72 Hours in Copenhagen, Denmark

Our Thoughts

Let’s face it—all the Scandinavian countries are expensive and Denmark is no different. The best way to see Denmark, like most other metropolitans, is to explore neighbourhoods by foot. Culture is best seen in the street, but before that, start with a canal tour.

My first trip to Copenhagen, Denmark was back when I was in my mid-twenties. I remember strolling aimlessly, getting lost, spending little money and returning home with cold.

So why return, you ask?

Because Copenhagen is a special place, with special, happy Danes. In fact, some say Danes are among the happiest people in the world.

With my first trip in mind, a time I identified as a DJ, I did my best to recreate the magic of when I heard Stars on 45‰ down an alley with my wife, Cathy.

Records galore

Here’s how we spent our trip in September 2016.

Getting to Copenhagen

There’s a direct train and metro line that runs from Copenhagen (CPH) Airport to the city centre. Both take 15 minutes to reach Copenhagen Central Station and a one-way ticket costs 4.80 (36 DKK), approximately $8 CAD.

If you want to be smackdab in the middle of the action, take the metro straight from the airport to Kongens Nytorv‰-around 19 minutes. This is where you’ll find the picturesque houses at Nyhavn and the shopping street StrÌüget.

Other stops available on the same metro line include NÌürreport, Frederiksberg, and the old maritime area of Christianshavn.

The metro is also a great option if you have kids. At the end of each metro train there’s a fake dashboard with control buttons where kids young and old can pretend to drive.

Where to Stay

We usually stay at The Admiral Hotel—originally an old grain drying warehouse that’s since been converted to a hotel it is today.

Admiral Hotel

Rooms can run warm due to thick walls, a pleasant touch in winter and tolerable with A/C in the summer. But the location’s unbeatable.

Day One in Copenhagen

Let’s face it—all the Scandinavian countries are expensive and Denmark is no different. The best way to see Denmark, like most other metropolitans, is to explore neighbourhoods by foot. Culture is best seen in the street, but before that, start with a canal tour.

City centre

There are many reputable canal tours that start in Nyhavn and run between 2 and 4 hours depending on your requirements. All the tours take you to the original Little Mermaid and all the major sights of the city.

The original Little Mermaid

After your canal orientation, explore Nyhavn.


Author Hans Christian Andersen used to live in Nyhavn; a commercial port filled with restaurants, bars and cafes surrounded by colourful townhouses. It’s the main tourist attraction in Copenhagen, attracting millions, especially in the summertime when tourists are consumed by quaint cafe patios.

Nyhavn, meaning the “New Harbour” is very picturesque and most loved by photographers for the old charming homes, colours and reflections over the water. Take advantage of street photography. Copenhagen is a bike city that comes in all styles, shapes and colours—only the Danes ride a bike in style that makes one feel envious.

In the evening savour the exquisite cuisine that exists in this city.

For the foodies who are adventurous, try one of the world’s best restaurants, Noma. It’s very challenging to secure a reservation so try well before you arrive.

We took advice from a dear friend and went to Chef Alan Bates’ restaurant called Studio at the Standard.

Studio at the Standard

Studio is one of the smallest Michelin-restaurants in Denmark which ensures a unique experience. The space has a presence you can feel where you can follow the evening as it proceeds in the open kitchen.

At Studio they cook modern Scandinavian food seen through an international lens. While they are inspired by the possibilities of the local produce of the season, they also let try new techniques and inspirations from all sorts of tastes and cuisines.

I can’t recommend it enough and can say without a doubt it was the best dining experience my wife Cathy and I have had to date.

Cathy and I at Studio

Day Two in Copenhagen

Experiencing a Danish breakfast is something you can’t miss and the locals insist on The Union Kitchen for it.

I tried the meatball and mash, a Danish staple, for brunch. Wow. It’s busy. Arrive early!

Meatballs for brunch

Afterwards, carry on and walk it off in the Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli Gardens

Going to the Tivoli Gardens can be a magical fairy tale. The Tivoli Garden is an amusement park with well over 25 rides. Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney visited often for inspiration.

You can enjoy Tivoli in every season. Entrance fees can be pricey and expect to pay more for individual rides. If you get a Copenhagen Card you can enter it for free.

Don’t feel like paying? You can stroll the gardens and grounds for free and it’s worth doing so.

In the afternoon stop on the city’s main shopping street Strøget—also one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets. It’s home to a wealth of shops, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world’s most expensive brands.

In the evening head over the Nyhavn Harbour to the Reffen Food Hall. It’s the permanent home for Copenhagen’s many street food trucks and an incubator for vendors to try their ideas. Fun, noisy and busy but you won’t be spoilt for choice of food variety here.

Food Hall

It’s Denmark. Pick up a 6-pack at the local 7-Eleven and enjoy a brew in the street.

Day Three in Copenhagen

After breakfast head out of the city on a short train ride to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is located on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk, 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Copenhagen. Admittedly, I find art museums lackluster, but this has so much to offer that I really enjoyed it.

The museum is included in the Patricia Schultz book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and ranks 85th on a list of the most visited art museums in the world (2011).

After the Museum visit, stroll down to the water’s edge and watch the sea before you leave. It’s so calming.

As you wrap your third and final day in Copenhagen, take in the world’s happiest people. Enjoy a cafe patio, a park, or bench by the water and people watch. Slow down and savour this special place.

Andrew Taylor

For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.

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