How to spend a perfect day in Copenhagen like a Dane
When visiting a new place, what’s better than treating it like you’re a local, so you get the real Copenhagen experience? Follow along as we share the ultimate itinerary to spend a perfect day in Copenhagen.
Breakfast of champions
To get ready to explore, you’ll need to fuel up on energy. Visit the renowned chef, Frederik Bille Brahe’s cafes, Atelier September (Gothersgade 30) or Apollo Bar (Nyhavn 2), to start the day off right. They are located close to each other, so the choice of which one of them to visit is all yours. Atelier September is the chef’s OG spot – the first one he opened and which made him famous for his immaculate avocado toast. It’s a sight for sore eyes!
At Apollo Bar, Atelier September’s younger sister, you can indulge in a bigger brunch menu that includes a blueberry and ricotta toast and banana bread with dulce de leche.
The food is great, the coffee hits the right spot and one thing is certain – the food at Atelier September and Apollo Bar is hyper Insta-friendly.
Pay the Queen a visit
Although this day in Copenhagen is all about the local experience, there is no shame in doing a tiny bit of touristic stuff while getting the real Copenhagen experience. Right by both Atelier September and Apollo Bar, you’ll find the impressive home of the Queen of Denmark, Amalienborg Palace.
Wander around the square in the center of the palace, nod to the Royal guards – and check if the Danish flag has been risen. If yes, the Queen is home!
Walk to the Amaliehaven, the park located in front of the palace. From here you can see the canals of Copenhagen as well as the huge opera that was built in 2001. The Danes have a love/hate relationship with it – in 2019, it’s been nominated as the ugliest building in Copenhagen.
Hop on a bike to Refshaleøen
Walk back to where you had breakfast. A great coincidence is that the cafes are located right by Nyhavn, which is probably the most photographed spot in Copenhagen. Adore the old, colored and cute houses, the big wooden ships and take tons of photos. If you are eager for more, drop by Nordic Housing Location office located right here, in Nyhavn. There you may get a piece of personal advice on what to see and do and also book your tickets for some fun activities and tours.
Once you’ve had enough of Nyhavn, grab a rental bike. There are tons of options – electric scooters, Bycyklen or Donkey Republic. But make sure to drive carefully and stay to the right! The Danes get quite aggressive on the bike lane.
Bike down Nyhavn and cross the new bike and walking bridge, Inderhavnsbroen, and you’ll find yourself in a different neighborhood, Christianshavn. Bike some more till you reach Refshaleøen, an empty area that’s currently being developed. This is where Noma, the second-best restaurant in the world, is situated.
Visit La Banchina or Lille Bakery for a cup of coffee after your bike workout. Both places are ultra hipster, and especially La Banchina is unique as it is located right on the water.
Explore the Freetown of Christiania
Bike back to Christianshavn and visit the Freetown of Christiania, a very unusual and extraordinary place. Walk down to the lake to witness some incredible and creative houses built by the inhabitants of Freetown. Sit down for lunch at one of the many spots at Christiania such as Spiseloppen, Morgenstedet, Grønsagen or Månefiskeren.
Shopping in Little Paris in Frederiksberg
Jump back on the bike – it’s time to visit the Frederiksberg neighborhood, a more fancy and wealthy part of Copenhagen. Your destination is Værnedamsvej – which is also dubbed Little Paris. The shopping here is on point and you’ll for sure get your shopping craving cured – small, hip independent stores. Head out to Gammel Kongevej to explore even more great shops.
Cocktail time – It’s five o’clock somewhere…
It’s time for another energy refuel. Head to the neighborhood of Vesterbro and find the cocktail bar 1656 (Gasværksvej 33) for a pre-dinner cocktail. Look closely because the bar is hard to find – some people even see it as a speakeasy. The cocktails served are masterpieces made by talented bartender masterminds.
Dinner at Kødbyen
It’s time for more food! Luckily, Copenhagen is brimming with great restaurants. They are especially concentrated in Kødbyen, the Meatpacking District of Copenhagen. You’ll find almost every cuisine here.
From sourdough pizzas at Mother, which has just received an award as the best pizza in Copenhagen, to burgers at Cocks and Cow or Tommi’s Burger Joint. Are you looking for a more high-end restaurant, try Paté Paté that serves little plates great to share at the table. Craving tacos, Hija De Sanchez is a perfect choice. Do you dream of Danish fish and seafood? Then Kødbyens Fiskebar is the perfect spot for you. Want traditional Danish, meat-heavy food? Chicky Grill is the place to go to. You get the picture – Kødbyen offers a multitude of good restaurants!
You’re ready to explore Copenhagen like a true local. Enjoy your day!
About the author:
Born and bred in Copenhagen, Caroline Sølver is the expert when it comes to everything Copenhagen, from the hippest spots to get your coffee fix, the nicest views, and the hidden gems. Caroline runs her own personal lifestyle blog Silver Stories and a podcast Silver Talks in which she shares her life, living between Copenhagen and NYC, where she runs a cafe with her partner and is currently working on two more guidebooks for NYC and Copenhagen. Follow along for her best tips to Copenhagen.