of different wines, and this tour will take you out to the winery to speak with the owner.
In addition to learning all about the process of making wine, you’ll also get to sample apple iced wine, apple-cider amarone-style red wine, and chardonnay!
16. Go on a Pub Crawl
If wine isn’t your style, you may still want to consider visiting some of the local pubs and trying out some of the great local brews in Copenhagen.
Thankfully, there are some tour companies that offer pub crawls which cover some of the best bars in the city, providing free drinks at each location you’ll visit!
This is a great way to become acquainted not only with the nightlife in Copenhagen, but also the best pubs to visit and some great drinks.
17. Check out the Christiansborg Palace Tower
While the main palace is only open to tour groups who pay for tickets, there are some areas of this landmark that the public can visit for free at any time.
The tower at Christiansborg Palace is the largest in Copenhagen, and it offers one of the best views in the entire city. Best of all, you can take an elevator to the top and enjoy the view at no cost!
Although it won’t cost anything to visit this attraction, there are often long lines for the elevator, so you should prepare to wait a while or get there when they first open at 11AM.
Don’t forget that tickets to Christiansborg Palace are included at no additional cost with some Copenhagen tourist passes.
18. Take the Kids to the Little Mermaid
Whether you’re visiting Copenhagen with children or you just love the story of Danish author H.C. Anderson, you owe it to yourself to see this beautiful statue by the water at the Langelinie Promenade.
This attraction is entirely free to visit, and although it might not be the biggest and most impressive statue you’ll ever see, it’s certainly beautiful.
Aside from the Little Mermaid herself, this is also a great spot to see the Cherry Blossoms in spring.
19. Witness the Changing of the Guard
Much like in London, the changing of the guard at the Queen’s Palace is also quite popular to witness in Copenhagen. This event takes place every day at noon at Amalienborg, the official residence of the royal family.
One thing that is definitely different about the Danish changing of the guards is just the way they dress, as they wear giant fuzzy hats which some consider funny and others just find interesting.
This is a great opportunity to see the routine of Danish guards as they trade places in defending and protecting the Queen and other members of royalty.
If you want to go inside, entrance is included for free with some Copenhagen tourist passes, allowing you to save some money on admission.
20. Spend Time in King’s Garden
While Rosenborg Castle itself requires tickets to enter, the surrounding gardens known as Kongens Have are entirely free to visit – and they’re stunningly beautiful!
Whether you’re just looking for a nice place to take a walk or you want a great place for taking some photos, this is an excellent landmark that you simply have to see if you’re visiting Copenhagen.
In addition to tree-lined paths perfectly cut and formed in straight lines to match Danish architecture, there is also a gorgeous rose garden which is especially nice to visit during the months of April – June.
Don’t forget that admission to Rosenborg Castle is included at no extra cost with some Copenhagen tourist passes!
21. Go to the Black Diamond Library
This royal library is not only the largest in all Nordic countries, it’s also an excellent example of combining both modern and traditional architectural and technological design.
Even if you don’t feel like reading a book, this location typically hosts many concerts and other events throughout the year which could be of interest.
If you’re wondering where this library gets its name, make sure to take a good look from outside as the sun hits the water of the canal and casts a reflection which makes the building shine like a diamond.
The best thing about this attraction is that it’s entirely free to visit!
22. Take a Walk Through Nyhavn
Although you may not recognize this district by name, one look at the memorable architectural design of the buildings in this area will make it clear why this is one of the most popular destinations in Copenhagen.
This is an excellent location to take a few pictures, either of yourself or just of the architecture, as the colorful houses make an excellent background for photography.
In addition to all the interesting buildings in the area, this is also just a great place to walk around and grab a drink, especially when the weather is nice.
That said, you don’t really have to spend anything to visit Nyhavn, and it’s totally free to enjoy a walk around the district.
23. Enjoy a Free Ballet With Brunch
In addition to all the productions they put on each year, the Royal Danish Theatre also offers a free 1 ½-hour ballet rehearsal at least once a month.
While the performance won’t cost anything to attend, the brunch costs approximately 95 DKK and it includes one cinnamon dessert, a piece of fresh fruit, onion mash, granola, coffee and tea.
Since you don’t have to pay for admission, seats tend to fill up fast, so it’s a good idea to show up as early as possible on the morning of this event.
Check the Royal Danish Theatre calendar for more details about this activity.
24. Head to a Free Museum
In addition to all the great museums that require a ticket to enter, there are also several locations that provide free admission either throughout the year or on certain days of the week.
Here are a few of the best locations that offer entrance at no cost:
- Museum of Copenhagen | Free on Wednesdays & for under-18
- Thorvaldsens Museum | Free on Wednesdays & for under-18
- Danish Design Museum | Free for under-26 & students
- Danish Architecture Center | Free for under-18
- Glyptoteket | Free on Tuesdays & for under-18
- The National Museum | Free for under-18
- Frilndmuseet | Always Free
As you can see, all of these locations provide free admission to kids and teenagers under the age of 18, and some even offer entrance to young adults under the age of 26.
Needless to say, these would be great attractions to visit with your kids if you’re trying to save some money!
25. Make a Short Trip Out of Town
If you’re looking for even more fun activities, there are several interesting things to see and do just outside of Copenhagen.
You’ll find Dyrehaven just 20 minutes from the city, and they have a giant forest garden where you can see a variety of wild animals who are native to the area.
Another option is to visit Bakken, roughly 30 minutes from Copenhagen, to see the oldest amusement park in Europe. If Tivoli Gardens isn’t enough, this historic site will surely do the trick – and they offer free admission!
Amager Beach is even closer, and it’s a great place to spend the day with your family.
Best of all, each of these locations is entirely free to visit.
Bonus: Self-Guided Exploration Game
If you’re looking for an interesting way to discover Copenhagen, this self-guided game will give you the opportunity to solve a puzzle as you’re exploring the city at your own pace.
This game puts you in the role of a young child who doesn’t believe in fairy tales as you get drawn into the world of legends and stories that were born here. Needless to say, this could be a good option for kids as well!
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