Scandinavia is on almost everyone’s bucket list for the northern lights in Sweden, Norway or Iceland. But don’t forget that Denmark is up there as well an worth a visit! Me and my girlfriend visited Copenhagen for 24 hours with the objective, to see as much as possible in the city center while on a budget, quite the challenge considering that Denmark is pretty expensive.
Copenhagen, in the 10th century a Viking fish village, since the 15th century the capital of Denmark and the most populated city of Denmark.
We left on Friday afternoon from Cologne and would fly back the day after, exactly 24 hours later. During the trip we met up with our couchsurfing host (recommended if you want to save some money, and always a good way to hang out with locals). Our couchsurfing host told us that all the hotspots we wanted to visit was impossible to achieve within 24 hours, boy did we prove him wrong!
Way towards the city
After a short flight of an hour we arrived at the airport of Copenhagen (Ryanair sometimes has some cheap flight options). From there you can easily use public transport to get into the city center. Just walk to terminal 3, There are different buses, trains and metros. Tickets can be purchased at one of the many ticket machines if you walk towards the metro station. If you in need of assistance you can also go to the sales counters, the Danish people working there are happy to answer any questions!
The train runs every 10 minutes and will take you to the city center within 13 minutes. If you want to end up in the center, get out at the stop Norreport Station. It costed us 36,- DKK per person. You can also take a bus (5A) which will take you to the city centre in 30 minutes.
If you want to travel within the city you can buy single tickets (we did it because we were only in Copenhagen for 24 hours) which are 36,- DKK and valid for 90 minutes (you can travel unlimited within 3 zones within the valid time).
Plan to stay longer and use public transport a lot? You can also buy a City Pass with which you can travel unlimitedin between (Copenhagen travel) zones 1-4. The 24 hours City Pass costs 80,- DKK, the 72 hours City Pass 200,- DKK.
What is a must to see in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen has a lot of hotspots within walking distance of each other, so seeing a lot of things is definitely doable. It also depends on the weather, we had a bit of bad luck that it started to rain around 8 P.M. or else we could have seen more :). So which places did we visit?
A lot of hotspots are near the harbor (Nyhavn), make sure you take the bus towards there to start your day.
If you arrive at Nyhavn you can see the Royal Danish Opera House, a very cool building.
Make your way up north of the harbor to visit the little mermaid statue. We were lucky that it was rainy, so there were almost no visitors at the time. Try to go early in the day to get as lucky as we were for some awesome shots! The walk towards there is amazing as well, passing different artistic sightings.
There are a lot of amazing buildings to visit in the area. Head down to Amalienborg and walk towards the Frederiks Kirke (Frederik’s Church), a beautiful church made with marble. Unfortunately we were not able to visit the church from the inside, but the outside is a picture perfect spot as well! For prices and opening hours check here.
You hungry? Cross the harbor and head over to PapirØen for some Copenhagen street food! This food hall has it all: live music, a great variety of food stalls and tasty brews!
You are on the other side already and just filled your stomach, time to do some sightseeing in the Christianshavn area. First thing to visit is the Church of Our Saviour, this spire formed church is definitely worth a visit! You can climb up the 400 steps and have an amazing view over the area. Price is between 35-45 DKK, depending what time of the year you visit. For opening times check here.
After you visited the church, head to the most impressing neighborhood in Copenhagen, Christiania! The green light district of Copenhagen.
You can enter from two sides, either a big banner with Christiania on it which leads you straight to the “market place” or the side entrance which leads you through a street filled with street art and passing different galleries filled with art all the way to the “market place”. Why “market place”? As soon as you enter further into Christiania, you will see signs with “no photo’s/movies”. As soon as you step into the scene, you will see people in balaclava selling weed. The scene is notoriously famous for being a “free spot” in Copenhagen where everything is allowed. In reality, it is not. Cop raids are common. But do not let that scare you, this place is worth a visit!
If you go back to the neighborhood Indre By, you got to stop over atRosenborg Slot, this beautiful castle is surrounded by a botanic garden filled with colorful flowers and art. It is possible to see the crown jewels in the castle, and also there is a change of guards if you are lucky. The castle itself is open on Tuesday till Sunday between 10 AM and 2 PM. The admission price is 105 DKK.
Next stop: The Rundetaarn is an iconic building in the center of Copenhagen. You can walk up the round tower for 25 DKK. Opening times vary throughout the year. Inside the tower there are different museums. On the top there is an Observatory, and you can see the whole city on the top. In the building next to the tower there is a church which is also worth a visit, free entry!
Everyone who visits Copenhagen has to stop by Nyhavn’s The Memorial Anchor (Mindeankeret). This waterfront is filled with colorful houses dating back to the 17th and 18th century. Plenty of bars and restaurants can be found here, so try it out!
Christiansborg Palace, the royal palace of Copenhagen has a lot of different tours and sightings. For more details check out the website of the palace here. Do to bad weather we were not able to visit this place sadly, just passed it by.
Tivoli Gardens are also worth a visit. Sadly I did not make it towards the gardens because of the bad weather. So if anyone wants to share how they experienced it, feel free to comment :).
After 24 hours…
Of meeting our couchsurfing host, trying to see all the hotspots we wanted to see (except the gardens) and enjoying a nice Danish beer and strawberries at night, we agreed that Copenhagen is worth a visit. Even if it is just for a short stop! Keep in mind that Sweden is just an hour away from Copenhagen by train(€ 9,-) or bus (€ 5,-). So is Hamburg in Germany towards the other side.
24 hours of Copenhagen was enough for us, there we love to enjoy the highlights and not go into every castle or museum. Copenhagen might be a more expensive than most other capitals in Europe, but it should definitely be on your must visit list!
To sum up our trip, check our movie on YouTube below!
Hope you enjoyed my blog, watch out for more to come!