You’re going to Copenhagen? Lucky you!
Here are my tips for moving around, eating, looking, enjoying, investigating and “avoiding” – the latter luckily being a pretty short list.
Copenhagen is a very walkable city. It has different areas and it is definitely doable to cover two or even three areas in one (long) day.
Popular ways to combine areas is: “City + Old Town + Harbour + Christianshavn” one day, and “Vesterbro + Meatpacking district + Frederiksberg” as another. But with a bike or public transport, it’s possible to criss-cross just as you like.
Copenhagen has a very reliable and wide spanding public transportation system. In central Copenhagen there’s Metro, busses, S-train and harbourbus (small ferries) which run on the same ticket and zone-system.
If you are planning on moving around a lot, a CityPass is the cheapest and most flexible option. It can be bought before you arrive and for either 24, 48, 72 or 120 hours. The CityPass will also work from and to the airport. Otherwise it’s possible to buy single tickets either through the “DOT”-app or the machine at the stations.
More info in DOT’s tourist guide.
A bicycle is great in Copenhagen.
The most simple and flexible system is the orange Donkey Republic – dockless bikes. They are available by the hour, half day and full day.
Tier is another good option and offer both bikes and e-scooters. There’s a start fee and then you pay per minute.
A full day og biking in Copenhagen would take you through a lot of the city. If the weather is good or even just fair, it’s a great and flexible way to go.
There’s also electric scooters which can be rented by the minute. Not as flexible and only works in the inner city.
Taxa / Uber
Copenhagen has a very strict policy around ridesharing apps, so there’s no Uber, Grab etc. Your best bet is a cab/taxi. They hang around the main areas of Copenhagen and if the sign in the top of the front window is lit, it’s available to hail. Otherwise book via +45 27272727 or online/app.
From/to the Airport (CPH)
The Metro runs directly from and to CPH’s Terminal 3. It takes around 15 minutes to/from Amagerbro station (near my place), and it runs day and night (NB. Sometimes there’s maintenance work just after midnight – check status on m.dk if you are arriving or leaving at that time).
If you are expecting to travel with public transport in Copenhagen, buy a CityPass and that will cover the Metro to/from the airport. Otherwise it’s possible to buy a single ticket.
There’s three zones from the Airport to Amagerbro station.
If you arrive early or leave late and need somewhere to store a bag, we might be able to work something out (just ask). Otherwise there are lockers at Copenhagen Central Station (København H) or try LuggageHero that cooperates with shops and hotels for storing short and long time.
Boheme kaffebar (coffee)
Mad & Kaffe (food and coffee); great place for brunch or a coffee.
Kebabistan – rolls with meat/falafels and salad
Halifax Burgers (in Amagercentret – the local mall)
Located in the upgraded former meatpacking district (“Kødbyen”). Lots of things going on around here with both eating and nightlife. Mother is here too, if you want sourdough pizza.
Schoennemanns or Aamanns
A modern take on the danish open sandwich
Oysters & Grill
Great burgers – has a great lunch offer. Multiple locations.
Chain of restaurants that keeps things fresh and simple
Sticks ‘n Sushi
Best sushi in town. Sushi is not cheap in Copenhagen, but here you will get the best.
Burgers served out of a former gas station.
A place for everyday eating for the locals. Not fancy but honest, local and filling.
Amazing and quite magical place to have a stroll, a bite to eat, a snack or try out one of the many rides. In summer, there’s outdoor concerts on friday evenings, which makes the garden very crowded in the hours before, so keep in mind when planning.
Boat trip / Harbour cruise
In fair weather a boat trip from Nyhavn is a great way to see the city from different angles. There’s multiple vendors with different pricing and schedules, but all are basically the same route. I usually go with “Nettobådene” myself.
Church of our Saviour
The tower gives the best view of Copenhagen. It is 400 steps high and the last 150 is snaking around on the outside of the spear. The church itself is an impressive piece of architecture in its own right.
34 meters in height and a fun walk to the top. Good view of the downtown city and always interesting exhibitions on the floors.
QUIRKY / DIFFERENT
Boardgame café with a great vibe. Try out a new game – and get help from the game masters. You can get toast and fries too.
A former church is converted into a local community house. Join a yogaclass, a ping-pong tournament, boy band bingo night or eat on the cheap with locals at commune tables everyday at 18.00 (book in advance – it fills up fast). Great place to hang out in general, and close to the Meatpacking district.
Kayak Bar (summer only)
A little bar and place to eat seated in a little spot between the road and the harbour. Great summervibe. Also good for just a chilled beer or glas of wine.
Take the S-Train from Nørreport to Klampenborg (not included in CityPass) and stroll a couple of hours and spot a crown deer – maybe even a white one. Bring a bite of food to make it into a picnic. Great escape from the urban bustle.
A very well kept park located next to the ZOO, where you can wave to the elephants in the southern end of the park.
Kongens have (Kings Garden)
Good for picnic or just to stroll through as a break from the concrete. Rosenborg Castle is located at the western end.
Botanisk have (Botanical garden)
Full of all kinds of living things in the leafy/green department. Located right next to Nørreport and a great place to spend half and hour or bring some takeaway.
Water in the harbour is very clean, so we have “harbour pools”. One of the best and most popular is located at Islands Brygge. Also there’s ice cream and decent places to eat. Walk around the neighbourhood to experience classical working class architecture.
The best beach and a great place to have a look to Sweden and see the planes come into CPH.
Food stalls in the organised and bit pricey end of the scale. Nice place and lots of things to choose from, just not as bustling as it might sound.
The little mermaid
She is underwhelming to say the least. If you take a harbour cruise you will see her, which is probably the best way. A stroll in the area around her can be a nice change – just don’t go only to see the statue.
The more lowkey/worn down “Tivoli”. Located in the very nice nature are of “Dyrehaven” (means “Garden of animals”), which on the other hand is a great escape from the urban feel. Take the S-train from Nørreport to “Klampenborg”. Bring a little food if you want to make it into a picnic.
“Strøget” (the main shopping street)
It’s as most walking streets/high streets – not very appealing and everybody is eating icecream or churros.
One of the “profile photos” for Copenhagen. And the history and buildings are great, so might be worth a visit. The restaurants are overpriced and filled with tourists though. Better bet is to visit and have a look, and then eat somewhere else.
Last couple of tips
Tap water in Copenhagen (Denmark) is clean and great, so bring a reusable bottle.
Visit Copenhagen has collected some essential knowledge.
Stay curious and enjoy Copenhagen!
Ideas / errors / additions?
Let me know on: niels(a)nielsphilbert.dk