But let’s go back to the fun, unique things to do in Copenhagen.
We added a useful map at the end of the article – so you can locate all the places in a simple glance.
List of Fun things to do in Copenhagen
Effortlessly chic. Picturesque. Laid-back.
It is hard not to fall in love with Copenhagen – a vibrant city that is packed with things to do beyond the traditional tourist must-sees like Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid.
If you are looking for tips on fun and unique things to see and do in Copenhagen, here is your insider guide to experiencing Scandinavia’s coolest capital like a local – from marvelous palaces and top-notch museums to Michelin-starred restaurants and charming amusement parks.
We start our list with the most wished things to do for backpackers.
Free things to do in Copenhagen
Everybody loves free stuff. Especially in an expensive city like the Danish capital. So, here you go.
1. Explore Freetown Christiania
For sure you have already heard about Christiana on your first research. It is so cool and free, we had to add it as #1.
Situated in the middle of Copenhagen is an independent community called Christiania.
Thanks to the stalls that sell all types of cannabis (illegal elsewhere in Denmark and mostly Europe); this place has been famous for many years.
However, Copenhagen’s most hippie and controversial neighborhood is more than that!
Christiania is a hodgepodge of music venues, art galleries, colorful murals, outdoor sculptures, homemade houses, workshops, bars, cafes, and restaurants.
It is not just a town; it is a way of living.
Tourists are welcome to visit but there are rules to follow:
forbidden to run and
the most important: NO cameras and no photos!
Otherwise, you are free to do as you please!
My best recommendation: Join an alternative tour to get an insight!
We just walked around Freeotnw on our own, but joining a tour is the much better idea!
The tour is only 20€ and you learn about the history of Christiana and what the future might bring.
It is a tiny place with only 1 table; it smells like fries inside and it’s an authentic place. Joe (or actually Chiheb) the owner and cook is a lovely person with a big heart. He loves his job, and actually only opens from afternoon on. He runs this little restaurant as a side-business.
Fresh, cheap food and great conversations with the owner. LOVE this place!
Price range from 35DDK to 75DDK. Portions are big too.
We were not sure how much to order. Joe looked at us and only said: “One for each is more than enough, no worries!”.
Come here, thank me later!
Where to go for a night out?
Settle into The Barking Dog where the cocktails are good, prices are affordable, and the crowd is young.
15. Explore by bike
Rent a bike In Copenhagen – one of the best cycling cities in the world – everybody practically rides a bike; and if you want to live like a true Copenhagener, you can rent a bike and cruise around the city on two wheels.
It is fun, healthy, inexpensive, and without a doubt the best way to experience Copenhagen.
There are several bicycle rental companies in the city where you can rent relaxed bicycles perfect for enjoying an easy ride.
All bikes come with lock and lights.
Explore very neighborhood and discover that each of them has its own unique identity.
Don’t wanna ride a bike alone? Then join a bike tour
16. Drop Towers – The Oldest Amusement Park in the world
This is one of the best things to do in Copenhagen for families with kids!
Feel like a kid again and head to Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world.
Nope, we don’t mean Tivoli. There’s another amusement park, Bakken.
Located just 10 minutes north of Copenhagen, Bakken offers more rides than any other amusement park in Scandinavia:
If the rides do not tickle your fancy, the park also has restaurants, pubs, and bars with entertainment and live music.
17. See Copenhagen from above
If you want to see Copenhagen’s colorful rooftops and historic spires and towers from a different point of view, there are several high spots dispersed throughout the city that you can ascent.
One of the most popular choice is the Round Tower.
For just 3.7 USD, visitors can walk up a 921-foot long paved equestrian path in order to reach the top and enjoy the 360 degrees view of inner Copenhagen.
Another option is The Church of our Savior known for its 90-meter high spire.
The Church’s tower is not for the fainthearted as the spiral staircase has 450 steps – 150 of which are outside – that take you to the top.
There are several museums in Copenhagen, but if you could only visit one museum, Glyptoteket has to be it.
The art museum was founded by brewer Carl Jacobsen in 1888 and houses two departments of ancient and modern art.
The antique department displays Northern Europe’s biggest collection of antique art, both Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman works.
On the other hand, the modern department focuses on Danish painting and sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Denmark’s largest collection of French art of the same period.
Good to know: Tuesdays is free entrance! So be a smart traveler and plan your trip accordingly.
Non touristy things to do in Copenhagen
One of the greatest things about Copenhagen is that you can do plenty of local things.
19. Experience Hygge with family and friends
According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Denmark is rated as the world’s happiest country and many believe that the positive stat can be attributed to hygge – a way of life and a big part of Danish culture.
But what exactly is hygge?
It roughly translates to coziness, but that definition does not quite cover it.
Hygge is so much more and always involves creating a nice, warm atmosphere (candles are always a part of the setting!) and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.
If you seek a touch of Hygge on your trip to Copenhagen
One of the unique yet charming things about Copenhagen is that many cemeteries are also popular places for relaxation.
Of the several cemeteries to explore in the city, Assistens Kirkegård in Nørrebro district is the locals’ real favorite.
It is a delightfully special place to stroll around – as much a park and garden as it is a graveyard.
Here you will also see the gravestones of some of Denmark’s most notable people – Hans Christian Andersen, the writer of Little Mermaid and other fairy tale classics and Søren Kierkegaard, a distinguished Danish existentialist philosopher and poet.
21. Eat like a local
If you want a truly unique Danish experience, why not try traditional Danish food?
Copenhagen is home to plenty of great food – from artfully piled sandwiches to mouthwatering meat dishes – that everyone should try:
Smørrebrød for a typical Danish snack
These are open-faced sandwiches that consist of a single slice of rye bread piled high with a wide variety of fresh toppings like cold cuts, pieces of meat, and cheese or spreads.
Perhaps the country’s most popular street food is hotdog.
You cannot go wrong with a wiener topped with traditional ingredients like:
fried crispy onions and
Pair it with chocolate milk just like what a real local would do.
Denmark has many meat dishes but stegt flæsk is unquestionably the crowd favorite as it was voted in 2014 as the country’s national dish.
Pieces of pork meat with fat are fried then served with potatoes and parsley sauce.
Too overwhelmead by the danish names?
Simply join a food tour and the tour guide will make sure you sample all the mentioned dishes.
Be it boozy or healthy, Copenhageners love nothing more than a good brunch.
With a group of friends to recall the night before, by yourself, or with family; however you like to enjoy yourself, there is a brunch place in Copenhagen that is right for you.
Skip the mediocre hotel breakfast and head over to one of our Copenhagen secret spots Mad & Kaffe where brunch is bound to be a good time.
Here you are welcome to choose the elements of your brunch yourself – from greens to dairy to meat and fish and bread.
Another option is The Union Kitchen known for its flavorful brunch dishes, which consist of avocado toast, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon.
We also found a hidden gem: Kalaset.
This small restaurant Kalaset is a local place with a fantastic food for brunch and lunch – vegan brunch is also available and highly recommended.
Read the story of the owner Caroline, and the background of Kalaset at the last page of the menu.
The meals you are eating here are taken out of her grandmother’s cookbook.
The quality, vintage interior, menu design, and especially the pricing convince us to tell you: enjoy here your brunch and lunch!
23. Shop til you drop at Strøget
Bursting with shops from budget friendly chains to big and expensive international brands is Strøget, Copenhagen’s largest shopping area.
This 1.1-km. shopping district is Copenhagen’s aorta and is one of the most vibrant spots in the city.
To get a taste of the internationally-renowned Danish fashion, fashionistas should check Mads Nørgaard‘s store.
24. Indulge in Danish interior design
Edgy. Well-designed. Unfussy. Ageless.
Danish interior design is recognized all over the world for its simple design, functionality and minimalism.
Quality is high and whether you are into the classic or the more experimental, you are bound to find something that will fit your style.
One of the popular interior design shops is Hay House.
Here you will find practical and straightforward furniture and design pieces in eccentric shapes.
If you want to see Danish designs from the 20th and 21st centuries, visit the Design museum.
The exhibit features one of the world’s largest collections of Danish design by internationally acclaimed designers like:
Kaare Klint, and
Visitors are also invited to buy Danish industrial designs, ceramics, glass, and fabrics.
25. Eat your way through one of the best food markets
Whether you are looking for gourmet ingredients, delicious eats, or local delicacies, Torvehallerne is the place to go!
Located right smack in the city center, this supermarket is brimming with stalls selling literally everything from gourmet chocolate, exotic spices, and biodynamic wines to seasonal fruits, classic Danish pastries, fresh meat, and so much more!
You could easily spend an hour or more exploring the halls!
Food Hall everywhere Copenhagen’s supermarkets are more like food halls, and they are worht a sampling!
Our top food markets are:
26. Play on top of a parking lot – with stunning views!
Not a common playground. Copenhagen has a playground on top of parking lot.
Yes, on top of it!
Located in Nordhavn city district, 24 meters above sea level on the roof of a car park.
We dropped this bar a few times already in this article.
Whatever you do in Copenhagen, this one is a must-do for the local traveler! Mikkeller bar is one of our favorite bars in Copenhagen.
Reasonable prices, and a cosy, local vibe.
The Mikkeller Bar is super popular among locals and every draft beer lover. Let us quote the Mikkeller’s from their website:
“20 taps from Mikkeller and other great breweries from around the world, specialized bottle selection, selected sodas and spirits, gourmet cheese and other snacks, excellent service, great music and atmosphere every day of the week. Located in the heart of Vesterbro.”
34. Make it a hipster Danish bar
Probably one of the best venues to experience authentic Copenhagen nightlife is the so-called bodegas.
These are century-old and traditional Danish pubs where you can enjoy cheap beers with regular locals and young hipsters.
Discreet and welcoming, some of the elements that give a classic bodega atmosphere to the place are wooden walls, vintage jukeboxes, the overwhelming smell of beer, and overflowing ashtrays filled with cigarettes.
One of the oldest bars in the city is Bo-bi bar, a local favorite since 1917.
With its bizarre red and gold wallpaper, small wooden tables, and faded curtains, this small smoky bar is the perfect setting to mingle with locals and hear stories from the cold north while enjoying your drink.
Cool bars are:
Det Rene Glas
35. Café, Tea House, and… Cocktail Bar
How about a stylish, chic place to have a tea, coffee, and sugar-free cake?
The Living Room is a hidden secret spot for locals, and considered the best tea place in Copenhagen.
For the night it turns into a industrial-chic cocktail bar. Have a seat at the cozy seats downstairs, next to the fireplace – we at Hostelgeeks love this place.
In this list we offered many alternative ideas to the must things to do in Copenhagen. But of course you should not leave the city without spoting at least this Copenaghen attractions:
36. Little Mermaid Statue
It is famous. It is tiny. It is worth it to stop by.
Do not expect any big statue here, Little mermaid is, as the name indicates, little.
The perfect lighting is the sunset, but of course you can see it any time of the day.
The best way? From a boat, as then your background will be a nice park.
37. Kronborg Castle
Built in 1574, this outstanding Renaissance castle remains intact to this day.
Kronborg Castle has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and is located in Helsingor, north of Copenhagen.
Kronborg Castle occupies a strategically important headland overlooking the Sund, a narrow stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden.
This castle is a symbol of Denmark’s historic power, as between 1429 and 1857 over 1.8 million shops passed through at the narrowest point of the sound and all paid a toll at Kronborg Castle.
38. Hamlet Castle
Don’t let anyone fool you, the know Hamlet castle is the Kronborg Castle we just mentioned.
For many visitors, however, Kronborg Castle is more famed as the setting of Hamlet, that is why many people name it The Hamlet Castle.
If you happen to visit Denmark during summer season, Kronborg Castle today plays host to a troupe of actors who move through chambers, rooms, and courtyard playing out this world-renowned drama of murder, lust, and drama in a surprisingly tasteful manner.
Nevertheless to say, even without the Hamlet connection, you should visit Kronborg for its magnificent beauty as a castle.
Fun things to do in Copenhagen in Winter
Here are some activities that can only be done in Winter (and unique to do in Copenhagen.
39. Ice Skating at Frederiksberg Runddel
Frederiksberg Garden becomes a cool ice rink in the winter season, and admission is free!
The most probable is that if you are traveling you don’t have you own skates with you , but worry not, there is a rental kiosk just next to the ring.
Rent a pair and join the fun!
Extra: 40. Christmas market at Nyhavn
Nyhvan is one of the coziest and prettiest Christmas markets in Europe.
The streets are lit with lights, the restaurants serve Danish Christmas delicacies and the streets are packed with…
Christmas market stalls!
Wandering around is really a Nordic Christmas experience.
Make sure to stop by the oldest house on the block. (House N. 9)
How to move around Copenhagen To explore the city we do totally recommend renting a bike.
I would say it is one of the top things to do in Copenhagen.
Map with all Things To Do
Below we put all cool stuff to do in Copenhagen on a map.
It helps you to get an idea, and to plan your trip. We also included all hostels we recommend.
(You can activate and deactivate the layers in the left sidebar. Open the map in a new tab here.)
Summary of Fun things to do in Copenhagen
So that’s our list of cool things to do in Copenhagen, the pearl of the Scandinavian north.
We hope you enjoy the Danish capital like we do!
To make it easier and simple, we put all the mentioned locations on this map.
We even added the hostels we tested during our stay in Copenhagen.
Where to stay in Copenhagen?
Wondering what is the coolest hostels in Copenhagen for solo-travelers, couples and friends?
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality accommodation, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.