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Copenhagen Travel Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go

01 Aug 2018

Considering Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, it's no mystery why Copenhagen is one of Europe's most popular travel destinations.

Visitors flock here hoping to catch some of the city's "hygge" (pronounced "hoo-gah") which is a Danish word meaning a cosy feeling of warmth and well being. Copenhagen's breathtaking seaside views, colorful architecture, and no shortage of attractions to take in also make it a favorite city of travelers.

If you've been thinking about or are planning a trip to Denmark's capital city, here's a brief Copenhagen travel guide to prep you and help you make the most of your visit.

Getting to and Around Copenhagen

Copenhagen is served by one major commercial airport, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup which is eight miles from the city's centre. From there, you can arrive in downtown Copenhagen via the metro, train, bus, or taxi in 20 to 30 minutes.

If you plan to explore the city using public transportation, considering buying a City Pass. This card gives unlimited usage of Copenhagen's metro, train, and bus routes for either 24 or 72 hours at a time. The City Pass is available in all metro stations or may be purchased online.

Another great money saving option for tourists is the Copenhagen Card. This traveler's pass provides free public transportation all over the city and free admission to over 85 local attractions.

What to Pack for Copenhagen

As a northern European city, Copenhagen experiences all four seasons with some unpredictable weather thrown in. That means while snow is usually the norm for the winter months, it can also become warm enough for rain. While summer temperatures average between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius, it's not unlikely to experience the occasional hot day of up to 32 degrees.

This means you should pack layers no matter what time of year you're visiting Copenhagen. As the city is very walker friendly, a pair or two of comfortable walking shoes (or sandals during the summer) is a must. Copenhagen has a reputation for being laid back and casual, so keep in mind that any bright or neon-colored clothing may make you stand out.

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen

Most travelers agree that the best time to travel to Copenhagen is during the summer months from late June to late August. That's when the city receives the most sunlight and enjoys warm temperatures.

If you're the type of person who needs a lot of sunshine, then you may want to avoid visiting from November right through the winter. The city is notorious for its dark, dreary winter days.

There is an upside to visiting during the winter, however: Copenhagen looks beautiful coated beneath a blanket of ice and snow. The Danish also pull out the stops during the holiday season, when Christmas lights and decorations delight everywhere.

Currency and Language in Copenhagen

Although Danish is the official language of Denmark, you can get away with only speaking English when you are visiting Copenhagen. Most Danish children grow up learning English, and it's not unusual for the Danes to sprinkle English words into their dialogue.

For currency, both Danish kroner and Euros are generally accepted throughout Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Travel Guide to Attractions

You'll never get bored in Copenhagen, with its deep history and many attractions that appeal to history buffs, thrill seekers, art fans, and more.

Each of Copenhagen's neighbourhoods has its own unique style, offering something of interest to every kind of traveler.

The neighbourhood of Indre By, for example, is the oldest section of the city and features many museums, churches, and historical architecture. By contrast, the Vesterbro section was once considered Copenhagen's Red Light District. It is brimming with art galleries, ethnic restaurants, and shops.

Here's just a few of the most popular attractions in Copenhagen that should be on your must-see list:

The National Museum

Denmark's history, starting with the Stone Age right up through modern times, is housed in an 18th century building known as The Prince's Palace. The National Museum features several archeological finds, national treasures, and a children's museum.

Trivoli Gardens

Copenhagen's most notable amusement park was a favorite of children's author Hans Christian Andersen as well as Walt Disney, with good reason. There's a range of rides here from the nostalgic wooden roller coaster to the modern, high speed Vertigo ride. Coloured lights illuminate the park's scenery and buildings at nighttime.

Kronborg Castle

If you've read Shakespeare's Hamlet, then you're already familiar with Kronborg Castle, which serves as the play's setting. You can tour Frederik II's ballroom and the statue of the Ogier the Dane at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is a 40-minute train ride from Copenhagen.


If you're craving a shopping spree, Copenhagen's Stroget district will delight with a selection of luxury and budget-friendly clothing and accessory stores. You're likely to encounter street performers along the 1.1 kilometer stretch as well as several churches and the Stork Fountain.

Visit Carlsberg

Wash down a day of sightseeing by sipping world-famous Danish beer at Visit Carlsberg, one of Copenhagen's largest attractions. You can tour the Carlsberg Brewery site, sample the brews, and meet the brewer horses. Carlsberg Fridays is a weekly event presenting live music, barbecue, and of course, beer.

Copenhagen Food

The restaurants and eateries throughout Copenhagen delight taste buds with a selection of Scandinavian cuisine and worldly favorites.

Try some smorrebrod, the open-faced sandwich that is practically Denmark's national dish, at Restaurant Schonnemann in the Indre By neighbourhood. The restaurant, established in the 1800s, is just one of many in the city that serves many traditional Danish dishes.

You'll also find restaurants that serve burgers, pizza, hotdogs, steak, and ethnic food all over Copenhagen. Don't forget to sip some Scandinavian coffee at one of the city's trendy cafes.

Book Your Reservation

Ready to experience all this hygge for yourself? Book a room with us at Hotel Osterport. We are less than a 20-minute walk from The Danish National Stadium (PARKEN), Stroget, and The King's Garden, among other Copenhagen sites. We'll be happy to make more recommendations on what to see and do for the ultimate Copenhagen travel guide.

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