I’ll be honest, I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Copenhagen. It was the last leg of our Eurotrip, and kind of a random pick for us. Copenhagen wasn’t necessarily a place that had been on my bucket list, but we were looking for one last city to explore at the end of our trip where we could find inexpensive tickets, and Copenhagen ended up being the spot (if you’re in the Bay Area, Norwegian recently opened up cheap non-stops from Oakland).
The city has such a great vibe, and everyone there is so chill and relaxed. There’s also way more to do there than I expected, and we ended up feeling like four days wasn’t enough time. I’d love to come back during the summer, because there are other things open that we weren’t able to visit during our trip, like the Tivoli Gardens and the amusement park in it.
Day 1: What to do in Copenhagen
Check-in: We arrived in Copenhagen in the early evening. We checked into our Airbnb, which was really central and a great location. We didn’t have to take a cab once the whole time because everything was so walkable from this spot. While the location was fantastic, to be honest, the inside was pretty dark and dingy and left a lot to be desired, which is why I’m not linking it here as a recommendation.
Doner Kabob: There are a lot of great shawarma and doner kabob places in Copenhagen. We had been craving some and our Uber driver recommended Shawarma No1 Grill-House. While it’s definitely a hole-in-the-wall spot, their shawarma wraps hit the spot and the red harissa-like sauce that they have out on the tables was uhh-mazing.
Drinks in Nyhavn: Nyhavn is definitely a touristy area, but it’s also really pretty and reminded me a bit of Amsterdam with its canals. I wouldn’t recommend eating there since all the restaurants seemed like they had mediocre food that was over priced, but it’s a really fun place to grab drinks by the water. We found a hygge place with a cozy outdoor patio, sheepskin blankets, and warm drinks and perched up there.
Day 2: What to do in Copenhagen
Union Kitchen: We started our second day off with brunch at Union Kitchen, which was totally delicious. They also will serve up your cappuccino with a sassy saying on top (our server asked if I’d like mine insulting or very insulting—I chose insulting), which makes for a great Instagram.
Walking Tour: After brunch we did a walking tour of the city with Copenhagen Free Walking Tours. I knew absolutely nothing about Danish history so it was a great way to get to know the city and its people better.
Meat Packing District: We made our way over to the Meat Packing District, which is a pretty trendy warehouse-y area with some breweries and restaurants. We hit up a couple of spots here:
Warpigs: Omied really wanted to go here for the beer. I’m a really great wife so I happily tagged along (and I also put it in my vows that I’d never complain when he drags me to breweries). When we got there I saw that they had a special that sounded right up my alley—a bourbon milkshake. I was on vacation so I figured why not have dessert before dinner and it was pretty damn delicious. Their BBQ also smelled and looked great, so if you wanted to do beers and dinner here too I’m sure it’d be good.
Nose2Tail: We went to Nose2Tail where we had a yummy dinner. They are really big on their meats there and we both had steak. I’ll be honest, their steak tasted really different than I’m used to and I think Omied liked it a bit more than I did. But it was fun to try and the restaurant has a nice ambience. They also have a sister restaurant next door that does dim sum that I would have liked to have tried if we had more time.
Ice cream in Nyhaven: We ended the evening with a stroll along Nyhaven at night and grabbed ice cream by the canals at Rajissimo.
Day 3: What to do in Copenhagen
The Round Tower (Rundetaarn): We went up the The Round Tower, which basically goes around and around and made for a cool photo opp. There are a few things to stop and see along the way, like an old bell tower with relics from the building stored inside, and a small art museum. The views at the top would have been pretty, except for it was an overcast day.
Christiansborg Palace: We popped into a few places at the palace. Be sure to check out the ruins where you can see the different walls of the palaces that were built on top of each other. Pretty crazy and makes you appreciate Danish designs.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab: Got a little pick me up at the cutest, hyggest coffe spot.
Freetown of Christiania: People had told me really mixed things about the Freetown of Christiania. Some said that it was an absolute must-do, while others said to definitely skip it. Personally, while it was interesting and bizarre, as soon as we entered I was ready to GTFO. Basically a bunch of hippies took over this area and started squatting there. The government let them stay for so long that when they finally asked the hippies to leave, they got a lawyer who said they had squatting rights and they couldn’t be kicked out. Now a couple hundred people live there and consider themselves to be a commune, separate from the EU world (but let’s be honest, they’re not, and kids born there are Danish citizens). We did a Christiana Walking Tour because I thought we might feel safer to go in a group with someone who knows where they’re going, but turns out they just walk around Copenhagen and then stop at the gates of Christiana and have you go in by yourselves. Besides a ton of graffiti and vegan restaurants, you’ll also see Pusher Street where everyone is selling an ass-ton of weed.
Lagkagehuset: This place has THE BEST pastries. Omied and I couldn’t decide if we liked the cinnamon buns or the chocolate covered buns better, so we had to keep ordering more to re-try them. Fortunately there are a couple locations in Copenhagen. In the end, we still kept flip-flopping over which pastry was better.
Mikkeller and Friends: Another beer spot for Omied. If you’re into beer (which I am not), apparently, you should go there.
Day 4: What to do in Copenhagen
Kompa’9: Started our day off with breakfast at this super cute and yummy cafe.
Church of our Savior: We waited for a sunny and clear day to visit this church with the golden spiral at the top so we could really take advantage of the views. You have to climb up a lot of rickety stairs, but the views are so worth it.
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: We hopped on a train to head a little outside of Copenhagen to visit The Louisiana (which is not, in fact, a museum about the state of Louisiana). The building itself is really beautiful as are the grounds, and it was lovely sitting outside having lunch with Sweden in the distance.
Kastellet and Den Lille Hevrue: Once we got back into the city we walked around pretty Kastellet, where you can also see the Little Mermaid statue (Hans Christian Andersen is a pride and joy of Copenhagen). We also ended up strolling by Churchillparken, which is a pretty little park next to the water, where we caught the most stunning sunset.
Paper Island: Being from San Francisco, we’re really into the idea of pop-up restaurants. Paper Island is a giant warehouse by the water with tons of different food stalls, live music and drinks. The food was good, not amazing, but it was a fun place to check out. I heard that they are tearing down the warehouse and building condos here so it might not be around much longer.
Day 5: What to do in Copenhagen
Next Door Cafe: On our last day in Copenhagen we grabbed breakfast sandwiches at this funky little café. Perfect for a quick bite to eat before heading for the airport.
The Donut Shop: We spotted this donut shop with tons of delicious looking treats, and the Nutella donut was totally calling my name. They heated it up for us and it did not disappoint. Ooey gooey nutella in a donut? Yes, please.
Shopping: We did a bit of souvenir shopping for friends and coworkers on Stroeget, which has a lot of big name stores as well as local shops. Flying Tiger is a super cheap store (kinda like a Danish dollar store), that’s perfect for picking up some treats like Maltesers and stroopwafels to bring home with you. I even found a super cute Copenhagen card to send back to my family! Illums Bolighus is another fun store to stop in to. Even though I’m probably not bringing home a couch with me, their store is interior goals.
That’s everything we did in Copenhagen! We would love to explore Copenhagen again and visit the Rosenborg Castle (built as a summerhouse for the royal Danish and other royalties), the Amalienborg Palace (home to the Danish royal family), the Danish Parliament, or The National Museum of Denmark (perfect place to learn more about Copenhagens history). On top of that, we also want to plan a day trip to travel to Sweden or Aarhus which gives us more of a reason to come back to Copenhagen again.
Yes, Copenhagen is very expensive to travel to however if you plan and research in advance the trip will be more budget-friendly.
Yes, you can walk everywhere in Copenhagen! Everything is walking distance from each other no need to worry about taking public transportation or an uber. The whole city is very compact making things easily accessible.
Two days in Copenhagen is the minimum, but it is recommended to spend at least three to four days to get the most out of the Copenhagen experience.
The native language in Copenhagen is Danish, however, most of the locals speak English very well.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.