Things to do: Copenhagen top 5

By Amy Rosoman

Photography by fisfra / Getty Images

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May 2017

The enchanting essence of Copenhagen will capture your heart, as well as your Instagram account. The many sides of Denmark are echoed in the cool city vibe of the capital. Create your own narrative, to this story-telling place.

Definitive designs


It’s not only the hotels of Copenhagen that ooze voguish style with Scandinavian designer pieces, from the architecture which surrounds you, to the on-trend shops, the shopping here is something else. As well as the usual chain shops, like H&M, there are beautiful independent shops to look through and plenty of Danish pieces which will make you forget all about IKEA.
Start your shopping in Copenhagen on Støget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets which boasts everything from budget stores to designer boutiques. Find your way through the labyrinthine medieval city centre of Købmagergade shopping street and stumble across even more quirky shops, then get a sense of local life at the Nørrebro Flea Market.

Where to stay: Imperial Hotel - for the stylish, design-led accommodation and its wonderful location to hit the shops.

The tulips in the garden, boat rides on the lake and the utter magic of this place will keep you spellbound.

  • The only way to get around town is by bike. Photo credit: Maria Høgholm / EyeEm.

    Bike central

    The cycling scene in Copenhagen is even bigger than that of Amsterdam.

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  • The fairytale Mermaid statue. Photo credit: Gianni Marchetti.

    The Little Mermaid

    Sat on a rock by the water front, this little statue is a little wonder.

  • Freetown Christiana hangouts. Photo credit: Stephen Barnes / Alamy Stock Photo.

    Hippie town

    Relaxed vibes and awesome street art fill Christiana.

Have a gander

There is plenty of culture to work your way around in captivating Copenhagen. From the fairy tale fortresses, magnificent museums, pristine palaces, and striking visions to behold, make the most of what you see in this easy walking city. Immerse yourself in the Rococo architecture of the city, including the mesmerising buildings of the National Museum of Denmark and Amalienborg complex of palaces, every corner you turn is an abundance of awe-inspiring charm. Venture to the Langelinie promenade to visit The Little Mermaid sculpture and admire the views. A trip to Tivoli Gardens is a must. Open for summer between April and September, the 19th Century amusement Park comes to life. The tulips in the garden, boat rides on the lake and the utter magic of this place will keep you spellbound. Also make your way over to the cool Freetown Christiana, for true hippie vibes and photo worthy street art.

Where to stay: Phoenix Copenhagen – for the perfect location to all the nearby hotspots.

  • Tivoli Gardens is magical city sight to see. Photo credit: Sigfrid López.

    Fairytale theme parks

    The second oldest theme park in Europe and an absolute treasure.£178 pp

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Wonderful waterfronts

The vibrant colours of the harbour-side buildings around Nyhavn, are enough to make you smile before you even begin to explore this glorious setting. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere and people-watch from a bar, or dine alfresco in the warmer months. Come rain or shine, do it like the Danes and jump into one of the outdoor swimming baths. Experience outstanding waters and feel revitalised by the inner city sparkling harbour pools. Or you can keep your clothes on and jump on board for a canal cruise and venture through the waterways of the capital. Cherish the views from the boat as you glide alongside the pretty harbour. If you don’t fancy dipping your toes in, join the locals and hire a bike. The cycling scene is bigger in Copenhagen than Amsterdam, so why not cycle next to the waters and see the city by bicycle – an easy, fun or romantic day out.

  • Enjoy a tipple at The Jane.

    Hit the town

    Lose yourself in the hidden passages and secret doors of this happening bar.

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  • Cosy up in the Lidkoeb.

    Discover the hot spot whiskey bar

    Warm up in this homely bar with scrumptious drinks and glowing atmosphere.

  • Street Food in the city. Photo credit: Ulf Svane / Copenhagen Street Food.

    Spoilt for choice

    Find yourself an abundance of foodie delights and indulge.

Brilliant bites

Copenhagen is home to a thriving social and foodie scene, with an incredible variety of cuisine. From the choice of bakery snacks, to the selection of health and whole foods at 42 Raw, there is something to tickle the taste buds. Venture to the water-side marketplace for street food in warehouse 7 & 8, Papirøen, all featuring independent food stands and trucks – enjoy barbequed meats, to cheesecake treats.

The café culture and alfresco experience is big in Copenhagen. Try a Danish-style lunch on the outdoor terrace at Post & Tele Museum café, or wander around the harbour district for an equally wonderful dining experience. With its wealth of original restaurants and top chefs, the capital is a sure place to be for feasts and flavour.

Where to stay: Andersen Boutique Hotel - for its location in the trendy meatpacking district, the area is known for its many high quality restaurants.

Capital cocktails

From the cool choice of cocktail, beer and wine bars, to the hipster hangouts and underground clubs, the nightlife in this city can keep you dancing until dawn or let you sip leisurely into the evening. In the popular hangout of Gråbrødre Square, The Jane is a great escape for cocktail schmoozing and Mad-Men décor which will keep you guessing. The best part of this spot has to be the many secret doors leading to several other bars within. Have some fun here before the DJ kicks off from midnight, when it’s time to dance. Or visit the very cool and cosy Lidkoeb in Vesterbrogade. With its chic and shiny interior design, you can try a naughty Nordic cocktail, test the house specials or choose from the beer selection. If the drinks are flowing and conversation is buzzing, there is a snack menu to browse through, as the bar stays open until two in the morning. The area of Nørrebro has evolved, with its energising galleries, clubs and bars, pop along to see how the atmosphere changes from day into night.

Where to stay: Skt Petri – for luxury design set in the Latin Quarter, with its own famous cocktail bar, Bar Rouge.