Copenhagen will always have a special place in my heart. It was the destination of my very first international solo trip. I chose Copenhagen for this big moment in my life due to the beauty, the safety, and the flight cost. Thanks to Skyscanner, I was able to snag a fare from Washington Dulles to Copenhagen for $330.00 RT with Icelandair. I went for just a long weekend, but was able to do and see so much! This charming city has such a “small town” feel to it due to the close proximity of all sights and the friendliness of the locals. The great part is that you can add this city to any trip for just a few days since it’s easy to explore the the main attractions in a timely manner!
Here you will find almost everything you need to know about visiting Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen Card is a convenient card that allows you unlimited access on all public transportation within Copenhagen. It also includes entry to numerous attractions, such as Tivoli Gardens, Carlsberg Brewery, The Round Tower, and more. The card; however, isn’t cheap. So before purchasing, I’d suggest doing some math to see if it’ll be worth it for you. There are different options depending on how many days you need the card for. I chose to purchase the 48 hour card because I liked the convenience of not having to pay at every train station or sight. The pricing is as follows:
24-hour card: 389 DKK (about 57 USD)
48-hour card: 549 DKK (about 81 USD)
72-hour card: 659 DKK (about 97 USD)
120-hour card: 889 DKK (about 131 USD)
Also, keep in mind that the Tivoli Garden amusement park is closed during certain months of the year. Admission to the garden is expensive, so if you plan on going then the Copenhagen card could be well worth it. You can find more information on their website. They also provide an estimate of costs of each attraction that the card includes, so you can see if you’re getting a good deal.
The train, bus, and metro routes are extremely easy to navigate. Be sure to download route navigation apps, such as CityMapper. It’ll let you know which stop to get off at to get to your final destination. My favorite form of transportation in Copenhagen was walking. Everything is within walking distance in the city center and you’ll take in gorgeous sights on the way. There were times where I just got lost in the city and I loved every minute of it.
After completing a lot of research, I booked a stay at Urban House Copenhagen hostel. It is said to be one of the best hostels in Europe (and the best in Copenhagen). Since this was my first time staying in a hostel, I was a little hesitant on what to expect. I absolutely loved it! This was the perfect hostel for first timers and hostel veterans around the world. The staff were extremely friendly, the place was clean, the bar was lively, there were activities planned every day, the rooms were spacious, and the location was perfect.
Things to Know
- AIRPORT TRANSFERS: The easiest and most cost efficient way to get into the city is by Metro, which is located right above terminal 3 of the airport. The trains from this station only depart in one direction, so you will not have to figure out which one to hop on. The best station to get off at is the Nørreport Station, which takes around 13 minutes. This will take you right to city center. The train (different from the metro) is also available at the airport and will take you to the Copenhagen Central Station.
- CURRENCY: Danish Krone is used in Copenhagen. Every establishment I went to accepted credit card. I actually never had to exchange money/pull from an ATM.
- COSTS: Expensive in comparison to the US (even DC area!). I would compare costs to what I experienced in Iceland and Zurich. My meals ranged from $20-$50 for a dish plus a glass of wine.
- TIPPING: Not expected, but feel free to if you are given exceptional service.
- LANGUAGE: English is commonly spoken in most restaurants, attractions, etc.
- SAFETY: I always felt safe here! Of course, you should always be aware of your surroundings no matter where you’re at, but overall I never felt threatened. The streets are often crowded even late at night, so there was never a time where I was walking around with nobody in sight.
Things to Do
- NYHAVN: This district is known for the colorful buildings along a canal. This 17th century picturesque area is a must stop in Copenhagen. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants here to rest at and soak in the views.
- NATIONAL MUSEUM OF DENMARK (Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K, Denmark): This museum has so many different exhibits displaying the history of Denmark. Admission is included in the Copenhagen Card and definitely a site to see for history buffs
- WALK UP RUNDETAARN (ROUND TOWER) (Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København, Denmark): Also included in the Copenhagen Card, this tower is located right in the center of the city. It was built as an astronomical observatory. Visitors can go to the top of this tower to get a stunning 360 view of Copenhagen.
- CHRISTIANSBORG PALACE/THE TOWER (Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218 København, Denmark): While I didn’t go into the palace because I’ll be honest…I didn’t know how to exactly. But as I was walking past the palace, I came across the entrance to the tower/Tarnet. Tarnet is a restaurant with gorgeous views while the tower is simply that. Access to the tower is free. It was raining the day I visited, so the skies were gloomy but the views were still amazing.
- ROSENBORG CASTLE (Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark): This castle blew me away. I was hesitant on visiting because the line was long (arrived around 1PM) and it was raining. I had forgotten my umbrella in the hostel and wasn’t sure if it was worth getting soaked for. Well, I’m glad I didn’t back out! This renaissance castle was remarkable. I loved seeing all the details on every wall, every room, every ceiling.
- DRINK BEER AT CARLSBERG BREWERY (Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11, 1799 Valby, Denmark): Also included in the Copenhagen Card, Visit Carlsberg is a great place to come enjoy a brew! I opted for the self guided tour which also included two beer tickets. A great deal if you ask me! While the tour itself wasn’t that impressive, I really enjoyed the restaurant/bar upstairs. The staff were extremely accommodating and informative. I also liked that they had a variety of options at the bar to try.
- ROAM THE STREETS OF COPENHAGEN: I can’t emphasize this enough! By far my favorite part of my trip was simply walking around all over Copenhagen. Stopping by cafes for a perfect latte while occasionally glancing over to the streets to people watch.
- EAT PASTRIES AT ANDERSEN BAKERY (Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577 København V, Denmark): Located right across from the Central Train Station, this bakery serves up delicious pastries. So good that I made two stops here (also close to Urban House Hostel) AND brought delicious treats home with me for the family.
- INDULGE IN DESSERTS AND SMØRREBRØD AT CAFE NORDEN (Østergade 61, 1100 København K, Denmark): This cafe has an elegant feel to it with cozy dining booths and an extensive menu. I loved it due to its long hours, so I was able to fulfill those late night cravings. Smørrebrød is an open faced sandwich consisting of rye bread and a variety of toppings. This is a popular dish in Denmark, so I was excited to see Cafe Norden offer a plate with 3 different types for me to try!I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first solo trip. Copenhagen was the perfection destination to explore on my own. There were a few items on my list that I didn’t get to check out, but I was happy with how much I was able to do in the limited time I had. I probably could have fit in a few more activities in my schedule, but there were moments where I just wanted to wind down and relax at the hostel. I’d definitely go back and visit again! There’s just a sense of pure happiness there.