A local’s guide to Copenhagen – Everything you need to know

Take it from a local.

I absolutely love my city, always have, which is why I love to make other people love it as well. Therefore I want to make sure that those people see and do the greatest things in Copenhagen, instead of wasting their time on stuff that is not really worth their time. If you don’t have too much time in this city and you want the ‘full’ danish experience, there are some things you want to do rather than others. This is my best tips for seeing Copenhagen the way I do.

Useful information:

♡ Language: Danish

♡ Currency: Danish krone (DKK)

♡ Time zone: UTC +1

♡ How to get around: Most people walk or bike around the city. Metro, bus, train and taxi are also an easy way to get around and very easily accessed.

♡ Like most other european countries, Denmark does not use AM and PM, but military time, like 16:00 instead of 4 PM.

Did you know:

♡ Denmark has the world’s oldest monarchy

♡ The danish flag Dannebrog was the first flag in the world

♡ The writer H.C. Andersen was from Odense, Denmark

♡ If you are lucky, you can see the Crown Prince or Princess bike around the city when they pick up their children from kindergarten

♡ The changing of guards happens every day at noon when the Royal Guard marches through the city and end up at Amalienborg (where the Queen lives). Music is playing and people gather around to see it.

When to go:

♡ April-June: This is the perfect time to visit Copenhagen. It is right before the peak season, therefore it’s not as crowded. The weather is not too cold and not too rainy, although you never know when it is going to rain in Denmark. It is around 15-18 degrees celcius at this time of year (60s fahrenheit).

♡ July-August: This is the peak season. This is when you see the joy around the city. Most people have time of school and work and spend their days outside around the city. It can get way too crowded at the most popular places such as Strøget and Paper Island. The weather is at its best. It never gets too hot in Denmark, just around 20-25 degrees celcius (70s fahrenheit).

♡ December: This is when the vibe is at its best. Christmas season in Copenhagen is magical. The streets are decorated and lights are turned on after dark. If you want to go during christmas season, be sure to bring boots and winter jackets. It can get down to -7 degrees celcius on a really cold day (20 degrees fahrenheit).

Where to stay:

♡ King Arthur Hotel: If you are looking for a hotel with spa in the heart of the city, this is it. With its four stars, it is not cheap but not too expensive either.

♡ Tivoli Hotel: This hotel has the coolest rooms. Every room is decorated differently and has details from the Tivoli Garden. Also with four stars, it is closer to expensive than cheap.

♡ Airbnb: The cheapest option is probably Airbnb. There are some really great apartments in Copenhagen and it’s a great way to meet the locals.

What to do & see:

♡ Bakken: This is the worlds oldest amusement park! It is in the middle of a naturepark and therefore a bit outside of Copenhagen. However, this is definitely worth a visit! Get some popcorn or churros and try all the fun rides. This is a fun day trip for the whole family and a place all the locals associate with their childhood.

♡ The Little Mermaid: H.C. Andersen’s fairytale The Little Mermaid is a very famous and beloved story in Denmark. The statue of her is one of Denmark’s most popular sights. She welcomes the ships to the city.

♡ Tivoli Garden: This is an amusement park located in the heart of Copenhagen. During the summer months it is crowded with locals as well as turists, but it is a must if you want to experience Copenhagen. During christmas The Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market is the perfect place to experience the locals and their traditions. It is also the perfect place to try the christmas specialties.

♡ Nyhavn: As pictured above, Nyhavn is what most postcards from Denmark illustrate. It is directly translated to new harbor. This is a very popular place during the summer months. It is filled with cafés scandinavian style. This is a must when you go to Copenhagen.

♡ The castles: The royal family and the history of our country is something we are very proud of in Denmark. The city and the rest of the country is filled with the most beautiful castles – some that are still very much used by the royal family, and some that are now museums. Amalienborg (where the Queen lives) and Rosenborg (where you can find the crown jewels) are must-sees if you want to learn a bit about the country and its history and royal family.

♡ Strøget shopping street: A very popular place to go shopping. Everything can be found here from Chanel to secondhand. This is located in the middle of the city and has many sidestreets with small shops and cafés.

♡ Christiania: This is a hard place to describe, but definitely a must too. It can be described as a small city within a city. The people living here have their own little community and way of living. Everything is very free spirited and colorful. If you visit, go by their small market to buy handmade jewelry and clothes.

♡ Vesterbro: This is an area of the city that gets more and more popular. Cafés, restaurants, nightlife and shopping can all be found here.

♡ For more things to do in Copenhagen, click here.

Where to eat:

♡ Kødbyen: This is pretty new. It is the old meatpacking district. During the day restaurants all around are open and people enjoy the sun outside.

♡ Papir Øen (Paper Island): The best street food in Copenhagen is found here. +100 small shops sell all kinds of street food, and during the summer the place right outside is crowded with locals enjoying the food and the sun by the water.

♡ Illum Rooftop: This is also pretty new, which is why I have not been myself. But it is said to be amazing. There are many different and delicious restaurants. And with the view over the city, it is a popular place to dine these days.

♡ Make sure you get to try the traditional danish lunch called Smørrebrød – or as other people say, open sandwiches. As a dane I think the name open sandwich is awfully wrong, but I guess that is what it looks like from an outsider’s point of view. You also have to make sure that you get different kinds! Smørrebrød comes in hundreds of different variations and if you only try one and do not like it, then you might think you don’t like smørrebrød in general. That is not the way to think and you might end up missing out on some amazing food if you don’t give it a try.

Where to go for a night out:

♡ Kødbyen: As mentioned before, it is pretty new. When the dark comes so does the invisible nightclubs. I went to school here for three years and never noticed where the nightclubs actually where located. I just knew they were there.

♡ Vestergade: This is kind of the same situation. Parallel to Strøget and filled with stores and shops you wouldn’t notice the nightclubs during the day. But they are there, trust me.

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15 thoughts on “A local’s guide to Copenhagen – Everything you need to know

    • I can highly recommend visiting at christmas time! The atmosphere is just incredible with the lights and decorations hanging in the street and the smell of the caramelized almonds that is a traditional snack during christmas time! Truly amazing!

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