One day in Copenhagen is not enough, but what can you do, if you really only have 24 hours in Copenhagen? Make the most of it of course! This guide to Copenhagen will help you figure out how to spend your one day in Copenhagen the best way possible. And just to warn you, Tivoli is not on this Copenhagen itinerary. I love Tivoli, but with only 24 hours you’re going to be pressed for time. I would definitely leave it for another time.
Things to see in Copenhagen in one day
Copenhagen is the biggest city in Denmark, but you can still reach most things on foot. There is also an excellent metro system if your feet start to ache.
Rosenborg Castle – stare at the Crown Jewels
Why not start the day by admiring something you’re never ever going to get your hands on: The Danish Crown Jewels. Four sets of Crown Jewels are at display at Rosenborg Castle, and the number of rubies, diamonds and pearls will dazzle anyone. The Crown Jewels are only used by the Queen and only within the country’s borders.
Rosenborg Castle is within walking distance from Nørreport Station (Metro).
The Little Mermaid
After Rosenborg Castle, head to Langelinje Pier and the Little Mermaid. It’ll take you about half an hour on foot. The Little Mermaid is one of the most iconic and popular sights in Denmark. It was inspired by the world famous fairy tale writer H.C. Andersen’s tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be with a handsome prince on land. The sculpture is made of bronze and granite. Sometimes people get disappointed because they expect a big statue, but the Little Mermaid is, as the name indicates, little.
Check in with the Queen
You’ve seen her jewels, why not see where she lives. From The Little Mermaid, you walk to Amalienborg, the residence of the Danish royal family, to see how European royalty lives. Book a guided tour to Christian VII’s Palace, the Royal Family’s representative and guest palace for 250 years. If you’re finding it hard to leave the palace and the luxurious surroundings, you can prolong your stay by buying a ticket to the royal museum.
The museum is like a journey through time, and the rooms of Christian IX, Queen Louise and their descendants stand intact. Each reflects the modern taste of its period and the personalities of the kings and queens.
Every day at 12:00, is where the changing of the royal guard takes places.
Chill at Nyhavn and jump on a boat
Nyhavn, a place once favoured by sailors and ladies of pleasure, offers an excellent opportunity to drink a beer and take in the colourful old district. By now you’re probably also hungry so why not get some food with that beer. The old buildings in Nyhavn have been renovated and work as the perfect backdrop to students drinking a cold beer, musicians trying to earn a buck and tourists enjoying the Danish capital. While resting your feet and filling your stomach there’s time to pick out the boat you want to take you around the canals of Copenhagen. Going on a boat tour in Copenhagen is an absolute must!
A few fun facts about Nyhavn:
H.C Andersen used to live here.
The world’s oldest functioning tattoo parlour is located in the basement of Nyhavn 17.
Nyhavn is also known as “The Longest Bar in Scandinavia”.
Shop until you drop
Nyhavn is the perfect starting point for a shopping spree in Copenhagen. Strøget, Copenhagen’s aorta and one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets, is chuck-full of shops that can accommodate any wishes and tastes. I personally like to shop on streets like Ny Østergade, Kronprinsessegade, Pilestræde and Læderstræde. You find a lot of interesting shops on those streets and you avoid the biggest crowds. You also avoid the chain-stores and find more unique shops.
Finish your day in Christianshavn
Christianshavn is one of the most beautiful, laidback areas in Copenhagen. It’s home to some of the best restaurants in the country (and world) as well as Christiania – the free town of Copenhagen. Christiania is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Denmark, and Pusher Street is where you go to buy weed. The place is a bit dodgy but fairly safe.
If you want a drugfree rush, you can always climb the 400 steps to the top of the Church of Our Saviour. The view is absolutely stunning.
But before you leave Denmark, you have to eat one of the many great restaurants in Christianshavn.
I hope this guide to what to see in Copenhagen in 1 day has helped you in your planning efforts. As I wrote in the beginning, one day in Copenhagen is not enough, but it’ll give you a sense of the city. And then you’ll be back, I hope.