We have gathered a list of 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 suggestions 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 good to know that Copenhagen is divided into five major districts: Inner city/centre, Østerbro, Nørrebro, Frederiksberg and Vesterbro:
In the centre of Copenhagen where the hostel is located, you will find most of the major attractions: the free town Christiania, Tivoli Gardens, the queen's castle, museums and also Copenhagen's main shopping street "Strøget" which is about 1 km long. (see more about "shopping" in the categories below).
Nørrebro and Vesterbro are the trendy and multicultural boroughs of Copenhagen that are full of young families, students, hipsters and offer various niche shops, restaurants and cafes. It is generally cheaper to dine and go to the cafes and bars in these boroughs.
Østerbro and Frederiksberg are both known as the more "posh" boroughs of 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.
If you have any questions about the different places in Copenhagen, we are of course always available to answer them in the reception.
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Explore the different neighbourhoods of Copenhagen and come a little closer to the everyday lives of the Copenhageners. Each neighbourhood has its own charm and characteristic features.
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 "youthful" neighbourhoods of Copenhagen. Here you will find a lot of young people, students and hipsters, 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, we recommend trying out the side streets at the beginning of Nørrebrogade near the lakes – for example Ravnsborggade and Blågårdsgade. In Vesterbro, Istedgade and the surrounding streets offer many different and inexpensive types of food.
Read more about the different neighbourhoods on AOK's website to find out which neighbourhoods you want to explore more. (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 costs DKK 40 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 areas 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 founded 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 you will find The Botanical Gardens, where you can go for a walk in one of the many beautiful greenhouses. The greenhouses have different climates, many 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 a boat 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, Østerbro, surrounding the home stadium of FC Copenhagen "Parken"– the city's biggest football team. Fælledparken is 58 hectares or 580,000 square metres, and there are football fields, 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 back to 1760, was conservation-listed in 2014, ensuring that the residents of Nørrebro will continue to have this green sanctuary to visit.
Read more about Assistens Cemetery here.
Being a coastal city with many canals, Copenhagen offers both beautiful beaches and harbour baths to have a swim in. Below is a list of the coolest beaches / harbour baths in Copenhagen:
Copenhagen's largest 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 giving access to the sea. It also has a children-friendly shallow lagoon. 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, Copenhagen's largest harbour bath. Here you can sunbathe and have a picnic on the large grass areas and take a dip in one of the five sea pools: there are shallow pools for children, a pool for swimming, and a deeper pool where you can dive from a diving tower in the heights of 1,3 or 5 m.
In high season there are lifeguards present and there are toilets in the vicinity. Islands Brygge also offers lots of ice cream, drinks, sandwiches, etc.
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 cool drinks on a 200 m long quay, which has sun loungers, one of the best views of Copenhagen, petanque, basketball, football, volleyball, minigolf, and not the 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 both easy and joyful.
In Østerbro there is Svanemøllen Beach, an artificially constructed sand beach, which opened in 2010. As the beach is quite small in size, it can get a bit busy in the summer. Svanemøllen beach has a 130 m long bathing pier going out into the water and the area is supervised by lifeguards during high season.
Bellevue Beach is located along the coast north of Copenhagen, approximately 15 km from the hostel. There are bike lanes going all the way up there but if you are not in the mood for a longer ride, you can easily take the S-train and get off at the station called Klampenborg.
The world-famous amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen represents both a feeling of the past and a contemporary high-speed place of entertainment. The park was founded by a diplomat's son, Georg Carstensen, who was inspired to open the amusement park through his many travels around the world.
In Tivoli Gardens you can try out old, traditional roller coasters and ferriswheels, or, if you are a daredevil, jump on the crazy and wild ride, Vertigo. Tivoli also offers plenty of cultural activities. Every Friday in the summer season, there is Friday Rock where big names from both the Danish and the international music scene, perform. There are also promenade concerts in the park and summer revues with famous Danish actors. An evening in the garden ends with a grand fireworks show 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 travel experts at Expedia recommend our stunning hostel for staying near Tivoli Gardens here.
Entrance tickets and unlimited ride tickets can be purchased in the reception.
The 150-year-old zoo offers the opportunity to experience all the world's animals at close range in a fantastic setting in Frederiksberg. In 2008 the zoo was extended with a large elephant house and outdoor enclosure facing the Frederiksberg Garden, and soon there will also be a brand new and innovative enclosure for the Chinese Pandas arriving in 2018.
Amalienborg Castle is the main residence of the Royal family. The castle complex consists of four palaces encircling an octagonal square. In the middle of the square is Saly's equestrian statue of Frederick V, who was the founder of Amalienborg and Frederiksstaden.
The Queen and the Prince Consort live in Palace of Christian IX – 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 noon. Guard tower replacement is also performed every two hours. It is always exciting for the children to see the prestigious Royal Guards and to see where the queen lives.
Dyrehavsbakken - commonly known as Bakken - is the world's oldest amusement park still in existence. It is located inside the deer park, Dyrehaven, in Klampenborg about 15 km north of Copenhagen. There are 33 rides and an open-air stage offering different music performances. 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 permanent mermaid.
The National Museum can certainly be recommended for those who are 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 town which was previously part of a military 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 type of collective community. 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 the City Hall Square, you will find 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 a chance to the experience more than 300 underwater creatures spread over 70 displays with a total of one million litres of water. Experience the Ocean Tank, which is the biggest aquarium at The Blue Planet, where hammerhead sharks swim together with rays and moray eels in four millions litres azure sea water.
Visitors will be able to experience both saltwater and freshwater fish from exotic locations around the world. Find more information here.
This unique tower located on one of Copenhagen's oldest shopping streets originally served as an observatory, and is still visited by astronomy enthusiasts who use the tower to explore the stars. The tower consists of a ramp instead of stairs as the old king and founder of the tower, Christian IV, wished to reach the top by horse carriage. Enjoy the marvelous view of Copenhagen from the top.
Copenhagen is full of excellent restaurants, cafes and street food. Here is a guide to areas with good restaurants, as well as a selection of specific restaurants in the different neighbourhoods of Copenhagen.
Halifax is a super nice burger restaurant serving delicious burgers in modern, cozy settings with a friendly and service minded staff. Halifax allows you build your own burger choosing between e.g. dark and white bread, large or medium sized beef and so on. This means that you can have your burger exactly how you like it best. They also offer various types of chips and dip and have great options for both vegetarians and vegans. Halifax Burger has two restaurants in inner city and one restaurant on Vesterbro, Amager, Frederiksberg, Valby and Østerbro.
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. It is a bit pricey, however, due to its popularity.
If you are in the mood for a coffee or lunch break while shopping in Copenhagen, you can visit one of the many cozy cafes in Læderstræde/Kompagnistræde, a street that runs parallel to Strøget – we can highly recommend Cafe Zirup, for example.
On the square of Købmagerstræde, Kultorvet, you will find many different restaurants and cafes where you can sit inside or outside. Most of the cafes have patio heaters and blankets available on days where the weather is a bit cooler.
Just across from the hostel is Islands Brygge - a very popular spot during summer in Copenhagen. Here you can relax on the lawns and enjoy your own sandwiches or buy a delicious ice cream from either Paradise or Bryggen 11. During summer you can also swim in the harbor bath or sunbathe on the long platform along the quayside. Island Brygge also offer many nice and cozy restaurant and cafes in the nearby streets that are worth visiting in the winter.
Selected cafes/restaurants in the inner city:
The Living Room
One of the cosiest cafes in Copenhagen, especially in autumn and winter as it (as the name suggests) resembles a cosy and homely living room. The Livingroom has large, soft sofas and armchairs and candlelights.
Paludan Book and Cafe
A really lovely book café visited by many students in particular due to its reasonable prices. It has a really cool atmosphere and the food is really good for the money.
The Black Diamond
The Black Diamond (Den Sorte Diamant) is The Royal Library of Copenhagen. It has a coffee shop with a lovely large terrace right next to the main canal, not far from Danhostel Copenhagen City. The Black Diamond is also an incredibly impressive building which in itself is definitely worth a visit.
Madklubben ("the Food Club") is one of the most popular restaurants in Copenhagen because it is "chic" and smart, offering a two or three-course menu of exquisite high-quality food that is still affordable to many Copenhageners. Madklubben has several restaurants in the city all with different food concepts, so whether you fancy vegetables, fish or steak, French or Italian, there should be something to match your taste.
Selected areas 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 amongst the small side streets of Østerbrogade. 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 very characteristic signatures and excellent food. Coffee prices are normal compared with the rest of Copenhagen although the food is a bit pricey when travelling on a budget.
Selected areas in Nørrebro:
Sankt Hans Torv
On Sankt Hans Torv there are a couple of really lovely cafes with outdoor seating in the summer. It gets even better if you venture down Elmegade or Guldbergsgade where you can find small cozy coffee shops, sandwich and salad take aways, really good Italian pizza and a few trendy wine/beer bars.
Streets on inner Nørrebro
If you prefer more of a "street food"-atmosphere with small eateries such as you will typically find in Kreuzberg, Berlin, you will most likely enjoy the cafes on Blågårdsgade, Rantzausgade, Ravnsborggade, Griffenfeldtsgade and Nørrebrogade. In Nørrebro you will generally find the cheapest selection of food in Copenhagen.
The lakes in Copenhagen are very popular place for running, rowing in small boats, walking, dates and not the least cafe visits. There are quite a few cool cafes by the lakes on Nørrebro some of which have with outdoor seating. We warmly recommend the cosy Café 22.
Selected areas 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 to have brunch, breakfast and dinner as well as 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 considered 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 in Vesterbro
Kødbyen ("the Meat District") has bars with vibrant atmospheres, restaurants with high-quality cuisine and some of the country's best galleries. Back in the old days, butchers used to prepare and sell their meat in Kødbyen, which still continues this day today to some extent, and the area is definitely affected by that whole street market-type of atmosphere. Kødbyen has become a very popular place for many Copenhageners, especially the young.
Istedgade has undergone a major transformation in recent years, from being mainly associated with the dodgy red lights district to now being defined by hipster cafes, restaurants and exclusive hotels. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants up and down Istedgade, so there is plenty for you to explore. However, the beginning of Istedgade (from the Central Station) still has some sex shops, strip clubs, etc., so you have to go a bit further down the street before it gets better.
Just like Istedgade, Vesterbrogade and its side streets have plenty of different restaurants and cafes to offer.
On Halmtorvet there are various cafes serving food all day long. There is outdoor seating when the weather is good.
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. Its a bit pricey though - as sushi usually is.
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 all the major brands like H&M, Zara, Foot Locker, and much more. Strøget is also home to more expensive stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Mulberry. Finally, you can find 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 along the long main street, Østerbrogade. 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 if you venture into the side streets of Østerbrogade close to the lakes. Try out Nordre Frihavnsgade for instance.
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 offering niche clothing, interior design, jewellery and beauty products. Have a look, for example, in the clothing store Foxy Lady or visit Urban Room No. 11, where you will find lots of cool clothes and decorations for the home in all price ranges – if you need to buy a gift to someone, there will definitely be something to catch your eye here.
Shopping in Frederiksberg
On Gammel Kongevej you will find 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 brands.
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.
Valby Nature Playground has room for everyone. It is a staffed playground with plenty 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 having a fun time.
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.
Experimentarium is a Science Center where you can explore the world through natural science and technology in a fun and different way. The Experimentarium just recently opened its doors again after an extensive renovation presenting a brand new interactive cinema - the world's first cinema based on motion sensors.
For more information see here here.