1 Weekend in Copenhagen… the Top Places to Visit in Denmark’s Capital

Do you want to know the top places to visit in Copenhagen? Is 1 weekend…

Do you want to know the top places to visit in Copenhagen? Is 1 weekend in Copenhagen long enough? Or are you trying to find how to travel to Copenhagen from the UK? Then read on and join us as we spend 1 weekend in Copenhagen and find the places to visit in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is one of Europe’s best cities for a short break! With stunning architecture, a world-class food scene, cool nightlife, and interesting museums, there really is something for everyone. And best of all, with cheap and regular flights from the UK, it couldn’t be easier to visit! We spent 1 weekend in Copenhagen… here is our recommended itinerary to see the top places in Copenhagen…

1 Weekend in Copenhagen, the top places to visit day 1 map...

How to spend the morning in Copenhagen… Day 1

We land in Copenhagen at 10.30am, and after a long walk through the never ending airport, we jump on the metro heading straight into the city centre to start our 1 weekend in Copenhagen...

Kongens Nytorv / The King’s New Square

Kongens Nytorv is the largest city square in Copenhagen, linking the end of the famous shopping street Storgortet to the even more famous Nyhavn Harbour.

The metro takes less than 20 minutes to reach Kongens Nytorv, and as we’re leaving the underground station, music is drifting down the stairs towards us.

I (Paul) stop to read some of the signs about the metro lines being closed for maintenance this weekend, but Sneha isn’t stopping and runs up the stairs to see what the music is!

A marching band is going through the square and Sneha wants to catch the performance, so she rushes after them trying to get a video. I emerge from the metro and look around, and struggling to spot her in the crowds, think “Great, we haven’t even made it out of the metro and she’s wandered off and got lost already” (Quite a common theme on our travels!)

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Brunch at Nyhavn Harbour Copenhagen

If you’ve searched for photos of Copenhagen on Google, then chances are you’ve seen a picture of Nyhavn. The picture-perfect harbour, lined by brightly coloured houses, looks like something straight out of a movie set.

And despite it being a late winter morning we’ve struck lucky with the weather… it’s clear blue skies and bright warm sunshine!

The sunshine makes the harbour look even more stunning than we expected it to be, and as we stop to take some obligatory photos, we overhear a walking tour guide next to us telling the story of the harbour.

"The pretty buildings you’re looking at used to all be brothels and full of drunken sailors who had just landed in port" the guide explains… quite different from today where the buildings all seem to be cafes, restaurants or hotels. Still serving the needs of the visitors though we guess!

After a walk around the harbour we sit at a table at one of the said restaurants, and start our Danish culinary adventure with a Smorrebrod open sandwich, a beer and a Schnapps. 

"Mmmmmmm…." is the response I get when I ask Sneha how the food is after the first bite, but the Schnapps doesn’t quite get the same reaction!

TrovenTrippers Tip… There are multiple canal tours you can take from Nyhavn harbour, but there is also a public transport harbour bus which you can take on a regular bus ticket. The harbour bus takes much of the same route as the canal tours, and you can get off at the Little Mermaid statue too if you plan to head there!

The Copenhagen Amber Museum

As we walk up Nyhavn and admire the buildings, we stumble into one of the more surprising and unique museums in Copenhagen… The Copenhagen Amber Museum.

Copenhagen is one of the best places for Amber in the World, with Baltic amber formed in the Scandinavian forest millions of years ago washing up on Denmark's shores and accounting for 80% of the world’s amber… who knew??

We only find the museum as it’s in one of Nyhavn’s oldest buildings, and as we stop for photos, we spot the shop and Sneha can’t resist from going in!

On the ground floor is a shop selling all sorts of jewellery made from amber, and up on the higher floors is the small museum telling the history of amber in Denmark. The museum is small and only takes 10 minutes to have a look around, so is worth it for a quick stop.

How to spend an afternoon in Copenhagen… Day 1

After our morning at Nyhavn Harbour having brunch and seeing the sights, we're ready for some history and heritage to continue our 1 weekend in Copenhagen...

Explore Denmark’s Royal History at Rosenborg Castle

Royal Castle or Royal Palace? Rosenborg Castle could pass as either! It was built in 1606 by King Christian IV, one of Denmark’s most famous kings in history.

The Castle is great to explore, it’s non-stop marble floors, carved wooden furniture, and stunning sculptures and artwork (even if Sneha does question the ability of some of the artists whose portraits are hanging around the castle!)

Our favourites are The Great Hall, a huge hall up on the 2nd floor with three silver lions from 1670 guarding the King and Queen’s thrones made from narwhal tusk and silver. 

And the Treasury, seeing the Crown Jewels. As we enter through the vault’s thick steel door, Christian III’s state sword from 1551 is the first display we see. But the stars of the show are Christian IV’s crown from 1596, the Crown of the Absolute Monarchs used between 1671 and 1731, and the Queen’s crown, from 1648. Beautiful!!

Read our full blog... Exploring Denmark’s Royal Past at Rosenborg Castle Copenhagen

Drinks & Snacks at Torvehallerne Market

Copenhagen is a foodies dream destination with so many great restaurants in the city.

But having only 1 weekend in Copenhagen limits the number of places you can try (unless you want to eat constantly!), so Torvehallerne Market is a great place to visit!

It’s a mix of fresh food market with fish mongers, butchers, and fruit and veg on sale. And a food hall, with ready-to-eat food being served and a few bars to be able to grab a drink.

We head there straight from Rosenborg Castle for a look around and to get a drink, and try some local Isle of Møn gin from Noorbo Hendelen. The gin and homemade tonic is good, and the shop has a huge range of wines, other spirits and olive oils to try and buy. 

Our first snacks are some empanadas from Laboca, trying pulled pork and Peruvian lamb pastries.

As we look around more of the market (there are 2 separate halls so make sure you visit both) we have a fishcake from Boutique Fisk, and try some free pâté from a temporary stand (very nice, but we don’t have space in our bags to take much home).

All of this eating is making us thirsty again, so we sample some Spanish wine and sherry at Tapa del Toro, and finish our food journey off with some duck hearts from Ma Poule.

Torvehallerne Market is a great way to spend a couple of hours to sit and relax, try lots of different foods and drinks, and people watch the world go by.

TrovenTrippers Tip… while the opening hours of the market are advertised up until 6pm, this appeared to be only for the fresh food stalls and not the bars. We were there past 6pm and it didn’t look like any of them were closing anytime soon.

How to spend a night in Copenhagen… Day 1

What a great day it's been so far, but some would say the best is yet to come. Copenhagen has a great mix of nightlife for a fairly small city, from some of the world's best Michelin starred restaurants, to the industrial and gritty Meatpacking District. And that's where we're heading next to continue our 1 weekend in Copenhagen...

The Meatpacking District, Koedbyn, Copenhagen

The Meatpacking District, Koedbyn, is one of the most popular places to go out in Copenhagen.

You can find some of the coolest bars and restaurants in the city here, all housed in former warehouses and slaughterhouses in the once gritty and industrial neighbourhood behind the main train station.

Kødbyens Fiskebar was one of the first restaurants to open here, and still serves up some of the freshest and best seafood in the city. Fleisch is a meat-lovers paradise… half meat restaurant, half butcher. Tommi’s Burger Joint is the place to go for, well, burgers! And Mother is an Italian where you can get amazing pizza or pasta. 

For drinks, Warpig Brewpub has an amazing choice of beers, Mesteren & Lærlingen is a cosy bar with live DJ’s, while NOHO and Jolene will let you party the night away!

Kødbyens Fiskebar

We’ve reserved a table at Kødbyens Fiskebar, slightly unusual for us as we tend to just wing it when we visit places, but it’s good that we did as the queue of people in front of us are all turned away as it’s full.

With a huge choice of small plates on the menu we decide to go tapas style, and just order a few different things to try… starting with the oyster tasting menu and the Fiskebaren’s sourdough bread & seaweed butter.

From here on the dishes get weirder and weirder, but also nicer and nicer! Carpet clams from Hitra Island in Norway, and North Sea Cod roe in a hollandaise, brussel sprout and lemon balm. Pan-fried Halibut, with jerusalem artichokes and pickled chanterelles porridge, smoked eel, trout roe and mackerel heart. Followed by Sea lettuce and Gastro Unika caviar cheesecake!

It’s certainly not a cheap meal (around £165), but it is a great experience to try the different seafoods, and all of the dishes are very tasty and presented like a Michelin-starred restaurant. 

TrovenTrippers Tip...

If you’re a seafood fan and want a treat then we definitely recommend it, but make sure you book a table as it can ger super busy and we saw loads of people being turned away as it was full.

To book a table and to see the current menu… Kødbyens Fiskebar Website

Read our full blog... Trying Copenhagen’s Best Seafood at Kødbyens Fiskebar in The Meatpacking District

1 Weekend in Copenhagen, the top places to visit day 2 map...

How to spend the morning in Copenhagen... Day 2…

Depending on how many of the bars you decided to try out at the Meatpacking District last night, you may want a lie in this morning! We're up and about quite early, but need a walk in the fresh breeze and bright sunshine to wake us up a little after our fish feast to continue our 1 weekend in Copenhagen...

The Little Mermaid Copenhagen

Probably the most iconic sight to see in Copenhagen is the statue of the Little Mermaid. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, the bronze statue has sat on the rocks at Langelinie Pier staring out to sea since 1913.

And while the statue is iconic, first-time visitors are usually surprised by just how small she is! But that’s not to say she’s not worth visiting… the beautiful figure of the mermaid is one of the must-see sights and can you really say you’ve been to Copenhagen if you haven’t seen her??

Coming at 9.30am means it’s very quiet, and we get to spend a good amount of time almost alone with the Little Mermaid. As she sits on her stone staring out to sea, we take some photos and then find our own rocks to sit on and stare out to sea too.

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TrovenTrippers Tip… don’t take the hop-on hop-off bus to the Little Mermaid. A bus arrived just as we were leaving, and while we’d spent about 20-minutes there enjoying the relative peace, it became super-crowded with the bus visitors all pushing to try and get a good view!

Queue to see the Little Mermaid Copenhagen

It’s a beautiful sunny morning so we walk from Marmorkirken tram stop, through Langelinieparken, to the Little Mermaid.

The park has some other cool statues and Gefion Fountain to see (although there’s no water in the fountain this morning), but it’s the Little Mermaid which is the star-attraction.

Copenhagen Harbour & Opera House

We walk back to the city along the waterfront and see some more cool artwork and sculptures… a man sitting on a bench made from old car parts, and a replica of Michelangelo's David. The Opera House on the opposite side of the water is also well worth a look, with some great modern architecture.

Frederiks Kirke, Amalienborg Palace & Christiansborg Palace

We make a quick stop at Frederiks Kirke (The Marble Church), Amalienborg Palace, and Christiansborg Palace for some photos on our walk. 

All are good stops and if you have time are worth a look around, but we have other plans for our day so the short photos stop will do for this trip…

Shopping in Copenhagen on Strøget

Strøget is probably Copenhagen’s most famous shopping street, running the length of the city centre from Tivoli Gardens all the way to Kongens Nytorv, King’s New Square.

You’ll find international and local independent shops here, and the famous ILLUM premium Department Store.

The architecture of some of the buildings is really good, and we can’t resist stopping in some of the shops to pick up souvenirs.

The Round Tower Observatory

One of the best places to see the sights of Copenhagen is from the Round Tower Observatory… you can literally see all the sights of Copenhagen!

The 17th century tower is one of Copenhagen’s most iconic buildings in its own right, but walking up the sloped spiral path (no stairs here!) to the top gives great views out over the rest of the city too.

Once you're at the top find the small doorway with another staircase going up... this takes you to an observatory which is the oldest in Europe. While the room was roped off so we couldn't fully explore, it was still cool to see the telescope and info around the room.

It costs 40DKK (around £4.60) to visit and the views are well worth it! 

TrovenTrippers Tip… don’t miss visiting the church as well as the Tower! Both the organ and the altar are stunning, as well as some of the other decorations and ornaments.

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Lunch stop… Hot Dogs in Copenhagen

As well as the amazing restaurants and food markets, Copenhagen is also famous for its street food. And none is more famous than hot dogs.

One of the best vans in the city to get a hot dog from is DØP, right next to the Round Tower. 

They serve organic sausages on sourdough bread, and have a large choice of different sausages and toppings. A great place to stop for a quick lunch!

Opposite the Round Tower entrance is also a Gløgg stall selling hot mulled wine and traditional Danish pancakes balls… perfect to accompany the hot dogs!

How to spend the afternoon in Copenhagen… Day 2…

It's been another busy morning of sight-seeing, but with only the afternoon left before we need to head to the airport for our flight home tonight we're pushing through any tiredness to continue our 1 weekend in Copenhagen...

Church of Our Saviour Copenhagen

If climbing 400 steps to the top of a spiral church tower sounds like your thing, then you have to visit the Church of Our Saviour in Christianshavn.

The 17th century church is one of Denmark’s most famous churches and is worth visiting even if you don’t have a head for heights. But if you climb the tower as well, you’ll be greeted with the best views of Copenhagen you can see!

Having just been to the Round Tower for views of Copenhagen, we skip the spire and just have a look inside the church on our way to Freetown Christiania…

Visiting Freetown Christiania

The Freetown Christiania is unique and one of the top places to visit in Copenhagen!

We enter the community from close to the Church of Our Saviour Copenhagen, walking through a small park and gateway before reaching the edge of the town.

The artwork on the buildings is really cool. The first we see is covered by a large tree with fairies flying around. Another has an apocalyptic scene being guarded by a huge troll(?) sculpture, labelled “The World is in our hands”. And others are covered in cartoon characters, and lots and lots of graffiti.

As we round the corner and head towards Pusher Street, the strong smell of weed hits us, and signs appear showing cameras are banned and no photos are allowed here. 

As we walk down the street Sneha is amazed... “This is not what I expected! It’s way more out in the open, they're just selling from market stalls! I thought it would be more hidden than this!”

We grab a beer and some food from Bistro Nemo, before picking up some souvenirs from the Christiania Art Gallery.

Read our full blog... Visiting Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark

Travel Tips for Copenhagen

How to get to Copenhagen Denmark from London?

Fly Ryanair from London Stansted, Saturday to Monday, for less than £100 (prices vary per date). Or if Gatwick is more convenient, easyJet fly direct for similar prices.

How to get to Copenhagen from Manchester?

Fly easyJet from Manchester, Saturday to Monday, with return tickets often available for less than £100. Or Ryanair also fly direct, but we found the flight times out weren’t as good as the easyJet flights.

How to get from Copenhagen Airport to the City

The fastest and easiest way to get from Copenhagen airport into the city is by train or metro. They run every 10 minutes, only take 15 minutes to reach, and cost £4.

If you are planning to use public transport once in Copenhagen, the City Pass include travel to and from the airport so these can save you money. See below for more info…

How to get around Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is a relatively small city so it’s possible to walk large parts of it, it takes 30 mins to walk from Central Station to Nyhavn harbour. But the buses and metro are easy to use and make getting around the city really easy, consider getting a City Pass for unlimited use on trains, metros, buses and water buses. And they include journeys to and from the airport too!

A 12-hour pass is available on weekends for 50DKK / £6, or you can get from 24 hours up to 120 hours depending on how long you are there for.

All passes can be bought on the DOT Billetter app available on Android or iOS, or from ticket machines at the stations or 7 Eleven kiosks.

Where to stay in Copenhagen?

For a unique, sustainable, affordable, and well located stay, we recommend Axel Guldsmeden Hotel!

Less than 200m from the main train station and less than a 10-minute walk to the vibrant Meatpacking District it’s perfectly positioned. The hotel has a spa, restaurant, rooftop bar and courtyard where you can relax and enjoy some drinks. And the hotel is decorated in a really quirky and cool way which gives it a really unique feel!

And an integral part of the hotel is sustainability… from organic food and drink in the restaurant to recycled bedding in the rooms, everything has been thought about here. But that’s not to say the hotel isn’t luxurious, far from it, the rooms are really cool with 4-poster beds and give a very relaxing beach bed vibe!

Book direct for the best rates… Axel Guldsmeden Website

If you have an extra day than 1 Weekend in Copenhagen then consider visiting Malmö in Sweden which is a short train or bus ride over the Oresund Bridge. Check out our blog... Copenhagen to Malmö… The Best Places to Visit in Malmö in 1 Day!

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