Sometimes the best part of traveling is that moment when you visit a new country and see something that sparks a memory from your past. We’ve partnered with adventure, culture and smart-luxury traveler, Dr. Cacinda Maloney from the blog Points and Travel as she reflects on an unforgettable journey and finds the best things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Denmark’s capital began as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century. It is now known for design, innovation, and for being one of Europe’s “greenest” cities, where more than half of the city’s residents commute by bike on a daily basis. But more than that, it also has some of the best restaurants and shopping in Europe as well. Copenhagen is the perfect destination to start for a whirlwind tour through the Nordic countries, as you make your way to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland . Here are a few things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Houses of Nyhavn

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Morning at Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Photo by Roman Boed, Creative Commons

From the moment I stepped off the train, I couldn’t wait to make my way to the picturesque port of Nyhavn. I had seen pictures of it for years, flipping through travel magazines and wondered what it would be like to visit. This is the place you see on all the postcards of Copenhagen. It’s a colorful, historic canal filled with anchored boats and lined with 17th-century townhouses. It was once an international commercial port, where now the homes lining the water on both sides sit above restaurants and shops. The oldest known house here dates back to the late 1600’s. They say house #9 is the oldest and that Hans Christian Andersen lived in #20, #67 and #18!

Little Mermaid Statue

near Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo by Calvin Smith, Creative Commons

I was curious about the little mermaid statue and which house it was that Hans Christian Anderson had lived in while writing his famous book with the same name (ends up it was #67 in Nyhavn, where he also wrote ). Ok, so maybe it is a bit touristy, but still, when you grow up with a fairytale, you can’t wait to see the little mermaid come to life! And you can’t go all the way to Copenhagen and not stop by for a quick visit to see this bronze statue! It is along the river walking north of the Nyhavn houses.

Bispebjerg Cemetery

Bispebjerg Cemetery, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo by hunbille on Creative Commons

One thing you must not miss is a visit to the Bispebjerg Cemetery. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a cemetery. (I think it is genetic!). And even though in the states, most cemeteries are just that – cemeteries. Here in Copenhagen, they are more like parks, where you will find locals walking, jogging, and biking their way on the paths.

Rosenburg Castle and Gardens

Rosenburg Castle, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Rosenburg Castle, Photo by Ciska van Geer, Creative Commons

I spent a large amount of my time in Copenhagen wandering around the side streets via my rented bicycle, but also went on a walking tour of the area’s historic city center. Starting along the park, I went to the Rosenborg Castle, which was built in the early 17th century and holds the crown jewels and massive royal art collection. There is also a fabulous King’s Garden area that surrounds the castle.

Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansborg Palace, Photo by Tore Sætre, Creative Commons

You can also visit the Amalienborg Palace, which has four identical buildings, where you can see the changing of the guard every day at noon. The Christiansborg Palace has architectural features that are extremely well preserved and the inside is a king and queen’s dream!

Canal Boat Tour

Canal boat tour near Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Canal boat tour near Nyhavn, Photo by PROStig Nygaard, Creative Commons

Take an exciting tour of the canals since a sightseeing from a boat is so charming.  Most canal tours will take you through the main monuments in Copenhagen such as the Stock Exchange, Opera House both Palaces, the Danish National Museum and the Royal Library.


Stroget Street, Copenhagen, Denmark, Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

By Flickr user: Casper Moller London, United Kingdom [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Go for a walk along the longest pedestrian street in Europe, the street of Stroget. There are expensive fashion houses, as well as local Danish designers who sell amazing products. It has two huge shopping malls and it’s almost a mile long!


This area of Copenhagen is full of live music, local bars and a chilled out atmosphere and is a great place to spend a Saturday night.

Want more inspiration? Find additional ideas for your entire Scandinavia trip as you explore NorwayDenmark and Sweden throughout our Inspire blog.

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