Copenhagen, Denmark on the Nyhavn Canal.

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.

Time Zone

Central European Time (Greenwich Mean Time +2)

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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)

Language: Danish

Hi: Hej

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

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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.

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Best Hotels

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71 Nyhavn Hotel

Address: Nyhavn 71, 1051 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 43 62 00
Website

Refined elegance awaits at 71 Nyhavn, where two converted warehouses make up the hotel's footprint. With exposed wood beams in the rooms, this modern, understated retreat right on the canal offers a warm welcome to the city—and is walking or biking distance to a number of popular attractions

Hotel Alexandra

Address: H. C. Andersens Blvd. 8, 1553 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 74 44 44
Website

Midcentury design lovers will rejoice in Hotel Alexandra's 61 curated rooms, which feature historic wallpaper, textiles, and furniture to transport guests back in time to the 1950s and 1960s. The atmosphere is imbued with a stylish sense of fun, and if inspiration really strikes, the hotel even offers some items for sale from their own marketplace.

Private dinner in Themed Suite at d’Angleterre
Credit: Courtesy of d’Angleterre

d'Angleterre

Address: Kongens Nytorv 34, 1050 Copenhagen 
Phone: +45 33 12 00 95
Website

Hotel d'Angleterre is an elegant, historic icon that's more than 265 years old. The charming, romantic hotel features modern Nordic design and expansive views of Kongens Nytorv from the suite balconies. With a heated indoor pool—the only one in the city center—and Michelin-starred dining, it might be difficult to find a reason to ever leave the hotel. But the concierge also offers plenty of V.I.P. experiences for their guests—from cooking classes to history tours.

Nimb Hotel Tivoli Gardens
Credit: Courtesy of Nimb Hotel

Nimb Hotel

Address: Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 88 70 00 00
Website

The Nimb Hotel is all about boutique, personalized luxury. With only 38 guest rooms, this castle (built originally in 1909) has been preserved and updated with an idyllic blend of grand Moorish architecture and sleek Scandi touches. Located near the Tivoli Gardens (and offering guests free entrance), the dreamy Nimb Hotel also hosts a variety of other arts and culture on its grounds, including opera and jazz concerts on the roof, garden parties, wine tastings, and more.

Bar at the Hotel Sanders, in Copenhagen
Credit: Chris Tonnesen

Sanders Hotel

Address: Tordenskjoldsgade 15, 1055 Copenhagen
Phone: + 45 46 40 00 40
Website

A tranquil retreat in the center of town, the Sanders Hotel is a newer addition to Copenhagen, offering an extensive array of amenities, including loaner bikes for guests (don't forget to ask for a prepared picnic basket), and a trendy, glass-topped rooftop terrace that serves up breakfast and views of the city's tiled rooftops. Be sure to book one of the exclusive excursions, which include a backstage pass to the Royal Theater—a short two-minute walk away—or a private guided trip down the harbor and canals in a vintage mahogany boat.

Skt. Petri

Address: Krystalgade 22, 1172 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 45 91 00
Website

Located in Copenhagen's Latin Quarter, Skt. Petri is a classic spot for travelers looking for a central location while still seeking a quiet retreat from the busy city. With trendy boutiques, cafes, and restaurants nearby, plus the popular Round Tower, Skt. Petri puts visitors directly in the heart of the city. Plus, the hotel runs on 100 percent wind energy and recycles all of its food waste for biogas, making it a great choice for any eco-conscious guest looking for a greener stay.

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Best Restaurants

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Interior of Amass
Credit: Cory Smith/Courtesy of Amass

Amass (Modern Scandanavian)

Address: Refshalevej 153, 1432 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 43 58 43 30
Website

On the picturesque harbor front you'll find Amass, a fine dining tasting menu experience from the former head chef of Noma. With sustainability and local ingredients at the forefront of the menu, including more than 80 different homegrown goods from the restaurant's own greenhouse, the high-quality food is only matched by the atmosphere—with massive windows, graffiti art, and occasional bonfires for guests to enjoy, it makes for an inventive and inviting dinner all around.

Aamanns (Sandwiches)

Address: Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 20 80 52 01
Website 

Located in what used to serve as a WWII bunker, Aamanns is named after owner Adam Aamanns, otherwise known as the king of smørrebrød. These open-faced sandwiches are a classic Danish "must-eat" while you're in Copenhagen.

Interior of Alouette
Credit: Philip Høpne/Courtesy of Alouette

Alouette (Contemporary American)

Address: Sturlasgade 14, 2300 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 31 67 66 06
Website 

Alouette is a literal hidden gem of the Danish dining scene—behind an unobtrusive garage door and past a graffiti-covered hallway, lies a surprisingly bright, sunny space and Michelin-star food. Cooking over a wood burning fire, the menu changes weekly daily with a real focus on small producers and seasonal ingredients.

Gemyse (Vegetarian)

Address: Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 88 70 00 00
Website 

It's clear this vegetarian-forward spot takes their greens seriously, with diners seated in an actual greenhouse located in the Tivoli Gardens. After dinner, be sure to stick around to roast homemade marshmallows or twist bread over a campfire in the herb garden. Note: when the gardens are open, admission is required in order to visit the restaurant.

Hart Bageri (Bakery)

Address: Gl. Kongevej 109, 1850 Frederiksberg
Phone: +45 31 11 18 50 
Website 

This local bakery serves up a mix of classic and modern breads, including their signature sourdough City Loaf and traditional rye, as well as cakes, cookies, and other treats. Hit up the shop early in the day for the best selection.

Noma (Fine Dining)

Address: Refshalevej 96, 1432 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 32 96 32 97 
Website 

Perhaps Copenhagen's—some might even say, the world's—most well-known No. 1 restaurant, Noma's menu follows the seasons: vegetarian in the summer, game and forest-inspired food in the fall, seafood in the late winter/early spring. Make your reservation as far in advance as possible—they sell out very fast.

Interior of the Alchemist
Credit: Søren Gammelmark/Courtesy of Alchemist

Alchemist (Fine Dining)

Address: Refshalevej 173C, 1432 København, Denmark
Phone: +45 31 71 61 61
Website

Reawaken your senses at the Alchemist, arguably one of the toughest reservations in Copenhagen. Known for fusing haute gastronomy with revelatory art and architecture, the Alchemist practices "holistic cuisine" by putting on an experience that favors theatrics and exceptional flavors.

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Things to Do

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People ski down the artificial ski hill on the outdoor structure CopenHill in Copenhagen
Credit: Olivier Morin/Getty Images

CopenHill

Address: Vindmøllevej 6, 2300 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 519 419 20
Website

CopenHill is Copenhagen's first ski area—carefully constructed atop a waste management center for the city. In the summer months, visitors can also hike, run, or tackle the climbing wall at this urban recreation destination.

General view of Frederiksborg Castle aka Frederiksborg Slot
Credit: Rob Ball/Getty Images

Frederiksborg Castle

Address: Frederiksborg Slot 10, 3400 Hillerød
Phone: + 45 48 26 04 39
Website

Located on three islands, surrounded by lush gardens and a large lake, Frederiksborg Castle is a perfect day-trip destination while visiting Copenhagen. The castle is also home to the Museum of National History, which traces 500 years of Danish history through art, furniture, sculptures, and more.

La Banchina

Address: Refshalevej 141, 1432 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 31 26 65 61
Website

This 16-seat café and wine bar takes a spot as more of an activity thanks to the appealing combination of having a glass of organic, natural wine and then taking a quick dip in the sea. While the harbor dock might look appealing for a swim, don't miss out on the on-site sauna too for a relaxing and affordable escape.

Reffen

Address: Refshalevej 167 Unit A, 1432 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 93 07 60
Website 

This street food hot spot on the water is the largest street food venue in the Nordic countries. With a variety of global food, drink, and boutique stalls housed in old shipping containers, Reffen helps visitors and locals alike support business and development in this area.

A view of Christmas Market in Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, Denmark
Credit: Manuel Romano/Getty Images

Tivoli Gardens

Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 15 10 01
Website

Don't let the word "gardens" fool you—this expansive park also offers plenty of high-adrenaline rides, featuring a top-tier amusement park from mid-April to mid-September. And in the winter, there's still plenty to see and do, with a Christmas market, over-the-top decorations, and lights. There are plenty of shops and restaurants inside the grounds as well.

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Best Shopping

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Daenemark, Kopenhagen, Moebel- und Designkaufhaus Illums Bolighus
Credit: Rufenach/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Illums Bolighus

Address: Multiple
Phone: +45 33 14 19 41
Website

A design aficionado's dream, Illums Bolighus is one of the most recognizable department store destinations for Danish design. With top brands for everything from home goods like lamps and chairs, to decor pieces like ceramics and porcelain, this is a great secret spot to snag some memorable souvenirs.

Jægersborggade Street

Address: Jægersborggade Street, Nørrebro neighbourhood

This buzzy street is home to some of the best shops in Copenhagen, with vintage clothing, organic produce, and 40 art galleries. Make sure to check out the ceramics spots, including Keramiker Inge Vincents, with hand-shaped, highly translucent porcelain.

LEGO Store

Address: Vimmelskaftet 37, 1161 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 52 15 91 58
Website

Take your kids—or your still-a-kid-at-heart travel companions—on an adventure through LEGO's home at this flagship store in the center of town. Here you can purchase exclusive LEGO sets not available anywhere else.

Shoppers walk by windows at Magasin du nord department store
Credit: Francis Joseph Dean/Getty Images

Magasin

Address: Kongens Nytorv 13, 1095 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 33 11 44 33
Website

Prefer to do some tax-free shopping before returning to the airport? Visit megastore Magasin, a department store with a fashionable, vintage feel and plenty of variety. While the store started in 1869, it's still a popular choice among locals, with longer hours than other shops in the heart of the city.

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.

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Weather

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

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Apps to Download

DOT Mobilbilletter: Book bus, train, and metro tickets
iOS | Android

Rejseplanen: Public transportation schedules with minute-by-minute updates
iOS|Android

I BIKE CPH: Directions just for cyclists — a must in Copenhagen
iOS|Android

Viggo: Zero-emission ride sharing
iOS | Android