How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Copenhagen

Everything you need to know to plan a trip to Copenhagen.

Narrow cobblestone alley with colorful houses in Copenhagen, Denmark

Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Named one of the best places to travel in 2023 by Travel + Leisure, Copenhagen continues to draw in tourists with its exceptional food, history, and architecture. The city was officially named the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2023. On top of its newly recognized architectural prowess, the city continues to wow tourists with its tried-and-true offerings — whether that's dining at Noma, the Michelin three-starred restaurant that announced its closure in winter 2024, or strolling the always-popular Tivoli Gardens.

Here, is your essential Copenhagen guide for the city's best hotels, things to do, restaurants, and so much more.

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • Tivoli Gardens is the second-oldest operating theme park in the world.
  • Jægersborggade Street is lined with some of the best shops in Copenhagen, including a famous ceramics boutique.
  • The Alchemist keeps guests entertained with performance art and multi-sensory decor while they dine on nearly 50 courses.
  • CopenHill is Copenhagen's first ski area and features the world's tallest climbing wall.
  • Spend the night at TheKrane — its only room is inside an old coal crane and hangs 49 feet above the ground.

Best Hotels

Coco Hotel

Coco Hotel is the hottest new spot in Denmark's capital city. Not only was it voted as the best hotel in Copenhagen by T+L readers in 2022, it also was named one of the best new hotels in the world in 2022 by T+L editors. The 88-room boutique hotel features bold colors, a European-style cafe, and complimentary bikes for guests. It also makes an effort to be green-conscious, planting a fruit tree somewhere around the world every time a guest checks in and running its facility on a private solar-powered grid.

Hotel d'Angleterre

Private dinner in Themed Suite at d’Angleterre
Courtesy of d’Angleterre

Hotel d'Angleterre is an iconic, 265-year-old hotel — and it was voted one of the best in Copenhagen by T+L readers in 2022. The charming hotel features modern Nordic design and expansive views of Kongens Nytorv from the suite balconies. With a heated indoor pool — the only one in the city center — and Michelin-starred dining, you might never want to leave. The concierge also offers plenty of V.I.P. experiences for their guests, including cooking classes and history tours.

Sanders Hotel

Bar at the Hotel Sanders, in Copenhagen
Chris Tonnesen

A tranquil retreat in the center of town, the Sanders Hotel is one of the best stays in Copenhagen, with "midcentury modern touches [that] imbue its 54 rooms with a sense of casual cool," Peter Terzian, T+L features editor, previously reported in the 2022 World's Best Awards. It offers an extensive array of amenities, including loaner bikes for guests (don't forget to ask for a prepared picnic basket) and a glass-encased rooftop terrace that serves up delicious breakfast and gorgeous city views. Be sure to book one of the hotel's exclusive excursions, which includes a backstage pass to the Royal Theater — a short two-minute walk away — or a private guided trip down the nearby canals in a vintage mahogany boat.


There is exactly one guest room at TheKrane, which is why T+L called it one of the coolest hotels in Copenhagen. The room is inside an old coal crane that dates back to 1944 and hangs 49 feet above the ground on Nordhavn's industrial waterfront. A night's stay comes with a hefty price tag, but it includes more than just a place to rest your head — guests will love the complimentary on-site spa, prearranged airport pickup, and daily breakfast.

Best Things to Do

The Happiness Museum

Denmark, named the second happiest country in the world in 2023, is home to the world's very first happiness museum. Opened in 2020, the museum features several different exhibits on how other countries perceive happiness.


People ski down the artificial ski hill on the outdoor structure CopenHill in Copenhagen
Olivier Morin/Getty Images

CopenHill is Copenhagen's first ski area — carefully constructed atop a waste management center for the city. In the summer months, visitors can also hike, run, or tackle the world's tallest climbing wall at this urban recreation destination.

Frederiksborg Castle

General view of Frederiksborg Castle aka Frederiksborg Slot
Rob Ball/Getty Images

Located on three islands, surrounded by lush gardens and a large lake, Frederiksborg Castle is a perfect day trip from Copenhagen. The castle is also home to the Museum of National History, which traces 500 years of Danish history through art, furniture, sculptures, and more.

Tivoli Gardens

A view of Christmas Market in Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, Denmark
Manuel Romano/Getty Images

Don't let the word "gardens" fool you, this expansive park is home to one of the best theme parks in Europe, open from mid-April to mid-September. In the winter, there's still plenty to see and do, with a whimsical Christmas market, over-the-top decorations, and stunning lights. There are plenty of shops and restaurants on the grounds as well.

Read More: 20 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, From a Palace Visit to Waterfront Strolls

Best Shopping

Illums Bolighus

Daenemark, Kopenhagen, Moebel- und Designkaufhaus Illums Bolighus
Rufenach/ullstein bild/Getty Images

A design aficionado's dream, Illums Bolighus is your one-stop shop for Danish design. With top interiors brands, this is a great under-the-radar spot to snag some memorable souvenirs.

Jægersborggade Street

This buzzy street is home to some of the best shops in Copenhagen. You can find vintage clothing, organic produce, and 40 art galleries. Make sure to check out the ceramics boutiques, including Keramiker Inge Vincents, known for its hand-shaped porcelain.


Shoppers walk by windows at Magasin du nord department store
Francis Joseph Dean/Getty Images

Prefer to do some tax-free shopping before returning to the airport? Visit megastore Magasin, a department store with a fashionable, vintage feel and plenty of variety. The store started in 1869, and it's still a popular choice among locals because it stays open later than most department stores.

Best Restaurants


Noma is one of the most famous restaurants in the world, and after a 20-year run, head chef René Redzepi recently announced it will close at the end of 2024. So, eat there while you still can. The Michelin three-starred restaurant's menu changes with the seasons, focusing on vegetarian fare in the summer, game and forest-inspired food in the fall, and seafood in the late winter/early spring.


Interior of the Alchemist
Søren Gammelmark/Courtesy of Alchemist

At the Alchemist, one of the hardest reservations in Copenhagen, "guests enter through an ominous, hand-sculpted door made from two tons of bronze," reported Christina Liao recently in T+L. Food reporter Liao called it one of the best dining experiences in the world and said diners can expect nearly 50 courses surrounded by performance art and immersive, multi-sensory decor.


Interior of Alouette
Philip Høpne/Courtesy of Alouette

Alouette is a hidden gem on the Danish dining scene — behind an unobtrusive garage door and past a graffiti-covered hallway lies a surprisingly bright Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a set five-course menu. The menu changes weekly with a focus on small producers and seasonal ingredients.

How to Get There

Copenhagen is best reached by flying into its international airport, which T+L readers voted as one of the best international airports in the world in 2022. Copenhagen Airport serves over 100 destinations and is the biggest airport in Denmark.

You can also travel to and from other major European cities, including London, Paris, and Stockholm, aboard Rail Europe trains or buses. A train ride from London to Copenhagen will take almost 15 hours, while a bus ride could take up to 35 hours, with multiple stops and long transfers.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Copenhagen is April, May, and September if you're after warmer weather and longer days. You'll encounter fewer crowds than in the peak summer months, but can still enjoy similar temperatures. However, some of the best festivals happen from June to August — like the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which takes place every July.

Copenhagen in December is the prime hygge (cozy) and Christmas market season. Travelers can head to the Tivoli Gardens for a gorgeous holiday light display. If you can't make it in December, you can still enjoy a light show in February when the city hosts its now-annual Copenhagen Light Festival.

Read More: The Best Times to Visit Copenhagen for Great Weather, Lower Prices, and Fewer Crowds

Neighborhoods to Know

City Center: Copenhagen's City Center is where you'll find hotels like Hotel d'Angleterre and Nyhavn, the waterfront district "tailor-made for Instagram, with colorful townhouses and boats bobbing in the canals," Lindsay Cohn, a T+L contributor, previously reported. This area is home to CPH's top attractions, including Kongens Nytorv, the largest public square in the city.

Frederiksberg: Frederiksberg is another tourist hot spot within Copenhagen and is home to terrific shopping and attractions like the Frederiksberg Palace and the Copenhagen Zoo.

Nørrebro: Northeast of the city center, Nørrebro is "the most ethnically mixed neighborhood in Copenhagen," architect Camilla van Deurs told T+L recently. You'll find some of Copenhagen's best pan-Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants here.

Vesterbro/Kødbyen: Vesterbro was once considered Copenhagen's red light district. It's known for its nightlife, but there are also charming, residential, family-friendly areas in the neighborhood, as well. Within Vesterbro, you'll find Kødbyen, otherwise known as Copenhagen's meatpacking district.

Christianshavn: Technically a cluster of small islands, Christianshavn is teeming with waterways and charming, colorful row homes. Here, you can rent boats or kayaks to explore the canals or take a dip in one of Copenhagen's harbor baths.

How to Get Around

Train, bus, and metro: Copenhagen's public transportation network unites trains, buses, and metros in one easy-to-understand system. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks at the airport and throughout the city, on the DOT Mobilbilletter app, or online, with prices varying by zone. You can also purchase a City Pass, which will give you unlimited access to specific zones depending on which one you purchase. Download the Rejseplanen app to see public transportation schedules with minute-by-minute updates.

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful in Copenhagen. If you need a cab, there are several companies, like Dantaxi, you can contact directly for pickup.

Car service: If you don't want a taxi, you can book town car or black car services with companies like Sixt to help you get around, or use the zero-emission ride-sharing service Viggo. Copenhagen is not serviced by Uber or Lyft.

Bikes: Copenhagen is a city best explored by bike. In fact, according to the Copenhagen Tourism website, 49 percent of locals commute to work on bikes. Plan your ride around the city's many biking routes and bridges, or try to tackle the bike route used in the 2022 Tour de France Grand Départ, which took place in Copenhagen.

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