Numerous design shops, alternative health food stores, colorful streets and a lively art and culture scene make the Danish capital a popular place to live for students, young families and trendy people. What attracts a young audience, which also attracts many tourists from abroad – so Copenhagen is with its attractions a popular city travel destination for young and old, hipsters and conservatives.
Copenhagen’s most famous attractions are the Nyhavn neighborhood, the Tivoli Amusement Park and the Little Mermaid, a bronze figure on the Langelinie waterfront in Copenhagen.
Which highlights you should not miss on a short trip, you will find out our top 10 listing of the most popular Copenhagen attractions. As always, we will also provide you with the address data and opening hours of the various spots.
The central harbor of Copenhagen is a popular meeting place of locals and at the same time a famous tourist hotspot. If you google for pictures of Copenhagen, the chances are high that you will first see a picture of the colorful gabled houses standing here.
The Nyhavn Canal (now the “new port”) was completed in 1673 to connect Copenhagen Harbor with Kongens Nytorv Square. Most of the colored houses were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Kongens Nytorv: The Kongens Nytorv is the largest square in central Copenhagen and connects the shopping street Strøget with the Nyhavn mile.
Then and now, the Nyhavn area is one of Copenhagen’s most popular nightlife districts. In many pubs, restaurants and dance halls young and old enjoy the evening and the night.
Amusement park Tivoli
For families with children, the Tivoli Amusement Park would surely rank first among Copenhagen’s most popular attractions. But we think, second place is the romantic amusement park even justice.
Since 1843, the Tivoli is located between the Town Hall Square and the main train station. This makes it one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, which every year attracts millions of visitors from all over the world with its numerous rides.
The most popular attractions at Tivoli Amusement Park are the Giant Ferris Wheel and Slip-Baners, a wooden roller coaster dating from 1914. Those looking for the ultimate thrill are in good hands on the park’s Dæmonen roller coaster.
The little mermaid
The Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s most famous must-sees and is located on Langelinie Pier, not far from the city center. Although the bronze statue is a highlight, but quite small: Just 125 cm measures the smallest landmark in the world.
Model for the statue was the figure from the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen – in the construction over a hundred years ago, the sculptor was inspired by the Danish actress and ballerina Ellen Price.
Interesting: Commissioner of the Little Mermaid was the Carlsberg Brewery, which has its headquarters in Copenhagen.
The Strøget (currently “Strich”) is one of the largest pedestrian areas in Europe and the central main artery of Copenhagen city center. Countless shops and cafes are a popular destination for shopping queens and kings of all ages.
Over a kilometer in length, there are both small, expensive boutiques of Prada, Gucci and Co, as well as shops for everyone like Zara and Vero Moda.
Our tip: During a walk along the shopping mile, you will automatically pass many other Copenhagen attractions. Highlights include the Copenhagen Cathedral, Christiansborg Palace and the beautiful Town Hall Square. At the very end of the “strip” you reach the Nyhavn.
Church of the Redeemer
Even from a distance you can see the imposing, 90 -meter-high corkscrew tower of the Copenhagen Erlöserkirche on the small island Amager in Öresund (strait between Zealand in Denmark and Schonen in Sweden). The ascent to the tower over 400 steps worth it: The view of Copenhagen is gigantic.
Not only the tower, but also the church itself is worth seeing. Highlights include various altars and the huge organ, which extends over three floors.
Castles Rosenberg & Amalienborg
Also Rosenborg Castle on the edge of the large royal garden in Copenhagen is one of the must-sees in the Danish capital. The owner of the castle, built around 1600, was the then King Christian IV, who also had the Lustgarten built.
Until 1720, the royal family lived in Rosenborg Castle before moving to Amalienborgumzog Castle. Later, Rosenborg Castle was transformed into a historical museum, which it still has today. Here you can visit interesting exhibits from the Danish monarchy history, as well as a number of interesting portraits.
New Carlsberg Glyptotek
Bock on a little art? Then a visit to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is definitely part of a city trip to Copenhagen. The well-known art museum was founded in 1888 by Carl Jacobsen.
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To name: Jacobsen was the son of Carlsberg brewery founder Jacob Christian Jacobsen and founded his own brewery Ny Carlsberg (“New Carlsberg”). After the death of his father Jacobsen joined both breweries and made it into the today operating worldwide beer company, which combines numerous brands. As a passionate art collector, Jacob Christian Jacobsen founded a museum foundation, which Carl Jacobsen continued. The newly built Glyptotek should be based on the Munich Glyptotek.
The exhibition includes exhibits from ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece as well as modern paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries – mainly by Danish and French artists. Highlights include various works by Rodin, Gauguin and Degas.
Not less worth seeing is the National Museum of Copenhagen. Visit this attraction to learn more about Denmark’s rich cultural history. The collection includes Stone Age finds, numerous Medieval items and Renaissance exhibits.
Highlights of the exhibition in the historic Copenhagen Princes’ Palace are the 3,000-year-old Trundholm sun car and a faithfully decorated Victorian apartment.
Our tip: If you spend your holidays together with your child or your children in Copenhagen, it is worthwhile to visit the Children’s Museum, an area in the National Museum, which is especially geared towards the little visitors.
Even if you are not a language genius, the name “Rundetaarn” quickly comes to mind for what a Copenhagen sight it is: The round tower serves as an observatory and was built in 1642. This makes the Rundetaarn the oldest functioning observatory in Europe.
Today, the tower belongs to the University of Copenhagen and has a viewing platform under the tower’s 35-meter high roof. However, before you can master the ascent to the platform, you have to bring a mere 270 meters long spiral-shaped gear behind you. But the effort is worth it: the view over the rooftops of the city is amazing; just the place for a souvenir selfie on a successful city break.
Street food on the paper island
Since 2014, the exotic street food market on the Copenhagen paper island (Papirøen) has delighted gourmets and tourists looking for a taste of the region and locals; every day from 12 o’clock. For an entry of just under 5 euros you get access to around 40 international food trucks that offer creative, yet affordable food. The offer of the street food market is rounded off by various, regularly held events.
Location: The Paper Island is close to the hipster stronghold Christiana (a free city and alternative housing development in Copenhagen, which is tolerated by the state as an autonomous community).