Copenhagen was once a Viking fishing settlement, and you can still find traces of the Norse explorers in Denmark's capital city. Visit reconstructed villages, the remains of a 1,000-year-old castle, and museums dedicated to the notorious raiders. Copenhagen also features a blend of modern architecture and historical artifacts such as the Round Tower observatory – a wonderful example of 17th-century architecture. Art galleries, narrow streets, canals, parks, and Baroque churches round out the city’s cultural attractions.
Famous for its bicycle culture, Copenhagen was made for cyclists. Experience the city like a local on an authentic bike tour for a cheap and healthy way to see Copenhagen. Many hotels rent bikes to guests and there are electric city bikes for rent per hour.
Be sure to explore the Danish design and architecture, which is known all over the world for its clean, simple lines, whether it is furniture or clothing. Meanwhile, you can discover the grandeur of the city home to the world's oldest monarchy by visiting its royal attractions, such as Frederiksborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle and the Royal Stables at Christiansborg Palace.
Dining in Copenhagen is a treat and there are 15 restaurants with Michelin stars, including noma, which was named the world's best restaurant in 2010, 2012 and 2014. But for a truly Danish food experience, try the unique smorrebrod (literally spread bread, or open faced sandwich) at eateries Restaurant Kronborg, Royal Smushi Cafe or Restaurant Schonnemann.
On a short break in Copenhagen, some of the must-dos are having breakfast at Torvehallerne, browsing the shops from Torvehallerne to Stroget making sure not to miss the small charming side streets, and hop on a sightseeing boat to experience the beauty of the city and most of the top sights from the water. The most popular things to do in the city are seeing The Little Mermaid, spending an unforgettable night in Tivoli and having your picture taken with the royal guards at Amalienborg Palace.
A city that is ideal for walking, Copenhagen has some excellent museums including The National Gallery of Denmark, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and The National Museum. And don't miss a stroll in the King’s Garden where all the locals hang out.
From luxury hotels to hostels, Copenhagen offers many places to stay. For a cheap city break, five-star youth hostel Danhostel Copenhagen City is the largest city youth hostel in Europe and situated at the Copenhagen waterfront, overlooking the harbour. Generator Hostel is a boutique-style hostel in the centre of Copenhagen, just 300 metres from King's Square, the shopping street Stroget and Nyhavn.
Beautiful luxury hotels in the city include TripAdvisor winner Hotel d'Angleterre, an icon and a historic landmark in Copenhagen. Other top rated hotels for travellers looking to splurge are the cool and trendy Nimb Hotel, and STAY Copenhagen, which offers design-style apartments boasting Scandinavian minimalism.
Copenhagen travel tips
1. Wander along the picturesque cobbled canal streets called Overgaden neden Vandet and Overgaden oven Vandet. Lined with yachts and houseboats, you can rent rowing boats here and take a drink in the café on the water.
2. Fancy seeing hidden Copenhagen? Go on a kayak tour with a professional guide and ask them to show you their favourite lesser-known parts of the city. Kayak Republic offers daily tours and will provide you with a map to enjoy sightseeing in freedom, or take you to the most mysterious places that can only be reached by kayak.
3. When you need a quiet spot to relax after a day of sightseeing, take a break behind the Design Museum Danmark (Kunstindustrimuseet) on Bredgade, where the Gronnegard yard lies and enjoy a cup of coffee at the Museum Café.
4. Love Danish TV? Tour the locations where The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge were filmed. Nordic Noir Tours invites you to discover the dark side of Copenhagen, taking in hidden and interesting spots in the city.
5. Visit Cisternerne, an underground museum in Sondermarken featuring modern glass art from Denmark and around the world. The unique venue is a dark, cold and moist underground world resembling the environment of cathedrals and gloomy catacombs.