Copenhagen is an incredible city, and this list hardly scratches the surface. I spent three days frantically exploring the city by bike, and got a pretty good feel for what the Danish capital had to offer. It did not take long at all for Copenhagen to become one of my favorite cities in the world. It wasn’t hard, considering the beautiful mix of classic and modern architecture, the beautiful houses lining the canals, and of course, the abundance of raucous bars and clubs.
1. Vor Frelsers Kirke
This gets you the best view of Copenhagen, hands down. There may be a line so get there early. It is not too bad of a climb, about 400 steps but every staircase is a surprise. You’ll have normal stairs, cramped stairs, steep stairs, wide stairs, something like a Dr. Seuss book. Finally, you’ll have the golden spiral stairs above the church itself, which offers you an amazing view of the city. It is windy, and a bit scary, so hold on to your cameras and other belongings or else they’ll fly away. Oh yeah, and make sure you go into the actual church, too. It is beautiful in there.
2. The Green Light District (Christiania Freetown)
Oh boy, this was an absolute experience. Littered with strange but beautiful artwork, sculptures, and graffiti, this is worth just walking around in. If you want something to smoke, this is the place to easily get it.
This part of Copenhagen felt like some strange hippie commune aiming for a mini-Burning Man type of feel. This is an experience that is difficult to describe, so I’ll let you check it out for yourself.
3. Copenhagen Street Food
I’m not just telling you to go out and try some of Copenhagen’s street food. No one in the world is going to pretend that Copenhagen is renowned for their street food. This place is actually called Copenhagen Street Food. This is a little area by the Opera House and Christianshavn where you can find all the food your heart desires.
Seriously, I had the rare sushi & kebab & smoothie combo. There are so many more options, too, ranging from traditional Danish food to Mexican and Indian and everything in between. Eat here if you do not know where to eat because they will have at least one thing you will want to feast on.
Nyhavn is one of the more touristy areas of Copenhagen, if not the most touristy. I recommend snapping a couple pictures of the beautiful houses along the harbor, walking around, and then leaving. Food is extra expensive here, but there is a little tiny hole in the wall bakery that makes the most amazing desserts. I have no idea what it’s called but I went there twice and probably got diabetes.
5. Bike around the entire city
Copenhagen would not have been the same if our Airbnb had not offered us bikes (Thanks Eva!). We saw so much more than we could have imagined in just our short four day stay. Coming from America, the bike lanes in this city are 1000x better than any in the US, and drivers and pedestrians all live in harmonic equilibrium with cyclists.
This is another great view of the city. It is another strenuous climb up, but this one is a little easier than Vor Frelser’s Kirke. This one is more within the city also, so you’ll get quite a different view. It is quite the unique building and definitely worth a visit!
7. Admire the architecture
Like I said, the architecture here ranges from built like a 1000 years ago to built yesterday. It is almost impossible to go anywhere in the city and not see a building that makes your jaw drop. Just take some time to stop and smell the roses.
8. Swim in the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
This is such a cool place, but I unfortunately did not get the chance to do it. It looked awesome, though, so if you have the opportunity, take a dip.
9. The Meat Packing District
This is where you need to go if you want to have a good night. There is such a wide variety of bars and clubs in this area that you’re bound to find one that you like. This city turns up until like 6AM so make sure you can keep up because it does not really start getting fun until well past midnight. There’s also a street by Nyhavn where you can go to find a lot of bars, but I found that the prices there were quite steep.
10. Eat a lot of baked goods and desserts
You only live once right? There are so many bakeries and coffee shops in this city, and all of them have amazing pastries. I had about one meal total in Copenhagen, but around 13 desserts. Cakes, churros, ice cream, milkshakes, macarons , I had to have them all.
Oh, if you’re lucky enough to be in Copenhagen during the holiday season, you’re in for even more of a treat. It’s all about Christmas in Denmark. Danes do the holidays right, it’s all about feasting and dancing. If you want a better idea of what to expect during the holiday season in Copenhagen, see more here.
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