Copenhagen for Tourists: 10 insider tips for exploring the city like a local
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with a lot to offer tourists. From great food and beer to great transportation and parks, there is something for everyone. Here are 10 insider tips for getting the most out of your trip to Copenhagen as a tourist.
1. Take advantage of the city's great public transport and biking infrastructure
The first thing you'll notice when you arrive in Copenhagen is how easy it is to get around. The city has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, trains, and even boats. If you're only in town for a few days, we recommend buying a Copenhagen Card, which gives you unlimited access to all of the city's public transportation for a certain period of time.
Besides public transport, Copenhagen has an amazing system of bike lanes all over the city. At least in the warmer seasons of the year it is surely worth to rent a bike. Oftentimes it is even faster than going by bus and train. We recommend the bikesharing company Donkey Republic. Their orange bikes can be found all over the city.
2. Seek out the hidden gems
Copenhagen is full of small, independent shops and businesses that are definitely worth seeking out. From vintage stores to cozy cafes, there's something for everyone. Local businesses are usually happy to chat with tourists and give recommendations on other places to go in the city.
3. Take a dip in the canals
Yes, it may be cold, but Copenhageners love to swim in the canals in summertime (and some of them even during winter). If you're feeling brave, take a dip in one of the many canals that criss-cross the city. Just make sure you check the signs first to see if swimming is allowed in that particular canal.
4. Go for a walk (or two) in the many parks
Copenhagen is full of green spaces, so make sure to take advantage of them while you're here. Our personal favorites are Assistens Kirkegård (a park cemetery) and Kongens Have (the King's Garden) as well as Frederiksberg Have next to the zoo, but there are plenty of other great parks to explore as well.
5. Sample the new Nordic cuisine
Copenhagen is known for its “new Nordic cuisine”, which highlights seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Of course, there are also plenty of traditional Danish dishes to choose from as well. So whether you're looking for innovative Michelin-starred dining at Geranium or Noma, or rather some good old-fashioned comfort food they serve at Chicky Grill, you'll find it here in Copenhagen.
6. Visit Tivoli
No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and a true institution here in Denmark's capital city. Whether you want to ride roller coasters, see a concert, or just enjoy some delicious ice cream, Tivoli has something for everyone.
7. Check out Nørrebro
Nørrebro offers a great contrast to the more refined areas of central Copenhagen. Jægersborggade is home to trendy cafes and shops selling everything from artisanal breads to designer clothes, while Blågårdsgade is known for its lively nightlife scene with bars and clubs galore. Either way, these streets are definitely worth spending some time exploring.
8. Visit The Reffen Streetfood Market
For an authentic taste of Copenhagen street life, head to The Reffen Streetfood Market located on Refshaleøen island. With over 60 different food stalls selling everything from Danish hot dogs to Thai curry, there's something here for every appetite.
9. Hang out at Enghave Plads in Vesterbro
Enghave Plads is one of our favorite places to relax on a sunny day. With its large grassy area and abundance of benches and picnic tables, it's perfect for people watching or enjoying a picnic lunch.
10. Drink beer outside or at a bodega
In summertime, there's nothing Danes love more than sitting outside with a cold beer (or two... or three...). And luckily for visitors, there are plenty of great places to do just that throughout Copenhagen. Whether you want to enjoy views of the canal while sipping on an frosty brew or relax in a cozy outdoor patio with locals, there's no shortage of options here in Denmark's capital city. A lot of bars also offer a wide variety of craft beers - a great opportunity to try something new!
Oh, before we forget it: yes, you can also visit The Little Mermaid statue: A trip to Copenhagen probably wouldn't be complete without seeing The Little Mermaid statue, one of Denmark's most iconic landmarks. This bronze sculpture was created by sculptor Edvard Eriksen and sits on a rock by the waterside at Langelinie Promenade. Guess what: Our Copenhagen walking tour "Wingman Wanted" will bring you (among many other sights) also to the Little Mermaid.
All in all, there's no doubt about it—Copenhagen is an incredible place with lots to offer tourists (and locals alike). We hope this list has inspired you to explore some new corners of this great city—and maybe even see it through the eyes of a local!