A visit to Copenhagen, Denmark should be on everyone’s bucket list. Witnessing how the Danish live is an inspiring and eye-opening experience. As you wander the streets and explore the city, you’ll get an inside look into the habits that shape the happiest people in the world.
With clean design, minimalistic fashion and a futuristic approach to work-life balance, it’s no wonder the “Hygge” lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. After your 2 days in Copenhagen, you’ll be ready to throw out half your closet, light some candles and cozy up with a good book by the fireplace.
Read on for a few tips and things to do on your trip to Copenhagen!
What to expect
The local’s dry sense of humor
Prior to your visit to Copenhagen, you may expect to be greeted by locals with toothy grins and echoing laughter. They are the happiest people in the world, after all. I was quite surprised by their stark demeanor and muted expressions. The locals have a very dry sense of humor, and while most speak impeccable English, you may find it difficult to strike up a conversation. Don’t mistake this for rudeness. Small talk isn’t as common in Scandinavian countries, and in their culture, short and to the point answers or directions is a polite way to respond.
Expect to burn a hole through your wallet
“I’ll take a tea please” … “That will be $13 Canadian dollars.”
Alllllrightttt. Guess I’ll be drinking tap water the rest of the trip. In all seriousness, you will need to budget accordingly before heading to Copenhagen. It’s an expensive city, especially for foreigners dealing with a weaker dollar.
The Cleanest city you’ve ever seen
The streets in Copenhagen are immaculate. The tax rates are extremely high in Denmark, but locals consider this a reasonable price to pay for living in a clean, well-run city that offers a plethora of benefits for their home and work life.
Where to stay
Hotel d’Angleterre // $$$$
Hotel d’Angleterre is a 5-star hotel and historic landmark in Copenhagen. Victorian architecture is paired with the simplicity of Nordic design, resulting in a breathtaking hotel that will make you feel like royalty.
Hotel d’Angleterre has a Michelin-starred Restaurant called Marchal, as well as a world-class champagne bar.
The “Amazing Space” Spa and swimming pool are key features of the hotel, where you can enjoy Asian-Nordic infused treatments and healthy drinks for the ultimate relaxation!
First we have the coffee, then we do the things
Denmark has an incredible coffee culture. Make sure you save time during your 2 days in Copenhagen to relax and sip some coffee in one of their beautifully designed cafes.
Come for the coffee, stay for the famous almond croissants
The Coffee Collective
The ultimate hygge experience with delicious coffee and Scandinavian design.
Central Hotel og Café
Located in the worlds smallest hotel! Sip coffee and watch the people go by
Things to Do in Copenhagen:
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park and garden offering beautiful scenery including exotic-inspired architecture, magical rides, and lush gardens. It’s the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world (it opened in 1843!) and is said to be the inspiration behind the opening of Disneyland in California. At night, thousands of colored lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that keeps guests feeling like they’ve truly stepped back in time.
In the old days, Nyhavn was a port for sailors coming to Copenhagen, split into two parts – one naughty, and one nice. It was home to the Danish writer H. C. Andersen, who wrote his first fairy tale in house number 20 down the harbor in 1835. Today the historic bright, colorful houses have been renovated and restaurants line each side of the old port. Especially during the warmer weather, Nyhavn is filled with people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, jazz music, and great food.
Copenhagen’s Design Museum
One of the highlights of my visit to Copenhagen! My favorite displays were the old couture dresses and vintage home decor. It is so interesting to see how the styles have evolved and circled back around.
Explore Freetown Christiania
It’s own self-governing area, Freetown Christiania is very much a society within a society. This alternative neighborhood offers music venues, homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, and countless eateries! If you’re into live shows, Grey Hall is the largest concert hall in Christiania, originally built in 1891 as a riding venue in the army barracks. It’s now used for various concerts and the annual Christiania Christmas celebration.
If music isn’t your thing, you can opt for a quick meal at Morgenstedet, an organic, vegetarian eatery in Freetown Christiania. Built on a 20-year-old concept of operating on collectivism and voluntary workforce, Morgenstedet offers quite the mixture of cuisines; from Far Eastern to the Mediterranean, depending on what chef is on shift.
Shop at Magasin du Nord
Started as a small draper’s shop in 1868, Magasin du Nord is now a mega-department store. There are 7 locations, but the flagship store is in Copenhagen and worth a visit on a rainy afternoon.
Bike around the city
- Stop at Kastellet to walk around the fortress shaped like a pentagon with bastions on the corners. Snap a picture at the windmill (built in 1847!) and explore the military buildings that used to house soldiers, commanders and prisoners. While it is still an active military area, it is considered a public park and can be enjoyed at your leisure!
- Make sure to bike around the Amalienborg Palace where the royals live. Catch the changing of the guards at 12pm.
Where to Eat in Copenhagen
Møller Kaffe & Køkken for Breakfast
Awarded the Best Breakfast in Copenhagen in 2015, Møller Kaffe & Køkken (which translates into Møller coffee and kitchen) is all about honest food made with high-quality ingredients, and seasonal produce from local and organic producers. You can choose from a list of 25 breakfast possibilities (served all day!). On the menu, you’ll find homemade sausages, organic farm eggs and 3 choices of freshly baked sourdough bread.
Royal Smushi for a morning snack
Enjoy coffee, tea and a tower of small pastries in this quaint little bakery shop. The perfect place to stop in with girlfriends for a treat.
Cafe Norden for Lunch
Centrally located in the inner city, this is an ideal spot for lunch after a little shopping spree on the streets of Copenhagen. The menu has a wide selection of just about everything from burgers and salads to pancakes and eggs. And don’t worry about not getting a table, because this place is huge! It not only has a ton of seating inside but a large outdoor area if the weather is nice.
Faergekro Restaurant for Lunch
You can’t spend 2 days in Copenhagen without sampling some traditional Danish cuisine. Enjoy your meal while watching the people go by along the canal. This restaurant was once home to White Start Line shipping agency and still exudes that iconic maritime charm.
Michelin Star Dining Experience for Dinner
There are 15 Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen. To put it into perspective, Canada has NONE. If you’ve ever wanted to experience Michelin star dining, Copenhagen is the place to do it.
Here is a full list of Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen. If you’re a fan of Netflix, you might recognize Noma, a restaurant featured on the popular series, Chef’s Table.
Nimb Brasserie for Dinner
Great place to go after exploring the Tivoli Gardens. Make sure to save time to explore the hotel it resides in.
Balthazar Champagne Bar for a nightcap
Cap off a wonderful 2 days in Copenhagen with a champagne toast! Head to the stunning Balthazar in Hotel d’Angleterre for an extensive selection of champagne from more than 42 makers. Champagne not your jam? They also have delicious signature cocktails and fine wines. We came here after dinner one evening and sipped bubbles as a DJ spun uplifting lounge music. It was the best Danish send off!
Enjoy your 2 days in Copenhagen and message me on Instagram if you have any questions!