Top 5 things to do in Copenhagen

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, (photo by David Hall)
Nyhavn, Copenhagen

It's that time of year again: the Eurovision Song Contest hits our screens for the 59th time on Saturday night. Following Denmark's victory at the annual celebration of continental camp last year, the 2014 contest comes live from the beautiful Danish capital, Copenhagen. If you're lucky enough to have tickets to the final, then make sure your trip gets douze points by following our handy guide to the top things to do in Copenhagen during your stay. 

 

1. Alfresco dining on Nyhavn

Immediately you’ll notice the nautical flavour of this former ‘sailors’ street’, once overflowing with bars and brothels. On either side of the canal itself, an unusual collection of vessels lies at anchor with their masts colourfully bedecked with the Danish flag. This sight, combined with numerous restaurants and bars with outside terraces, draws thousands of people. Try Nyhavns Færgekro, an unpretentious restaurant renowned for its all-you-can-eat herring buffet.

Restaurants along Nyhavn

 

2. A night at the Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen’s most famous attraction, the Tivoli Gardens, is an old-time pleasure park offering a joyous combination of theatrical performances, concerts, cafés and restaurants, and funfair rides and amusements, all set in beautiful gardens in the heart of the city. As darkness falls, the atmosphere changes as thousands of multicoloured lights illuminate the park and its fairy-tale buildings, and music fills the air. Tivoli’s 40 bars and restaurants are favourite meeting places.

Tivoli gardens by night

 

3. A boat trip along the canals and harbour

Seeing Copenhagen from the water is a must, and helps you understand the layout of this waterside city, which began on the island of Slotsholmen. Canal Tours Copenhagen and Netto Boats run 60-minute guided canal tours mid-January to mid-December, with around two to five departures per hour.

Copenhagen canals

 

4. Seeing the Little Mermaid

At Langelinie (a waterside pier/promenade) is Denmark’s most famous statue, Den Lille Havfrue (the Little Mermaid). In Andersen’s fairy tale, this tragic sea-girl exchanged her voice for human legs in order to gain the love of an earthly prince, but had to watch in silence as he jilted her for a human princess. In desperation, she threw herself into the sea and turned into foam. Although famous, it must be said that the statue is rather small and unassuming.

Little Mermaid

 

5. Sipping a beer at the Carlsberg Brewery

No visit to Copenhagen is complete without sampling the local brew at Carlsberg Brewery. The brewery’s founder, Jacob Christian Jacobsen (1811–87), wanted to prove that industrial enterprises could be beautiful as well as functional, and so the whole site is surprisingly ornate. Gargoyles and lotus flowers decorate the Carlsberg chimney, while the Renaissance-style brew house is adorned with mosaics and sculptures.

Carlsberg bottles

 

Explore our range of Copenhagen guide books here.

 

 

Discover more with Insight Guides

 

home  •  inspire me  •  destinations  •  shop •  blog