Copenhagen is a relaxing city and easy to be visited in two days, perhaps riding a bicycle! I don’t know if you know it but Copenhagen is a city built around bicycles: cycle paths, dedicated traffic lights, lots of parking lots (woe to leave it in unsuitable places), trains with “bike parking”, stairs with channels to slide the wheels…. and if you are on foot, be careful not to invade the cycle path or you risk being overwhelmed !!
To visit Copenhagen the summer period is, of course, the most recommended, also due to the many hours of light, which in winter are drastically reduced, but the city is full of charm even in winter.
By organizing your itinerary and first deciding what to see in Copenhagen, even if you only stay a couple of days, you will be able to fully enjoy the city, as the main attractions are all around the city center
It is true, Copenhagen is not exactly one of the cheapest destinations, but with some attention, you can visit it also on a budget.
Things to do in Copenhagen in 2 days
The list of what to do in Copenhagen is not very long, but the beauty of this city also lies in walking through its streets and admiring buildings and gardens, without necessarily entering if the time available is short.
If you organize yourself well, you will be able to easily visit all the main things to see in Copenhagen, in a couple of days. If you have some more days, I recommend you to take a Daytrip from Copenhagen, there are several interesting places!
A pedestrian street in the center with many shops and restaurants. If you are looking for souvenirs, you will find them only here and at the airport. The area is entirely pedestrianized, and is a constant bustle of people, tourists yes, but also many Danes who love to walk here with friends.
Rundetårn, the Round Tower
The special thing about this tower is its uphill floor, there are no stairs to climb! Admission costs 40 DKK and is open from 10.00 to 18.00 (from 21 May to 20 September until 20.00). Honestly, I find the ticket price excessive, you can also avoid going up if the time available is short.
The most famous amusement park in Copenhagen, opening hours 11.00-22.00 (Friday and Saturday until 24.00). Personally, unless you happen to be in the period of the Christmas set-up, or you intend to get on the attractions, I advise you not to visit it .. the entrance only to SEE the park costs 145 DKK, to ride the attractions a separate ticket is required. Definitely an instagrammable place, but if you only have two days to visit Copenhagen, I would recommend taking the time elsewhere.
The famous canal with the colorful houses, the old port of the city, is a must among the things to see in Copenhagen, it is the classic postcard of Copenhagen, absolutely not to be missed.
Did you know that the writer Hans Christian Andersen lived right here?
It is very pleasant to walk along Nyhavn and the boat tours on the canals also depart from here, an experience that I enjoyed very much and I can recommend you absolutely.
The little Mermaid
The little statue of the Little Mermaid is the symbol of Copenhagen. You may like it or not, but it is worth a visit.
The statue is life-size… so imagine a little girl on a rock…. the statue is small, nothing imposing or excessive. If you visit Copenhagen with this in mind, you will appreciate it!
Royal Residences of Rosenborg and Amalienborg
There is a combined ticket that for 125 DKK allows you to visit both Royal Residences, for openings check the opening times on the website because they change often.
You can also just visit them outside and around 12.00 in Amalienborg you will witness the changing of the guard. Know that if there is a gang, it means that the Queen is in the Palace.
The Rosenborg Gardens, on the other hand, are an excellent walk to immerse yourself in the greenery of the city and rest for a while.
Børsen, the Stock Exchange Building
Stop to look at the building where the Copenhagen Stock Exchange is located. You will notice on its roof a particular spire with the twisted tails of the four dragons with the crowns of the three monarchies of Denmark, Sweden and Norway on top.
A splendid library with a modern design, with a square shape and black color that reflects in the water and reflects the light like, in fact, a Black Diamond. Beautiful above all seen from the water perhaps at sunset! Of course, the interior is also noteworthy and admission is free.
Danish National Museum
Don’t miss this interesting free museum which goes through the history of Denmark and also contains an interesting ethnographic section, it is open from 10.00-17.00 closed on Mondays.
It is also possible to take your packed lunch from outside and eat it in the reserved area, so it could be a great idea to eat in the heat if you visit the city in the winter!
The most unconventional place in all of Copenhagen, probably all of Denmark. Christiania is basically a “city in the city”. Refuge of the hippy community once, which has now become a small almost independent area, where the inhabitants continue their somewhat alternative life and are trying to buy the land to see the right of usufruct recognized. The peculiarity of Christiania are its colors and its stalls but above all the “freedom” in the sale of drugs inside. At the entrance, there are some signs with the rules to be respected, especially around the Pusher Street area, such as “Do not Photograph” – “Do not talk on the phone” – “Do not run”, however do not worry, it is not a dangerous area, indeed, is very folkloric. In reality, by delving into the hearts of Christiania, the least touristy and truest one, one can perceive that ideal that its residents pursue, for whom Christiania is not the place of “free drugs” as many tourists think, but it is a precise philosophy of life.
Map of my 2-days Copenhagen itinerary
Day 1 – walking itinerary in Copenhagen
We start from Norreport Station, and we immediately head towards the first of the Royal residences: the Rosenborg Castle.
If you love gardens, first take a walk inside the Botanical Garden, across the street from Rosenborg, where you will find various plants and their names. I also met a squirrel there!
In Rosenborg you can enter and see the crown jewels or stroll for free in its beautiful garden and then continue towards Amalienborg, to witness the changing of the guard at noon.
As we proceed towards Nyhavn, on the other side of the canal we can admire the Opera House with its particular architecture.
After the lunch break, we are finally on Nyavhn, the main canal with its colorful houses, moored boats and Danish flags flying. From here we took a boat tour that last about an hour. You will see the Børsen, the Black Diamond, the opera house, you will pass under bridges so low that you will touch them with your hand while sitting, and you will make a stop at the Little Mermaid. You will have about 10/15 minutes, time to get off, photograph it, get closer, take selfies, …. then off again by boat!
A walk along the canal will take us to the Børsen, from where we return to the center and the pedestrian area, on the famous Strøget street (be careful, if you have bikes you will have to push them, you cannot cycle in this area!) To do a little of shopping, admire the buildings, streets and architecture of the city center, a walk that takes us to the Rundetaan, the round tower. The peculiarity of the tower is that it does not go up via stairs, but on a smooth floor that rolls upwards. But Copenhagen is not that great from above, much better to walk through it or see it from the water!
You can walk a little longer through the streets of the pretty center, and if you like, you can spend a pleasant evening at the Tivoli.
Day 2 – ciclyng itinerary in Copenhagen
First of all, you need to rent a bicycle: we took it from our hostel, but there are many rentals with a cost of around € 10 per day. In Copenhagen, there is also a bike sharing service which, however, I have no direct experience. We start the day with a great breakfast at the Torvehallerne market, and then we warm up a bit by pedaling along “the Lakes“, reservoirs in the area between the Norreport and Forum metro stations. At the far end of Gyldenlovesgade, parallel to the road you came from, there is an absolutely lovely pretty building, of which I took a lot of photos!
We return to the center to reach the Nationalmuseet, whose free visit will take us around for a couple of hours.
A quick lunch, perhaps with sandwiches purchased at Netto, a highly recommended local supermarket, and then off, a ride through Christiansborg, from the Black Diamond Library (free admission, if you like, drop by and you will notice how passing from the modern part to the older one will seem to travel in time!) and from the Stock Exchange, up to Christiania. Here you walk in this hippy village, but I recommend .. carry your bike by hand and do not take photographs, especially in the Pusher Street area.
If you still have energy you can cycle to Kastellet and admire the Little Mermaid again, otherwise the day can end here
If you are staying in Copenhagen for more than two days, you can add excursions around Copenhagen to your itinerary, there are really many interesting things to see!!
Where to eat in Copenhagen on a budget
Copenhagen is not a very cheap city, however, it is also possible to find places to eat well and abundantly on a budget. Or in any case, you can always equip yourself with packed lunches by buying sandwiches and cold cuts in the Netto market, a chain of local supermarkets where you will also find many typical specialties.
Surely a dish to eat in Copenhagen are Smørrebrød, basically some big tapas or bruschetta!
FIOLSTRæDE 12 – Pedestrian area
Nice place that serves abundant dishes, but also breakfasts and drinks. The walls are full of books and the environment is very popular with both Danes and the many foreign children who study or work in Copenhagen.
With a 10/15 € you get a plate or a big hamburger that will surely fill you up. Water is free, fill the pitcher near the counter and bring it to the table!
TOLDBODGADE 3 – Nyhavn area
If you want to eat excellent Smørrebrød, a typical Danish dish consisting of bruschetta stuffed with all kinds of things, choose this place in an alley near of Nyhavn. 3 Smorrebrod for just over € 15. In my opinion, if you are two, one and a half each is enough! They are really big and fill a lot!
Good, tasty and in a beautiful location!
In this market you will find a huge choice of both fresh products, but also restaurants. Prices vary a lot, but wandering around the various proposals, I am sure you will find something that suits you at an acceptable price.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
The best area to stay is near the center, but in any case, the city is not very big and at most, you will take a walk of a couple of kilometers, completely flat and not at all tiring.
I stayed at the Sleep in Heaven hostel, in the Norrebro area, a short distance from the lakes and Norreport station. The hostel has 6-bed dorms (budget with two three-story bunk beds, around € 30 or classic with three classic bunk beds, € 36) and double/triple rooms with shared bathrooms.
Very nice common areas, wifi, large and clean bathroom, free luggage storage and bicycle rental even on Sundays (many rent-offices are closed on Sundays). Bar and breakfast for a fee, unfortunately, it does not have a kitchen, but in the immediate vicinity you will find both a 7 Eleven (open 24h) and the cheap Netto supermarket (8-22).
How to reach Copenhagen from the airport and move around the city
Copenhagen Airport is connected to the city center by the metro (stand in the front row to hear yourself as the drivers of this driverless train!!) and the 3-zone ticket costs 36 DKK.
Once there was the Klipperkort, a “zone” card that allowed a nice saving on the single ticket .. the counting of the zones was not easy (they are not concentric and it was necessary to count how many were crossed) I presume both for what it was retreat …
Now you can buy tickets such as the City Pass (different costs depending on the area, but if you visit Copenhagen in two days, you just need the Small which also includes the airport) or the Copenhagen Card, useful especially if you plan to enter some of the museums or attractions included or discounted.
Personally, however, I advise you not to buy any time tickets, choose an accommodation in the central area and move one day on foot, discovering the beautiful center (almost entirely pedestrian), and the following day rent a bicycle for the surroundings (or vice versa of course).
The single ticket is valid for 1 hour and a half, so even if you take the metro first and then the bus to get to your destination, you don’t need to buy another one. ATTENTION! On the buses, you will have to buy tickets in cash, if you don’t use the metro or go on foot!
Other useful information for visiting Copenhagen
1. In Denmark there is no Euro, but the Danish Kroner (DKK). The exchange rate is about € 1 = 7.50 DKK.
However, if you intend to stay in the city, you will not need to change currency, you can pay for everything by credit card or debit card, including transport tickets at the automatic cash machines. Maybe when you enter a restaurant ask immediately if they accept Italian cards, but in general they are accepted everywhere.
2. The official language is Danish, but English is widespread and perfectly spoken everywhere. You will also find directions and menus in English.
3. Wifi and recharging sockets are present in almost all places, while free wifi is very difficult to find and very often does not connect.
4. Download the Rejseplanen app, you will be able to find the best route to get to your destination and you will also be shown the price of any means that you will have to take to get there.
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