Copenhagen Travel Guide

Prim houses line tidy cobblestoned streets and canals, and the kitschy Tivoli Gardens forms the city’s centerpiece. But beyond these postcard-perfect moments, Copenhagen is an ambitious city with much to explore. First, there’s the design: sleek Scandinavian functionalism as championed by Arne Jacobsen in the 1950’s has developed into a citywide aesthetic. And then there’s the food: some of Europe’s most creative chefs are turning Nordic cuisine on its head in surprisingly delicious ways. And finally, there are the neighborhoods. Central Copenhagen has plenty of charms (historic buildings and pedestrian shopping zones), and its peripheries, filled with style-conscious Danes and their local haunts, are also worth a detour.

When you visit Copenhagen, you’ll find that Denmark’s capital isn’t an easy place to characterize. Its streets are lined with neoclassical buildings that date from the days when Denmark was a major trading power, pastel row houses with flower boxes and lace curtains, and modern design masterpieces from the 20th century. It is home to Tivoli Gardens, aglow in electric lights, but also the infamous Christiania, an autonomous community with its own radical ethos. You can dine on traditional Danish fare or opt instead for a culinary adventure at Noma, according to some, the best haute cuisine restaurant in the world.

What Not to Miss in Copenhagen

Any list of Copenhagen travel musts will inevitably be an odd mix of sights that charming, strange, cozy, and cutting-edge.

• Strøget
• Opera House
• Tivoli Gardens
• Christiania
• Statens Museum for Kunst
• Little Mermaid
• Amalienborg Palace

When to Visit Copenhagen

Summer, when the days are long and relatively warm and outdoor cafes are crowded, is, not surprisingly, the high season. But few people make winter more enjoyable than the Danes and the weeks leading up to Christmas are uniquely magical, a period of candlelit coziness and glittering lights.


  • Taking a tour of the glass-and-steel Copenhagen Opera House, highlighting its backstage areas and architecture—it was designed in response to the ornate royal Amalienborg Palace.

  • Trying a flødeboller (snowball)—delicious confections of marshmallow cream and dark chocolate atop a marzipan base—at Summerbird.

  • Browsing the colorful display of newsboys, fedoras, cloches, and pillboxes for sale at Susanna Juul, a shop seemingly from another era.


  • For >more activities in Copenhagen, visit
  • Contact travel agent Tor Jensen for advice on Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland

Articles about Copenhagen

The Internet was abuzz today with word of a beautiful (and crazy) bike lane coming to Copenhagen next year. But here's the thing: It's not a bike lane. The gorgeous Copenhagen Gate from Steven Holl Architects will bridge two towers on either side ...
American fans of Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) will be thrilled to hear that the artist’s work will be on display through February 27, 2016, at New York City’s Scandinavia House in an exhibition titled Painting Tranquility: Masterw...
In a food world stunner, internationally acclaimed chef René Redzepi announced today that his Copenhagen restaurant Noma will close at the end of 2016—and reopen the following year as an urban farm. Noma, often considered one of, if not the, fines...
In a food world stunner, internationally acclaimed chef René Redzepi announced today that his Copenhagen restaurant Noma will close at the end of 2016—and reopen the following year as an urban farm. Noma, often considered one of, if not the, fines...
Lay of the Land Christianshavn: With its gabled houses and canals, this man-made island is a quiet escape in the heart of the city. Frederiksberg: Come to this historic neighborhood to see the city’s Neoclassical architecture and to picnic a...
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the cool-kid masterbuilder responsible for NYC's floppy residential pyramid and other similarly futuristic projects, has just released renderings for what may be the world's first waste plant worth traveling to: a r...
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