A guide to Copenhagen

One of our favourite cities in the world.

A guide to Copenhagen
Photo by Ava Coploff / Unsplash

Copenhagen is one of our favourite cities in the world.

Let's take a look at what might be on your agenda for this mini-break.

Go sightseeing

Take the metro to Christianshavn where you can climb the tower of Our Saviours Church for spectacular 360-degree views across Copenhagen. Walk down to the port to check out the old Kastellet fort and the famous Little Mermaid, then wander on to check out the palace and the main cathedral.

Go swimming

Islands Brygge is a fantastic point from which you can swim in the clean and clear salty water of the Copenhagen harbour. There’s also a really good diving platform -  it looks easy, but it’s a daunting prospect when standing at the edge of the platform looking down at the water.

If you’re looking for indoor swimming, Bellahoj swimming stadium is a beautifully designed pool and a joy to swim in. After swimming, everyone kicks back in the sauna. Amazing.

Go alternative

Christiania is a ‘free zone’ alternative lifestyle commune that has been established in an old military barracks. A relaxed and edgy vibe  -  hash and marijuana openly on display and being sold and smoked everywhere.

Go boating

Copenhagen is a city that is defined by light and water. A boat tour is the perfect way to explore the canals of Copenhagen. Motoring gently across the water, you get a real sense of the layout of the city while also admiring some of the striking buildings that have helped to define Nordic style.

Go Latin

Wander the streets of the Latin quarter for good shopping and cafes.

Go cultural

Visit the Glyptotek museum. Carl Jacobsen was a member of the Carlsberg brewing family. An avid collector of sculpture, in the early 1900s he donated his vast collection to the state of Denmark and helped to fund the creation of The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum to showcase and share it. There’s a strong emphasis on Danish sculpture, as well as an impressive amount of work from Rome and Egypt.

Go on a roller-coaster

It would be a mistake to dismiss Tivoli as just an amusement park  -  it’s so much more than that. For the people of Copenhagen, Tivoli is part of the fabric of the city  -  there are often concerts here, or you can easily spend the day just enjoying the gardens, the atmosphere, and the people watching. We took a ride on the old wooden roller-coaster, which went surprisingly fast. Some of the best ice-cream that you are ever going to eat can be found at Det Gamle Ishus in the Tivoli. We opted for a scoop of stawberry, and a scoop of liquorice, topped with a dollop of guf – a soft marshmallow topping topping similar to Italian meringue – it was a flavour sensation.

Go cycling

A relatively flat city, Copenhagen is easy to cycle around. The bike lanes are clearly marked and everyone follows the rules. Hire a bike and start exploring  -  you’ll soon get your bearings of the city and see a lot of the sights. The city has a population of 1.2 million, and over 30% of the city’s residents commute to work by bicycle.

Go fishing

The Blue Planet at Kastrup is one of the biggest aquariums in Northern Europe. Designed in the shape of a whirlpool, the aquarium cleverly presents different zones of aquatic life from around the world. This is a particularly kid-friendly place – definitely a good option for a family excursion.

Go for a sandwich

Smørrebrød is one of the traditional foods that the people of Denmark proudly claim as one of their own. Essentially, it’s an open sandwich – a slice of dark rye bread,  traditionally topped with herring but these days it’s served with all sorts of meat and vegetable combinations.

Go shopping

Some of the best shopping can be found along Gammel Kongevej and around Skt. Peders Straede. Also great homewares at Normann Copenhagen. Torvehallerne food market is a posh food market where you can stop for lunch. Make the effort to visit smaller stores such as Norse Projects in Nørrebro or Nag People on Klareboderne.

Go for a sausage

On a night out, the most popular food option is the “polsevogn” which translates as sausage wagon. A wide range of sausages are available, the most popular being “rode polser” or red sausage.

Go the cemetery

Assistens Cemetery is a beautiful calm space where you can admire the multitudes of red squirrels and the tomb of children’s author Hans Christian Andersen.

What’s the LGBTQ scene like in Copenhagen?

  • Mix Copenhagen is an LGBTQ film festival that happens in October.
  • Centralhjornet  –  reportedly the oldest gay bar in the world.
  • Cosy Bar – a quality queer bar
  • Never Mind - the club for a big night out.
  • Amigo Sauna is the gay bathhouse.