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Copenhagen (Danish: København)  is the capital of Denmark and what a million Danes call home. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to be a metropolis with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet still small enough to be intimate, safe and easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. This is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with cold electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You'll feel you've seen it all in a day, but could keep on discovering more for months.
If entering the city using the highways, you won't meet a city limit sign saying "København" (Copenhagen). Instead you'll see "Storkøbenhavn", which means Greater Copenhagen. While the original part of Copenhagen is located in a small area by the waterway between Zealand and Amager - consisting of several small boroughs with at least 600,000 inhabitants - Copenhagen has extended across other towns since the Finger Plan was implemented following the Second World War. Today these are distinctive municipalities, together making up the city's metropolitan area with around 2 million inhabitants. A notable exception is Frederiksberg, an independent municipality with its own mayor and municipal council, located inside Copenhagen. The other boroughs in and around Copenhagen are as follows:
| Indre By ("Inner City") |
Downtown, The Medieval city - a place of many names, but it is the historical heart of Copenhagen, dotted with church spires, historic buildings, narrow alleys and excellent shopping venues.
| Christianshavn ("Christian's Harbour") |
Originally laid out as a working class neighbourhood 300 years ago, it is now a thriving area notable for its many canals. The Freetown of Christiania is situated in the eastern section of Christianshavn, along with the old naval area, turned trendy: Holmen.
| Vesterbro ("Western Bridge") |
This district has evolved tremendously in recent years and is now one of the hippest places to live, with cafes and bars dotted along its main artery, Istedgade.
| Frederiksberg |
A small town which originally formed around Frederiksberg castle, this area is still a independent municipality. Literally surrounded by the City of Copenhagen, it has preserved a unique, conservative, upscale feel.
| Nørrebro ("Northern Bridge") |
One of the most vibrant parts of Copenhagen, especially along the main artery, Nørrebrogade, with a mix of immigrants, students, and original, working-class Nørrebro inhabitants.
| Østerbro ("Eastern Bridge") |
A cosy neighbourhood north of the centre - less vibrant than Nørrebro and Vesterbro, and less unusual than Frederiksberg. It is the home of the famous Little Mermaid statue, the beautifully preserved Kastellet citadel, and numerous piers for small ferries and large cruise ships. The area west of the train track has become very popular among young families with small children.
| Amager |
Once a bastion of the working class, this island, with its own distinct atmosphere, is booming with new development. It is the home of Copenhagen's airport, located in the town of Kastrup and thus named Kastrup Airport.
| Northern suburbs |
A visit to these green suburbs and Dyrehavsbakken, — the world's oldest running amusement park; Frilandsmuseet — the world's largest open air museum; or canoeing down the Mill River, will leave no doubt that this is an altogether different kind of suburbia. It is often colloquially known to locals as the "whisky belt", due to its often well-heeled residents.
| Vestegnen |
The suburbs west and south of the city, short on attractions apart from the good Arken art museum, it has some good beaches and camping opportunities.
If you had dropped by Copenhagen in the eleventh century you would have found yourself looking over a quiet, small fishing hamlet, with a flock of lazy cattle gazing back at you while chewing fresh green grass from the meadows around the village. Looking east you would see a host of small islets protecting the small fishing harbour from harsh weather — really not the worst place to found a city. The earliest written accounts date from the twelfth century, when a bearded clerk (or a renowned historian if you will) called Saxo Grammaticus scribbled down a few lines about the place. Portus Mercatorum, he called it, meaning Merchants' Harbour or, in the Danish of the time, Købmannahavn. This has since evolved into København in modern Danish, and the city's English name was adapted from its Low German name, Kopenhagen.
Around 1160 AD, King Valdemar handed over control of the city to the archbishop of Roskilde, Absalon, one of the most colourful characters of the Middle Ages — a curious mix of great churchman, statesman, and warrior. As the country's only city not under the king's control, Absalon saw it thrive and erected a castle on what is today Slotsholmen (the remains are still visible in the catacombs under the present day parliament). As a man of religion he also built a great church, and with those necessities taken care of, Copenhagen quickly gained importance as a natural stop between the two most important Danish cities, the old royal capital Roskilde and Lund in present day Sweden. Endowed with an enviable location on the banks of the important Øresund Strait, it slowly but steadily surpassed the old urban centres. Copenhagen's rise was greatly aided by entrepreneurial trading with friends and foes alike and by prosperous fishing which provided much of Roman Catholic Europe with salted herring for Lent. But with prosperity comes envy and in the years to follow Copenhagen was laid waste and pillaged time and time again, mainly by the German Hanseatic League, which at one point completely destroyed the city.
But like a phoenix, Copenhagen repeatedly rose from the ashes. When the Danes kicked out the Pope during the reformation, Roskilde lost its importance as a Roman bishopric and after taking control of the city twenty years earlier, the king moved his residence to Copenhagen. Not terribly keen on seeing their new capital laid to waste once more, successive kings built massive fortifications around the city. None more so than King Christian IV, who embarked on a building rampage which not only included the ramparts still visible throughout much of the city but also many present day landmarks like the Round Tower and the stock exchange. Since then Copenhagen was besieged by the Swedes, and then famously bombarded, set ablaze, and nearly destroyed by the British vice admiral Lord Nelson, who in one of two battles for Copenhagen, famously responded to the order to withdraw by saying "You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes," and then raised the telescope to his blind eye and touted "I really do not see the signal."
Again, the city shook off its struggles and the population mushroomed during the industrialisation. When a cholera epidemic did a fine job of killing nearly everyone there wasn't room for, the King finally conceded that long range cannons would render its constraining walls irrelevant, and thus allowed the city to grow outside the now antiquated ramparts. But it was not long before a new modern fortification was built (known as Vestvolden today), which made Copenhagen Europe's most fortified city of the late nineteenth century.
After being subjected to yet another invasion during the Second World War, the whole idea of a fortified city was thrown out the window and replaced with one of the finest examples of urban planning anywhere — the Finger Plan. Copenhagen is one of few cities in the world to devise a long term plan for growth and then actually stick to it; try placing your hand over a map of Copenhagen with the palm as the city centre, and it's quite obvious why it's called the finger plan. Despite being the laughing stock of the country through the seventies and eighties when wealthy residents all moved out into the fingers, leaving behind an impoverished bankrupt city, a visit these days will prove that the phoenix has risen once more.
Copenhagen is located on the Eastern edge of the island of Zealand. The inner city is surrounded by the districts of Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Østerbro and the independent municipality of Frederiksberg on the west and the island of Amager, with the district Christianshavn, to the east.
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Averages of Copenhagen between 1961-90
Copenhagen, as the rest of Denmark, has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is the warm period from early May to late August. The current weather forecast can be checked at the Danish Meteorological Institute website .
Spring, while a bit risky, as no one knows quite when it sets in, can be the best time to visit the city. On the first warm day, usually in early May, locals come out of hibernation and flock to the city streets, parks, and outdoor cafes in a veritable explosion of life, relieved that the country's dreary and dark winters are finally over. Many locals consider this the high-point of the year.
Summers in Copenhagen are usually warm with an average temperature of some twenty degrees, and the days are long — reaching the a peak of eighteen hours on the 21st of June. If the weather becomes too hot, you can jump in one of the free pools in the cool harbour waters near the centre. Copenhagen's harbour is often considered the world's cleanest urban waterfront. Most of Copenhagen's annual events are held during June and July, and when the sun is out there is always life in the streets. One everyday thing to do in the summer is to go to the beach via cycling and enjoy the sun with ice-cream. This part of the year is when most danish people exercise, whether it'd be running, walking, or cycling. It is also very common to start a bonfire with friends and family at night, this is a form of the danes "hygge".
Autumn and Winter have a profound effect on the city. The vibrant summer life withers and the streets go quiet, as most locals go directly home from work. This is where the Danish concept of hygge sets in, roughly translating into cosiness. It is the local way of dealing with the short dark days. Friends and families visit each other for home cooking and conversations by candlelight with quiet music on the stereo. In week 42 the Danes have an autumn holiday, with many events taking place, such as the night of culture. The height of winter is December, where Christmas brings some relief to the short days, with lights and decorations everywhere, in the streets, shops and in peoples' windows. Tivoli opens its doors for the Christmas markets, and most Danes go on a drinking rampage, with the very Danish and traditional Christmas lunches, with work and family. December is the month where almost everybody buys peppernuts, and danish apple slices.
The present day Copenhagen Municipality is home to nearly 600,000 people, close to 80% of whom are of Danish descent. To this can be added a ring of suburban municipalities and the Frederiksberg municipality. In a wider sense, the towns and areas bordering the capital, including those in Sweden, altogether form a Greater Copenhagen Region, of about 4 mio. inhabitants. Close to 15% percent of Copenhagen´s population is made up of immigrants, or descendants of recent immigrants, from about 20 nationalities around the world, including Turkish, Pakistani and Iraqi. The people of Copenhagen tend to be liberal, non-religious (24% of Danes are atheists and many more are generally unconcerned with the question of religion) and very traditional. While some visitors may feel the locals are reserved (especially during the winter months), commonly travelers find the Danes to be friendly, helpful and accommodating.
Festivals and celebrations based around the Christian calendar are common, although festivals for uniquely Danish holidays are common as well. Fastelavn is a children's festival, similar to Halloween, where the kids dress up and carry containers around to fill with treats. Many homes and businesses place candles in their windows to celebrate Denmark’s liberation from German occupation at the end of the Second World War, on May 4th. In June, St. John’s Eve is a night to dine with families and attend bonfires at venues around the city. The entire month of December is dedicated to Christmas in all of Denmark, but particularly in Copenhagen. Streets are decorated, trees are covered in lights and events and activities take place throughout the month.
Appreciation and thanks are important in daily life in Copenhagen. Being the world's best non-native English speakers means you won't have much issue communicating with Danes, but visitors may want to learn a few words in Danish to express gratitude. For instance, tak and mange tak mean thanks & many thanks.
Bicycle riding is also an essential part of Copenhagen’s culture. Over half of the city's inhabitants commute by bicycle every day, regardless of the weather. The city has tackled a number of civic improvement projects and it's now considered one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Almost every street has a separate cycling street.
Arguably one of the most famous Copenhagen residents had an impact on many visitors when they were children. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen have travelled the world, evolving and being absorbed into the global culture. As a teenager, Andersen moved to Copenhagen, where he lived out his life, falling in love with unattainable women and writing stories that would eventually be translated into 125 different languages. There are a number of museums, some interactive, dedicated to H.C. Andersen in Copenhagen.
Other famous Copenhageners include Niehls Bohr, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work in atomic structures and quantum mechanics, and Soren Kierkegaard, who is known as the grandfather of existentialism.
Copenhagen's official tourist agency is Wonderful Copenhagen
- Copenhagen Right Now, Vesterbrogade 4A (Across from Tivoli's main entrance, near the central station), ☎ +45 70 22 24 42 ([email protected], fax: 45 70 22 24 52), . Jan-Apr M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM; May-June M-Sa 9AM-6PM; July-Aug M-Sa 9AM-8PM,Su 10AM-6PM; Sep M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Oct-Dec M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM. edit
Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport  (CPH) on Amager is the hub for Scandinavia's largest international carrier SAS — Scandinavian Airlines . Kastrup Airport consistently gets high marks for both design and function — this is a much more pleasant place for transit than, say, London Heathrow or Frankfurt and several carriers service direct intercontinental routes to Copenhagen, including; Air Canada, Delta, Egypt Air, PIA, Qatar Airways, Thai, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. Check-in lines can get long during peak hours however, so make sure to allocate extra time in the summer. Self-service check-in counters are available, which can cut down on wait times.
A number of low-cost carriers also fly to the airport. RyanAir, EasyJet  serves Copenhagen from London Luton, London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Manchester, Milan, Geneva, Paris CDG, Hamburg and Berlin Norwegian  offers budget flights to (amongst others) Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris, Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw.
It takes twelve minutes by mainline train to get from Kastrup (Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup Station) to the Central Station (Hovedbanegården, abbreviated København H) in the city centre. You need a ticket for three zones, which costs 36 Kr for a single journey and valid for 75 minutes from the time of purchase. Train tickets can be purchased from one of the automated vending machines or the ticket counter located inside the atrium of Terminal 3 directly over the railway platforms; there are lifts and travolators between the platforms and Terminal 3.
The Copenhagen Metro  also connects Kastrup with central Copenhagen, with trains leaving every four minutes during the day and every fifteen minutes at night, taking fourteen minutes to the city centre (for the same ticket and price of 36.00 Kr). If you want to go to Copenhagen City or Frederiksberg, you should get on the metro. [If you want to go to Copenhagen Central Station or the western part of Copenhagen City, you are better off taking the train.] The airport Metro station is located at the northern tip of Terminal 3 (pass the lifts and travolators to the train platforms) and is covered by the roof of the terminal. There is another metro station named Kastrup, which has nothing to do with the airport except that it is relatively close.
For more details, see this subject under the district Amager.
Consider Sturup Airport (MMX) in Malmö, Sweden as well — it's only 40 minutes by bus from central Malmö, and from there 30 minutes by train to Copenhagen Central Station. Wizzair  from Budapest, Gdansk, Katowice, and Warszawa and a few domestic airlines often offer cheap flights to other Swedish cities. There is one daily direct bus by Gråhundbus (http://www.graahundbus.dk/7-besk.htm) which coincides with Ryanair schedules. For other airlines (different arrival and departure times) your other options are: https://www.p-airbus.com and http://www.neptunbus.dk/en. Consider the price of transfer as most low cost destinations served at Sturup are also available at Kastrup Airport.
Links between Copenhagen and neighbouring countries are frequent and excellent. There are several trains each hour to Malmö and further to Lund and Gothenburg. There are 12 daily connections on weekdays to Stockholm. Further train services exist in the direction of Karlskrona and Kalmar. There are six fast connections to Hamburg and one to Berlin.
From the rest of Denmark connections are frequent and numerous. In Jutland several railway branches from Aarhus/Aalborg in the North, Struer in the north-west, Esbjerg to the west, and finally Sønderborg in the south convene in Fredericia, where they connect to a main line with up to four intercity trains per hour, divided into Express and Intercity trains, which runs across Funen before crossing the Great Belt (Storebælt). From there it reaches across the length of Zealand before terminating at Copenhagen's central station. If you are going in the reverse direction without a seat reservation, be mindful that the train is often broken up at Fredericia to serve the different branches, so if you don't have seat reservation, it's a bad idea just picking a random carriage in Copenhagen. All cross belt trains are operated by DSB (Danish State Railways ).
From the island of Bornholm, a high speed ferry shuttles passengers to Ystad in Sweden, where travellers may take the Swedish Pågatåg to Malmö and change to the train towards Copenhagen, or vice-versa. The whole trip takes little over three hours and a combined train and ferry tickets can be bought in ticketing machines across the train network.
Across the Øresund strait in Sweden, the Øresundstog  trains departs from various towns in Southern Sweden, and via Lund and Malmö crosses the Øresund fixed link to Copenhagen, with a stop at the airport. The journey time from Malmö to the central station is 35 minutes and trains run every ten minutes all day on this stretch, and every hour during the night. A one way ticket between Malmö and Copenhagen is 107 Kr. Swedish Railways  operates up to eight X2000 express trains from Stockholm every day (5 hours). An easy change in Malmö almost doubles that number and also gives you the option of a night train connection.
To continental Europe, German InterCityExpress (ICE) and Danish EuroCity (EC) trains connect Hamburg with Copenhagen, up to six times per day; two of those trains run directly from Berlin daily. The base fare is €46 from Berlin and €33 from Hamburg.
Buses between Jutland and Copenhagen are only marginally cheaper than the train, although there are considerable discounts offered M-Th. International buses on the other hand offer considerably lower prices than the train. Which, however, has been prioritised politically, and Copenhagen therefore still lacks an intercity bus terminal. Most international buses stop somewhere around the Central Station (usually next to DGI-byen), but be sure to check the exact location when you buy your ticket. Domestic long-distance buses often terminate at Toftegårds Plads, near Valby station in the Vesterbro district.
From Jutland bus number 888 connects Copenhagen with Aarhus and Aalborg several times per day. Journey time is five hours and fifteen minutes from Aalborg. On Zealand there are additional stops in Holbæk and Roskilde. Line 882 runs between Copenhagen and Fjerritslev in Northwestern Jutland once every day.
Links from Scandinavia are fairly frequent and very economical compared to the train. Most buses arrive and depart from DGI Byen, near the southern overpass of the central station. Passengers are generally encouraged to buy tickets online, but tickets can also be be purchased at the Copenhagen Right Now tourist information desk near the central station. In the winter (Dec-Apr) Fjällexpressen  whisks skiers between Copenhagen and the Swedish ski resorts. When booking online, it's useful to know that Copenhagen is called Köpenhamn in Swedish.
- Nettbuss Express, (from sweden and norway), ☎ +46 (0) 771-15 15 15 ([email protected]), . M-F 7:30AM-6PM, Sa 7:30AM-5PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Oslo (8½ hrs) via Gothenburg (4½ hrs) ~ 225 Kr, line 300. Offers VIP seats for 40-50kr extra, these are a little bigger and reclines a little more, but don't expect a comfortable night on a sleeper seat anyways.. edit
- Gråhundbus, . Local operator [Greyhound Bus] with several daily connections to Malmö and once daily to Malmö Airport. Also works with partners elsewhere to Europe. edit
- Swebus Express, ☎ +46 0771-218 218 ([email protected]), . M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Oslo (9 hrs) via Gothenburg (5 hrs) ~ 300 SEK, line 820; Stockholm (9 hrs) via Jonköping (4½ hrs) ~ 350 SEK, line 832.. edit
- Flixbus, (German company, runs to Oslo, Stockholm, Germany, and form a cost effective way to get to The Netherlands and Belgium.), . edit
From Europe there are several bus companies which offer numerous daily connections from Germany often at very competitive rates, most run via the ferries from Rødby to Puttgarden or Gedser to Rostock. Many of these services, especially if headed to points East such as Berlin, are considerably faster than the best train connections. Most of these buses stop near DGI byen on Ingerslevsgade.
- Swebus Express, ☎ +45 80 70 33 00 ([email protected]), . M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Tickets sold at the central tourist information desk. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (7½ hrs) via Rostock (4½ hrs) ~450 SEK, line 902. edit .
- Berolina, ☎ +30 88568030 ([email protected]), . (Gråhundbus ☎ +45 44 68 44 00,  in Denmark) Tickets are sold in the bus, but advance booking is recommended.This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (8 hrs) via Rostock (4 hrs) ~300 Kr (€40), line E55. edit .
- Eurolines, Halmtorvet 5, ☎ +45 33 88 70 00, . Daily 9AM-5PM. Tickets are sold in their office or online, in Hamburg there are connecting buses to Amsterdam and Paris. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches . Most services out of Denmark have 230v plugs and WiFi is available in Germany. Berlin (7 hrs) ~300 Kr, line 260R; Hamburg (6 hrs) via Lübeck (5 hrs) ~300 Kr, line 210. edit
- Bohemian Lines, ☎ +420 416 810 054 ([email protected]), . Daily 8AM-8PM. Welcomes bicycles to Berlin and onward for a small fee, like FlixBus; reserve in advance. Prague (13 hrs, twice weekly via Berlin, and onwards to Brno ) ~1450 CZK (€55). edit
- Autoprevoz, ☎ +387 51 317 333 ([email protected]), . Banja Luka (25 hrs, twice weekly) ~ 300 BAM (€150) edit
- Toptourist, ☎ +45 48 25 38 37 ([email protected]), . Tickets can be paid on the bus, but advance booking and payment is recommended. Sarajevo via Salzburg (twice weekly) ~1000 Kr (€140) return. edit
From and to Poland there are a host of different bus companies each with a few weekly scheduled departures. Unfortunately the market is very fluid and routes and operators tend to change rapidly. Try Baltic Bus  for twice weekly connections with Gdańsk (25h30m). Agat  provides four round trips per week between Copenhagen and Katowice (20 hrs) in Southern Poland, and Eurobus  for connections with Warsaw (20 hrs via Hamburg) once per week. If any of these companies have shut down, try searching for alternatives, as there is a good chance someone else will have taken over the traffic.
By ferry or cruise ship
Ferries between Copenhagen and Oslo, Norway (16 hrs, daily; DFDS ). Copenhagen's spanking new ferry terminal is near Nordhavn station in the Østerbro district, and special shuttle buses (the E20 line), timed with the ferries, run between the terminal and the Kongens Nytorv square in the city centre. The previous service to Świnoujście in Poland was recently retired, but it's still possible to catch a ferry from Ystad about an hours drive from Copenhagen (bridge toll included in the ticket) or by the 4.59 PM IC Bornholm train. DFDS Seaways no longer run a ferry from England to Denmark.
If you are arriving under your own sail, Copenhagen has several marinas, the biggest of which is Svanemøllehavnen . There are no designated visitor berths but it is almost always possible to find one with a green sign. Daily charge: 75-120 Kr.
Copenhagen is also a very popular port of call for large cruise ships touring both the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian fjords. Over a million passengers and crew members visit Copenhagen through its port each year. Cruise ships generally dock at the port of Copenhagen at the Langelinie Pier or at Frihavnen (Freeport), both located in the Østerbro district north of the Little Mermaid statue (about a ten minute walk from Langelinie) and about three miles north of the city centre (e.g., Tivoli Gardens). On weekdays, public bus #26 (24 kr) services the port every 20 minutes, and the ride downtown takes about 40 minutes. Here is a very useful 2012 Port Guide to Copenhagen.
The two big hubs are Central Station (da: Hovedbanegården/København H) with S-trains, intercity trains and buses, and Nørreport Station with S-trains, metro, regional trains and buses. Travel by train, bus and metro can be scheduled electronically through journeyplanner.dk .
Tickets and the zone system
All public transport in Copenhagen, as well as the rest of the country, operates on a zone system. The smallest ticket is the two-zone ticket which costs 24 Kr for adults (12 Kr for children under the age of sixteen), and can be purchased from ticket offices, vending machines and bus drivers. You can also buy tickets on the mobile app "Mobilbilletter Hoverstaden", available both in the AppStore and on Google Play.
Two children under the age of eleven can travel for free with one paying adult. The two-zone ticket allows you to travel around Copenhagen in the zone where you stamped or purchased the ticket plus any adjacent zone (thus forming a larger ring around the starting zone). The three-zone ticket likewise allows travel in the ring that expands two zones from the starting zone. A two-zone ticket is valid for one hour and fifteen minutes from the timestamp, increasing by fifteen minutes for each additional zone purchased. You can switch freely between all trains, Metro, buses, and water buses within the time the ticket is valid, as long as your last trip starts before the time is up.
The range of a single zone can be roughly translated to around seven minutes in the Metro or fifteen minutes in a bus, but always check the zone maps in the stations, some stations are closer to zone borders than others. Ask locals if help is needed, as the zone system can be complex for visitors. Night buses work all night (1AM-5AM daily) and the price of ticket is the same as during the day.
You can also purchase a City pass to have unlimited use of the public transport within zones 1-4. Prices are 80/40 Kr for 24 hours and 200/100 Kr for 72 hours (adult/child). starting at 130 Kr. Alternatively, buy a Copenhagen Card , which gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs 54 Euro for 24 hours, 80 Euro for 48 hours, 99 Euro for 72 hours and 133 Euro for 120 hours. Note that on Sundays and Mondays many museums are either free or closed, thus possibly making the card of less value on those days.
For regional trains, S-tog and Metro, a ticket must be bought before boarding the trains. For buses, tickets can be bought from the driver. Otherwise, you can buy the tickets at the machines or on the app. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket is 750 Kr (600 Kr for buses) and ticket controllers are common both in S-trains, Regional trains and Metro. More information about price and tickets at movia .
Danes usually use the Rejsekort  to travel. The card costs DKK 80 and you need to add credit on the card before being able to use it. When travelling, you will need to check in at the beginning of your trip and everytime you switch transportation mode - and check out when your journey is over. The price per trip is reduced compared to single tickets. The personal Rejsekort will require that you have a permanent address in Denmark, while the "Rejsekort Anonymt" does not require an address nor any personal information. It can be purchased at the Rejsekort machines or at a ticket office at the airport or Copenhagen Central Station.
The S-train service (, Danish only, schedule ) is the backbone of the city's public transit system, and is very similar to the German S-Bahn networks and the Parisian RER system. The distinct red trains are clean, modern, and equipped with free WiFi. The system runs from early morning to late night, each line in ten minute intervals during the day (M-F 6AM-6PM) and at twenty minute intervals in the early morning and late at night. In the weekends, the trains run once an hour at night (except the F-line which runs twice an hour at night) and some of the lines are extended. Since most lines join on a single railway line through the city centre, there are only a couple of minutes of waiting between each train in the inner districts. The F and C-lines are exceptions, the F line does a half loop outside the central area, with trains every five minutes throughout most of the day. The C-line is extended to Frederikssund during day time, but scaled back to Ballerup at other times. Loudspeaker announcements regarding S-trains are given in Danish and English.
The Copenhagen Metro  runs from Vanløse through the city centre and branches to either the new-town of Ørestad or to the airport. The Metro has no timetable and between Vanløse and Christianshavn trains run with a four minute interval (two minutes during peak hours). It runs nonstop at night with fifteen minute intervals. The trains run automatically and are without drivers, so the doors will close at a given time, even if all waiting passengers have not entered the train. Wait for the next train instead of trying to squeeze through in the last second.
While most locals opt for bikes, Copenhagen does have a fairly extensive and efficient bus network . It can be troublesome, though, for visitors to figure out what line to take to their destination as there is little in the way of network maps available at bus stops and schedules rarely include the entire route. There are several types of bus available: regular buses are simply denoted by their number, A buses are the backbone of the city's bus network which consists of six different lines with frequent departures and stops. During the day time there are no schedules as buses depart every two to six minutes. Many stops do have a small electronic display showing how many minutes are left until the next bus arrives. S buses are long express services with few stops and extend far into the suburbs, usually across the radial suburban train network or along corridors with no rail service. They can also be useful between points in the centre as they are faster than other lines. E buses are express rush-hour services of little use to travellers as they mainly service commuters. One exception is line 20E which runs between the central square Kongens Nytorv and the DFDS (Oslo/Szczecin ferries) and cruise terminals. N buses are a network of ten bus lines operating at night between 1AM-5AM daily, when normal traffic is halted, and they are much more frequent at weekends.
CitySightseeing  runs three hop-on hop-off tours around the city (map) in open-top double-decker buses. The main line leaves every 30 minutes, while the two other lines depart every hour in high season (Jun-Aug). Outside the peak season, services are halved. The price is 150 Kr for a one day ticket or 220 Kr for a two day ticket which also includes the DFDS canal tour boats. Be aware that the competing Step-on-Step-off company  likewise runs London-style double-decker buses with tours of the city and the same overall concept as CitySightseeing buses (often from the same bus stops), but their reviews tend to be poor, and they are not recommended by the VisitCopenhagen tourist office.
Going on a canal tour of the inner harbour and canals is an excellent and easy way to see many of the city's attractions, and fortunately there are many options depending on your taste and preferences. DFDS Canal Tours operates both a unguided hop-on hop-off service, branded as the water bus, arranged into three circular trips at the northern, central and southern part of the inner harbour and canals. They also have three guided tours, either by a pre-recorded tape available in many languages, or live English & Danish commentary by a guide. Be forewarned though, after 75 minutes this can get a bit loud if you are not normally attracted to this sort of tourism. Netto-bådene offers a single fixed tour, but at a much lower price. Please note that services are scaled back considerably between October and mid-March. If you are visiting during winter, you might want to opt for DFDS' red guided tour, as it offers a heated, glass-roofed boat at this time of the year. Both companies offer starting points in either Nyhavn or Gammel Strand (opposite the parliament). A different option is the public harbour bus, which, while it doesn't enter the canals, is much faster and is an integrated part of the public transportation system using the same tickets as buses and trains.
- DFDS Canal Tours, Nyhavn 3, ☎ +45 32 96 30 00 ([email protected]), . 9.30AM-8PM. Waterbus (unguided): Single 40 Kr, All day 60 Kr; Tour (guided): Single 60 Kr, All day 75 Kr. Various discounts available. edit
- Netto-bådene, Heibergsgade (Nyhavn), ☎ +45 32 54 41 02, . 10AM-5PM (7PM in July & August). 40 Kr. edit
- Movia, Customer centre at Rådhuspladen, ☎ +45 36 13 14 15, . 7AM-7PM. Uses public ticketing system. edit
An option you may want to consider is a Freedom ticket which for 220 Kr gives unlimited transportation for two days on both all the DFDS Canal Tour boats, as well as the double-decker sightseeing buses of Copenhagen City Sightseeing.
The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Copenhagen is on a bike. Forty percent of locals use their bike everyday and the city has been designed to cater for cyclists with separate bicycle lanes on most larger roads. Cyclists are often allowed to ride both ways in one-way streets. Be careful if you are not used to biking in a busy city as this is a common means of daily transportation and the locals drive fast and without room for much leeway. Don't expect to get a warning when someone wants to overtake you. Always keep to the right and look behind you before you overtake someone — otherwise you could cause some nasty accidents. While biking, do not be surprised if they naturally say hi to you; that's just how nice Danes are.
As the city bikes can be a bit expensive, renting a bike is a good alternative and many hotels or bike shops rent out bikes. Companies that rent out bikes include Rent a Bike in Copenhagen, Baisikeli or Rent a Bike Copenhagen among many other bike repair shops. Another option to rent a bike is to use Donkey Republic, where you can book online a rental bike close to your location (usually located close to hotels and metro stations) and unlock the bike using bluetooth. To use these bikes, you will need wifi only to log in on their app or website to book the bike and at the end of the rental to end the rental.
The first, rather basic and inconvenient pioneering city bikes have just - as of early summer 2014 - been replaced by a second and advanced generation of white city bikes, with GPS and supplementary electronic power engine . They cost DKK 25 per hour and located conveniently close to metro stations and major attractions. Official parking stations for these new city bikes can be found at the Rådhuspladsen/Town Hall Square, by the Forum metro station, by the Frederiksberg Have entrance at Frederiksberg Runddel, etc. etc. When you rent the bike and wish to park it, you will be able to search on the tablet attached to the bike where the closest parking station is.
Taxis are numerous throughout the city and of a very high standard — usually a Mercedes or BMW. However, at busy times such as late Friday or Saturday, hailing a cap may be a challenge. At crucial traffic junctures throughout the city, there are special areas where taxis hold in line to pick up customers. By international standards, Danish taxis are pricey with average trips between DKK 150-300. For this price, you will be happy to know that tips are not required nor expected, but note that you cannot negotiate the price. Generally, you can trust taxis with both prices and the route taken because of the high flag-fall charge, incentivizing higher number of trips over longer trips. You can hail a taxi on the street or call for one to come pick you up at a specific address at a specific time. You may also use the app "MOOVE" to order the taxi, for a pre-determined price. If you wish to pay with a credit card, you must present it for the driver at the beginning of the trip. All taxis accept major international credit cards and most will accept Euro cash payment and some even list prices in Euros on the meter. Alternative transportation services such as Uber are not operating in Copenhagen due to recent regulations passed in 2017.
Copenhagen Taxi companies
Complete listings can be found in the appropriate district articles
Entrance to most museums is free once a week, mainly on Wednesdays. You can always count on the principal attractions to be well signed in English and German and for these places to be generally geared towards tourists. A good tip to see whether a smaller museum caters to non-Danish speakers, is to check whether the website has an English section. If it does, this usually means the museum has at least some English information throughout its exhibitions. Of course if you have some interest in a particular subject, such museums can be interesting even if you don't understand the sign-postings. As Danes are usually fairly fluent in English, you can always try to ask staff if they could give you a brief tour.
If you are into the arts Copenhagen has a lot to offer and the natural starting point is a visit to the Danish National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst, admission fee is 110 DKK for adults, 85 DKK for young <30 years old and free for <18 years old; complementary lockers, closed on Mondays) where you can feast your eyes on blockbusters from the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Matisse. There are a number of paintings by Danish artists from the "Golden Age." For more classical art, visit Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (adult 95 kr, lockers available). In addition to works by masters like Picasso, Leger, and Matisse, this spectacular building houses a large collection of classical statues and sculptures. The winter garden here is a beautiful place to rest your legs on a rainy day. Both of these museums are conveniently located in the centre, or Indre By area. Thorvaldsens Museum is dedicated to the 19th-century sculptor and the art of his days. He is buried in the courtyard. It has some interesting, colourful and unique interiors, dating from around 1844, by the architect M.G. Bindesbøll and his team. Don´t forget the lovely collection of paintings and the archaeological items and his preserved library upstairs. The museum is free on Wednesdays. Davids Samling (The David Collection) is an internationally renowned collection of Islamic art, with a bit of Danish treasures too. The entrance is free.
If you are hungry for even more classic art exhibitions, an excursion north of Copenhagen to the beautiful Ordrupgaard offers you a chance to enjoy Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Gauguin. There are several other options for classical paintings but if you are ready for a change, head south to the Arken Museum of Modern Art for a world class exhibition of contemporary art, mostly Scandinavian, as well as hugely popular temporary exhibitions. However the arguably best and most visited museum in Denmark is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art located in northern Zealand with a panoramic view across the Øresund. The museum frames the sculpture park facing the sea and the interaction between art, nature and the museum architecture is quite unique. Louisiana is an international museum with a considerable collection of modern art, and hugely popular temporary exhibitions.
If you want to enjoy some local colour on an art tour, The Hirschsprung Collection in Østerbro features the top-of-the-pops of Danish artists, with a particular focus on the Skagen painters. For something quintessentially Danish, breeze through the wonderfully quirky sketches of the much-loved local personality Storm P at the aptly named Storm P museum on Frederiksberg.
Science & Natural history
If you want your vacation to be educational, or if you want to sneak some knowledge into the kids during the vacation, there are several options to consider. The best choice for kids is perhaps the hugely entertaining, and well renowned hands-on science museum, the Experimentarium north of Copenhagen. Another popular and well-renowned institution, is the Copenhagen Zoo on Frederiksberg, counting both among both the best and oldest zoos in Europe. If you prefer stationary animals, the Zoology museum on Østerbro offers a different perspective on the subject. Elsewhere on Østerbro, a little known attraction is a display of famous physicist Niels Bohr's study room, along with a setup of his experiments (but as this is not a museum, you should have more than passing interest in the subject to bother with them). City Centre, the University of Copenhagen runs two adjacent science museums. The Geological museum where dinosaur fossils, moon rock, and glow in the dark minerals should spark some interest in the subject for even the most school-weary kid. The Botanical Gardens on the opposite side of the street is an excellent place for a stroll in the beautiful park, even if you are not botanically inclined, and the classical palm house is a nice place to relax if it is cold outside. In poor weather, Tycho Brahe Planetarium on Vesterbro is another option and is part planetarium with an interesting astronomy exhibition and part omnimax theatre where they usually screen science films. The aquarium Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet) is a new place focusing on marine life, situated near the Kastrup metro station .
An excellent start to any visit to Copenhagen is to climb the unique 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the observation platform of Rundetårn (the Round tower), one of Copenhagen's most iconic buildings. It offers excellent views and is smack in the middle of the city. If that is not high enough for you head to Christianshavn for a climb up the circular stairs on the outside of the church spire of the Church of Our Saviour. It has always been regarded as something of a manhood test to climb up and touch the globe on the summit, nearly 100 metres up in the air. Now that you're in the area, head over to the opposite side of the street to Christiania, a self-governing community that has been squatting on an old naval area since the seventies. Their inventive, brightly coloured, home built houses are spectacular, as is the relaxed atmosphere, albeit with some problems related to the selling of mild drugs in one street, the "Pusher Street" (no photography allowed there!). However, Christiania is overall one of Copenhagen's most unique attractions. It is recommended to stroll away from the entrance area, such as along the northern moats parallel to Refshalevej and also across the Dyssebroen wooden bridge eastwards, to experience the rural aspects of the place. Due south of Christiania the old, crooked, brightly coloured buildings and soothing canals lined with masted ships make this an excellent place to continue a stroll. Other fine examples of architecture include the impressive City Hall (if visiting, check out the interiors, such as the small library. Also, the tower, Rådhustårnet, can be ascended at certain times of the day and has a great view). The massive dome of the Frederikskirken colloquially known as the Marble Church. This dome, with a span of 31 metres, is one of the largest in northern Europe. Both are in the Indre By area.
For real architecture buffs, the city's main claim to fame is the modernist architecture and its native masters. Jørn Utzon (of Sydney Opera House fame) and Son is behind a trio of buildings on Østerbro's northern harbour, known as the Paustian complex. There is a fine, but expensive restaurant in one of the buildings. You can enjoy Arne Jacobsen's work by either sleeping at, or taking in the atmosphere (and great views) of the top floor lounge bar at the Royal Hotel which is one of the very few tall buildings in the inner city. Alternatively, head a good deal north to Klampenborg S-train station and Bellavista, a residential complex and theatre near the Bellevue beach, where there is even a restaurant featuring his famous furniture and his name. Lastly Henning Larsen, famous for his iconic buildings in Riyadh, is behind Copenhagen's new Opera house overlooking the harbour in Christianshavn. The architect disagreed with the final realisation of the facade, though. From here you can also catch a view of Copenhagen's latest iconic contraption, the Royal library known to locals as the Black Diamond, after its shiny polished black granite walls. Interior vault fresco by Per Kirkeby, and a nice enclosed garden area towards the Christiansborg Slot palace.
For more recent development, consider checking out the neighbourhood Ørestad on the island of Amager south of Downtown Copenhagen. It is a relatively young and still developing area, boasting several outstanding award-winning architectural projects along with an exemplary urban design master plan. The neighborhood is well connected through the Metro/Bus system, making all buildings very easy to reach.
List of notable buildings:
-8 House by BIG (Vestamager St Metro) -Bjerget by BIG (Bella Center St Metro) -VM House by BIG (Bella Center St Metro) -Winghouse by Henning Larsen (Orestad St Metro) -Bella Center by 3XN (Bella Center St Metro) -Orestad Gymnasium by 3XN (Orestad St Metro) -Copenhagen Concert hall by Jean Nouvel (DR Byen St Metro)
Visit the Nationalmuseet in Indre By for many exhibits relating to Danish history, Viking weapons, Inuit costumes and stone age tools. If you want something more local, the Museum of Copenhagen in Vesterbro has exhibitions on the city's development since the middle ages. Another option is Frilandsmuseet in the northern suburbs of Lyngby — a huge and attractive open air museum with old buildings collected from all over the country. Or for a live version of old Denmark, you can visit the old town of the tiny fishing hamlet of Dragør on the southern tip of Amager with its fantastic old yellow buildings and cobblestone streets.
For something more off the beaten path, paddle up the small Mølleå river near Lyngby and next to Frilandsmuseet, through charming old eighteenth and nineteenth century mills , . It is highly recommended to bring a rented bike from the city by train to Lyngby station and ride along the Mølleå river via Brede, Rådvad and Nymølle, all extremely pretty, towards the coast, the Dyrehaven park (mentioned right below), and finally Klampenborg train station .
The four identical classicist palaces of Amalienborg make up the main residence of the Danish royal family. The octagonal courtyard in the centre is open to the public and guarded by the ceremonial Royal Guard. The relief takes place every day at noon and is a highlight for any royalist visiting the city. There is also a small royal museum on the premises. Rosenborg Palace is a small but pretty renaissance palace, surrounded by the lovely King's Garden which is one of the most lively parks of the city. The palace both serves as a museum of Royal history and as a home for the crown jewels which are on display in the catacombs beneath the castle. A closed-off wing of Rosenborg serves as barracks for the Royal Guard, and every day a detachment marches through the Copenhagen city centre between Rosenborg and Amalienborg for the changing of the guard. Unusual for a well-founded democracy, the palace that houses the parliament, Christiansborg, is also a royal palace. It is usually possible to visit the Royal reception rooms, stables and the old court theatre here. For entertainment of royal stature, you can try to arrange tickets to watch a play in the beautiful Royal Theatre facing Kings New Square. All of these sights are in the inner city. If you are hungry for more, head north, where the park around Sorgenfri palace is open to the public, or have a picnic on the huge open plains in front of the Eremitage Palace in the Dyrehaven park which formerly served as the king's hunting castle.
Denmark is world-famous for its design tradition, and while the term Danish design has been devalued over the years due to much misuse, it is still a world-recognised brand. The natural starting point is a visit to the Danish Design Center in Indre By, with temporary and permanent exhibitions, showrooms, and workshops relating to the world of Danish design, in a building designed by famous architect Henning Larsen. Not too far away, Design Museum Danmark, formerly known as Kunstindustrimuseet, is home to a nice collection relating to the study of design and its history in Denmark. Also in the same district, Royal Copenhagen runs a museum display of its famous porcelain from the early beginnings at its flagship store. Meanwhile Cisterne on Frederiksberg is an enticing museum showing modern glass art, in the intriguing catacomb like cisterns under a large park. Meldahls Smedie on Christianshavn is run by the Royal Danish school of architecture, which organises exhibitions including final projects from students of the school here.
In the inner harbour, water quality has improved so much in recent years that it is possible to go for a swim from early June to late August in one of the two harbour baths: Copencabana on Vesterbro or Havnebadet at Island Brygge on Amager. When it is sunny these are packed with people from all walks of life enjoying the sunshine and taking a dip. The municipal administration has put a lot of money and effort into the facilities and this is an excellent opportunity for blending with the locals at their best.
If you fancy a proper beach, the closest are located at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund and the newly erected Amager Strandpark (The Lagoon), on Amager near metro stations Øresund, Amager Strandpark and Femøren. If the weather is not going your way, you can opt for DGI Byen  which is a leisure centre and excellent swimming pool near the central railway station or the Østerbro swimming pool, modelled after a Roman bath (on Østerbro).
Amazingly, the two oldest functioning amusement parks in the world, with the two oldest roller coasters, are both located in Copenhagen and they are distinctively different. Bakken or Dyrehavsbakken is the older of the two, set in a beautiful beech forest near Klampenborg north of Copenhagen. This gives it a special atmosphere and it is a lot less touristy than its counterpart — Tivoli — which is located smack dab in the city centre in a beautiful park surrounding a lake.
- Crafts Fair  is held in August - thursday-saturday - every year outdoor at Frue Plads in central Copenhagen. The Crafts Fair has more than 130 exhibitors,all members of the Danish Arts and Crafts Association, showing unique and small series of handmade Arts and Crafts in all categories: ceramic, glass, jewellery, textile, mixed media.
- Copenhagen Fashion Week  is held in February and August. Copenhagen is fast emerging as a global fashion centre, with a host of both up-and-coming and already well established names. For two weeks each year more than 1,000 exhibitors and 50,000 guests come together and celebrate their accomplishments with lavish parties, catwalks at city landmarks, and three trade fairs.
- CPH:PIX (Copenhagen International Film Festival)  is a brand new film festival held in April and is the result of a merger between Copenhagen's two popular long running festivals — the Night Film Festival and the Copenhagen International Film Festival. It will feature 170 screenings competing for the grand prize of €50,000.
- International Workers Day on 1 May is a major event in Copenhagen. The main festivities are held in Fælledparken on Østerbro and they attract over 100,000 visitors in what has lately become a 50/50 mix of a gigantic party and a political rally with speeches, happenings, and concerts. Two travelling amusement parks also set up their gear for the day, one by the main entrance at Trianglen and one in the eastern part of the park.
- CPH Distortion  is held in the first week of June and is longest and wildest party you could ever go to. Over 60 parties in five days in each of the city districts, outdoors on the city streets and squares, in the clubs and three seriously huge parties. Over 32,000 people usually partying away between Wednesday and Sunday.
- Zulu Sommerbio  Held in July and August, Danish television station 'TV2 Zulu' plays open air films in various parks and squares of Copenhagen. There are movies in both Danish and English and they are free to watch. You can buy beer and popcorn.
- Copenhagen Jazzfestival  is held in early July and features ten days of jazz everywhere in Copenhagen — parks, cafes, clubs, and theatres. Usually a few headline acts are on the program but there are more than 800 concerts to choose from and the real attraction is often the obscure concerts you bump into randomly in a park or square somewhere in the city.
- Grøn Koncert  held in late July, is a one day music festival in Valby Parken near Åmarken station. It is a major event in Copenhagen with over 40,000 attending. There is usually an international headline act, along with several major Danish bands and the atmosphere is quite unique with people having picnics and beers on a huge field of grass in the park. Tickets are sold through Billetnet, both online and at post offices.
- Stella Polaris  held the first weekend in August, is a big, free, chill-out event in one of the city parks. Top international DJs spin chill-out tunes on the decks, while people are relaxing in the sun and drinking beer. The afterparty in one of the major clubs usually attracts some international headline acts.
- RAW  held in early August is Scandinavia's largest clubbing event. The organisers rightly pride themselves in carefully selecting high quality acts and more importantly the broad range of genres represented to make this an event with broad appeal to everyone in the Copenhagen nightlife scene.
- Strøm  also held in August is an annual electronic music festival, running in its third year. It is a gathering of the best promoters and vibrant venues Copenhagen has to offer, mixed up with events at squares, concert halls, or unusual locations throughout the city.
- Copenhagen Pride  A lavish LGBT parade. The week leading up to the parade is usually full of community events and parties. Count on the City Hall Square (Rådhuspladen) changing its name to Pride Square during the week and hosting live acts, concerts and debates.
- Night of Culture (Kulturnatten)  is held in mid-October, on the last Friday before the school holiday in week 42. You buy a badge for 70 Kr and get access to major museums, exhibitions, churches, libraries, schools, organisations, the parliament and other cultural attractions including some places that are not open to the public during the rest of the year. Open from 6PM to midnight. Attracts about 100,000 people.
- MIX Copenhagen - LGBT Film Festival  Held in Week 43, Ten days of LGBT cinema at its very best with more than 130 screenings of the world's best feature films, short films, and documentaries with LGBT relevance, culminating in a champagne party on the final day, when the best film of the year receives its award.
- J-dag On the first Friday of November, at 8:59 precisely, the Tuborg Christmas Beer is released and celebrated in town, with blue Christmas hats and Tuborg girls.
There are five universities in Copenhagen:
- University of Copenhagen This is the largest university in Denmark. The university has a large selection of studies which are placed in eight different faculties. The faculties are located around the city and the main building is located in central Copenhagen.
- Technical University of Denmark This university teaches technical sciences and is located in the suburb Lyngby north of Copenhagen.
- IT University of Copenhagen This university teaches information technology studies and is located on Amager.
- Copenhagen Business School This university teaches business studies and is located in Frederiksberg.
- Aalborg University Copenhagen This university teaches programs within humanities, social science and engineering and is located in Sydhavn.
Strøget is one of the largest pedestrian malls in the world which links City Hall, Kongens Nytorv, and Nørreport station. Impeccably dressed locals breeze through high-end fashion and design stores when not zig-zagging through the hordes of tourists during the summer and Christmas seasons. Your fellow visitors can make it all feel rather touristy at times but if nothing else, it is great for people watching. If all this strange outdoor shopping takes you too far from your usual habitat, head for Magasin du Nord (on Kongens Nytorv) or Illum (on Amagertorv) for more familiar surroundings. There is even a real American style mall complete with a gargantuan parking lot out on Amager. Appropriately, it is called Fields.
If you would rather sample smaller and more personal stores, the quarter of narrow streets surrounding Strøget in the old city (colloquially known as Pisserenden and the The Latin Quarter), has a fantastic, eclectic mix of shopping. This ranges from quirky century-old businesses to the ultra hip in a wide range of fields. It is also much less crowded than Strøget, though unfortunately no less expensive.
You can also try Vesterbrogade and Istedgade on Vesterbro, due west of the central station, although you'll need to go a few blocks before hotels/sex shops/Thai restaurants turn into more interesting territory. Right at the border of this area, Værnedamsvej and Tullinsgade are also good bets.
In Nørrebro, there has been a rapidly growing establishment of small independent craft shops and fashion boutiques the past few years. Especially Jægersborggade at the northern side of the churchyard "Assistens Kirkegården" is worth to pay a visit, if you are looking for the open studio craftsman peek, a shop that swaps dresses, or the latest work from danish illustrator rising stars. If you are looking for second-hand artifacts and antiques Ravnsborggade is well known for its huge number of antique stores that are excellent for bargain hunting. Close by Elmegade has a good mix of fashion boutiques.
Laws limit opening hours for most shops, officially to the benefit of the staff. The closing law ("Lukkeloven") has been liberalised in recent years. Most shops will close around 6PM on weekdays, some around 7-8 PM (mostly those at Strøget), and 2-4 PM on Saturdays. On Sundays, only some supermarkets tend to be open. For out-of-hours shopping also (apart from the ubiquitous 7-11 and small kiosks), shops at Central Station (offering books and CDs, camping gear, photographic equipment, cosmetics, gifts) are open until 8PM daily. Large shopping centres and department stores are open on Sundays about once a month (usually the first Sunday, right after everyone gets paid) and more often during peak sale periods. The immigrant-owned grocery stores on for example Nørrebrogade on Nørrebro also tend to be open until very late in the evening every day.
A flea market is usually called a Loppemarked in Danish.
Halmtorvet in the Vesterbro area, near the central station. Open on Saturdays in the summer season. Currently one of the places with a better-quality selection.
Frederiksberg Loppemarked on the square behind the Frederiksberg Rådhus town hall. Biggest in town, on Saturdays in the summer season, with a wide selection of varying quality.
Thorvaldsens Museum square and Kongens Nytorv square opposite the D´Angleterre Hotel also tend to have flea markets (at least on Saturdays) during the summer season, with better-quality items.
'Nørrebro Flea Market is Denmark's longest and narrowest. It stretches for 333 metres on one half of the sidewalk by the wall of the Assistens Cemetery on Nørrebrogade. Open from 4 April until 31 October on Saturdays 9:00 - 15:00. However most of the stands have become low-quality these days, like the flea market further outwards at Nørrebrogade, at the Nørrebro Station (Saturdays). Close to the Assistens Cemetery, Guldbergsgade also has a few flea market stands on Saturdays during the summer season.
The oldest flea market in Copenhagen is on Israels Plads, close to the Nørreport S-Train Station. However it is currently (2014) closed, due to renovation of the square, probably ending in 2015.
Please look for general restaurant listings in the appropriate districts.
20 years ago, few people would have considered Copenhagen a culinary destination. This has changed dramatically since then, and today foodies from all over the world travel to Copenhagen to experience the newest trends in modern cuisine. The New Nordic Cuisine movement has been the main driver of this culinary revolution, which emphasizes local, seasonal and minimalistic cooking. This trend has not only spread from gourmet restaurants to mid-class and budget restaurants in Copenhagen, but spread throughout the world as an environmentally conscious and healthy way to eat. The New Nordic beacon per excellence is Restaurant Noma, which originally opened in 2003 and re-opened in a new location in 2018, but several restaurants in Copenhagen has excellent takes on the New Nordic Cuisine. The high standard of Nordic restaurants in the city has also had a significant spill-over effect on other restaurants. Not only will you find high-quality cooking at many budget-friendly restaurants, you will also find some of Europe’s best Mexican, Thai and French restaurants in Copenhagen.
On a budget
While Copenhagen has a reputation for being expensive, arguably for good reasons, you will find plenty of options for affordable food options, that are well under DKK 100.
If you want to avoid the omnipresent international fast-food chains, you might want to try the quintessentially Danish Pølsevogn (“sausage truck”), selling frankfurters and hotdogs with various sides. They are like food-trucks spread all over the city. If you want to go all-in, combine the frankfurter and bread with a cold chocolate milk, the traditional beverage in the Pølsevogn.
Another, newer addition to the fast-food scene than the, is the shawarma or kebab, served in pita or flatbread, of which the best are arguably found on Nørrebrogade or Istedgade. In the last 5-10 years, burger joints has popped up in Copenhagen at a steady pace, all offering fairly priced meals. Halifax Burger is one of the oldest, and Gasoline Grill one of the newer, both of high quality with locations throughout the city.
For breakfast or lunch, bakeries (Bager — look for a pretzel-like contraption out front) offer a wide variety of danish (wienerbrød), sandwiches and cakes. Most bakeries also offers coffee and some even offer some form of seating. Lagkagehuset is a chain of high-quality bakeries which offers one of the largest selections and has multiple locations in the city.
Also, remember to look out for the term "dagens ret" on signs and menus — this means "meal of the day" and often translates to a filling plate of hot food for a reasonable price.
And finally, if you are really on a budget, check out the various grocery stores, spread all over Copenhagen. They increasingly offers convenience food options, such as cheap salads and sandwiches. Watch out however, prices can vary a lot depending on which grocery store you go to. Discount brands includes Netto and Fakta which offers the best value. Brands like Irma, offers higher-quality items but for a premium.
A must-try is Torvehallerne which is located right next to Nørreport station. What can best be described as a foodhall, it's a place where you can buy all kinds of flowers and groceries, or you can sit down and dine or have coffee and some cake. Much of the food there is local and typically danish, but there's also cuisine from around the world. For groceries, it's more expensive than going to the supermarket, but it's a great place to sample bits of food and you can buy a meal there that's not overly expensive. It's a great place to buy lunch and then bring with you to one of the nearby parks, Kongens Have or H.C. Ørstedsparken, to eat.
By 2018, the very popular food market Papirøen or Copenhagen Street Food has closed down to make room for urban renewal. However, many of the vendors has moved to another location. Some of them moved to Broens Gadekøkken (The Bridge's Street Food) by the pedestrian and bike bridge Inderhavnsbroen. The biggest collection of street food vendors is now, however, located at Refshaleøen at Reffen, a bit remote but increasingly popular and absolutely worth the longer distance.
The two chains Madklubben and Cofoco runs great quality, but casual, sit-down restaurants and offers affordable prix fixe or selected seasonal menus. They both have restaurants throughout the city, however they offer a different kitchen at each restaurant.
Noma is by far the most famous, cutting-edge restaurant in Copenhagen, being rated #1 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for four years. Its opening in 2003 marked the beginning of a new era for Nordic cuisine with celebrity chef René Redzepi in front. After closing down in 2016 and making pop-ups around the world, it re-opened in a new permanent location in early 2018. Noma has prix fixe menus, changing according to season with a seafood focus in winter and spring, vegetable focus in summer and game focus in the fall. Booking a table can be notoriously difficult, but you can be wait-listed online. Noma also offers community tables for students for a discount.
Geranium is located in the instinctively odd Parken, the national stadium, but don’t make that fool you. The restaurant is the first in Copenhagen with three Michelin stars, and is headed by chef Rasmus Kofoed, who’s the first to win all bronze, silver and gold medals at Bocuse d’Or. The kitchen is Nordic but with clear French and molecular influences. Geranium, like Noma, also has a raking on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. You’ll get 20 odd courses as prix fixe and expect 3+ hours of dining. Geranium has an extensive wine menu with exclusive, rare wines.
Rated as the world’s most sustainable restaurant in 2016, Relæ offers organic, minimalistic Nordic gourmet food. The restaurant is an excellent bid for a more affordable entry into New Nordic Cuisine. Expect a more informal-style gourmet experience, with a clear focus on the best ingredients.
Kadeau sources most of its ingredients from Danish island Bornholm, and is known for its ultra-naturalistic take on Nordic cuisine, where foraging and advanced cooking techniques are in the center. It was awarded two Michelin stars in 2018.
Brunch is a Copenhagen institution, especially during the summer, and it is not unusual to hear a serious invitation for a morning brunch together with the ritual goodbye hug when a long night out in town draws to a close. In this way, brunch is intrinsically linked to the second local obsession of drinking. Food and fresh air is a great cure for hangovers as locals have long since discovered.
Most cafés offer brunch, at least on weekends, for upwards of 80 Kr. Particularly popular places for brunch include The Union Kitchen, on Store Strandstrade; Møller - Kaffe og Køkken - on Nørrebrogade; Kalaset on Verdersgade, between the lakes and Nørreport.
For a traditional experience, try the layer cakes at Conditori La Glace.
For ice creams, there are many excellent local shops that sell 'Gammeldags' (Old Fashioned) ice cream cones with whipped cream, jam, and 'flødebolle', for example Bon Bon Ice at Frederiksberg, known for their freshly baked homemade cones. A popular chain found all across town is Paradis, known for their freshly made ice creams and sorbets, and fresh milkshakes.
A large beer costs 30-40 Kr or so at most places in central Copenhagen, but some charge only 20-30 Kr, especially on weekdays or during early hours, while fancy places obviously charge more. Unless you come from elsewhere in Scandinavia don't frighten yourself by trying to work out what this costs in your home currency. At most places the beer on tap is either Carlsberg or Tuborg. In either case there will be a choice of the normal pilsner and then a slightly redder special or classic. Some might also offer wheat or dark beer.
If you are on a budget you could follow the example of local teenagers and get primed with bottled beer from a supermarket or kiosk (3-7 Kr for a 330 ml bottle). It is legal and very popular to drink beer in public (not on public transport, although it will be accepted if you are not showing drunk behaviour), so buy a beer, sit on a park bench or at Nyhavn and enjoy Danish life.
As for where to drink, most tourists head straight for Nyhavn but while indeed pretty, the high prices here make it a bit of a tourist trap. In good weather imitate the locals by buying beer from a kiosk and dangling your legs over the water or head elsewhere to get your drinking on. The many side streets north and south of the strøget pedestrian street are a good starting point. Other good areas are Vesterbro west of the central station, along Vesterbrogade and Istedgade and in the meatpacking district. On Nørrebro, the cluster of bars and clubs around Sankt Hans Torv and Blågårds Plads, just after the lakes, is another hotspot. For a coastal city Copenhagen has surprisingly few places where you can enjoy a water view with your beer or coffee, except from Papirøen.
If you're into cocktails, many addresses are of interest: Ruby for fancy cocktails. Bird & Churchkey for G&Ts. The Barking Dog, Strøm...
You can check for club listings in the various districts
The club scene is vibrant in Copenhagen, but most clubs are only open Th-Sa. Note that most locals have a party at home with friends or frequent their favourite bars, before they head out for the clubs, so they rarely get going until after midnight and close around 5AM. Most clubs have a 40-80 Kr cover charge and the ones that don't are rubbish more often than not. Also expect an additional 10-20 Kr for cloakrooms. Most clubs maintain a minimum age of 20 or 21, although they are not required to do this by law. Expect a draft beer, or basic drinks, to set you back 40-50 Kr — a bit more than bars usually charge.
Visitors who want to indulge Su-W will probably have to hunt around to find a place with some action but there are some options:
- Monday — The Scottish pub on Rådhuspladsen (City Hall) hosts a backpackers night, which is sometimes quite lively.
- Tuesday — Elektronisk Tirsdag (Electronic Tuesday) plays nice electronic tunes on Gefährlich on Nørrebro .
- Wednesday — You could go for the popular International Night  for resident exchange students on Stundenterhuset in Indre By.
- Thursday - Is tricky, there is no set place to go, but most bars will be open and often offer discounts on beers and cocktails and free entrance. Also concerts with bands of varying popularity at Nørrebro's Drone Bar and of course Rust  concert venue and nightclub as well as open mike nights at both branches of Cafe Retro (found in Nørrebro and Indre By). Lately Copenhagen has experienced an increased interest in Thursday clubbing, especially from the younger audience. To experience this, you can try places like Sport Club, MAZE or Jupiter Club, though beware that all of those places do have pickers, require you to dress fancy and are very expensive.
Gay and lesbian
For its size, Copenhagen has a rather large gay scene with a good handful of bars and dance clubs located in the centre of the city within walking distance from each other, some of the better ones include Club Christopher in Indre By. VELA, the only bar/lounge in town that is targeted at lesbians is on Vesterbro.
Most of the music venues in Copenhagen also double as nightclubs so watch for them under the club sections in the different districts. Tickets for almost every event in Denmark and Copenhagen are sold through Billetnet  which has both online sales and a counter available in all post offices. But apart from headline events, tickets are usually also sold at the entrance. Expect to pay 100 Kr and upwards.
The major music venues in Copenhagen are Parken stadium on Østerbro for the biggest stars. Copenhagen/Indre_By, Copenhagen Jazzhouse obviously hosts Jazz concerts and The Rock is the spiritual home of the local rock and heavy metal scene. Vega on Vesterbro is a major venue with concerts of almost every genre by national and international acts. Nørrebro has two venues: Rust's stage mainly hosts mainstream rhythmic music and Global, as its name would imply, provides a stage for world music. Southwards on Christianshavn, it is no surprise that the Operahouse plays Opera and not to be missed, the different venues of Christiania are a powerhouse of Denmark's alternative and underground culture.
Hotel listings are available in the appropriate districts.
Copenhagen offers all kinds of accommodation but like the rest of Denmark, prices are high. Most hotels are located in Indre By and Vesterbro. Special rates are often available on the internet or from travel agencies, so look around well ahead of time, rather than spending your holiday budget on sleeping because you booked at the last minute.
If you are looking for something unique, Copenhagen has a few surprisingly little known options. Fancy sleeping in an old fort? Then look no further than Flakfortet on its very own island out in the sound. Stylish rooms, classic and rather tastefully integrated into the environs of the old fort. Staying here does though exclude spending your evenings in the city, as the last ferry leaves in the late afternoon. You can also opt for the Dragør Fort on Amager although they haven't pulled it off quite so nicely. In the same area, consider the old and historic beach front Dragør Badehotel in a classic building with great views over Øresund and a nearby beach, but also a fair deal of transportation time to the sights in the city centre. (Although it is close to the airport.)
In the same genre, and with the same drawbacks, is Skovshoved Hotel in the northern suburbs. This is an historic beach hotel with nice views and a fantastic restaurant. You can get even closer to the water on the floating houseboat hotel CPH Living moored in Christianshavn . If you're a rad hipster and would rather sample some of the design for which the city is rightly famous, consider Hotel Fox where young Danish and international artists have individually decorated and furnished the rooms. Other hip options are Hotel Twentyseven and Skt Petri Hotel located near the arty cocktail lounges of the Indre By area. Or you could always max out your credit card and splurge at the timeless five star classics of D'Angleterre or Hotel Nyhavn.
On a budget
Copenhagen is an expensive city, but it is possible for budget travellers to find reasonably priced accommodations. For those on an ultra low budget there are two free, but completely basic, camping grounds along the Mølleå river where you can camp for one or two nights. While camping elsewhere is no big sin, it is not legal either. There are plenty of commercial camping grounds available but if you are not used to Scandinavian price ranges, even these could seem expensive (50-200 Kr). The closest camping sites are at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund and there is also a summer-only camping ground in the outer part of Nørrebro within the city proper. If you prefer modern comforts consider one of the hospitality exchange networks. Couchsurfing.org for instance, is quite popular with the Copenhagers, who provide 6,000 available hosted stays in the city, giving you the added bonus of having a local to point you to the great spots.
There are a few hostels available and the cheapest are two summer-only (July-Aug) hostels in Vesterbro: YMCA Interpoint and Sleep in fact. Here you can overnight in basic dormitory bunk beds from as little as 100 Kr. On Nørrebro the two sleep-in hostels are slightly more expensive but still a bargain compared to the general price range. The national hostel system Danhostel  which is part of Hostelling International, run four hostels within reasonable distance of the the centre, but they are not exactly party locations if that is what you are looking for.
For Hotels consider the Cab Inn  chain that has three hotels in Copenhagen. One is just a short walk away from Tivoli and Kobenhavn H and the other two are at Frederiksberg. Rooms go from €71 (single) to €103 (triples). The rooms are quite small but have TVs and private showers and toilets. For LGBT visitors, there are several cheap hotels catering specifically to the LGBT community — Carsten's Guest House  and Copenhagen Rainbow  are two of them. In the very city centre, just 500 metres from Tivoli on the mainstreet of Vesterbrogade there is a few other fairly priced options for accommodation, the Loeven hotel , the Savoy Hotel , prices around €80 for a twin room. A little further out following a side street on your left hand side, in Absalonsgade you will a youthhostel, also fairly priced although quite noisy.
Another on-the-rise alternative is to rent your own apartment, which can save you some money, especially if you are traveling as a group. People rent out their private homes through various websites and here you will be able to find a room or apartment for rent in all price ranges. It can be as cheap as staying in a hostel, but you get a fully equipped apartment that has authentic homely atmosphere.
Libraries offer free internet access for one hour at a time, though this often requires signing up in advance. The Hovedbilbiotek (main library) has 12 freely accessible workstations and a wide selection of international newspapers, Krystalgade 15 
A cheap (under 20Kr/hour) internet café is in Copenhagen Central Station. Moreover, a lot of bars, cafés, McDonald's, and petrol stations offer WiFi hotspots for people with notebooks, though these are a little more expensive than internet cafés. OpenWiFi  maintains a list of hotspots in the city.
If you are travelling with your own laptop, you could also jump on a S-train, which all have free WiFi. But since you need to activate your account through an email confirmation, it's a good idea to register beforehand, which can be done on the Gratis Danmark website .
The Tourist Information Office  is located near Copenhagen Main Station (2 mins walk) and is worth a visit. The staff are really friendly and they speak many languages. It is possible to book hotels using PC terminals directly from within this office and they provide information for all possible activities in Copenhagen including museums, concerts and festivals.
Although Denmark is a member of the European Union, the currency is still the Danish Krone, which is pegged to the Euro at a rate of about 7.45 Kroner per Euro. In Copenhagen, Nyhavn, Tivoli, and many of the major restaurants and hotels frequented by tourists accept Swedish Kronor and Euros, although it is not yet common practice elsewhere. Banks are ubiquitous, so exchanging currencies will in most cases not present any major difficulties. Exchange offices are also becoming increasingly widespread, especially Scandinavian chains such as Forex and X-change, which often have decent rates and charge no commission unlike those on strøget which offer low rates and a very high commission. Using the exchange machines present at some banks is not recommended, though, as these charge a fee of 25 kroner (US$4.50 or €3.35).
Credit cards are widely accepted, although this is usually limited to Visa and/or Mastercard. Many supermarkets and small shops will normally only accept the widespread local Danish debit-card, also known as the Dankort. But acceptance of the two major international credit cards is increasing rapidly. Other credit cards like American Express, Diners, JCB, and Unionpay are accepted in some but not all shops in Copenhagen, especially in Strøget, the main shopping district. When accepted, a transaction fee (mandated by credit card companies, not shops) of 0.75 to 4.00 % of the amount will usually be charged on credit cards issued by foreign banks.
Almost all ATMs accept major international cards, including all the ones mentioned previously. Therefore it is worth noting that although some shops may not accept all credit cards, an ATM capable of doing so will in most cases be less than 200 metres away, particularly in central Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen Post  and The Murmur  are the country's two English language newspapers. Copenhagen Post is published weekly on Saturdays, and is available at many bars and cafés, as well as for sale in the Magasin department store, and the kiosks at the Central, Vesterport, Østerport, and Hellerup stations for 20 Kr. The Murmur is free and is published once a month.
As elsewhere in Europe and Denmark, dial 112 for emergencies.
As when traveling in other major cities, tourists should be aware of their surroundings. Copenhagen is largely considered among the top two or three safest cities in Europe. A report in 2010 listed Copenhagen as the second safest city in the world. Homicide is so rare (0.8 in 100,000 individuals in 2012) that when it occurs it dominates the news cycle. Crimes against tourists are usually non-violent. Many pick pocketing and robbing incidents take place in tourist heavy locations, such as the central railway. Travelers should keep a close eye on their bags and place valuables on their body or inside an inner pocket on their clothing so it’s not easily accessible.
It’s safe to hail taxis on the street and they will have their cab numbers and papers on display. In the center of the city, it’s likely that the cab drivers will speak proficient English. Travelers will do well to have the exact address of their destination, as all cabs are equipped with GPS and drivers will simply plug in the address.
Copenhagen is exceptional among many of the major European cities because gender equality is such a priority. Women rarely experience street harassment and women can feel confident bicycling or walking by themselves. It’s not usual to see a group of women dressed to go out for the evening in dresses and heels on their bicycles.
The city is known for its nightlife, so expect to run into groups of drunken revellers if you’re out for the evening. The advice for handling this is nearly universal; simply ignore them and cross the street. Even while intoxicated, the Danes are polite and considerate so it’s unlikely that tourists will be harassed.
Areas of concern
Like in other cities, some of the districts outside the central metropolis deal with more gang activity and gang-related crime. Travellers are encouraged to exercise caution if travelling through the western suburbs or outside the City Center.
The first four blocks of Istedgade has a great amount of street prostitution, drug sales and homeless people. If you are on alert and vigilant, you should be fine at any hour.
Some areas of Nørrebro have gang violence though tourists are unlikely targets.
As a pedestrian, treat bicycle lanes the same as car lanes. Look both ways before crossing, as bicycles are silent and frequently moving faster than pedestrians can anticipate. For tourists who rent bicycles, it is recommended to wear a helmet even though many Danes do not. There aren’t any compulsory helmet laws in Copenhagen. However, if you are not accustomed to bicycling every day and aren’t use to the roads and traffic laws, you may be at greater risk for a collision with another cyclist or a car. The Danish traffic laws also apply to tourist. If you are not aware of the rules for riding a bike in Denmark, you should not do so until you are. Otherwise, you risk fines, very unhappy people and death. Many Danes do not react kindly to tourists riding bikes without following the rules. Some simple rules:
- Always ride your bike on the right side of the road and the right side of the bike path
- Always clearly hold your arm vertically into the air when stopping (except at red lights)
- Hold you arm horizontally to the left (when turning left) or right (when turning right) before and during a turn
The Danish take jaywalking extremely seriously. Only cross at pedestrian crossings while the green ‘’’walk’’’ light is illuminated. There’s a risk of a 1000 DKK fine for those who try to beat the traffic or cross at non-designated points.
Emergency Rooms (ER) used to be called Skadestue in Danish, and the term is still widely used and recognised by most Danes. As with many other health related terms and phrases, the English term may not be understood by some Danes — but conveniently Hospital is the same in Danish. However, due to political changes to the health system from 2013 and on, the ER function is now covered by various larger Emergency Departments, called Akutklinik. Most hospitals in and around Copenhagen require anyone seeking medical aid to first dial 1813 on the phone, which allows you to speak to a specially trained nurse (who will also be able to help in English), who will then guide you on through the health system. Note, however, that this system is for minor injuries and ailments only; major emergencies should still dial 112 for an ambulance and emergency care.
Hospitals with 24 hour Emergency Wards near the city centre include:
The public healthcare system also maintains doctors on call outside normal office hours, calls are screened by medical personnel, and doctors dispatched only when deemed necessary.
- Lægevagten, ☎ +45 70 13 00 41. M-F 4PM-8AM,Sa-Su all day. From 250 Kr, Free for EU citizens. edit
There is a 24 hour pharmacy in central Copenhagen, and 3 additional ones in the suburbs.
- Malmö, Sweden, Sweden's third largest city, with a lovely historic city centre and cosy squares is just a short, convenient train ride away.
- Elsinore (Helsingør) The old city centre with well preserved houses is one of the biggest in Denmark, and famous Kronborg castle, home of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Hillerød — A small town dominated by its huge palace, but also offers baroque gardens and a laid back city centre.
- Roskilde — Denmark's ancient capital and a World Heritage site, with a famous cathedral full of the tombs of ancient kings, and the fantastic Viking museum. Home to one of the Big Four European music festivals, Roskilde Festival, which attracts up to 110,000 visitors each year in July.
- The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the outstanding museum of modern art in Denmark. It's located in the small town of Humlebaek which is 35km north of Copenhagen via motorway E47/E5 or 35 minutes with DSB rail from the Central Station. When you use the train, special combination tickets for the rail fare and museum entry fee are available.
|Routes through Copenhagen|
|Kolding ← Køge ←||W E||→ Malmö → Göteborg |
|Helsingør ← Vedbæk ←||N S||→ Køge → Lübeck |
|Helsingør ← Vedbæk ←||N S||→ Køge → Berlin|