There’s a lot you can see with just 24 hours in Copenhagen. Even on a short visit, it’s easy to see why Denmark is consistently ranked one of the happiest countries in the world. The morning commute is bicycles instead of cars, the city is walkable, the food is delicious, and the people are lovely. 24 hours in Copenhagen is enough time to take in the highlights and must-see spots!
My visit to Copenhagen was a little bit last minute, and I would have loved to spend more time there. While you certainly need more time to get to know a city well, 24 hours in Copenhagen is a great addition to any Europe trip and it is a relatively expensive city. Here’s how you can make the most of a short visit!
24 Hours in Copenhagen
Copenhagen Tours: Free Walking Tour
The Copenhagen free walking tour takes pride in being the number one Copenhagen activity on TripAdvisor. It’s for good reason! I loved this walking tourGo Enjoy the number one Copenhagen activity on Trip Advisor. I went on the Grand Tour of Copenhagen, which included Christiansborg Palace, Nyhavn Harbour, and the Royal Palace of Amalienborg – just to name a few!
Over 3 hours you will learn tons about Denmark’s history, their current parliament, and the royal family. I love starting with walking tours because the guides often have amazing tips on other things to see and do while you’re in the city.
Copenhagen Free Walking Tours offers 4 tours. These include 3 free walking tours; the Grand Tour of Copenhagen, the Classical Tour which covers more renaissance Copenhagen, and a tour of the Free Town of Christiania. There is also a pub crawl (which is not free, but it’s a reasonable 25USD/ 30CAD).
On the “free” tours, plan on giving a generous tip!
- Tip for Luggage Storage: since you’re only in Copenhagen for a short while, leave your bags with LuggageHero so you don’t have to carry them around all day. LuggageHero is a network of more than 50 storage points in local shops. Locations are around transportation hubs and popular districts, such as Nørreport Station and Nyhavn. Use the map at the LuggageHero reservation platform to find a verified storage site. Each bag receives a safety seal, and the bag and contents are insured for €2,500. Storage prices start at €1 per hour, with a daily max of €10 and a one-time €2 handling charge. If your plans change, there’s no cancellation fee. I’ve used the service in Montreal!
Tivoli Gardens (evening)
Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney visited Tivoli Gardens many times, because it has a magical feel that inspired them. Ride one of the oldest roller coasters in the world, and bash around in vintage bumpers cars. Though some rides are built in the early 1900’s, you’ll find they have more kick to them than you expect.
Visit Tivoli Gardens at night, when the buildings and trees are lit by tiny, multi-coloured lights. Ride the Odin Express (a train/ laid back roller coaster) for an awesome view of the city lights at night. I rode the train 3 times, because the view was so beautiful.
- Entry: 110 DKK
- Ride pass: 230 DKK
- That’s about $50 USD, and totally worth it.
Plan on spending a few hours here to make the most of your ride pass, and stay til the end of the night for a beautiful light show.
Check out Tivoli’s website to learn more.
Go for a long walk to see the Langelinje Pier
Nyhavn, and Stroget (morning)
Walk along the water to the Little Mermaid statue. It’s rated the second most disappointing tourist attraction in the world, but I loved it. Remember that it’s just intended to be a beautiful statue, and enjoy the waterfront walk.
Return to Nyhavn on your own (outside of a walking tour) to take photographs, and walk along Stroget, one of the oldest and longest outdoor walking streets in Europe. A couple tips for Nyhavn:
- it’s very quiet early in the morning.
- eat like the locals by getting a (cheap) slice of pizza on the West side of the water and sitting down on the canal to eat.
Copenhagen is a very walkable city, and it’s completely flat. It’s also very easy to navigate, especially by following routes along the water and the shopping streets.