Are you planning a quick trip to Copenhagen and only have one day to explore the city? Don’t worry, because there are plenty of must-visit spots that you can cover in just one day!
Copenhagen is a city filled with history, culture, and unique experiences. From picturesque canals to stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ll highlight the top things to see in Copenhagen in one day, so you can make the most of your trip.
Ready to discover the best of Copenhagen in just 24 hours? Let’s get started!
Start Your Day at Nyhavn
Begin your morning in Copenhagen at Nyhavn, a picturesque canal lined with colorful houses and iconic boats. This historic location was once a bustling commercial port and is now a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to enjoy the scenery and grab a bite to eat.
Take a leisurely stroll along the canal and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, or hop on a canal tour to see more of the city’s waterways. This is a great way to get a sense of Copenhagen’s history and architecture from a unique perspective.
Don’t forget to snap a photo of the colorful houses and boats – they make for the perfect Instagram shot!
Explore the Royal Palace at Amalienborg
Amalienborg Palace is one of the most significant landmarks in Copenhagen. It is the residence of the Danish royal family and consists of four identical palaces surrounding a central courtyard. In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Amalienborg Palace is also architecturally impressive, with its rococo interiors and neoclassical facade.
A must-see attraction at the palace is the daily changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place at noon. The ceremonial march of the Royal Guard from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg is a display of military precision and tradition that should not be missed.
Visitors can also explore the palace museum, which features exhibits on the Danish royal family and their history. The museum is located in Christian VIII’s Palace and offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the Danish monarchs.
Admire the Architecture of Frederik’s Church
One of the most impressive architectural landmarks in things to see in copenhagen in one day is Frederik’s Church, also known as the Marble Church. Built in the 18th century, this neoclassical church features a stunning dome and grand columns that are sure to leave visitors in awe.
Inside the church, visitors can admire the intricate details of the interior, including the ornate altar and stunning stained glass windows. However, the real highlight of a visit to Frederik’s Church is the opportunity to climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the city.
The climb to the top of the dome can be a bit challenging, but the views are well worth the effort. On a clear day, visitors can see all the way to Sweden and the surrounding Copenhagen rooftops are a sight to behold.
Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or just appreciate great views, a visit to Frederik’s Church is a must for anyone spending a day in Copenhagen.
Take a Stroll Through the King’s Garden
If you’re looking for a beautiful park to relax in during your one day in Copenhagen, look no further than the King’s Garden. Located in the heart of the city, this popular park boasts stunning gardens, historic architecture, and even a museum.
One of the main attractions in the King’s Garden is the Rosenborg Castle, which was originally built as a summer residence for King Christian IV in the early 17th century. Now a museum, the castle is home to some of Denmark’s most valuable treasures, including the Crown Jewels.
But even if you’re not interested in the museum, the King’s Garden itself is worth a visit. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and admire the well-manicured lawns, beautiful fountains, and colorful flowers. You might even stumble upon a live music performance or other cultural event happening in the park.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to check out the playgrounds and play areas in the park. And if you’re visiting during the summer months, be sure to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal on the grass.
Discover Danish Art at the National Gallery of Denmark
If you’re interested in art, the National Gallery of Denmark is an absolute must-see. It’s home to one of the largest and most comprehensive art collections in Denmark, featuring works by many famous artists from around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of great art, there’s something for everyone at the National Gallery of Denmark.
The museum’s collection spans more than 700 years, showcasing art in a variety of mediums, from paintings and sculptures to video installations and photography. Some of the most notable works on display include pieces by Rembrandt, Matisse, and Picasso, as well as Danish artists such as Vilhelm Hammershøi and Olafur Eliasson.
Must-See Exhibits at the National Gallery of Denmark
If you’re short on time, be sure to visit some of the museum’s top exhibits, including:
- The Golden Age of Danish Art: This exhibit features works by some of Denmark’s most celebrated artists, including Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, C.W. Eckersberg, and Martinus Rørbye.
- Italian Art: This exhibit showcases Italian art from the 14th to the 18th century, highlighting notable pieces by artists such as Tintoretto and Caravaggio.
- French Art: This exhibit is home to a range of French art from the 19th and 20th centuries, with works by artists including Monet, Degas, and Renoir.
No matter which exhibits you choose to visit, you’re sure to be impressed by the collection at the National Gallery of Denmark. It’s a great way to connect with Danish art and culture, and gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of art in general.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Tivoli Gardens
If you’re looking for a fun and sweet way to end your day in Copenhagen, make sure to stop by Tivoli Gardens. This famous amusement park has been a beloved attraction in the city since 1843 and is known for its stunning gardens, thrilling rides, and delicious food.
One of the highlights of visiting Tivoli Gardens is trying some of the traditional Danish sweets available at the park. Make sure to grab a Danish pastry, or “wienerbrød,” which comes in a variety of flavors and fillings. You can also indulge in some of Denmark’s famous soft ice cream or try a refreshing glass of “sodavand,” a popular Danish soda.
Aside from the food, Tivoli Gardens is also home to beautiful architecture and unforgettable entertainment. Don’t miss the park’s famous pantomime theater, which has been a staple in Tivoli since 1874. And if you’re visiting during the winter season, the park transforms into a magical Christmas wonderland.
Learn About Danish Design at Designmuseum Denmark
Designmuseum Denmark is a must-visit for design enthusiasts and anyone interested in art and culture. Located in the center of Copenhagen, the museum is home to a vast collection of Danish design, including furniture, textiles, ceramics, and more.
The museum is housed in a beautiful 18th-century building and features a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits. Some of the must-see exhibits include the Danish Chair exhibition, which showcases the evolution of Danish chair design, and the Arts and Crafts exhibition, which features decorative arts from the early 20th century.
One of the highlights of the museum is the stunning Golden Age room, which showcases furniture and decor from the Golden Age of Danish art (1800-1850). The room is beautifully decorated and provides a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the period.
If you’re interested in contemporary design, be sure to visit the museum’s design shop, which features a selection of modern Danish design objects, including home decor, jewelry, and furniture.
Overall, Designmuseum Denmark is a fascinating and informative museum that provides insight into the rich history and culture of Danish design. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or simply curious about Danish art and culture, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Walk Along the Historical Strøget Street
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience in Copenhagen, head to Strøget, a popular pedestrian shopping street in the city center. Spanning over a kilometer long, it’s one of the longest shopping streets in Europe. Besides shopping, Strøget has a rich history and plenty of unique attractions to explore.
While walking along Strøget, you’ll find a variety of shops and boutiques carrying everything from high-end fashion to handmade crafts and souvenirs. Don’t miss the Illum department store, one of Denmark’s oldest and most iconic shopping destinations.
Along the way, take a break and enjoy some refreshments at one of the many cafes and restaurants that dot the street. You’ll find everything from quick bites to fine dining options. Be sure to try some traditional Danish open-face sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, at one of the cafes.
Strøget has a rich history dating back to the 12th century when it was a dirt road connecting Copenhagen’s two main squares, Kongens Nytorv and Rådhuspladsen. Since then, it has evolved into the bustling shopping street it is today, attracting locals and visitors alike.
As you stroll along Strøget, be sure to take in some of the unique attractions, such as the Stork Fountain, a bronze sculpture of a stork carrying a newborn baby. You can also catch a street performance or watch the changing of the guard at the Royal Danish Theatre.
Indulge in Traditional Danish Food and Drink
Denmark is known for its delicious culinary offerings, and no visit to Copenhagen is complete without trying some traditional Danish food and drink. Here are some must-try dishes and where to find them:
|What is it?
|Where to try it?
|A traditional open-faced sandwich with various toppings, such as herring, smoked salmon, or roast beef
|Ida Davidsen or Aamanns
|Sweet, flaky pastries typically filled with custard or jam and topped with icing
|Lagkagehuset or Andersen Bakery
|A clear, strong liquor made from fermented fruit or grains
|Akvavit Bar or Mikkeller Bar
But where to find the best of the best?
- Ida Davidsen: This family-owned restaurant has been serving smørrebrød since 1888 and is considered one of the best places for this traditional dish.
- Aamanns: Known for their modern take on smørrebrød, Aamanns offers a variety of toppings with a focus on using organic and sustainable ingredients.
- Lagkagehuset: This renowned bakery chain serves up some of the best pastries in Copenhagen, with multiple locations throughout the city.
- Andersen Bakery: This bakery is known for its delicious Danish pastries, including the classic cinnamon roll.
- Akvavit Bar: Specializing in Nordic spirits, Akvavit Bar has a wide selection of schnapps to choose from, including many made in-house.
- Mikkeller Bar: This craft beer bar also serves up a variety of schnapps and other spirits, with a focus on unique and local offerings.
Whether you’re looking for a quick pastry on-the-go or a sit-down meal of traditional Danish cuisine, Copenhagen has no shortage of delicious options to choose from.
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FAQs About Seeing Copenhagen in One Day
Visiting Copenhagen in one day can be overwhelming, but with careful planning and prioritizing, you can still see many of the city’s must-visit spots. Here are some frequently asked questions to help make the most of your day in Copenhagen.
What are the must-visit spots in Copenhagen that can be covered in one day?
Some of the top must-visit spots in Copenhagen that can be covered in one day are Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, Frederik’s Church, the King’s Garden, the National Gallery of Denmark, Tivoli Gardens, Designmuseum Denmark, and Strøget, the pedestrian shopping street. You can also indulge in traditional Danish food and drinks to complete your experience.
How can I optimize my time in Copenhagen?
To optimize your time in Copenhagen, consider taking a guided tour that covers multiple attractions in one day. Alternatively, plan your itinerary wisely and group attractions that are located close to each other. You can also consider renting a bike to explore the city quickly and efficiently.
What is the best time to visit Copenhagen?
The best time to visit Copenhagen is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is mild and the days are longer. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds. Spring and fall can also be good times to visit as the weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer crowds.
What is the best way to get around Copenhagen?
Copenhagen has a great public transportation system including trains, buses, and metro. You can also rent a bike or walk around the city as many attractions are located close to each other. If you plan on using public transportation, consider purchasing a Copenhagen Card which provides unlimited transportation and admission to many attractions.
What are some traditional Danish foods and drinks to try?
Some traditional Danish foods and drinks to try include smørrebrød, Danish pastries, pickled herring, schnapps, and Carlsberg beer. There are many restaurants and cafes in Copenhagen that offer these dishes, so plan on indulging in some local delicacies during your visit.
With careful planning and prioritizing, you can make the most of your day in Copenhagen and experience the city’s top attractions. Enjoy your visit to this beautiful city!