Things to do in Copenhagen

Attractions in Copenhagen are a mix of fascinating history and fun activities. Its many cobblestone streets and rows of old Danish houses are much like they've been for centuries, occupied by wonderful shops and carnival-style entertainment.

The Little Mermaid statue in Langelinie harbour is one of the city's most sought after sights for visitors, despite its small size. Other attractions await in unique neighbourhoods, grand museums and entertainment venues, usually reached on foot and mostly found in the old city centre of Copenhagen.

A walk along Nyhavn Canal reveals the best of historic Copenhagen with old architecture and wooden boats showcasing the city's maritime history. For those interested in delving deeper into the Danish past, the National Museum at the Prince's Palace is a central Copenhagen attraction, as is the Copenhagen City Museum.

Copenhagen also has a proud heritage of art and design, well showcased in numerous museums, galleries and architecture. Of course, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without idling in the Tivoli Gardens or playing in its famous theme park.

The Copenhagen Card is useful too, giving free entry to more than 70 museums and attractions, free rides on public transportation, and discounts in many restaurants and shops. The cards can be purchased at the airport or at many tourist offices around Denmark.

Odense photo

Odense

60 miles (96km) west of Copenhagen and located on the island of Funen, Odense is Denmark's third largest city and a vibrant centre of commerce and nightlife. In this busy harbour c…

Odense

60 miles (96km) west of Copenhagen and located on the island of Funen, Odense is Denmark's third largest city and a vibrant centre of commerce and nightlife. In this busy harbour city, the quaint streets of the Old Town offer interesting shops, cafes and restaurants all buzzing with activity. Odense has a long history going back thousands of years, with archaeological finds dating to the Viking era. Birthplace of famed storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, there's a strong affinity between the city and the writer, with a number of shops and restaurants dedicated to him. The town also has several beautiful castles, cathedrals and museums, while the music and nightlife is among the best in Denmark, with symphonies, theatre and non-stop outdoor festivities in the idyllic summer months.

Tivoli Gardens photo

Tivoli Gardens

The world-renowned Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen is one of the world's most thrilling entertainment complexes, drawing about three million visitors during its five-mont…

Tivoli Gardens

The world-renowned Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen is one of the world's most thrilling entertainment complexes, drawing about three million visitors during its five-month summer open season each year. Tivoli dates back to 1843 when Copenhagen was still a fortified city surrounded by tall ramparts and a deep moat. Today, the Tivoli Lake is all that remains of the moat, which now reflects the incredible trademark fireworks displays that light the sky over the gardens twice a week. Tivoli is split in two, one section housing the beautiful miniature gardens where more than 100,000 flowers bloom, and the other has the theme park, with arcades and thrill rides. Tivoli also boasts a concert hall and open-air stages where dozens of concerts, pantomimes and circus shows come to life.

Address Vesterbrogade 3

Website www.tivoli.dk

Opens Open 6 April until 25 September. Open daily at 11am; closing times vary according to season, but usually between 11pm and 12am. See website for details.

Admission

General Admission: DKK 110 (adults and children over 8); children under 8 years free. There are multiple ticket options and attractions like rides cost extra so be sure to consult the website for specific pricing details.

Copenhagen Historical Museums photo

Copenhagen Historical Museums

From the Viking Age through to World War II resistance, the rich history of Denmark is encapsulated in fascinating collections of artefacts housed in a series of museums in Copenha…

Copenhagen Historical Museums

From the Viking Age through to World War II resistance, the rich history of Denmark is encapsulated in fascinating collections of artefacts housed in a series of museums in Copenhagen. The Prince's Palace houses the National Museum, covering Danish history and international antiquities. A few miles north, the open air museum makes for a fascinating excursion. Spread over 86 acres, its 100 or so historic buildings are built to illustrate and represent regions and periods across Denmark. Visitors can get up to date on the history of the city itself at the Museum of Copenhagen.

Address The Museum of Copenhagen, Vesterbrogade 59. The National Museum, Ny Vestergade 10. Open Air Museum, Kongevejen 100

Website www.cphmuseum.kk.dk/

Opens Copenhagen City Museum: 10am to 5pm daily. National Museum: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Open Air Museum: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm (May to October).

Admission

Copenhagen City Museum: DKK 20 (adults), children under 18 free; Fridays free for all. National Museum: DKK 95. Open Air Museum: Free.

Nyhavn Canal photo

Nyhavn Canal

The picturesque and historic Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen dates from 1673 when it was built to connect the inner city to the sea. Today, it's jokingly referred to as the longest bar …

Nyhavn Canal

The picturesque and historic Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen dates from 1673 when it was built to connect the inner city to the sea. Today, it's jokingly referred to as the longest bar in Scandinavia because of the numerous restaurants, pubs and cafes fronting the pretty pastel-painted townhouses. The canal itself is crammed with old wooden sailing ships which only add to the atmosphere. The area is strongly associated with fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, who occupied three houses in the district throughout his life. Visitors can take one of the many boat trips on offer to explore the canal and familiarise themselves with the area.

Address Nyhavn 1-71, 1051 København K

Website www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/nyhavn-gdk474735

Rosenborg Castle photo

Rosenborg Castle

The attractive Dutch Renaissance-style Rosenborg Castle was designed by King Christian IV and served as his home until he died in 1648. Today, the castle is an important cultural i…

Rosenborg Castle

The attractive Dutch Renaissance-style Rosenborg Castle was designed by King Christian IV and served as his home until he died in 1648. Today, the castle is an important cultural institution and acts as a public museum detailing the history of Denmark's royal family. It also acts as a repository for the Danish Crown Jewels and royal regalia, which are kept in the castle cellars and can be viewed by the public. Although opulent, the castle also feels surprisingly personal and intimate for a royal residence, with the magnificent gardens a welcome retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.

Address Øster Voldgade 4

Website www.kongernessamling.dk/rosenborg/

Transport

Bus routes: 14, 42, 43, 184, 185, 5A, 6A, 173E, 150S, 350S.

Opens January to May: 10am to 2pm. June to August: 9am to 5pm. September to October: 10am to 4pm. November to December: 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Sunday. Times can vary month to month and at certain times the castle is closed on Mondays so be sure to consult the website for specific dates.

Admission

Entry to the gardens is free. The castle: DKK 110 (adults); children under 17 free.

Bornholm photo

Bornholm

Sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Baltic, Bornholm is wildly popular as a holiday destination for people from Sweden, Poland and Germany. Often overlooked by visitors from …

Bornholm

Sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Baltic, Bornholm is wildly popular as a holiday destination for people from Sweden, Poland and Germany. Often overlooked by visitors from the US and UK, tourists enjoy the island's sunny beaches and natural beauty. It's loved for activities such as sailing, fishing, camping and hiking. The Almindingen Forest is among the largest in Denmark, while Dueodde boasts some of the best sandy beaches in the Baltic. A number of small towns have their own attractions, including Gudhjem's sunrises and charming winding streets, the jazz festival at Allinge and the bustling markets and local beers of Svaneke. The biggest town on Bornholm is Rønne, where most ferries disembark, and it features pretty 19th-century architecture and a collection of museums, shops and restaurants.

Website www.visitdenmark.com/bornholm/nature

The Little Mermaid Statue photo

The Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid, so synonymous with writer Hans Christian Andersen, sits on a rock at the Langelinie Harbour and is one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions. The sculptur…

The Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid, so synonymous with writer Hans Christian Andersen, sits on a rock at the Langelinie Harbour and is one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions. The sculpture was built in 1913 and enchants over a million visitors every year. At only about four feet (1.25m) high, she is small and seems to be in her true element when the waves crash against her rock. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen modelled the head after ballerina Ellen Price. It's beautifully executed and fits so well into its natural surroundings that it may take a moment to notice it.

Address Langelinie Harbour

Website www.copenhagenet.dk/cph-map/cph-mermaid.asp

Christiansborg Palace photo

Christiansborg Palace

When sightseeing in Denmark, architecture enthusiasts and history buffs fall in love with the Christiansborg Palace. A winter snowfall adds to its romantic fairytale appearance, it…

Christiansborg Palace

When sightseeing in Denmark, architecture enthusiasts and history buffs fall in love with the Christiansborg Palace. A winter snowfall adds to its romantic fairytale appearance, its appeal further enhanced by the presence of ruins dating as far back as 1167 AD, when it existed as Absalon's Castle. The complex consists of several different buildings, centred round a Baroque Revival core and home to important institutions such as the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court. The royal family uses the palace church, the Royal Reception Rooms and the Riding Ground Complex.

Address Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218 København

Website www.christiansborgslot.dk

Transport

Busses: 1A, 2A, 26, 40, 66, 350S; and Metro line: Kongens Nytorv Station or Nørreport Station

Opens Most of the palace is open daily between 10am to 5pm; between October and April it is closed on Mondays. It is always possible that the palace might be closed for special events.

Admission

Royal Reception Rooms, adults DKK 90 and children DKK 45; the Ruins, adults DKK 50 and children DKK 25; combined ticket for several attractions, adults DKK 150 and children DKK 75.

Legoland Billund photo

Legoland Billund

The original Legoland is a holiday must for children visiting Denmark. Opened in 1968, it welcomes visitors from all over the world and is conveniently situated next to the origina…

Legoland Billund

The original Legoland is a holiday must for children visiting Denmark. Opened in 1968, it welcomes visitors from all over the world and is conveniently situated next to the original Lego factory. The theme park is divided into different worlds with different themes, often based on the latest Lego ranges. With a legendary selection of rides, shops and eateries, Legoland Billund has something to offer everyone and is a must-do for families on holiday in Copenhagen. The admission costs vary because there are so many different ticket options, including season passes, family tickets, multiple pre-booked online ticket options, as well as ordinary gate prices. So it's best to double check the website.

Address Nordmarksvej 9, 7190 Billund

Website www.legoland.dk

Transport

The train stations in Vejle, Kolding, Fredericia will connect you to Legoland with a bus connections to Billund. Buses stop right outside Legoland.

Opens Seasonal, open April to October. Check the website for specific dates as opening times vary month to month and sometimes even more frequently.

Admission

Adults DKK 359

Bakken Amusement Park photo

Bakken Amusement Park

The oldest amusement park in the world and one of Denmark's favourites, Bakken Amusement Park has delighted countless visitors since it first opened in 1583. Despite its age, the p…

Bakken Amusement Park

The oldest amusement park in the world and one of Denmark's favourites, Bakken Amusement Park has delighted countless visitors since it first opened in 1583. Despite its age, the park and its amenities are modern and safe, featuring 34 thrilling rides. There are also lots of games, activities and gambling facilities. Bakken has about 40 restaurants and bars where families can relax and refuel. Just outside the amusement park gates is the beautiful woodland area of Dyrehaven, which offsets the artificial glories of the park with natural charm. The woods are a lovely place to stroll and are home to thousands of free-roaming deer.

Address Dyrehavevej 62

Website www.bakken.dk

Opens Opening times vary depending on the day and month - check the calendar on the official website for details.

Admission

Entry is free. Wristbands allowing access to rides cost DKK 269 for adults, and DKK 189 for small children.

Denmark Aquarium photo

Denmark Aquarium

The Denmark Aquarium boasts more than 300 species of marine life from across the globe. It's not large compared to other huge aquariums in Europe, but it's well maintained and a wo…

Denmark Aquarium

The Denmark Aquarium boasts more than 300 species of marine life from across the globe. It's not large compared to other huge aquariums in Europe, but it's well maintained and a wonderful attraction for the whole family. Kids adore this magical underwater world, making for a good break from traditional sightseeing in Copenhagen. They will love the themed interactive exhibits and touch pool, while other facilities include a cafe where visitors can take a break and enjoy lovely views with tasty meals, treats or hot drinks.

Address Kavalergården 1

Website www.akvarium.dk

Opens Open daily: 10am - 9pm (Monday); 10am - 5pm (Tuesday to Sunday).

Admission

DKK 170 (adults); DKK 95 (children aged 3 - 11).

Copenhagen Zoo photo

Copenhagen Zoo

Founded in 1859, the Copenhagen Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and features an amazing selection of animals from all over the world. Some of the zoo's most popular features inc…

Copenhagen Zoo

Founded in 1859, the Copenhagen Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and features an amazing selection of animals from all over the world. Some of the zoo's most popular features include the Elephant House, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster; Tasmanian Devils, very rarely found in any zoo outside of Australia; the polar bear enclosure; and the lion den. Notable animals in the 27 acre (11 hectare) park include tigers, red pandas, hippos, yaks and camels. The animals are well looked after and the habitat designs are impressive. The staff are famous for their care for their animals and are usually willing to chat to visitors about them.

Address Roskildevej 38

Website www.zoo.dk

Opens November to February: 10am - 4pm daily. March: 10am - 4pm weekdays, and 10am - 5pm weekends. April, May and September: 10am - 5pm weekdays, and 10am - 6pm weekends. 1 - 27 June and 11 - 31 August: 10am - 6pm daily. 28 June - 10 August: 10am - 6pm daily. October: 10am -5pm daily.

Admission

DKK 180 for adults and DKK 100 for children.

Experimentarium photo

Experimentarium

Featuring almost 300 interactive exhibitions for children of all ages, the Experimentarium is a hands-on science museum that aims to encourage youngsters to take an interest in sci…

Experimentarium

Featuring almost 300 interactive exhibitions for children of all ages, the Experimentarium is a hands-on science museum that aims to encourage youngsters to take an interest in science in fun ways. There are various exhibits, including ones on energy, the human body and mathematics, as well as other interactive areas. With permanent and temporary exhibitions, visitors can be sure that there is always something new, fun and exciting for children to enjoy. The bubble section tends to be a big favourite, while the museum also features a cafe and restaurant, workshop facilities and a gift shop with exciting scientific toys and games. This is a great activity for the whole family and is the perfect kid-orientated break from traditional sightseeing.

Address Tuborg Havnevej 7

Website www.experimentarium.dk

Opens Open daily: Monday, and Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Tuesday 10am to 9pm; Weekends 11am to 5pm.

Admission

DKK 195 (adults); DKK 115 (children 3-11); free for children under three.

Esbjerg photo

Esbjerg

Esbjerg is a popular holiday town, loved for its gorgeous beaches, art scene and thriving cafe culture. Most of Esbjerg's tourist attractions are nautical by nature, including the …

Esbjerg

Esbjerg is a popular holiday town, loved for its gorgeous beaches, art scene and thriving cafe culture. Most of Esbjerg's tourist attractions are nautical by nature, including the Sealarium at the Fisheries and Maritime Museum. A boat trip round the harbour is a must, while there's plenty of golf and watersports to indulge in. Being a city with a large youthful population, there's always a fair amount of dancing and music in its bars and clubs. But the best thing about Esbjerg is its proximity to the scenic Jutland Peninsula, with wide windswept sand dunes and popular family attractions such as Legoland at Billund, as well as the picturesque medieval town of Ribe, and offshore resort islands such as Romo and Fano.