Copenhagen Survival Guide

Click here to download a PDF version of our Copenhagen Survival Guide.

You can also find useful information about Copenhagen on the official tourist-office website of Wonderful Copenhagen.

Photo: Nicolas Le Goff


Buses, S-train, and Metro - These are the most common means of public transit in Copenhagen. The travel price is based on moving between different zones. It’s more economical to buy a clipcard (“klippekort”, available until early 2015) or an anonymous Rejsekort (refillable card) from vending machines or 7/11’s. Note: Taxis are extremely expensive. For more information visit:

Bike rental - Highly recommended. The absolute best way to experience Copenhagen, and get around its neighborhoods, is by bike. One can’t overemphasize the importance of a bike in making a fun visit. Nearly all bike shops rent bikes, we recommend Baisikeli on Ingerslevsgade 80 in Vesterbro ( Also, city bikes are a free option. With a map and a bike you’ll get the most out of the city.

Neighborhood Overview

Østerbro - Wealthier neighborhood at the east and northeast of the city center.

Nørrebro - A cool and less expensive neighborhood north of the city center, home to many Middle Eastern immigrants and young people. Recommended streets: Jægersborggade (, and Blågårdsgade.

Indreby - The city center is home to a number of museums, the city hall (Rådhus), Amalienborg palace, Tivoli amusement park, and the main shopping street, Strøget. Recommended: Nyhavn, for Lego goodies visit the Lego store on Vimmelskaftet 37.

Vesterbro - The old red-light district west of the central train station on Istegade is now a hip and grungy neighborhood. It’s home to Asian grocery shops and restaurants as well as the meatpacking district with restaurants and clubs. Fancier shops off of Vesterbrogade. Recommended street: Værnedamsvej.

Frederiksberg - Nice and wealthy neighborhood, technically a separate city within Copenhagen. Recommended: Frederiksberg Have (park).

Christianshavn - Wealthier neighborhood with canals, nice to walk around and climb to the top of the spiral tower on the Church of Our Saviour. Christiania is also located within Christianshavn.

Christiania - A “free-zone” within the city. This is Copenhagen’s version of Venice beach (California) filled with hippies, squatters, teens buying pot, and some drunks, as well as stoner art, and good vegetarian food. On a sunny day it’s nice to walk around the park next to the lake or listen to outdoor concerts.

Amager - The island with the airport (Lufthavn), Bella center and Fields shopping center. It also has a beach on the north east, Amager Strandpark, and the aquarium, Den Blå Planet. There is a big park nice for walking or cycling through in the south, Kalvebod Faelled. As well as a smaller quaint village, Dragør.

Islands Brygge - Not much of an attraction in the winter, in the summer a lot of people come to sit in the sun, barbeque and swim in the canal. There is a designated “pool” area with a platform for jumping into the water next to Langebro bridge.

Sightseeing Tours

Canal tour - Highly recommended. Gives a great overview of the city and a unique perspective from the water. You’ll hear facts about the city while seeing different neighborhoods, and sites like the Little Mermaid, the opera house, and the Black Diamond (part of the National Library). Find the tour boats at Nyhavn.

Museums and Such

Louisiana - Recommended. Modern art museum with a sculpture garden located north of Copenhagen, in Humlebæk. Easily accessible by train (stop at Humlebæk). Also recommend the restaurant for Danish-style buffet and smørrebrod, excellent value for the money. (

Arken - Museum of Modern Art shows exhibitions with great Modernist artists alongside exhibitions of contemporary art including young talents to household names. Located west of Copenhagen, at Skovvej 100 in Ishøj. (

Design Museum - Danish design, think lamps and chairs. (

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek - Fine art museum with sculpture and painting. Often has interesting temporary exhibits. (

Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery) - Worth a visit on the museum circuit. Hosts international collections and temporary exhibits, occasionally indoor and outdoor concerts. (

Amalienborg Palace - Home of the queen.

Frederik’s “The Marble” Church - Next to Amalienborg palace.

Church of Our Saviour - Located at Sankt Annæ Gade 29 in Christianshavn, it’s hard to miss the spiral tower. For ~20 DKK you can climb all the way to the top, on a clear day it’s a great view of the city.

Walking and Parks

“The Lakes” - Walk around the man-made lakes, these delimit the center of the city (Indreby) and the Northern neighborhood (Nørrebro). They are very pretty, swans swim in the water and on warm days Copenhageners sit on benches along the lakes drink with friends on the Dronnings Louise bridge (part of Nørrebrogade). Multiple cafes and bars line their north shore.

Rosenborg Slot (castle) and Garden - A nice park in the center of the city, right next to Nørreport station. The Rosenborg castle, which houses the royal jewels, is the main attraction of the park.

Botanisk Have (the botanic gardens) - Also right in the middle of the city, next to Nørreport station, the gardens are free to enter. The 100-year old white-and-glass green-house is a nice place to hang out in when it’s chilly out.

Kastellet and the Little Mermaid - A 20 min from Nyhavn, and in the water, you’ll find the Little Mermaid. She is… little. She’s nonetheless worth seeing with a walk around the old fortifications of Kastellet.

Frederiksberg Have - A lovely park to wander or picnic in Frederiksberg.

Nørrebro Cemetery - Further into Nørrebro, the cemetery is the resting place of a few well know people, like H.C. Anderson (author of the Little Mermaid, among others), and the jazzman Ben Webster. Many Copenhageners stop in the many nooks and crannies for a picnic, a coffee, or even sunbathing.

Amager Strandpark - Located on Amager, off of the Øresund metro station. In the summer it’s a popular beach for sunbathing, grilling, playing frisbee, and occasionally swimming.

Footbridges - Cross the canals on bridges to get lovely views of the city. Recommended: the bike and pedestrian bridge behind Fisketorvet in Vesterbro.

Tivoli amusement park - Walk around, take rides. Occasionally hosts concerts.

Dyrehavn and Bakken amusement park - North or the city, the deer park can be reached by train. It is a lovely place for a walk, or visiting the amusement park (Bakken) located within the natural park. Stranger things happen in Denmark.

Active and Sport

Rock Climbing - Indoors at Copenhagen Boulders (, Blocs and Walls ( In the fall and spring a trip to Kjugekull, Sweden is recommended for outdoor bouldering.

Swimming - Outdoors in the canal at Islands Brygge next to Langebro bridge, or indoors at Bellahoj svømmestadion (øj-svømmestadion)



Torvehallerne - These two glass buildings next to Nørreport station house Copenhagen’s fancy market where you can buy baked goods, groceries, artisanal candy, tea, fresh cheeses, meats and fish from vendors. Or stop by for a meal. Recommended Danish treats: Summerbird (chocolates and flødeboller), Coffee Collective (3rd wave coffee).

Copenhagen Street Food - On Papirøen, this warehouse along the canal houses stalls that serve food ranging from Belgian fries, to tacos, as well as Korean and Japanese snacks. You can sit at big tables inside or outside next to the canal, eating with a view on the New Royal Theater, the Opera house, and other buildings along the water.

Brunch locations and Cafes

Kalaset - Vintage decor, pancakes, and your typical Danish weekend brunch.

Granola - Charming cafe with 1950’s decor. Very busy on weekends

Mother - Delicious Italian buffet on the weekends, with freshly baked pizzas, salads,

Paludan Bog og Cafe - Half bookstore half cafe, cozy place to have a cup of coffee and a snack. You’ll be surrounded by students.

Retro - A volunteer-run cafe with locations in Indreby and Nørrebro

Coffee Snob Cafes

Coffee Collective - Setting the standard for Danish coffee snobs. One in Torvehallerne and on Jægersborggade.

Kent Coffee Lab - Delicious cafe and coffee shop, roasts small batches, a nice place to hang out, talk or work.

Estate Coffee - Also a popular and well-reviewed coffee shop, part of the Meyers group

Danish Pastries and Sweets

Lagkagehuset - for pastries and flødeboller (probably the best Danish sweets!). They are all over the city. There is one close to the Round Tower, one by the lakes, close to Nørrebrogade.

Summerbird - for chocolates, flødeboller, licorice-flavored things, one in Torvehallerne

Meyer’s Bakery - Popular and often called as the best bakery chain in Denmark, one on Jægersborggade.

Traditional Danish

Told & Snaps - for smørrebrød, the Danish version of open-top sandwiches.

Schønnemann - Well reviewed old-school Danish food.

Fiskebaren - Very well reviewed fish restaurant in the meat-packing district.

New Nordic and Similar

Bror - Two former Noma sous-chefs have joined forces and opened the restaurant, which focuses mainly on the Nordic cuisine.

Manfreds and Vin - Relae’s (listed below) sister restaurant, less expensive, essential new nordic. Great sourdough bread. Right across the street from Relae.

Relae - 1 Michelin star restaurant, serves New Nordic food.

Madklubben - Nice and affordable bistro food.

Nose2Tail - In a basement of the meat-packing district, filling and tasty food. Not for vegatarians.

Höst - Beautifully designed restaurant and affordable Nordic food.

Pony - Little brother of Kadeau.

Geist - beautiful small dishes.

Radio - Grow their own vegetable, out of the city. Affordable tasting menu.

Fancy and Super-fancy

They all provide incredible experiences, but you better save your pennies.

Other Tasty Suggestions

L’appetit - Inexpensive, yummy selection of salads, samosa, meat and vegetarian dishes changing daily. Next to Nørreport station, Frederiksborggade 27.

Aroii - A Thai restaurant and take-away. It is the affordable baby of Kiin-Kiin, the Michelin-star Thai restaurant housed just above.

Tonkin - Delicious Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches). Recommend the Classic, B2.

Nam Nam - Singapore street-food inspired.

Fu Hao - dim sum.

Kate’s Joint - Ethnic home cooking, from Ethiopian, to Indian, to Thai. Many vegetarian options.

Kebabistan - Arguable the best kebab in town. There are 2 addresses, but you want to go to the one on Istegade.

Ahaaa! - Falafel, eggplant and other goodies on Blågårdsgade.

Hachė - “Reasonably” priced burgers ~100DKK. Next to Nørreport station on Rømersgade. Recommended: Umami burger.

Cocks and Cows - Cocktails and burgers. Recommended: New York burger.

Gorms - Along with Mother, serves the best pizza in Copenhagen.


  • Mikeller - In Vesterbro, the original home of the “gyspy” brewer.
  • Mikeller And Friends - Newer and larger home of Mikkeller, close to Nørrebro train station, on Stefansgade. 40 beers on tap.
  • Søernes Ølbar - 20 beers on tap, by the lakes.
  • Ølbaren - Sister bar to Søernes Ølbar, similar style.
  • Taphouse - Not the most cozy, but they have the largest selection of beers on tap in the city, with 61 taps.
  • Den Tatoverede Enke - Known for their belgian beers.
  • Norrebro Bryghus - Micro brewery and restaurant. They brew a few nice, but conservative, beers.
  • Ved Stranden 10 - A lovely wine bar in the city center.
  • Lord Nelson - A dozen Nordic beers, and sometimes Danish cider, if you’re lucky. A perfect “hangout” spot.
  • Blågård’s Apotek (Bar/Cafe) - Jam sessions and open mics.
  • Charlies Bar - English pub, cask ales.
  • Ruby - Cocktail bar
  • Gilt - Cocktail bar, small cozy place on Rantzausgade in Nørrebro with seasonal menu.
  • Boutique Lize - Popular cocktail bar on Istegade, has a two for one deal during happy hour. Gets very busy and noisy later in the evening.


January is one of the darkest months of the year in Copenhagen with an average of only 45 hours of sunlight. Expect day and night temperatures around 0 °C. The sun will set at 3:57 pm to rise again at 8:36 am.

Click here for up-to-date weather information from the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Photo: Nicolas Le Goff

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