Copenhagen Travel Guide
The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen is one of the most alluring Scandinavian destinations, thanks to its exceptional food, architecture, and history. If you visit in the winter months, the best way to experience Copenhagen is simply to bundle up and walk the streets—starting in Nyhavn, where colorful row houses line the canal, and venturing to hipster enclaves like Vesterbro. In the summer, however, Copenhagen is all about getting out on the canals and soaking in the 17 hours of sunlight.
Whether it's your first time to Copenhagen and you're looking for a classic experience—staying downtown overlooking Kongens Nytorv (New King's Square), dining at Noma, strolling the Tivoli Gardens—or you're looking for a more eclectic do-as-the-locals-do vacation, this Scandi city can satisfy any travel palette. From the Hans Christian Andersen statue at Rosenborg Castle Gardens to the foodie spots (think: a bakery founded by talent from San Francisco's Tartine) to the low-down on high-class neighborhoods like Frederiksberg, consider this your essential Copenhagen guide.
Central European Time (Greenwich Mean Time +2)
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Copenhagen, if you're after warm weather and longer days, is April to September. If you go in April, May, or September, you'll encounter fewer crowds than you might during the peak summer months, while benefiting from similar temperatures. However, some of the best festivals happen during the summer months—like the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which is put on in July.
For those looking to visit a picturesque, snow-dusted Copenhagen during prime hygge and Christmas market season, December is the perfect time to book a trip. In December, the whole town seems to light up, from the decorations at the Tivoli Gardens to the Christmas market in Kongens Nytorv (don't skimp on the glögg!).
Things to Know
Currency: Danish Krone
(Check the current exchange rate)
Good day/formal Hello: Goddag
I don't speak Danish: Jeg taler ikke dansk
My name is: Jeg hedder
I am from: Jeg er fra
I'm lost: Jeg er faret vild
Calling Code: +45
How to Get Around
Train, bus, and metro: Copenhagen's public transportation network unites trains, buses, and metros into one, easy-to-understand system. Tickets are good for use on the metros, buses, harbour buses, and trains. You can buy tickets at various kiosks at the airport and throughout the city, or purchase tickets on the DOT Mobilbilletter app or online. Ticket prices vary by zone. If you're traveling, for example, from the Copenhagen airport to the city center, you'd need three zone tickets, which would cost DKK 38.
Taxis: Taxis are a reliable mode of transport in Copenhagen. You can grab one at the airport, or have your hotel call one for you. If you need a cab, there are several companies like Dantaxi you can contact directly.Car service: You can book town car or black car services in Copenhagen with companies like Sixt. Copenhagen is not serviced by Uber or Lyft.
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
City Center: Copenhagen's center city is where you'll find Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn, as well as hotels like d'Angleterre. This area, identified as København K on maps, is the true heart of the city. It's where tourists will spend most of their time, especially first-timers trying to see all the main attractions.
Frederiksberg: Perhaps the most-visited neighborhood by tourists, apart from center city, Frederiksberg is an upscale area (considered its own municipality) with terrific shopping, picturesque greenspace, and attractions like Frederiksberg Palace and the Copenhagen Zoo.
Nørrebro: You're destined to find street culture and hipster vibes aplenty in Nørrebro. Northeast of the city center, this neighborhood is a celebration of cultural diversity, and where you'll find some of Copenhagen's best pan-Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Vesterbro/Kødbyen: Vesterbro was once considered Copenhagen's red light district. It's known for its nightlife, and while there is still a gritty element to Vesterbro, there are also charming, residential, family-friendly pockets. Within Vesterbro, you'll find Kødbyen, otherwise known as Copenhagen's meatpacking district.
Christianshavn: Technically a cluster of small islands, Christianshavn is teeming with canals and charming, colorful row homes. The area is getting impressively built up, recently debuting a new town square called Krøyers Plads.
Winter: There's no getting around it—winter in Denmark is cold and dark. You'll definitely see snow flurries and temperatures don't typically go above 40° F. Still, with the lit-up Christmas markets and hygge vibes across the city, it's a treat to visit in this season.
Spring: By April, Copenhagen is in bloom and the harsh winter weather has dissipated. You'll still need a good jacket—temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s—but it's a perfect time to visit to avoid the crowds and experience the city emerging from winter hibernation.
Summer: Copenhagen locals adore summer in their city. It's never overly hot—temperatures at their highest are in the 70s—and you'll get nearly 17 hours of sunlight each day.
Fall: Shoulder season in Copenhagen is quite picturesque, with turning leaves and sunny days. You'll get some pre-winter rain and more than a few gray days, too, which (of course) comes with a hefty dose of Copenhagen hygge.The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month in Copenhagen. The city's average annual precipitation is 12.3 inches.
January: 31°F - 38°F
February: 30°F - 38°F
March: 32°F - 43°F
April: 38°F - 52°F
May: 45°F - 61°F
June: 52°F - 66°F
July: 56°F - 72°F
August: 56°F - 71°F
September: 51°F - 63°F
October: 44°F - 54°F
November: 38°F - 46°F
December: 33°F - 40°F