5 unexpectedly awesome things to do in Copenhagen

Wondering if there is more to Copenhagen than Nyhavn and the other main attractions??

Want to get under the skin of the City and see something you can only experience in Copenhagen? 

If so then check out these 5 stimulating things to sprinkle into your trip

1. Swim in the middle of the city

City Bath

There are 3 harbour baths in Copenhagen City centre. They’re located near the Royal Playhouse, Islands Brygge and Havneholmen in Vesterbro

Locals flock to these baths to sunbath, socialise and of course swim. 

The water is clean and regularly tested. The officials will only allow swimming if the water is clean

Google map links to the baths at Royal PlayhouseIslands Brygge and Havneholmen in Vesterbro

2. Eat many Tibirkes, the quintessential Danish pastry


Tebirkes are the classic Danish pastry and rarely seen outside Denmark.

It’s strangely familiar yet unique and is totally addictive. Its closest relative would be a croissant, however it has a delicious semi sweet taste topped with poppy seeds.

It’s very popular, and often sold out. However don’t worry, just ask the baker when the next batch of Tibirkes will be ready for you to buy. You will be rewarded with an unforgettable warm, fluffy, buttery, semi sweet bag of happiness. 

My favourite Tibirkes is from Emmery’s which has several shops in the City. 


3. Freetown Christiania

Freetown Chrisitania

Freetown Christiania is a hippie commune in Copenhagen City where few rules exist. 

Inside you’ll see colourful graffiti covering the buildings. Continue strolling and you’ll find markets with eclectic stores selling unique bags, clothing, jewellery. 

Venture further still and you’ll arrive at the marijuana stands. Here a wide variety of hash can be purchased. People then smoke the marijuana in the nearby lawn or along the river among the forest. 

I felt quite safe exploring during the day. There were plenty of other tourists and everyone there was enjoying themselves. However I wouldn’t recommend going at night as I presume there will be fewer tourists at that time. 


WARNING: Do not take photos of the residents.

Google maps direction to Freetown Christiania


4. Meatpacking District and Istegade


The Meatpacking district and nearby Istegard street is considered the coolest part of Copenhagen.

Historically an industrial neighbourhood serving the meat industry it has now transformed into a magnet for creative people like artists, photographers, film makers,

At the Meatpacking district you will find hip niche bars, innovative restaurants, galleries and organic food stores. 

Then cross over to Istegade where you’ll find Danish design shops as well as cafes, independent fashion stores, cool bars and restaurants. 

Google maps direction to Meat Packing District and Istegade

5. Amager Bakke - Futuristic Waste to Energy powerplant

Amager Bakke
Source: Flickr - Guillaume Baviere

Amager Bakke is the cleanest waste to energy power station in the world. It converts all of Copenhagen’s waste into energy. 

This is part of Copenhagen’s push to becoming carbon neutral. Science buffs can learn how the water emitted from the station is cleaner than what went in. Even the ash from the burning is reused to build roads.  

It’s also an interesting piece of modern architecture that invites people to visit. It has a ski slope and rock climbing facilities. Find out more from their website 

Google Maps direction to Amager Bakke

10 best things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Are you planning a few days in Copenhagen?

Let me help you shortlist a few “must visit” places like Tivoli Gardens or Nyhavn. 

I’ll also share some off the beaten track suggestions like swimming in the harbour with the locals, and walk through the hippy commune of Freetown Christiana.

Lastly I’ll point out if places are “overly touristy” like the Little Mermaid so you can decide if ticking the box just to see it is worth the time. 

Let’s go explore the top 10 things to do in Copenhagen!

1. Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Do you want to know what inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland? 

Tivoli Gardens. The world’s second oldest amusement park.

It was so good that the genius Walt Disney himself made notes of everything like seating, rides, food with the hope of recreating the magical atmosphere at his yet to be built Disneyland.

However don’t make the mistake of writing it off as a “kids only” venue though. 

There are frequent musicals and concerts with deck chairs so you can enjoy a cold beverage and soak in the atmosphere.

They also have great restaurants and the whole park is open late till 11pm (Sunday to Thursdays) and 12 midnight (Friday and Saturday).

Google Maps direction to Tivoli Gardens

2. Nyhavn


Nyhavn. It’s the postcard image of Copenhagen. NyHavn means “New Harbour” and is the central canal running through Copenhagen. 

It is “bite the back of your hand” beautiful. The buildings are bright like bottles of paint against the blue sky. 

I recommend visiting in the late afternoon. Find a restaurant basked in golden afternoon sun order a cold beer and just soak in the scenery. This is what travel is all about.  

Google Maps direction to Nyhavn

3. Kronborg Castle (aka Hamlet's Castle)

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle is an unmissable destination. 

The castle is famous for being the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and is also a UNESCO heritage site. 

If you’re lucky, there may be live performances of Hamlet in the castle. It’s the closest thing to time travel you will ever experience. Check their website for information.

You can get there from Copenhagen either by taking a 1 hour train ride to Elisnore station then walk 10 minutes to the castle. Alternatively you could drive there in 45 minutes at park right outside the castle grounds.

It is well worth the trip. 

Google Maps Direction to Kronborg Castle

4. Rosenborg Castle (Danish Crown Jewels)

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg castle houses the Crown Jewels and the Throne. 

This means if you only had time to visit one castle, or you’re a bit museum / castled fatigued and can only cope with 1 more then this would be it since it houses the two most important symbols of Danish royalty.  

The Crown Jewels are located in an extremely secure underground vault. This is unsurprising since the diamonds are the size of grapes.

The Royal throne is also interesting and lives upstairs in a long hallway. It’s made from the tusks of Nharwal.

You can also get a combined ticket  to see Rosenborg & Amalienborg (valid for 36 hours) at a discounted price.

Google Maps direction to Rosenborg castle

5. Kastellet


The Kastellet is a pentagon shaped fortress surrounded by a moat within Copenhagen city.

Remarkably it still in use as a military facility despite being almost 400 years old. Inside the fortress you will see barracks, military offices, working windmill and military personnel.

Tip. Combine your visit to the Kastellet with Little Mermaid as it’s only a short walk along the gorgeous harbour foreshore. 

Google Maps direction to Kastellet

6. Gefion fountain to The Little Mermaid

Gefion Fountain

The little mermaid is touristy. 

However the walk from the Kastellet, past the Gefion fountain and towards the Little Mermaid is very pleasant. 

Pause a moment and admire the exquisite water fountain before arriving at the the Little mermaid where dozens of selfie obsessed tourists will be busy checking off a landmark. 

Google Maps direction to Gefion fountain

Kastellet to Little Mermaid

7. Round Tower (Rundetaarn)

round tower

This round tower was built in the 17th century as a observatory tower.

It’s unique because there are no stairs. Instead you walk up to the top via a wide spiral pathway originally intended for horses. 

Climb to the top and be rewarded with phenomenal views of Copenhagen

Google Maps directions to Round Tower

8. Meat Packing District (Koedbyen)


The Meat Packing district is the trendy hotspot of Copenhagen.

There is an attractive authenticity to this place with its white tiled walls. It still houses some of the city’s meat processing businesses.

Here you will find exquisite coffee, delicious restaurants, chic bars and underground clubs.   

It’s also a great place to pickup tasty ingredients if you’re keen on cooking a special meal at home. 

 Google Maps link to the Meat Packing District

9. Amalienborg


Most of the castles we’ve seen have not really been lived in for hundreds of years

What makes the Amalienborg unique and worth visiting is that the royal family still live there. This means the interior has been updated to reflect modern designs and taste.

So if you’re interested in taking a peep at how modern royals live then the Amalienborg is worth a quick visit.

You can also get a combined ticket  to see Rosenborg & Amalienborg (valid for 36 hours) at a discounted price.

Google Maps direction to Amalienborg

10. Side streets of Stroget


The Stroget is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. 

It can be a bit touristy, with many international brands.

However if you venture off the main street and into the many side streets then you will see more boutique shopping options. 

Fun fact. It was here where Copenhagen’s evolution into a bike and pedestrian friendly city began. Interestingly many businesses opposed to losing car access for fear of sales revenue. However shortly after the change the shops enjoyed a magnificent increase in sales.  

Google Maps link to Stroget

Bonus: 11. Carlsberg City District

Carlsberg City
Source: flickr Alan Samuel photos

Carlsberg City is the former home to the world-famous Carlsberg Breweries in the heart of Copenhagen. 

The iconic buildings filled with rich Danish history are being given a new lease of life and transformed into a vibrant, industrial-chic neighborhood blending old industrial buildings with modern architecture.  

You will find an eclectic mix of residential, offices, boutique shops, trendy cafes, restaurants and a new hotel built on the site of the former famous brewery. There is even a university campus on site.

The new city is expected to be fully developed by 2024 and it is currently ahead of schedule with 80% completed by 2021. While constructions continue, it is also a popular venue for cultural events and street parties.

Google maps link to Carlsberg