Top 10 Experiences Not To Be Missed While in Copenhagen:
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
For a small city, Copenhagen packs a big list of things to do and enjoy! These are just 10 not be missed experiences based on our schedule:
Entrance to Frederiksborg Castle
1. Visiting Frederiksborg Castle:
Set in picturesque surroundings on three small islets in the Castle Lake in Hillerod, the Frederiksborg Castle is a stunning example of marvellous architecture and landscaped gardens. It was built by King Christian IV in the early 17th century to showcase his power and status as a monarch. No wonder that this is the largest Renaissance complex in the Nordic region. Christian IV demolished the Hillerodsholm Manor to start the construction of the castle. While the castle was being built Christian IV resided in a huge, Italian-style pleasure palace on the other side of the lake. Once built, the Frederiksborg Castle was used as a royal residence for the next one hundred years.
The Castle Gardens feature the very symmetrical and perfectly manicured Baroque Gardens that also contain royal monograms of the four monarchs designed from hedges. In contract to the crisp and controlled Baroque Gardens is the more wild and English Romantic Gardens with small lakes.
To arrive at Frederiksborg Castle one need to take an hour long train journey from Copenhagen Central station to suburb town of Hillerod, followed by a short 10 minutes bus ride from Hillerod train startion.
To know more about Frederiksborg Castle and its history please read our blog on Copenhagen itinerary here.
Fried fish fillet Smorredbrod
2. Eating Smorrebrod from Hallernes at Torvehallerne food market:
Smorredbrod which means ‘butter bread’ is an open sandwich with many combinations of ingredients and is considered as the symbolic dish of Denmark. Although Smorredbrod is very popular among all Scandinavian countries, the Danes have taken it to another level-when it comes to the choice of ingredient combinations and food art. To understand the concept of Smorrebrod we need to travel back in time to middle-age Europe. At the time a piece of bread was considered as the main food and some ingredients were added on top to make it a complete meal. This tradition of eating bread with toppings continued and developed into many types of open sandwiches around the world and Smorrebrod is one of that. Smorrebrod became very popular in Denmark during the 19th century when factory workers started bringing this open-sandwiches at work. These were made from rye bread with a layer of butter and topping of leftover meat and fish from previous day’s dinner. Now a days the choice of topping is extensive-pickled Herring, smoked Herring, Shrimp, cured Salmon, fried fish fillet, ham, roast beef, liver pate, roasted pork with red cabbage, chicken salad and many more.
Hallernes at Torvehallerne is one of the best places to try this Danish delicacy as they offer a huge variety of topping combinations from locally sourced fresh high quality ingredients. Dig into one or few to experience the explosion of deliciousness in your tummy!
For more details on Torvehallerne and other street food market of Copenhagen please refer to our blog on street food culture of Copenhagen here.
Original Viking ship at Viking Ship Museum
3. Visiting Viking Ship Museum at Roskilde:
The city of Roskilde has a rich history that dates to the Vikings and it is now believed that the Viking age began in Denmark. The seafaring people were superb shipbuilders and sailors who undertook long and dangerous sea voyages covering Nothern Europe, North America and Middle East. Vikings were known more as raiders than traders but in order to be both they mastered the craftsmanship of boats and if you are fascinated by the story of Vikings, then Roskilde’s Viking Ship Museum is a must see! It displays a good collection of Viking relics from the 11th-century, including 1,000-year-old longboats and five original Viking vessels. The museum is made up of two main sections – the Viking Ship Hall which displays exhumed vessels and the Boatyard, where archaeological work takes place.
For more details on Viking Ship Museum and Roskilde a please refer to our blog on our travel diary of Copenhagen here.
Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen
4. Visiting Rosenborg Castle:
Holding 400 years of royal history, this castle was built by the famous Danish king Christian IV during his youth in the early 17th century. What started as a small summer palace ended up being one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the next 28 years of its development. Christian IV had good knowledge of architecture and took personal interest in many building works including the creation of Rosenborg Castle. The castle is spread across 4 floors and there are over 35 rooms to explore. In addition to Christian IV’s magnificent collection of parade arms, it houses King’s costumes, heirlooms, precious artefact, glass and porcelain as well as captured art collections of the dukes of Holstein. Some of the prominent rooms are Christian VI’s Room, Frederik IV’s Hall, Frederik V’s Cabinet and Frederik V’s Cabinet.
To know more about Rosenborg Castle and its history please read our blog on Copenhagen itinerary here.
World’s second oldest amusements park - Tivoli
5. Visiting Tivoli Gardens – the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world:
Denmark is home to the world’s first and second oldest amusements parks! Bakken being the first which opened in 1583 and Tivoli Garden’s which opened 260 years later in 1843. It was the brainchild of Georg Carstensen who was inspired by the parks and the gardens he had visited abroad. He was subsequently granted permission by the King Christian VIII to open Tivoli Gardens. Among the first visitors to the park was also the famous Danish fairy-tale writer, Hans Christian Andersen, who was inspired to write the fairy tale the Nightingale after visiting Tivoli. Within 3 years of its opening season tickets were also introduced! The Danes never stop to amaze the world!
To know more about Tivoli Gardens and its history please read our blog on Copenhagen itinerary here.
Colourful town houses of Megstraede
6. Take a stroll at Megstraede:
The most photographic street of Copenhagen: One of the oldest streets of Copenhagen old town, Megstraede is famous for its colourful buildings and perhaps the most photographed street of Copenhagen. Scandinavian countries have a long history of painting buildings in bright colours and Copenhagen is no exception to that. As the colour changes from one building to the next, the view from one end of the street often gives the feeling of looking at a rainbow! There is not much to do other than walking down the quiet street while enjoying the colourful view and capturing some stunning Instagram worthy shots!
Sunset at Nyhavn
7. Take a walk in Nyhavn in the evening:
Nyhavn was constructed by King Christian V in the 17th century to connect Kongens Nytorv to the harbour. The place is full of life with restaurants, cafés and live music and is lined by brightly coloured 17th and 18th century townhouses. The best time to soaking in the lively atmosphere of Nyhavn is at sunset when one can enjoy the colourful surroundings and the music while sipping cold beer.
The Freetown Christian - the state within a city
8. Experience the atmosphere of Christiana:
The Freetown Christian is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Copenhagen. Established in 1971 by a small group of Hippies who started living inside an abandoned military base, Christiania has now grown into a community of around 1000 members living within the boundaries of this neighbourhood. It has its own set of laws, flag and a unique way of life. This makes Freetown Christiania a country within a country and therefore falls outside the laws of Denmark. It almost feels like a big ongoing social experiment. You cannot miss the colourful, hippy vibe so prevalent everywhere.
To some extent we felt that Chrristiana represents a very unique side of the Danish culture – the experimental nature and tolerance as well as appreciation for something that doesn’t fit into the normal framework of society.
To know more about Christiana please read our blog on Copenhagen itinerary here.
Street food market of Reffen
9. Experience the street food culture of Copenhagen at Reffen:
Located in Refshaleøen, Reffen is ‘shipyard’ food market of Copenhagen which opened in 2018 after the closure of Paper island street-food market. Spread over an area of 10,000 square metres, around 50 food stalls build from old shipping containers serve food from around the world- everything from Greek gyro, falafel wrap, classic burgers, pizzas, Jamaican jerk, Indian curries, Nepalese momos (dumplings) and Danish delicacy- roasted pork sandwich. At one side of the food market there is a covered seating area which can be a relief during the midday sun in summer.
For more details on Reffen and how to reach there and for details about other street food market of Copenhagen please refer to our blog on street food culture of Copenhagen here.
Mouth-watering cakes from Conditori La Glace
10. Enjoy a cup of tea and a cake at Conditori La Glace – The oldest and probably best confectionary in Denmark:
Being the café lovers that we are, a trip to Copenhangen would have been incomplete without a visit to Conditori La Glace, Founded in 1870, it is the oldest and probably the best confectionary in Denmark and a tradition in itself, It is an experience with its beautiful rooms and mouth-watering bites! La Glace lived up to its expectations.