So Many Things To Do In Copenhagen For 5 Days
On a 5 day stay, we found many things to do in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen was the staring port for our Baltic cruise in the fall. We arrived in Copenhagen five days before the cruise started. This ensured we got on local time and recovered from travel and jet lag. And we sampled some of the things to do in Copenhagen.
As we wandered in Copenhagen, we saw the art and architecture in the streets. We got another perspective when we toured on the canals of Copenhagen. For panoramic views, we climbed high over the city. When we visited the palaces and castles in the city, we learned a little about the history of this area. And there was always great food and drink that kept us fuelled up!
We Started Our Baltic Cruise In Copenhagen
On our visit to Copenhagen, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Towers close to the airport. We were initially worried about being so far from downtown. But there was both a train and subway station a very short walk from the hotel. Public transit was made easy after we bought a Copenhagen Card.
We got a great upgrade at the Crowne Plaza as IHG Rewards Spire Elite members. We were happy there was lots of space and we spread out. The lounge facility for Concierge guests at this hotel was pretty sparse and not really a great space to lounge or work. We were spoiled at Intercontinental Hotels with awesome concierge level service. The level of service varied dramatically by person at this Crowne Plaza.
One of the most interesting thing about the hotel was the large treed atrium. When we wanted a green space to enjoy when it rained outside, we found lots of benches and tables under the trees.
The hotel offered a paid shuttle to the cruise terminal. This was an easy option for us. Although it put us on the ship later than we could have boarded.
The weather in Copenhagen was rainy and cold for the first few days. When it cleared a bit, we went out and explored. We found lots of things to do in Copenhagen.
Explore the Old Royal Palaces In Copenhagen
We visited the old and new royal palaces in Copenhagen. The historic palace for royalty in Copenhagen was the Christiansborg Palace. We saw this large site from the outside as we moved about Copenhagen on foot, by bus and on our two canal tours. The palace housed the national parliament, the Prime Minister’s office, the Supreme Court and the Queen.
We did not tour inside of Christiansborg Palace but we did visit the underground ruins. This gave us a sense of the history of the many buildings erected on this spot.
We also saw the Royal Palace at Amalienborg. The building had four identical classical palace façades. We timed our visit right and saw the changing of the Guard.
On this stop we toured the Amalienborg Museum. It was our first look at the life of royalty in Copenhagen.
We enjoyed our first look at the royal palaces in Copenhagen.
Wander In the Beautiful Rosenborg Castle
On our visit to the Rosenborg Castle, we started at the the Botanical Gardens. It was a lovely outdoor break. Even if we did not have time to explore the Palm House and other greenhouses on this visit.
But from the Botanical Gardens, we got our first view of Rosenborg Castle before we moved through the King’s Gardens to the fairy tale castle.
We spent most of our time wandering the inside of this beautifully restored castle. Every room brought yet another magnificent sight. It took us back in time. And a stop at the Treasury gave us a glimpse of the Crown Jewels.
We were glad we planned a long visit to the Rosenborg Castle. The castle and palaces of Copenhagen were definitely interesting things to do in Copenhagen.
Head Up The Round Tower For A Panoramic View
The first spot we headed for a panoramic view of Copenhagen was the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). The Round Tower was built as an astronomical observatory and was the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. As such it was visible over the buildings in town. It was part of the Trinitatis Complex and when we entered we got a glimpse into the Trinity Church.
We headed up the tower on the broad ramp. This helical corridor was used to move equipment to the observatory. It was wide enough that Czar Peter the Great rode his horse up followed by a horse-drawn carriage in 1716. The walk up the ramp was about 200m even though the tower was only 36m tall. Along the way we peeked out the windows over the rooftops.
When we reached the top, we found the observatory. At the top there was a narrow spiral staircase to the outdoor platform. Only one person went up or down at a time so we waited for our turn. When we went outside we got panoramic views around Copenhagen.
Heading up the Round Tower for a panoramic view was definitely one of the first things to do in Copenhagen for a different perspective.
Finding Panoramic Viewpoints Was One Of The Picturesque Things To Do In Copenhagen
We had the Church of Our Saviour on our plans for another panoramic view. It was a baroque church with an external spiral winding staircase. It stood high above the city and we easily spotted its distinct shape as we moved around Copenhagen.
The black and golden spire went up 90 metres and the external staircase turned four times counterclockwise around it. The spire was topped by a golden globe and Christ with a banner.
The lines were long and we ran out of time to climb the staircase at the Church of Our Saviour. But we were sure we missed another great panoramic view of the city. Climbing high for another perspective was certainly one of the things to do in Copenhagen.
Look Inside Of Frederik’s Church
Frederick’s Church was also known as the “Marble Church” for its rococo architecture. The original building plans showed that the church was to be built almost entirely from marble. But after financial challenges, it was finally built mostly with limestone. It’s classic green copper dome was visible as we walked around Copenhagen.
This church had the largest church dome in northern Europe. It spanned 31m and rested on 12 columns. It was believed this was the inspiration for the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. We found two decorative organs and an angel in stained glass as we wandered around the inside of the church.
On some days, guided tours to the top of the church dome were available. From that viewpoint, there was yet another panoramic view of the city and harbour. The tour was not available the day we visited. But this would be another of the great things to do in Copenhagen to plan ahead for.
Visiting Nyhavn Canal Was One Of The Iconic Things To Do In Copenhagen
A stop at the colourful Nyhavn Canal was on our list of things to do in Copenhagen. The shops along the bank were painted in colourful hues matched only by the interesting boats docked in the canal. Along the banks we found a wide choice of cafes and restaurants. Most of the spots had outdoor patios for great people watching.
Our canal boat cruise went up the Nyhavn Canal. So we also saw the boats from another perspective.
The 17th-century baroque palace, Kunsthal Charlottenborg was located right on the canal. This was Copenhagen’s largest space dedicated wholly to contemporary art. We knew there were interesting collections inside when we saw the way the canal front of the building was decorated.
The art piece on the outside was called “Soleil Levant” by Ai Weiwei. It was made from 3,500 salvaged life jackets from refugees that arrived on the Greek Island of Lesbos. It was designed to put focus on the international refugee crisis.
We were glad we planned a slow leisurely stroll along the Nyhavn Canal.
Take A Canal Boat Cruise
We were amazed at the canal system we found on our visit to Copenhagen. Two canal boat tours ensured we saw Copenhagen from yet another perspective.
We saw many of the city’s tourists spots as we moved through the different neighbourhoods. A great tease that sent us to search out these sights for a closer view.
A canal cruise was certainly one of the iconic things to do in Copenhagen.
Enjoy The Art And Architecture Around Copenhagen
There was much to see as we walked around Copenhagen. Wandering around gave us a great introduction to the city. Everywhere we looked we found fascinating architecture. And an amazing variety of statues.
Along one street we found an interesting display of photography. The large canvases were placed at walking level and we were fascinated with the variety in the art.
We enjoyed our time when we just strolled the streets of Copenhagen.
Eat Local in Copenhagen
Local spots to eat were easily found when we wandered around Copenhagen. Our first lunch was at the Kanal Cafeen on the canal. We watched the canal boat tours as they went by.
We found great food when we stopped for lunch and dinner as we wandered in Copenhagen. Everywhere we went there were variations on the open faced sandwich. Seafood was available for our open sandwich. And if we wanted to eat like the locals, there was smoked herring.
Salads were easy to find with lots of veggies. When I wanted something hot for lunch, the hot pork dish came loaded with fried onions. Of course, David was always in search of a good dark ale so he tried several of the local beers .
Eating local food and drinking local beer was one of the tasty things to do in Copenhagen.
Of Course We Found Chocolate In Copenhagen
When we wanted dessert, we knew where we wanted to go. The Hotel Chocolat Cafe was a chocolate lover’s dream. There were several interesting flavours of hot chocolate, all served with a thick and tasty chocolate whipped cream. Of course, we did not share!
The store was filled with chocolate of many flavours. We were tempted by many but stopped to consider the champagne flavoured truffles. Of course they came in both regular and pink champagne flavours!
We often searched out chocolate when we travelled. This chocolate stop was such a success we visited the Hotel Chocolate Cafe on our visit to Edinburgh. And sought out the cacao plantation for Hotel Chocolat on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia.
Consider A Copenhagen Card
We bought a 72 hour Copenhagen Card. It was easy to use the card when we hopped around the city on public transit. If you plan to use it for transit, make sure to pick it up at the airport.
We took advantage of the Copenhagen Card and did two different canal tours. The card got us in for free to several different indoor exhibits. But for the sites we visited, we did not get priority access. Luckily Copenhagen was not too busy when we visited.
It probably did not make financial sense for us to get a Copenhagen Card. But it was very convenient to not worry about paying at every stop we visited. And we would have saved money if we visited everything we planned for our visit to Copenhagen.
Five Days Was Not Enough
Five days was a decent amount of time to visit Copenhagen. But jet lag and rain slowed us down so we missed some of the sights we wanted to visit.
We saw a lot in the local Copenhagen area. But even when we visited some sites, we only got to enjoy the outside views. We had planned to enjoy Tivoli in the evening but we did not plan our days well enough. Staying out of town made spontaneous visits a little harder.
On this trip we ran out of time for any day trips out of Copenhagen. We were sad we did not see some of the palaces and castles out of town. There were UNESCO sites like Stevns Klint and the chalk white cliffs of Mons that we saved for a return visit. It was a good thing we saw the White Cliffs of Dover later in this trip. And staying outside of town like we did, we originally thought we would cross the channel and visit Malmo in Sweden.
There were so many things to do in Copenhagen. But we still left many things for return visit.
Enjoy Your Visit to Copenhagen
We were glad that we planned a few extra days in Copenhagen before we headed off on our cruise with Oceania Cruises. It was great to recover from our travel and jet lag for a few days. We were ready to go when we started our cruise through the Baltic region.
There were lots of things to do in Copenhagen. We enjoyed just wandering the streets in the city. A canal cruise in Copenhagen gave us one perspective. And then we headed high and got panoramic views. We enjoyed the chance to see several of the beautiful palaces and castles in Copenhagen. Good food and drink was easy to find. Even if we got distracted by chocolate shops more than once.
What was you favourite of the things to do in Copenhagen? What did we miss that should be on a first visit?
Save For Later – PIN To Pinterest: