A comprehensive Copenhagen travel guide for first-timers

The name Copenhagen exudes a sense of whimsical charm, much like the city’s picturesque streets that tell tales of a prosperous, bygone era while embracing modernity with open arms. Nestled where the Baltic meets the North Sea, this Danish haven is a harmonious blend of the old and the new, making it a magnet for wanderers seeking a taste of its unique culture.

As you step into Copenhagen, you’re greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors from the quaint houses of Nyhavn, juxtaposed against the sleek and modern architecture that dots the city’s skyline. The aroma of freshly baked Danish pastries wafts through the air as you stroll along the cobbled streets with your Copenhagen travel guide in hand, each corner revealing a piece of the city’s soul.

The city unfolds like a well-thought-out narrative, with each chapter more engaging than the last. The iconic Little Mermaid statue whispers tales of Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless fairy tales, while the majestic Rosenborg Castle is a testament to the city’s regal past. Yet, amidst these historical gems, Copenhagen is a city that’s sprinting towards the future, evident from its cutting-edge design scene and a growing reputation as a sustainability champion.

But what makes Copenhagen a traveler’s dream is its effortless navigability. With a Copenhagen Card, the city becomes your oyster, offering unrestricted access to its public transport and free entry to over 80 attractions. The well-laid-out Copenhagen maps are your treasure trove, guiding you through a maze of wonders waiting to be discovered. And let’s not forget the city’s love for bicycles, offering a greener, healthier, and more intimate way to explore its many marvels.

The heart of Copenhagen, however, beats in its warm and welcoming atmosphere. The locals, with their friendly smiles and an ever-ready helping hand, make every traveler feel at home in a land that’s brimming with stories waiting to unfold before your eyes. Whether you’re sipping on a hot cup of coffee by the serene waters of the old town or discovering hidden gems in the bustling streets of Indre By, Copenhagen has a way of etching its memory in the heart of every wanderer.

As you plan your maiden voyage to this Nordic wonder, our comprehensive guide is tailored to ensure you miss none of Copenhagen’s allure, from its historic landmarks and modern attractions to its culinary delights and shopping havens. With a blend of essential travel tips and a sprinkle of Danish culture, we invite you to step into a world where every nook and cranny tells a tale, where every dawn brings in new adventures, and where the old and new dance together in a timeless ballet.

Welcome to The Travel Bunny’s Copenhagen travel guide, a city where every day is a page in a beautiful story waiting to be told. Your adventure begins here, and what an extraordinary journey it promises to be!

Preparing for your first trip to Copenhagen

Embarking on a journey to the enchanting city of Copenhagen requires a blend of anticipation and meticulous preparation. As you find yourself sketching the outlines of your upcoming adventure, the essence of this Danish haven starts to beckon with a blend of historical charm and modern elegance that’s rare to find

Denmark visa and entry requirements

Before embarking on your whimsical journey through the cobbled streets of Copenhagen, it’s imperative to ensure your entry into this Danish haven is as smooth as the city’s blend of historical charm and modern elegance. The visa and entry requirements are your first step towards exploring the endless wonders that await in this Nordic gem.

The visa process is like receiving a golden ticket to a realm where the old whispers to the new amidst a backdrop of architectural marvels and verdant gardens. Depending on your nationality, the requirements to enter this realm may vary. Citizens from the EU and Schengen Area countries can waltz into Copenhagen without a visa, their freedom mirrored in the city’s open arms towards innovation and diversity. However, if you hail from outside this zone, a Schengen visa is your passport to the Danish delights awaiting your arrival.

Currency – embracing the Danish Krone

Before you set out to explore, it’s wise to acquaint yourself with the Danish Krone. The currency notes, adorned with images of Denmark’s historical and cultural landmarks, are not just a means to a transaction but a glimpse into the country’s proud legacy.

Now, where to exchange your money? Fear not, for Copenhagen is dotted with reliable currency exchange offices. The airport, central station, or reputable forex bureaus in the city center are your go-to places for a hassle-free currency exchange experience. Moreover, the city’s welcoming banks are always at your service, should you prefer a more formal setting for your currency needs.

The weather in Copenhagen around the year

As a city that experiences the full spectrum of seasons, Copenhagen’s weather is a blend of delicate snowflakes, blossoming flowers, warm summer breezes, and crisp autumn leaves. Each season paints the city with a unique palette, offering a fresh perspective of its timeless beauty.

Winter in Denmark (December to February) is a spectacle of twinkling lights and gentle snowfall. Copenhagen in December is full of festive spirit. The city transforms into a winter wonderland with the Christmas markets at Strøget offering a plethora of Danish delights. The aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds fills the air, as the city gears up for a cozy Christmas celebration. Then, Copenhagen in February is often wrapped in a soft blanket of snow, the white landscape contrasting beautifully with the colorful facades of Nyhavn Copenhagen. The days are short, but the nights are magical with the city lights reflecting off the calm waters.

As you step into summer in Copenhagen (June to August), the city comes alive in a burst of colors. Copenhagen in July is particularly enchanting with long, balmy days and clear blue skies. The Tivoli Gardens are in full bloom, and the outdoor cafes along the canals brim with life as locals and tourists alike soak up the sun.

Whether you’re planning to explore the historic Rosenborg Castle, take a leisurely boat ride in the canals, or indulge in some shopping at the bustling streets of Indre By, each season in Copenhagen offers a unique flavor, making every visit a distinct memory etched in time.

Best time to visit Copenhagen Denmark

Copenhagen is a city that wears each season with grace and allure all its own, beckoning travelers from across the globe to partake in its seasonal spectacles. However, if one were to pinpoint the time when the city is at its most enchanting, it would undoubtedly be the gentle transition from spring to summer. This is when the city shakes off the last vestiges of winter’s chill, and bursts forth in a riot of colors, as flowers bloom and the days stretch long and lazy under the soft glow of the sun.

The best time to visit Copenhagen is during the late spring and early summer months, from May to June when the weather is pleasantly warm, and the city is not yet overrun by the summer tourist rush. This is the time when the Tivoli Gardens are in full bloom, and the outdoor cafes along Nyhavn are abuzz with life. The days are long, the nights are cool, and the city is alive with events and festivals celebrating the onset of summer.

For those who revel in the festive spirit, December is a magical time to visit as Copenhagen transforms into a winter wonderland. Christmas in Copenhagen is a heartwarming spectacle, with twinkling lights, Christmas markets, and the sweet aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds filling the air.

However, if you’re someone who prefers a quieter, more tranquil experience, the autumn months of September and October offer a respite from the crowds, and the opportunity to experience Copenhagen in its tranquil glory. The Copenhagen weather during these months is crisp, with a hint of chill in the air, and the autumn leaves paint the city in shades of gold and crimson.

Each season in Copenhagen unfolds a different chapter of the city’s narrative, whether it’s the vibrant bloom of spring, the lively summer days, the tranquil autumn evenings, or the festive winter nights. Therefore, whenever you choose to visit, Copenhagen is sure to weave its magic around you, offering experiences that will be etched in your memory forever.

how to get to copenhagen airport
Copenhagen travel guide: how to get to Copenhagen

How to get to Copenhagen Denmark

Embarking on a journey to Copenhagen is akin to opening the doors to a realm where the old-world charm romances the contemporary elegance at every nook and cranny. The anticipation of what awaits can be exhilarating, but the journey itself is a precursor to the adventure that lies ahead. Here’s a guide on how to reach the heart of Denmark, ensuring your trip is as smooth as the Danish brew.

Flights to Copenhagen

Your aerial chariot to Copenhagen is likely to touch down at the Copenhagen Airport, a modern-day gateway to the city’s historical allure. Major carriers such as SAS Airlines and Norwegian Airlines offer frequent flights to this Nordic haven, ensuring the skies are well-trodden paths to this Danish delight. The airport itself is a precursor to the city’s modern elegance, offering a glimpse of the Danish hospitality that awaits.

Train and bus options

If your adventure begins on the European mainland, trains and buses offer scenic routes that gradually transition from the hustle and bustle of urban life to the serene Danish countryside. The rhythmic chugging of the train or the gentle hum of the bus, as it navigates through picturesque landscapes, is a soothing prelude to the vibrant city life that awaits in Copenhagen. Whether you’re journeying from the heart of Amsterdam or the historic lanes of Berlin, the roads leading to Copenhagen are laden with glimpses of Europe’s diverse cultures.

By ferry

For those seeking a nautical start to their Danish expedition, ferries across the Baltic offer a serene voyage to Copenhagen. As you glide over the calm waters, the sight of Copenhagen’s skyline gradually emerging over the horizon is a sight to behold. The gentle sea breeze, the endless horizon, and the anticipation of the adventures that await make the ferry ride a poetic beginning to your Copenhagen tale.

Travel insurance

While the journey to Copenhagen is a tale of excitement and anticipation, ensuring a safety net with travel insurance is prudent. It’s the silent companion that offers a reassuring pat, allowing you to explore, experience, and enjoy Copenhagen’s myriad offerings with peace of mind. From the unexpected hiccup to the unforeseen mishap, having travel insurance ensures your Danish narrative is one of joy, discovery, and countless cherished memories.

As you finalize your plans to step into the Danish narrative, the journey to Copenhagen is the prologue to a story waiting to unfold. Each mode of travel is a different narrative, each path offering a unique perspective, leading to the heart of Denmark where your Copenhagen story begins.

getting around copenhagen denmark
Copenhagen travel guide: getting around Copenhagen Denmark by bike

Getting around Copenhagen

Navigating through the urban sprawl of Copenhagen is akin to a gentle breeze that sweeps across the city, thanks to its well-structured and tourist-friendly transportation network. Whether you’re a solo traveler on a quest for adventure or a family seeking a cozy Danish experience, getting around Copenhagen is a hassle-free affair. Let’s delve into the various options that lay before you:

Copenhagen Card

The Copenhagen Card is your golden ticket to exploring the city’s myriad attractions without burning a hole in your pocket. This magical card is not just a pass to free public transport, but also a key to over 80 attractions and museums. Moreover, it offers you discounts on various restaurants and car rentals. The question that looms is – is the Copenhagen Card worth it? The answer is a resounding yes, especially for first-timers keen on soaking in all that the city has to offer. The card’s cost is easily offset by the convenience and savings it brings along, making it a cherished companion for travelers.

Public transport

The heartbeat of Copenhagen’s mobility is its efficient public transport system. The Copenhagen Metro, buses, and trains are intertwined in a beautiful dance that covers every inch of the city. The metro, with its automated, driverless trains, ensures a swift and timely service, while the extensive bus network takes you to Copenhagen’s nook and cranny. Don’t forget to get hold of a Copenhagen map that details the transport routes, making your journey smooth and enjoyable. The Copenhagen train map and Copenhagen metro map are your guiding stars, helping you traverse the city with ease.

Biking in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s love affair with bicycles is a well-documented tale. The city embraces biking culture with open arms, earning the title of the most bike-friendly city in the world. The well-marked bike lanes and the availability of bike rentals at every corner make it a breeze for anyone to hop on a bike and explore the city at their own pace. As you pedal through the historic Old Town Copenhagen, the wind carries whispers of ancient tales, making your biking experience not just a mode of transport, but a journey through time.

Copenhagen’s transport system is a reflection of the city’s commitment to providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for its visitors. Whether you choose the economical Copenhagen Card, the efficient public transport, or the eco-friendly biking option, you are in for a comfortable and memorable exploration of this enchanting city.

where to stay and eat in copenhagen Scandic Hotel Kødbyen Vesterbro
Copenhagen travel guide: Scandic Hotel Kødbyen Vesterbro Restaurant

Where to stay in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, a city of islands, is a mosaic of diverse neighborhoods each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re a history buff, a night owl, or someone in search of tranquility, Copenhagen has a cozy corner waiting just for you. In this section, we delve into the heart of Copenhagen’s most beloved neighborhoods, unraveling the essence of what makes each one special, and where you might find your home away from home.

Indre By, the historical core of Copenhagen, is where the old soul of the city beats. With its narrow winding streets, ancient buildings, and proximity to many iconic landmarks, staying here is like living through the pages of a rich historical novel. The area is dotted with a range of best hotels and quaint bed-and-breakfast establishments that exude old-world charm.

Venture a little southwest, and you’ll find yourself in Vesterbro, a neighborhood that’s as trendy as it is laid-back. Once a working-class area, today it’s a haven for the young and the young-at-heart with its cool cafes, indie shops, and vibrant nightlife. Accommodation here ranges from chic boutique hotels to budget-friendly Airbnb options.

Now, let’s talk comfort. Copenhagen offers a plethora of accommodation options catering to every taste and pocket. From the luxurious drape of the best hotels in Copenhagen like the Hotel D’Angleterre or the Nimb Hotel, to the modest yet cozy ambiance of a local bed and breakfast, the city embraces every traveler with open arms. And for those who prefer a homey touch, Airbnb Copenhagen listings offer a slice of Danish living.

Booking your perfect stay is an art and a little bit of a science. Start by comparing prices on platforms like Booking.com or Google Flights for hotels and flights to Copenhagen respectively. Look out for Copenhagen packages that might offer good deals on a combination of flights, hotels, and even some local attractions. The Copenhagen Card also offers discounts at various hotels, so it’s worth checking out.

When booking, consider the proximity to Copenhagen metro or bus stations, especially if you plan on exploring the city extensively. Also, check the cancellation policy, a crucial feature, especially in uncertain times.

Lastly, don’t shy away from diving into the reviews. Platforms like TripAdvisor Copenhagen provide invaluable insights from fellow travelers. Their experiences could guide you to make informed decisions ensuring your stay in Copenhagen is nothing short of delightful.

With a little planning and the right information, finding the perfect place to stay in Copenhagen is a breeze. Whether you’re a luxury seeker, a budget traveler, or someone in between, Copenhagen’s welcoming arms are wide open, ready to make your Danish adventure a cherished memory.

nyhavn Copenhagen attractions
Copenhagen travel guide: Nyhavn Copenhagen

Top Copenhagen attractions

Copenhagen, a city steeped in history and adorned with modern marvels, invites its visitors to step into a tapestry of timeless tales and contemporary charm. As you traverse through its cobbled streets, each landmark is a verse in Copenhagen’s poetic narrative.

Historical sites

Your journey through time begins at the majestic Rosenborg Castle, a Renaissance gem that stands as a testament to Denmark’s regal past. As you wander through its opulent halls and verdant gardens, each artifact whispers tales of bygone eras. Not far from here, the Round Tower beckons. As you ascend its unique spiral ramp, Copenhagen unfolds below in a panorama of red rooftops and spires, a sight that’s etched in time.


The narrative continues in the hallowed halls of the National Museum of Denmark. Here, each exhibit is a window into the nation’s soul, from the ancient runes to modern design. The city’s myriad museums offer a rendezvous with everything from art to zoology, each a unique verse in Copenhagen’s narrative.

Tivoli Gardens

As daylight fades, the enchanting world of Tivoli Gardens comes alive. Amidst the laughter of children on carousels and the aroma of caramelized almonds, the magic of Copenhagen’s oldest amusement park unfolds. Each ride is more than just a thrill—it’s a journey through the whimsical heart of the city.


As dawn breaks, the iconic waterfront of Nyhavn awaits. The reflection of its colorful buildings in the calm waters is Copenhagen’s postcard to the world. As you stroll along the historic docks, the city’s maritime legacy sails alongside.

Each attraction in Copenhagen is a thread in the city’s rich tapestry, waiting to be explored. So, as you set forth on your adventure, remember, in Copenhagen, every stone has a tale to tell, and every dawn brings a new story to life.

copenhagen food market treat
Copenhagen travel guide: Copenhagen food market meal ideas

Experiencing the local culture

Copenhagen is not just a feast for the eyes, but a banquet for the senses. The city’s rich cultural tapestry extends to its culinary scene, shopping avenues, and vibrant nightlife, each offering a unique flavor of Danish tradition blended with contemporary vibes.

Copenhagen food and dining

The gastronomic landscape of Copenhagen is as diverse as it is delicious. Start your culinary expedition at the heart of the city’s food market, where a medley of aromas and flavors beckons. Here, local vendors take pride in offering a smorgasbord of Danish delicacies, each telling a tale of the land’s bountiful produce.

For a more refined dining experience, the city hosts a plethora of popular Copenhagen restaurants. Whether it’s the avant-garde dishes from Noma, often hailed as one of the best restaurants globally, or the hearty traditional meals at Höst, Copenhagen’s dining scene is a narrative of innovation meeting tradition. And let’s not forget the cozy bed and breakfast spots in Copenhagen, where a hearty meal feels just like home.

Shopping in Copenhagen

No trip to Copenhagen is complete without a leisurely stroll through Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets, adorned with a range of boutiques and international brands. The street is a shopper’s paradise, offering everything from high-end fashion to quirky souvenirs. Amidst your shopping spree, don’t forget to pick up some iconic Danish design pieces, a perfect memento of the city’s innovative spirit.

Things to do in Copenhagen at night

As the sun dips below the horizon, Copenhagen’s nightlife springs to life. The city, with its eclectic mix of traditional pubs, chic bars, and modern nightclubs, offers a night-time narrative for every kind of reveler. The vibrant district of Vesterbro is your go-to for a taste of the city’s trendy nightlife, while the historic old town Copenhagen offers a more laid-back evening ambiance. Each night in Copenhagen is a new chapter in your Danish adventure, filled with music, laughter, and a sense of camaraderie that resonates through the cool night air.

In every bite of its sumptuous food, in every item you buy, and in every nightfall, Copenhagen offers a cultural voyage that’s as enriching as it is exhilarating. As you traverse through its culinary lanes, shop at its quaint boutiques, and dance the night away under the Nordic stars, you’re not just experiencing a city but living a legacy.

Øresund Bridge copenhagen travel guide
Copenhagen travel guide: trip over Øresund Bridge

Day trips and excursions from Copenhagen

The charm of Copenhagen doesn’t end at its city limits. The surrounding regions offer a treasure trove of experiences that promise a delightful extension to your Danish adventure. With a Copenhagen card in your pocket, unlocking these neighboring wonders becomes a breeze.

Day trips from Copenhagen to nearby cities

A short train ride away lies the quaint city of Malmö in Sweden, showcasing a beautiful blend of medieval allure and modern architecture. As the train glides over the waters, the iconic Øresund Bridge stands as a testament to the seamless blend of engineering and nature, marking your passage from Denmark to Sweden. Malmö welcomes you with its cobbled streets, historic squares, and the futuristic Turning Torso skyscraper that kisses the sky. The city’s laid-back ambiance and cultural richness offer a delightful contrast to Copenhagen’s bustling vibe.

Excursions in Denmark

Back in Denmark, a venture beyond Copenhagen’s urban sprawl leads you to a realm of natural and architectural marvels. The journey across the Øresund Bridge itself is an excursion that imprints on your memory, with the cool sea breeze carrying whispers of tales from the deep blue waters below.

The Danish Riviera awaits to the north, with its pristine beaches, quaint fishing villages, and the majestic Kronborg Castle, which whispers the tales of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in its ancient halls. To the west, the ancient city of Roskilde beckons with its gothic cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum, offering a voyage back in time.

Whether it’s the call of the neighboring cities or the allure of the scenic excursions, the world beyond Copenhagen is a canvas of experiences waiting to be explored. Each journey is a story and each destination becomes a memory etched in the heart of the traveler. As you step out of the urban charm of Copenhagen, a narrative of diverse landscapes and cultures unfolds, promising to enrich your Nordic tale with colors unseen and tales untold.

Tips and tricks for a great Copenhagen experience

Embarking on a journey to the heart of Scandinavia is thrilling, yet the thought of navigating through the unknown might evoke a sprinkle of anxiety. Fret not, for we’ve curated a handful of tips to ensure your Copenhagen experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

Visit Copenhagen on a budget

Copenhagen’s elegance is undeniable, but so is its knack for being a tad heavy on the pocket. However, a little planning goes a long way in ensuring you soak in the city’s essence without burning a hole in your wallet. Start by grabbing a Copenhagen Card, which is your golden ticket to numerous attractions and unlimited public transport. Explore the city’s plethora of free delights, from the iconic Little Mermaid statue to the lush expanses of the King’s Garden. Dive into the local food markets and savor the city’s culinary delights without a hefty price tag. And remember, walking is not just free but also a delightful way to stumble upon the city’s hidden gems.

Language basics

While the Danes speak impeccable English, a little effort to speak their tongue is always appreciated. Learn basic phrases like Tak (Thank you), Hej (Hello), and Undskyld (Excuse me). A simple greeting in Danish is sure to earn you a warm smile, bridging the gap between a tourist and a cherished visitor.

Safety precautions

Copenhagen is often hailed as one of the safest cities in the world. However, like any bustling city, it’s wise to stay vigilant. Keep your belongings close in crowded places and be aware of your surroundings. It’s advisable to follow the local guidelines, especially the cycling rules when you hop on a bike to explore the city. And remember, the friendly locals are always willing to lend a helping hand should you find yourself in a pickle.

With a sprinkle of caution, a dash of local lingo, and a well-planned budget, your Copenhagen adventure is set to be an enthralling saga filled with delightful memories. As you step into this charming city, remember that the tales of Copenhagen are woven with the threads of the curious wanderers. And now, it’s your turn to be a part of this beautiful narrative!

Living your first chapter in Copenhagen’s tale

As our journey through the cobbled streets and along the serene canals of Copenhagen comes to a close, the essence of this city’s charm is indelibly etched in our hearts. From the historic whispers echoing through the corridors of Rosenborg Castle to the modernist allure of its architectural marvels, Copenhagen is a tapestry of tales waiting to be discovered by the curious heart.

The city unfolds itself gracefully to the first-timers, offering a warm embrace to those willing to delve into its narrative. The ease of getting around Copenhagen, the friendly smiles adorning the faces of its people, and the seamless blend of the old with the new make it a haven for travelers seeking an enriching experience.

Whether it’s the whimsical allure of Tivoli Gardens, the vibrant hues reflecting off the waters of Nyhavn, or the tranquil retreats nestled in the heart of the city, Copenhagen is a melody to which your heart can’t help but sway.

As you reminisce about the adventures that beckoned at every corner and the quaint cafes that invited you to pause and revel in the moment, the story of Copenhagen is now a part of your own tale, waiting to be told and retold.

I invite you to share this guide with others embarking on their own journey to this enchanting city. Let the narrative of your Copenhagen escapade inspire others to craft their own story, explore the unexplored, and fall in love with the timeless charm that Copenhagen generously offers.

As you share this comprehensive Copenhagen travel guide with fellow wanderers, you’re not just passing along a list of places but extending an invitation to experience a city with a soul, a city that welcomes every visitor with open arms and leaves them with stories that last a lifetime.

Your adventure in Copenhagen might have concluded, but the memories crafted along those cobbled pathways and under the gentle glow of street lamps in the cool Copenhagen nights are eternal. And as you share your tale, the magic of Copenhagen continues to live on, in your heart and in the hearts of those inspired to explore it.

About the author of this Copenhagen travel guide

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a seasoned travel aficionado from the picturesque landscapes of Romania, now residing in the serene South of France. Her pen dances on the pages of The Travel Bunny travel blog, where she unveils the secrets to economical yet enriching European escapades. With a knack for crafting unique free travel guides, Mirela is your go-to local travel sage. Her insightful Copenhagen travel guide is a treasure trove for wanderers yearning to explore the city’s quaint charm without burning a hole in their pocket. Her expertise in unearthing affordable gems in a city known for its elegance makes her a reliable compass for budget travelers.

Beyond being a wordsmith, Mirela is a problem solver at heart, always ready to tackle travel quandaries that come her way. Her love for coffee almost rivals her passion for travel, and she aspires to become a coffee connoisseur. Her blog is not just a platform, but a community where each post is a conversation, and each travel guide is a stepping stone to new adventures. When it comes to navigating the enchanting streets of Copenhagen without splurging, Mirela Letailleur is the seasoned guide you’ve been searching for. Her Copenhagen travel guide is not just a blog post, but a ticket to an unforgettable Danish adventure awaiting your discovery.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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