Copenhagen itinerary: How to spend the perfect two days in Copenhagen, Denmark

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Planning a weekend in Copenhagen? Here is my comprehensive itinerary for the perfect two days in Copenhagen, including what to see, what to do and where to find all the food you need to taste in the Danish capital.

 

With its charming streets, picturesque canals, world-class cuisine, laidback lifestyle and sublime focus on sustainability, Copenhagen embodies the cool Scandinavian feel and is a must visit at least once in a lifetime. Copenhagen is relatively small, and even though I would recommend a few more days to explore the Danish capital to the fullest, you can get a good grasp of the city in only two days.

Copenhagen is my beloved hometown, and in this two-day itinerary for Copenhagen, you will experience some of the city’s biggest attractions and a few of my favourite places as well – ideal for first-time visitors!

/Related: Green city guide: Copenhagen, Denmark

 


 

Two days in Copenhagen itinerary overview

 

Day 1 – morning: Enjoy breakfast at the Union Kitchen and explore the city centre on foot
Day 1 – afternoon: Eat lunch at Torvehallerne and go shopping
Day 1 – evening: Have dinner at Høst and visit Tivoli Gardens

Day 2 – morning: Rent a bike, enjoy brunch at Sidecar and explore Nørrebro
Day 2 – afternoon: Visit Christiania and explore Vesterbro
Day 2 – evening: Have dinner in Kødbyen

 

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Two days in Copenhagen: My perfect Copenhagen itinerary

 

Day 1 – morning

 

Enjoy breakfast at the Union Kitchen

Start the day with breakfast at the Union Kitchen that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city in the early hours of the day. Try one of their classic brunch plates or get yourself a croissant and a coffee and people watch at one of the large windows towards the street.

The Union Kitchen: Store Strandstræde 21, København K (www) Ι Mon-Fri: 7.30-23, Sat: 8-24 & Sun: 8-23

 

Explore the city centre on foot

After breakfast, it’s time to explore Copenhagen’s city centre on foot. The city centre enjoys several charming streets and a few famous sights that are situated in short distance from each other.

Start in Nyhavn that is only a two-minute walk away from the Union Kitchen. Known for its colourful old townhouses and charming vessels, Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most popular spots. It used to be drunken sailors and prostitutes that hung out by the canal and made it a seedy area, but today they are replaced with both tourists, locals and well established and aspiring photographers.

Walk for ten minutes and you will find yourself at Amalienborg Palace where the Danish royal family resides during winter. You are allowed to enter the palace square and get quite close to the beautiful buildings. However, the main reason to visit Amalienborg Palace is for you to experience the changing of the royal guards that happens every day at 12.00 when they march from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace.

Afterwards, it’s time to enjoy a quiet moment in the green area of the Botanical Garden that is a 15-minute walk from Amalienborg Palace. The outside area of the 10-hectare large garden isn’t that interesting, but the greenhouses and especially the noticeable Palm House are lovely. As the name implies, the Palm House is full of palm trees of all shapes, sizes and colours that you can explore from both a ground level and from above by taking the spiral stairs to walk under the roof of the significant glass building. With good reason, the Palm House is what draws most people to the Botanical Garden.

Last stop before lunch is the Round Tower that boasts to have one of the best views of Copenhagen. Walk up the spiral walk to the 36-metre tall platform and feel the wind on your face while looking at famous landmarks and old, charming houses. The Round Tower was built in 1642 as an observatory for aspiring astronomers and stargazers to continue the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe’s science after his death in 1601.

The Botanical Garden: Gothersgade 128, København K (www) Ι Mon-Sun: 8.30-18 Ι Price: Botanical Garden: Free, Palm House: 60 DKK
The Round Tower: Købmagergade 52A, København K (www) Ι Mon-Sun: 10-20 Ι Price: 25 DKK

 

Day 1 – afternoon

 

Eat lunch at Torvehallerne

Get yourself a delicious lunch from one of the 60 stands in Torvehallerne that varies from restaurants, cafés, bars, delis and other shops. There is something for everyone at the popular food market, and deciding what to eat might be a tough choice.

If you want to try something Danish, head to Hallerne’s Smørrebrød and get “smørrebrød” – an open sandwich that comes with several types of cold cuts on top. Alternatively, the pizzas from Gorm’s, the porridges from Grød or the Vietnamese dishes from LêLê Street Kitchen are all worth trying.

Torvehallerne: Frederiksborggade 21, København K (www) Ι Mon-Thu: 10-19, Fri: 10-20, Sat: 10-18 & Sun: 11-17

 

Go shopping

After lunch, it’s time to go shopping.

Denmark is known for its classic and minimalistic design both when it comes to fashion and interior. In the area around Strøget, you find some of the best stores.

Strøget has a variety of different shops, many of which are quite mainstream. At the end closest to Kongens Nytorv, the most upscale stores are located while the more affordable ones are located closest to the City Hall Square. If you are looking for more unique shops, you should explore some of the side streets.

Keep an eye on By Malene Birger, Designers Remix, Ganni and Mads Nørgaard that are some of the famous Danish fashion brands, and don’t forget to visit Hay House, Illums Bolighus and Stilleben if you are looking for interior, accessories and stationery.

 

Day 1 – evening

 

Have dinner at Høst

Copenhagen enjoys plenty of great restaurants, and tonight you are going to eat at one of them. Experience the best of the Nordic cuisine at Høst and enjoy a three or five-course dinner with dishes dominated by Scandinavian ingredients. For the ultimate experience, try to get a table at their beautiful inside garden area.

Especially during weekends, Høst is popular, so remember to book a table online in advance.

Høst: Nørre Farigmagsgade 41, København K (www) Ι Mon-Sun: 17.30-24

 

Visit Tivoli Gardens

No visit to Copenhagen without a visit to Tivoli Gardens where you should spend the last hours of your first day in the Danish capital. Try all the different rides, get lucky at one of the tombolas or walk around and look at the beautiful gardens and the many light installations that Tivoli Gardens among others is so famous for.

Tivoli Gardens: Vesterbrogade 3, København V (www) Ι Mon-Thu: 11-23, Fri-Sat: 11-24 & Sun: 11-23: Price: Mon-Fri: 130 DKK, Sat-Sun: 140 DKK

 

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Day 2 – morning

 

Rent a bike

On your first day in Copenhagen, you will probably discover that the locals love riding their bicycles, and today you are going to explore Copenhagen by bike. There are plenty of bike rentals all around the city, and I can highly recommend both Copenhagen Bicycles in the city centre and Baisikeli in Vesterbro.

 

Enjoy brunch at Sidecar

Because there is simply no better way to start the day than with a proper brunch, the first stop on today’s bike tour is the café Sidecar located in Nørrebro. Here you get the best brunch in town. They have a variety of delicious hot dishes plus a large buffet table with all the side dishes you can imagine.

Especially during weekends, Sidecar is popular, so to secure a table you might need to make a reservation a few weeks in advance.

Sidecar: Skyttegade 5, København N (www) Ι Mon: 8-16, Tue-Wed: 8-22.30, Thu: 8-24, Fri: 8-00.30, Sat: 9.30-24 & Sun: 9.30-22.30

 

Explore Nørrebro

The rest of the morning you should explore Nørrebro that is known for being a multicultural melting pot.

First stop is Superkilen that is an imaginative urban space with three main areas. Explore the Moscow-inspired Red Square where every part is kept in shades of red. Discover the Black Market where benches and fountains are placed on black flooring with white stripes. And enjoy a relaxing moment at the Green Park and look at people do sports, walk their dogs, picnics etc.

Afterwards, head to vibrant and colourful Jægersborggade that is only a three-minute bike ride away. In Jægersborggade you find plenty of cute little shops along with several restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

At the end of Jægersborggade lies the Assistens Cemetery (entrance around the corner at Nørrebrogade) where prominent Danes like Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard are buried. Do as the locals and hang out in the green area or go for a walk and look at all the tombstones. Rumour has it that the young woman Giertrud Birgitte Bodenhoff was buried alive at the cemetery.

Superkilen: Nørrebrogade 210, København N Ι Price: Free
Assistens Cemetery: Kapelvej 4, København N (www) Ι Mon-Sun: 7-22 Ι Price: Free

 

Day 2 – afternoon

 

Visit Christiania

Hop on the bike and head to Christiania that is a place like no other. Creative self-made houses, quirky people, interesting galleries and shops, popular venues, cheap places to eat and plenty of green oases all define this collectively controlled community.

Christiania was founded in 1971 by a group of settlers who occupied the military barracks in Bådmandsgade, and it has since then kept its 1970s feel. It’s most often a beautiful and peaceful place, but Christiania has been an area of conflict among others due to some inhabitants relaxed view on hash that is sold illegally on a regular basis.

Walk around the area and take some time to soak in the unique atmosphere, and don’t forget to grab a bite at one of the restaurants or cafés around. For example at Café Nemoland, Morgenstedet or Månefiskeren.

Christiania: Prinsessegade, København K (www) Ι Price: Free

 

Explore Vesterbro

Known for being a hip area, you definitely need to explore Vesterbro during your time in Copenhagen.

As the name implies, Carlsberg Byen (meaning the Carlsberg City) was where the Carlsberg Brewery was located from 1847-2008. In 2008, the brewery moved elsewhere and a huge renovation of the historic area started. Today, Carlsberg Byen is a cultural neighbourhood where old and new are mixed in a unique way. Stroll around in Copenhagen’s newest area or take a tour at Visit Carlsberg (currently undergoing renovation) and learn about the story behind the large brewery.

Afterwards, head to charming Værnedamsvej that is five minutes away on bike. By the locals, Værnedamsvej is referred to as “Little Paris.” And when you stand in the little street with the many French-inspired bistros, cute cafés, great delis and other shops, you understand why.

Last stop in Vesterbro is Kødbyen located five minutes ride from Værnedamsvej. Kødbyen is the old meatpacking district that has undergone a large renovation and is now one of the trendiest places to go out. Restaurants, bars, coffee shops and nightclubs lie next to slaughterhouses (some of which are still in function), art galleries, creative offices and modern hotels, making it an interesting spot.

 

Day 2 – evening

 

Have dinner in Kødbyen

With plenty of great restaurants, why not stay and enjoy dinner in Kødbyen before it’s time to leave Copenhagen?

Start with a sneaky Aperol Spritz at Kødbyens Fiskebar. If you are into fish and seafood, just stay where you are and enjoy a delicious maritime inspired meal. If you are more into meat, head to Restaurant Kul and if you crave some greasy fast food, go to Tommi’s Burger Joint that serves some of Copenhagen’s best burgers.

 

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Essential information

 

How to get to Copenhagen

 

Flights to Copenhagen

If there is no other way to get to Copenhagen, flying to the Danish capital is easy. Copenhagen Airport is the largest in Northern Europe with several daily routes from all over the world.

The airport is situated only eight kilometres outside the city centre, and the easiest way to get to the city is by metro or train, which takes around 20 minutes. The metro stops at the centrally located Nørreport Station and Kongens Nytorv Station while the train stops at Copenhagen Central Station. From both Nørreport Station and Copenhagen Central Station, you can catch several trains and buses.

 

Trains and buses to Copenhagen

There are many ways to get to Copenhagen in a more sustainable way by train or bus.

Trains to Copenhagen Central Station run daily from several cities and towns in Germany and Sweden. You can either purchase a regular ticket from the train operators (DSB, Deutsche Bahn and Swedish Railway) or purchase a Eurail Pass that allows you to travel around one or more countries with a single pass.

FlixBus has frequent routes to Copenhagen from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

 

How to get around in Copenhagen

 

Walk

I love to walk around cities and explore at my own pace, and Copenhagen is no exception. Copenhagen isn’t that big, and it’s therefore extremely walkable. Especially the city centre is best explored on foot because of the short distance between the many famous sights and attractions. However, also Vesterbro and Nørrebro are great areas to walk around in.

 

Ride a bike

If you want to explore Copenhagen the most authentic way, you should rent a bicycle. We Copenhageners love to ride our bikes and due to the flat terrain and the abundant bike lanes, it’s an easy way to get around. There are tonnes of bike rentals in the city, and my personal favourite is Baisikeli located in Vesterbro.

Before you decide to rent a bicycle you should know that there are certain rules on how to behave on the bike lane. Ask at the bike rental or look at these cycling guidelines to secure a pleasant experience.

 

Public transport

With both buses, trains, metros and waterbuses running frequently and covering all areas of the city, the public transport in Copenhagen is excellent.

You can access all public transport with the same ticket. Copenhagen and the Greater Copenhagen area are divided into different zones, so the only thing you need to know before using public transport is how many zones you will pass on your journey. The fare is determined based on the number of zones you need.

Alternatively, you can purchase a City Pass that gives you unlimited access to public transport in the four most central zones in Copenhagen, including the ones to and from the airport for between one and five days. Or you can purchase a Copenhagen Card that gives you unlimited access to public transport in the entire Capital Region plus free admission to some of the biggest attractions and museums in Copenhagen as well as discounts on several restaurants, cafés etc.

 

Best time to visit Copenhagen

Denmark has several times been ranked the happiest country in the world, but I doubt it’s because of the weather. The weather here is often cloudy, windy and rainy. However, due to the North Atlantic Current the temperatures are considered fairly mild compared to other countries situated on the same latitude. It’s 19 degrees on average during summer and 3 degrees on average during winter.

Denmark enjoys long days during summer with around 17 hours of daylight being maximum during summer solstice and short days during winter with around seven hours of daylight being maximum during winter solstice.

Danes love the bright days and the warmer temperatures during summer. Copenhagen becomes more vibrant and lots of festivals and events are held. These are the main factors for why June, July and August are considered the best time to visit Copenhagen.

Read more about the different festivals and events that are held in Copenhagen here.

 


 

Where next?

Hopefully, I’ve made you a little excited to visit Copenhagen! For more inspiration, head to my Green city guide to Copenhagen.

Or simply peruse my other Denmark articles.

Alternatively, if you are a fan of the Nordics, read about 10 incredible Iceland winter attractions or take a look at my Iceland photo diary.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments section below. But before you go any further why not follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up to my monthly newsletter?

 


 

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