How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Nyhavn
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Denmark’s capital has long been synonymous with design, sustainability, fashion and innovation.  Home to the world’s best restaurant and serving some of the best coffee in Europe, it’s easy to see why it’s inhabitants are some of the happiest on earth! Copenhagen is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway and here is the WOW guide on how to make the most of your stay.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Nørrebro

Wander around hip Nørrebro

Nørrebro is a neighbourhood in northwest Copenhagen with a hip, multicultural feel and is a great district to base yourself in for a few days. Here you will find designer shops and trendy restaurants right next door to cheap kebab joints and dive bars. Nørrebro also boasts one of Copenhagen’s hippest streets: Jaegersborggade.

Tip: book a table at Manfreds & Vin for a delicious dinner. 

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Freetown Christiania

Explore Freetown Christiania

Despite being located right in the heart of Copenhagen in the district of Christianshavn, Freetown Christiania exists as a self-proclaimed free state that operates independently of Copenhagen. The community functions under its own set of laws, uses its own currency and doesn’t pay tax. It is perhaps most well-known for its open trade in marijuana. It’s an exceptionally interesting neighbourhood to wander around in as it feels as though you’ve been transported back to the counterculture of the 1960s.

Tip: obey the signage and don’t take photographs in the ‘Green Zone’.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Hire a Bike

Hire a bike

Copenhagen is one of the best cities for cycling in Europe and you’ll see more bikes than cars on the streets. Almost 350km of bicycle lanes follow the roads around the city, which are built above the level of the road as an added safety measure for cyclists. Do as the Danes do and be sure to get around on a bike during your stay. There are bicycle rental shops all over the city.

Tip: you can also hire electric bikes powered by a motor and fitted with GPS tablets for extra cycling ease.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Nyhavn

People-watch at Nyhavn

Copenhagen’s Nyhavn is the picture-perfect, iconic image you see of Copenhagen in all the postcards. It’s a beautiful, historic canal filled with anchored boats and lined with colourful 17th century townhouses. This area was once a busy, commercial port, but today it’s filled with restaurants and bars and is the perfect place to people-watch.

Tip: walk along the harbour until you reach the small bridge. This is one of the best vantage points for taking great photographs.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Noma

Eat at the world’s best restaurant

A reservation at Noma would be reason enough to book a trip to Copenhagen! You’ll need to book many months in advance, but if you manage to get a table, it will be a gastronomical experience of a lifetime!

Tip: make a reservation here.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen-Coffee

Drink some of Europe’s best coffee

Not only does Copenhagen have a reputation for outstanding food, it also serves some of the best coffee in Europe. There’s a flourishing coffee culture in Copenhagen and no shortage of great cafés to get your caffeine fix at.

Tip: make sure a visit to The Coffee Collective in Nørrebro is in your plans.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Street Food

Eat street food on Papirøen Island

Located right on the waterfront, the street food market on Papirøen Island is the perfect place for lunch. Each food truck inside the big market hall has a focus on sustainable, local produce. If the weather is chilly, stay cosy inside, but if the sun is shining, take your lunch outside and sit along the harbour.

Tip: the fish and chips is hard to beat here.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Little Mermaid


Spot the Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinje Pier is probably the most photographed site in Copenhagen after Nyhavn. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersons’s beloved fairytale, the sculpture is over 100 years old and is the most famous mermaid statue in the world.

Tip: arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens


Be a kid again at Tivoli Gardens

The world’s second oldest amusement park, a visit to Tivoli Gardens is a must for both young and old. Built in 1843, it was a great source of inspiration for the likes of Walt Disney and Hans Christian Anderson. The atmosphere is magical, with twinkling fairy lights and nostalgic, vintage rides.

Tip: be sure to ride one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters!

For more Copenhagen inspiration, check out these 10 Photos to Make You Want to Visit Copenhagen.

Over to you: what are your tips for spending a weekend in Copenhagen?

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  • The Avenue Hotel, Copenhagen | Scott & Croft
    October 31, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    […] written about Noma (albeit, briefly) before. However, it was through World of Wanderlust that I discovered Denmark’s capital has long been synonymous with design, sustainability, fashion […]

    Anne Broomfield
    September 6, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I’ll be in Copenhagen next month visiting my brother who lives in Vanlose… can’t wait after seeing this blog post. thanks!

    July 31, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I visited Copenhagen in the fall of the last year, and it was definitely my favourite trip in Europe so far! It has such a vibrant culture with the nicest people. Nyhavn was beautiful with all of the colourful buildings and I stood on the bridge as well to get some great pictures of the port. I can’t wait to visit Copenhagen again. Great post!
    Kaitlyn xo

    alfredo ciano
    July 17, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Not Only a Weekend : I Think Many Years…

    July 17, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Amazing post!! Love your blog 🙂


    Sanjana @ Green Global Travel
    July 15, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Looks like such a wonderful and colorful place! Great post, thanks for sharing!

    July 13, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Biking around sit-ups fitted tablets sounds like a good way to explore the city at your own terms.

    Online Toy Shops In Australia
    July 10, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Copenhagen city is beautiful and very costly .

    July 10, 2015 at 10:42 am

    That bread looks absolutely delicious! I would definitely take a ride on a bike while there. I didn’t know that they have electric ones there – that is really handy! Also the freetown sounds really interesting I hadn’t heard of it before but I’d definitely check it out.


    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    July 9, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    The colorful houses are stunning! I’d love to visit Denmark one day (partly because I’d like to have an excuse to start quoting Hamlet, but that’s another story…) 😉 Great post! xx

    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    July 9, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I was in Copenhagen in April and spent nearly an entire day in the Norrebro district. I loved it so much I dedicated a blog post to it. And I agree that Manfred’s & Vin is excellent. If you can’t get a table for dinner, I was able to walk-in for lunch.

    Andrea Petersen
    July 9, 2015 at 1:39 am

    You’ve definitely covered most of the bases, although I think you should definitely add a point on our bakery culture – the bread and pastries truly are the best I’ve ever had. Also, shopping along Stroget and visiting the springwater/eating in one of the many surrounding cafes and people watching is one of my favourite pastimes! Tivoli is the love of my life, ha! I should probably mention I’m Danish… and have yet to eat at Noma! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    July 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I love copenhagen and it’s a very fun country to be in <3

    July 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    forget a weekend trip, I think I just want to live there. ;D

    thanks for the tips! this is so helpful!

    Nora @ Forgotten Recipe
    July 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Don’t forget to taste some of the traditional baked goods as well. So goodl!

    Mima Isono
    July 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I’d love to try every drip of Copenhagen coffee and wandering around the city on a bike. Thanks for all these tips.

    Mima || Tokyo Blogger

    Nichole Dunst
    July 8, 2015 at 3:31 am

    I was just here earlier in the month! I got all the basics in like Tivoli, The Little Mermaid, Nyhavn, but would really like to go back to do more exploring on the outskirts of the city center. And Christiania looks like a bizarre kind of wonderful 🙂

    July 8, 2015 at 2:49 am

    Denmark is one of the places I want to visit soon! Its hard coming to travel websites because you leave with so many wonderful ideas of places to go!… or maybe thats a good thing!


    Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite
    July 8, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Copenhagen looks so cute! I’ve heard nothing but great things. Hope to make it there next year. 🙂

    July 8, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I would love to visit Copenhagen. I will definitely put it on my travel bucket list. xo

    July 7, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Great article Brooke! Copenhagen sounds lovely!

    July 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Copenhagen has never really been on my radar, until now!
    Great list!

    July 7, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Beautiful! I guess I’ll have to add Copenhagen to my travel list 😉

    Amalie Dawall
    July 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I’m born and raised in Denmark and I feel like I just have to point out that the worlds oldest wooden roller coaster is not the one in Tivoli Gardens, it’s the one at Dyrehavsbakken in Klampenborg. It’s only a 20 mins trainride from Copenhagen Central Station, and is also an absolutely amazing amusement park based in the middle of the woods.

    • Rachel Bale
      July 7, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Amalie! It should have read ‘one of the world’s oldest’. Post updated. Thanks for spotting! I’d LOVE to head to Dyrehavsbakken next time I’m in Copenhagen!

    July 7, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Copenhagen looks picture perfect. Can’t wait to finally get there and explore on my own, such a wonderful place on earth.

    Love, Kerstin

    July 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Great guide! I’m Danish myself and I brought my friend from the US to CPH last month. And she absolutely loved it. Denmark is just the best place to be during summer (:

    jessica wright
    July 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    This is great inspiration for my upcoming trip to Europe, excited to see Copenhagen now!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    July 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I would loooooooove to visit Copenhagen! It seems like a year round destination too. I loved this post, thanks Rachel!

    Kiara King
    July 7, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I’ve heard so many amazing things about Copenhagen. I’d love to go there and just spend a week riding around and exploring the beautiful canals and cafes.

    July 7, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Lovely photos – especially the colours of the buildings on Nyhaven harbour! Had no idea the street food was so good either xx

    July 7, 2015 at 8:18 am

    People watching is probably my favourite thing to do in Copenhagen! It’s fun all year round, especially in the winter right before Christmas 🙂

    July 7, 2015 at 7:37 am

    How many cost to hire a bike!