One Perfect Day in Copenhagen

Nayvn Copenhagen

There is something about Copenhagen that has me longing to make a return visit. It’s a city of great juxtapositions – I could label it quaint but vibrant can describe the city as well; a burgeoning food scene and a thriving design scene.

Just a few hours from most European cities, Copenhagen is the perfect city to consider when planning a last minute break; with plenty of things to see and do right in the heart of the city. Here are my suggestions for one perfect day in the Danish capital.

Danish breakfast


Spend the morning enjoying your hotel with a sleep in or make the most of a traditional Danish breakfast. Pass on the cereal and enjoy rye bread, white bread or rolls with cheese and jam. Raw vegetables, herring, boiled eggs and salmon are also commonly seen. Wash this down with tea, coffee, orange juice or a glass of Danish bitters.

Cycling in Copenhagen


Forget cars, rent a bicycle and see the city. Bicycle culture is a big deal in Copenhagen with bikes available to rent throughout the city.
Grab a map because many of the popular city sites are accessible by biking – the bronze statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace – the royal residence since 1751 and Nyhavn, famous for the colourful wooden schooners lining the canal.



If you’re near Amalienborg Palace watch the changing of the guard which happens at noon, and then head out for lunch. Try open-faced smørrebrød sandwiches – a Scandinavian speciality. Slices of cold meat, sausage or hard-boiled eggs are placed on open rye-bread to create filling sandwiches.
To get a more traditional taste of Danish smørrebrød be sure to try leverpostej (liver pate), smoked salmon or salted beef varieties.

Rundertaarn (The Round Tower) in Central Copenhagen


Head back towards the city centre and take a stop at Rundertaarn – the Round Tower for views across the city. Built between 1637 and 1642 means that it isn’t the tallest building, but the architecture, history, and steep spiral walk to the top – 114 feet off the ground.

Stroget - shopping street in Copenhagen


Take a trip down Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street – Strøget! At — in length, it’s a nice street to take your time and window shop or to bike down the thoroughfare to the Town Hall Square (Radhauspladsen).
Some of Denmark’s most famous designers have shops on this street. Be sure to stop at Illums Bolighus, which features Danish design, as well as famed silver jewellery design, Georg Jensen‘s flagship store.

From here the Tivoli Gardens is a short ride along Vesterbrogade, or head towards Christiania – the self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood – a bohemian area with plenty of artists and musicians to see.

Den Okologiske Polsemand hot dog stand in Copenhagen, Denmark


Copenhagen is the gastronomical capital of Scandinavia. Home to famed Michelin star restaurants such as two Michelin star restaurant Noma and the only Thai restaurant outside of Thailand with a Michelin star, Kiin Kiin, great food can be found which won’t need you booking months in advance.

Danish newspaper Politiken recently had readers vote on their favourite Copenhagen eatery and the award went to a hotdog stand. Den Økologiske Pølsemand (the organic hotdog man), or Døp for short, near the Round Tower serves grilled pork and beef sausages. If you want a more Swedish taste, swap the bread for potato and parsnip mash.
Other top suggestions are Rex Republic is famed for its Danish sirloin and rump steaks, Vespa for really good Italian food, or The Rice Market – the sister restaurant to Michelin starred Kiin Kiin.

Be sure to check out the Copenhagen visitors board for more inexpensive restaurant ideas

Mikkeller Copenhagen


After a busy day why not relax with the beer, Danish style. Try a Tuborg beer (Carlsberg), visit the meatpacking district has several funky bars including local artist designed Karriere Bar, for cocktails head back to Nyhvn or check out Mikkeller a small but funky microbrewery two blocks away on Viktoriagade. Be sure to ask to see the squirrel bottle if you visit!

How would you spend one perfect day in Copenhagen?


How to get to Copenhagen:

There are a number of ways to reach Copenhagen from across Europe. The city can be reached by road through Germany and Sweden, daily ferries from Oslo, Norway and is a hub for DBS railway.

The cities main international airport is Copenhagen Airport, located just outside the Danish capital and servicing both the city and Malmo, Sweden.

The airport is the hub for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian) and also have the most daily flights; but is serviced by airlines from Europe, North America, Asia and beyond.

I’ve travelled to Copenhagen by a number of routes. The first time I was set to take the train from Copenhagen to London, via. Munich and Amsterdam. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience due to the length of passage when I should have broken my journey into more manageable pieces. I lasted until Amsterdam where I instead chose to fly the rest of the way to London.

By far the most convenient, and my favoured option, is flying. I’ve flown with – and would fly again – SAS, Norwegian and easyJet to Copenhagen.


Getting to/from Copenhagen Airport:

Copenhagen Airport is about a 15-minute drive from Copenhagen’s city centre.

By far the easiest option to get into central Copenhagen is by the Copenhagen Metro. The Metro departs every 4-6 minutes and can find the station above the underground rail station in Terminal 3 (above the underground station) and travels along elevated tracks for much of the journey.

The airport is also serviced by the DSB Øresund which run to Copenhagen’s city centre and beyond to Sweden. The airport station also has InterCity and InterCityExpress trains that run to Danish cities like Aarhus and Aalborg.

The train stations are found in Terminal 3. To get to Terminal 3 from other terminals, the airport operates a free bus every 15 minutes.

For more information on how to get to Copenhagen Airport, check their website.


Where to stay in Copenhagen:

In Copenhagen, I highly recommend staying at Ibsens Hotel. A boutique hotel located near Tivoli Gardens and the waterfront. It’s a short distance to the city centres most popular sites, perfect for walking or cycling from.
The modern hotel is decorated with bold black and white with pops of colour in just the right places. The rooms are a good size (not claustrophobic!) but minalist and functional, in true Scandinavian design style.

While the Ibsens Hotel is the cool artistic younger member of the family, their sister property, Hotel Kong Arthur, is a more refined dame. I highly recommend spending an evening at their Jazz Bar!

If you are looking for a budget option, I’ve stayed at both the Generator Copenhagen and Sleep in Heaven.
Sleep in Heaven offers guests a relaxed neighbourhood experience in the very cool Norrebro, while the Generator Copenhagen is the eclectic party animal in the city centre. I’d recommend both depending what you were looking for.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    This city has been on my bucket list for a while. It looks so pretty! And that hot dog is insane!! Can’t wait to check it out next year!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Copenhagen is such a beautiful and fun city to explore!

      I think I’m going to have to hunt down the hot dog vendor again when I’m back later this year. They were delicious! =)

  • Reply
    May 3, 2013 at 1:36 am

    just what I needed before my pending trip to Denmark. I look forward to my perfect day in Copenhagen 🙂 Thanks Nicole.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Not a problem, Jen!

      I look forward to hearing what you discover about wonderful Copenhagen (and outside of the city boundaries!)

  • Reply
    Thomas Dembie
    May 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I would do many of the things you described above since I love food! I would also try to fit in a visit to the Carlsberg brewery! I really enjoyed the brewery visit on my last trip because it allowed me to taste some beers that aren’t available where I live.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

      I didn’t know that Carlsberg shipped different beers around the world – how interesting!
      Will definitely have to add that to my itinerary for my next trip. =)

      Do you have any more top food tips for Copenhagen?

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 5:25 am

    The photo at the very top of the post is awesome! I didn’t realize parts of the city were so colorful. I’d definitely love to go and explore!

  • Reply
    Izy Berry
    May 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Great photos! I would love to visit Denmark and try out your suggested itinerary! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Thanks, Izy!

      Hope you get to visit Copenhagen soon. =)

  • Reply
    May 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    the food looks amazing!…so does Copenhagen, i guess 😛

    • Reply
      May 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Copenhagen is full of amazing food, and yes – it is pretty amazing to!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I’d love to visit Copenhagen some day, but the prices scare me a bit

    • Reply
      May 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      The prices can be a bit scary in Denmark (or Scandinavia in general!) but the city can be done fairly cheaply. =)

  • Reply
    Emma @ GottaKeepMovin
    May 12, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Copenhagen! Well, I’ve always wanted to go everywhere but openhagen is up there on the never ending list. The picture of smørrebrød is making me hungry, and would love to head to one of those funky bars as well for a beet. Great post!

  • Reply
    armida trentino
    May 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I have visited Copenhagen once but still is thirsty to revisit this city.Seeing your photos i am pretty tempted to be there.My experience was also good for my first visit.I had my friend with me that is the link given in the comment.

  • Reply
    Charli l Wanderlusters
    June 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    It frustrates me when I see posts regarding alluring cities in Europe. So close to me while I was eager to fly the nest and now I’m on the other side of the world I want to return to explore my own back yard! Great piece!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I didn’t know Copenhagen was so cute! Now it’s my number one destination in Northern Europe!

  • Reply
    Joao Luis
    April 30, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Looking forward to visiting Scandinavia come July.
    I will be driving from Germany 9 days, 3000 kms to take in the 3 capitals in 1 day each. Of course you say it’s close to major European cities but by plane (and expensive fares at that).
    Your suggestions look good as for photo opportunities.
    The food tips also are very useful. Will try to get some.

  • Reply
    Moving to Denmark's Capital Region : 4 things you need to know
    November 11, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    […] image source bittenbythetravelbug.com […]

  • Reply
    July 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Heading there next week. Can’t wait!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 1:57 am

    […] bittenbythetravelbug […]

  • Reply
    What is J-Dag? - A Celebration in Copenhagen - Bitten by the Travel Bug
    November 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    […] One Perfect Day in Copenhagen […]

  • Leave a Reply