Copenhagen Travel Guide

Copenhagen Travel Guide

When I think of Copenhagen an image comes to mind of beautiful, trendy people riding bikes in parks next to the water, streets lined with beautiful buildings, everyone smiling and discussing how amazing it is to live in a progressive, environmentally friendly wonderland. And that’s exactly how it is in real life.

The capital of Denmark is a beautiful city, its modern architecture complimenting buildings from the 17th and 18th century. The people ARE beautiful AND trendy, and everyone rides bikes everywhere, especially through parks and next to the water. The city and the country are both very environmentally conscious and Copenhagen is consistently recognised as one of the most (if not the most) environmentally friendly cities in the world.

It’s not surprising then that even though Copenhagen is one of the world’s most expensive cities, it is still ranked highly for quality of life, with a strong emphasis on community, culture and cuisine.

We spent five nights in Copenhagen visiting friends and trying to resist the urge to stay for good.

 

Canal Copenhagen Denmark
Canal times
Getting There

We came to Copenhagen from Berlin. Little story….

Berlin has two main airports;  Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schönefeld. These airports are at opposite ends of the city. When you depart Belin, make sure to double check the airport you need to go to.

We caught a bus to Berlin Schöenfeld with about 70 minutes to spare until our flight (like travel pro’s) and gave our still valid travel passes to a nice looking couple waiting for a bus away from the airport. We walk inside and look for our flight and the realisation sinks in like I’ve swallowed a bowling ball…we’ve come to the wrong airport. We rush outside and apologetically ask the nice couple for our travel tickets back, explaining our situation. In perfect English, the guy tries to help us figure out the fastest wat to Tegel but it’s going to take an hour on public transport or nearly 45 minutes in an Uber, the closest of which is 15 minutes away; we’ll never make it in time. So what does the guy do? He says he’ll drive us.

It turns out him and his girlfriend are only at the airport because they got on the wrong bus, but we decide to bet everything on this guy anyway and jump on another bus to get to his car. We reach his car in 20 minutes and he calmly drives us 30 minutes to Berlin Tegel. We sprint inside with our luggage, just make check-in and get fast-tracked through security to our gate, where we wait an hour for our delayed flight…classic.

So a shout-out to this angel of a man who’s name I didn’t write down and who wouldn’t accept cash even when it was physically inserted into his pocket. Thank you, guy. May the gods of karma shine brightly upon you.

Christiania Copenhagen Denmark
The gate into Christiania

So we departed Berlin and arrived in Copehnagen on a flight with SAS Airlines, who aren’t as sassy as the name implies. The flight cost €70 per person including luggage and took 55 minutes. From the airport we caught the Metro into the city and connected via train to our accommodation for €4.80 each. All up we spent four hours getting from door to door.

You can catch a bus from Berlin to Copenhagen with Flixbus for €20. This journey will take at least 7.5 hours.

Berlin to Copenhagen trains are operated by DB Bahn, who have tickets starting from €39 per person. Because of geography the train journey will still take you nearly 7.5 hours.

Unless you have a car and plan to spend time stopping in a few places along the way, flying between these two cities is really the best option. If you only have carry-on luggage, tickets start at €52.82 and the flight is less than an hour.

Once you’ve navigated the trains to your accommodation you get around Copenhagen on bicycles. Use the public bike sharing service called Bycyklen, the bikes cost €4 per hour and even have GPS navigation. If you are unable to ride a bike then you can get around on buses and trains using the comprehensive public transport network.

  • Berlin to Copenhagen flight (incl. luggage) – €70 (55 mins)
  • Berlin to Copenhagen bus – €20 (7.5 hours)
  • Berlin to Copenhagen train – €39 (7.5 hours)
  • Get around the city on bikes

Hint – Always ask at your accommodation for bicycles, everyone has them and you might get given some to use for free.

 

Fredericks Church Copenhagen Denmark
Fredericks Church
Accommodation

Tired of sharing a space we ‘splashed out’ in Copenhagen and got an apartment using Airbnb. Our lovely little studio in Nørrebro cost €67 per night, which included Airbnb fees and a fairly hefty cleaning fee. Copenhagen is not a cheap city to sleep in and most Airbnb’s will charge a cleaning fee. Our hosts provided us with bikes to use during our stay (which saved us bike hire) and we were very comfortable.

**Note – all prices are based on July rates**

Camping. You can rent tents using Airbnb that come with airbeds and sleeping bags for €15 per night. You need to find somewhere to set up the tent, check out this article for the rules. I wouldn’t recommend this in any month other than July or August, but if you are on a super low budget camping is an option.

Hostels in Copenhagen have dorm beds from €22 per bed per night. Sleep in Heaven (€22), Generator Copenhagen (€36), and Copenhagen Downtown Hostel (€39) are three of the city’s best-rated hostels.

Copenhagen bnb’s have private double rooms starting from €40 per night, with an average of €60 per night. You can rent apartments from €60 per night, but most places charge an average of €130. Be careful where you book and make sure you know what you are getting as Copenhagen apartments can be very small.

You can find good (7.5/10 or higher review score) hotel rooms in Copenhagen from €90 per night for a double room. If you want to stay somewhere with very good or excellent review ratings you need to pay upwards of €115 per night.

Where you choose to stay depends on what you are looking for out of your visit to Copenhagen. Stay close to the city centre if you plan to walk everywhere and want to spend your time visiting attractions and shopping. Stay further out in districts like Nørrebro or Frederiksberg if you want to bike around and get a feel for local culture.

  • Camping – €15 tent hire
  • Hostels – From €22
  • Bnb rooms – €40 to €80
  • Apartments – €60 to €130
  • Hotels – €90 to €150

 

Island Brygge Harbour Bath Copenhagen Denmark
Island Brygge Harbour Bath
Do / Eat / See

We mainly biked around the city visiting bars and hanging out with friends, so although my tourist info is a bit limited, here are some good bars to check out:

Salon 39 – very cool cocktail bar and restaurant run by passionate people. Ask for Michael, give him a smile and get him to make you a drink.

The Barking Dog – good beer, cocktails and tequila. Awesome staff.

Mikkeller & Friends – fantastic craft beer, there’s even a specialised sour beer bar. Heaven.

Warpigs – more excellent craft beer and really good American style BBQ.

Kronborggade 3 – divey bar with good cheap beer. Smoking is ok inside in case that bothers you.

Gilt – fancy cocktails

Holmens Kanal – more fancy cocktails

If you visit Copenhagen during the summer I recommend going for a swim at Island Brygge havnebad (harbour bath). A harbour bath is a section of the harbour that’s been allocated to swimmers. There are floating boardwalks and sunbathing areas surrounding the pools, so you won’t get troubled by boats, and nets along the bottom so you won’t get troubled by sea monsters. The water is a pleasant mix of salt and fresh, there are high things to jump off; it’s just an awesome place. Oh, and it’s free.

Unbearabale sculpture Copenhagen Denmark
“Unbearabale” – A sculpture commenting on climate change

The world famous Freetown Christiania is an autonomous neighbourhood close to the centre of Copenhagen. An old military area was converted into a permanent squat in the 1970’s and the neighbourhood gained notoriety over the years for its alternative living, hippies and marijuana trade. When we visited Christiana we were impressed by the murals, creative housing and lifestyle of the inhabitants, and the controversial ‘pusher street’, a street with stalls selling drugs, was still active. About a month after we left there was a shooting and the residents tore down the drug stalls. From what I can tell there is now a zero-tolerance attitude towards drugs in Christiania. Visit for the community vibe, art and food.

Speaking of food, check out Copenhagen Street Food – a street food market.

Nyhavn is the famous 17th-century waterfront entertainment district with brightly painted buildings and cool old ships.

Tivoli Gardens is a 19th-century fairground in the city. Entry is 120DKK or €16.

Frederiks Church or the ‘Marble Church’ is worth a look. At 13:00 every day you can go inside the dome for €5 or 35DKK.

The Little Mermaid is a mermaid statue that is actually Copenhagens biggest tourist attraction. Honestly, it’s just a small mermaid statue, but the area is nice.

Rosenborg Castle is a Dutch Renaissance castle that looks pretty cool. It’s €15 or 110DKK per adult to visit.

Amalienborg palace is the home of the Danish royal family. You can go check it out for free from the outside or pay 95DKK (€12.70) to go inside.

Frederiksberg Palace is a huge palace that houses the royal military academy. Tours are ‘free’ but they expect a donation of 50DKK (€6.70) per adult.

The Round Tower “Rundertaarn” is a 17th-century astronomical observatory with a cool staircase. Admission is 25DKK (€3.30).

Kastellet is an awesome fortress in the shape of a pentagram star. It still belongs to the Danish Defence Military but has museums and is a nice place for a walk.

I would advise spending no less than three full days in Copenhagen. There is a lot to see but since the city is quite compact it doesn’t take long to get around.

A massive thank you to Michael, Camilla and Winston for showing us around and showing us a great time! Love you guys!

 

The Little Mermaid statue Copenhagen Denmark
The Little Mermaid statue
Tips
  • Go bar hopping!
  • Cycle everywhere
  • Island Brygge in the summer
  • Visit Christiania
  • Spend at least three days

 

Cost Summary (per person)

**Please note – this cost summary excludes any drinking in bars that can be considered more than ‘average’ (3-4 per day). We were with friends after all.

Copenhagen for five nights;

  • Berlin to Copenhagen flight (incl. luggage) – €70 / 520.70DKK
  • Airport to accommodation trains – €4.80 / 35.70DKK
  • Accommodation (five nights incl. bikes) – €167.50 / 1246DKK
  • Food (mostly self-catered) – €101.10 / 752DKK
  • Drinks (lots of drinks in bars) – €91.40 / 680DKK
  • Misc (ice-cream) – €8.70 / 65DKK
  • Total – €443.50 / 3299.40DKK

This article is also available as a mobile app.

Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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Street Art Butterfly Copenhagen Denmark
Street Art
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