Day trip in Copenhagen

One Day Copenhagen Itinerary: The Perfect 24 Hours!

Are you dreaming of a wonderful day in Copenhagen but do you still not know what to see or do there? Then you’re in the right place! I will explain to you all the must-sees for a perfect day in Copenhagen!

I’ve recently spent a few days in the South of Sweden and what couldn’t be missing was, of course, a day trip to Copenhagen!

When you’re visiting the area, you can easily include Copenhagen, Malmö, Lund and even Helsingborg on the same trip. However, in this post, I will focus on Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (or Kobenhavn in Danish)!

The easiest (non-car) way to arrive at Copenhagen is through its airport (called Copenhagen Kastrup), by train over “The Bridge” (my personal favourite for a day trip) or by boat!

When flying to the area, the easiest way is to fly on Copenhagen itself, as it’s the largest airport in the area and has the best connections.

But of course, you’re wondering what to see once you arrived in Copenhagen right? The places I will show you now did fit perfectly in 1 day for me but you can obviously easily make a weekend out of it and take a bit more time to enjoy this beautiful city!

Let’s dive into this Copenhagen day trip itinerary!

Top Tip: I’ve included a map with all the attractions at the end of the post to give you a better overview and orientation over the city!

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What to see in 1 day

Tip: if you plan on visiting a lot it might be beneficial to buy the 24-Hour Copenhagen City Card which gives you free or discounted entrance at more than 80 museums and attractions plus free public transport!

#1: The Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid - one day Copenhagen
The Little Mermaid

This is the number one tourist attraction in Copenhagen! Since 1913 the statue is located in the harbour of the city and now it attracts hundreds of tourists each day! The building of the statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen from the Carlsberg brewery (a famous Danish brewery, you probably know its beer!).

It’s definitely something you should see but I will warn you that it’s cramped up with tourists and that the surroundings are not exactly what you would expect. However, the statue is first-class art you should include in your itinerary!

#2: The Bridge!

This bridge (original name the Øresund Bridge) is featured in a very popular crime series, not surprisingly called ‘The Bridge’.

It makes the connection between Denmark and Sweden and it’s just beautiful to take a ride on this train because the bridge really is huge and the water beneath you massive!

So if you love a nice view and are planning to go to or come from Sweden, this is a perfect option!

#3: Nyhavn

Nyhavn - coloured houses at a harbour in Copenhagen

Together with the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn is a very touristic spot and probably the most instagrammable spot of the city! It’s the cutest neighbourhood of Copenhagen with a lot of restaurants and a gorgeous view of course!

The Nyhavn neighbourhood used to be a poor fishing neighbourhood but is now the epicentre of creativity!

It’s THE place in Copenhagen you absolutely cannot miss on your one day in Copenhagen!

#4: Christiansborg

Royal Palace Christiansborg Copenhagen

This royal palace is located in the centrum of Copenhagen. Once the home of kings and queens, it now still has a lot of royal functions!

Today, the building is housing the Danish Parliament, Ministry of State and the Supreme Court. Moreover, Her Majesty still receives guests in this palace!

But best of all: you can visit some of these royal rooms! If you love monarchies then this is definitely something to add to your list!

#5 Holmens Kirke

Inside of the Holmens Church, beautiful wooden decorations
Holmens Church

On your way from Christiansborg to Nyhavn, you’ll pass this cute little church. It’s certainly worth taking a look inside, because the wooden details are just beautiful!

When crossing the river, watch out for the view below, as I really liked this building! If you’re wondering what it is, it’s actually Copenhagen’s former stock exchange and one of the oldest buildings in the city! Unfortunately, you can’t visit it, but this view you’ll have!

River view in Copenhagen
Waterside view

#6: Kastellet

Kastellet - one day Copenhagen

Kastellet is the remaining of a fortress at the harbour of Copenhagen. This spot is easy to combine with a visit to the Little Mermaid since it’s located right beside it!

This used to be a military fortress and there are still soldiers present at Kastellet. I can tell you because I ran into one of them accidentally…

Together with a friend I was looking around and seeing if we could enter one of the buildings, looking through the windows and such. However, at the moment we were standing in front of the door, a soldier opened it from the inside and asked if he could help us (in Danish).

We were sooo embarrassed, because it was really obvious we were being the stereotype tourist. So we quickly turned around and walked away as fast as we could!

So be aware of this!

Besides walking inside the fortress, you can also make a really nice walk on the walls of this star-shaped fortress! So if you fancy a view over it, this is perfect!

Top tip: if you’re walking to Kastellet, there is a really cute church located right beside it (see picture below)! Unfortunately, tourists weren’t allowed inside at that moment, so I wasn’t able to visit it, but it’s worth taking a look!

Very cute looking church on the way to Kastellet!

#7: Frederikskirken

Frederikskirken - majestic church in Copenhagen
Frederikskirken or Frederiks Church

Did you know it took Denmark almost 150 years to finish this building? Luckily, today here it is and absolutely beautiful on the inside! (Which also leads to lots of people wanting to get married in this church!)

It’s worthwhile to take a look inside (it’s free – yeey) and you’ll find a lot of tourists accompanying you!

However, if you want an even better experience, it’s possible to visit the dome and have an amazing view over the city!

#8: City Hall

City Hall - one day Copenhagen
Copenhagen City Hall

Copenhagen’s City Hall is (not surprisingly) located on the city hall square or Rådhuspladsen, in Danish. This beautiful building is constructed between 1892 and 1905. You can visit the building for free, only for the tower, you need a guided tour!

If you like to learn more about Copenhagen and Denmark I certainly recommend this stop!

You can find more information about the city hall here!

#9: Shop, shop, shopping at Strøget!

View of the shopping street Stroget

You can’t have culture all day, can you? If you’re in for some brainless shopping, Denmark is the place to be as well!

However, be very carefull! The Denish Crown is rather expensive (so too much shopping might hurt your bank account!)

Where should you start shopping in Copenhagen?

Start at Strøget, the main shopping street of Copenhagen! From there, I’m sure you’ll find your way!

Fun fact: this is also the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world!

#10: Tivoli

Amusement park Tivoli in the centre of Copenhagen

Tivoli is not really a touristic highlight of Copenhagen. No, it actually is an amusement park! And not just some amusement park, but the second oldest amusement park in Denmark! The oldest roller coaster there is more than 100 years old!

Why did I include this? Because it surprised me a lot to see this in the middle of Copenhagen next to the train station!

(And well, it looked kinda fancy.)

So if you want to do something completely different during your stay in Copenhagen, this is a very fun option!

Food in Copenhagen

One of the first things my Swedish friend made me do when visiting Kopenhagen was to taste the Danish sausage!

Typical red Danish sausage

It’s very typically Danish and you can find street food stalls selling them everywhere.

I should warn you that the colour is somewhat suspicious but this is exactly what makes the Danish sausage so unique! If you’re a little hungry, the sausage is definitely a good treat!

During the afternoon we also stopped at a very charming cafe in the middle of Copenhagen. It sells amazing food and that’s exactly why I’m sharing it with you!

The place is called Taste and sells the most delicious pastry, coffee and other light meals. So if you have a little afternoon hunger (or crave chocolate) this is the perfect stop for you!

Fun facts about Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Denmark has been the world’s happiest country 3 times since the start of the UN World Happiness Report!
  • Copenhagen is the city with the most Michelin Stars in the world! The city hosts 16 Michelin star restaurants, good for a total of 23 stars!
  • Danish people love to cycle, you will see lots of people commute by bike!
  • Copenhagen is one of the greenest cities in the world!
  • The amusement park Tivoli has served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland!
Guard at the royal palace of Christiansborg in Copenhagen

Find your way with this map!

On the map below I highlighted all the places in Copenhagen that I mentioned so you can easily find them and plan your trip yourself!

You can see that an easy itinerary for Copenhagen starts at the train station (the main way of coming into the city) and goes all the way to the Little Mermaid and back!

All sightseeing attractions are basically located on one straight line so you can perfectly combine them on your day trip to Copenhagen!

You can also easily spend more than 1 day in Copenhagen if you want to!

How will you spend one day in Copenhagen?

Did I convince you for a day trip in Copenhagen? Did you find the inspiration you needed to make it a perfect trip or weekend in Copenhagen?

Let me know if you’ve visited the city and what you think of it! I’m curious to hear about your experiences in Copenhagen!

If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to take a look at the 24-hour Copenhagen City Card to get free entrance to a lot of attractions!

No time to plan your trip now? Pin it for later!

10 thoughts on “One Day Copenhagen Itinerary: The Perfect 24 Hours!”

  1. I went to Copenhagen, last year, for a conference (yes, on mermaids, I am not kidding). And I loved everything about it. Super nice to read your stories and see your pictures… a trip down memory lane. All places you mention, I visited as well, except for Tivoli, as I ran out of time. But next time, I will. And take your handy travel map with me in my phone. You have a very beautiful blog, and well-written as well. I will read much more of it. Keep up the great work!

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