When you tell people you’re going to Copenhagen, pretty much the only thing you’ll hear is, “Copenhagen is very expensive.” You’ll be told this so often that it will prove difficult to illicit any other, helpful information.
Asking “Have you been to Copenhagen? What’s it like?” will result in just one response: “It’s very expensive.”
And guess what? They’re right.
A weekend in Copenhagen is, indeed, expensive, but not extortionate depending on how you spend your money. A cup of coffee in a hipster coffee joint will set you back around £4 (not much more than a Starbucks tbf) and you’re unlikely to spend less than £50 on dinner for two; two mains and a bottle of wine. Correct me if I’m wrong, and maybe I’m just used to London prices, but while that is pricey, I don’t think it’s as outrageous as people make it out to be.
How to get around Copenhagen
From the airport, you can get a metro to the city centre in under 20 minutes, which costs around £4pp (adult).
We purchased the Copenhagen City Card for the duration of our stay which we felt was worth it’s price tag – you can even download the free app that goes along with it which is really helpful to find the attractions that are included, ‘favourite’ the places you want to see and plan your route.
Priced at approximately £77pp for 72 hours (or less for fewer days), it gives you free access to 86 attractions, discounts at many bars and restaurants and free transport within Copenhagen – unlike London’s smelly tubes, the Metro is fast, clean, reliable and an actual joy to use!
If you’re travelling with children, each adult card also includes two children under the age of 10 with it, so it’s a no brainer really!
I’m a big advocate of taking a guided/hop-on hop-off bus tour when in a foreign country; it’s such a great way to get used to the area, figure out what’s where, and get a taste of the local history – so we also booked the CitySightseeing bus tour.
Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world and is said to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney World. This stunning inner-city park is filled with some impressive rides; a 100-year old rollercoaster, which, before you ask, was completely wasted on me as I’m terrified of rides! With other amusement rides, funfair style ‘hook-a-duck’ games, plenty of green space and lots of eateries – there is something for everyone here.
It’s definitely worth a visit even if you are a wuss when it comes to rides, like I am. I hear that Halloween and Christmas are the best times to come as the gardens are transformed into each holiday theme.
Entrance is free with the Copenhagen Card, but tickets for the rides have to be purchased separately.
No visit to Copenhagen is complete without an obligatory snap of the iconic coloured buildings in Nyhavn; pretty much every photo you’ll ever see of Copenhagen will include these colourful shops and houses.
Though the cost of food and drinks is pretty high in this area due to it being such a popular tourist spot, just wandering around the area and looking at the pretty little homes, cafes and shops that make up this part of town is fun.
We treated ourselves to dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant on our last night here which was lovely and didn’t quite break the bank balance, so it’s always worth checking out the menu first.
One of the best ways of seeing the city sights is by boat and there are plenty to choose from at the Nyhavn harbour area.
We went on a Netto boat, which again was free with the Copenhagen City Card. The boats have pre-recorded guided tours and thankfully you sit inside the boat, in a heated area – though I imagine they can take the glass roof off in summer which would be ideal for taking photographs of the scenic views.
As you sail, you can admire the moored yachts, imposing neoclassical architecture and gothic churches that compose the grand city, while you have the audio tour headset on telling you all about Danish history.
The Little Mermaid
People say a fleeting trip to see the Little Mermaid should be on every first-timer’s visit to Copenhagen, so like any other tourist, we got off the ‘hop on hop off’ bus here. I have to say it was very underwhelming, and quite literally just a statue! It’s quite far away from everything else and if you aren’t on a bus or boat tour that goes past it, I personally wouldn’t bother.
Wandering through the free-spirited “green” commune known as Freetown Christiania was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It has a very spooky feel and exploring this hippie town of alternative people is literally like taking a trip to another world where norms and laws of a regular society do not apply.
It used to be a military zone until the 1970s, when a group of hippies occupied the area and created their own set of society rules. Old army barracks have been renovated and converted into practical spaces such as workshops, cafes, galleries and homes and today around 1000 people live in this alternative car-free area.
It’s a weird and slightly confusing mix of DIY houses, nature, museums, art galleries, shops, workshops, music venues, and cheap organic eateries. The area is vibrant, but at the same time very tired with a gritty edge that feels a million miles away from modern civilisation.
Marijuana is legal within this Freetown and freely available all along the aptly named Pusher Street and because of this no photography is allowed in this area, however, exploring Christiania is definitely an adventure not to be missed!
Design Museum Denmark
We only made it here with minutes to spare, but they very kindly let us in anyway (be aware that last entry is 30 minutes before the museum closes). We whizzed around in record time but unfortunately didn’t get all the way round.
If you want to see some unbelievably cool Scandi design, then this is place you need to be!
Again, this is free entry with the Copenhagen City Card.
We also went to a pop-up exhibition that was on while we were there and again it was free entry with the CC Card, so keep an eye out for those.
If you love minimalistic Scandi design and all things arty farty, this vibrant city will not disappoint!
We tried to do and see as much as we could in 72 hours, but this is a city I’d definitely visit again – probably during the summer months when it’s a lot warmer though! We went in April last year and temperatures were as low as -2 degrees celcius in the evenings so you definitely need to pack some thermals!
Have you been to Copenhagen? Is there anything I’ve missed in this guide? Please share it in the comments below.
If you missed the vlog and would like a closer look at the Freetown, Design Museum and Nyhavn, you can watch it down below.