I hope you don't mind this post containing affiliate links about products I love from which I may earn a small commission from, at no extra cost to you.
Things to do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen was originally a fishing village founded from the Vikings around the 10th century. Its architecture heritage is palpable in the harbour side of town, where the buildings are colorful and seafood on open sandwiches is served everywhere.
I am blown away from the beauty and vibrancy of this city. People seem very outdoorsy and the city is built for locals and tourists to enjoy its many open spaces indeed. You will find many benches or chairs around where you can chill after a long walk or sunbathe a bit as it happened to us.
Another thing I really like is the bicycle culture: here everyone has a bicycle and for this reason you don’t see many cars or buses, at least in the center, which is really big. It is lovely to see so many active people of all age, it’s very inspiring. And of course, there are big lanes for bicycles, so big that they would make any other city jealous.
Copenhagen, being in Denmark, is more expensive than your average European city, this because here the currency is the Danish krone, which is stronger than most currencies. However, we found a couple of ways to stay cheap while copying some locals’ habits at the same time.
Like for example having a beer or two at one of the many Seven Eleven you find around the city. You can buy your drink and sit at one of their tables outside and make people watching. All this for few pounds a beer rather than a tenner probably.
Eating in Copenhagen
Second, having lunch at one of the many bakeries is a great way to save and sample simple food that Danish eat. The quality of their pastries, savoury and sweet is excellent. We have really enjoyed eating this way and would do it again.
Walking or Cycling?
Third and not least, walking around the city or cycling indeed, is a great way to save and stay fit. Copenhagen is such a spacious city with many areas entirely dedicated to pedestrians which is a pleasure to stroll around.
This is a very simple guide of the best things to do in my opinion when on a weekend in Copenhagen.
Walk around the city center, which is larger than your average city and head towards the water front of Nyhavn, the most picturesque spot in Copenhagen.
Walk more and get lost in the lanes of this beautiful side of town where you will find many cafes and art shops. Head to the famous statue ‘The Little Mermaid’ for a picture and a coffee from one of the vans.
After spending the whole morning around this area we head to Christiania, the most exciting neighborhood in Copenhagen. Also called Freetown Christiania, this part of the city was founded in 1971 from hippies and it has remained an anarchic area. There is a small strip, a couple of hundred meters long, where weed and hash is sold to tourists and locals alike, but the most interesting part was further up, where the people of the neighborhood live.
Unfortunately we could not take pictures but the houses are some of the most beautiful I have seen. Wooden houses with big terraces and gardens very well kept. We saw many locals and I also spoke to one, in charge of the art shop there. They seemed to me very conventional people, who did not want to live a conventional life and decided to dedicate to the little things of life plus fully dedicating to their artistic talents.
However, this is just the opinion of a person (me) spending a couple of hours there so I don’t think it’s very exhausting, but I would definitely suggest to visit this place and speak to locals and I would like to learn more myself about their story.
After trying to take in all that Christiania is, we stopped at a bakery for a delicious treat, a strawberry tart for me, and did some more people watching.
After some research on TripAdvisor, including filters like ‘Danish cuisine, mid-range eats, and city center neighborhood’, we headed to our chosen restaurant, Skindbuksen, and had the best time. We ordered a Danish-style burger (no bun), and a pint, and enjoyed the atmosphere. Lots of locals, unique hosts and a musician playing the piano, pure bliss.
We caught a train to Sweden, just as you do on a Sunday morning 😉 The journey to Malmö takes less than 40 minutes on the train and it is a smooth one. You can buy your ticket at the train station and you need to carry your passport as they will check it at the border.
Malmö is perfect to spend half a day away from Copenhagen. It’s a very green city with lots of pedestrian space and we really enjoyed walking around. Lilla Torg is a cobblestone square packed with colourful restaurants and cafes and it’s the perfect place if you are looking for a proper lunch in a great location.
We opted for a cheaper and lighter lunch and stopped a Condeco, which seems the equivalent of Starbucks (I am not a fan normally), and sits just by the canal. I could have not asked for a better spot really.
After spending the morning and lunch in Malmö, we headed back to Copenhagen and chilled at the hostel before going to Tivoli.
Tivoli is one of the oldest attraction parks in Europe, most of its rides are still made of wood, and there is a microbrewery inside the park, what else do you need?
The ticket costs around £15 and does not include any rides. I had read on TripAdvisor about the Flying Trunk attraction and opted for it. It is the set for the fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen, the author of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘Thumbelina’, among others.
Needless to say I felt transported back to childhood and had a magic time on this flying trunk! With Andersen being from Denmark and its fairy tales known worldwide, I thought this would be the most original ride and I would suggest it to anyone who visits the gardens.
After enjoying a pint on the lovely terrace of the Færgekroen brewery, we headed to Nyhavn for dinner.
Day 3 was spent looking for books, strolling in the Botanic Gardens, and visiting the old barracks, now turned into commercial housing.
I will definitely go back to Copenhagen and maybe hiring a car and drive around is not a bad idea as there seem to be so many nice castles and beaches around. So see you soon Copenhagen.
Have you ever visited Copenhagen and its surroundings?
For more ideas about travels to the North of Europe, have a look at my posts here: