12 Terrific Things to do in Copenhagen in Two Days

Written By: The Planet D

We had two and a half days to explore Copenhagen, and the one thing we learned was that we wanted more! There’s a lot of things to do in Copenhagen, and we made sure to pack as much as we could in the short amount of time we had in Denmark’s capital city. Our tour of Scandinavia with Go Ahead Tours gave us the opportunity to stop in all the great capital cities of the region. Copenhagen was definitely our favourite.

12 Things to do in Copenhagen

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Beautiful Copenhagen

We barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. From early morning ’til late at night, we stayed out so that we could make the most of Copenhagen. Want to know what to do in Copenhagen? Read on!

  • Cool Tip: A more affordable place to stay near Copenhagen is Malmo Sweden, located just 20 minutes away. Check out our two day Malmo Itinerary here.

1. Visit Nyhavn

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All the buildings are colorful on the waterfront

Nyhavn is probably the most scenic cityscape in all of the Scandinavian cities we visited. This waterfront canal is a must see when visiting Copenhagen. 17th-century townhouses line the canal filled with historic sailboats. What makes these townhouses so special is the fact that they are painted in bright colours.

Hans Christian Anderson lived in Nyhavn where he wrote The Princess and the Pea and other famous fairytales. Today, the houses have been restored and renovated to their original beauty, housing restaurants, and cafes. There’s nothing better than people watching while enjoying a pint at one of the outdoor bars. Or grab an ice cream cone and go for a walk along the water towards the waterfront.

2. Papiroen

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Grab a seat for lunch at Papiroen

You can even cross the new pedestrian bridge to grab some cheap eats and street food at one of the many food trucks at Papiroen (Paper Island) right across the channel.

Watch All The Things to do in Copenhagen

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Looking for cheap eats in Copenhagen? Read Virtual Wayfarer’s Where to Eat for Less Than 100DKK

3. Tivoli Gardens

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Tivoli Gardens

Our number two choice for what you should do in Copenhagen is to go to Tivoli Gardens. We honestly nearly skipped this attraction and I am so glad that we didn’t. Tivoli is the most magical garden we’ve ever visited. The United States has Disneyland but Scandinavia has Tivoli.

Tivoli Gardens was opened in 1843 and has kept its old world charm while still adding new and modern amusement park rides. They have some of the most heart-pounding thrill rides we’ve ever seen! Make sure to go at night to see the gardens lit up with lanterns and light shows.

4. Take a Canal Tour

things to do in copenhagen boat tour
See the city by boat

The best way to see the city is by boat. Our boat guide told us that King Christian IV was a fan of Holland and wanted to model the city after Amsterdam. He created channels to have the look and feel of Amsterdam, but it also had a practical reason – to protect the Royal Danish Navy fleet. Today it is a beautiful way to get around to explore all the different islands and areas.

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They even serve beer!

Starting with a canal tour is an excellent way to get your bearings and see the highlights of the city before setting off to explore all the things to do in Copenhagen by foot. Hot tip: Get the Copenhagen Card that gives you access to more than 75 attractions and unlimited public transit.

5. Christiansborg Palace

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Christiansborg Palace

We’ve never been overly impressed by palaces. Often times we find touring them quite boring. But Christiansborg Palace was anything but boring. There are so many exhibits to see and it is absolutely beautiful.

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A hallway in the palace

Everything is preserved to perfection and you can easily imagine royalty roaming these halls.

Enjoying all the things to do in Copenhagen? Visit The Best of Bergen, Norway

6. Queens Tapestries – What to do in Copenhagen 

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The Queen’s tapestries

One of our favourite rooms in the palace was filled with tapestries. Little did we know that it is considered an exhibit in its own right. In 1990 the Danish business community gifted Queen Margrethe II, eleven tapestries for her 50 birthday. The tapestry series depicts 1000 years of Danish history.

7. The Tower

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View of the city

It’s the tallest tower in Copenhagen and gives a bird’s eye view of the city. Unlike other towers in many palaces, this one has an elevator.

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You can see everything from here

They limit the number of people up the tower at one time, so you can be sure to get an optimal view of Copenhagen. There’s a restaurant half way up where you switch elevators as well.

8. Amalienborg Palace

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Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace is worth a visit if for nothing else but to see the changing of the royal guard. It is still used as residences and guest quarters by the popular royal family.

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A statue of King Frederick V

Standing in the centre of the square gives you the chance to see the four identical palaces surrounding the equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.

9. The Round Tower

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A corner of the Round Tower

Even though we already saw Scandinavia from above at Christiansborg, you cannot miss going to the top of the Round Tower. Walking up the 268-meter long ramp that takes you to the top of the tower. It is one of the cool things to do in Copenhagen. It sounds like a tougher walk than it is.

Don’t worry, the tower is only 209 meters high, the walk is so long because the ramp circles around the outer core of the building.

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The view from the Round Tower

Before reaching the top, you can stop at the old library which today houses an art, culture, history and science museum. Once you reach the top, you can walk around the top of the observatory that was once used as an observatory.

10. Shopping Street

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The place to shop

Strøget is the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street and when you visit Copenhagen, you must go shopping here. This street is also considered the oldest pedestrian street in the world.

It’s filled with the usual suspects like Disney, Victoria’s Secret, and Louis Vuitton, but there are also other unique names like the Royal Copenhagen Flagship Store, formerly The Royal Porcelain Factory, the Illums Bolighus, and Danish designer Mads Nørgaard’s boutique. Really, we just liked walking down for people watching.

11. Go for a Bike Ride

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Go for a bike ride

You haven’t seen cycling in a city until you’ve been to Copenhagen. There is 390 km of dedicated cycling lanes and visitors can rent bikes to get around the city. But be prepared. Cyclists are everywhere and they are aggressive. You’d better know what you’re doing as you join the throngs of commuters riding their bikes to and from the metro.

Our guide told us that most people have a bicycle that they ride from home to the train and then another that they ride from the train station to work. It’s amazing to see just how many people ride bikes in Copenhagen.

12. Gefion Fountain

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The Gefion Fountain

A popular stop for bus tours. Our bus tour stopped there, but truthfully we aren’t quite sure why. We were busy trying to snap photographs around the mobs of people.

While Go Ahead Tours does give us whispers where we can hear our guide explain what we are seeing, for some reason, I didn’t hear a thing. I ran to the fountain to get some photos and that was that. I had to look this one up on Wikipedia (by the way I donated my $5 to Wikipedia while doing so to give some props to their good work). There’s a lot to explain so I’m just going to link to the Wikepedia page here. 

13. The Little Mermaid

Our friend Alex Berger of Virtual Wayfarer is going to hate me for including this but I have to. Alex lives in Copenhagen and if you want to learn more about Copenhagen, Denmark and other travel adventures check out his blog. He is frustrated with the mass of people visiting The Little Mermaid and we agree, it is very underwhelming.

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The famous Little Mermaid statue

However, it is the most visited attraction in all of Copenhagen and we always say, you can’t go to a place without seeing it’s most famous display. Hans Christian Andersen was the pride of Denmark and this is his tribute. It’s a small statue of a mermaid depicting his story “The Little Mermaid”.

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Take a walk along the dock

This story isn’t your Walt Disney version, The Little Mermaid has a tragic ending. But our ending in Copenhagen wasn’t tragic. We loved our time in the city and will definitely go back. There are so many things to do in Copenhagen and so many museums to explore.

14. Kronborg Castle

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Visit the castle if you have time

There’s also Kronborg Castle where many of our fellow passengers visited on a day trip and told us it was fantastic. We didn’t go as we wanted to really explore more of downtown Copenhagen, but a visit to Kronborg castle is one of the top things to do in Copenhagen

15. the Carlsberg Brewery.

We do love visiting a Brewery and Carlsberg Brewery is Copenhagen’s premier brewery. We were told on one of our tours that soldiers used to be paid in beer. That’s how important the beer history is to Copenhagen. Note: Carlsberg Visitor Centre is temporarily closed due to a major renovation and modernisation

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We will be back, Copenhagen!

So what’s your favourite thing to visit in Copenhagen? We’d love to hear so we can plan our next trip back to Denmark!

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Things to Do in Copenhagen

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

19 thoughts on “12 Terrific Things to do in Copenhagen in Two Days”

  1. Thanks all for sharing your wonderful experiences about the great Scandinavian city. your posts are helpful for who wants to visit this beautiful city.

  2. I’m currently based in Skopje and we have cheap WizzAir flights to Copenhagen. I’ve been wanting to book a weekend adventure to the city for a while now, but I was too lazy to plan the trip appropriately. This blog post is very useful for me so thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Another great post from you guys, and gorgeous photos too, thanks for sharing! It really is a beautiful place.

  4. Really nice and inspiring article! It makes me wanna get up and book a ticket to Copenhagen right now! Just pumped into your blog, looks amazing and full of inspiration, keep up the good work guys!

  5. This site has a lot of information on it about different travel destinations. I really like reading about other locations in the world as i can not get on an airplane so i go on different vacations in my mind as i read these articles; Thank you

  6. When i was in Copenhagen, i was so amazed by Nyhavan amazing view. It was really breathaking.
    There are several places i still haven’t visited yet in Copenhagen that you mentioned above. How could i missed that, god!
    I think i have to go back to complete your list as you suggested haha.


  7. After doing long and far travels (from Europe) I have to settle down a bit more now but I don’t want to stop traveling.
    I decided to see more of Europe and this post comes very in handy for that!
    I will definitely go back to this blog when I visit Copenhagen.
    Thank for that!

  8. I have heard about Copenhagen a lot that it is really famous for some of the classical destinations. Your list seems impeccable and I am soon planning to visit this coolest place during my next vacation.

  9. I have been in Copenhagen also and I admit that there are so many stunning views you can really enjoy most especially when the night came up. I’m excited about going back again.

  10. It was wonderful getting the chance to share my adopted city with you both! Your shots of Nyhavn and from around the city give me chills. Absolutely gorgeous and with your unique twist on what is otherwise a heavily photographed location. As far as the Little Mermaid….well…she persists, but all sins are forgiven for including Gefion Fountain. Come back soon!

  11. I’m impressed. You actually managed to experience most of the must see places in Copenhagen, even with the time limitations of only having 2 days to do so. I can highly recommend “Den Blaa Planet” (The Blue Planet) which is the biggest aquarium in north Europe.

    • Thanks Bo. I have to admit. We didn’t sleep! Haha. We loved it there, and will definitely go back. Thanks for the recommendations. I can’t wait to go for a little longer next time and experience more of the outer areas and that aquarium looks amazing.

  12. You know, I’ve been to Copenhagen twice and there are things on this list I didn’t know about lol. Guess i’ll have to go back!