Copenhagen, 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 in the Danish capital 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.
If you are planning a short city break or weekend away in Copenhagen, or are just short on time and wondering if 2 days is enough for Copenhagen, follow this two days in Copenhagen itinerary in order to find out the best things to do. Although it is only for a short time, the compact nature of this lovely city will allow you to pack a lot into your two days.
Getting to and 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 airport to the city centre, we recommend taking the train to the central station. They leave frequently and it is only a fifteen-ride before you are in the centre of the Danish capital. The train costs around 40DKK for a one-way ticket.
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 2 days in Copenhagen an absolute breeze.
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 One
The first day of this two-day Copenhagen itinerary 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 to stop by some of the biggest sites in the city. It will also help you prioritise what you might like to do with the remainder of your two days in 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.
If your feet are tired and sore after the walking tour, one of the best ways to rest is to hop on a canal cruise from the Nyhavn harbour. 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. You can also buy a combined ticket for the canal cruise & Tivoli Gardens.
The canal cruise also takes you right by 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 it allows you to get a better view of it without having to fight through crowds of selfie-happy tourists.
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 Christiana.
A self-proclaimed “independent republic,” Christiana 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, keep in mind that it is illegal in Denmark so proceed with caution.
It is possible to take a walking tour of Christiana 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.
2 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary: Day Two
The second day of your 2-day Copenhagen itinerary 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 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 from your 2 days in Copenhagen 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!
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 one of the most popular amusement parks 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.
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. Click here to book your skip-the-line Tivoli Gardens ticket on GetYourGuide or click here to book on Viator.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is an incredibly popular place to visit for tourists from all over the world and, as such, there are myriad accommodation options available. Choices range from high-end hotels to budget backpacker hostels, to quaint boutique hotels to private apartment rentals. If you’re wondering where to stay during your 2 days in Copenhagen, here are some of our top recommendations:
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! Click here to see their latest prices
The Square — If your 2 days in Copenhagen budget allows for a bit more than a hostel, then 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. Click here to see their latest prices
Airbnb — If you want to see how locals live in Copenhagen while also saving a bit of money, then Airbnb is a fantastic option for you. There are a number of properties available in Copenhagen ranging from private rooms in a shared home to entire apartments such as this charming flat in the city centre. Click here to browse Airbnbs in Copenhagen
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Copenhagen hotels!
All in all, spending 2 days in Copenhagen is the ideal length of time in order to get a good feel for the city. 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 a 2-day Copenhagen itinerary? Have you been? Leave a comment below!