Copenhagen in 1 Day

Rosenborg Castle Copenhagen

Copenhagen, the Danish capital, is considered to be the happiest city in the world! Coziness, or how the Danish people call it, “hygge”, is in the blood of the people. During the evening, especially in winter time, when the days are short, the Danish gather around a fireplace, or candles, surrounded by family and loved ones, and tell each other stories and chat. This was and still is, detrimental to the interpersonal closeness that the Danish people exhibit. Of course, the shorter working week, higher number of vacation days and free colleague tuition might also play a role in the Danish happiness, but who’s counting…

A little bit about Copenhagen

The city was burned down twice, during it’s long history, both times due to candle light fire…The longest fire lasted for 3 day in 1728. The last fire, 1795 destroyed most of the historic buildings, for this reason you will notice during your visit, that most of the main buildings in the old center, date from the 19th century.

Another interesting fact – for all the foodies and fine dinners out there – Copenhagen has the most restaurants which have been awarded Michelin stars! For the most famous one, Noma, you need a reservation, sometimes 2 months in advance! If you are planning to incorporate that in your trip, you need to plan ahead!

Coming back to our trip itinerary, this is how I planned my trip in 1 day!

From Airport to Copenhagen city center

From the airport to the city center you will take the metro line M2 to Kongens Nytorv. The ride takes about 12 minutes. From there you can switch to different metro lines, depending on where your accommodation is.

Getting through Copenhagen

It is fairly easy to get around Copenhagen city. The city is quite “wakable”, since most of the attractions are close to each other, around city center. Of course the other option is to rent a bike, or take a bike tour (you can find a lot of interesting bike tours in Copenhagen, combining activity with sightseeing).  The metro and bus system is also very optimal, and one ticket costs 24 DKK (3.2 EUR).  You could also buy a Copenhagen day pass (see here) which costs 425 DKK (57 EUR), and gives you free entry to 70+ attractions. However, I am not sure if it’s worth it for one day…depends how many museums you want to cramp in. I chose to walk and use the metro lines only when absolutely needed, hence the cost of the day pass was not worth it for one day. If you stay multiple days, then I highly recommend it!

What to see in 1 day in Copenhagen

I started off my morning with a coffee at Coffee Collective (Jægersborggade 57, 2200 København, Denmark) one off the best coffee shops in town, found via a simple Google search.

Botanical Garden

Afterwards I continued to the Botanical gardens in Copenhagen. The gardens are opened to public from 8:30 to 16:00, from Monday to Sunday. The garden covers 10 hectares and is home to more than 13.000 species.  It is also known for the historic Palm House dating from 1874. In 2018 a new Butterfly house was opened, where visitors can admire the life and transformation of different species of butterflies close at hand.

Rosenborg Castle and the King’s Garden

Afterwards you can walk directly from the Botanical Garden to the King’s Garden, where the Rosenborg Castle is situated. It is a 5 minutes’ walk.  

The King’s Garden is one of the oldest royal gardens in Copenhagen, dated from 1600s. It is a popular place where Capenhageners to meet and relax and for children to play in the artistic playground. The garden is very beautiful decorated and you will enjoy your morning stroll through it.

The Rosenborg Castel is a 400 years old renaissance castle, built by Christian IV. You can have a tour of the castle, which is also home to the crown jewels. I didn’t manage to take the tour due to lack of time, but if you have more time on your hand, this should be interesting to visit.

The Round Tower

From the Rosenborg Castel you have an 8 minutes walk to the Round Tower. The Round Tower is a 17th century observatory and is one of the oldest functioning observatories in Europe. It was constructed by Christian the IV. In order to get to the top of the tower you need to walk up the spiral walk, in total 209 meters, even through the total height of the tower is 36 meters.

The City Hall

From the Round Tower you have about 11 minutes walk to the city Hall. I chose here to join a free walking tour, organized by Sandeman’s tours. They are organized both in English and Spanish and start from 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. You need to book before as they scan your ticket (but the booking is free).

Free walking tour

The tour was very interesting and was lead by a history student, which means we got to find out a lot about Copenhagen’s history and culture. It took us through the whole old town: we started from City Hall, to Carlsberg Lur Blowers statue, Christiansborg Palace, to Nyhaven, to Amalienborg Palace and to the Marble Church.

The free walking tour takes about 2.5 to 3 hours and is based on gratuities to the guide. It’s absolutely worth it if you want a guided tour through Copenhagen’s most interesting sights.

Little Mermaid Statue

Little Mermaid Statue Copenhagen

The tour stops at Amilienborg from where you can easily walk to the Little Mermaid Statue. It should take you about 14 minutes to get there. Alternatively, you can also rent a bike if you prefer. The statue is made of bronze and is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. The statue was victim of a lot of vandalism along the years (it was decapitated, painted with Graffiti, hands cut off etc), but still survived till this day.

Free town of Christiania

From here to the Free Town of Christiania, you will have to take the metro. Take the line M3 from Osterport to Kongens Nytorv and then change to line M1 to Christianshavn st.  

Christiania is an autonomous anarchist district in Copenhagen. It was built in a former abandoned military based, in 1971 by a group of hippies. Today it is inhabited by about 900 people, living according to their own set of rules. Christiania was quite infamous for the “Green Light District”, a street where Cannabis used to be sold. The street was closed down due to the violence surrounding the selling of dogs.  Today you can find in Christiania a variety of art galleries, very tasty vegetarian food and also a lot of street art. Do not take photos in Christiania!

Trivoli Gardens

Trivoli Gardens Copenhagen

You can end your evening by visiting the old amusement park, founded in 1843. It was visited many times by Hans Christian Andersen and also Walt Disney, who found the inspiration for Disney World here.  Trivoli has something for everybody: the architecture is incredible, at night the lights create a magic atmosphere and the rides are exciting. Definitely something to see, for both young and older!

Afterwards you can enjoy a drink in the very vibrant night life scene in Copenhagen. Check here my Top 5 Bars in Copenhagen.

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