Discover Copenhagen, the incredible capital of Denmark. From Indre By, its historic centre, to Amalienborg Palace, home to the royal family, and many beautiful gardens, this 3-day itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors or a long weekend getaway with friends. It will show you all the best things to do and guide you through everything you need to know to make the most of your Danish city break.
I discovered Copenhagen in February, and even though it was a bit cold and windy, I fell in love with those pretty colourful houses and even imagined myself living here!
The atmosphere of the Danish capital, with its many bike lanes and green spaces, is truly unique. From the Old Town to Freetown Christiania, there is something for everyone.
Plus, if you are a history buff or art lover, you will find many attractions and activities suiting your taste, including the Christiansborg Palace and the Rosenborg Castle.
Keep reading this city guide to discover the perfect 3-day itinerary covering the top things to do and see so you can make the most of your time and enjoy your vacation stress-free – and without rushing. You will also find practical eco-friendly tips for responsible travel at the end. Enjoy!
My Copenhagen experience: Duration 3 days Dates visited Feb 06 - Feb 08 Season Winter
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- Overview: 3 perfect days in Copenhagen
- 3 days in Copenhagen – Map
- Detailed Copenhagen 3-day itinerary
- Day 1 – Discovery of the Old Town
- Day 2 – By the seaside
- Day 3 – The eclectic Copenhagen
- Unforgettable experiences I recommend
- How long to spend in Copenhagen
- Best time to visit Copenhagen
- How to get around Copenhagen
- Where to stay in Copenhagen
- Sustainable travel in Copenhagen
- Copenhagen travel planning guide
- 3 days in Copenhagen – FAQ
Overview: 3 perfect days in Copenhagen
DAY 1 – THE OLD TOWN
1- City Hall Square
2- Strøget & Gråbrødretorv
3- The Round Tower
4- Kultorvet Square
5- The Botanical Garden
6- Rosenborg Castle
DAY 2 – BY THE SEASIDE
1- Nyhavn District
2- Amalienborg Palace
3- Frederick Church
4- Kastellet Citadel
5- The Little Mermaid
DAY 3 – FREETOWN
1- Tivoli Gardens
2- Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
3- Christiansborg Palace
4- Church of Our Saviour
5- Freetown Christiania
3 days in Copenhagen – Map
Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.
Detailed Copenhagen 3-day itinerary
This Copenhagen guide covers all the best things to do and see in 3 days and is perfect for travelling with family, friends or as a couple, whether it is your first time in the city or you have been there before.
On the other hand, remember that this itinerary is only a guide with recommendations. You can spend more days in the Danish capital or add other stops to your trip. Copenhagen has plenty to offer: you will not run out of ideas 🙂
READ MORE: 10 Eco-Friendly Things to Do in Copenhagen
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Day 1 – Discovery of the Old Town
Get ready for your first day in Copenhagen! Put on some comfortable shoes, as this first day will involve a lot of walking across some of the cutest areas of the Danish capital.
1- City Hall Square
Your first stop will be the City Hall Square, a public square in the centre of Copenhagen, located in front of the beautiful City Hall built in 1892-1905. Due to its large size and central location, it is a popular place for events and celebrations.
Take the time to walk around and appreciate the Romantic architecture of the building. If you have time, explore the City Hall or join a guided tour. You will learn more about the past of the capital and have the chance to enjoy breathtaking views from the Tower.
2- Strøget Street
You continue your journey to Strøget, a pedestrian and car-free shopping area. This popular tourist attraction is one of the longest European pedestrian shopping streets at 1.1 km.
It is the perfect place to wander and do some shopping! We bought our Copenhagen candle house from there, which we love. There are also plenty of food shops where you can enjoy local cuisine and traditional pastries. It was so good we kept stopping each time we passed through the street.
3- Gråbrødretorv Square
Gråbrødretorv was one of my favourite squares! You will understand why once you discover this charming and colourful place, just off the busy streets.
This historic and quiet square is an ideal place to relax and capture some Instagram-perfect shots and videos 🙂 Plus, in summer, it is a popular place to hang out and enjoy outdoor concerts.
We also stop for a coffee at Café Vito – a small but lovely shop.
4- The Round Tower, Rundetaarn
Your next stop will be the Round Tower, a 17th-century edifice built as an astronomical observatory. It is also renowned for its equestrian staircase, a spiral corridor leading to the platform at the top for sweeping views of Copenhagen.
The access to the outdoor platform is 40 DKK (around £5), and the panorama is worth seeing. Plus, it offers another perspective on the capital, which I always enjoy.
And if you are a culture lover, stop by the Grand Library Hall, an exhibition space for more in-depth knowledge of Danish history, art and science.
5- Kultorvet Square
Your discovery of Copenhagen continues with Kultorvet (the coal square), another beautiful public square in the Old Town.
Enjoy a well-deserved break at one of its many cafés and restaurants, or spend some time shopping for souvenirs. I also loved the flower markets and wish I could have brought some to the UK as the colours were so gorgeous! 🌸
6- The Botanical Garden
The Copenhagen Botanical Garden is a fantastic free green place to explore, filled with rare trees, shrubs and herbs. It encircles an area of 10 hectares and is well-known for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses, including a butterfly house and a tropical palm house dating from 1874.
Wander around and uncover over 13,000 species across different sections. You will find that the collection of 27 glass houses is spectacular. I would especially suggest visiting the Palm House, where you can climb the 16m high narrow iron spiral staircase.
Please note that access to the garden is free, but there is a small entrance fee for the Palm House and Butterfly House (the latter only open in summer), which is 60 DKK (around £7).
On a personal note, we did not have the chance to visit the Gardens as we were short on time and visited Copenhagen in winter (February) – which I regretted as it sounded like a great thing to do! Be mindful when choosing the season you go, as many things close in winter.
7- Rosenborg Castle
Your final stop of this first day in Copenhagen will be the Rosenborg Castle, a Renaissance castle built initially as a country summer residence in 1606 and a perfect example of the architectural style of Christian IV.
This stunning castle is set in the charming King’s Garden and features 400 years of history and royal treasures, including the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia.
You can enjoy its architecture from the outside or join a guided tour to step back in time and admire well-preserved interiors, such as the personal writing cabinet of the King and his bathroom – something I recommend doing, especially perfect on a rainy day.
Day 2 – By the seaside
Your second day in Copenhagen will take you to the seaside and through beautiful neighbourhoods. Bring a windproof jack (and thick socks, especially in winter) and get ready to discover a new side of the capital.
1- Nyhavn District
Nyhaven is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic sights in Copenhagen. The 17th-century colourful and bustling waterfront is a fascinating place to explore and a favourite spot among locals for relaxing by the canal.
Originally built as a commercial port, it is now a lively harbour filled with cafés, bars and restaurants – and a dream location for photo lovers! The reflection of the multicoloured houses in the canal is magical, especially on a sunny day.
Take the time to stroll around and appreciate the view. You can also join a canal tour, but I would not recommend this activity, as the boats are not environmental-friendly. I tried to look for electric ones but could not find any – please let me know in the comments if you know any eco-friendly company that offers boat tours in Copenhagen 🙂
And, if you visit the Danish capital in December around Christmas, you will be rewarded with a festive market and delicious gløgg.
2- Amalienborg Palace
You continue your journey north to reach the Amalienborg Palace, the official residence of the Danish Royal Family. Delve into one of the oldest monarchies in the world and get a behind-the-scenes look. Undoubtedly a must-see attraction for any history buffs and royal fans.
Take also the time to walk through the Palace Square and stop to watch the changing of the guards. And if you have a moment, step inside the Amalienborg Museum to see the private interiors of kings and queens and an exhibit on the current monarchy and its traditions.
3- Frederick Church
From Amalienborg Square, continue walking to reach the Frederick Church, known as the Marble Church, with its impressive architecture. This way also provides a fantastic vantage point for photos, and it is impossible not to marvel in front of this stunning Church and its copper-green dome.
Admission to the Church is free, so do not hesitate to step inside, as the interior is as beautiful as the exterior. Please note that you can also visit the dome for a small fee every day at 13:00 in the summer and only on weekends in winter.
4- Churchill Park & Kastellet Citadel
It is time to head north to the Kastellet, a well-preserved citadel and fortresses constructed in a pentagon shape with bastions at its corners and set in the beautiful Churchill Park.
The fortress, founded in 1662, is still used for military activities but remains primarily a public park. On your wander, you will find canals, barracks, a small chapel and a windmill.
5- The Little Mermaid
In the same area as the Kastellet Citadel, you will also come across your last stop of the day: The Little Mermaid, a bronze statue made by sculptor Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid becoming human, which is somehow one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Copenhagen.
Inspired by the famous fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen, you will find this sculpture on a rock by the water on the Langelinie promenade. It is something to see, but do not expect something incredible aha. The statue is not that big.
Day 3 – The eclectic Copenhagen
Your last day in Copenhagen will take you on an eclectic journey through fascinating neighbourhoods, parks and museums.
1- Tivoli Gardens
Your first stop on your last day in Copenhagen will be the Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park and pleasure garden opened in 1843 and the third-oldest operating amusement park in the world. A must-do for any families with children or adults who want to have fun!
Unfortunately for us, the garden was closed in winter, which was a shame as it seemed like a great place to hang out. Besides the amusement park, you will also find green spaces to relax and enjoy outdoor concerts.
2- Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Next to the Tivoli Gardens, you will come across Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a museum displaying modern and ancient art founded in 1897 by brewer Carl Jacobsen. Not only renowned for its marble sculptures, step inside and immerse yourself in a unique atmosphere, from beautiful high ceilings to a stunning winter garden filled with palm trees, a fountain and a pond.
In the winter garden, you will also find the Café Picnic, where you can enjoy a coffee with a piece of cake in a peaceful environment.
3- Christiansborg Palace
You continue your journey to the Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament and once home to kings and queens. Uncover 800 years of royal history as you visit this remarkable building and staterooms.
Explore the Palace on your own or join a guided tour to learn more about the royal culture and past. It will take you through some of the most impressive rooms, from the Throne Room to the Great Hall and the Royal Reception Rooms.
And if you feel adventurous, discover the underneath ruins, including a wall dating back to the Middle Ages and the former kitchens of the castle.
4- Church of Our Saviour
It is time to cross the sea and reach the other side of Copenhagen, with a first stop by the Church of Our Saviour. Take the time to visit inside and admire its gorgeous Baroque architecture (I found Danish churches to be so minimalist, which I loved).
And if you are not afraid of heights, climb up the external spiral winding staircase to the top and enjoy a stunning panorama over the Danish capital.
Please note that the Tower is closed in January. I also recommend booking your ticket in advance to avoid waiting once there and reserve your spot as they limit the number of people due to the narrow stairs.
5- Freetown Christiania
You have reached the end of your trip! Your last stop on this 3-day itinerary in Copenhagen will be in Freetown Christiania, a fascinating and eclectic neighbourhood (never experienced this anywhere else).
Stroll through the area and admire some unique wall art and houses (most built by their owners). You will also find several eco-restaurants, shops, galleries and outdoor music spaces.
And it is essential to remember that Christiania can be a rough area (mainly full of hash dealers), and I recommend following the rules. Do not take photos, run and talk on the phone. If you respect them, you will have no problem getting around.
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Unforgettable experiences I recommend
How long to spend in Copenhagen
I suggest spending at least 3 days in Copenhagen, which is perfect for a long weekend getaway!
3 days are great for immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere of the Danish capital and discovering its main highlights and attractions – without rushing.
Plus, the city is easily accessible on foot, making it ideal for a city break. And if you are shorter on time, use the bike! You will not struggle to find one, trust me aha 🙂
On the other hand, spending more time is always a great thing. It will allow you to discover more attractions at a slower pace.
My experience – I spent 3 days in Copenhagen, which was perfect for getting an overview of the city. We stayed close to the centre, so it was easy to walk around. We also find ourselves not rushing and stopping at many cute cafés in-between visits.
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Best time to visit Copenhagen
Summer (April to September) is the best time to visit Copenhagen for warm weather and longer days. You will enjoy plenty of outdoor activities and sightseeing without worrying about getting wet or cold. But because these months are popular with tourists, it may mean that crowds can become quite large.
Therefore, you might want to discover the city in April, May or September, when the streets are quieter with the sun still shining.
Winter and Christmas can also be a lovely season to discover the capital, filled with cute markets and festive lights. Read more: Copenhagen Winter Guide: 10 Best Things to Do.
No matter what time of year you choose, I am sure you will have a wonderful time!
My experience – I visited Copenhagen in February and had a great time! It was not busy, and the weather was good but cold (my feet were freezing!). But it was not a big problem. I packed carefully, and we stopped at many cafés to warm up.
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How to get around Copenhagen
You have multiple options to get around the Danish capital.
The easiest way to discover Copenhagen is by walking. The capital is not huge, and many of its best attractions are within walking distance of each other, so you can easily explore them on foot, even on a short day trip or weekend getaway. Plus, it is a great way to see the best sights whilst getting some exercise!
Plus, walking will allow you to get lost in the colourful streets and discover hidden gems you might otherwise miss.
The other option is the bike! Copenhagen is famous for its cycling activity. I was even shocked by the number I saw – the capital was full of them! Compared to the UK, it was impressive.
They designed roads for bicycles and parking spaces. That is why exploring that way would be a fun and safe experience! And if you visit in winter, do not forget your coat, scarf and gloves.
Finally, if you are tired or too cold, use public transport to get around. Copenhagen has a reliable and efficient transportation system which includes the metro, bus and train.
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Where to stay in Copenhagen
The best neighbourhoods in Copenhagen
Are you looking for the best place to stay in Copenhagen for 3 days? Here is an overview of the top neighbourhoods in the Danish capital:
- Strøget and the Old Town: the best neighbourhood for first-timers due to its central location and access to the main attractions, including the famous Nyvahn.
- Østerbro: the best area to stay in Copenhagen for families seeking tranquillity and access to green spaces. You will also find nearby plenty of family-friendly activities, shops and restaurants.
- Nørrebro: the best place to stay in Copenhagen for visitors on a budget. It is a diverse neighbourhood with many local shops and restaurants with easy access to the centre.
- Vesterbro: the best district for nightlife, vibrant atmosphere and trendy shops. This energetic hub is perfect for living the best of the Danish capital and connecting with locals.
- Christianshavn: if bohemian vibes are what you love, look no further than Christianshavn. With narrow canals, street arts and indie shops, the area is ideal for a tranquil stay.
During our few days in Copenhagen, we stayed at the Andersen Hotel, a trendy boutique hotel set in the vibrant Vesterbro area. Walking to the city centre was easy and quick, and the streets were quiet at night, with plenty of bars and restaurants around.
Sustainable travel in Copenhagen
Sustainable travel means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.
Being a responsible traveller in Copenhagen is possible! Here are some sustainable tips for reducing your carbon footprint:
- Book direct flights (which require less fuel than indirect flights) and offset your carbon footprint. But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase for your green holiday.
- Select an eco-friendly accommodation. It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use Bookdifferent or Ecobnb to help you decide.
- Walk as much as possible. Copenhagen is a compact city easily accessible on foot, and you will not produce any emissions. And if walking is too tiring, use the bike! The capital is ideal for cycling around at your own pace.
- Eat at local restaurants that use produce from the area and emphasise organic and sustainability. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
- Always respect the local heritage. Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful, smile and immerse yourself in the local vibe.
More inspiration for your green adventures:
- Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
- 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
- Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
Eco-friendly gear you might love:
- 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
- 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
- 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking
Check out this page for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.
Copenhagen travel planning guide
Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your city break in Copenhagen stress-free with one of my favourite providers, Nomad Insurance.
Yes, tap water is safe to drink all over Copenhagen (the city undergoes strict daily quality controls). However, I also recommend travelling with the UltraPress Purifier Bottle, a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.
Yes, renting a car in Copenhagen is easy and is a great way to explore the outside of the capital freely. I recommend booking yours with Rentalcars.com – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.
The best way to book your accommodation in Copenhagen is with Booking.com – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.
I recommend booking your plane with Skyscanner. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.
3 days in Copenhagen – FAQ
Yes, 3 days are enough to discover Copenhagen and enjoy its top highlights and attractions. It will allow you to explore its diverse neighbourhoods, museums and many parks – without rushing!
Copenhagen is an expensive city to visit, like most Scandinavian countries. It is possible to explore the capital on a budget but bear in mind that you will still spend more money than you would in other cities.
Yes, absolutely! Copenhagen is a compact city, and all its best attractions are within walking distance of each other, so you can easily explore them on foot, even on a short day trip or weekend getaway.
And you, have you ever visited Copenhagen or would you like to go one day?
Let me know in the comments below!