2 Days in Copenhagen

Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, first hit my radar when I was in seventh grade, watching a film in my geography class. I distinctly remember telling myself, that’s one place I definitely want to make it to at some point in my life. Nearly a decade and a half later, it finally happened! Here’s how we spent 2 days in Copenhagen!

Considering a trip to Copenhagen? Here's what we did in 2 days!

Day 1 // 10-11 a.m.

We landed in Copenhagen around 10 a.m. and despite how crowded it was, found ourselves out the door and in a cab to our hotel in no time. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready for us to drop our bags and freshen up, so we checked our bags and were out the door to start exploring the city.

Day 1 // 11 a.m. -1:15 p.m.

First up on our list was Nyhavn, the famous landmark on the water, with lots of colorful buildings! It was about a 25 minute walk from our hotel, but along the way we discovered quite a bit to explore and the cutest shops to duck into. Who knew we’d end up in the middle of the biggest shopping area?! If you’ve watched any movie with a scene in Copenhagen, there’s a good chance you saw this background in it! We also LOVED this fantastic polar bear party Christmas display happening on the side of one of the nearby hotels!

We decided to stop into a restaurant here for lunch, since Nyhavn is such a cute little area (and a fantastic lunch backdrop)! Our meal was ok, but I’d recommend grabbing a snack in the area versus a meal, if anything. Since it’s obviously a bigger tourist area, prices are a bit higher and the quality wasn’t nearly as good as some of the other food stops we had in the city!

Did you also know that famous author, Hans Christian Andersen, spent most of his life living and writing in Copenhagen? In fact, Nyhavn is where he called home for many years! You can find signs of his influence all over the city!

Day 1 // 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Post-lunch we were off to find Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid statue. I was incredibly excited for this since I had seen the statue in a documentary way back in seventh grade and had wanted to visit Copenhagen to see it myself. Over a decade later, it finally happened! We had to duck into a couple places along the way though because winter + walking by the water? FREEZING! Well worth the trek though! We planned to do a walking tour this afternoon of the city’s more “alternative” neighborhood, but ended up nixing it since our hike to the Little Mermaid took longer than expected and we were ready to get warmed up!

Day 1 // 3:45 – 6:30 p.m.

We Ubered back to the hotel to check in at this point in the day because the freezing wind was no joke and walking 30 more minutes just didn’t sound appealing. It was a great time to do so though! People were starting to leave work and school so we saw a glimpse of Danish life, plus got to see an entirely different area of the city from the warmth of the car!

Due to some issues with our initial room at the hotel, we ended up hanging around there longer than we hoped, but once we settled into our new room and warmed up with a couple cappuccinos, we were ready to brave the winter air for a night outdoors under the city lights!

Day 1 // 6:45 – 11 p.m.

To end our first day, we hit Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens, which is one of the oldest theme parks and located in the middle of the city! There is an entry fee for admission, but it’s totally worth it! There’s so much to say about Tivoli, so I think I’ll have to write a separate post dedicated entirely to it, but it’s a MUST do for anyone visiting Copenhagen! And of course, visiting during the Christmas season, it’s even more magical, all lit up and with Christmas market stalls lining the walkways! We were thinking we’d only stay 3 hours or so but ended up staying until closing. SO MUCH FUN.

Day 2 // 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The next morning we woke up feeling well-rested and ready to explore more of Copenhagen! We popped down for a quick breakfast in our hotel and then were out the door for one of our favorite activities, a city walking tour! We learned SO much about Copenhagen’s history, plus life as a Dane and quite a few governmental policies that we would LOVE to see implemented here in the US. The tour ended up running a little over too because the group was small enough to gather ’round for a pretty lengthy Q&A sesh with our tour guide.

Our guide even ended the tour at Copenhagen’s Food Hall (one of the best lunch hotspots), which we couldn’t resist popping into for a bite to eat. This is also where I found the absolute BEST Danish pastry! I’m kind of kicking myself for not buying the whole inventory before we left. SO GOOD.

Day 2 // 1:45 – 3:45 p.m.

After lunch we hightailed over to Christiansborg Palace to catch a tour of the grounds where the Queen of Denmark carries out her official duties, and where the country’s Prime Minister lives! With an 800+ year history, this was such a cool place to explore! Plus, we were able to go up to the Observatory (the highest point in Copenhagen), where we got a phenomenal 360-degree view of the city!

Day 2 // 4 – 8 p.m.

At this point, we knew we had just a few hours left to explore, so after a quick stop to drop our shopping bags off, we made our way to Andersen Bakery (one of the top-ranked bakeries in the city) for a light dinner and lots of pastries! I’m sure the staff thought we were crazy with all of the desserts we were ordering, but when else are you going to have pastries from THE city of pastries?!

We needed to do some serious walking (walking off of the desserts that is), so we went back to the cobblestone streets lined with shops one last time, ending our adventure at the original LEGO store (yep, LEGOs originated in Denmark)!

And with that, we headed back to the hotel to pack up and prepare for an early morning train to the next stop on our tour of Scandinavia… Stockholm!

  • Awesome photos! I’d love to go to Copenhagen one day, it looks amazing! You did so much in two days as well! I’ll for sure be going to the food hall you mentioned, exactly what I love to visit on my travels!

    • Thanks, Tine! It’s a wonderful place to visit! The food is one of the best parts of travel, isn’t it?!

  • You’re bringing back memories for me! I was in Copenhagen June of 2015 and loved it. I would love to go back in the winter though – your pictures are great and everything looks so festive!

    • So awesome! What was your favorite part? I LOVED how festive the city was – especially at Tivoli!

  • Sarah Jean

    Those colorful houses! I know there is way more to Copenhagen than those houses but I can never get over how beautiful they are.

    • You and me both! It’s a lot smaller of an area in person than I expected, but so charming! I bet in the summertime it’s really buzzing!

  • my little brother is autistic and loves legos, I don’t think I could ever take him here because he’d never leave! haha. I’ve wanted to visit Copenhagen since watching the Prince and Me for the first time, haha!

    • Oh I believe it! The big Lego store at Downtown Disney is just like that – I think people get stuck there forever because their kids are having too much fun with them! I hope you can make it to Copenhagen one day – seeing movies filmed in places just makes it so much more enticing to visit!

  • I really loved Tivoli too!! Would love to go back for the Christmas experience! There’s a great WW2 museum not far from the Little Mermaid, too!

    • It’s SO worth a trip back to experience the city at Christmas! I’ll definitely have to keep the WWII museum in mind whenever I make it back there!

  • CoCo

    Way to go! Seems like you used the best of your short time!

  • Christine Dam

    Wow beautiful pictures. This is definitely on my bucket list of places I need to see.

    • Thanks, Christine! It’s well worth the trip! Anything you’re most interested in seeing there?

  • Kate

    I loved Copenhagen it is a hidden gem, the beautiful colors and the water. It looks like you had a wonderful time and had beautiful photos for a keepsake.

    • We really enjoyed it too! Did you have a favorite part of the city/thing you did when you visited?

  • What a fun trip so far!! I’ve always wanted to go to Copenhagen. Looking forward to following along.

    • Thanks, Kaycee! We had the best time – hate how fast the trips go! This is definitely a great city to visit!

  • I can’t wait to go to Copenhagen myself. It has always looked so beautiful in pictures! Thanks for sharing your trip!

    • It’s even more beautiful in person! All of Scandinavia (that we visited) was!

  • Shani Ogden

    This looks like such a great place to visit! One day I want to do a tour of Europe and Copenhagen is definitely on my list of stops.

    • So glad to hear that! Copenhagen is such a unique city! What are some of the other places you’re looking to visit?

  • Dallas Calhoun

    Omg that palace is absolutely breathtaking !

    • Right?! The royal family doesn’t live there either – they just have the official events there. Ironically the prime minister is the one who has a residence in the palace!

  • Jewels Rhode

    I really want to visit Copenhagen! Looks like you had an awesome time. Your pictures really captures its essence.

    • Thanks, Jewels! We had a blast! I highly recommend a visit!

  • Anmaria Djong

    ohh..this is the place i really wanted to go someday. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to save this post for my future travel plan.

    • Love to hear that! I hope you have the best time when you visit!

  • So jealous of all your travels! In major need of a vacation! All those food photos…yum!!

    • I hope you can plan a little getaway soon, Jackie! And YES. SO MUCH good food in Copenhagen!

  • Robin McMahon

    Wow! This looks like such fun! I didn’t know anything about the city, you have definitely peaked my interest! I love the way you write too!

  • Courteney Noonan

    Wow your pictures are beautiful – I’m so jealous! Copenhagen is definitely on my bucket list :)

    • Thanks, Courtney! It’s a fab place to visit – you’ll love it!

  • Love your recap. I spent some time in Copenhagen a loooong time ago, but when I went Tivoli Gardens was closed! :*( If you do a full recap on that, I’d be super interested in reading on what I missed out on, ha ha. Maybe some day I’ll make it back to Denmark and get to go!

    • Thanks, Lisa! What a bummer that Tivoli was closed – that was one of my favorite parts of Copenhagen! You definitely have to plan a trip back for it :)

  • What an amazing looking place and that food looks awesome.

    • It was! The Danish pastries just aren’t the same back home!

  • M.

    Copenhagen is on my bucket list!! Can’t wait to visit one day. :)

    • You’ll love it! It’s such a fun city to explore.

  • Copenhagen looks similar to Amsterdam with the colorful houses and canals. Would love to explore the city by bike!

    • It does have a lot of similar-looking places! The only difference with the bikes is they don’t try to run you over like they do in Amsterdam :)

  • Sophie Louise Buckle

    Looks like you had a great time and I am slightly jealous

    Sophie x

    • We did! Hopefully you’ll be able to plan a trip there one day to check it out yourself!

  • Fab post! Copenhagen looks like the perfect destination. You packed it full and covered a lot. Love your pics, feel like I got to go too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Jessica! It really is. Visiting at Christmastime was especially great!

  • All of your traveling makes me super jealous!!! It also let’s me put new locations on my bucket list!!! Copenhagen looks like an amazing place to visit! I love the outside of the hotel you stayed at!!!

    • Aww, thanks Mistle! My goal is to inspire more people to travel, so I’m glad to hear these posts are doing just that :) Hopefully you can book a fab trip this year!

  • You always have the best travel recaps! My cousin lives in Denmark so I really need to get my booty there!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • Thanks, Katie! SO cool that your cousin lives in Denmark! Definitely an excuse for you to plan a trip!

  • I just love the architecture! Also, it would be a dream to see the Little Mermaid!

    • Same! The statue was SO cool to see in person! Especially since I’ve been waiting since middle school for it!

  • Ruthie Ridley

    Looks like you all had a blast!! SO much yummy food!

  • Yet another place that I want to see! I would love to take a canal tour. I think that would be a great way to explore!

    • I would’ve enjoyed a boat tour too! I bet there are a million of them out in the summer!

  • Brittany Daoud

    I spent 8 hours in Copenhagen in September and it was SO cute! I wish I could have spent more time, cause your photos look amazing! I did find that it was the most expensive place I had ever been to tho! lol

    • It was very expensive! Although I think it also had to do with some of the more touristy places we found ourselves in! I hope you can get back one day to see even more! Did you have a favorite part in your 8 hour visit?

  • Tamara Goyette

    This place is on my list of must visit some day

    • So glad to hear that! It’s a great city to explore!

  • That would be such a fun trip – you should definitely do it! I’d love to get back to explore more of the country but loved Copenhagen!

  • Lisa strouss

    Rachel, a few days before we landed in Copenhagen I read your blog and I am so glad I did. Tivoli Gardens was on my list of “maybe” since I don’t care for amusement parks; however your blog convinced me that we should spend at least an hour there. Well, an hour became six hours because we fell in love with the park. My husband, son and I rode the rides, strolled through the gardens and had a womderful dinner by the water. Thank you for your insightful blog.

    • I’m so glad to hear that!! We felt the same way and were just planning to wander around for a little bit but ended up staying the whole night! My mom isn’t one to go on rides either and I even got her to go on a few. Such a magical place!