How to spend one day in Copenhagen

In December, I spent a weekend in the north of Germany and in Copenhagen for the main reason to visit the Christmas markets around that time. Combined with a mini cruise, we got to visit three cities during the weekend: Lübeck, Bremen and…. Copenhagen!

This was my first time in the city and I have to say, I fell in love. We had some great weather during the day we were there and the people were very friendly. The city also has some beautiful places to visit. At the end, I found it very unfortunate that we only had one day in the city, because I definitely could spend much more time there! In this article, I will give you some information about my day in Copenhagen and how it’s best to walk around the city to see the most of it during a day.

Map Copenhagen
Our walking route

Start in Copenhagen at Tivoli Park

Like you can see above in the map, I drew the route I’ve walked during the day. We arrived in a group by bus in Copenhagen and the bus stopped at the Tivoli Park. In Christmas time, Tivoli is a beautiful place to visit which is full of Christmas decorations and lights. However, during this time of the year, it can also be very busy. At the time we arrived in Copenhagen, Tivoli was still closed and there was already a line in front of the entrance. Because we didn’t had much time to see the city, we decided not to go into the Park. Maybe this will be something for another time!

The bus driver dropped us of at Tivoli and that’s where our walk through the city started. Through the main street of Copenhagen, named StrØget, we walked towards a place to start the day with a good cup of coffee. We ended up at Baresso Coffee, where we both took a cup of coffee and something sweet. This place definitely is a recommendation when you’re looking for a place to drink something.

A visit to Nyhavn

After having our coffee, we decided to walk further towards Nyhavn, which is located just outside StrØget (you can find the place on the map at the star where is written “Royal Danish Theatre”. Nyhavn is one of the most well-known tourist attractions of Copenhagen and therefor definitely worth a visit. It’s a harbour and well-known for it’s colored houses. At Nyhavn, you can also find a chain bridge which you can cross.

Nyhavn was originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. How the houses were in the past pubs and alehouses, are most of them nowadays turned into restaurants where you can have a nice dinner. If you would like to make a boat tour over the water, you are also at the right place in Nyhavn. This place is the starting point of most of the boat tours.

Little Mermaid and Kastellet

After having some time in Nyhavn, we decided to walk further. All the way along the water we walked towards the statue of the Little Mermaid. If you like walking, it very good to reach by foot (it’s at approximately 30 minutes walking distance from Nyhavn). If you don’t like walking that much, of course there are many possibilities to go by public transport.

The statue of the Little Mermaid is, next to Nyhavn, the most well-known tourist attraction. Because of this, it wouldn’t be weird saying there was a bunch of people at the statue. We made some pictures and walked further through the beautiful environment the staying is located in.

First, we walked through the Langelinie Park, where after we went to Kastellet: one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. The shape of the place makes it a beautiful image on the map of Copenhagen. Kastellet is property of the Danish Ministry of Defense and features a beautiful church (the St. Alban’s Church), a prison and a windmill. It is a very peaceful place to walk around.

Rosenborg Castle and Rundetaarn

Via another route than the way to the Little Mermaid, we walked back to the city center. On our way, we came across the Rosenborg Castle. This castle is a royal hermitage set in the King’s Garden which was built by one of the most famous Scandinavian kings, Christian IV, in the early 17th century. If you would like to, you can walk around the castle and explore the royal rooms and all the objects and wax figures of former royal inhabitants. We decided not to go into the castle, but to just walk around the big gardens around the castle, which were beautiful as well. If you are planning on visiting the castle: it’s normally opened each day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Children can visit the castle for free, for adults there is an entrance fee of 125 DKK (updated in March 2022).

After wandering around the gardens of Rosenborg Castle, we walked more into the city center, where we came across the Rundetaarn. We decided to walk into this tower and to enjoy the view at the top of the tower, which was very beautiful and where from you could look over the whole city. A entrance ticket for the Rundetaarn costs around € 5,- / 40 DKK per person (updated in March 2022).

Late lunch and some shopping

And then we ended up at StrØget again. It was somewhere in the afternoon and by that time, we were very hungry, so we decided to have ourselves a late lunch. Despite the fact that it was winter and it wasn’t that warm outside, there were many people who were sitting on the terraces of the restaurants. In many restaurants there wasn’t any place left to eat something, so we decided to sit on a terrace as well, where we both took a delicious sandwich.

After our lunch, we had some energy again, so we decided to go into some shops in the shopping street of Copenhagen. There are many nice stores, partly international stores and partly some national stores. I love to explore new shops, so we also tried some (for us) new shops. Copenhagen also is  a great place to do some shopping!

And after our shopping hour it was almost time to go to the bus again. We ended up at the Starbucks, which is located at the square close to Tivoli (where you can also find the Hard Rock Café) and had ourselves a cup of coffee. I’m a huge fan of the Matcha Green Tea Latte, so I took that one.

This was our day in the beautiful city of Copenhagen. I would definitely go back in summer some time to visit even more beautiful places the city has to offer! I’ve heard many things about places to visit just outside Copenhagen, so I think I can easily spend a week in the city. However, in my opinion we’ve spend the day very well during our time.

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? What is definitely worth a visit in the city? Or do you have any other tips? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Author: Tamara

This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.

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How to Spend one day in Copenhagen


  • Claire

    It is so hard to see a city in one day, but you did a great job! I’ve never been to Copenhagen but it looks like a fabulous city, I’ve heard really great things about it. It would be great to see Tivoli for the Christmas markets, but I think it would be just too cold for me – summertime would suit me best!

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    Copenhagen is an enchanting place and I guess the best way to get an immersive experience of the place is by walking around, just like you have done. We have not been there but when we get there will sure follow your footsteps. Of course, the Little Mermaid is an icon of the place but I have heard that it is quite small as compared to expectations of people who get there.

    • Girlswanderlust

      I’m sure you’ll love the city! The Little Mermaid is indeed very small and during the day there are many tourists standing around it to make a photo. Although, I think if you’re in Copenhagen you cannot miss it.

  • Anda

    Very useful guide for those who don’t have more than one day in Copenhagen. I wish I could spend more time there when I go. Nonetheless, it seems you covered a lot of territory in just a single day. Great pictures too. I wish they were a little bigger though.

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