Three Days in Copenhagen

Nyhavn from the Canal, Copenhagen Denmark Just a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of spending 72 peaceful hours wandering about Copenhagen all by lonesome. Copenhagen has all of the ease of Scandinavian traveling (which you know I adore), along with a vibrant foodie and art scene, nestled amongst colorful rooftops along stunning canals. Here’s what to do with three days all to yourself (or with a friend or two) in Denmark’s bustling hub.

With 3 days in Copenhagen here’s the basics you need to cover: Eat and drink… Coffee Collective Torvehallerne Food Market Copenhagen

Bike like a local…Cycling Copenhagen Bike Tour

Wander the streets…Copenhagen Flower Stalls

Cruise the canals…Copenhagen 23

and spend a day in the North. Kornborg Castle Helsingør Denmark

Get my full itinerary for three days in Copenhagen after the jump…

Three Days in Copenhagen

I started my journey with a direct flight from SFO to Copenhagen in SAS Economy Plus class, which was ideal for the 8 hour flight. It’s a little roomier than coach with a few more amenities (leg rests, meal choices, toiletry kit), but nowhere near the price tag of business class. I arrived in Copenhagen well rested and ready to experience some of the city’s famous foods. I checked into my newly-renovated spa room at Hotel Kong Arthur, threw on my walking boots, and headed down to the meatpacking district for dinner at Restaurant Kul. I did the five course set menu with wine pairings and my mouth was delighted.

After dinner I wandered around the ultra-hip meatpacking district checking out the scene before walking up to Lidkoeb for a drink. I had originally planned this trip for earlier in the summer with a girlfriend, but a family emergency made me have to reschedule. She had done the trip without me, so she had many tips to share. She insisted I make my way to this bar, and I’m so glad she did. I had a French 75, which is the official drink of Pretty Prudent, and met some friendly locals nestled in a secret courtyard lit with sparkling lights. Lidkoeb French 75

My first full day in Copenhagen began with a coffee at Bang and Jensen (recommended by my friend, and totally wonderful in both decor and coffee quality – and Københavnere (Copenhagens) take their coffee very seriously).
Bang and Jensen Coffee Copenhagen

Then I set off on a wonderful bike tour, as should you. If you visit Copenhagen, you must bicycle to really get a feel for the city. Cycling Copenhagen Bike Tour

Copenhagen is entirely flat, making it the easiest place in the world for everyone to bike everywhere. With a great guide, like ours from Cycling Copenhagen (cannot recommend this company enough) we were very comfortable on the busy city streets and got a three-hour highlight tour of both the popular tourist sights and more off-the-beaten path sites. From city streets Jægersborggade Copenhagen

to Assistens Cemetery in Nørrebro (burial place of Hans Christian Andersen) Assistens Cemetery Copenhagen

over the new Olafur Eliasson-designed bridge with a view of the Royal Library, also known as the “Black Diamond” for the way it sparkles when the sun hits it just right. The Royal Library, Black Diamond, Copenhagen

We checked out the public “pool” known as Harbour Bath at Islands Bryyge. Yes, people were swimming in its frigid waters, but the city supplies a sauna right outside, so if polar-plunge is your type of thing, definitely make a stop here. Harbour bath Islands Brygge Copenhagen

We stopped for a break at Torvehallerne Food Market Torvehallerne Food Market Copenhagen

to admire the local farm offerings Torvehallerne Food Market

and grab a coffee from famed local coffeehouse, Coffee Collective. Coffee Collective Copenhagen

We passed countless beautiful flower shops. Copenhagen Flower Shops Copenhagen Flower Stalls

and of course Grød, the celebrated Copenhagen restaurant that only serves porridge. Grød Copenhagen

After our three hours of pleasant cruising around the city, I walked to Tårnet, the restaurant within the tower of Christiansborg Castle, where the Danish parliament resides. The view from the top of the tower was stunning. View from Tårnet, Christiansborg Castle, Copenhagen

At the restaurant I sampled a variety of Copenhagen’s favorite food, smørrebrød, which means open-faced sandwiches. I could eat open-faced sandwiches three meals a day. Smørrebrød: Denmark Open Faced Sandwiches

After lunch I used my Copenhagen Card (all visitors to Copenhagen should snag one of these, it lets you use public transportation without ever buying a ticket, into most museums for no charge, and onto the canal cruises, amongst other things) to hop onto a canal tour departing from Gamle Strand right across the road from Tårnet. From here I saw Copenhagen from the water and it was lovely. Copenhagen Canal Tour

The Copenhagen Opera House as seen from the water is a marvel of modern design. Copenhagen Opera House

And of course, we saw the Little Mermaid, one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist attractions. The Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark

The most beautiful stop on your canal tour is of course Nyhavn. Nyhavn from the Canal, Copenhagen Denmark Nyhavn from the Canal, Copenhagen Denmark

I was told the red house used to be home to Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Christian Andersen House Copenhagen

After my canal tour I was chilly, so I warmed up with more coffee from Coffee CollectiveCoffee Collective Torvehallerne Food Market Copenhagen

before heading to Tivoli Gardens. Never have I been more sad not to have my little love with me, as her seven-year-old self would have lost her mind in this charming theme park. I did win her a few treats though! The park was all done up for Halloween. Halloween in Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens is magical. Tivoli Gardens Lights Copenhagen Denmark

And of course, I rode a roller coaster all by myself. How can you not ride a roller coaster in Denmark when it’s right there?? Tivoli Gardens Roller Coaster

After a good night’s rest, I awoke early and easily hopped on a train to the North of Copenhagen for a day of exploring. I always visit the modern art museum in every city I travel to, so I chose the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. I’m so glad I did. It was such a peaceful, amazing morning. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Copenhagen

Saw the Calder above and some Damien Hirst, Damien Hirst Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

and really enjoyed the Lucian Freud and Yayoi Kusama exhibits. Yayoi Kusama Exhibit Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

From there I took the train a few more stops, then wandered through Helsingør
Helsingør Copenhagen Denmark

to Kronborg Castle, made famous as the setting for Hamlet. Kronborg Castle Kornborg Castle Helsingør Denmark Kornborg Castle, Denmark

From there I made my way back to the hotel, slept the sleep of champions, then awoke early to head home with beautiful memories of the streets of Copenhagen. Streets of Copenhagen

I can’t wait to go back to Copenhagen with my family to spend more time getting to know the city. If you are traveling to Denmark, check out the Visit Copenhagen site for all the tips and advice you could ever want. Farvel!



Karla M Curry

It all looks so wonderful! I’m half Danish – my dad and his parents moved from Denmark when he was a little boy – and I’ve always thought it would be nice to visit. I’ve always been partial to Hans Christian Andersen and other Danish influences! Have you tried abelskiver?

Soleil Roth

This post was great as it is similar to the way I write my ow personal travel blog and I will be visiting Copenhagen in a week, about the same time you visited and everything will be decorated for Halloween as well! Thanks for the beautiful photos and helpful post!


OMG. I love the photos. Tivoli Gardens look so beautiful at night. And oh all that art. I am so looking forward to see Copenhagen this weekend. <3


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