Copenhagen, with its rich past where Vikings once ruled the northern seas and lands, is today synonymous with modernity, simplicity and innovation.
The city shines in daylight through its museums, sculptures and canals, as well as through its festivals, soirées and attractions.
Lose yourself in the city and keep an eye out, everything has been thought out so that everyone feels comfortable and can move around easily, comfortably and safely!
It’s an ideal destination for everyone!
The Danes have a straightforward and marked character but are far from cold. They like everything they design to be beautiful, ergonomic and above all useful in their daily lives.
Each object must have a value, a place and a role to play. The Danes do not burden themselves with useless things that clash with the rest. They like comfort, pleasant, everything “Hygge”!
They put cyclists in the spotlight! No less than 350 km of bicycle paths have been created throughout the city.
More than 1/3 of the inhabitants use their bike on a daily basis. Just look at the bicycle parking lots: it’s amazing. They may even have priority over pedestrians and cars.
Copenhagen’s objective is to become a green and carbon-neutral city by 2025 so that 2/3 of the population’s journeys can be made on foot, by bicycle or by public transport. Soak up the Danish rhythm and atmosphere, do as they do!
The city is divided into many districts, each with a different soul, but we will only present the main districts and sites not to miss.
What to see
The Indre By district, or City Center
Most of the cultural buildings are located here, downtown Copenhagen. Several sites not to be missed:
- Nyhavn : small port often photographed for its multicoloured houses along the canal. Stroll around and admire the beautiful wooden boats all along.
- Stroget : the longest commercial pedestrian street, where you will find the main shopping spots.
- The National Museum, famous for its beautiful archaeological collections.
- David’s collection, also very beautiful.
- The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a small but interesting museum with its impressionist paintings and sculptures.
- The Royal Library, nicknamed the black diamond because of its futuristic design, is worth a look.
Castles to visit :
- Rosenborg: Kongens Have gardens and its palace. The museum displays the crown jewels. A single ticket for the castle visit will give you a good idea of the Danish treasures.
- Christianborg: former residence of the royal family, now used to host receptions. You’ll be able to understand how the monarchy works, for example.
Other points of interest :
- Tivoli Garden: located downtown, this amusement park is always a great option for the whole family at any moment of the year.
- The sculpture of the Little Mermaid, a famous bronze work inspired by the tales of H. C. Anderson, is located on the quay of Langelinje. She’s the symbol of the city. Tourists come from all over the world to see it.
Danes are keen on healthy and environmentally friendly food. Why not start the day with a healthy oatmeal, for example? Several Grod bars have opened across the city!
Reffen – Street food
Reffen is the fashionable meeting place for the Danes; it boasts all the street food trucks. It’s the ideal place to taste Danish specialties, such as Smørrebrød. Music shows and activities regularly take place here.
Attentive service in a beautiful dining room. Your taste buds will be titillated by the presentation, flavour and originality of their dishes.
The Torvehallerne covered market
This market is another place you NEED to visit. You can browse through the fresh products and smell the wonferful scents, and why not go and enjoy a coffee at the Coffee Collective nearby?
A restaurant with delicious Danish cuisine that has become an institution. Go and try the typical dishes!
A restaurant where fine cuisine is given pride of place. Delicate, cosy and friendly place.
A place that is sure to please beer lovers! In addition to other alcoholic beverages, the place has homemade beers. Take the opportunity to drink a Carlsberg – that’s where it all started! You can eat there, too.
Duck and Cover
Cocktail bar with a cosy and comfortable atmosphere where you can enjoy unique cocktails.
The Vestebro district, known for its street art, was a former red-light district. This neighbourhood is changing. Trendy, vintage shops abound. People go for its Meatpacking District where bars and restaurants have set up shop with simple, home-style cuisine. For a lively evening, we strongly recommend it!
The Norrebro district looks like a small Parisian neighbourhood. Young and hip, it’s a trendy new neighbourhood. Restaurants and nightclubs will make some people very happy.
Pariserbøf: Grilled beef steak with butter on a slice of toasted bread served with toppings.
Smørrebrød: an open buttered rye bread sandwich that can include sild, a local fish, cold cuts, cheese, etc.
Rødgrød med fløde: soup made of several red fruits that comes with whipped cream
Sol over Gudhjem: smoked herring on black bread, with egg yolk and radish among others.
Kransekage: an almond cake
Christianshavn, a Dutch district, known for its city, Christiana.
Hippie inhabitants revolted in the 1970s and proclaimed their town, Christiana, free of the laws. A city within the city that lives under its own laws. A community of artists, musicians and idealists continues to live there and transforms the neighbourhood into an open-air museum. Some gangs and dealers have taken up residence there; photos are generally prohibited, so be careful!
A visit to the Church of Our Saviour is well worth the detour. There are no less than 400 steps to climb to the top of the tower (access for a fee).
In the evenings, the small town comes alive with concerts and lively bars.
We suggest that you book a city tour with experienced guides in small groups (there are many of them, check at the tourist office) to go on a gastronomic walk, run, bike ride, etc. You’ll see things differently and have more fun!
Several craft markets or exhibitions are held regularly and can bring together from fifty to a hundred craftsmen and designers. They work with clay, wood or glass, offer jewellery creations, cloths, etc…
For example, the Noel Work market in November. More information on the following site.
Experience cold baths in winter with Copenhot and then take refuge in a sauna. You must be naked! If that’s not your thing, enjoy the summer baths!
The Medical Museum is a special place that many will love, except perhaps health professionals who may find it not informative enough. You will be able to see instruments and organs preserved in jars and many other curiosities.
What to do as a family
Copenhagen is a child-friendly city. Restaurants and museums take children into consideration and the city is full of parks for them!
For a calendar of activities, ideas for outings, playgrounds or family fun, check out https://bornibyen.dk/ (translate the page).
Children will be able to have fun in the different parks of the city, in the zoological museum and at the Tivoli Garden.
In Osterbro, you will find the faelledparken, perfect for a walk, a skate park and many other activities. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch a concert there for free.
Some trampolines are installed downtown; otherwise the children will also be able to have fun in the Norrebro district, in the Superkilen area. A lot of people go there to take pictures.
The Lego shop is always a good idea – it’s located downtown.
The Children’s Museum is also an ideal, fun and perfect place for children to have fun. It is located in the National Museum.
On the spot
Did you know that Copenhagen is a hub and that the city can be visited in less than 24 hours? The airport is connected to the metro network which allows access in about 20 minutes. The frequency of trains decreases in the night time schedule.
With the points, there are several options with Marriott Bonvoy (check our map) or Best Western Rewards.
We chose to stay at the Best Western Hotel Hebron – Copenhagen, ideally located for a 24-hour stay in the city.
A ticket purchased on the network (metro, train, bus, boat) is valid for all transportation type. The price of the ticket will vary depending on the number of zones you cross.
For unlimited travel, choose the City Pass valid for 24 hours or the 72-hour City Pass that covers all areas, including the airport. It can be purchased online.
- It’s free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
- You get a reduced rate for children under 16.
Another very interesting card, if you are interested in museums, the Copenhagen Card!
- Valid for 24h, 48h, 72h or even 120h (consecutive days, from DKK 389), it gives you access to 75 museums and attractions in the city.
- In addition, you will have access to discounts in restaurants or shops.
- Finally, it provides access to the entire public transport network (train, bus, metro, boat) in and around Copenhagen.
- You will be able to share it with up to 2 children. It can be bought just about everywhere (airport, hotels, tourist office, train stations, etc).
As you can imagine, the network is very functional, and we encourage you to rent one!
Danish children are used to being carried on cargo bikes from an early age and learn to ride bikes with the family and school.
Citybikes or, for the less sporty, electric bikes from the Bycyklen network are available for about CA$15/day.
The bike can be carried in the metro outside peak hours (+ 13DKK). Try to take the Cykelslangen, a bridge that links the island of Brygge and Kalvebod.
Here’s a nice video to watch before using a bike in Denmark.
Copenhagen’s metro is simple, convenient and ergonomic. It has a driverless automated system, is fast and frequent.
It currently has 2 lines with 22 stations. On September 29, 2019, the new M3 Cityringen line, comprising 17 lines, was inaugurated, giving access to Copenhagen’s historic center.
The service operates 24 hours a day and serves the main districts.
Each station is made accessible to everyone since elevators and escalators are located everywhere.
The bus network is also well developed. The most interesting are the A buses, which are more frequent at peak times.
The ticket purchased can be used for buses and the metro.
Taxis, even if available, are expensive and not necessarily faster, which is why it is best to use public transport.
An international driver’s licence is not required, Canadians can drive with their Canadian driver’s licence.
3 shuttles are available for users to go to the different waterfronts.
Your ticket must cover a minimum of 2 areas to board. You can visit Nyhavn, the home of the Royal Opera or see the famous statue of the Little Mermaid on a boat!
The network has 3 lines and serves 10 stops.
Our tips and tricks
The Copenhagen Card
If you plan to visit several museums, we suggest you take the Copenhagen Card. You can buy it on the spot, at the tourist office or order it online before your arrival in the city. You can pick it up at the airport information desk, located at the bottom of the escalator at the exit on the right.
It becomes interesting if you plan to do more than 3 sites in 24 hours. In addition, it allows you to move around on the public transport network.
There are several suggested apps:
- Rejseplanen or Citymapper to find out where to find a bike in the city and where to drop it off. The app can help you get somewhere, and gives you the next subway, bus, train and river shuttle stops.
- I bike CPH that finds you the best bike paths
As the currency is the Danish krone, you will find the prices displayed in KR or DKK.
1 DKK = CA$0.20
The cost of living is high. Using your hotel points is a good way to save money, since it costs no less than $150 for a night in a good hotel and CA$50 for a restaurant meal!
So count on average CA$200 to $300/person/day depending on your activities, transportation tickets, meals and lodging!
When to go
It is recommended that you go there in the hottest months, from May to October. In May, the Copenhagen Carnival is held over 3 days.
In June, there’s the Distortion music festival, or come celebrate Midsummer’s Day!
All summer long, live to the rhythm of music festivals (Jazz, Rock, Electro).
During the year, the temperatures remain cool and can go from -5 to +25 degrees on average.
The days can be hard in winter… the sun sets around 3:30 pm!
There’s little snow due to the ocean climate.
The weather is generally humid and it rains regularly. If it gets windy, the temperature can drop quickly!
What to take with you
We dress like an onion: we plan different layers of clothing. You only put on underwear that breathes, 2nd warm layer and 3rd waterproof outer layer that still breathes.
Natural fibers clothes (wool, merino, cashmere) should be put in your suitcases for this trip, as well as a robust umbrella.
Take the opportunity to get your rain boots out for this trip!
Visa and Canadian representation
No visa required. All you have to do is present yourself at customs with your Canadian passport or your French identity card if you have one.
Copenhagen – Embassy of Canada
Kristen Bernikowsgade 1, 1105 Copenhagen K., Denmark
45 33 48 32 00
Passport services are available
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Copenhagen and follow the instructions. You may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at any time.
Health and safety
Get up-to-date vaccines if they are not. A global measles advisory was issued in July 2019 due to the resurgence of measles cases, a highly contagious disease that is preventable with vaccine protection.
Registration Service for Canadians Abroad.
Copenhagen Tourist Office is located at vesterbrogade 4A towards Central Station.
The city of Copenhagen can be visited in as little as 24 hours, if you stick to the main attractions. It is recommended to stay there for about 3 days in order to properly discover the museums and the Danish crown jewels.
Here are some of our best addresses and the itinerary that Jean-Maximilien and Jean-François did during their mini-RTW; they were there for 24h: