Planning a one day in Copenhagen itinerary can be tough, with so much to see and do. So we’ve put together this Copenhagen in a day guide to help you.
Getting around Copenhagen couldn’t be simpler. There are a few options.
Another option is to of course walk.
Which is ideal for the city centre, however if you want to see some of the outskirts like Freetown Christiania or Christianhavn, it may be a bit too much.
We always choose to rent bicycles, which start at around £16 per day, and explore ourselves.
If you’re looking for somewhere to rent scooters from you can book a trusted bike rental here.
The most popular option is to use public transport, whether it be by boat or by bus, the Red Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus and Boat option is ideal for tourists.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are even tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
From food tours, to canal rides and pub crawls, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy in the Danish capital!
Book your Copenhagen Tours: Copenhagen: Top Tours & Activities
WHAT TO PACK
DSLR Camera: Canon EOS 90D
Tripod: Zomei Z666 Tripod
Day Bag: Manfrotto Manhattan Mover-50
Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Rain Jacket: Columbia Lightweight Rain Jacket
The first stop on our one day in Copenhagen itinerary is probably the most interesting of all!
Freetown Christiania, also known as Christiania, is an alternative community in the borough of Christianshavn.
The reason for the name ‘freetown’ is based on the fact that they operate differently. They have their own laws, their own flag and their own way of life.
Christiania isn’t simply a town, it’s a way of living. Freetown Christiania was once an abandoned military sight, then taken over by homeless people in 1971, to turn it into their home.
Since then it has evolved into an autonomous, adaptable community with almost 1000 members.
Everyone within the community has to agree to live by a certain set of rules. Some of which include fairness, equality, no taxes and having their own laws completely independent of the Danish government.
Freetown Christiania is basically it’s own country within a city. It is a vibrant, fun yet controversial area.
This unique community have worked with the local government to stake its claim on the land and be recognised as free.
It’s a counter-cultural movement that is very hippy in style and is almost a large-scale social experiment to see if it really works. So far, it does!
Tourists are very welcome to visit of course, but there are rules. Be sure to obey by the signs in areas where photos are NOT permitted, and also running is not allowed!
Following on from the Church, just another 2 minute walk will lead you to the cute canal area of Christianhavn.
Christianhavn is an area of small islands as well as a district, east of the inner city of Copenhagen. It’s known for it’s hip cafe culture and canal – lined with colourful houseboats.
It was once a working class neighbourhood, however it developed a bohemian reputation in the 1970s and it is now a fashionable, diverse and lively part of the city with its own distinctive personality.
Businessmen, students, artists, hippies and traditional families with children live side by side. All walks of life reside by the cool cafes, fancy restaurants and charming 19-century houses along picturesque canals.
In the early days Christianshavn was an independent city, until it was overtaken by the rapidly expanding capital, but to this day retains a unique atmosphere.
The people refer to themselves at Christianhavners first, and then as Copenhageners.
In many ways Christianshavn is still a small town in a big city.
Diversity is thriving, and the district has managed to embrace people from all walks of life, from the alcoholic sipping beer at the corner, to the marketing yuppie. It has formed its own special identity stemming from this diversity.
Lunch At Gasoline Grill Or Boltens Food Court
After riding yourself silly at Tivoli, you’ll probably want some refuel time.
Well for that we definitely recommend heading back into the city and stopping by Gasoline Grill or Bolten’s Food Court.
We went to both during our 2 days in Copenhagen and loved the options available.
Head to one of these two delicious spots if you’re doing Copenhagen in a day, to save hanging around the city searching for food when you’re hungry.
Gasoline Grill is Copenhagen’s most raved about burger joint. It’s quirky, cool and very different. It used to be just a gas station but has since expanded into a burger business too, and what a move that was.
In spring 2017, Gasoline Grill made it to Bloombergs top 27 best burgers in the world as the only one in Northern Europe.
As it is super popular amongst burger lovers, don’t let the line scare you away. It’s common for there to be a queue and the experience is always worth it.
They carefully plan their production each day to make sure that they don’t prepare too much food, that it has to go to waste.
They sell out everyday and that is their guarantee for a fresh burger. You can order sides and soft drinks too!
Gasoline Grill opens everyday at 11:00 and closes when everything sells.
Boltens Food Court
Boltens Food Court is a cosy hotspot in the heart of Copenhagen. Inside, you will find 14 national and international food stalls, serving tasty culinary food from all over the world. Everything from Moroccan, Indian, Thai to Italian and traditional Danish.
Authentic homemade food is available from all around the world to everyone, whether you are picky, vegetarian or have specific dietary requirements. You will find anything you fancy at Boltens Food Court.
You can stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner and should you wish to take the food home, it’s also possible to have it prepared to-go too.
If you’re visiting during the winter, it’s also great to take a moment inside from the cold when your fingers are numb and you want to warm up with some delicious, hearty food. Boltens Food Court has a cosy atmosphere with a hipster edge so it’s the perfect place to refuel.
Visiting the famous Nyhavn will probably be at the top of your one day in Copenhagen itinerary.
From Christianhavn it’s just a 20 minute walk, or 5 minute bike ride over the Inderhavnsbroen bridge.
Nyhavn was originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. The area was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and alehouses.
Over time, the beautiful old houses have been renovated into restaurants, so now the area is filled with people enjoying great food and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere by the canal.
Nyhavn is the most popular tourist attraction all year round. The colourful iconic houses that back onto the canal are very photogenic and it’s warm, inviting place to be.
Amongst this famous picturesque harbour is where various canal tour excursions start too.
If you base your one day in Copenhagen itinerary around Nyhavn, you can always go back to it at any point during your trip. It’s centrally located and offers a great variety of options for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Book your Nyhavn Tours: Nyhavn: Top Tours & Activities
After refuelling, it’s time to visit one of the cutest streets in the capital.
Magstraede is one of the oldest streets in the Old Town of Copenhagen.
It’s famously known for it’s colourful buildings, some that date back to the 18th century.
If you take a stroll down the cobble stone street of Magstraede, you will travel back in time and experience a relaxing walk away from the city noise.
With most of the touristy things to do in Copenhagen in winter being quite busy, visiting Magstraede is a great opportunity to get away from the hotspots and do something a little quieter.
However don’t expect to find stylish cafe’s and bars there. Unless you fancy pizza, there’s a cute place on the corner as you enter Magstraede street.
If you’re a lover of old photogenic streets, be sure to add this to your 2 days in Copenhagen itinerary.
End The Night At Bastard Cafe
After a day of exploring the most beautiful and interesting parts of the city, the absolute best way to end Copenhagen in a day, would be to spend the night playing board games with drinks at bastard cafe.
Bastard cafe is a place for board games, card games, coffee and ultimate cosiness! They also serve finger food like nachos, popcorn and cookies. In addition, they have a beer, wine, spirits and soda menu.
The concept they have created at this cafe is a unique style of meeting up with friends to have a guaranteed good time. Even better, you’re likely to make new friends as well. Or if you play monopoly, you may just make enemies too.
You don’t have to know the rules to the hundreds and hundreds of games they have. There are friendly game guru’s floating around to help you get started if you’re stuck. However if you to prefer to figure it out yourself, there are instructions to every game.
Some people take the game life seriously and bastard cafe does have members for the more complex games. So if you’re not a member, some games do incur a small rental fee, while others are free to use. There are more than enough free games to get through without having to become a member.
You can spend hours playing old favourites or up your gaming skills by trying a new, more obscure option.
Your guaranteed to leave bastard cafe with a smile on your face, and memories for your memory bank.
Bastard Cafe is also one of the best things to do in Copenhagen in winter, as it’s a godsend on rainy, cold days.
Enjoy A Danish Pastry
We almost forgot! In the middle of all your exploring, you have to find time to try a classic Danish pastry.
One thing you must cram into your one day in Copenhagen itinerary, as and when you can, is to try a slice of fresh Danish pastry. You’re in Denmark after all!
A Danish pastry, sometimes shortened to just Danish, is a multilayered, laminated sweet pastry.
With so many different shapes and names to choose from, we recommend grabbing a small selection from a local bakery! You can of course find them in the supermarket chains, but since you’re in Denmark, you should really try and get the ‘real deal’.
Some pastries have chocolate, sugar, cinnamon or icing on top. Other pastries may have different flavoured jams, marmalades or other preserves inside.
The concept originally came to Denmark because of Austrian bakers, but over time it has developed into a Danish speciality.
A danish pastry will go down a treat with a hot cup of cocoa or coffee,
Luxury – Nimb Hotel – Nimb Hotel is located in Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens. This stylish boutique hotel offers on-site dining and designer rooms with flat-screen TVs and park views, not forgetting the antique furniture and four-poster beds. Each bathroom has a double sink and shower with luxury toiletries and guest robes. Guests can enjoy seasonal Scandinavian dishes and French cuisine along with seafood and steaks. Cocktails and rare whiskeys are also available at Bar ‘n’ Grill. Nimb Hotel can help arrange private limousine service to and from Copenhagen Airport, which is 5 miles away.
Mid-budget – AC Hotel by Marriott Bella Sky Copenhagen – AC Hotel is located next to Copenhagen’s Bella Center. This hotel features distinctive and modern architecture with rooms that have flat-screen TVs, tea/coffee makers and floor-to-ceiling windows. Relaxation facilities at the wellness center include hot tubs, massaging showers, saunas and steam baths. Free WiFi internet is available throughout the hotel and the 3 on-site restaurants offer various dining options. The city and Copenhagen Airport are just 15 minutes away.
Budget – Urban Camper Hostel – Urban Camper Hostel is located in the trendy Nørrebro district in Copenhagen. This property offers a unique set up of 4-person dorms in form of large, indoor tents. A few rooms are private double rooms too, along with shared bathrooms. The indoor tents include large lockers and ventilation for comfort. All rooms include a continental breakfast, bed linen, towels and high-speed WiFi. Guests can enjoy the large common area, with a bar, a football table and many other fun games. Copenhagen city center is 2 miles away and the nearest metro station is 150 yards from Urban Camper Hostel.
For more places to stay in Copenhagen you can check the latest prices here.