Copenhagen: The Danish capital’s most interesting places

What to see in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

What to see in Copenhagen in 1, 2 days or more? What sights are worth seeing for a foreign tourist in the Danish capital and its suburbs? How to plan your itinerary, ticket prices and excursions in Copenhagen in 2020 – read in the review

Copenhagen is the quietest capital in Scandinavia. It is bright, clean and cozy. The people walk leisurely, many ride bikes, and the atmosphere is full of peace and quiet of refined European quality. In a word – civilization!

It pulls a lot of walking and standing for a long time without a single thought in his head, staring at some monument or facade. Literally enjoying the peace and contemplation.

Bad weather? Yes, the skies here often frown, and meteorologists say it rains at least half the year. But if you plan a trip to Copenhagen for more than a day, the weather forecast is not critical.

Today it’s pouring – tomorrow it will be sunny. Consciousness is good, and every cell is imbued with a philosophical attitude to the surrounding reality! In fact, the body sinks into nirvana, and you feel as if you are soaring above reality.

But to the point! What can be seen in Copenhagen, and how to plan your time? About that – below!

Hammeltorv, Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen – day one

Haste in the capital of Denmark, as should be clear from the above, is not allowed. And so we get used to squandering time! The main thing – the impressions. With the right (read – measured) approach their quality will be quite consistent with the money spent.

You should not start with Hans-Christian Andersen and Mermaid, but with the place, where the “merchant harbor” was founded. It is widely believed that Bishop Absalon commanded the first fortifications to be erected on the site where the vast Christiansborg complex stands today.

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Once the residence of the kings, it is now the citadel of Danish statehood: Parliament sits here, the Prime Minister works. Monarchs sometimes hold ceremonial events inside – at other times the halls are open to the public (guided tours are only in Danish and English).

The tourist can also have a look at the castle church, visit the royal stables and descend into the basement, where an entire historical museum has been created on the site of archaeological excavations.

Tickets to Christiansborg are not cheap, but those under 18 are free. By the way, there seem to be a lot of Chinese tourists wandering around. Why else would the official site have a Chinese version?

Christiansborg, Copenhagen

The Thorvaldsen Museum, devoted to the Danish titan of sculpture, is located nearby. The building looks simple and solemn, functional. Inside – weight of the statues donated by the genius to his native Copenhagen a few years before his death. Torvaldsen, by the way, is buried here – in the courtyard.

It is unlikely that you will dare to visit the museum if you have only 1-2 days. But it doesn’t hurt to know what this yellow building is nestled in the shadow of the former royal palace.

On the island of Slotsholmen there is another notable attraction. The eye-catcher is the ornate building of the Stock Exchange, Børsen, built by Dutch architects in the 17th century. The house with its red walls, green roof and twisted spire is extremely photogenic and has an interesting history. For once, getting out to see Copenhagen and passing this building is unacceptable.

Børsen, Copenhagen

Amalienborg and the Marble Church

But we move on – to another royal palace, Amalienborg. The concept of the complex, which is the official winter residence of the local monarchs, is very interesting: four houses of similar architecture frame an octagonal square.

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The question immediately arises: what do they need so many of them for? It turns out that the Danish kings simply bought four palaces after their own residence, Christiansborg, burned down in 1794. They didn’t demolish and merge or build a new one – it turned out to be convenient to disperse into different corners (and not meet))).

Today the family lives in the palace of Christian IX, and the Moltke Building is used for official ceremonies. A notable landmark of the square are the standing royal guardsmen. In the manner of the British, they are equipped with huge bear hats.

Guided tours of Amalienborg (in English and Danish, included in the price) are offered once a day. And to be guaranteed to be a participant, reserve your date online.

The King's Guards, Copenhagen

Palace Square, Amalienborg Slotsplads, is dislocated right on the axis between Frederik Church (Marble Church) and the modernist Copenhagen Opera House building on the other side of the harbor. Since it was the first to emerge, the architects who designed the church and then the theater had to adjust.

You can visually appreciate the winning perspective if you go up to the top of the church in person. It was built a century and a half (1749-1894) because of the constant shortage of money, but it looks very solid.


We suggest finishing the first day in Copenhagen with a walk through the first fully pedestrianized area in the world, the famous Stroget Street. It consists of several streets and stretches from Kongens Nytorv, the New Royal Square, to the Town Hall (Rådhus).

The latter is a good mix of Italian and Scandinavian Renaissance. It is a mix of Italian and Scandinavian renaissance architecture, mixed and mastered at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Danes are extremely proud of it! The monumental and recognizable Town Hall can be seen in almost every local movie or TV series.

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City Hall in Copenhagen

North of the Town Hall Square is the museum “Fairy Tale House” by H.-H. Andersen. And on the other side stretches the expanse of the famous Tivoli. A world pioneer in the amusement park category!

At Christmas time this attraction is on the list of must-see attractions at number one. Because in Tivoli, illuminated by millions of lights, the fairy tale really comes to life.

A 5-minute walk from Town Hall Square to the door of the National Museum of Denmark (Vestergade, 10).

Day 2

What else is worth seeing in Copenhagen? Not much – on the contrary, you begin to realize that you might not have time to cover everything you want to see.

So we encourage you to relax and just enjoy! Those who want to consolidate the experience of the day before with an interesting story from the mouth of a local, go on an individual tour. It usually takes 2-3 hours and may be a worthy culmination of the visit to the capital of Denmark.

But we continue to bend the line and go further on their own!


Authentic New Harbor, built with colorful houses in the spirit of Bergen or Venetian Burano. A cup of coffee and a croissant under the umbrella of one of the many cafes on the waterfront will set you up for great things. Because you have to walk a lot…

In the houses on the waterfront loved to live the great Andersen. He drew inspiration from the fabulous variety of colors.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Kastellet and the Little Mermaid

The Kastellet is a citadel that once protected the entrance to Copenhagen’s inner harbor. There’s not much to see, really: earthen ramparts overgrown with grass, a few buildings inside the once mighty star-shaped fortification. It’s hardly worth the two-kilometer walk from Nyhavn, especially since you can only enter the territory from the farthest side.

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The main prize of the cultural tour is different: the sad figure of the Little Mermaid at the beginning of the Langelinie promenade. Edvard Eriksen’s bronze sculpture (1913) is a symbol of Copenhagen. And another reminder that this is where Hans-Christian wrote his fairy tales.

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

On the way to the Little Mermaid you will see the Anglican Church of St. Alban, built in the 19th century in full accordance with Gothic canons. And there’s one more noteworthy sight: the Hephaion Fountain. It was created with money from the Karlsberg beer corporation at the beginning of the twentieth century.

On the way back, you can stop and see the Royal Garden and Rosenborg Castle, built in Renaissance style, transposed to Flemish architectural traditions.

The palace was once the summer residence of kings, and now displays preserved interiors and collections: for example, porcelain. It is believed that it was the princess who knocked at the gates of Rosenborg on a rainy night. The same one who felt a pea through a slew of featherbeds.

You’ll say: what else is a summer palace in the center of town? But it turns out that in the early seventeenth century it was the very outskirts of Copenhagen.

Rosenborg, Copenhagen

On the diagonal of the garden in the north direction is the State Art Museum. The largest art collection in the country. If you have time, stop by – the museum is open any day except Mondays: Adult ticket costs 120 Danish kroner, children 0-17 years old get in for free…

The imposing Round Tower (Rundetaarn, Købmagergade 52A), which flanks the church instead of the bell tower, was built by 1642. Its full height is 36 meters, and it has an observation deck at the top. You can climb it by a sloping spiral ramp.

What is the purpose of the tower? Originally it was an astronomical observatory. And today inside it are carefully preserved items that belonged to the great dan Tycho Brahe. And by the way, Rundetaarn is immortalized in Andersen’s “Fire”: remember the dog with big eyes guarding the chest of gold?

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What to see in the vicinity

In the case of a trip to the metropolitan suburbs, the journey can get long. With good reason.

You can’t miss the chance to see Hamlet Castle, only 45 km from Copenhagen, can you? And you can’t miss the old cathedral in Roskilde, can you? And also the Viking Ship Museum there? Which has – what a lucky man – 5 original drakkar!

Cronborg Castle, Denmark

The Renaissance royal palace of Fredriksborg in Hillerød is also worth seeing, though not original, but replicated in the XIX century. In July and August, Fredensborg, the current country residence of the Danish monarchs, also invites visitors.


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