The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen is a beautiful city and a fantastic place to explore for a weekend. The city is packed with unique things to do and explore and there are lots of options for places to visit near the city, including a trip across the massive Oresund Bridge to Sweden and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After spending a weekend exploring everything Copenhagen has to offer we’ve put together this ultimate Copenhagen itinerary to help you plan your time in this incredible city.
With only 48 hours to squeeze in the best of Copenhagen we had a jam-packed weekend itinerary! As soon as we arrived we hit the cobbled streets and instantly fell in love with the cool vibes of the city, the restaurants housed in quirky townhouses and the gauntlet of vintage bikes that we navigated as we wandered around!
Where to Stay in Copenhagen
Although Copenhagen is a really cool city to visit, accommodation options are not cheap. Due to this expect hotel prices to be a little more expensive than other European cities. Ideally, you want to stay as close to the city centre as possible as the city is best explored by foot or bicycle.
- Copenhagen Marriott – where we chose to stay during our time in Copenhagen and we were really happy with this hotel. This modern hotel has a perfect location for exploring the city and its location right by the river and boardwalks give it a really relaxing vibe. Pair this with extremely comfortable rooms and stunning views and you have our pick for the best hotel in Copenhagen! – check prices now!
- Scandic Palace Hotel – located centrally in the old town beside the historic town hall, the Scandic Palace is a great option in Copenhagen. With a central location, great staff and comfy rooms make sure to check it out – check prices now!
- Radisson Collection Royal Hotel – this stunning hotel is very centrally located and close to the railway station, the Radisso Royal makes a great choice for a luxury stay. – check prices now!
The Copenhagen Sights
The Little Mermaid was at the top of our Copenhagen must-see list and we were determined to have the lovely lady all to ourselves with a dawn visit to the beautiful statue! The Little Mermaid has been on our travel list forever and the charming statue, symbolic of Copenhagen, didn’t disappoint! This was followed by a trip to the Nyhavn district where brightly coloured buildings line the canal and it quickly joined The Little Mermaid as one of our favourite places in the city!
The below freezing temperatures meant that it was a little cold for a swim but we still loved The Kastrup Sea Baths, a beautiful outdoor swimming area in Copenhagen. The Snail, as the locals refer to Kastrup, is a stunning construction with awesome views of Sweden.
The freetown of Christiania is built on the site of a military barracks and is best described as a hippie commune where soft drugs, although still illegal, are freely available. It has some of the best vegan food in the city as well as some awesome graffiti. It’s not really our scene but it was interesting to see Copenhagen from another perspective. We’d love to show you more but photography is understandably forbidden in most of Christiania.
We stumbled upon the Church of Our Saviour after spotting the winding staircase on the church spire after our trip to Christinia. The spire was closed during our visit in January but outside the winter months it is possible to climb to the top for an incredible view of the city.
The beautiful Tivoli Gardens are a treat at any time of the year but no more so than at Christmas when the gardens are dressed for the festive season. Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor and his statue now watches over the gardens and serves as a reminder of the amazing fairy tales the Danish native wrote.
A mini UNESCO Copenhagen roadtrip!
With 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within a few hours drive of Copenhagen (our obsession with UNESCO Sites is well documented!) we rented a car and hit the road!
Our first stop was Stevns Klint which, as well as being a stunning coastal cliff stop, also houses evidence of a meteorite impact that took place around 67 million years ago, and is said to have caused the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs. Absolutely mind blowing!
Roskilde Cathedral was next on our list and the imposing 700 year old red brick cathedral is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. The cathedral is the burial place of Danish monarchs and is a maze of burial chapels and a total of 50 altars.The burial tombs:
It’s not a UNESCO but we couldn’t resist a stop at Frederiksborg Castle, a former royal residence surrounded by stunning gardens which were even more beautiful on a snow covered winter day in January.
We were excited for our visit to Kronborg Castle, the setting of the Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet and it didn’t disappoint. The castle was a scene straight from our imaginations and, as well as being the setting of Hamlet, the Castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its commanding position on the Sound, a narrow stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden.
Our final stop was the Par Force Hunting Landscape which was our 4th and final UNESCO of the weekend and we had some fun exploring in the snow! The landscape was designed by a Danish King who was inspired by the stunning Palace of Versailles.
Sweden: a Malmo jaunt!
A trip to Sweden was inevitable! We couldn’t resist the lure of visiting a new country and travelling across the stunning Oresund Bridge, which connects the two countries, was an added bonus. Malmo was the perfect host for our morning in Sweden and we loved the combination of city and sea.
We started our Malmo adventure with a stop at the Knotted Gun, a non violence sculpture which was made as a memorial tribute to John Lennon and the Spectral Self Container, a colourful linked sculpture. Malmo is home to the tallest building in Scandinavia, The Twisted Torso, which is one of the coolest buildings we’ve seen on our travels.
Spectral Self Container Sculpture:The Twisted Torso:It was time to get local as we took a wander through Lilla Torg, Malmo’s Little Square. The square is full of charming buildings, lots of food options and a giant lamp! Apparently the lamp used to talk to passers by but we didn’t hear it speak!St Peter’s Church, the oldest building in Malmo:
Where we Stayed
We stayed at the Marriott Copenhagen which we booked through the hotel booking website booking.com. The Marriott was a great base for our weekend trip and we were able to walk everywhere. Check it out on TripAdvisor for more info!
Getting Around Copenhagen
We wanted to visit Malmo, Sweden and the 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites closest to Copenhagen and decided a rental car was best option for us. We rented a car from Hertz when we touched down at Copenhagen airport and found the driving relatively straightforward. Parking was expensive at the hotel (EUR 30 per night) but we managed to park for free at most of our other stops over the weekend.
Copenhagen is an amazing place for a weekend break. It’s quirky yet relaxed and there’s lots to see and do and eat and drink! Our highlights were Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid and Kronborg Castle (seriously, Hamlet!). Being able to visit Sweden is an added bonus!
On the downside, the city is very expensive with a standard dinner of 2 mains and a drink each costing around EUR 60 so budget plenty of cash! It also gets super cold during the winter months but it was all part of the fun!