Welcome to Copenhagen!
Copenhagen, Denmark, feels like a smartphone; it is user-friendly, compact, and well-designed. It is known worldwide for its cool projects, amazing social collaborations, and innovative ideas. Use this guide to experience your trip as an insider would.
Worldwide Local Tip: When in a port city, stay on a boat! Instead of any of the regular Copenhagen hotels, choose Hawila--a beautifully restored sailboat from 1935.
When it is not sailing on adventurous and artistic trips, Hawila doubles as an Airbnb. Originally, it was a two-masted wooden Baltic trader, used as an ice freighter between Norway and Sweden. It has been brought back to life by sea-passionate volunteers. Those who’ve stayed here usually become a friend of Hawila’s for life.
You surely won’t miss your flight while staying here; the airport is only a short 15-minute walk away (or one metro ride, if you bought too many souvenirs). Hawila also offers easy access to the city center, where you can find many of the best Copenhagen restaurants offering delicious food, including incredible vegetarian options. The evenings are peaceful and a good time to sea-watch and local musicians like to gather here.
Copenhagen on a Budget
In this city full of pricey temptations, one of the most practical local tips is to save money while still having fun! A popular and affordable option for visitors the Copenhagen Card. It is available as a 24, 48, 72, or, 120-hour card, and grants you access to many of the major attractions. On their website, you can use a calculator to figure which option will save you the largest amount of money. Starting at 54 euros, it gives you the flexibility and extra motivation to see as much as possible!
Worldwide Local Tip: Do not forget your camera! Air photos, capturing funny poses with hair wild from the windy Copenhagen weather, will be one of the most enjoyable activities during your trip.
Hop into a Good Time
If that does not take you high enough, there are three indoor trampoline parks. From jumping parties to team building, it’s entertainment for anyone who would like to feel carefree. One hour of off-ground time costs around 20 US dollars. Locals know that in Copenhagen, citizens and worldwide locals like to jump. At the river bank of Havnegade, you will come across public trampolines that allow you to see the city from a completely different and unique perspective. This is fun that can be enjoyed by all, not just kids!
Museums, Exhibitions, and More
Several of the cities’ museums, have set days that offer free admission. Some museums are free daily. It should be noted some of the exhibitions are quite unusual (for example, the Museum of the Scout Movement). There is even a Banking and Savings Museum, but there’s no guarantee it will be the most exciting trip.
Another activity that does not have a fee--and is much more exciting--is playing hide-and-seek with the Six Forgotten Giants. While visiting the outskirts of Copenhagen, specifically, in the forest and next to the peaceful water, keep your eyes peeled to meet the tall wooden trolls. These curious looking sculptures were built by artist Thomas Dambo to encourage locals to play outdoors and reconnect with nature.
Worldwide Local Tip: Take more warm clothes than you think you will need.
Copenhagen Churches (Kind Of)
As a small but dynamic city, Copenhagen loves collaborative spaces. One of the most inspiring is Absalon.
The inviting community house on Vesterbro’s Sønder Boulevard is a cozy social gathering space, like a living room open for everybody. Founded by the owner of Tiger-stores, it is an old church that’s been refurbished to become a one-of-a-kind platform for creatives. During summer, there are long tables outside where locals enjoy bingo, table tennis, movies, music events, or a budget-friendly meal. It can host up to 180 people for dinner. This is one of your best shots of meeting other worldwide locals.
Absalon is not the only church, around the city that’s been up-cycled, creating a completely new space.
Nikolaj Kunsthal, one of the oldest churches in Copenhagen, won’t be holding any church services. Outside, you will even find a sign that reads “I’m not a church.” Despite the outward appearance, the inside explains the warning sign. It’s now a beautifully surreal contemporary art gallery. On top of huge installations, it also offers a panoramic city view from its tower. Admission is free every Wednesday and is one of the attractions available through the Copenhagen Card.
Where to Eat
If you love surprises, head to Rub & Stub, where even the chefs don’t know the menu until they start cooking. There is a good reason for that. Rub & Stub prepares their dishes with daily finds of the unsold food from supermarkets, shops, and other restaurants. This eatery, run by volunteers, donates all profit to the Danish Refugee Council.
Experiences that Are Uniquely “Copenhagen”
Just north of Copenhagen you will find Dyrehavsbakken, simply called Bakken by locals. It is the oldest known amusement park around the world. Even if you are not into roller coasters, ferris wheels, or drop towers, this is still one of the best things to do in Copenhagen. You’ll be certain to enjoy the atmosphere of the park, a green forest with centuries-old trees and free-range deer.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you are tired of the typical tours that do not offer anything you couldn’t read in a guide book and are looking for a real-life storytelling experience, the tour guides at Street Voices will show you Copenhagen from the perspective of the homeless locals. This socially responsible company found a way to strengthen solidarity, in the society, while providing hope to those who participate. All guides have their individual routes but still, cover all the Copenhagen districts. The price for an individual private tour is approximately 23 USD, but you also have the option to join a group.
Then, of course, there is Freecity Christiania. You could easily spend an entire day and night, watching impressive graffiti, enjoying beer, openly sold hash, listening to live music, chatting with students from the University of Copenhagen, and exploring the social experiment’s story. While visiting, you can enjoy burning off some steam in a sauna or participating in the famous ALIS Wonderland Skatepark.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Copenhagen is regarded as one of the best cities to live--not only in Europe but around the globe. It is often compared to Venice or Amsterdam but is truly a gem all on its own. If you find yourself in the mood for simplicity, warmth, and comfortable socializing, this means you’ve been infected with hygge (“a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life”). Here you can truly, treasure the art of coziness among the other worldwide locals.