Gourmet savory food, magical childhood stories, entertaining amusement parks, terrifically good breweries, Lego and colorful buildings, and imposing castles. What location comes to mind? If you said Copenhagen, you guessed right! No wonder it’s rightfully considered the happiest city in the world.
To be fair, the coveted title is well-deserved by most of the Northern European capitals. And if you are curious as to why it is, keep reading about the 25 Top attractions in Copenhagen +5 hidden gems, or check Framey’s blog articles about Stockholm or Amsterdam to get a broader view of the Nordic countries.
The entire city of Copenhagen gives such a fairytale vibe. And you will find Hans Christian Andersen’s world at every step. Boulevards, houses, statues: it’s an Andersen city.
But for now, stick with me to discover Copenhagen’s 5 hidden gems.
1st gem: The Little Mermaid
Just a walk away from picturesque Nyhavn (where he lived) to Kastellet,by the shores of the “Langelinie” cruise harbor,you can spot Andersen’s Little Mermaid. The little bronze statue tells the tragic love story between the Little Mermaid and her prince. But in truth, the Danish version is nothing like the Disney one and our little Mermaid has a good reason to be so melancholic.
2nd gem: H.C. Andersen Statue
3rd gem: Glass Hall
But it’s not only Andersen that gives the city such a fairytale vibe. You can do nothing but wonder at the impressive architecture of the Glass Hall in the Tivoli Gardens. Magic flows on stage and off stage in the theatre. Everything is tasteful and inspiring, in a word exquisite.
4th gem: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
5th gem: Ofelia Plads
Nyhavn or New Harbor is one of the most enchanting areas in Copenhagen, perhaps the most poster-card material, especially during summer. With all the brightly painted buildings one can only marvel at, visit the shops and get a tasty bite in the restaurants and cafés.
Looking at the charming Nyhavn neighborhood you would never guess that this was once a disreputable quarter of the city. But for now, just wander around and enjoy your dreamy moments.
2. City Hall
The first thing you notice at Copenhagen Town Hall is how it’s rocking a mix of Italian Renaissance and medieval Danish architecture.
A 106 meters climb will get you marvelous views from the tallest building in the city. The building itself is also a site with all the sculptures and paintings.
And another thing not to miss is the famous World Clock at the main entrance. Designed and constructed by Jens Olsen in 1955 it shows the time and various astronomical constellations.
3. Tivoli Gardens
Arguably one, if not the most, famous attraction in Copenhagen is the Tivoli Gardens. The Tivoli amusement park and garden are famous worldwide and it is the place that inspired Disney for its theme parks.
There is something in the air here that brings out the kid in each and every visitor. From roller coasters, roundabouts, halls of mirrors, and theaters to restaurants and cafés, flower gardens, and the styled concert hall there is something charming for everyone.
And just imagine this place at Christmas! A true wonderland!
Tivoli Gardens might be popular and famous, but Copenhagen has a lot more to offer and you can find all the green spaces in Framey’s collection: Parks and Gardens in Copenhagen – Let’s wander around.
4. Frederiksberg Slot
Frederiksberg Slot or Frederiksberg Castle is the former summer palace of the Danish Royal Family and is overlooking Frederiksberg Garden.
The palace dates back to the early 1700s and is inspired by the Italian style at the time. It was used as a summer or permanent home and has seen its share of drama at the end of the 1700s where King Christian VII, Queen Caroline Mathilde, and her secret lover lived. How about that?
5. Church of Our Saviour
The mid-18th century baroque building is just one of Copenhagen’s must-see places with spectacular views!
And the dark tower can be spotted from afar and looks like a golden ribbon spiraling to the top. On the way, you can just stop at the viewing platform or take a leap of faith and climb the last 150 steps that will get you the most incredible views of this impressive city, all the way to the harbor!
6. Christiansborg Slot
Located on the little island of Slotsholmen or Castle Island, Christiansborg Palace is surrounded by canals, in the heart of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.
True that there are many palaces and castles in Denmark but, what sets Christiansborg apart is that it still has official royal businesses and activities. In a sense, it’s very similar to Buckingham Palace in England. Denmark has one of the oldest monarchies in the world, and the palace has a long, dramatic history that revolves around royal power.
You can see the balcony where the Queen and the royal family greet the public on royal occasions. Or you can check the stables and the library that looks like it is straight from the animated movie “Beauty and the Beast.”
7. Rosenborg Castle
The Rosenborg Castle is yet another magnificent Renaissance palace in Copenhagen. It is absolutely a lavishly decorated palace with ancient tapestry, furnished for monarchs.
But the main attraction here is the Danish crown jewels and the royal treasury that are in the basement cellars of the castle. And don’t forget to have a look at who, for the last 400 years, has been safely guarding: the Life Guards.
Copenhagen is a foodie heaven for Gourmet people and has turned into one of the best culinary capitals in Europe. But if you are not a Michelin star restaurant type or you are on a budget, there are great options for you right in the center of the city.
Torvehallerne is the glass market in which you can find fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, fresh fish, and fresh everything. And do try those ready-to-eat choices of Danish pastries.
It’s a perfect place to go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, groceries, or just to browse around; because you’re sure to find something tasty and exciting.
9. Rundetårn or The Round Tower
One particular-looking, not to miss spot in Copenhagen is the Round Tower. The 36-meter-high building was initially built as an observatory in 1642. It is to this day a great point to get panoramic views of the city. The top platform can be reached if you are willing to climb the wide spiral to the top.
And there is yet another new attraction, the glass floor hovering 25 meters above the ground where you can sneak a peek down into the castle’s core.
And if you are interested in Andersen’s stories know that the tower features in his The Tinderbox.
10. The National Museum
It’s no secret that the National Museum is the sort of attraction where you can lose hours on end without realizing it and without finishing the tour.
A remarkable wealth of artifacts is present in the museum, from all eras of Denmark’s past. The Norse Mythology along with the Vikings are all present. Runic stones, sun chariot, coins, and porcelain collections, you name it, it’s in there.
11. The David Collection
The David Collection refers to the personal collection of the Danish businessman C.L. David. He donated both the building, his former home, and this art collection, which includes the largest collection of Islamic art in Scandinavia.
The Islamic section exhibits exquisite pieces, gathered from Spain to India and spanning the 800s to the 1800s. You can admire calligraphy works, beautiful glass, and ceramic items here. Entrance to the attraction is free.
12. Botanical Gardens
How would you like to experience the Arctic species’ life? Well, at the Botanical Gardens in the Arctic house, hi-tech air-conditioning recreates a polar environment for the gardens’ Arctic species.
But there is so much more to check! More than 13.000 plant species are on display in majestic glasshouses.
Where does the Danish royal family reside?
The royal family has a number of no less than 9 castles and Palaces, but Amalienborg Castle is the winter royal residence in Copenhagen. Both Queen Margrethe II and Crown Prince Frederik lived most of their life.
Impressive describes most of the landmarks in Copenhagen.
And if you need a bit of inspiration in choosing what spots to hit, you can just follow Framey’s suggestions in the collection Meet the world: Things to see in Copenhagen.
14. Circle Bridge
Probably the most beautiful bridge in Copenhagen, the Circle Bridge is made out of five circular platforms. The pedestrian route is maybe not the most famous spot in Copenhagen.
It offers quite the view from across the water, from crossing under it, and even more from standing on the bridge itself. The architecture is quite interesting but the most unique part is visual!
And if you are into extraordinary architectural wonder, you can discover more in Framey’s Collection: Sensational buildings in Copenhagen.
15. Frederiks Kirke
The monumental dome of Frederiks Kirke is the calling card silhouette on the Copenhagen horizon. The marble church, as it is known, is one of several landmark building projects in the Frederiksstaden district.
Walking up the steps of the 46 meters-high dome gives a wonderful view of the city.
The late baroque central building is most impressive, and its exterior gallery showcases statues of the prophets, reformers, and church fathers.
The artistic windows allow light to squeeze in and create a peaceful and uplifting atmosphere.
16. Copenhagen Opera
The Copenhagen Opera is located on the island of Holmen in central Copenhagen and is one of the most modern opera houses in the world.
The Grand, modern auditorium and superb acoustics make this a must-have experience while visiting the Danish capital. Just spectacular! And It is said to be the most expensive opera house ever built but so worth it!
17. Amager Stradpark
Amidst all of these extraordinary sites and landmarks, you will also find one place that makes for a holiday sandy beach. It is Amager Strandpark and it includes an artificial island and acres of sandy beaches, cafes, bars, and facilities that make for a great holiday location.
And let’s be fair, there’s nothing quite like a day at the beach, during the summer months.
18. Frederiksberg Garden
Frederiksberg Garden is the Green Village of Copenhagen. The romantic, English-styled garden is known for its elegance coupled with the adjacent restaurants and museum and Sondenmarken makes for a fantastic 64 hectares of a green oasis.
Enjoy the Chinese summer house, the Apis temple, the waterfall, or the Elephant viewpoint.
19. The open-air museum
Why visit the Open-Air Museum, Frilandsmuseet? How about a peek into Danish history and culture? It is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in the world.
Farms, cottages, and mills from all over Denmark, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands were brought here. Each of the buildings has been carefully dismantled, moved, and then reassembled here in a beautiful natural environment.
The museum aims to give you the best interactive experience for plenty of entertainment for the entire family.
20. Grundtvig Church
Distinctive doesn’t even begin to cover this magnificent gothic-style church. And it’s no wonder that its originality makes it also one of the most famous landmarks in Copenhagen.
Six million yellow bricks were used for this minimalist building, honoring the name of Danish philosopher Grundtvig and the spirit of ascension.
21. Islands Brygge
Vibrant, green, and alive, the Islands Brygge is one of the most lovely parts of Copenhagen. Fancy going for a swim, run or grab a bite?
You have everything you need to enjoy here!
The gorgeous waterfront promenade offers great sunset views and it is simply the place to enjoy a promenade, a sporty day out, or simply chill and hang out drinking one of the famous Danish beers.
22. Royal Danish Theater
Impressive, magnificent, and definitely worth the experience of watching a ballet performance at the Royal Danish Theater. Nowadays it is called Old Stage and presents predominantly ballet performances.
And the building itself is a gorgeous piece of architecture with a baroque facade and arches, columns, and sculptures.
Christiania is another unique piece of Copenhagen. Described as a hippy commune established back in the 1970s, turned into a local tourist attraction, the free city.
Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this nonconformist style of living turned into an alternative society where simply people live by their own rules. It’s no wonder that the once army warehouses transformed into artist studios, organic shops, restaurants, and concert venues.
Be aware that cars are not allowed but bicycles rule and that there is a Christiania currency.
24. Gefion Fountain
The imposing Gefion Fountain is just Wow. The Norse mythological goddess Gefion and the story of the creation are depicted here. The story has it that a goddess plowed the island of Zealand, out of Sweden, with the help of her four sons that she transformed into the most powerful oxen.
What is true is that it is quite impressive and also a wishing well, if you choose to believe that.
25. Copenhagen King’s Square
This is where the heart of the Old Town lies. The largest square in Copenhagen is simply charming with a cobblestone area and surrounded by beautiful architecture such as the Royal Danish Theatre.
The central piece is an equestrian sculpture of Christian V, honoring the Monarch who in 1670 commissioned the square. All around the monument, lovely gardens make this a lovely attraction. And don’t forget that from here you can get straight to the colorful and picturesque Nyhavn.
I hope you enjoyed Framey’s 25 Top attractions in Copenhagen + the 5 hidden gems we’ve uncovered for you.
And on this note, I invite you to download your free Framey app (available on Google Play and App Store) for many other inspirational holiday destinations.