Living in Europe since 2017, Copenhagen was on my wishlist for years and I finally decided to visit in 2024. I traveled solo and spent 4 days in Copenhagen but out of that one full day was spent on a day trip outside the city and another day was spent meeting some friends.

So, I’m writing this itinerary for 2 days in Copenhagen to help you spend the perfect 48 hours in this lovely Scandinavian city.

Alone in Copenhagen, Denmark
Alone in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is a city brimming with rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. The city has embraced green tourism so if you are an environmentally conscious traveler, then it is a perfect destination.

FYI – Copenhagen isn’t a budget-friendly destination at all. In fact, I thought Amsterdam was expensive but I was shocked to see the prices in Copenhagen.

Just the public transportation card in Copenhagen costs more than double that in Amsterdam. Hotels are more expensive but the city is huge. If you plan well in advance, you can find some decent options.

Copenhagen's metros run without drivers
Copenhagen’s metros run without drivers

Quick Tip: As soon as you arrive in Copenhagen, get yourself a public transportation card. The city is big, and you can’t walk everywhere but a card will enable you to get on to the metro, local trains, buses, and public ferries.

I got mine from the airport and it was for around EUR 75 for 4 days for all the zones. My friend got one for 2 days which was for EUR 45.

Alternatively, you can pre-order a Copenhagen city card which not only includes the public transport, but also the attraction.

Don’t make the mistake of traveling without a ticket or a card. During my 4 days in Copenhagen, my ticket was checked three times on the metro.

If you’re planning a short visit, here’s a highly optimized 2-day itinerary to ensure you experience the best things this great city has to offer.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Copenhagen & Map

Here is a map that I made for you. You can do this entirely on foot but I suggest hopping on to the metro to save your energy and time. I used the metro pretty often because I already had the card and I found Copenhagen’s public transportation to be super convenient.

Round Tower (Rundetaarn)

Rundetaarn in Copenhagen
Rundetaarn in Copenhagen

Start your day at the Rundetaarn or Round Tower, Europe’s oldest functioning observatory, for panoramic views of the city. Rundetaarn is in the city center so it is a perfect place to start your Copenhagen itinerary.

In order to reach Rundetaarn, you have to take a metro to Nørreport station and walk from there. It is a nice walk.

The Round Tower along the Street in Copenhagen
The Round Tower along the Street in Copenhagen

I arrived here at around 11 am and I was happy to see that there were just 4 people ahead of me in the queue to enter.

The entry fee for the Rundetaarn was around 5-6 Euros in May 2024. It also included a visit to a small library museum in the middle of the tower.

Inside the Round Tower - the easy climb
Inside the Round Tower – the easy climb

In order to reach the top of the Round Tower, you have to climb up. Thankfully, it is easier than you think because the climbing passage doesn’t have steps but is a spiral walking path. There is a nice view from the windows along this walking path.

View from one of the windows of Rundetaarn, Copenhagen
View from one of the windows of Rundetaarn, Copenhagen

Halfway up, there are toilets so you can take a quick break here if you want. When you reach the top, take your time in this lovely rooftop observatory with panoramic views.

On top of the Rundetaarn, Copenhagen's Round Tower
On top of the Rundetaarn, Copenhagen’s Round Tower

You will see the spires of churches around and there is information after every few steps so that you know what you’re looking at.

Rundetaarn view from the top, Round Tower, Copenhagen
Rundetaarn view from the top, Round Tower, Copenhagen

Spend some time on top and click loads of photos. When you’ve had enough, you can make your way down and also visit the library museum halfway down.

Optional – Tivoli Gardens (If Traveling With Kids)

Tivoli Gardens Amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens Amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark

If you are traveling with kids to Copenhagen, then one of the best ways to start your day is at Tivoli Gardens. No matter how old your children are, they will love it.

Honestly, grown-ups can visit it too but I was traveling solo to Copenhagen, and I didn’t want to do family activities at all because I do them enough when I travel with my little girl.

Tivoli is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Believe it or not, this enchanting place inspired Walt Disney to create DisneyWorld.

This amusement park offers a mix of thrilling rides, beautiful gardens, and live music venues. Located in the city center, it’s a great way to begin your Copenhagen adventure.

Copenhagen City Center & Self-Guided Walking Tour

Walking around in Copenhagen inner city
Walking around in Copenhagen inner city

Close to the Round Tower and Tivoli is the Rådhuspladsen, the city hall. So you can walk or get on to the metro and arrive here.

Take a short walk to City Hall and explore the surrounding Copenhagen Central Station area. Grab a traditional Danish hot dog from one of the nearby food stalls for a quick and tasty snack, or consider the next option for lunch.

Copenhagen's lovely city center
Copenhagen’s lovely city center

Wander through the main street, Strøget, which is lined with shops, cafes, and historic buildings

I will share more details about the self-guided tour and all the stops. But you can also conder booking a guided bicycle tour to see the best of Copenhagen.

For a self-guided walking tour, start at Rådhuspladsen or Copenhagen Central Station and consider the following stops:

  • Magstræde – One of the oldest streets in Copenhagen and is super pretty,
  • Højbro Plads – It is a square,
  • Marmorbroen Bridge – This cute bridge is a nice photo spot,
  • Frederiksholms Kanal – Lovely canal,
  • The Old Library Building – Go inside if you can. I couldn’t,
  • Christianshavn canals – Lovely canals and nice photo spots,
  • Black Diamond – the modern extension of the Royal Danish Library, located by the waterfront,
  • August Bournonvilles Passage – Cute walking passage.

Alternatively, you can book a tour and make things easier for yourself. I like Danish guides because they always have funny things to say about the Swedish. The friendly rivalry between the Scandinavian countries is hilarious!

Lunch: Smørrebrød and Coffee

For lunch, try the famous Danish smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) at a local cafe. Pair it with a cup of coffee for a classic Danish experience.

Canal Tour from Ved Stranden

View along the water in Copenhagen
View along the water in Copenhagen

I always think one of the best time for a canal cruise is right after lunch because that’s the time of the day when none of us have the highest energy levels. So, head to Ved Stranden and enjoy a canal tour to see the city from a different perspective.

The above-mentioned canal tour costs EUR 28 per person and sells out very quickly. I have handpicked a few more canal tours for you to consider, but they cost more.

  • Hidden Gems Social Boat Tour: For me, this tour sounds super exciting because it lasts for 2 hours. It is a personal and social tour, so you get to make friends and have fun.
  • Canal Cruise with Guide: At EUR 15, this is one of the most affordable canal tours and will take you along all the main sights.
  • Guided Canal Tour by Electric Boat: This is a smaller electric boat and you get to experience Copenhagen’s hidden gems and hear lesser-known stories.

These tours often pass by key landmarks, including the Opera House and the Little Mermaid Statue.

Head Back to Your Room & Relax

I’m a fast-paced traveler but I always take a break and go back to my room before I head out to see the sunset and eat dinner. If you are like me, then you will enjoy this break too.

Sunset: Nyhavn, and The Little Mermaid

Post sunset purple hour at Nyhavn Copenhagen
A post-sunset purple hour at Nyhavn Copenhagen

After a break and change of clothing, get on a metro to Kongens Nytorv. From here, stroll down to Nyhavn, the picturesque harbor with colorful houses.

Even if you know very little about Copenhagen, this is one spot that you would have seen already in photos and videos. Nyhavn looks its best at sunset time and then when the sky becomes dark and all the warm lights glow up and reflect in the water.

Night time in Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Nighttime in Nyhavn, Copenhagen

It’s a favorite spot for both locals and tourists, offering great views and plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and cocktail bars. The best thing is that all these places are along the water and offer a stunning view.

On my visit to Nyhavn, I sat on one of the cocktail bars facing the water and enjoyed my glass of Limoncello Spritz. I highly recommend you do that too for that special “Copenhagen experience”. Get an Aperitiv like I did, or a stronger drink – it is up to you.

My Limoncello Spritz with a view in Nyhavn
My Limoncello Spritz with a view of Nyhavn

Eating dinner in one of the waterfront restaurants in Nyhavn is recommended but it can end up being super expensive. Yes, it is a romantic experience, but if you want to save money, then head to the nearby Ofelia Plads.

Dinner: Ofelia Plads

Ofelia Plads near Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Ofelia Plads near Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Close to Nyhavn is a small beach area called Ofelia Plads, which is lined up with food trucks where you can eat a nice meal. Many of these food trucks also have tables set up, so you can chill, enjoy the vibe, and eat something delicious.

Ofelia Plads Food trucks and Restaurants were closed when I arrived at 10 pm
Ofelia Plads Food trucks and Restaurants were closed when I arrived at 10 pm

Sadly, when I visited Ofelia Plads, all the food trucks were closed already because it was late. So, please check the closing time before you arrive here hungry. The closing hours change with the seasons.

I was disappointed about missing out on the food scene here but then I went back to Nyhavn again where a few places were open.

Copenhagen Opera House from Ofelia Plads
Copenhagen Opera House from Ofelia Plads

Nevertheless, the waterfront buildings that I saw from Ofelia Plads were super pretty and I also saw the famous Copenhagen Opera House.

Nightlife: Balderdash Bar

Balderdash Bar - the best cocktail bar experience in Copenhagen
Balderdash Bar – the best cocktail bar experience in Copenhagen

I always make it a point to hunt for epic cocktail bars with a fun and relaxed vibe, and I was very happy with Balderdash.

I was introduced to Balderdash Bar in “Somebody Feed Phill”‘s Copenhagen episode and decided to visit it solo. I sat at the bar, chatted with the bartenders, and enjoyed the cocktails that they custom-made for me using my favorite ingredients.

Day 2 of 2 Days in Copenhagen & Map

Here is a map that I have made for you to experience your second day in Copenhagen. Don’t try to cover it all by walking but use the metro whenever you can.

Note that there is a break in the middle of this walking route so that you can go back to your room to freshen up and energize yourself for the evening.

Morning: Marble Church (Frederik’s Church)

Begin your second day at Marble Church (Frederik’s Church), which dominates the Frederiksstaden neighborhood with its impressive copper-green dome and intricate architecture.

Frederik's Church or the Marble Church in Copenhagen
Frederik’s Church or the Marble Church in Copenhagen via Unsplash

Believe it or not, Frederick’s Church has the largest church dome in the whole of Scandinavia. The church’s foundation was laid out in 1749 but was completed almost 150 years later in 1894.

If you do end up visiting Frederik’s Church, note that you can go up to the dome to see the view at 1 pm every day.

Amalienborg Palace (Optional)

Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen via Unsplash

Just a few steps away from Frederik’s Church is Amalienborg Palace. It is the winter residence of the Danish royal family. I have mentioned more about this palace in my post about Copenhagen’s castles, check it out.

Honestly, there is a limit to historical buildings I can visit a day or even in total per trip. I don’t like to go inside every single building but I enjoy seeing the architecture from outside. The interiors or the elaborate displays indoors hardly ever interest me. If you are like me, then you can also walk by the Amalienborg Palace.

If you do decide to spend more time here, then you can witness the changing of the guard and explore the royal stables. This royal palace complex is a great place to learn about the monarchy and Danish history.

Rosenborg Castle and King’s Garden (Optional)

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen from its gardens
Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen from its gardens via Unsplash

Visit the Rosenborg Castle, home to the Danish crown jewels and the beautiful King’s Garden. It is a Renaissance castle, which dates back to the 17th century. It offers a glimpse into royal life and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

If you are visiting in the summer months, then consider booking a skip-the-line ticket to explore Rosenborg Castle.

The Throne Chair of Denmark is located inside Rosenborg castle
The Throne Chair of Denmark is located inside Rosenborg Castle via Unsplash

Go inside if you’d like or just pass by it to see the architecture – it is up to you. You don’t have to go inside every single historical building but pick a few of them.

Botanical Garden (Optional)

If you want to unwind, then consider the nearby Botanical Garden. This beautiful garden is free to enter and provides a tranquil escape in the heart of the city.

Lunch: Torvehallerne Market

For lunch, visit Torvehallerne Market near Nørreport Station. This food market is the perfect place to sample New Nordic cuisine, fresh seafood, and delicious open-faced sandwiches.

Christiansborg Palace

The High Tower of Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen
The High Tower of Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen via Unsplash

From Nørreport Station, ride metro M1 or M2 for just one stop and get off at Kongens Nytorv. From here, walk to Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament, Supreme Court, and Royal Reception Rooms.

Take a guided tour to explore the rich history if you’d like. Christiansborg Palace’s Great Hall is said to be beautiful.

Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen at night
Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen at night via Unsplash

Christiansborg Palace has the tallest tower in all of Copenhagen. Don’t miss the stunning views from the top of the tower.

Afternoon: Freetown Christiania

Inside Freetown Christiania
Inside Freetown Christiania

Next, get on the metro (M1) from Kongens Nytorv to Christianshavn to visit Freetown Christiania. It is a voluntary residential community that began in 1971. This area was acquired by squatters, and there are some common laws within this “freetown” community.

The residential buildings Inside Freetown Christiania
The residential buildings Inside Freetown Christiania

One of the most famous features of Freetown Christiana was Pusher Street, with the open sale of cannabis. Sadly this closed in April 2024, and I visited in May 2024. The entire cobblestones of the street were taken out and now a residential building is planned here.

Still, without Pusher Street, Freetown Christiania is a unique and autonomous neighborhood known for its artistic vibe and alternative lifestyle. It’s a great place to explore street art and local culture.

Freetown Christiania Lake, Copenhagen itinerary
Freetown Christiania Lake, Copenhagen itinerary

I visited Christiania with a friend who knew the area well. He also took me to a lake that is at the end of Freetown Christiania, and is a good place to see the sunset with swans and many other birds.

Late Afternoon & Sunset: Havnebadet Islands Brygge (Swim or Chill)

Havnebadet Islands Brygge & Kalvebod Bølge, Copenhagen
Havnebadet Islands Brygge & Kalvebod Bølge, Copenhagen

From Chriristianshavn, get on the M1 or M2 metro to Islands Brygge to experience summer like the locals of Copenhagen do.

Havnebadet Islands Brygge is an amazing spot to chill in the summer months and the atmosphere is super lively. It is an open swimming area facing the harbor with lap pools, children’s pools & springboard diving.

Havnebadet Islands Brygge in peak summer, Copenhagen
Havnebadet Islands Brygge in peak summer, Copenhagen via Unsplash

If you can brave the cold Scandinavian waters, then jump in and swim. I did in May and it was super cold!

If this spot is too full, you can cross the bridge and go right opposite the water to Kalvebod Bølge and swim there instead. That’s where we went.

Back to Your Room and Change

After your swim, it would be the perfect time to head back to your room to change for the evening to enjoy an evening out in Copenhagen with cocktails and food.

Evening: Dinner in the Meatpacking District

As the evening sets in, head to the Meatpacking District for dinner. This area is known for its trendy restaurants and vibrant nightlife. It was also featured on Somebody Feed Phill’s Copenhagen episode.

Alternate Evening (with kids): Dinner and Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli at night
Tivoli at night

If you are in Copenhagen with kids then return to Tivoli Gardens for your final evening to experience its nighttime magic. Enjoy dinner at one of the park’s restaurants and take in the live entertainment and illuminated gardens. It’s a perfect place to end your short visit on a high note.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen ToGo My Studio Apartment in Copenhagen
Copenhagen ToGo My Studio Apartment in Copenhagen

If you are living in Europe, then you are probably aware of how cheap the airfares can get in the summer months because of the competition. So, looking at that, I had impulsively booked my Copenhagen trip, only to realize later that the rooms were shockingly expensive.

Anyway, I booked Copenhagen ToGo – a studio apartment for 4 nights and it was for around 368 Euros. It had a tiny kitchen, and coffee machine and was directly on the airport metro line.

This was the most budget-friendly option I found which wasn’t a hostel or just a basic room because I like to cook my own meals and eat out just once a day. Copenhagen ToGo was perfect for me and I recommend it to you if you are traveling as a couple or even solo.

If you want to stay in Copenhagen’s inner city, then consider the below-mentioned options for different budgets:

Day Trips from Copenhagen & Where to Go After

Day trip to day trip to Roskilde, Frederiksborg & Kronborg from Copenhagen
Day trip to day trip to Roskilde, Frederiksborg & Kronborg from Copenhagen

Below are a few options for day trips or longer trips that you can do from Copenhagen. I did the first and loved it.

  1. I did a day trip to Roskilde, Frederiksborg & Kronborg and saw some of the prettiest castles and Viking ship museum at Roskilde. We were picked up on a minivan in the morning and dropped back in the evening. Consider this option if you’d like to spend the night in Copenhagen.
  2. Malmo in Sweden is just a 40-minute train ride away from Copenhagen, so definitely worth a day trip. Compared to Copenhagen’s hustle and bustle, Malmö is a super chill place.
  3. Hamburg in Germany is super close to Copenhagen by train. If you are on a Euro trip then you should definitely consider including Hamburg in your itinerary. Note that it is more than just a day trip.

Recap & Quick Tips for Copenhagen

2 Days in Copenhagen - itinerary
2 Days in Copenhagen – itinerary
  • Public Transportation: As mentioned in the intro section, Copenhagen has an excellent public transportation system, including metro stations and bike lanes. Consider getting a Copenhagen Card for unlimited travel and free entry to many attractions.
  • Best Time to Visit: The late spring and summer months are ideal for visiting, offering pleasant weather and longer days. I visited in the middle of May and I experienced 18-20°C weather. Yes, I am lucky.
  • Payment: Even though Denmark is a part of the EU and Schengen zone, it has a different currency – Danish Krone. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it’s always good to have some cash on hand.
  • Food: Don’t miss out on trying New Nordic cuisine, local hot dogs, and ice cream from street vendors.
Copenhagen looks super pretty at night
Copenhagen looks super pretty at night

Copenhagen is a great city with so much to offer. Whether it’s your first time or a return visit, this itinerary ensures you have enough time to explore the main attractions and hidden gems of this Danish capital. Enjoy your 2 day trip to Copenhagen – whether it is on a weekend or not.

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