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Spending just one day in Copenhagen? I am going to show you how to make the most of your day. Copenhagen has officially been named the number 1 city to visit in 2019, by the enthusiastic travelers at Lonely Planet. Personally, I could not agree more. Right now, the city is vibrating with a great combination of new food markets, wonderful people, green oases, and plenty of things to see and do.
I am going to provide you with a one-day itinerary to Copenhagen. Of course, you can always spend more days at a new destination and get to discover and explore even more of your new surroundings. However, if you only have one day to spend in Copenhagen do not despair. You still have the chance to see all the beauty and fun the city has to offer.
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How to Spend One Day in Copenhagen
Map of your One-Day Copenhagen Itinerary
Start your day with a delicious brunch buffet
If you are visiting Copenhagen during the weekend or a public holiday, I suggest you start your morning at the popular restaurant SULT. Here you will be exposed to the most outstanding and comprehensive brunch buffet. The buffet includes homemade rye bread, yogurt, muesli with homemade toppings, jam, chocolate mousse, salmon, ham, meat, tuna, chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, omelettes, coffee, juice, etc. Everything is ecology and of very high quality. The place also accommodates food intolerance and therefore serves many gluten- and lactose-free products.
Just remember to book your table in advance.
King’s Garden and Rosenborg Castle
After a good and solid breakfast, I suggest you go for a stroll down to the King’s Garden, which is just a 2 minutes walk from the restaurant. This is a very popular garden, with beautiful trees and flowers blooming throughout summer and spring.
From the King’s Garden, you will be able to walk straight into Rosenborg Castle. The castle is built by the Danish King Christian IV and here you will get to explore some real, authentic royal rooms and chambers. In the basement, you will find all the crown jewels and even the royal crowns. You will never forget the sight of these breathtaking treasures.
Tickets: Adults 115 Kr, Children (0-17 years) Free admission,
Combined ticket Rosenborg & Amalienborg (Valid 36 hours) 160 kr.
Free with Copenhagen Card
The Round Tower and some shopping opportunities
From the castle, you can walk back into the city center where you will find the well-known Round Tower. It is just an 8-10 minute walk.
This building is one of Denmark’s most famous and most visited constructions. Today it is the oldest observatory in Europe, which is still functioning. This tower was also built by the Danish King Christian IV and completed back in 1642. It 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 degrees view over the city.
The entrance to The Round Tower is located just in the middle of one of the most popular shopping streets in Copenhagen; Købmagergade. On this street, you will find a wide selection of high-end fashion shops, small specialist boutiques, and a big shopping mall. It leads all the way down to the main shopping street of Copenhagen, named Strøget. On this street, you will be able to find even more shops and shopping malls. You can also find the most luxury brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry, and Mulberry.
Tickets: Adults: DKK 25, Children (5 -15 years) DKK 5
Free with Copenhagen Card
Time for Lunch – Torvehallerne
Once your shopping-needs are satisfied it should be time to grab a bite to eat. The ideal place would be to go to the public market place, Torvehallerne. It is placed right by Nørreport Station and only an 8-minute walk from the Round Tower.
Here you can find local vegetables, danish specialties, fresh fish, cheese and meat. You will find over 80 different shops at this market, which also includes small cafes and eateries. All food and drinks are of very high quality and richness in flavor. There is definitely something for everybody to enjoy!
Guided Canal Tour and Nyhavn Harbour
When your stomach is full yet again and your batteries recharge, you should find your way down to the water. More specific, I recommend you to go on a guided tour around the harbor with Canal Tours Copenhagen. Please be aware that all Copenhagen Card holders have to depart from the harbor at Ved Stranden (Ved Stranden 26, 1061 Copenhagen, Denmark). You can either walk to this location or take the metro from Nørreport Station to Kongens Nytorv Station. From Kongens Nytorv station it is only a 500 meters walk.
During the guided canal tour you will discover some of the most famous and interesting attractions and sight this city has to offer. You will pass by The Black Diamond, Christianshavn, The Opera, Amalienborg Palace, The Little Mermaid and so much more. It is really delightful to discover the city from the waterside.
Once your tour has ended you can walk down to Nyhavn Harbor. Here you will walk by the most colorful and beautiful old buildings. The houses have all been renovated and many of them now serve as restaurants.
The old port is always packed with people who come for a cold drink or a nice meal. You will find a really relaxed atmosphere and people just hanging out at the canal having a great time.
Amalienborg Palace and The Little Mermaid
Once you have seen enough and maybe had a drink at the harbor, you should continue down to Amalienborg Palace. From Nyhavn harbor, it is about an 8 minutes walk.
At Amalienborg Palace, you will explore both the past and present royal life. Inside the palace, you will see the private rooms of the most recent kings and queens of Denmark.
From the palace square, you can walk down to the Amaliehaven (The Amalie Garden) which is one of the youngest parks in the city but with some of the most beautiful views.
Amalienborg Palace Tickets: Adults 95 Kr, Children (0-17 years) Free admission
Free with Copenhagen Card
You can then walk along the water, all the way down to the famous The Little Mermaid. It should be around a 15 minutes walk.
The Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a sculpture that is made out of bronze and granite. It was inspired by one of the many fairy tales, written by the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. I personally think it is overrated and overcrowded.
Evening dinner and entertainment in Tivoli Gardens
After the many sights and attractions throughout the day, it is now time for some fun and relaxation. I suggest you find your way to Tivoli Gardens. From the waterside you can catch a bus or a train back to the other end of the city. Tivoli Gardens is located just a couple of minutes from the City Hall and Copenhagen Central Station and is therefore really easy to get to.
Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest amusement parks in Denmark, where people of all ages will come to spend their spare time. You can have some fun while trying some of the many rides, roller coasters, etc. this garden has to offer. However, you can also just walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery with fascinating architecture, green gardens, and historic buildings.
When it is time for dinner you will have plenty of options in Tivoli Gardens as well. At Tivoli Food Hall you get presented with everything from traditional danish food, international-inspired cuisine and exciting, new food concepts.
The Tivoli Food Hall is located just opposite the Copenhagen Central Station, at the Tivoli Corner Building. The food hall has free access from the street for everybody.
However, if you prefer to stay inside the Tivoli Gardens you will also have a broad selection of restaurants. You will find some of the most famous restaurants in here, but also some more traditional and price-friendly options. It should be easy to find something that you will enjoy.
If you are visiting Copenhagen on a Saturday between May to September, you can even get to finish your night with some amazing fireworks. Because during this season, Tivoli Gardens will showcase a great mixture of fireworks, music, and lightning every Saturday night at 11.45pm. Do not miss out!
Tickets: Prices start from 130 Dk for guests 8 years old and up without rides.
Free with Copenhagen Card (Entrance Only)
You have two options: A skip the line admission ticket or an 1 day unlimited rides ticket.
You might also be interested in:
How to spend 2 days in Copenhagen.
How many days in Copenhagen.
Where to stay in Copenhagen.
The best day trips from Copenhagen.
The best time to visit Copenhagen
What to do in Copenhagen in winter
What to do in Copenhagen with kids
Practical Tips for your One Day in Copenhagen
Facts about Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and also the biggest city in Denmark. The city is well known for its relaxed atmosphere and friendly people. Furthermore, you will find beautiful architecture and colorful buildings all over the city. You will be inspired by multiple shopping opportunities and a broad selection of different cuisines from all over the world.
In addition, you have the opportunity to discover the many parks and green oases in the city, as well as the beautiful lakes and water that surrounds the city.
One of the big advantages of Copenhagen as a travel destination is that you will find so many attractions, museums, cafes, entertainment options, etc. within a short distance. You can literally explore most of Copenhagen in just one day.
The Copenhagen Card
Before jumping into the actual itinerary for your one day in Copenhagen, I highly recommend you to get yourself and your travel companion(s) a Copenhagen Card.
The Copenhagen Card will save you money, time and worries. Because with the Copenhagen Card you can visit over 80 different attractions and sights in the entire capital region for free. Furthermore, the card offers you several discounts for bars, restaurants, and guided tours throughout the city.
The card also includes free public transport in Copenhagen. All trains, buses, metros and harbor busses throughout the Copenhagen region are included. Even your transport to and from the airport will be covered with this card.
The Copenhagen Card costs 54 EUR per adult (399 Kr) with a 24 hours validation. As an extra bonus, each adult card will allow you to bring two kids under 10 years old for free.
I hope you will enjoy your time in Copenhagen and have a day full of memories to look back at.
It is truly an amazing city which has a lot to offer for people of all ages.