Planning out the perfect Copenhagen itinerary is truly a joy. The capital of Denmark is a popular city-break destination for those looking to spend a couple of days exploring this lovely and vibrant Scandinavian city.
While there are a seemingly infinite amount of things to do here that visitors could easily fill more than a week with activities and day trips, spending 2 days in Copenhagen is an excellent way to get a great feel for the city and see all of the main sites.
No matter how long you spend in Copenhagen, using this guide will help ensure you see the highlights and get a good feel for this cool and hip Danish city.
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How Many Days in Copenhagen?
Many potential visitors wonder how many days to spend in Copenhagen in order to do the city justice, see all of the top sites and not feel too rushed.
In general, 2 days is enough to get a good feel for the city and to see the highlights. Central Copenhagen is quite compact and you can cover a lot of ground if you have two full days to spend.
With two days in the Danish capital, it really only gives you adequate to explore the top sites and attractions of the city. If you want to get a good taste for Copenhagen or prep yourself for a future visit, then you are sure to get quite a bit out of two days in the city (especially if you follow this itinerary!).
However, if you want to dig deeper and experience more of the city, then you can always find something to see and do if you plan to spend 3 or 4 days in Copenhagen.
With 3 days in Copenhagen, you can give yourself the time to dig deeper into the city, explore some neighbourhoods like Nørrebro or Vesterbro that lie a bit further from the well-trodden tourist trail or head to some museums or sights that you didn’t quite make it to in the first two days.
If you have the luxury of spending 4 days in the city, then you would even have time to head out on a day trip! The Swedish city of Malmö, for instance, lies within quite easy reach of Denmark’s capital and makes for an excellent place to head out and explore.
There are also some beautiful natural areas to visit if you’re keen to get out of the city or some smaller Danish towns that can give you a more holistic view of Denmark beyond the capital city.
All in all, 2 days are ideal if you’re trying to see the main sites and get a good feel for the city, three days are great if you want to dig deeper in the city itself and spending 4 days is fantastic for a few day trips to either nearby areas within Denmark or over the bridge in Sweden.
Getting To & Around Copenhagen
Copenhagen is easy to get to from virtually anywhere in Europe and internationally, as there is a high-traffic airport not far from the city centre that serves most major and budget airlines.
In order to save money getting from the Copenhagen airport to the city centre, we recommend taking the train to Copenhagen Central Station or hopping on the metro. The trains leave frequently and it is only a fifteen-ride before you are in the centre of the Danish capital.
The metro takes a little bit longer to reach the city centre (around 30 minutes) and you may need to switch lines depending on where around the city you’re staying. Have a look at a transit map to see if the train or metro makes more sense for where it is you’re staying.
If you want the hassle-free convenience of an airport transfer, then you can book a private transfer.
Once you are in the city, you will find that it is very walkable and most everything of interest can be reached on foot.
However, if you want to visit some places that are far from each other and aren’t keen on walking, you will be happy to know that there is an excellent public transport system throughout the city and it will make getting to the sites during your time in Copenhagen an absolute breeze.
If you do plan to use public transport in the city, as well as visit some of Copenhagen’s famous attractions then it can be worth investing in the Copenhagen Card. You get entrance included into up to 87 different attractions and have the option of buying the card for between 1 to 5 days.
Copenhagen is also incredibly bicycle-friendly and one of the best ways to see the city is on two wheels. There are multiple places where tourists can hire bicycles and cycling is the preferred method of transport for many locals in the city.
2 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary
Day 1 – City Centre Highlights & Christiania
The first day sees you exploring the main sites of this wonderful city. Getting started early will allow you to pack as much into your short time in the Danish capital as possible.
Free Walking Tour
Your first move on your two days in Copenhagen should be a free walking tour. There are a few walking tour companies to choose from in the city, but we recommend using Copenhagen Free Walking Tours. They are an independent company run by locals and they have a number of tours throughout the city to offer.
Their basic tour is a fantastic starting point to get your bearings, learn about Danish history and culture, and stop by some of the biggest sites in the city — it meets in front of Copenhagen City Hall. It will also help you prioritise what you might like to do with the remainder of your trip to Copenhagen as well as not making a major dent in your overall trip cost.
While the tour itself may be free, it is worth knowing that the guides work only for tips and it is good practice to tip your guide what you felt the tour was worth.
On the tour, you will see some of the top attractions in the centre of Copenhagen including the pedestrianised Strøget shopping street, the Round Tower (built by Christian IV), Christiansborg Palace and much much more.
If you’re interested in taking a paid tour of Copenhagen, we recommend going on this fantastic food tour (there’s more than just smørrebrød and traditional Danish pastry to sample!) this bike tour in order to have a more curated experience of Copenhagen.
If your feet are tired and sore after the walking tour, one of the best ways to rest is to hop on a canal tour from Nyhavn. Cruises leave frequently and they will help you see the city from a different perspective while enjoying a nice sea breeze.
Cruises typically last about an hour and can either be booked in advance, often for a cheaper fee, or on the spot. In the peak summer season, wait times if you book on the spot might be quite long due to the popularity of such an activity. That is why we would recommend getting your tickets in advance – click here to book your canal cruise in Copenhagen.
The canal cruise also takes you right by the royal palace (home to the Danish royal family) and the iconic Little Mermaid Statue, which is a top tourist attraction in Copenhagen. It is arguably better to see this small statue from the water as opposed to along the waterfront as it allows you to get a better view of it without having to fight through crowds of tourists.
You can also end up seeing a great view of monuments like the Church of Our Saviour in Christianshavn, the imposing Kastellet fortress and even maybe see the Reffen street food market in the distance!
After enjoying the classical sites of Copenhagen both on foot and by water, it is time to head to an area completely separate from the Nordic charms of the Danish capital altogether: Freetown Christiania.
A self-proclaimed “independent republic,” Christiania is a fascinating place to visit. Located within the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen, this autonomous neighbourhood was established in 1971 as a commune in a former military barracks and is an area completely separate from the jurisdiction of Copenhagen altogether.
Today, it has expanded to be something of its own town within a city, complete with a number of restaurants and independent shops, lush green spaces. It is also perhaps best known for its fairly open sale and usage of marijuana.
While you are likely to see marijuana being used and sold freely within this area, particularly along Pusher Street, keep in mind that it is illegal in Denmark so proceed with caution.
It is possible to take a walking tour of Christiania led by a resident of the commune, and it is something that we would highly recommend. They meet daily during the summer near the entrance to the Freetown and are given in both English and Danish.
Day 2 – Christiansborg Palace, Tivoli Gardens & More
Your second day should be spent experiencing some more of the great things to do in the Danish capital. See some of the city’s best viewpoints, window shop along one of the longest pedestrian-only streets in Europe, and enjoy some adrenaline-pumping roller coasters right in the city centre.
Begin the final day of your 2 days or weekend in Copenhagen at Christiansborg Palace. Once a royal residence, the palace today is used as the house of Parliament in Denmark. While the palace itself may not be all that interesting to visit, there is an opportunity to take the life up to the high tower and enjoy some spectacular of the city.
Entry to the viewing platform is completely free of charge, as well, so while it might not be the absolute highest point in Copenhagen, it is the cheapest way to get the best views of the city.
We recommend heading here in the morning, as it can get busy later in the day especially if you’re travelling in peak season. Visiting the tower in the morning means you won’t waste valuable time waiting in line.
Hans Christian Andersen Museum
If you’re interested in fairy tales, then you can’t miss a visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. While this museum is definitely geared toward children and younger travellers, we both enjoyed our time there and heard some more obscure of his fairytales along with his more popular ones.
This is a great option if you’re travelling with children or if you’re young at heart. Keep in mind, however, that a number of his fairytales are quite dark and depressing!
Alternatively, if this doesn’t interest you but the Danish royals do (or just lovely city parks), consider heading to Kongens Have – also known as the King’s Garden in English. This is home to the small Rosenborg Castle which houses the crown jewels – something beautiful to see!
After visiting the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, take the time to stroll down Strøget, which is one of the longest pedestrian-only streets in Europe. The entire street is packed with a number of interesting shops, restaurants, and street performers.
One of the highlights on Strøget could easily be Lego’s flagship store which is an excellent place to browse for both the young and young at heart. It is amazing to see how many cool Lego structures are available these days in the place where they were invented.
If you’re after a bit of adrenaline and enjoy a good, classic theme park, then Tivoli Gardens is the perfect stop for you and a great way to round out your fantastic two-day Copenhagen itinerary.
Located in the centre of the city, Tivoli Gardens is one of the top attractions in the city and is the third-oldest amusement park in the world.
Though most famous for its classic wooden roller coaster, there are a number of other roller coasters and rides to enjoy for all ages. These include a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, carousels, giant swings, and much more.
It’s also an incredibly popular place to visit if you come to Copenhagen during winter as it’s all done up for Christmas.
The park also organises shows and live events making it a great place to visit for all kinds of entertainment. Though entry can be expensive, you can book a pass in advance that includes the entrance fee and will allow you to skip the line and get to having fun as quickly as possible!
Keep in mind, however, that you do need to pay a fee to go on any rides, as you do in most every theme park in the world. There is no doubt that visiting the iconic Tivoli Gardens is one of the best things to do in Copenhagen.
Have More Time?
If you have more than 2 days to spend, then you have a number of great options available to you when it comes to properly planning out your itinerary. Spending more time in the Danish capital is a great way to get to know the city on a deeper level and can even give you the opportunity to explore some sights and areas surrounding the city, as well.
If you have 3 days, use it to get a bit outside of the city centre. There are lots of interesting areas where you could explore, however, these are just some suggestions.
If you’re interested in Danish cuisine and gastronomy, then make sure to head to Torvehallerne Market, which is a fresh food market hall that is packed with countless stalls selling all kinds of seasonal and unique Danish produce that is sure to show why Nordic cuisine is so trendy these days.
You could also use your third day to explore the trendy Nørrebro or Vesterbro neighbourhoods, which have a lot to offer visitors beyond the typical tourist sites.
If you haven’t had your fill of delicious food at the market, there are lots of great restaurants at the refurbished former meatpacking district in Vesterbro, which serves as a hangout for hip Copenhagen residents.
The Carlsberg Brewery is also located in this neighbourhood and you can visit this spot and learn about Denmark’s most famous beer.
If you have 4 days, this is ideal for going on a day trip and leaving the city of Copenhagen altogether! There are countless options available that are within easy reach of the city and can suit anyone’s fancy.
For instance, if you’re a Shakespeare fan or are just a sucker for a good European castle, then you should definitely head to Kronborg Castle, which may be better known as Elsinore Castle from Hamlet. You could easily couple a visit to Kronborg Castle with the nearby town of Helsingør for the perfect day trip!
Alternatively, this organised guided tour includes a visit to Kronborg Castle as well as Frederiksborg Castle & the old capital of Roskilde.
Another great option is to head to Sweden for the day! The city of Malmö is located only 35 minutes by train from Copenhagen and makes for the perfect place to explore from the Danish capital.
If you’re not looking to visit another large city, consider heading just a bit further to the small Swedish city of Lund, which is located about an hour by train from Copenhagen. If you prefer, you can take an organised guided tour to both Malmö & Lund in one day which includes transfers.
All in all, there are lots of things to see and do that will keep you occupied if you happen to have more than 2 days or a weekend in Copenhagen.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen
Ascot Hotel – This beautiful hotel located in a historic, 19th-century building is an excellent option if you’re looking for a high-end option in Copenhagen. Centrally located within easy walking distance of all of the Danish capital’s top sites, they have countless plush rooms on offer and numerous amenities to ensure your stay is a great one.
The Square – You can’t go wrong with this trendy hotel located right on the main square and moments away from the famous Tivoli Gardens. They have a number of cool, clean, and comfortable rooms available and a friendly staff that will help you with great recommendations throughout the city.
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel – If you’re travelling solo or on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with this lively and trendy hostel. As one of the best-rated hostels in the city, they have a number of both dorm and private rooms available, excellent common spaces, 24-hour reception, and an affordable (for Denmark) bar on site!
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Copenhagen hotels!
All in all, spending 2 days in the Danish capital is the ideal length of time in order to get a good feel for Copenhagen. It has a very good mix of a classic European city with the trendiness of the younger generation, and it truly is a great place to spend a weekend.
Are you planning to visit Copenhagen? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!