Copenhagen Top 5
So you’ve decided to visit Copenhagen in winter, good choice – conveniently, I just got back from there – so if you’re looking for a couple suggestions of where to visit, look no further! Copenhagen is a stunning city, with a mix of old and new architecture, lovely people, surprising quiet streets, great food, great drink, and a very very cold outside but a lovely and warm and, *hygge*, inside.
Right let’s get started. My Top 5 things to do in Copenhagen in Winter. This list isn’t in order of favourite, like I normally do, this list follows a route! Check out the map below to help out with not getting lost – and there are also a couple of bonus places along the way!
1. Tivoli Gardens
Let’s start with the big one then shall we? Easily the #1 place to visit in Copenhagen is Tivoli Gardens it’s on the front cover of your Copenhagen City Guide, it’s raved about in all the other blog posts, it is **the go to place** in Denmark’s Capital. But unfortunately, I couldn’t go… Tivoli runs by very strange opening months and come New Years Day, it’s shut until April, major bummer for those of you visiting in the New Year – but don’t worry, don’t worry, there is still lot’s more to visit! For those if you however heading to Copenhagen before December 31st – wahey! You get to visit Tivoli!
Tivoli Gardens was built in 1843 and is home to one of the oldest wooden rollercoasters in the world – Rutschebanen – and despite its age, Tivoli Gardens attracts well into the millions of visitors each year bringing in thrillseekers, families and couples a like with its combination of rollercoaster, open-air shows, and markets. Tivoli is also said to have inspired none other than Walt Disney and Disney World, so whatever you’re looking for in a day out, Tivoli has you covered.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in Copenhagen over the weekend whilst Tivoli is open, then one of the most spectacular events is the fireworks display over the lake every Saturday night at 11:45pm. If you’re around then I thoroughly encourage you to attend out of pure jealously that I couldn’t!
2. Strøget and the Round Tower
Second on the list of the Top 5 things to do in Copenhagen in Winter, and only a couple minutes walk from Tivoli, is the pedestrianised Strøget which weaves beautifully through old Copenhagen. Consisting of 5 streets, Strøget boasts fantastic shops, history, and street performers. Must see sights include the Latin Quarter, Vor Frue Kirke – Copenhagen’s Cathedral, and Strædet, Copenhagen’s main shopping strip. With a 1km stretch of car free streets with shops for all budgets either side, Strøget is a great place to grab souvenirs and do a spot of shopping.
However, the must see sight in Strøgert is the Round Tower, also called Rundetårn, which reaches heights of 35m and provides one of the best views of Copenhagen! With no steps, just a sheer incline, trekking to the top will test your stamina but the views at the top will be easily worth it. Similar to Tivoli however, the Round Tower has odd opening hours, only open between 6-9pm on Tuesday and Wednesdays between November and February, so double check it’s open before you head over there.
After trekking up the Round Tower we now head south to Slotsholmen. Surrounded by Slotshoms Cannel, Slotsholmen is an island in it’s own right and home to Denmark’s Parliament Building, Christiansborg Slot. If you’re feeling cultural then this is your place. Soak up Denmark’s political culture and history as you explore the streets around the Slot, visiting Thorvaldsens Museum, Set Kongelgie Bibliotek, Scandinavia’s largest library, and Børsen, Europes oldest chamber of commerce decorated with four dragon tails, a highlight of Danish Renaissance architecture.
Whether you’re into architecture or not (it’s cool, I get it, not everyone shares my love for bricks), exploring Slotsholmen is a great way to get engulfed in danish culture and the buildings are truly, truly, spectacular.
Following the river up north from Slotsholmen, we hit the next place on the list, Nyhavn. Nyhavn is the picturesque cannel that is home to beautiful brightly colour houses, coffee shops, amazing restaurants and boat tours. You might not know it but when you think of Copenhagen, you think of Nyhavn, it’s perfect for visiting first thing in the morning, before it gets busy and whilst the sun is still rising just above the houses. Take a stroll either side, admiring boats and coffee shops as you decide which one takes your fancy as pretty soon you’ll be cold to you bones and longing for some hygge and a warm brew.
Copenhagen is renowned for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe and if you want to eating along the canal in Nyhavn, you can expect to pay around 200 DKK (~£20) for a main course. That’s why if you’re in Nyhavn and are wanting to grab a bite to eat, I recommend checking out Union Kitchen. The Union Kitchen is off one of the side streets to Nyhavn and has fantastic food, amazing beer, great music, and is easily one of the coolest places in town. If you do stop there for lunch, try the ‘Balls of the Day’ – a meatball dish that is never the same and never disappoints!
5. Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is around a 15 minute walk from Nyhavn, but make sure you travel via Amalienborg Slot. Amalienborg Slot is the home of the current Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and the palace itself consist of four main sections, each home to a different royal. Once you photographed Amalienborg Slot, head a little bit further north and you’ll get to the Little Mermaid. Love it or hate it, the Little Mermaid is iconic to Copenhagen and you can’t visit the city without seeing it.
Expect the be greeted however by not only the mermaid, but by several dozen other tourists snapping photos and getting dangerously close to the statue to grab that perfect selfie. It’s a pretty statue, with a rich history behind it, but once you’ve seen it – you’ve seen in. By this point I’m sure you’re going to be freezing and wanting something hot to warm you up! Remember where that nice coffee shop was in Nyhavn? Head there now. If you can’t remember where it was, head to Vaffelbageren, it’s a coffee shop on the corner back in Nyhavn. Oh, and order the waffles. You can thank me later.
There we have it, my Top 5 things to do in Copenhagen in winter! Copenhagen is a beautiful city, and making this list was hard, I could easily do a Top 10 – which is why there is likely going to be another Copenhagen Top 5 with a different route! If you’ve visited Copenhagen then comment down below what your Copenhagen Top 5’s where!