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Things you can’t miss on a visit to Copenhagen


Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is one of the most underrated European city destinations for a holiday. Located on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager, it’s linked to Sweden by the Öresund Bridge, and boasts a gorgeous city centre full of incredible architecture.

In addition to its numerous historic landmarks, Copenhagen is known for its vibrant culture and is often referred to as “the happiest city in the world”. Its beautiful canals, excellent gastronomy, numerous beer breweries, and lively jazz scene are just a few of the reasons to visit.

If you’re looking for a stop on a European Tour that’s a less obvious tourist destination, then Copenhagen has a lot to offer. Below we break down some of the top attractions you can’t afford to miss when visiting this charming and laid-back Danish city.

Note: New requirements for UK citizens to travel to Europe will soon come into effect. Make sure to check this information about travelling between Wales and Denmark if you’re planning to visit in 2023 or beyond.

Top Attractions in Copenhagen

Below you’ll find the top attractions you should definitely include on your Copenhagen itinerary. If you’re only visiting for one to two days, make sure to prioritise trips to Nyhaven, Tivoli Gardens, and one of the impressive historic palaces.

Note: If you don’t feel like walking, you can easily take in many of Copenhagen’s best attractions on a guided bike touror from the city’s canals on a Copenhagen boat tour.

Christiansborg Palace

If you’re a fan of hit Danish TV series Borgen, then you might regonise this palace and government building as the seat of the Danish Parliament. The name of the show actually comes from the colloquial term for the building, which means “the Castle”.

Up-close, it’s easy to see why the building has been bestowed such a grand name. The imposing neo-baroque palace is actually the third to sit on the site since 1167, and Christanborg has been the seat of parliament since 1849.

Parts of the palace are also used by the Danish monarch, and other sections house the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark. While not all of the palace is open to the public, you can take a guided tour through much of the impressive complex.

Rosenborg Castle

This Renaissance-era Castle was built in 1606 by famous Scandinavian king Christian IV as a summer residence. However, it soon became the monarch’s favorite castle and the site of many important events during his reign.

Surrounded by lush gardens perfect for a stroll on a sunny day, you can also take a tour of much of the interior, including the Knight’s Hall and the king’s private living chambers. The castle is also full of incredible works of art, and much of the royalty’s treasures, including the crown jewels.

If you simply can’t get enough of Copenhagen’s royal residences, consider a visit to Amalienborg Palace in the historic Frederiksstaden district. The current home of the royal family, the complex consists of 4 identical classical palaces with gorgeous rococo interiors.

Tivoli Gardens

If you’re visiting the city with kids, then a trip to Tivoli Gardens in downtown Copenhagen is a must. This world-famous amusement park opened in 1843 and is the third-oldest operating theme park in the world.

Obviously, the rides have been vestly updated since its early days! Current highlights include the oldest wooden roller coaster currently in operation and The Star Flyer swing ride, which offers panoramic views over the city.

Nyhavn Harbour

This waterfront, canal, and entertainment district is considered one of the most iconic attractions in Copenhagen due to the brightly painted 17th and 18th century townhouses that line the shore.

Nyhavn also has a bustling nightlife and is full to the brim with cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to seek out a traditional Danish bakery and sample some of the country’s famous pastries as you watch boats drift by on the canal.

The Little Mermaid

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to the city’s most famous landmark, located on a rock by the shore of the Langelinie promenade.

This famous bronze statue was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and is based on the fairy tale of the same name by one of Denmark’s most famous authors, Hans Christian Andersen.

Since its unveiling in 1913, the relatively small and unimposing statue has become a major tourist attraction and symbol of the city. If you’re only going to take one selfie during your stay, this is the place to do it!

If you’ve had your fill of the city and are thinking of continuing your European tour, consider travelling from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Equally as full of rich culture as the Danish capital, Amsterdam can easily be reached on a short, cheap flight.