Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark
I’ve wanted to visit Copenhagen for year, and ashamedly had never gotten round to it. So, I was so excited when our cruise on Enchanted Princess would visit here. Even better, we were docked until mid-evening, giving us more time to explore and take in the city.
But, where do you even start with a city such as Copenhagen? There is so much to do to appeal to whatever takes your fancy and your interests. For us, that meant making sure we saw all the iconic sites of the city, but also get a chance to indulge in the food and wider culture.
What to get up to
If it’s your first time in Copenhagen, then you must visit some of the beautiful landmark destinations. We did this all on our own through a mixture of walking and cycling focussing around the city centre. This includes the Nyhavn 17th Century waterfront, the Amalienbord Museum and Palace, the Kastellet (one of Northern Europe’s finest and best-preserved fortifications) and The Round Tower. While you are there you can also spend some time exploring Strøget, Copenhagen’s largest shopping area right at the heart of the city. It’s all worth doing at least once in my opinion.
It’s also worth while taking in the King’s Garden with its stunning landscaping and the Rosenborg Castle. Next door you’ll also find the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the botanical gardens and the National Gallery of Denmark. We found all of these sites were within a short walk of each other and very easy to hop from place-to-place. Of course, you can’t visit without at least seeing The Little Mermaid statue once.
While it is so easy to walk around the city centre of Copenhagen, it’s also fantastic to cycle around to get from place-to-place. We in fact hopped on cycle hire from outside the ship into the city. Personally, while this is fairly easy to co, bear in mind that the cruise ship forms part of the wider port and so be prepared to have to deal with a lot of industrial traffic initially (which will of course give way to you). When you get to the main part of Copenhagen cycling is very easy to do.
That wasn’t the end of our adventure in Copenhagen though. I’ve heard so much about the canals of Copenhagen that we just had to enjoy them. So, we booked sunset canal cruise through Princess Cruises. While we tend to do a mixture of excursions and our own thing, this was a great example of something that was just easy to do through the line and we didn’t have to faff around too much.
After a very short bus journey from the ship, we joined our cute canal cruiser just around the corner from The Little Mermaid. We then spent the next hour winding around all the various waterways of the city. And can I tell you, there was such an incredible vibe as we moved about with the waterways alive with people enjoying the weather. You can watch an Instagram Reel of our experience here.
A foodie paradise
Copenhagen really is a foodie paradise, with so much to enjoy around every corner. Truth be told, my biggest regret from our last visit was not being able to try more of the amazing food.
As we were focussed around the city centre here are some of our top tips for restaurants to check out.
There are so many options here, but if you want to start around the main city centre area there’s a few places I’d recommend. If you like burgers then you 100% have to visit Gasoline Grill. This is known to have some of the best burgers in the world. The original site, as you guessed it, is in a petrol station, but there are a few outlets now across the city. I can attest to the fact it’s one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.
If you fancy some of Copenhagen’s specialities, then head to Aamans 1921. This Michelin-recommended restaurant is fantastic and serves a mixture of smørrebrød (open sandwiches) and classic dishes, together with good craft beers. If you are visiting on a cruise, this is a great option for a lunch.
Barr is a casual restaurant and bar located on the quayside right on the waterfront of Copenhagen featuring wood-clad walls, with an amazing array of beers. It focusses on serving classic Northern European dishes, or what it calls ‘North Sea Cuisine’ so expect salted waffles, schnitzel and Danish meatballs. Alas it was shut on the day we visited but it’s right up there to visit next time.
Right by Barr Restaurant you’ll also find a great outdoor food market with a variety of tasty options. It is also a great spot to grab a drink and relax overlooking the water.
And of course, you cannot come to Denmark without indulging in a Danish Pastry (or two), right? There are a couple of places I thoroughly recommend. Firstly, there is Juno the bakery. This is a real gem in Copenhagen, and handily sits in-between the city centre and the cruise port. Juno services some of Copenhagen’s best cardamom rolls (yum!).
Then there is Sankt Peders Bageri, and is another must in the city. This sells bread and all sorts o other goodies, but is also Copenhagen’s oldest bakery. They have some of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever enjoyed.
Too much for one visit
I can really see why people fall in love with this city, and why people rave about it and go time and time again. I am a total convert.
Other places we wanted to visit but sadly ran out of time (but recommend if you do go!), include:
One of Copenhagen’s trendiest spots with bars, boutiques and cafes. Very Instagrammable!
One of the world’s oldest amusement parts and one of the inspirations for Walt Disney
An urban spots area and ski slop on top of the city’s newest waste management centre. It’s a very clever use of space and the views are second-to-none
Another trendy neighbourhood focused around creatives and an emerging foodie centre
Go for a swim!
I quickly found that the heart of Copenhagen are the waterways, so spend some time enjoying this amazing open space, including opportunities to try GoBoat and Paddleboard
Coming away from our first visit to this fabulous city, all I know is I want to go back soon! Many cruises in fact start in Copenhagen and I would most definitely bolt on a few days before or after to enjoy the city even more.
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