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2 Days in Copenhagen: A Journey through Denmark’s Capital City

January 16, 2024
12 Min Read
DenmarkCity Breaks
Colorful facades in Nyhavn, Denmark
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2 Days in Copenhagen: A Journey through Denmark’s Capital City
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January 21, 2024
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Are you planning a visit to Copenhagen for the first time?

We recently returned from Denmark and have put together the best itinerary for a weekend in Copenhagen, designed for first-time visitors and taking you to the city's highlights!

In this 2 days Copenhagen itinerary, you will find the best places to visit, where to stay, how to get around, and many of our tips that will help you plan your trip.

Whether you're interested in exploring historic landmarks like the iconic Nyhavn or trying some traditional Danish dishes like smørrebrød or Danish pastries, our itinerary covers it all.

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Are you planning your trip to Copenhagen last minute?

Don’t have time to read the whole article? We've got you covered! Here are the top-rated tours you can book right away that will let you experience the best of Copenhagen. 

1. Copenhagen Highlights Walking Tour (Excellent Value)

2. Half-Day Food Tour (#1 Best Seller) 

3. 3-hour City Highlights Bike Tour (Highly Rated)

Top Hotels to Stay in Bergen

1. Next House Copenhagen (Budget)

2. Copenhagen Admiral Hotel (Mid-range)

3. Nimb Hotel (High-end)

Want to save money on attractions and public transportation? Buy the Copenhagen Discover Card and get free access to 80+ attractions and unlimited public transport in the Capital Region (zone 1-99), including travel to and from the airport!

Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting?

As one of the most liveable cities in the world, yes, Copenhagen is worth a visit! From cozy neighborhoods to royal history and cultural heritage, the city has it all. Most of the city’s highlights are located relatively close to each other, making it the perfect place to explore by foot or bike. Especially when visiting in the summer!

Colorful buildings at Nyhavn with boats in the canal and Danish flags hanging

Day 1: Copenhagen Itinerary

On the first day of the Copenhagen itinerary, we recommend exploring the Frederiksstaden area in the morning before heading up to Langelinie in the afternoon.

The majority of the attractions for your first day in Copenhagen are located in the northern part of the city center, all within walking distance and easily accessible.

A lake with green trees surrounding it and two brick buildings with black roof in the background

Have Breakfast at TorvehallerneKBH

TorvehallerneKBH is a covered food market with stalls selling fresh vegetables, quick meals, and a variety of pastries and beverages.

Start your day with a smørrebrød, a traditional Danish dish! This open-faced sandwich features buttered rye bread (Rugbrød) with an assortment of toppings such as cold cuts, fish, cheese, and more!

A covered food market with stalls and people walking around and buying

Visit Rosenborg Castle

From TorvehallerneKBH, walk to Rosenborg Castle and discover one of the most well-preserved Renaissance castles in the world. Here you can also see the crown jewels, Denmark’s most precious national treasure!

The Rosenborg Castle was built in the early 17th century by King Christian IV, and its intricate design makes it a stunning architectural masterpiece that is a must-see when in Copenhagen.

If you're visiting during the busy summer months, we recommend booking your entrance ticket in advance at kongernessamling.dk

Want a private tour of Rosenborg Castle? Book this 2-hour castle tour with a licensed guide and skip the line.

A renaissance castle with its high towers and red brick walls ornamented with sandstone

Stroll Through The King’s Garden

After visiting Rosenborg Castle, don’t miss the King’s Garden just behind it. Stroll through the garden, admire the beautifully organized plants and flowers, or simply rest and enjoy the view of the castle from the garden grounds.

Looking for more attractions in the area? Visit the Botanical Garden, which is home to Denmark’s largest collection of plants from all over the world.

A green park with lined trees on the left and bricked buildings in the background

Discover the Narrow Alleys of Frederiksstaden

Walk around Frederiksstaden, a picturesque district in Copenhagen's center known for its narrow alleys lined with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets

Discover tiny cafes, boutique shops, and local art galleries tucked away in hidden corners as you stroll around the neighborhood.

A street lined with tall white buildings and a street art on the side of two women clinking wine glasses

Marvel at Frederik’s Church

Frederiksstaden is home to renowned landmarks such as Frederik’s Church, also known as the Marble Church. Built in the mid-18th century, the church has a magnificent structure with a grand dome, an impressive marble facade, and a fascinating interior.

You can enter the church for free but if you want to enjoy the panoramic view from the dome’s viewing platform, there’s an entrance of around 8 USD. Note that the dome is only open every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm. For more information, visit the official website.

Frederiks church with its marble walls and a massive copper green dome.

Witness the Guard Changing at Amalienborg Palace

By noon, head to Amalienborg Palace, the official residence of the Danish royal family, to watch the changing of the guards. It's fascinating to see the precision and coordination of the guards as they perform their ceremonial duties, which last around 20 minutes. 

Guards at Amalienborg Palace marching wearing black uniform

Have Lunch at Farumhus

Just 500m from the Amalienborg Palace, you’ll find Farumhus, a nice bakery with a cozy atmosphere. They serve freshly baked Danish pastries and we recommend their delicious cinnamon rolls for lunch. The bakery is definitely worth a stop if you're looking for a quick bite.

Visit the Historical Kastellet Fortress

After lunch, make your way to Kastellet, a star-shaped fortress situated in picturesque surroundings with a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a leisure walk. 

Spend your afternoon exploring the well-preserved grounds. There's also plenty of spots to sit down and enjoy the view. It's fascinating how the fortress continues to function as military barracks while retaining its historic interior. 

The red bricked buildings of the Kastellet Fortress with a Danish Flag on one of the red roofs.

Walk Around Langelinie

Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering along the Langelinie promenade. Don't miss the chance to visit the St. Alban's Church with its intricate stonework and stained glass windows. It’s Denmark's sole Anglican church, which opened in 1887.

Colorful flowers with a green hill on the right and the towering building of St Albans Church with its spire roof.

Right next to the St. Alban’s Church, you will find the Gefion Fountain, the largest monument in Copenhagen. The fountain shows Gefion, the Norse goddess of agriculture, with four oxen in front. 

Langelinie is also where you can find the Little Mermaid statue. It is one of the most symbolic landmarks in Copenhagen, however, we did not find it particularly interesting to visit.

Day 2: Copenhagen Itinerary

On your second day in Copenhagen City, you will spend the day exploring the Nyhavn harbor in the morning followed by more attractions located in the southern part of the city in the afternoon. Distances between attractions are longer on this day, so we recommend taking public transportation whenever possible.

You can also utilize this day to visit the remaining places you were unable to visit on day one.

The straight broad street in a straight-angled street layout of Copenhagen

Admire the Colorful Houses and Ships in Nyhavn

Nyhavn is, with its picturesque waterfront and vibrant atmosphere, the most popular tourist attraction in Copenhagen. 

The colorful buidlings of Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Spend your morning walking around and admiring the colorful facades and old ships along the Nyhavn canal. If you want to see the sunrise, it is also one of the best places to do it!

Colorful buildings of Nyhavn with people walking by the canal

The area is also lined with cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast while taking in the stunning views. The Union Kitchen, located a street away from Nyhavn, is also a great alternative, with excellent ratings online for their brunch platters.

Are you interested in exploring Copenhagen by boat? Take this highly rated canal tour and learn about the architecture and history. The boat starts at Nyhavn and is one of the most popular activities to do in Copenhagen.

The colorful buildings of Nyhaven with hanging Danish flags and people walking by the canal

Visit the Community of Freetown Christiania

Just a short walk from Nyhavn, you can find Freetown Christiania, an independent gated community known for its open cannabis trade and free lifestyle. Discover the distinct atmosphere of the area, which includes art galleries, cafes, and colorful street art.

Grab Lunch at Broens Gadekokken

After Freetown Christiania, head to Broens Gadekøkken for lunch. Broens Gadekøkken is a food market with an open seating area adjacent to the water. The market has various food stands that serve international cuisines. During our visit, we ordered Greek food from a food stall named Strangas, which we recommend!

Stop by The King’s New Square

The King's New Square, Copenhagen’s largest square, is located in the heart of the city . Apart from the square’s central location, it’s also surrounded by notable institutions such as the Royal Theatre, Hotel D'Angleterre, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

The walk from Broens Gadekøkken to The King's New Square takes approximately 12 minutes and includes crossing the Inner Harbour Bridge.

People walking and sitting at the park in front of a big building with a dome and statue on the front roof

Browse the Stores Along Stroget

From The King’s New Square it is only a short walk to Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping area. Browse the stores along Strøget and marvel at the beautiful architecture of the area. 

If you're not interested in shopping, you can also visit another iconic building in the area, the Christiansborg Palace, an important royal palace and government building. For guided tours at the Christiansborg Palace, book your ticket here.

Climb to the Top of the Round Tower

Another famous attraction close to Strøget is the Round Tower, Europe’s oldest working observatory. You can enjoy a 360-degree view of Copenhagen by walking up to the tower's platform via a unique spiral ramp rather than a flight of stairs. You'll also find a few historical exhibits along the way.

Are you interested in seeing Copenhagen's skyline? Purchase your ticket to the Round Tower Platform here.

A street lined with tall bricked buildings and people sitting in the terrace.

Explore the City Hall

One of the main squares in Copenhagen is the City Hall Square, also known as the Rådhuspladsen. Head inside the City Hall, which has free entry, and admire the architectural and artistic features of the building. 

You can walk around its beautiful halls and witness couples getting married. It is also possible to enjoy an amazing view from the City Hall Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen, for an extra fee.

A fruit stall with a variety of fruits in boxes displayed at the front

View the Exhibits at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

If you’re interested in art, then visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, located next to the Tivoli Gardens. You can easily spend hours viewing the incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts at the museum. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays and there’s an entrance fee of about 19 USD.

Looking to visit more museums? Visit the National Museum of Denmark, a short distance from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen.

A big lake with lined trees and Copenhagen buildings on the side

Check Out the Rides at Tivoli Gardens

If you're visiting with family and friends, you can spend the rest of your afternoon riding the famous wooden roller coaster or strolling around the beautiful grounds of the Tivoli Gardens. The amusement park is right next to the City Hall and entrance fee costs about 22 USD. Visiting in the summer? Buy your tickets online and skip-the-line!

Have dinner at the Tivoli Food Hall, which serves plenty of affordable and good quality food options. It is located next to Copenhagen Central Station.

A canal lined with boats parked and bricked buildings on each side.

Drive Along the Øresund Bridge

The Oresund Bridge is a 16-kilometer link between Denmark and Sweden and one of the longest combined road and rail bridges in Europe. What makes it unique is that it is made up of a tunnel, an island, and a bridge, making it a great way to travel between the two countries.

The Oresund bridge standing over water inn a clear blue sky

More Than 2 Days In Copenhagen?

Do you have more time in Copenhagen? Consider taking a day tour to Møns Klint and Forest Tower, which are considered hidden gems in Denmark.

Additionally, here's another highly rated day tour that offers a convenient way to see the top destinations in Denmark and Sweden in just one day.

One of the highlights is Helsingør, where you can explore the castle, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, that inspired Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. It also gives you a chance to discover the charming cities of Lund and Malmö.

How to Get to Copenhagen

Plane: The fastest way to reach Copenhagen is by plane. The airport (CPH) is located around 8km from the city center, and you can take a taxi, bus or train to reach the city center.

Train: Alternatively, you can take a train from most major cities in Denmark to Copenhagen Central Station. Find the available routes and updated train times, and buy your tickets online at the official DBS website.

Car: If you want to drive in Copenhagen, keep in mind that, while there is public parking available, parking spots are scarce and expensive, particularly in the city center due to restricted space. Find more information about public parking in Copenhagen here.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

There are plenty of accommodations in Copenhagen to choose from. We stayed a bit far from the city during our last visit because we had a car but wished we stayed in the center. 

Everything is within walking distance and it’ll be easier to get from one place to another if you stay within the center. Here are the most recommended places to stay in Copenhagen.

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen

While Copenhagen may be visited at any time of year, the best time to visit is from June to August.

During these months, you can expect long days and short nights, warm temperatures, and an abundance of activities. It is also the busiest period, so expect large crowds and high prices.

Spring, from March to May, is also a great time to travel, with fewer tourists and lower prices compared to the summer months.

A covered market with food stalls and people walking by

How to Get Around in Copenhagen

Foot: Copenhagen is a walkable city. The majority of the main tourist attractions are within walking distance, especially if you stay in the city center. 

Bike: If you're comfortable on two wheels, consider renting a bike to explore the city. Copenhagen is bike-friendly, with many rental options available within the center. One of the most popular bike rental systems in the city is called Donkey.

Public Transportation: Copenhagen has a reliable public transportation system that is also super convenient. The metro, bus, and rail systems are all integrated, which means that you can transfer between different modes of transportation using a single ticket. 

A copper statue of a man on a horse in the middle of a square surrounded by bricked walled buildings

We recommend purchasing the Copenhagen City Pass Small that’s valid for 48 hours in Copenhagen, which costs about 22 USD. This will provide you with unlimited access to public transportation in zones 1 through 4, which cover the city center and travel to and from Copenhagen Airport.

You can buy the City Pass on DOT Tickets app, Copenhagen Airport, as well as, in ticket machines at train and metro stations. 

Note: If you have the Copenhagen Discover Card, you can use public transport for free.

Best Tours in Copenhagen

You can easily visit everything on your own, but for a better experience, you might want to consider booking a local guide who will take you to some of Copenhagen’s hidden gems and can tell you about the city's history.

There’s a variety of tours you can book, from foodie tours to walking tours and even bike tours. Here are the most popular tours to book in Copenhagen:

Where to Next?
A street with colorful houses in Bergen
Famous Hanoi Train Street
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And that’s the perfect two days in Copenhagen itinerary!

We hope we’ve helped you plan your trip to Denmark’s capital city and that you have a wonderful time exploring all that Copenhagen has to offer in 2 days.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments down below.

Some links in this 2-Day Copenhagen Itinerary may be affiliate links.

This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that by doing so, you are supporting Colorful Journeys in continuing to provide free high quality content to help you in your travels!

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