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How to Spend Amazing 3 Days in Copenhagen: Itinerary

Copenhagen canal weekend itinerary, best things to do in 3 ays

If you are planning to visit Copenhagen I can promise you one thing, this city surely will meet your expectations. No matter what your interests are, the capital of Denmark will not disappoint you.

In this guide, I will try to mention all the best attractions, activities, restaurants and bars to visit in Copenhagen during a weekend, as well as places to go for a one-day trip.

Explore all Copenhagen in just 3 days!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, which mean that you’ll be able to plan your trip cheaper them at no cost for you, and I will receive a small commission for my unbiased recommendations.

Why Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen main square, best things to do

With its architectural marvels, both old and new, great food and amazing things to see, it is no wonder Copenhagen is quickly becoming one of the must-visit destinations for people all over the world.

Even if you are planning just a 3-day trip, you will be able to do a lot of sightseeing since a lot of landmarks are located in the center of this capital.

Copenhagen is a city I instantly fell in love with. Although it is crowded and loud, there is something extremely soothing about it, and I was not at all surprised to find out that the second happiest people in the world live there.

Here I will help you plan your weekend in Copenhagen with local tips and a weekend itinerary so you don’t miss out on anything!

So, let’s start with planning the trip!

Best time to visit Copenhagen

Copenhagen 3 day itinerary, boats on a canal and colorful houses

When do you want to travel to Copenhagen?

Don’t worry, there is no wrong answer!

If you hate being cold like me, I suggest you visit it in the summer when you will be able to spend hours and hours outdoors without feeling the need to run into the closest coffee shop just to get warm.

Also, this time of year so many festivals and events are being held in Copenhagen, so you will be able to visit them as well! However, keep in mind that during the summer the city is crowded with tourists so make your hotel and restaurant reservations on time.

From April till May the number of tourists drops, and so do prices, so planning your trip in spring is a great idea if you are not a fan of crowded places and expensive dining.

However, I personally prefer to visit Copenhagen in late November or December. As I said, I hate being cold but the city’s festive cheer, amazing Christmas markets, and tasteful decorations are well worth it.  

In this city low temperatures are not the problem, it is their wind that never stops blowing that will make you feel like it is a lot colder than it actually is. If you want to have a pleasant experience while sightseeing, I suggest you pack a lot of sweaters.

Airports near Copenhagen

Copenhahen main airport, things to do in a weekend
Source: Flickr

There is only one in Copenhagen, CPH, and it is only 15 minutes away from the city center by metro or train. The most comfortable option would be a private transfer which you can order here.

You can also find a cheaper flight to Malmø airport in Sweden from where you can catch a train or a bus to Copenhagen.

Some companies let you buy bus tickets along with your plane tickets, so if you choose this option there will be a shuttle bus waiting for you when you land to take you to the Copenhagen Central Station in less than an hour. Usually, you need to pay more for them. You can find regular shuttles here.

Another convenient option would be renting a car right at the airport.

Plane above the house in modern design, Copenhagen

Transfer from the airport

The public transportation in this city is very punctual and trains, buses, and metro can be accessed with the same ticket. When you land in Copenhagen, go to terminal 3 where you can catch a train or metro, depending on where you want to go.

For example, if you want to go to Copenhagen Central Station, choose the train, while the metro will take you to central stations like Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport. If you don’t mind traveling a little longer the bus 5C will take you from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station, City Hall Square, Nørreport and other stations in about 35 minutes.

If staying in Copenhagen for a weekend, I highly recommend you to purchase a Copenhagen City Card for the time of your trip. For a one-time fee, you’ll be able to use public transportation, as well as visit numerous museums and attractions at no additional cost. You can purchase one here.

Public transportation

Copenhagen city metro, weekend itinerary
Source: Flickr

Metro – It is in service 24/7, where there are 3 minutes between each train during rush hour and up to 6 minutes outside rush hour and on weekends. If you are planning to experience Copenhagen’s nightlife, keep in mind that you will need to wait for a train longer, since trains arrive with a 7-15 minutes interval on Friday and Saturday.

Make sure you have a valid ticket with you at all times, since you can easily get fined. Here you have all the information you need regarding tickets and prices.

Trains – The S-trains run between 5 am and midnight. Line F runs every 4 to 5 minutes, lines A, B, C, and E run every 10 minutes, and line H runs every 20 minutes. The situation changes on weekends, so make sure you check the schedule before you head out.

Buses– In Copenhagen, you have the A-buses that serve at all hours and drive every 3-7 minutes during rush hour. The S-buses don’t go that often, but they are faster than A-busses because they don’t make so many stops. Night buses are in service between 1 am and 5 am.

You can also use hop-on hop-off buses to visit most of the city’s attractions. You can get such a ticket here.

Copenhagen Card – If you want to save yourself some time and not worry about zones and tickets, consider buying a Copenhagen Card, since you will get not only unlimited transportation but also free admission to museums and attractions.

Where to stay in Copenhagen

There are so many great hotels and hostels in Copenhagen, within a walking distance from famous landmarks.

Hotels

Hotel Skt. Annæ – This hotel is located near the Amalienborg royal palace and offers a calming, residential feel. In the summer you can sip wine on a front terrace, while during the winter you can warm up in front of a fireplace in the lounge.

Nobis Hotel– Since its opening in 2011, the Nobis Hotel has been a hotspot for tourists. It is close to Tivoli Gardens and  Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, so you walk to some of the most famous Copenhagen landmarks. This 77-room hotel is situated in an elegant 1930 building that was once the home of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.

Hotel CPH Living – From all the hotels in Copenhagen, this one is my favorite since it floats on water! This venue which opened in 2009 is located in the center of the city near Islands Brygge, 1.2 km from Round Tower. It has 12 rooms, all of which are non-smoking areas that offer amazing views of the sea. If you stay here you will have your own private bathroom with a shower, you will be able to enjoy a hot continental breakfast or lounge beside an indoor pool with a sauna.

Hostels

If you want to meet other tourists and have fun on the way while exploring the city, check out these great hostels.

Sleep in HeavenTerrace? Check! Pool tables? Check! Bar? Check! Free Wi-Fi? Check! This award-winning hostel is located in the multicultural area of Nørrebro and is surrounded by bars and thrift shops. All the rooms have free bed linen and lockers, and the hostel even offers free walking tours.

Generator Copenhagen – If you want to explore Copenhagen on foot, this hostel is a great choice since it is located in the center of the city, close to Kongens Nytorv station. It offers free city maps and free Wi-Fi and after a day of sightseeing, you can enjoy a delicious drink at the bar or chill in the lounge areas.

Steel House Copenhagen – It has its own fitness center and an indoor swimming pool, and there is a private bathroom in every room. Although the hostel is only at 5 minutes’ walk from Tivoli Garden, City Square Hall and Strøget street, if you wish to cycle around the city bicycle rentals are also available at the reception.

Getting around Copenhagen

Streetart in Copenhagen, weekend itinerary on a bike

The thing I love about Copenhagen is that its center isn’t huge and you can explore the city by simply walking around. Not to waste time walking in places that are not interesting for tourists, get a guided tour of the best places in Copenhagen.

However, even though most attractions are close together, moving back and forth can quickly get tiring.

If you really want to live like a local, hop on a bicycle and cycle around the city. There are bicycle rentals around every corner, so it is not a big deal if your accommodation doesn’t provide bicycles to guests. You can also explore the city of Copenhagen on a bicycle tour.

Since you will be spending a lot of time in the saddle, make sure you pack your cycling gear. Check out these useful cycling shorts reviews and find a pair that will provide you with maximum comfort on your adventure. If you are not a big fan of cycling, you can use public transportation I mentioned before.

What to do 3 days in Copenhagen

Below, you can check the list of the best attractions to visit in Copenhagen during your trip.

Top Attractions

City Hall Square – Just like every European city, Copenhagen also has a big main square you need to visit. At the City Hall Square, you will be able to see the Copenhagen City Hall which will take your breath away with its gilded edges glimmering in the sunlight. What adds to the square’s character are interesting statues such as the Lurblæserne statue and the Dragon Fountain.

Nyhavn, places to visit on a weekend itinerary in Copenhagen

Nyhavn – If you have ever seen a postcard of Copenhagen, you know how Nyhavn looks like. This photogenic waterfront spot was once a busy, port, but nowadays it is more famous for its colorful classic waterfront houses.

If you don’t take a selfie with these adorable houses in the background, you cannot say that you have been to Copenhagen. It is the law, look it up. What makes this place even more charming are dozens of boats packed into the small canal harbor.

In Nyhavn, you will find plenty of restaurants and coffee shops where you can just sit, relax and soak everything in. From here you can also catch one of the many canal cruise boats, which I loved since not only do you get to enjoy a different view of the city, but you also get to hear amazing stories from tourist guides.

I recommend you, however, to book a boat tour in advance, as the prices on the spot are often higher.

Amalienborg Palace Square – Here you can see the elegant palace buildings of Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family,  check out the statue of King Frederik V on horseback or watch the ceremonial changing of the guards. West of the palace you will be able to see Frederik’s Church which has the largest church dome in Scandinavia.

amalienborg palace in Copenhagen to visit during a weekend itinerary
Amalienborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace – Although kings and queens used to live there, after one of several great fires, the royals moved to Amalienborg Palace in the late 19th century. The tower of this palace is the highest in Copenhagen with a height of 106 meters. Since everyone can access the tower free of charge and enjoy the magnificent views of the city, prepare to wait in line for about an hour. The chapel located across the tower entrance is used for religious ceremonies for members of the Danish Royal Family, such as baptisms, confirmations and official lying in state. You can also see it free of charge.

Freetown Christiania a place where cannabis and graffiti run wild! Buying drugs has been unofficially tolerated in this area, and when you enter it you will see a huge sign that says you are exiting EU. Although taking pictures wasn’t allowed before, now you can take pictures of the colorful graffiti’s. However, don’t try to take photos of people who sell drugs or you will find yourself in an uncomfortable situation! Get a private tour of an unusual Copenhagen to see alternative attractions of the city this weekend.

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park – It is the second oldest amusement park in the world and very much worth visiting! Aside from amazing rides, you can also enjoy music and dance performances among its beautiful gardens. If you spend only 2 or 3 days in Copenhagen, you better get a skip-the-line ticket to save your time.

the little mermaid statue of Copenhagen, things to do in 3 days

The Little Mermaid – Displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Angeline promenade, this bronze statue is one of the landmarks of Copenhagen. However, I was a little disappointed to find out that it is only 4.1 ft tall and you can’t really come near to take a decent photo.

Still thinking of a place for a weekend? What about Stockholm?

Where and what to eat in Copenhagen

Food in a market in Copenhagen

Aamann’s 1921 – If you are looking for a unique Danish food experience, you have to go to Aamann’s 1921 where the unique smørrebrød is served in the very heart of Copenhagen. It is basically an open-faced sandwich with an almost limitless number of different toppings, from herring to raw beef.

Restaurant Hummer – If you are a fan of seafood, check out this restaurant in picturesque Nyhavn and satisfy your taste buds in all ways imaginable with a delicious lobster dish.

Leckerbaer – For all of you who have a sweet tooth, Leckerbaer is the place to go. This gourmet cookie, pastry and coffee shop located in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen will impress you with modern interpretations of Danish cake classics, pastries, cookies and more. You can even take a peek into the kitchen!

Isoteket – While you are at Østerbro you can experience unusual ice cream flavor combinations such as coffee/lemongrass and blackberry/lime.   All of the ice creams here are 100 % organic, made from fresh ingredients.

To try the tastes of Copenhagen, I recommend you to take a 2,5-hour food tour to make your belly satisfied.

Where and what to drink in Copenhagen

Unusual restaurant and bar in Copenhagen

Original Coffee – Although it is found in several locations around the city, my personal favorite is Original Coffee located on the rooftop of the department store Illum. Enjoy a cup of espresso or a café latte with your friends while overlooking the old city roofs.

No Stress Bar – I loved this bar especially because apart from awesome drinks and fun interior, it also has a Nintendo 64 with Mario Kart.

Bar 7 – If you are looking for something stronger than coffee, I suggest you head out to Bar 7 located in the heart of Copenhagen. The venue has a homey vibe and you will feel like you are attending a sophisticated house party. Everything here is reasonably priced for Denmark, so don’t miss out on their delicious cocktails!

Copenhagen 3-day Itinerary

Since a lot of landmarks are close to one another, you will be able to explore the city well in just three days.

Day 1: Famous Copenhagen Attractions

Old architecture of Copenhagen, things to do in 3 days

1.    Start the day off at one of the most cherished symbols of the city, the statue of the Little Mermaid. The famous Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid has been resting on the shore of Copenhagen’s harbor since 1913. Although the whole things can be a little disappointing as I mentioned before, it is kind of like a rite of passage for all the tourists.

2.    Very close to the statue is Kastellet Park, a beautiful public park and historic fortress. Within it, you will find impressive Gefion Fountain beside St Alban’s Church.

3.    A bit further make a stop at the Amalienborg Palace, take a picture of Frederick’s Church, and if you are lucky, check out the changing of the guard. For a fee, visitors are allowed inside the Amalienborg Museum and the Royal Chambers.

Copenhagen 3 day itinerary, boats on a canal and colorful houses

4.    From there you will need just a couple of minutes to reach Nyhavn where you can take a break at the local restaurants and coffee shops, sit back and enjoy the view. I suggest you download the USE-IT app which will help you track down great venues in your area. During the winter I suggest that instead of taking a break, you grab a cup of hot chocolate sold at every corner (I loved the one with Belize!) and walk around the docks.

5.    After Nyhavn, walk over to Christiansborg Palace and, if you have time, stop in to go to the top of the tower and enjoy the view!

6.    If you turn around across from the palace you will see one of my favorite spots in Copenhagen, the Borsen. It is the old stock exchange building built by Christian IV, and the thing I loved the most about it is the steeple on top, formed by the tails of four dragons twisting together.

7.    From there, take a stroll down Strøget, the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe.

8.    The last stop of the day is the 400-year-old Rosenborg Castle situated in central Copenhagen’s popular park, The King’s Garden. Tickets which cost 115, 00 DKK can be purchased at the entrance or online.

Since you will walk for miles and miles, consider investing in one of the high-quality track jackets, that will keep you protected from the cold wind Copenhagen is known for.

Day 2: Time for fun!

Copenhagen yellow Nyboder houses, weekend itinerary

You will be exhausted from a day of walking around Copenhagen, so on the second day of your visit, slow down the pace and have some fun!

1.    It is time to see the other side of this city! Start your day at the Freetown Christiania located in the southeastern edge of the city center. This alternative community is situated on a former military barracks and is known for its successful cannabis and hash trade.

However, this place also offers organic food, live music, and interesting coffee shops, so it is no wonder it has become quite an attraction for visitors looking to see the not-so-polished side of the city.

You can also join a walking tour where a tour guide will tell you all about how hippies took over this military base in the 1970s and turned it into a hip and happening neighborhood.

2. From there catch a bus to Central Station, across from which you will find one of Copenhagen’s treasures, Tivoli Gardens. The moment you get off the bus you will hear screaming coming from this amusement park, but don’t let it scare you! In the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world you need to catch a ride on The Demon!

Tivoli gardens amusement park in Copenhagen to visit over a weekend

It was definitely my favorite ride with its loops and twists and you even have the option of adding on a virtual reality experience, so you get to fully experience a ride through ancient China with demons and dragons. If you are interested in checking out this ride, do it before your lunch! Trust me, I’ve seen things. Apart from this rollercoaster, you can find a lot of other rides, some of which are just fun, some of which will have you screaming your lungs off while praying for your life.

If you are not an adrenaline junky, you can simply walk through the park, grab a bite to eat (the burgers I had there were awesome!) and enjoy all the wonders Tivoli has to offer. You can just buy a ticket to enter (and then pay for every ride individually), or buy an unlimited ride ticket and knock yourself out.  No matter what you plan to do in Tivoli, you will spend most of the day there, which is why I suggest you do the sightseeing first and then spend a fun day at Tivoli.

Day 3: Take a trip

I understand if you are completely infatuated with Copenhagen and you don’t want to leave this place, but some other parts of Denmark are worth exploring as well.

Helsingør

Helsingor town close to Copenhagen, one-day trips

To go or not to go? When you are already in Denmark, I suggest you spend your day visiting Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. This place is best known as the setting for Hamlet, the play by William Shakespeare and inside you will learn about the city’s history and be able to see its crypts and catacombs.

If you visit Kronborg Castle in August you will also be able to check out the annual Shakespeare Festival. Aside from the castle, in Helsingør you will be able to visit its quaint Old Town complete with picturesque houses or learn about Vikings in the Maritime Museum.

Visit Helsingør with a tour

Roskilde

Roskilde festival in Danmark, Bruce Springsteen on the stage

If you plan your trip carefully, you can get here just in time for the Roskilde Music Festival which attracts more than 100,000 music lovers every summer. Major international artists like Metallica, Bruno Mars, and Eminem have all performed here!

On the other hand, since this town is also famous for its incredible Viking history, you can learn more about it at Viking Ship Museum.

Here you can find a tour from Copenhagen to Roskilde, Frederiksborg and Kronborg.

Malmö

Malmo city architecture Sweden

The capital of Sweden is only an hour away, so cross the Øresund Bridge (the bridge itself is unbelievable since one half is above, and the other under the water) to city of Malmö where you can head over to Malmö Castle, visit the City Museum and then wander the Castle Gardens and Kungsparken where you will find the Malmö City Library.

If you visit this city during the summer, make sure you take a trip down to Malmö’s waterfront and spend some time at the beach.

Order a tour to Malmo from Copenhagen here.

I hope this list was helpful. Of course, there are many other things to see in this amazing city on the weekend, but you don’t worry, once you visit Copenhagen you will surely return.

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