The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen, is full of old-world charm, Nordic culture, and architectural wonder at every step. Right from the moment you step in the city, you will find the relaxed way of life imbibing in you. Since the Vikings rule, Denmark had massive control over the other Scandinavian countries. So, you get to see the seat of power of the Scandinavia’s most respected royalty. With that in mind, I am going to guide you on the perfect one day Copenhagen itinerary.
The city has grown a lot from those times, and today, the modern skyline lives harmoniously alongside ancient art. When you visit Copenhagen, make sure to traverse through each of the spots we mention here since these are the iconic places to visit in Copenhagen in 1 day. For an extended guide on what to do in Copenhagen check out my 2 day Copenhagen itinerary.
1 Day Copenhagen Itinerary Guide
With the city pass in hand, you are ready to begin your day with a Danish breakfast comprising of oatmeal porridge, eggs, salmon, and bread. If you want authentic breakfast, head out to The Grød or the Café Norden in the city center. These are famous ones and open up early by 7.30 on weekdays, and around 9 AM on weekends. To make the most of your one day Copenhagen itinerary, I highly recommend doing a tour in Copenhagen as that also allows you to get your bearings around the city very quickly with the help of a local guide. Also are no great expense.
9.30 AM Little Mermaid
The first among things to do in Copenhagen in 1 day is to visit the most iconic spots here. The Little Mermaid statue is undoubtedly one of these spots and taking a selfie with the forlorn-looking mermaid sitting in the backdrop. This bronze statue, commissioned in 1913, is based on the famous fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson.
Sculptor Edward Eriksen had created this work of art that draws scores of tourists daily at the Larsens Place waterfront to view this statue. Visit this place early in the morning if you don’t want people to photobomb you or fight for the perfect shot. From here, you can head down to Amalienborg Palace.
10.30 AM Amalienborg Palace
As you walk or even drive down to Amalienborg Palace, you cross the tall spires of the Gothic church of St Alban’s. Make sure to reach the Amalienborg Palace by 10.30 AM to get a vantage position with the camera. Every day, the changing of the guards’ ceremony takes place here.
This Amalienborg Palace is one of the four different buildings in one sprawling courtyard. The towering statue of the founder, King Frederick V, looks imposing in this courtyard. The Royal Guards or the Den Kongelige Livgarde guards come from the Rosenborg Castle for this ceremony.
You may take time to explore the other palatial buildings where the other royalty had once lived and ruled over Denmark. The Amalienborg Museum is worth visiting if you want to see how the Danish royalty lived.
If you have the Copenhagen Card, you can get free entry to the palace as well as over 80 other places of interest in the city along with public transportation in the city limits. The ticket price for adults is 95 DKK. For the age group of 0 to 17, the entry is free of cost, and the entry for students is 65 DKK.
- Opening hours from January to April end is 10 AM to 3 PM.
- Opening hours all May is from 10 AM to 4 PM
- Opening hours from June first to August end is 10 AM to 5 PM
- Opening hours from 1st September to October end is 10 AM to 4 PM
- Opening hours from 1st November to 22nd December is from 10 AM to 3 PM.
11.30 AM Rosenborg Castle
Your first destination of the day is at Rosenborg Castle and King’s Gardens. You can get a ticket to combine the visits across the castles at 170 DKK. The tickets cost 120 DKK per head for adults and 85 DKK for students. Children are free to enter this palace. It saves time, and as you walk in at 10 AM, you get to see the place in a more leisure manner.
Take a walk through Christian VII’s palace and lose yourself in the pages of the 1600s. This was Christian IV’s favorite castle, and he was here whenever he felt the need for some relaxation. Frederick III and Frederick VII also stayed here. You can have a look at the crown jewels here in the museum.
The castle is open from January to Easter holidays from 10 AM to 3 PM and till June from 10 AM to 4 PM. June to August, the castle is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Likewise, its opening hours vary for the rest of the months too in a similar fashion, while remaining closed in public holidays.
12 PM Frederick’s Church or Marble Church
From the courtyard and gardens of the Amalienborg Palace itself, you can see the spire of Frederick’s Church. Located in Frederiksstaden, the Marble Church was made under the supervision of King Frederick V. This was the part of the big plan of naming this entire area as Frederiksstaden in 1749. The church is open all year between 10 AM and 5 PM and on Fridays and Sundays between 12 PM and 5 PM. The striking feature of this church has to be the distinct green dome visible from the Amalienborg Castle and the Opera house.
Lunch at Torvehallerne
It is time for lunch, and the area we recommend is Torvehallerne. Here try the Danish styled sandwich. Pork-liver pate, Smorrebrod rye bread, and pickled herring are some of the best must-haves that tourists dig in here. The street is full of the best foods available in Copenhagen.
2 PM Round Tower
Since 1642, this has been a landmark, and every tourist enjoys visiting. Avail a guided tour whichever time of the year you go just because you must not miss on this charming spot. In summers it is open from 10 AM to 8 PM and in winter from 10 to 6 PM. The times may differ for any event or maintenance from time to time. The ticket for an adult is 25DKK, and children from 5 to 15 are to get tickets worth 5DKK. The kids below the age of 5 are free to enter. The tower\s rooftop is the best site for stargazing during the winter months. The spiral ramp is highlight kids, and adults love here. Also, if you love to read books, the Library Hall is worth a visit since here, you get to see the Book wheel that was a contraption used in previous times. To know the way it functioned, a visit to the Round Tower would be essential.
2.30 PM Strøget
From this Round Tower, you can go to one of the longest pedestrian streets in entire Europe, Strøget. You get to shop from here or grab a snack from the scores of cafes and restaurants here. The street has some of the most talked-about international and local brands, as well as some emerging businesses.
3 PM Christiansborg Palace
Visit one of the most celebrated palaces in Copenhagen. The Christiansborg Palace is on Castle Island and even now in use by the royal family. Hence, the tour to this palace interiors is only possible when the Queen allows for the same. The five attractions here are the Palace Chapel, the Royal Reception Rooms, the Royal Kitchen, the Ruins, and the Royal Stables.
Get a combination ticket and save 40% while visiting all of these specialties in one ticket. The adults have to get a ticket worth 160 DKK, children under 15 are free to enter, and the students have to get tickets worth 140 DKK. The groups of more than 10 people have to get tickets worth 140DKK. The opening hours of each of these attractions vary, yet if you are here between 10 AM and 5 PM on regular times of the year, you may get a chance to tour them all.
4 PM Nyhavn
Call it a commercial district or a waterfront area, Nyhavn is worth the time you spend. The brightly painted buildings by the side of the canals have their reflections fall in the canal, making it a beautiful sight. Let your hair down as you sit back at one of the many water-facing cafes to enjoy a drink and give your tired legs some rest. Make sure to be here during the Christmas times to see the entire stretch illuminated.
4.30 PM Take a Canal Cruise
From the Nyvahn, you can cruise through the canal. If you have been so far wondering about what to do in Copenhagen in 1 day, this canal ride is definitely worth your time and money. There are boats on rent which take you through the canal and give you a view of the old city from the waters.
Make sure to have your camera ready as you pass through the Christianbourg palace, the Old Stock exchange, and the Opera house in one hour. Many people miss this ride, and we make this as an attraction you must not miss on your visit to Copenhagen.
National Gallery of Denmark 5.30 PM: The museum is the largest in the country and is located in the Green museum district in the city center. It is, in fact, close to the train station and the Rosenborg Castle The gallery hosts music concerts, performances, and even conducts tours all year. The opening hours are usually from 10 AM to 6 PM and on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 8 PM. Mondays are closed. The tickets cost 120DKK for adults and 95 DKK for people under the age of 27. People under the age of 18 can visit it for free.
6.00 PM Kastellet
The unique star-shaped fortress still houses the barracks for the military here. Besides the barracks, you can walk through a garden with windmills on it and look around to relax amidst nature. It is one of the best places to visit in Copenhagen in 1 day and just a little around a kilometer away from Little Mermaid and hence, many even try to end their day at the point where they started
Benefits of Having City Pass
If you believe in traveling like the locals or getting to explore Copenhagen on foot, the best way to do so will be with the City Pass. Shop for this City pass from DSB ticket machines at the train station, the DSB Salg, and Service train station, or even online at the official DSB site.
You can opt for 24-hours, 48-hours, 72 hours, 96 hours, or 120 hours as per your necessity. Is there any other such convenient card to help you breeze through Copenhagen?
Yes, you have the Copenhagen card that allows you to travel within the city in any mode of transport and even get tickets for all the museums and places of interest. In short, you get to visit all the significant spots you must see in Copenhagen in 1 day. You can also purchase the Copenhagen Pass which allows you free entrance into many of the tourist sights in Copenhagen.
Getting Around Copenhagen
It is easy to roam around Copenhagen because of the availability of trains and other public transport. You get just the City Pass if you intend to stay for one day here. It makes more sense to use the small or large city pass for letting you travel through zones 1 to 4 or 1 to 99 in the city.
The Small city pass allows you to travel across the city while the large pass enables you to travel across Greater Copenhagen. You may even hire a bike from Bycyklen.
Just take a bicycle if you are traveling solo or with your partner, and you can explore the city on your own. Bicycles are available on rent, and as you hop in a train, you may even see people bring in their bicycles with a special pass.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
The city center is where the action is, and we recommend you to be at any hotel in these parts. There are budget hostels here as well as mid-range hotels. Talking about dorms, you can look out for a&o Copenhagen Norrebro, or Copenhagen Downtown hostel. There are mid-range hotels, too, like the Best Stay Copenhagen Bed & Breakfast or the Copenhagen Go Hotel. Among the luxury range of hotels, you can indulge in comfort at Radisson Royal Collection Hotel, or the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel.
Best Time to Visit Copenhagen
From March to August, you may find Copenhagen to be at its prettiest self. You can roam outdoors too without getting sunburnt. Likewise, from October through the entire winter leading to February, people prefer to stay indoors. December is generally more festive, and this is also the time people from outside visit Copenhagen.
There you have it, the perfect itinerary for one day in Copenhagen. Have you been before or is this a first-time visit?
Heading To Scandinavia? Also Read:
- Things To Do In Bergen
- Best Day Trips From Bergen
- Things To Do In Sweden In Winter
- What To Wear In Sweden
- Unmissable Black Diamond In Copenhagen
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