Copenhagen isn’t one of the biggest cities in Europe, however, there is still so much to discover in this inspiring city. Yet, it can be difficult to figure out just how many days you need to spend in Copenhagen in order to get the most out of your stay. Therefore, I have put together an itinerary which you can use as you see fit, depending on the time you have available in the capital of Denmark.
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The Copenhagen Card
If you are planning a trip to Copenhagen I will recommend you to get the Copenhagen Card. With the card you can get free transportation to and from Copenhagen airport, so you do not have to stress about getting to the city center. Furthermore, the card will give you free public transport throughout the city. This includes all trains, buses, metros and harbor busses in the Copenhagen region.
Beside free public transport, The Copenhagen Card also grants you free access to almost 90 various sights and attractions in the capital region. Moreover, you will be given several discounts for bars, restaurants, and guided tours in Copenhagen. So remember to check out exactly which discounts you can receive.
The card can be bought online with a validation period of 24, 48, 72 or 120 hours, and the price range is between 54 to 133 EUR per adult. It is also worth mentioning that each adult card will give you the opportunity to bring two kids under the age of 10 for free.
How Many Days in Copenhagen?
Once you have all the practicalities in order, it is time to go and explore all the great things this city has to offer. No matter the duration of your time in Copenhagen, you can see and discover many fun and interesting attractions, places, and sights.
To get the most out of your stay in Copenhagen, follow my itinerary below up to the number of days that suits you.
Visit Copenhagen in 1 Day
Start your first day at the Copenhagen City Hall, which is located on City Square, and only a 5-minute walk from Central Station. With its 105.6 meters high tower this is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. Here you will have amazing views of the city.
Next is The National Museum of Denmark where you can find exhibitions back from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, up to the Modern Danish History.
Time for some shopping on Strøget, which is the most popular shopping street in Copenhagen. Here you will have a wide selection of high-end fashion shops, big shopping malls, small specialist boutiques, and some of the most luxury brands.
After your shopping, you can visit Christiansborg Palace which is located just a few minutes from Strøget. Christianborg Palace was once the home for the queens and kings of Denmark, however today it is home to the Danish parliament. From the palace, you have free access to The Tower of Christiansborg Palace. This is the highest tower in Copenhagen, where you can enjoy even more brilliant views of the city.
Time to sit down! I suggest you go on a canal guided tour around the harbor with Canal Tours Copenhagen. During the tour, you will see popular attractions like The Black Diamond, The Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, The Little Mermaid and so much more.
Finish your day with a walk around Tivoli Gardens. This is one of the oldest amusement parks in Denmark, where you can try some of the many rides and roller coasters, go for walks around the garden and enjoy the beautiful scenery or have a bite to eat.
For more information check out my detailed one day Copenhagen itinerary.
Visit Copenhagen in 2 Day
Follow the itinerary of the first day from above.
Start your next day at Torvehallerne Market, where you can explore more than 80 different shops this market has to offer. You will find local vegetables, danish specialties, fresh fish, cheese and meat.
From Torvehallerne Market you can walk down to the King’s Garden, which is a very popular garden. From the King’s Garden, you will be able to walk straight into Rosenborg Castle. At the castle, you can explore some true, authentic royal rooms and chambers. In the basement, you will find real treasures as it houses all the crown jewels and even the royal crowns.
Continue on to Amalienborg Palace where you can explore both the past and present life of the royals. Do not miss the change of the Guards ceremony which takes place every day between 11.30-12 pm. The guards will be parading from Rosenborg Castle down to Amalienborg Palace.
The Round Tower is one of Denmark’s most popular and most visited constructions and is the oldest observatory in Europe, which is still functioning. The tower has a very characteristic spiral ramp inside, which leads all the way up to the top, tower platform. From here you have an amazing 360-degree view of the city’s rooftops.
Time to go and have some fun at the Guinness World Record Museum. Here you can discover some breathtaking records in everything from art, music, sports, science, and nature. You can test yourself and your travel companion(s) to see how you all perform compared to some of the world ́s best performers. Who will be the strongest, smartest or fastest? At the museum, you even get to meet the world’s tallest man, who is 272 cm tall.
Only a few footsteps from the museum is the King’s New Square. The square is the largest one in the city and houses institutions such as The Hotel D’Angleterre and the Royal Theatre.
Continue to Nyhavn Harbor where you will pass by some of the most colorful and beautiful old buildings this city has to offer. The houses have all been renovated and many of them now serve as restaurants.
Finally, you should include a visit to the famous Church of Our Saviour. The church is one of the most popular churches in Denmark, mainly because of the impressive serpentine spire. You can climb all the 400 steps to the top and find yourself 90 meters above the street level.
For more information, check out my detailed 2 day Copenhagen itinerary.
Visit Copenhagen in 3 Day
Follow the itinerary of the first 2 days from above.
Your next days should start at The Freetown Christiania which is a former military base, that was turned into a unique district back in the 1970s. There live around 1,000 people in Christiania today, who follow their own rules in this private community. Christiania is best known for the extensive cannabis trade which took place on Pusher Street, inside the area.
However, today the various cannabis stalls have been forced to close because of the many drug-related crimes in the area. People visit Christiania to meet the locals and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Besides the locals’ own houses, gardens, grocery shops, and cinemas, you will also find several music venues and a great selection of cafes and restaurants inside the area.
Visit the street food market Reffen which is located at Refshaleøen in Copenhagen. Here you will find more than 50 food stalls, bars, and creative workshops. All the stalls use organic food, local ingredients when possible, and focus on reducing food waste. The market is placed right at the waterfront with stunning views.
Finish the day at the Royal Danish Opera House, which is one of the most modern opera houses in the world. Here you will discover 41,000 square meters of danish architecture which is distributed over 14 levels, 5 which are underground. The main stage can seat up to 1,400 visitors. You can go there for a guided tour or see one of the many great plays which take place at the opera house.
If you are planning a visit to Copenhagen you might also be interested in:
The best time to visit Copenhagen.
Things to do in Copenhagen with kids.
Things to do in Copenhagen in winter
Where to stay in Copenhagen recommended by locals.
The best day trips from Copenhagen.
The best castles to visit in Copenhagen.
Visit Copenhagen in 4 Day
Follow the itinerary of the first 3 days from above.
Now you should get on a day trip outside of Copenhagen to discover some of the beautiful surroundings. Depending on your travel companion(s) I suggest you either go to visit one of the many family-friendly places with fun for the entire family or one of the beautiful castles outside Copenhagen.
Den Blå Planet is the National Aquarium Denmark and is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Inside the National Aquarium Denmark, you will find water on every single side of the building. This is done in order to give the visitors a feeling of being underwater.
Den Blå Planet is divided into 8 sections and features 50 aquariums, seven million liters of water and thousands of animals. Within the 8 sections, you will get to discover sharks, rays, piranhas, octopuses, birds, sea otters, a rainforest and even a water playground for the youngest.
The Ocean Tank is the biggest of all of the aquariums and loaded with four million liters of seawater. Here you have the chance to experience hammerhead sharks in the company of moray eels and rays.
If you aren’t the biggest fan of animals and prefer to see some more cultural sights I recommend you pay Kronborg Castle a visit. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Helsingør, north of Copenhagen. Here you have great views across the water to Helsingborg in Sweden. It is a renaissance castle built with impressive towers, spires, sandstone, columns, and copper roofs.
Kronborg Castle is best known from Willam Shakespeare’s drama of Hamlet, which unfolds in the chambers of the castle. Hamlet was a Danish prince, who returned from Germany to his childhood home, Kronborg Castle, when he heard about his father’s death. The story of Hamlet reveals how far the prince, Hamlet, is willing to go to get justice for his father, the king.
Deep down in the castle’ s casemates, you will find another famous sight! An immense sculpture of Holger Danske, a Danish national hero. According to the old legend, Holger Danske is wide asleep, but if Denmark is one day threatened by enemies he will awake. The Danish hero will then get on his feet, raise his sword, and fight for his country.
Visit Copenhagen in 5 Day
Follow the itinerary of the 4 days above.
Go back into the city center on your last fifth day in Copenhagen, to see a few more cultural sights in this city.
Start off at Tycho Brahe Planetarium, where you can explore various exhibitions about astronomy and space travel. At the Planetarium you will find The Space Theatre that holds a 1,000 m2 screen shaped like a dome. Here you can watch IMAX and 3D movies regarding the universe, the world underwater, and the dinosaur age.
Next up is the Meatpacking District which is one of Copenhagen’s more trendy areas. it is home to a wide selection of restaurants, bars, markets, and nightclubs. You will find all kinds of people and people of all ages coming to this district. They will either visit one of the many high-quality restaurants, have a cold beer in the sun or go dancing all night long.
Once you are in the area you can take a walk down Istedgade, which is one of the most diverse areas in Copenhagen. Here you will find people of all kinds – families, students, retirees, and hipsters! Back in the days, the street was known to be a broad criminal area packed with porn and drugs. However, today it is a trendy street with popular cafes, restaurants, bars, and small shops.
Finish your day with a visit to Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Here you will find art exhibitions from ancient history up to modern times. You can discover art collections from Greek, Rome, and Egypt from more than 3,500 years ago. The moderne department showcases Danish sculptures and paintings from the 19th and 20h centuries. However, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is also known for its breathtaking surroundings. Especially, the Winter Garden, which is a green oasis right in the heart of the Glyptotek.
No matter the duration of your stay, I hope you will have a wonderful and memorable time in this fascinating and beautiful city. Happy traveling!