On our 5th day during our road trip through Denmark and Sweden, we got up early to enjoy a full day in Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen.
The day we visited, there was the Copenhagen IRONMAN triathlon on and the city was full of people literally running around and a lot of the streets were closed to traffic which made it more enjoyable to walk around. We visited Copenhagen on a Sunday which made it a lot cheaper for us parking vice, because on public holidays and Sundays parking is for free in the whole city. Otherwise depending on the parking zone in the city (cheapest is Yellow, then Blue, Green and most expensive is Red) and the parking time (night or peak hour) it costs between 2-35 DKK per hour! You can see the prices here.
When we found a nice parking spot in the city center, we started off walking to Nyhavn to see the famous colourful houses of Copenhagen. It looks beautiful in the sunshine but it is pretty busy with all the tourists trying to find a perfect photo shot.
From here walk along the waterfront to the autonomous Free State of Christiania. Christiania was founded in 1971 as it was an old not-used military area where nobody was living anymore. As there wasn’t enough space in Copenhagen for payable rent, the people overtook that area and built their own houses there. Walk along these special streets while you still can, because the Danish government is planning on changing them.
From here, you can visit the Royal Danish Opera House which received the Outstanding Structure Award in 2008 for its fantastic architecture. It is located on Holmen Island. Maybe you will buy some tickets here for a show in one of the most modern Opera Houses in the world.
After visiting the Royal Danish Opera House, you can cross the bridge again, walk along the waterfront to Amalienborg Castle. At Amalienborg Castle you can have a look if the Royal Family is home at that moment as it is the official residence of them. If the Royal Family is home, every day at 12 pm you can witness the changing of the guards. The Castle is constructed as four palaces around an octagonal square. Historically the four palaces were constructed for the four different Danish aristocracy families.
If you walk towards Amalienborg Castle you will already see the beautiful building of Frederiks Church in the background. Often it is also called Marble Church which is constructed in a late Baroque style. You can visit the church from 15 June to 31st August every day at 1 pm for adults 35 DKK and children under 18 years 3,00 Euros. I highly recommend to visit the church as it is an impressive building and while visiting it reminded me of the same feeling which I had while visiting the Pantheon in Rome.
After Frederiks Church we visited the Design Museum Denmark as it has FREE admission for people under 26 years and students. For adults it costs 100 DKK. We were not disappointed as they display a huge variety of different design from all around the world and different centuries. It is a very big building with a museum garden and also a good restaurant.
Opening hours Design Museum Denmark
Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6
pm and Wednesday until 9 pm; closed on public holidays
Afterwards we went further to see Gefion Fountain where you can go to make a wish. It is an impressive fountain in the middle of Copenhagen’s port.
Right next to the fountain you will see the beautiful white St. Alban’s Church, also just called the English Church. It is from the 19th century in a Gothic Revival style. When the church is open and offers services, you can find out for every month of the year here.
If you walk over the bridge next to the Gefion Fountain and continue walking straight, you will get to the icon of Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid, a small 1,25m-high bronze statue which is based on the fairy tale of the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson.
You will walk along the rampart of the Castell of Copenhagen. You can walk all around it and then enter it either from the Norwegian or Pinneberg entrance. Inside you will find the commander house, a church and an old windmill on top of Kongens bastion. Opening hours are daily from 6 am till sunset and the admission is FREE.
After all the city walk, you can go and relax in the Botanical Garden. There is a beautiful café where you can sit down, relax and enjoy the perfect view and stunning nature around you. To get ready for the prices, you can have a look already in advance here.
Another possibility is to enjoy the nature in Copenhagen is King’s Garden or Rosenborg Castle Garden (Kongens Have). Here is also a nice café at the Hercules Pavillion with a great view of Rosenborg Castle. It is the oldest park in Copenhagen. Both gardens are open during summer time (01.04. – 30.09.) daily from 8:30 am – 6 pm and during winter time from 8:30 am – 4 pm. The admission is FREE.
Rosenborg Castle which is from the 17th century is open to visitors Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Inside is a museum with the chronological collection of Danish Kings and Queens, including the Royal Crown jewelry.
As a perfect end of the day, we suggest to visit Rundetaarn (Round Tower) and go up on the top for a perfect view of the city. Depending on your visit, you might be able to catch the sunset. It was built in the 17th century as an astronomical observatory for Copenhagen University.
Opening Hours Rundetaarn
Summer Season: 01.05. – 30.09. daily 10 am – 20
Winter Season: 01.10. – 30.04. Monday, Thursday – Sunday: 10 am – 18 and Tuesday & Wednesday 10 am – 21 (closed 24 & 25 December and 1 January)
Adults: 25 DKK
Children (5 -15 years): 5 DKK
Our suggested walking tour is shown in the map below: