Copenhagen was always on top of my list, so this August I spend 3 days in Copenhagen with my friend. Of course, I enthusiastically planned our trip: what to see, which tower to climb, which are the cutest streets, where to drink specialty coffee, where to eat cinnamon bun and where to find cheap food. I’m happy to share our Copenhagen 3-day travel itinerary with you and I’ll show how we discovered the capital of Denmark. Follow our trip on Google My Maps below.
The perfect 3-day itinerary for Copenhagen, Denmark
- Breakfast and coffee at Torvehallerne food market
- Botanical Garden
- The King’s Garden + Rosenborg castle
- Landemærket + The Round Tower
- Lunch and coffee at Democratic Coffee
- Walking through Christiansborg Slot
- Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center
- Little shopping and wandering in HAY house and Illums Bolighus
- Tivoli Gardens
- Breakfast at Coffee Collective Bernikow
- Canal Tour
- Walking through the Knippelsbro to Christianshavn
- Circle bridge + walking along the canal
- Church of Our Saviour
- Lunch at Reffen street food market
- Copenhagen Contemporary
- Krøyers Plads + Inderhavnsbroen bridge
- Breakfast and coffee at Torvehallerne food market
- The Little Mermaid
- Designmuseum Denmark
- Frederik’s Church
- Royal Danish Playhouse
- Nyhavn again
- Coffee at Atelier September
- Smorrebrod for lunch
- National Aquarium Denmark
- Kastrup Sea Bath + Amager Strandpark
How to spend 3 days in Copenhagen?
Day 1 – Sunday
Breakfast at Torvehallerne
Torvehallerne food market is located in the centre, so it’s easy to start the day there, get some energy and discover the city. Its official opening time is 10 am, but a few places are already open before 10 am. Fresh market offers very colourful, healthy and tasty breakfasts like chia puddings and fruit bowls and Coffee Collective will provide your morning coffee.
Botanical Garden and Palm House
Just walk 2 blocks to reach the Botanical Garden. Visiting the garden is free, you only have to pay to access the amazing Palm House and the Butterfly House, believe me, you want to see those banana trees, palm trees and the other tropical and subtropical green beauties.
- Admission: Palm House – 60 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
The King’s Garden (Kongens Have) and Rosenborg castle
Next to the Botanical Garden, you’ll find the King’s Garden with the Rosenborg castle and its Royal Danish Collection. We just walked around the castle and the garden then headed to discover the streets of the Old Town.
- Prices: Garden – free, Rosenborg castle – 110 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
Landemaerket and The Round Tower
Landemaerket is one of the cutest streets in the Old Town of Copenhagen. It starts at King’s Garden and ends at the Round Tower (Rundetaarn), which is a 35-meter tall panorama tower and was built between 1637-42. The spiral ramp to the top was a bit busy (yep, had to wait a lot for the photo below…), but it’s worth the view.
- Price: 25 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
Small lunch and coffee at Democratic Coffee
After adoring the view from the tower, we deserved another coffee and a small lunch at Democratic Coffee. You can choose from pastries and sandwiches, I couldn’t resist the almond croissant and specilaty coffee.
Wandering in the Old Town and Christiansborg Palace
Discover the cute streets of the Old Town, don’t miss Snaregade and Magstraede, which are the two of the oldest streets there.
The island with Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot) is in the neighbourhood, we just checked the palace from outside, but if you’re into royal interiors and chapel, explore the inside of the palace (free with Copenhagen Card).
Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center
Nikolaj Kunsthal is an always changing art centre located in the almost 500-year old Church of Saint Nicholas. The bright spaces of the church give the art pieces a special atmosphere. Visiting the tower is also possible as part of a guided tour, though we already had our panorama, so we choose to dive deeper into Danish design.
- Price: 70 DKK – (free with Copenhagen Card)
Discovering the Danish design
The shopping street and square, Stroget and Amagertorv are one minute from the art centre, so on the way to Tivoli Gardens, you can stop at HAY house and Illums Bolighus to dig into the Scandinavian design.
HAY house is located on the upper floors. Skip the elevator, the staircase looks amazing with murals and colourful glasses. The shop area is even better with a view of the city, the stylish furniture and design products.
The store of Illums Bolighus is huge and showcases the most amazing Scandinavian products. You might find your perfect souvenir there.
Tivoli Gardens is more than an amusement park, it’s a huge garden with lakes and many many attractions for every age and every kind of adventure. Unfortunately, the rain caught us and we didn’t want to get wet on any rollercoaster, so we just walked around and adored the garden.
Be aware, if you own a Copenhagen Card, you should access from Vesterbrogade, not the other entrance.
- Price: 130 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card) + price per ride (30-90DKK)
Day 2 – Monday
Breakfast at Coffee Collective Bernikow
Check another Coffee Collective for more flat whites and cinnamon rolls to start your 2nd day. Both were delicious!
Time to discover the city from a different angle! Copenhagen Card includes a one-hour guided canal tour! The boat departed from Ved Stranden 26. and went back to the same bridge after an hour, during that hour it passed by Nyhavn, sailed to the upper part of the river, so you’ll see the Opera, ski slope (Amager Bakke) and Little Mermaid from the distance, which was barely visible regarding its size. The boat went along the canals of Christianshavn, then at the Circle Bridge returned to the main canal, passed by some contemporary buildings like Black Diamond, Blox and arrived at the starting point.
- Price: 95 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
After taking off the boat, walk through Knippelsbro to explore the other side of the river called Christianshavn. You can cross the Circle Bridge and stroll along the canal.
If you are looking for the best panorama, climb the 90-meter tall Church of Our Saviour. When we get there, the queue was quite big, so we decided to return later, however, the queue didn’t get smaller, we had to wait for 20 minutes to climb the 400 steps to the top. Yep, 400 steps… Though it didn’t seem that much 😉 The view was magnificent to the city, you’ll see loads of towers in the centre, canals, orange rooftops, ski slope, Reffen, Christiania…
Freetown Christiania is also located there and used to be a military area, but today it’s a hippie town for its community. Take a walk there and enjoy the bohemian, hippie atmosphere (surrounded by the smell of marijuana…).
- Price: Church of Our Saviour – 35 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
Lunch at Reffen street food market
Take a bus from Christianshavn to the foodie paradise called Reffen street food market. First, we were wandering around adoring the colourful containers function as food stalls and were thinking about what to eat. Smorrebrod, taco, hot dog, Italian, burger, grill, sushi, ice cream? I chose a traditional Danish hot dog at Nordic Hotdog, and I’m still happy with my choice. It looked beautiful and it tasted super good. And Reffen Coffee Roasters won’t let you stay without coffee 😉
The food stalls only accept card, if you want to pay by cash, at “Little Village” you can top-up a card and refund the rest of the money later.
On Monday, the museums are closed, so we didn’t have a chance to check out Copenhagen Contemporary, but if you’re a contemporary art lover, put this museum on your list.
After lunch at the river, take a bus back to Christianshavn, wander around Krøyers Plads to adore the Danish contemporary architecture and then you can return to the other side of the river through Inderhavnsbroen bridge.
Nyhavn is one of the most-visited parts of the city, the streets along the canal were full of tourist taking photos and wandering (just like us…). The canal used to be a busy commercial port, nowadays, the colourful houses and restaurant are attracting the people. Rajissimo 3 ice cream and waffle place also attracted us 😛 Are you ready for ice cream?
Day 3 – Tuesday
Our flight left only in the afternoon, so we dropped off our luggage at a LuggageHero storage, which has many locations in Copenhagen, book your luggage a place, just be aware of their opening times, some of them only open later. The counting will start only in the shop when you drop off your bag and you stop it on your phone when you’re back to pick it up and pay automatically with your card… Super easy!
Breakfast at Torvehallerne
We returned to the Torvehallerne food market to try out the famous Danish open sandwich called smorrebrod, but they opened only at 10, so I tried out a cinnamon roll at Lauras bakery and a flat white at Coffee Collective 😛
The Little Mermaid
To save some time, you can take a train to Osterport station and walk a bit to see Copenhagen’s most famous statue, The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), which is called little with a good reason. It’s little! So it’s easier to notice a lot of tourists than the statue. Though if you’re in Copenhagen, you have to see it…
Walking on the top of Kastellet
A pentagon-shaped fortress surrounded by water called Kastellet is located close to the statue and you can walk on the grassy top of the pentagon shape. It offers great view to the river and its neighbouring.
A must-visit place for Danish design lovers! Designmuseum Denmark is a home of many many beautiful Danish furniture and design product. My favourite parts were the Arne Jacobsen’s famous chairs and “The Danish Chair” affair, which is a corridor with the most significant Danish chairs. Don’t forget to check on the way out the amazing museum shop with awesome books, design goods and accessories.
- Price: 115 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
Frederik’s Church and Amalienborg
From the museum, move towards the river passing by Frederik’s Church and Amalienborg. At the riverbank, we just enjoyed the view of the blue water and the Opera on the other side.
Smorrebrod and coffee for lunch
We couldn’t leave Copenhagen without trying out one of their most famous food, the open sandwich called smorrebrod. After walking along Nyhavn we started our hunt for smorrebrod and in the cute courtyard of Boltens food court we found it! The thin rye bread was barely visible under the toppings, which were super tasty and beautiful.
Coffee time again! Café Atelier September was only a few blocks away, so you can test their coffees, the flat white passed my test 😛
We went back to the LuggageHero storage for our luggage and headed to the metro.
National Aquarium Denmark
On the way to the airport (20 minutes by metro from the centre), stop at the National Aquarium Denmark (Den Bla Planet) to see the fishes of the largest aquarium of Northern Europe. The building is an architectural beauty in itself, moreover, it’s a home of 400 species from all over the world.
- Price: 180 DKK (free with Copenhagen Card)
Kastrup Sea Bath + Amager Strandpark
If you are that close to the sea, take a walk (especially if it’s sunny) and check the Danish sea. A few people were in the water at Kastrup Sea Bath (Kastrup Sobad), which is a wooden structure in the sea, protecting from waves.
Walk further to reach Amager Strandpark with its lovely sandy beach.
Time to go to the airport…
And yep, the 3 days are over… I could enjoy my time there for more than 3 days, but the number of my holidays is limited…
So our 3 days in Copenhagen looked like this. We enjoyed every moment of it without any rush. I’m sure, I’ll return to this gorgeous city, there’s a lot to see and more coffee shops to try out 😉 See you again one day, Copenhagen!
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