10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Copenhagen isn't the cheapest city to visit, but there are a few tips on how to save money I will go over in this article - as well as things not to miss during your visit, best times to visit, and how to stay safe while visiting. If you are planning a trip to Denmark, then these are 10 things to know before visiting Copenhagen. 

Public Transport - 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Excellent Public Transport

The Public Transport in Copenhagen is really really affordable with a 24 hour ticket costing 160 DKK or around $20. The ticket gets you access to the buses, trains, and water taxis. The water taxis are a great way to save money as it allows you to take a bit of a canal tour without paying extra for it. 

While the canal tours do have the historical bit to it, and some go down the more narrow areas, If you are on a budget it is a great way to save. 

The transport is easy to navigate, even for me - who really struggles with directions and gets lost in cities easily (but this is improving slightly thankfully). 

Carlsberg Gate - 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

The Copenhagen Card

The Copenhagen Card is a great idea to save money as well, but logistically it is really only worth the cost IF you stay more than 5 days and are planning to visit a bunch of museums. Yes, I sat down and planned out each day of the 3 days I was there and it was more expensive (for my itinerary) to pay for the card than it was to pay for things individually. 

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Best Times To Visit Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a coastal town and next to the Baltic sea which is known for the harsh winter storms. If you plan on visiting during Winter, Spring, Fall then just known you may run into some rain. The best time to visit is in the summertime and also at Christmas Time for the Christmas Markets. The food here is incredible and Glogg flows and the street food markets spill over with Christmas delights. 

House Boat - 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Accommodation Is EXPENSIVE

For a three star hotel you are looking at about $280 per night, even a hostel is about $171 per night for a private room. I was traveling with 2 other friends and found that renting a house boat in the center of the city was the most affordable for all of us. The accessibility to the boat was a little difficult as you enter the boat, then have to climb down a ladder into the belly of the ship with your luggage to get to the living space. I couldn't find the link to the house boat we stayed at, but this house boat looks like it is better and in a similar location. 

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Beware of Bike Lanes

A lot of folks visiting from the USA just aren't used to bike lanes and so the brain isn't wired to watch for bikes when stepping off the sidewalk. So make sure you are watching for not just cars, but bikes as well. The bike system is similar to that of Amsterdam, there are bike lanes, and the bike lanes have traffic lights just like vehicles do. DO NOT turn right on red lights, it is illegal and it will get you a ticket - yes this includes bikes as well as vehicles. 

Biking around Copenhagen is probably one of the best ways to get around. There are a few bike rental shops like Baisikeli, Rosenborg Cykler, and Bike Tours Copenhagen are three of the shops located in downtown Copenhagen you can rent from. Even getting a taxi, the bikes are often traveling faster than cars themselves. 

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Plan A Few Day Trips

There are lot of very well preserved medieval castles throughout Denmark so make sure you plan a day or two, or even a tour to see them. One of the biggest mistakes that visitors make (according to locals) is just staying in Copenhagen and thinking you have a clear picture on the depth and breadth of what Denmark really is. Denmark has some of the coolest historical figures from Viking history and also some of the bloodiest wars. 

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Avoid Tourist Traps

The Little Mermaid is a classic statue that loads of people go to see in Copenhagen. To get there it is a short train ride, then a 30 minute LONG walk with no shade to the edge of a canal with a powerplant that doubles as a ski resort and climbing wall behind it. There are loads of tourists crawling over the stone stairs down to it, with a viewing platform above. The statue is about the size of a 13 year old girl, and to be honest it is a bit underwhelming. 

My humble suggestion is to not get caught visiting this particular tourist trap - go to Reffen, go to the Art Museum or another place that will be a better experience and more worth your precious vacation time. 

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

The Harbor Is Clean - Go Swimming!

It can get quite warm in the summer time here, but a GREAT way to spend the hot summer days is to go swimming in the harbor! I suggest going to one of the food markets, grabbing your lunch and a few beverages and then spend the afternoon swimming with locals. English is widely spoken in Denmark, so you could also pick up some locals tips on places to see that are more on the unique side. 

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Classic Street Food To Try

Try these classic Danish foods while in Denmark - some of which look very similar to American classics such as: 

  • The Danish Hot Dog - Pølse
  • Open faced sandwich - Smørrebrød
  • Danish pastry filled with custard - Wienerbrø
  • Deliciously dense cinnamon roll - Kanelsnegl
  • Left over smashed pastry ball sprinkled with sugar - Romkugle
Food Market

Visit During A Festival! 

One of my favorite things to do lately is to look at festivals that happen in countries I would like to visit and see if there is something special I could coordinate visiting around. Like the grape festival in Armenia (still need to do this) where the city gets together to smash grapes in large barrels for the wine for the year. 

Denmark has some of its own unique festivals as well - like the Coffee Festival, the Rockslide Festival (giant music fest), Distortion, Pride Festival, Jazz Festival, Strøm Festival (Electronic music), and UHØRT Festival (new music).

Coffee and Pastries

My Tips On Preparing For Your Trip To Copenhagen

While Copenhagen definitely put a dent in my wallet (thanks to accommodation and NOMA), I would definitely visit again. The vibes here are like a refined New Orleans vibe to me personally - where there really is something for everyone. If you plan in advance and are smart about things, there certainly are ways to save money when visiting. If I were to do things differently the next time I visit, I would try to visit more of the food markets, rent a bike to tour the city, and take a swim in the harbor. Make sure to check out my article on unique things to see in Copenhagen. 

If you have any other tips you have found about visiting Copenhagen then feel free to leave them in the comments below so we can help each other have a fantastic trip. 

Much love, and as always - thank you for your support. 

Where To Stay In Copenhagen

Guided Tours In Copenhagen

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