Here we have compiled the best advice for tips and tours in Copenhagen (unfortunately only available in English), whether you are visiting the city as a family with young children, family with older children, as a group, as a backpacker or as a couple. All our guides are made by two Copenhageners and cover both the well-known major attractions and sights, and also many really good insider tips for the city.
It is useful to know that Copenhagen is divided into five major districts: Inner city/centre, Østerbro, Nørrebro, Frederiksberg and Vesterbro:
In the centre of Copenhagen you will find most of the attractions, the free town Christiania, the queen's castle, Danhostel Copenhagen City, and also Copenhagen's main shopping street "Strøget", with about 1.1 km of shopping in all price ranges (see the item on "shopping" among the categories below).
Nørrebro and Vesterbro are the young and hip neighbourhoods – here there are a lot of students, hipsters and cafes and slightly smaller niche shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as many different kinds of cultures. In terms of eating out and going to bars etc., it is generally cheaper to stay in Nørrebro and Vesterbro than in the other neighbourhoods in Copenhagen.
Østerbro and Frederiksberg are both known as the more "fashionable" neighbourhoods in Copenhagen – lots of young people live here of course, but the areas also have many families and it is typically more expensive to go out to eat or go to a bar in these two areas than in Nørrebro and Vesterbro.
If you have any questions about the many possibilities that the city presents, we are of course always available to answer in reception.
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Move away from downtown out into the districts of Copenhagen and came a little closer to the everyday lives of Copenhagen's residents. Each neighbourhood has its own charm and different things to offer.
The three most popular areas for backpackers are the centre of Copenhagen, where most of the tourist attractions are, as well as Nørrebro and Vesterbro, which are the two most versatile and "young" neighbourhoods of Copenhagen. Here there are a lot of young people, students, hipsters and original characters, and it is also in Nørrebro and Vesterbro that you will find small niche shops, as well as cafes and restaurants with food from all over the world in many different price ranges. If you are a backpacker and would like to eat a cheap but good meal, the first side streets on Nørrebrogade when you come down from the lakes are a very good area to start exploring – for example Ravnsborggade and Blågårdsgade. In Vesterbro, Istedgade and the surrounding streets offer many different and inexpensive types of food.
See more about the different neighbourhoods on AOK's website and find out which neighbourhood you want to explore, or explore their differences by visiting several different ones (AOK neighbourhood guides are available in English – see links below);
Discover the city from the water and see Copenhagen's sights on a guided canal cruise. This is a great way of getting an insight into Copenhagen's history and to see most of the city – without moving at all.
There are many canal cruises on offer – the cheapest, which cost 40 kr per person per trip, are called the Netto boats. Find the timetable and other information about the Netto boats here or see information about the other options for a canal tour here.
There are many beautiful green spaces and gardens in Copenhagen. The largest and most popular are listed here:
Copenhagen's busiest park, located in the centre of Copenhagen, is called Kongens Have ("the King's Garden"). It first opened its gates in the early 18th century as a garden of Rosenborg Castle, which is still located in the park. Kongens Have was built by the Danish King Christian IV, who originally laid it out as a herb garden for the court. At Rosenborg Castle you can see the Queen's Crown Jewels or go on a guided tour. Just behind Kongens Have is Copenhagen's Botanical Gardens, where you can go for a walk – for free – in many of the garden's beautiful greenhouses. Here there are tropical climates, desert climates, a mass of different butterflies, and a lot of interesting plants to look at.
Read more about Kongens Have - "King's Garden" - here.
Frederiksberg Have is a really beautiful park, which is well maintained and has small streams running through it. Barbecues are not allowed in the park, but when the weather is fine you can row on the small streams, and the park is always a good choice for a fine walk in all seasons.
Read more about Frederiksberg Have - "Frederiksberg Gardens" - here.
Østre Anlæg is an exciting, almost fairy tale-like garden. Here nature is allowed to run a bit more free and wild, and the garden is full of small paths, hidden corners, hills and beautiful lakes. There is also a staffed playground.
Read more about Østre Anlæg here.
Fælledparken is a large park in the district of Østerbro, which surrounds "Parken" – the home stadium of FC Copenhagen – the city's biggest football team. Fælledparken is 58 hectares or 580,000 square metres, and there are football pitches, a lake and lots of fun for children: in summer, children can play in the park's water playground with a children's pool, water labyrinths, a raincloud and two large water cannons. There are also several large playgrounds with trampolines, a Tarzan run, scooter circuits, traffic playground, etc.
Read more about Fælledparken here.
Assistens Cemetery is located in the heart of Nørrebro, and besides being an active cemetery, it is also a popular area for the many young people living in Nørrebro, and also the city's other residents. The cemetery, which dates from 1760, was conservation-listed in 2014, and this ensures that the residents of Nørrebro will continue to have this breathing space to visit.
Read more about Assistens Cemetery here.
Being a coastal city and a city with many canals, Copenhagen offers both beautiful beaches and sea swimming pools, and so there is ample opportunity to have a swim or soak up the sun on the beach in Copenhagen. Below is a list of the coolest beaches / sea swimming pools in Copenhagen:
Copenhagen's biggest beach is Amager Strandpark, which is just 5.5 km from Danhostel Copenhagen City – a perfect trip on a bicycle, which of course you can hire from us. However, it is also well served by public transport as there is a metro stop right next to it: Amager Strand st.
In 2005 Amager Strandpark was turned into a 2 km long artificial island that gives access to the sea, but also forms a shallow lagoon which is perfect for children. At Amager Strandpark you can buy various things to eat, ice cream, beverages, etc., and there are toilets and lifeguards (in high season).
Havnebadet at Islands Brygge
Just across from Danhostel Copenhagen City is Islands Brygge, which has Copenhagen's largest sea swimming pool. Here you can sunbathe on the large lawns and take a dip in one of the five pools: there are shallow pools for children, a pool for swimming, and a deeper pool where you can dive from a diving tower, which has diving boards of one, three and five meters.
In high season there are lifeguards at Havnebadet and there are toilets in the vicinity. Islands Brygge also offers lots of ice cream, drinks, sandwiches, etc.
And then of course there is Copenhagen's best view – just across the way at Danhostel Copenhagen City.
If you are the type who prefers a little more sophisticated trip to the beach, in the company of mostly young people, you can go to Halvandet, which is Copenhagen's largest city beach bar: here you can sunbathe and drink cold drinks on a 200-metre long quay, which has sun loungers, one of the best views of Copenhagen, petanque, basketball, football, volleyball, minigolf, and not least wonderful music from the beach DJ. It is not possible to swim at Halvandet. You can buy different kinds of food, and you can have a barbecue here in the evening.
Halvandet is about 5 km from Danhostel Copenhagen City, and the bicycle ride there is beautiful and easy.
In Østerbro there is Svanemøllen Beach, an artificially constructed sandy beach, which opened in 2010. As it is not so large in size, the beach can get quite busy in the summer. On the other hand, the beach is watched over by lifeguards and has a 130 m long bathing pier going out into the water.
Bellevue Beach is some way north along the coast in Copenhagen, 15 km from the hostel. If it is too far to cycle there, you can take the S-train and get off at the station called Dyrehaven ("Deer Park"). Dyrehaven is also one of the largest parks in Copenhagen, and a great place for a trip.
The world-famous amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen represents both a taste of the past and contemporary high-speed entertainment. The park was founded by a diplomat's son Georg Carstensen, who on his travels around the world gathered inspiration for the Copenhagen park, which today is the country's most popular amusement attraction.
In Tivoli, you can try the old roller coaster or the crazy new Vertigo, which is only for real daredevils. If speed and drama are not for you, Tivoli also offers plenty of cultural activities. Every Friday in the summer season, there is Friday Rock where big names from the Danish and international music scene pay a visit. There are also promenade concerts in the park and summer revues with famous Danish actors. An evening in the garden should be rounded off with a blast of fireworks.
The rockets light up the skies over Tivoli every weekend, read more here.
Tivoli has long been the darling of Copenhagen, boasting a premier location in the centre of the city; its twinkling tent tops and fun rides are a glorious reminder of the yesteryear. Find out why the travel experts at Expedia recommend our stunning hostel for your trip to Tivoli: http://blog.expedia.com.au/worlds-most-unique-theme-parks/
The 150-year-old zoo offers the opportunity to experience all the world's animals at close range in a fantastic setting in Frederiksberg. The zoo has just been extended with a modern elephant house, giving the elephants new and better opportunities for development.
Amalienborg Castle is the royal couple's residence in the winter months. The castle complex consists of four palaces, encircling an octagonal square. In the middle of the square is Saly's equestrian statue of Frederick the fifth, who was the founder of Amalienborg and Frederiksstaden.
The Queen and Prince Consort live in Christian IX's Palace – see which of the four palaces this is here.
The Royal Lifeguard stands guard at Amalienborg and other royal castles and palaces. The Lifeguard perform changing of the guard at Amalienborg every day at 12.00. Post replacement is also performed every two hours. It is almost always a thrill for children to see the beautiful guardsman and to see where the queen lives.
Dyrehavsbakken (known colloquially as Bakken) is the world's oldest amusement park still in existence. It is located at Dyrehaven near Klampenborg about 10 km north of Copenhagen. There are 33 rides and an open-air stage offering musical entertainment. The whole family is guaranteed to have a wonderful day there.
One of Denmark's most famous sights, sitting at the entrance to Copenhagen Harbour. The world famous sculpture illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the same name and was created by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen. The mermaid was a gift from the Carlsberg heir, master brewer Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder J.C. Jacobsen. After having attended the ballet The Little Mermaid at the Royal Theatre, he wanted Copenhagen to have its own mermaid.
The National Museum can certainly be recommended for those interested in history. The museum gives a good insight into how Denmark's history has played out over the last 300 years, and there are always interesting exhibitions from other countries.
A unique area of Copenhagen, which for many years has been one of Copenhagen's most visited tourist attractions. Christiania is a free city which was previously part of a barracks area. In 1971, the area was occupied by the so-called "slum-stormers", who later became the squatter movement. Since then the free town has been governed as a kind of collective. Danish politicians have repeatedly tried to outlaw Christiania due to the widespread marijuana-trafficking which evidently takes place there, but so far life in the free town continues on its merry way.
Christiania is worth a visit – not least because it has been one of the most controversial places in Copenhagen over the last 30 years. Find more information here.
In the centre of the city, right next to Copenhagen City Hall, is the Danish Design Center, which is packed with the best of Danish design. The five floors, designed by Henning Larsen's design studio, provide the setting for Danish Design Centre's workspace and exhibition space. Here there are exhibitions of both Danish and international design – with up to five different exhibitions at a time. So there should be something for everyone, while the cafe, shop and building are worth a visit in themselves.
The Blue Planet gives you the experience of more than 300 animal species from the sea, spread over 70 aquariums with a total of one million litres of water. The aqua centre presents authentic and beautiful aquariums, and constant attention is paid to the their interior design and decoration.
Visitors will be able to experience both saltwater and freshwater fish from exotic locations around the world. Find more information here.
This handsome tower on one of Copenhagen's oldest shopping streets originally served as an observatory, but today the astronomers have long since left the tower, and it is only amateur astronomers who use the tower to look at the stars. The tower is open every day of the year and opening hours vary from season to season.
Copenhagen is full of delicious restaurants, cafes and street food. Here is a guide to areas with good restaurants, as well as a few select restaurants in the different neighbourhoods of Copenhagen.
All areas of the city
As the only one of the restaurants that we have selected for this Copenhagen restaurant guide, Halifax Burger is placed on 7 different locations in the city: 2 restaurants in inner city, one on Vesterbro, one on Amager, one on Frederiksberg, one in Valby and one on Østerbro. Halifax is a very nice burger restaurant, serving delicious burgers in a modern setting with good service. Halifax lets you build your own burger, which means that you always get exactly what you like the most at Halifax.
Selected areas to eat in the inner city:
Nyhavn is one of the most famous and popular places in Copenhagen, where you will find a wide range of cafes and restaurants along one of the major canals in the centre of Copenhagen.
If you could do with a coffee stop or lunch break on your shopping trip in Copenhagen, you can visit one of the many cafes in Skindergade/Fiolstræde, a street that runs parallel to Strøget – we can highly recommend Cafe Zirup, for example.
On Kultorvet you will find many different restaurants and cafes, all of which surround the delightful square. You can sit inside or outside, and most of the cafes have patio heaters and blankets if it is not so warm.
Just opposite the hostel is Islands Brygge, which is a very popular spot in the summer in Copenhagen. Here you can relax on the lawns and enjoy your own sandwiches, ice cream or beer. There is also Copenhagen's harbour pool, which is a popular place to both children and adults: the area is monitored by lifeguards and there is the opportunity for diving, relaxing and play.
Selected cafes/restaurants in the inner city:
The Living Room
One of the cosiest cafes in Copenhagen – especially in autumn and winter, as the café – as the name suggests – resembles a cosy and homely living room: they have large, soft sofas and armchairs, and cosy candles.
Paludan Book and Cafe
A really lovely book café, which also serves very decent food and a cheap but good glass of wine. It is a favourite for young people in particular, and here you can always find a good atmosphere and delicious but inexpensive food.
The Black Diamond
The Black Diamond (Den Sorte Diamant), which is Copenhagen's main library, has a coffee shop with a lovely large terrace right next to the main canal in Copenhagen – just on the other side of the bridge from Danhostel Copenhagen City. The Black Diamond is also an incredibly impressive building, which is definitely worth a look at.
And of course the terrace is really worth a visit in good weather.
Madklubben ("the Food Club") is one of the most popular chains of restaurants in Copenhagen, and despite the fact that the restaurant is a chain it is still very "chic" and smart, and all types of Copenhageners go there. Here you can get a two or three-course menu of very good quality, but still at an affordable price. The different "Madklubben" restaurants have different concepts, so whether you fancy onions, fish, French or Italian, there should be a "Food Club" to match your taste.
Selected areas with eateries in Østerbro:
In Østerbro there are two large squares with places to eat
Øster Fælled Torv, located on the main shopping street Østerbrogade, or Bopa Plads, which is a square in among the small streets in Østerbro. On Øster Fælled Torv there is Café Capers, which has covered outdoor seating most of the year.
Bopa Plads has two really cosy cafes – Café Pixie and Café Bopa, both of which have outdoor seating in the summer. The Laundromat cafés are also very popular and very cosy.
Selected areas with eateries in Nørrebro:
Sankt Hans Torv
On Sankt Hans Torv there are a couple of really lovely, ordinary cafes, which have outdoor seating in the summer.
Streets on inner Nørrebro
If you prefer more of a "street food" atmosphere, reminiscent of the small eateries in such places as Kreuzberg in Berlin, you can do no better than visit the cafés on Blågårdsgade, Rantzausgade, Ravnsborggade and Griffenfeldtsgade and on the main street in Nørrebro, Nørrebrogade. In Nørrebro you will generally find the cheapest selection of food in Copenhagen.
The lakes in Copenhagen are used very frequently by Copenhageners: they connect the inner city with all the neighbourhoods, and are used for running, sailing in small boats, walking, dates, and not least café visits. Down by the lakes there are 5 or so cafes, all of which have outdoor seating in good weather.
Selected areas with eateries in Frederiksberg:
On Pile Allé there are a number of cosy cafes and restaurants with a historic character, and all have a lovely little city garden attached at the front.
On Gammel Kongevej ("Old King's Road") there are many bars, cafes and restaurants, and here you will find brunch, breakfast and dinner in the daytime, while there are also places with a little more action in the later hours.
Selected cafes/restaurants in Frederiksberg
Sokkelund Café and Brasserie is a cosy cafe, located just a few minutes' walk from Frederiksberg Garden. Here you can enjoy a nice brunch, lunch or dinner and possibly combine it with a trip to the Zoo or Frederiksberg Garden.
Forno a Legna
Forno a Legna, close to the centre of Frederiksberg, is regarded by many as the best pizzeria in Copenhagen. The downside is that there is always a long queue – you can rarely call and order your pizza in advance as they usually do not answer the phone. So you have to turn up and wait usually an hour. If you have time to wait, you can indeed look forward to enjoying a quite excellent pizza.
Selected areas with eateries in Vesterbro
Kødbyen ("the Meat Town") has bars full of atmosphere, restaurants with high-quality cuisine and some of the country's best galleries. For generations the skilled butchers of Kødbyen have been running butchers' shops there and this still continues to some extent, and so there is quite a special atmosphere in Kødbyen, strongly influenced by the area's many driving forces. Kødbyen has become a very popular place for many Copenhageners, especially the young.
Istedgade has undergone a major transformation in recent years, and is currently characterized more by hip cafes, restaurants and hotels, than the more colourful identity the street once had as an entertainment street with wild bar life, butcher's shops and prostitution. Istedgade is today complex and diverse and is one of the places in Copenhagen which is lively throughout the day. There are a lot of cafés and restaurants up and down Istedgade, so you just have to start exploring. However, the inner part of Istedgade (from the Central Station) is still characterized by sex shops, etc.., so you have to go some way down the street before it shows its better side.
Just like Istedgade, Vesterbrogade and its side streets have masses of different restaurants and cafes. There are also a lot of cosy places on the side streets here.
On Halmtorvet there are various cafes serving food all day long. There is outdoor seating here in good weather.
Selected cafes/restaurants in Vesterbro
This is the biggest restaurant in the Madklubben chain and it is ideal for large groups. Here you can get good food at cheap prices.
Sticks'n'Sushi at the Tivoli Hotel
If you would like the finest sushi and one of the city's best views you must visit Sticks'n'Sushi on the top floor of the Tivoli Hotel.
Kødbyens Fiskebar ("Fish Bar") serves world-class seafood in an informal setting; here you can get the right "Kødbyen" atmosphere while being served excellent seafood.
At "Mother" in Kødbyen you get Italian food and pizzas with good service and in a chic contemporary setting.
BioMio is Kødbyen's ecological flagship; the restaurant is huge and very suitable for groups, and serves excellent and simple dishes at good prices.
Shopping Inner City:
On Strøget you will find high street shops like H&M, Zara, Foot Locker, and so forth. Strøget is also home to more expensive stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Mulberry. Here are also the flagship stores of the most famous Danish brands such as Royal Copenhagen, LEGO and Georg Jensen. The two large shopping centres Magasin and Illum are also on Strøget.
Silkegade, Pilestræde, Gammel Mønt
In the smaller streets just a few minutes' walk from Strøget you will find smaller and slightly more unique shops, as well as many designers' flagship stores.
In Østerbro you can shop all down Østerbrogade, the long main street. Here there are some chain stores such as Message, Vero Moda, Pieces and Moss Copenhagen, but there are also some more expensive designer shops and several luxury second-hand stores.
In Nørrebro the best shopping is to be found in Elmegade and Guldbergsgade at Sankt Hans Torv. Here there are many fine, small design shops, which sell clothing, interior decoration, jewellery and beauty products. Have a look, for example, in the clothes store Foxy Lady or visit Urban Room No. 11, where you will find lots of cool clothes and household goods in all price ranges – if you have a gift to buy, there will definitely be something that will catch your eye here.
Shopping in Frederiksberg
On Gammel Kongevej there are many small, unique shops, a cosy atmosphere, as well as various cafes and restaurants.
The Frederiksberg Centre
With its recent expansion and an entire extra storey of shopping, the Frederiksberg Centre offers a shopping mecca with all the well-known stores and also small, unique shops.
Shopping in Vesterbro
Istedgade and Vesterbrogade
In Vesterbro you will find many small, fun and unique shops on both Vesterbrogade and Istedgade, and there are also a lot of second-hand shops and antique shops here.
If you prefer shopping centres, the huge shopping centre Fisketorvet ("Fish Market") is also in Vesterbro, offering a wide assortment of shops, as well as one of Copenhagen's biggest cinemas.
At Copenhagen Street Food in Papirøen you have a vast range of choices of street food from all over the world. The oasis on Refshaleøen has become a popular place for local people to hang out, often until late into the evening. It is an ideal place to go for lunch or dinner and enjoy the view towards the city centre with delicious food and something cold to drink. Definitely worth a visit.
Since its opening, the Tycho Brahe Planetarium has been Denmark's most advanced centre for popularizing astronomy and space exploration. The planetarium has a number of halls, but with its 240 seats, Rumteatret is the heart of the Planetarium. Here you can experience IMAX and 3D movies, and you can see the starry sky via the advanced star projector, which is open to the public.
The skate park in Fælledparken is a huge outdoor playground for skaters who are looking for challenges and space to express themselves. Here you can meet many people with the same passion, and with Fælledparken as a backdrop, the rest of the family can relax on one of the many benches in the fresh air. Find more information here.
At Valby Nature Playground there is space for everyone. It is a staffed playground with a lot of activity options. A good opportunity to take the children on a trip where they can burn off some energy in the fresh air, while experiencing Copenhagen's largest nature playground.
Klatreskoven (the Climbing Forest) is an outdoor obstacle course in the treetops. There are challenges for children and adults of all ages, and so it is a great activity for the whole family. Klatreskoven is open from about March to October.