Copenhagen is a city that won a lot of “the best” city awards. It is ecological, family-friendly but most of all, it is the city to see when you want to experience the classic Nordic city. Even though there is a lot to see, 3 days in Copenhagen can be enough to see everything you want to.
While visiting Copenhagen you will see old buildings can be neighbors of the new architecture masterpieces and yet it doesn’t look like a circus.
3 days in Copenhagen itinerary
Go through canals
Start your 3 days in Copenhagen by just a walk. Christianshavn is a great place for doing it. You will get to see a lot of buildings around., both old and new. Take a moment to discover, what would you like to see from inside as well.
While you are walking, on the other side of the canal, you will get to see the royal library, danish architecture center, and national theatre.
Walk like this can be especially significant during the night when you can see all the nightlights of this significant architecture. During warm summer evening is a nice place to walk around with the smell of the sea and good vibes around. And if you don’t feel like walking, there is a lot of cruise tours inside of the canals, alternatively, you can also borrow a kayak and flow around by yourself!
Buildings you see on the canals
A national theatre is possible to visit only if you buy a ticket for some play. But the rest of the two modern buildings that I mentioned above are perfectly fine to visit. If you are a bookworm or just love modern architecture, the library, also called Back Diamond, is free to visit and opened on workdays from 8 am till 8 pm, Saturdays are from 9 am till 6 pm and is closed on Sundays.
Even though you can enter the Library for free, with the Danish architecture center it is whole another story. The restored warehouse is now serving as an architecture and design museum. You will get to know here a lot about danish architecture and famous buildings that were designed by Danes. It is opened every day from 10 am till 6 pm and the entry fee cost 110 dkk (about 9 dollars).
Visit Free city of Christiania
Christiania supposed to be a little state inside of Danish capital. It doesn’t work that way, because all of the citizens are using danish education, welfare, and social system, but it is a nice thought. Christiania is full of graffiti art, cheap food, and concerts. But you can also find here drugs like marihuana or hashish. Even though that might seem worrying, this neighborhood is very peaceful and full of good atmosphere.
Christiania likes to present itself as the cultural side of Copenhagen, which is not only for the graffiti but also the free concerts during the night. So if you have a spare evening, pop by Christiania. It has a fantastic atmosphere.
Few important things: Do not take pictures there. People, there are afraid that you might be an undercover cop or that you will just give your pictures to the police. And perhaps the only part of the city, cash is the king here. Because of the whole independent gig, they are not having a card machine as it is something that they would need to pay taxes to the Danish government.
Let’s finish the first day by enjoying the view of Nyhavn. Copenhagen’s most famous place. The harbor was built in the 17th century and remains stunning until now. The brightly colored houses are standing here from the 17th and 18th centuries. But nowadays, they are rarely used as apartments. Most of them are made into cafés and bars that you can enjoy here all year round.
The food and drinks here are rather expensive – even for Copenhagen – but if you usually with high quality. They are also offering traditional danish food. If you are looking for a cheap place to have a beer, try café Monten. It is in one of the side streets, but there are good prices and sometimes live music.
2nd day in Copenhagen
Let’s start your 2. out of 3 days in Copenhagen by exploring the danish royal places. The first stop is Amalienborg that is till today queens home. Unlike Buckingham Palace in England, this royal palace is open to the public, so you can see both the changing of guards ritual, which is here every day from noon. But you can also choose to go inside. And who wouldn’t want to see the queens livingroom?
Ok, truth is, that you cannot see the living room, but you can see the interiors of Christian VIII’s palace. During the visit, it is entirely possible to get to know more about the royal family in Denmark and about Margrethe II. You can also see some queens jewelry and get to know a lot about how the royal family lives nowadays. The opening hours are here, and the ticket cost 95dkk for adult.
Christiansborg – the parliament building
Danes seem to have a strange habit of being close to their politicians. But in the way, I like it, so let’s have a look at another historical building, which is also the building of parliament as well.
The Christians borg palace is also a building of the Danish parliament. It is located in the heart of Copenhagen and you can still find their offices of the Prime minister. It is possible to visit the building, however, the possibility is there only in the form of a guided tour.
Tours in English are only on Thursdays, otherwise, you will get to hear it in Danish, but it is not the worse thing, you can still visit the palace and see the inside, which was built in the 16th century. I would recommend booking the tour ahead as they are always taking only a limited number of visitors. Tour takes about 45 minutes and makes sure you will be there at least 15 minutes before because you will need to go through security. Once you are on the tour, just enjoy it. Most of the tourist get the chance to visit the tower of Christiansborg Palace. It is the highest tower in Copenhagen and there is an amazing view from it.
Let’s finish the day on the shore by one of the most famous sculptures in Copenhagen. The sculpture is made out of bronze and it is inspired by the famous fairy tale by H. C. Andersen. According to Andersen’s story, little mermaid fell in love with a prince. A witch promised to the mermaid that if a prince will fall in love with her, she will become human. If not, she will vanish in the meerschaum. Read the whole story if you want to know how it ended, but be aware that it is nothing like the Disney story.
When you come to visit the little mermaid, just know that it is truly a little mermaid, meaning that it is nothing like massive horse statues that you can see from far. The thing that you can see from far are the crowds that are surrounding the famous statue.
Sometimes the statue is a little bit damaged because it is often a target of some activists. But locals do a lot for everyone to see the mermaid in its natural beauty.
There is one thing that you will not miss on your way to the Little Mermaid. And that is a star-shaped military fortress. It is right on your way to the statue. In the fortress, you can see a museum and ramparts. If you are going to be lucky, you can also see there a concert, because this place is regularly hosting free events like concerts or exhibitions.
During the 3 days in Copenhagen, you shouldn’t miss another castle called Rosenborg. It is a summer house for the queen but also something that everyone can visit. Rennaisance castle has an amazing park around it. Locals are using this place to relax as well, so in the summer you can see a lot of students here reading or generally just enjoying the nice day.
But what can you see inside? Firstly the crown jewels. The exhibition starts with the first jewels that survived the wars. So the first one is from 1746 from Queen Sophie Magdalene, who widowed. The newest jewelry here comes from 2004 when it was used during the royal danish wedding.
The castle doesn’t offer just a collection of royal jewelry but also an exhibition of portraits and more of royal art. You can take both guided tours or just tickets and walk through exhibitions yourself. The opening hours change, you can find them here. But the tickets are always the same, costing about 120dkk – about 20 dollars.
In general, I think that during your 3 days in Copenhagen you should have some fun. And even though the museum is fun for a lot of people, the Tivoli garden offers fun for everyone also for kids. In general, even though Tivoli it is not just for kids, it is something that you can enjoy on family trip in Copenhagen.
The Tivoli Gardens are a big amusement park, that offers games and rides on different attractions. Apart from that, you can also enjoy here a lot of cultural events like music concerts, musicals or ballets.
The park opened back in 1843, which makes it the second oldest amusement park in the world. Tivoli now works also as a chain of amusement parks so you can also visit it in the Danish city of Aarhus or Stockholm. The amusement park works every day from 11 in the morning till 11 pm and the entry fee is 240dkk.
More info about how to spend 3 days in Copenhagen
Where to stay in Copenhagen
Copenhagen has a lot of hotels and apartments for all kinds of travelers. So whether you are looking for budget hostels, Boutique hotels or just some business hotels with decent prices. In general, you should know that the hotels in the center are quite expensive and you need to book them ahead.
Hostels in Copenhagen are usually really nicely made with cool services. Popular ones are for example Danhostels. This hostel is in the center and is also very cheap.
Getting around Copenhagen
The part of Copenhagen that I mentioned here in the post is very easy to get by just walk, so unless you don’t have a hotel in the city center, it is not necessary to get into Copenhagen traffic. Otherwise, there is a lot of busses in Copenhagen or the easiest access is the local subway.
If you are planning to travel by bus or subway, you might want to consider buying something called Rejsekort. It is a card, where you put money and then the tickets will be paid once you beep yourself on the bus or subway.
If you want to fit in the locals’ habit, you might want to try bikes. There is a lot of biking routes around Copenhagen and Danes are using bikes just normally to get to work. There is no hill in Copenhagen so it is easy to get around. Your only enemy would be wind. For bikes you can either rent one in specializes shop or just go for white city bikes, that is parked in a lot of places, you just pay for it through the app.
When to go to Copenhagen
Because I live in Denmark, I’m tempted to say any time is a good time. But that wouldn’t be true. The main season in Copenhagen is in summer, so from June to August. During this season it is also the warmest weather and just a little bit of wind. So it is nice to wander around in this weather. There is also a lot of cultural events in these months. However, the downfall of it is the fact that there will be a lot more tourists.
Spring and fall in Denmark are the same, it can be raining a lot or it can be surprisingly sunny. But expect that at least one day it will be rainy – statistically, there are about 150 rainy days in Denmark every year.
Winter in Copenhagen can be nice and cozy. But count with very cool temperatures usually around 0 degrees. There is also not so much light during the winter months, but it can be interesting to see all the Christmas lights and decorations.
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