Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark since the 14th century, is also the largest and most populous city in the country with almost two million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. Copenhagen is one of the most charming cities to visit in Scandinavia. Many people that aren’t from this part of Europe usually know little about the distant and unknown northern Europe. So, if you are planning a trip to Copenhagen, I have just the perfect 2 day Copenhagen itinerary for you.
In the last decade, the city has undergone a significant cultural and economic change, both in infrastructure and quality life (one of the best in the world), and is also one of the cities that most cares for the environment, which becomes evident when you experience it first-hand.
From playing home to one of the oldest most captivating theme parks in the world to its amazing castles, a striking little mermaid, popular waterways, and delicious Nordic foods; there’s just so much to attract you to one of Europe’s oldest cities. With that in mind, let’s talk things to see and do in Copenhagen.
Best time to visit Copenhagen
Although whenever you choose to visit Copenhagen, you can find beauty in it, we think the best time to visit it is summer, or early autumn (June through till September). The city in summer is associated with flowery gardens, short nights, long walks and fairytale-like atmosphere, when you can walk or cycle around without having to worry about it getting cold or you not being able to see all the objects of interest properly in the dark, as days in winter are really short.
How To Get Around Copenhagen
If you plan to travel in summer, we highly recommend renting a bike. Copenhagen is best explored on two wheels, as it is safe, everything is marked and easy to find, it is very flat and the distances between places are convenient. Everyone will be able to do it without too much effort. Plus you can explore all those hidden gems in Copenhagen without the hassel of driving and looking for parking space.
You may ask, where can I rent a bicycle in Copenhagen? Honestly, don’t worry about that either. There are countless places scattered throughout the city, and most hostels and hotels offer bicycles for rent too. So, get pedalling!
However, if you really aren’t keen on cycling, can’t do it for health reasons, or if weather is not on your side – there are other ways to travel around.
Copenhagen has a clean, efficient public transportation system spreading out and way past the city limits
Where to buy tickets
You can buy your tickets using the following options:
- Ticket machines (cash or card) at the airport, train stations, metro stations and 7-Eleven kiosks
- Mobile app “DOT billetter”
- On the bus (small change only, Danish krone)
The same ticket can be used in the metro, bus, train and harbour bus. Always have your ticket with you in case a conductor wants to see it. Travelling without a valid ticket will result in a fine of up to DKK 750.
In September 2019, a major extension project to open Cityringen (also known as M3) was completed, bringing an additional 17 lines to the metro. With advanced technology, the trains are driverless and therefore the metro system runs 24 hours a day!
Metro stations are scattered around the city, and can be spotted with a big red “M.” During the day the metro runs frequently and often on time, with trains coming around every four minutes, and during late night hours, every 15-20 minutes.
The metro conveniently connects the airport to Copenhagen’s city center with a roughly 20-minute journey.
Buses run from 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 6 a.m. on Sundays until around half past midnight. Some buses run through the night.
Taxis are easy to flag anywhere around Copenhagen. Look for the yellow “taxa” light on the roof of cabs. Lit signs designate free cabs. Starting fare is DKK24 from the street and DKK37 when ordered by telephone. Taxis cost DKK11.50 (£1.32) per kilometer during the day, DKK12.50 (£1.49) per kilometer on nights and weekends, and DKK15.80 (£1.84) on weekend nights and holidays. A service charge is included in the set fare, so don’t worry about tips.
Using The Copenhagen Card
With a Copenhagen Card in hand you don’t have to worry about zones and ticket prices, as you get unlimited transportation in the entire Capital Region (including to/from Copenhagen Airport). In addition, you get free admission to more than 80 attractions and museums as well as discounts on several restaurants, cafés, sightseeing activities etc. The Copenhagen Card is valid for 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours.
You can easily preorder your Copenhagen Card online and pick it up upon arrival in Copenhagen. You can e.g. pick up your Copenhagen Card in Copenhagen Airport and start using it right away on e.g. the metro to the city centre.
Consider purchasing the city card especially if you are planning on using public transport and visiting the museums.
Copenhagen 2 Day Itinerary
Touring the city and discovering legends and mysteries of the past or in the numerous castles, can be a good start to understanding Danish culture. The palaces are usually open to the public and for 20 euros you can learn a little more about the country’s real history.
When you start planning your visit to Copenhagen, it may seem that a couple of days won’t be enough to discover it all, but do not worry, because the city centre is quite small and it is easy to walk pretty much everywhere, as the distances really aren’t so big at all. Also to make the most of your time in Copenhagen you can make use of the variety of tours in Copenhagen.
So, to help you save time and stress, in this post we will list all the things to see and do in Copenhagen in 2 days. Below is what you can see each day, where to eat, where to sleep, how to organize your visits to the points of interest and, how to get around the city. So your 2 days in Copenhagen is a breeze but with plenty of room to add or remove a place from your itinerary.
Day 1 Must-See Sights In Copenhagen
City Hall Square
A guide to the very best of Copenhagens in 2 days starts in the centre of town. It’s a good idea to begin your tour around the city at the City Hall Square in the heart of the city centre, right next to the famous Tivoli Park, which we will talk about later. Surrounded by tall buildings and hemmed in by two avenues (HC Andersens Boulevard and Vester Voldgade), this huge square is a hive of activity. On the central pedestrianised island, crowds of people gather around street performers as concerts and commercial happenings take place.
Christiania – city within a city
There are 34 hectares of land located in the Christianshavn neighborhood. This autonomous commune – self-proclaimed independent from the Danish state – was found in 1971. Its current population is around 1,000 inhabitants. There are 34 hectares of land located in the Christianshavn neighborhood.
This autonomous commune – self-proclaimed independent from the Danish state – began operating in 1971. Its current population is around 1,000 inhabitants. Many of the people who live in Christiania have created or decorated their own houses, which gives an extremely interesting sense of architecture and decor. You will find a variety of eco-restaurants, workshops, galleries and music rooms that offer all kinds of cultural experiences totally free here.
Important: it is not allowed to take photos around Pusher Street.
It is crucial to have a good meal to continue your tour feeling happy and energized.
Nemoland in Christiania
Nemoland started as a fruit and vegetable store, but quickly diversified into a café, beer garden and a concert stage as its popularity grew. Nemoland serves simple and tasty food, ranging from weekly specials to a la carte dishes. During the day they serve burgers, sandwiches and other snack food, while dinner options include pastas, steaks and salads. During the summer months, Nemoland opens its hugely popular outdoor beer garden.
One of the most iconic places in the city and perfect for enjoying the sun and fresh air or go on a canal tour. In the old days, Nyhavn was a place for sailors coming to Copenhagen, and the port was splited in two parts – one “naughty”, and one “nice” side.
This is among the very top things to do in Copenhagen. Amalienborg Palace is the Copenhagen residence of the Danish royal family. Admire the extravagant interiors of Christian VII’s Palace as you discover the history of one of Europe’s most important monarchies. If you have the city card, entrance fee is included.
The church lies beautifully in line with Amalienborg castle and The Opera in the middle of the elegant area of Frederiksstaden. The so-called Marble Church is perhaps the best example of baroque architecture in Copenhagen. The marble dome of the church is the most striking part of the temple. With 31 meters in diameter and 50 meters high, it is the largest dome of all Scandinavian countries.
You can climb the dome for a small fee to get a spectacular view of the city, if weather allows it of course. For more details and pictures check out my post on The Marble Church.
Early to late evening
The Little Mermaid
No 2 day Copenhagen itinerary would be complete without this little beauty. Copenhagen’s mermaid is one of the most important symbols, if not the most, of the Danish capital. A precious and emotional tribute from the city to its most famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen, who has won the hearts of locals and visitors alike, and who dedicated his life to writing children’s stories, including the Little Mermaid. The Copenhagen Mermaid is a bronze statue just over a meter tall. It was a gift from Carl Jacobsen – founder of the Carlsberg beer brand – to the city in 1913. It is located in the city’s harbor bay, on a granite rock, and attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year.
You will notice that it is just in front of the National Museum of Denmark and the Botanical Garden, which you may also visit after looking around the Palace.
The Renaissance-style palace dates to the 17th century, when it was the summer residence of King Christian IV. It currently functions as a museum and its interior is impressive, but the most interesting thing is in its vault, where the crown jewels are located. All the pieces are impressive and come mainly from the legacy of Queen Sofía Magdalena, who arranged that, after her death (which occurred at the end of the 18th century), the jewels would belong to the crown and the state. This palace receives 200,000 visitors a year.
National Museum of Denmark
Housed in the Rococo-style Prince’s Palace, a mansion originally constructed in the 17th century for wealthy merchant Wigand Michelbecker (and later inhabited by the Crown Princes of Denmark) the National Museum presents an interesting look back at the country’s history, culture, and society – from the Stone Age to present day.
Dinner And Things To Do At Night In Copenhagen
When it comes to what to do and what to see in Copenhagen in 2 days, one cannot miss out on the gastronomy on Copenhagen. End your day with a well-deserved dinner at a restaurant as you process all the things you’ve done and seen on your first day in Prague. If you decide not to go to the Jazz bar, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Here we offer two types of restaurants, an informal restaurant and a more classy option – a fine dining experience.
War Pigs : WarPigs is the cool hip child from the well established and delicious breweries, 3 Floyds and Mikkeller, with a twist. When you walk into WarPigs, you’ll see slab after slab of perfectly BBQd meat being expertly cut, diners smothering sauce over enormous ribs and everyone, yes everyone, licking their fingers and smacking their lips. This is a place, meant for meat-eaters and those who appreciate a very well crafter beer.
Marv & Ben: The Bib Gourmand restaurant Marv & Ben (Marrow & Bone) is located in the beautiful medieval cobblestone street of Snaregade. The restaurant has become famous within Copenhagen for its focus on simple classics served in an artistic way while still remaining packed with flavor. As with most New Nordic restaurants, the menu is highly seasonal and draws heavily from what is available in Denmark. The restaurant states that everything used on the menu is Danish and that they make an effort to source things from as close to Copenhagen as possible. This includes growing a lot of what they use in their own garden. The wines served are biodynamic and organic. Marv & Ben aims for a relaxed feel which has, at times, been described as a gastro-pub ambience.
If jazz is your thing, then you have to pop into the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre, which is somewhat of a Copenhagen institution, having originally opened its doors in the 1950s. Easily regarded as one of, not only Europe’s, but the world’s premier live jazz venues, Jazzhus Montmartre presents regular performances from some of the jazz world’s best acts, as well as many up-and-coming artists. The venue also provides guests with delectable dining options, with its acclaimed restaurant serving up lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Mojo Blues Bar
Mojo Blues Bar is probably one of few places in Europe where you can hear live blues and related genres every single night of the week. Aside from blues music, Mojo hosts nights with soul, rock, blues rock, rock blues, zydeco, bluegrass and related genres. Open from 8pm until 5am during the weekends. Feel free to visit one of these live music venues on your second day too, If that is more suitable for you.
Day 2 Copenhagen Places To Visit & Things To Do At Night
Torvehallerne Market (opens at 11am)
Torvehallerne is a buzzing food hall in the city centre of Copenhagen. Close to the busy Nørreport Street and the pristine lakes, it’s the perfect place where you can grab a handful of delicious treats to enjoy and head to Ørstedsparken.
The Ørsted park is the one of the most quiet parks of Copenhagen, which offers the best shade thanks to all the huge trees. The park is named after the Ørsted brothers: Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered electromagnetism by demonstrating the effect of an electric current on a magnetic needle, and Anders Sandøe Ørsted who was a lawyer and politician. There are many monuments and statues, but the most important are for the Ørsted brothers. In the park you can also come across the Dawn Redwood, Maidenhair Tree and Pagoda Tree from China, Gleditsia from the USA, European hornbeam and Horse Chestnuts. Alternatively, visit the Tivoli Gardens.
Great for families, Tivoli gardens is a theme park and gardens all in one. The park has been standing for over 175 years and is home to one of the worlds oldest rollercoasters. You can ride bumper cars, a ferris wheel, carrousel and even watch some live dance performances! Tivoli serves a large variety of options for food and drink, and better yet, in the winter time, it converts into a magical winter wonderland. Making a home to all of the beautiful Christmas Markets, an ice skating rink.
With stunningly opulent rooms and tapestries, you’ll struggle to find a more beautiful building in Copenhagen.
Also, my tip, but from 11am you can climb to the Tower each day for another amazing view of the city. Not everyone knows you can climb to the top of the tower so I’d really recommend checking that out too!
The Kunsthallen Nikolaj is included in your Copenhagen City Card, if you decide to get one. That means you can pop in for 20 minutes and enjoy the exhibitions that are on.
An ancient church on the outside, a contemporary art centre on the inside. Kunsthallen Nikolaj is a contemporary art centre with quirky and creative exhibitions that change every month.
It is a bit further away from the city centre, so only choose this option if you think you have enough time.
As a Swedish poet describes it, “It is certainly one of the most beautiful graveyards in Europe. Leafy trees, dark paths, bright open flowery expanses, temples shaded by poplars, marble tombs overhung by weeping willows, and urns or crosses wrapped in swathes of roses, fragrance and bird song, all transform this place of death into a little paradise”.
It’s small, cozy, and tucked away. You would never guess what food, wine and passion lies behind these doors. The secret to Bar’vin’s success is their tasty tartare, tender sardine dish and its well-presented pasta soup. You will not have a complete experience without a glass of wine, which here is extraordinary. The restaurant is quite pricey, but if you can afford it, it will be worth it.
Copenhagen loves burgers, and you can get them most everywhere in every price range. Why we choose Sporvejen is because this is a Copenhagen institution. It’s been serving burgers for a good 20 years, and without substantial changes. The decor is taken from an old tram, and that’s the general theme of the place. It has a great location on the quiet Gråbrødretorv and outdoor seating – great in summer.
The Round Tower (Rundetaarn)
The Rundetaarn dates to 1642 and is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Built on the orders of Christian IV, it forms one-third of the scholarly Trinitatis Complex, the other two being the university library and church, Trinitatis. As well as providing its visitors with a great view over the old city from its top, the tower possesses one unique feature: its spiral walkway.
This lack of stairs provides the backdrop for one of Copenhagen’s most well-known stories; in 1716, Catherine the Great was said to have ridden to the top of the tower in a horse-drawn carriage with her husband leading on horseback. There is a small admission charge for visiting the tower; whilst here, take a breather in the museum cafe and look at the changing exhibitions located the former university library. The Round Tower makes a great venue for wintertime star-gazing as well as chamber music concerts. It is open till 6pm on most days, and until 8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Dinner And Evening Activities In Copenhagen
This building dates from 1750, time at which it housed a brewery. Since then, there has always been a café-restaurant in the basement, where you will today find PUK. There is room for a total of 50 guests in this small restaurant. Old books, a fish-tank, paintings… a lot of different things decorate this place.
Where to stay In Copenhagen
While there are plenty of options for where to spend 2 nights in Copenhagen, below are a few options to start you off with. You can check out the full list of hotels in Copenhagen here.
Steel House Copenhagen: Steel House Copenhagen is a fresh and modern hostel, located 5 minutes’ walk from Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station. It offers a café, bar and indoor pool. Price range £19 (Single Bed) – £109 (Family Room)
Generator Copenhagen: The venue is situated in a shopping area, right next to The Royal Theatre. City Museum is 1.9 km away. The hotel is centrally situated close to many attractions and sites, including a museum, a castle and a theatre. Single Bed £28
Wakeup Copenhagen – Borgergade: Kongens Have Park and the UNESCO-listed Rosenborg Castle are less than a 5-minute walk away, while Amalienborg Royal Castle is a 10 minute-walk from the hotel. Price range £68 -£127
Hotel Bethel: Located by the canal, the hotel offers a beautiful view over the Nyhavn neighbourhood. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Rosenborg Castle, Church of Our Saviour and The National Museum of Denmark. Price range £117 -£211
Copenhagen Admiral Hotel: Set in a heritage-listed 1780s building, this waterfront hotel is next to Amalienborg Royal Palace and opposite Copenhagen Opera House. It offers a gourmet restaurant, breakfast buffet with organic foods, plus in-room tea/coffee facilities. Two hundred-year-old Pomeranian pine beams, brickwork and archways add a distinct charm to Copenhagen Admiral. Within 5 minutes’ stroll is Nyhavn, where Copenhagen Harbour’s water buses stop. Kongens Nytorv Metro Station is a similar distance from the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel. Price range £120 -£447 ( for a Tower Suite Waterfront View! )
There you have it, 2 perfect days in Copenhagen, with things to see and do, places to eat and where to stay. So, are you planning your first visit to Copenhagen or a return trip?
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