23 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, Denmark (with Map)

Copenhagen is an enchanting city on the scenic shores of the Baltic Sea. As the capital city of Denmark, it is best known for seamlessly blending a rich history with Scandinavian charm, cutting-edge modernity and a forward-thinking, sustainable ethos.

For visitors, Copenhagen’s iconic skyline, adorned with the copper-green spires of historic churches, sets the stage for exploring diverse neighborhoods – each of which brims with unique character.

The city is home to several famous landmarks and boasts a thriving culinary scene, with world-class restaurants offering innovative interpretations of traditional Danish dishes. Additionally, biking enthusiasts will delight in the city’s bike-friendly infrastructure, while history buffs can delve into its rich Viking heritage at several cultural institutions.

Overall, you’ll find interesting things to do in Copenhagen at every turn, offering a fascinating and memorable experience that few other cities in the world can replicate.

Map of Copenhagen

In this post, we’ll cover:

23. Kastellet


One of the most prominent attractions in Copenhagen is Kastellet, a star-shaped fortress located in the heart of the city.

It was initially constructed in the 17th century as a military stronghold to protect the city from potential invasions. But today, it is one of the best-preserved fortresses in Northern Europe.

Visiting Kastellet takes you back in time as you explore the well-preserved barracks, prison, graceful ramparts and a picturesque windmill. Its iconic red buildings and manicured grounds are a delightful contrast to Copenhagen’s modern cityscape.

One of the most notable structures in the citadel is The Kastelskirken. It was built during the reign of King Frederik IV in heavy Baroque-style and features sound holes which enabled prisoners to follow services.

22. Copenhagen City Hall

Copenhagen City Hall

If you have visited Siena in Italy, you might get a sense of deja vu when seeing Copenhagen City Hall (or Københavns Rådhus in Danish) for the first time. That is because Siena City Hall was the inspiration behind the construction of this stunning architectural marvel.

This historic building, completed in 1905, showcases a stunning mix of National Romantic and Gothic architectural styles. It was designed by architects Martin Nyrop and Martin Borch to be a symbol of civic pride and a hub for political and cultural activities in Copenhagen.

The City Hall is renowned for its picturesque clock tower, which offers spectacular panoramic city views. Travellers can take guided tours to explore the beautifully decorated chambers, including the impressive Council Chamber – replete with ornate furnishings.

21. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

If you are into art, you’ll want to visit the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, a suburb of Copenhagen.

Designed by the renowned Danish architect Søren Robert Lund and opened in 1996, ARKEN is a leading institution for modern and contemporary art in the Nordic region. Whilst there, you can immerse yourself in a diverse collection of international and Danish art.

The museum features a range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photography and multimedia installations. Its permanent collection boasts pieces by acclaimed artists like Damien Hirst and Jeppe Hein, offering a profound exploration of contemporary art movements.

In addition to its impressive art displays, ARKEN’s unique seaside location provides a picturesque backdrop for those who want to create their own artwork. The museum’s glass façade and stunning outdoor sculptures offer plenty of inspiration.

20. Frederiksberg Have

Frederiksberg Have

Copenhagen houses several picturesque greenspaces. One of the best is Frederiksberg Have, a beautifully landscaped park with a rich history and several delightful features.

Created in the 1690s as a royal Baroque garden, it has since evolved into a public park cherished by locals and visitors alike. The park’s expansive green lawns, meandering pathways and romantic canals make it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A central feature is the Frederiksberg Palace, a neoclassical gem, which stands at the heart of the park and is now home to the Royal Danish Military Academy.

As you explore the park, you’ll discover picturesque lakes, charming bridges, and lush gardens, such as the beautiful Butterfly Garden. Frederiksberg Have is also home to a zoo – an enticing option for those traveling with children.

19. Den Bla Planet

Den Blå Planet

Better known as the National Aquarium Denmark, Den Blå Planet prides itself on being the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Despite only opening in 2013, it has become a must-visit destination for those interested in the mysteries of the underwater world.

You’ll find it in the suburb of Kastrup, housed within a striking building whose design took inspiration from the shape of a whirlpool. The aquarium houses an astonishing variety of marine species, from colorful tropical fish to mesmerizing sharks and even playful sea otters. Its highlight is the Ocean Tank, a colossal cylindrical tank at the center of the facility that allows you to walk through an underwater tunnel surrounded by marine life.

In addition to marine animals, Den Blå Planet hosts various exhibitions, events and educational programs to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans.

18. Frederiks Kirke

Frederiks Kirke

Affectionately known as the Marble Church, Frederiks Kirke is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture and a significant historical landmark in the city’s old town. Notably, its construction spanned over a century.

The idea of the church’s construction was conceived in the 18th century, during the reign of King Frederick V. The foundation stone was laid in 1749. Still, due to various challenges, including financial difficulties and changing architectural plans, the church was not completed until 1894.

The church’s beautiful dome, which boasts one of the largest church domes in Europe, is a central feature. Tourists can climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the city.

Inside, the Marble Church impresses with its elegant interior, adorned with fine sculptures, frescoes and a magnificent organ.

17. Davids Samling

Davids Samling

Davids Samling is a terrific museum with an exceptional collection of art and decorative objects from the Islamic world, the Far East, and Europe.

Founded by the late C.L. David, a Danish lawyer and art collector, the collection was established to promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of art.

The museum’s historic home is a beautiful 18th-century building in the city center, which complements the art it houses with its elegance. It is known for its comprehensive and aesthetically rich displays, showcasing exquisite Persian carpets, intricate Islamic calligraphy and delicate Chinese porcelain.

Built around his private collection, the museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the artistic and cultural connections between different parts of the world. Presently, it is not open on Mondays. So bear that in mind when organizing your sightseeing activities.

16. Copenhagen Opera House

Copenhagen Opera House

Over on the island of Holmen, the Copenhagen Opera House is a masterpiece of modern architecture. Designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen, it is one of the world’s most expensive opera houses, costing around 2.5 billion DKK (approximately US $370 million).

The building opened its doors to the public in 2005 and combines sleek, contemporary design and traditional opera house aesthetics. Its undulating facade and expansive glass windows starkly contrast Copenhagen’s historic architecture.

Inside, the opera house features a lavish and acoustically brilliant auditorium that can seat over 1,400 guests. Its interiors feature elegant Scandinavian design elements and sumptuous materials.

Throughout the year, the Opera House hosts various performances – from classical operas and ballets to contemporary theater productions and musical events. Its waterfront location, overlooking the harbor and the city’s skyline, adds to its allure.

15. Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

Part of the Natural History Museum within the University of Copenhagen, the Botanical Garden is another tranquil and beautiful green space to enjoy in the city.

With roots dating back to 1600, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, serving as a scientific research center and public space for nature enthusiasts.

The garden is home to an extensive collection of plants from various climates and regions, carefully curated to provide visitors with an educational and enjoyable experience. It features a series of interconnected greenhouses – each dedicated to a specific type of plant – such as tropical or desert species. The Palm House is a highlight, showcasing tall palm trees and lush tropical vegetation.

Visitors can explore the well-maintained outdoor gardens, including the historical section, the King’s Garden – which incorporates several vibrant plant and flower species.

14. Strøget


Strøget is one of Copenhagen’s most iconic and vibrant destinations. It’s not just a street; it’s a bustling pedestrian zone and a shopping haven stretching over a kilometer through the city center.

Its history dates back to the 1960s when it was transformed into a car-free shopping district, making it one of the world’s first pedestrian streets.

As travelers can explore an eclectic range of shops, boutiques, department stores, cafes and restaurants, it is a mecca for shoppers and foodies. The street also features several performers, artists and intriguing landmarks.

Beyond shopping, Strøget connects various districts of Copenhagen, offering a dynamic blend of old-world charm and modern cosmopolitan vibes. However, it’s not a place you will likely enjoy in solitude – upwards of 80,000 people traverse it every day.

13. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Another terrific museum to visit in Copenhagen is the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

Founded in 1888 by Carl Jacobsen, the son of the Carlsberg brewery founder, the museum was conceived as a gift to the city. The name ‘Glyptotek’ is derived from Greek words, ‘glyphein’ (to carve) and ‘theke’ (container), reflecting the museum’s focus on sculptures.

The Glyptotek features exceptional art, emphasising classical and French sculptures, ancient Mediterranean artifacts and a remarkable collection of 19th and 20th-century European paintings.

In support of its permanent collection, the Glyptotek hosts rotating exhibitions, providing fresh perspectives on art and culture. Events like lectures, poetry readings and debates often take place too. It also houses a beautiful Winter Garden, a lush indoor oasis perfect for contemplating the works you have seen.

12. Torvehallerne Food Market

Torvehallerne Food Market

If you love food, Torvehallerne is the place to be. This vibrant and bustling food market in the heart of Copenhagen presents an exciting opportunity to enjoy many gastronomic delights.

Situated near the Nørreport train station, this fantastic food market is easily accessible and comprises two glass-encased market halls filled with an enticing parade of stalls and eateries. You’ll find a wide range of fresh, high-quality produce, from artisanal cheeses and seafood to pastries and spices, making it a food lover’s paradise.

The market is more than just a place to shop for ingredients; it’s also a spot to enjoy ready-to-eat international and Danish cuisine, from sushi to smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches). In the warmer months, outdoor seating allows you to savor your culinary discoveries amid the lively atmosphere.

11. National Museum of Denmark

National Museum of Denmark

Situated just a short distance from Strøget, you’ll find the National Museum of Denmark – the country’s largest museum of cultural history.

The museum, established in 1807, presents exhibits that span from the Stone Age to the present day, particularly emphasising Danish history, ethnography, and archaeology.

Visitors can explore Viking treasures, exquisite silverware, ancient rune stones and well-preserved mummies from Egypt. Additionally, the museum’s ethnographic displays showcase cultures from around the world, offering a global perspective on humanity.

The National Museum resides in a stunning neoclassical building, and its architecture alone is worth a visit. As well as being a museum, the attraction is an educational institution and a hub for fascinating cultural events, temporary exhibitions and interactive experiences.

10. Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace is a regal ensemble of four identical rococo-style palaces surrounding an elegant courtyard. Built in the 18th century, it has been a favored residence for Denmark’s royal family since then. Queen Margrethe ll, the Danish Head of State, lives in it during the autumn and winter seasons.

The four palaces are named after various Danish monarchs and feature a seamless blend of architectural grandeur and historical significance. The changing of the guard, which occurs daily, is a popular spectacle for visitors, held in the courtyard of Amalienborg.

One of the palaces, Christian VIII’s Palace, is open to the public and offers a glimpse into the opulent interiors, including the Amalienborg Museum. The museum displays royal artifacts, including paintings, porcelain, and personal items of past monarchs.

9. Freetown Christiania

Freetown Christiania

Copenhagen boasts a diverse range of neighborhoods for travelers to explore. One of the most intriguing is Freetown Christiania.

This unique and unconventional neighborhood was established in 1971 on the grounds of a former military barracks. It became a self-proclaimed autonomous commune known for its alternative lifestyle, counterculture spirit and vibrant artistic community.

Christiania’s distinctive feature is its creative and eclectic atmosphere. Visitors are greeted with colorful, graffiti-covered buildings, quirky art installations and a distinct sense of freedom. The neighborhood has its own set of rules and principles, including restrictions on commercialism, emphasizing community and fostering a communal spirit.

Strolling through Pusher Street, the central thoroughfare, you’ll find street vendors selling various goods, including art, crafts and refreshments. Christiania also boasts idyllic lakes and green spaces – making it a peaceful oasis within the city.

8. Church of Our Saviour

Church of Our Saviour

Undoubtedly, one of Copenhagen’s most iconic landmarks is the imperious Church of Our Saviour. Completed in the 17th century, this magnificent Baroque-style church holds a special place in the city’s history and skyline thanks to its unique helix spire and stunning architecture.

Visitors must climb a long, winding external staircase to access the spire, where they will witness incredible, sweeping views of Copenhagen. The experience will be even more magical if you do this around sunset.

Inside, the church is adorned with exquisite frescoes, intricate woodwork, and ornate decorations, reflecting the opulence of the Baroque era. The altar and the beautiful organ are also highlights, while its carillon plays melodies every hour from 8 am to midnight.

7. Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid

One of Copenhagen’s most iconic symbols has to be the Little Mermaid.

The bronze statue, erected in 1913, is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale and is a tribute to the Danish author’s literary legacy. It depicts a mermaid perched on a rock, gazing wistfully out to sea, capturing the poignant moment from the fairy tale when she longs to join the human world.

Visiting the Little Mermaid is a must for anyone exploring Copenhagen. Located on the Langelinie promenade, the statue attracts visitors worldwide, making it a popular photo spot and a serene place to enjoy the waterfront views.

Overall, the Little Mermaid embodies the charm and nostalgia of Andersen’s stories and Denmark’s literary heritage. While the statue is relatively small, the surrounding area is picturesque, with lovely harbor views.

6. Round Tower

Round Tower

The Round Tower, or Rundetårn, is another historically significant landmark in Copenhagen that you should visit.

It was constructed in the 17th century and initially designed as an astronomical observatory and a library by King Christian IV – one of many architectural projects he commissioned.

The most distinctive feature of the Round Tower is its eponymous spiral ramp, which winds its way to the top, making it easy for visitors to ascend without stairs. The tower offers breathtaking panoramic city views, making it a prime spot for sightseeing.

The tower also houses a small exhibition and the historical library, which showcase its cultural evolution. It often hosts cultural events and exhibitions and boasts a charming, old-world atmosphere.

5. Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace

Situated on the small island of Slotsholmen, Christiansborg Palace holds a special place in Danish history. It is not only the seat of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) but also houses the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister’s Office.

The palace’s history is as rich as its features. The first castle on this site dates back to the 12th century, and over the centuries, various iterations of the palace were built, destroyed and rebuilt. The current neo-baroque structure was constructed in the early 20th century.

Visitors can explore the grand halls, chambers and galleries adorned with opulent decor and artwork, and the tower provides spectacular views of Copenhagen. The ruins of earlier castles on the site can be seen in the basement, offering a fascinating glimpse into the palace’s historical layers.

4. Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle is a magnificent fortress in Helsingør, near Copenhagen, that boasts a dramatic coastal setting. It was built in the 16th century and is renowned for its impressive Renaissance architecture and role as the inspiration for Shakespeare’s ‘Elsinore Castle’ in ‘Hamlet’.

Kronborg’s rich history encompasses both military might and cultural significance. Once there, you can explore its well-preserved ramparts, chambers, and ballrooms, each with period-appropriate furnishings and artwork. The Great Hall is particularly noteworthy with its intricate woodwork and tapestries.

The castle’s underground casemates, used for centuries to store provisions and munitions, add an element of intrigue to the visit. In a poetic twist of fate, Kronborg hosts various events and performances, often including adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, which come full circle in the castle that inspired ‘Hamlet’.

3. Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle

Another of Christian IV’s projects was Rosenborg Castle, a striking example of Renaissance architecture. Initially finished in 1606 as a country summer house for the Danish royalty, it is now a beautifully preserved museum that allows visitors to explore Denmark’s royal history.

The castle’s richly adorned rooms feature an impressive collection of regal artifacts, including the Danish Crown Jewels, displayed in the basement vault. The Great Hall, with its stunning tapestries, and the Knight’s Hall, featuring an incredible collection of royal memorabilia, are among other notable highlights.

Surrounding the castle is a picturesque green space perfect for leisurely strolls, sunbathing in summer and picnics. Overall, the castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and those intrigued by the grandeur of Denmark’s monarchy.

2. Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second-oldest amusement park behind Bakken in the Lyngby-Taarbæk Kommune region of Denmark.

With a history dating back to 1843, this enchanting wonderland combines the charm of a historic park with the thrill of modern attractions. The park’s enchanting gardens burst with colorful flowers and are illuminated by thousands of lights in the evening, creating a magical atmosphere.

Tivoli offers a variety of amusements, including roller coasters, carousels, and live entertainment – making it an exciting destination for visitors of all ages. It’s also home to one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, the Rutschebanen, which has operated since 1914.

Throughout the year, Tivoli hosts special events and seasonal celebrations, such as Halloween and its famous Christmas markets, adding to its year-round appeal.

1. Nyhavn


Vibrant and captivating, Nyhavn is a picturesque canal district with a postcard-perfect waterfront area that beautifully encapsulates the city’s charm and history. Established in the 17th century, Nyhavn was originally a bustling commercial port where ships from around the world would dock. Its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets have since become an iconic symbol of the city.

Tourists can stroll along the canal, admire the vibrant, gabled houses that line the waterfront and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants and cafes lining the quayside. The area is equally famous for its vintage ships and boats that offer canal tours – providing a unique perspective of Denmark’s capital.

Street performers and various events make Nyhavn a lively destination. The atmosphere is particularly vibrant in the summer when outdoor seating makes it a terrific gathering spot.

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