Copenhagen is a cosy city of vibrant buildings, fairy-tale tributes and mouth-wateringly fresh foods, so if you're thinking of visiting on a city break you're in for a treat. Perfect in spring, featuring pastry picnics along the Islands brygge or adorable Winters when the cobbled streets are host to mulled wine and Christmas markets. Filled with historical and architectural triumphs, there are alot of attractions to visit in a weekend, so here's our quick itinerary of how to spend two days in the colourful capital of Denmark.
9:30am- Danish pastries for breakfast
Start your weekend break with a quitesential Danish pastry. Whether it be filled with jams, sprinkled with nuts or just classically buttery, there are hundreds of fresh bakeries sprinkedly along the streets of Copenhagen, so start your morning with a classic pastry and coffee - but be prepared for price! Food is not cheap in this city, with 3 coffees and two pastries costing us around £18!
11am - Canal Tour
Often featuring on Copenhagen postcards, Nyhavn is a picture-perfect harbour in the capital of Denmark, lined with colourful restaurants, lively street performers and majestic boats. Tour the canals and rivers on a boat trip leaving from this harbour and learn more about the history and fairy tales of Copenhagen. These trips are around an hour long and the tour guides speak in English, Spanish and Danish. Taking a trip between the winding rivers is a good way to familiarise yourself with the landmarks and attractions in the city at the start of your break!
12:30pm - Explore Nhyavn
Being a Scandinavian country, Copenhagen is a very pricey city, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it on a budget. Roam the pretty cobbled streets of Nyhavn and enjoy a drink sitting by the water. There is a small shop off one off the main promenade selling cold drinks and alcohol, grab a beer for around 15-20DKK (£2). There are also plenty of hotdog stands sprinkled around the city selling snacks and food, grab a hotdog for around 25DKK, they’re huge and really tasty!
3pm - Strøget
Strøget is Copenhagen's main shopping street, an enormous tiled road which is completely pedestrianised and among the longest in Europe. The 1.1km street stretches between the City Hall square to Kongens Nytorv square and is host to a range of stores from unique souvenir shops to couture designer names such as Prada, Chanel and Valentino. This street is also host to the Christmas markets in winter. Treat yourself to some shopping or stop at one of the many restaurants and bars lining the street to sip on Aperol Spritz and people watch.
5:30pm - The Round Tower
Catch the sunset in a 17th century Round Tower, which provides views over the old part of the city. With vast sweeping spiral ramp, an architectural beauty in itself, the tower is home to Europe's oldest functioning astronomy observatory. Tickets are 25DKK for adults and include admission to the observatory.
6:30pm - Ristorante Italiano
One of our favourite restaurants whilst visiting Strøget, this rustic Italian has a huge menu serving traditional Mediterranean cuisine and has amazing early-bird and lunch deals. The waiters here are really friendly and the drinks and food are very reasonable given it is located in a very tourist-busy part of the city. The area is densely populated with restaurants and bars if you want to 'hit the town' alternatively these are two metro stations located each around 5-10 minute walk away: Kongens Nytorv and Noreport St.
10am - Bycyklen Hire
Without a doubt our favourite activity whilst visiting Copenhagen was using Bycyklen (The City Bike) to tour the city. Whilst Copenhagen is mostly flat, it was simple to use these intelligent, electric powered bikes to journey around the picturesque streets and harbours of the capital. These are so great during city breaks as they allow you to cover alot more attractions, in a lot less time, and with a lot less moaning about walking! Grab a bike from one of the hundred stations situated around the city and begin riding with each 30 minute period costing around £1.50! Here are some recommendations of landmarks to visit whilst cycling around (note they are listed based on their distance together, journeying from one side of the city to another!):
Little Mermaid Statue
Had we not been using the bikes I wouldn't have bothered to walk to the little mermaid statue. I was pretty underwhelmed with this landmark, with plenty of crowds gathering, fighting for a picture of a rather small (twice beheaded and vandalised plenty of times) statue. When using the bikes however it was pretty quick to access Langelinie pier from Nyhvan so may be worth visiting on your route.
St Alban's Church & Gefion Fountain
A beautiful stone church and ornately decorated fountain located near the Langelinie pier, great for photos and it is free to visit the church. This is pretty close to the little mermaid statue so stop here on your route back to Nyhavn.
Home to the Danish royal family, Amalienborg and a fantastic example of Danish architecture. Whilst you can pay to enter the museum, allowing you to visit the private interiors of previous monchary. Make it to the grand courtyard for lunchtime to watch the changing of the royal guards which usually occurs around 12pm.
Fredrik's church, also known as the marble church is directly behind Amalienborg. With the largest church dome in Scandinavia, this is an impressive building and visits to the top of this dome provides even more impressive views of Copenhagen and it's many rivers.
2pm- Torvehallerne Copenhagen
Although I'll admit food in this open food hall is expensive, as is most places in Copenhagen, it is a very popular tourist destination and it's fun to wander the aisles and dribble over all the amazing food which are made and served here. Stop off here and try the quintessential Scandinavian Smörgåsbord, an open sandwich piled with fresh fish, or meat and vegetables. Most places accept card in here and there is plenty of seating both inside and outdoors.
Rosenborg Castle & King's Garden
A beautifully kept gardens which are free to visit and contains Rosenborg Castle. Park up your bike outside the gates as bikes are not permitted inside then wander along the pristine paths and admire the grand castle and moat. You do have to pay to enter Rosenborg but the views from the outside are just as great.
Copenhagen's botanical gardens is a majestic glass palace nested in a huge park home to the Natural History Museum. Although you do have to pay to enter the palm house, the gardens are free so if you are looking for the perfect picnic spot or place to enjoy a beer (it is legal to drink alcohol in public places) then bring a blanket and find a spot.
7pm- Final Supper in Nyhavn
Finish off your city break by really splurging on one of the quaint restaurants situated along the waterfront in the Nyhavn . For an Aperol Spritz and steak for three people cost us over £100 but we really enjoyed treating ourselves and people watching in the beautiful harbour. There are of course plenty of cheaper restaurants on the out-skirts of this attraction but if you want to go all out on your final night the food in these restaurants are of a really excellent quality.