Are you planning a trip to the beautiful capital of Denmark? This article guides you through the 10 best eco-friendly things to do in Copenhagen, so you can make the most of your stay whilst minimising your environmental impact.
Whether you are going for a weekend getaway or an extended summer vacation, you will find plenty of activities to fully soak up the spirit of this fairytale capital.
From colourful cobbled streets to royal palaces and beautiful gardens, there are many captivating places to visit and enjoy – without harming our planet 🌍
So put on some comfy shoes or hop on a bike and get ready to experience Copenhagen in a sustainable way with our top 10 picks for fun green things to do in the capital.
My Copenhagen experience: Duration 3 days Dates visited Feb 06 - Feb 08 Season Winter
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- Overview: cool eco-things to do in Copenhagen
- Top places to visit in Copenhagen – Map
- 10 sustainable things to do in Copenhagen
- Travel Tips
- What to do in Copenhagen in winter
- Top day trips from Copenhagen
- Tips for reducing your eco-impact in Copenhagen
- Copenhagen travel planning guide
- Copenhagen, Denmark – FAQ
Overview: cool eco-things to do in Copenhagen
- Glimpse into royal history at Rosenborg Castle
- Wander the cobbled streets of Jægersborggade
- Click a photo with the Little Mermaid statue
- Experience the Danish capital on a bike
- Visit Statens Museum for Kunst
- Befriend mother nature at the Botanical Garden
- Grab delicious bites at local eateries
- Take a swim at the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
- Get mesmerised by the bright colours of Nyhavn
- Consider a sustainable boat rental
Looking for an epic 3-day Copenhagen itinerary? Check out this article: Copenhagen City Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary
Top places to visit in Copenhagen – Map
Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.
10 sustainable things to do in Copenhagen
From eco-responsible coffee shops to electric boats and quaint cobbled streets, Copenhagen has something for every traveller.
Here are our 10 favourite ways to discover the Danish capital any time of the year whilst reducing your environmental impact:
1- Glimpse into royal history at Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle dates back to 1606 and was built as the royal summer house of King Christian IV. Showcasing 400 years of royal treasures and works of art, this castle is the perfect place to satiate your inner history buff.
And whilst you are there, be sure to see the coronation thrones in the Knights’ Hall and visit the king’s private writing cabinet. You will also find yourself walking up the same spiral steps and crossing hallways where Danish royalty once lived.
It is the ideal activity to immerse yourself in the local history and culture – especially on a rainy day!
2- Wander the cobbled streets of Jægersborggade
If you are after a unique Copenhagen experience and a slow day wandering around modern bars, boutiques and cafés, Jægersborggade in the Nørrebro neighbourhood is where to head. It is one of the trendiest and liveliest streets in the Danish capital!
You will find art galleries, ceramics workshops, organic produce stores and vintage clothing boutiques. There is also an incredibly picturesque cemetery where famous Danes like Hans Christian Andersen are buried.
3- Click a photo with the Little Mermaid statue
The most famous landmark in the city, the Little Mermaid statue, was created in 1913 and inspired by the eponymous fairytale of Hans Christian Andersen. The bronze statue sits on a rock next to the Langelinie Promenade and is an international symbol – and somehow one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Copenhagen.
So, even if you think the size is a little small, you will surely want to click a photo with it 🙂
4- Experience the Danish capital on a bike
As one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, Copenhagen is worth experiencing on a bike! You can find a variety of bike rentals, and it is completely safe and fun, whether you are travelling alone or with kids.
One of the best things about cycling in Copenhagen is the feeling of freedom and flexibility it offers. You can pause whenever you want, take in the views of the city and discover non-touristy, hidden gems you might otherwise miss.
On your vacation to the Danish capital, be sure to take a trip along the 13 km-long Harbour Circle (Havneringen) for breathtaking views! It is the ultimate Copenhagen route taking you from the colourful Nyhavn to the quiet Christianshavn.
Good to know: the cycle paths are wide, encouraging locals to take a bike whenever possible. It helps keep pollution levels low and promotes sustainability on your trip.
Copenhagen is safe to explore by bike at night and is an unusual way to discover the city.
You can easily rent a bike from your hotel or on the Donkey Republic app, an affordable and efficient bike rental service that allows everyone to get around the capital. The app lets you find a bike around you, and the price varies according to the duration of use = the longer you ride, the cheaper it gets!
Cycling tours I recommend
5- Visit Statens Museum for Kunst
SMK, short for Statens Museum for Kunst, is the National Gallery of Denmark set in the centre of Copenhagen, and it deserves a stop on your to-do list. It collects and preserves European and Danish works dating back to the 1300s.
In addition, the museum boasts the finest collection of the Danish Golden Age artists. Among these are Eckersberg and Hammershøi – and foreign masters such as Picasso.
Good to know: SMK has a beautiful café with a simple but tasty menu.
6- Befriend mother nature at the Botanical Garden
A green oasis in the centre of the capital of Denmark, the Botanical Gardens are perfect for botanic enthusiasts looking for a dose of nature. The garden is home to over 13,000 plant species, including a butterfly house and a tropical palm house dating back to 1874.
Take the time to wander around and uncover the collection of 27 glass houses. I would especially recommend visiting the Palm House, where you can climb a 16m high narrow iron spiral staircase (perfect for photo lovers!).
Good to know: access to the garden is free, but there is a small entrance fee for the Palm House and Butterfly House (the latter open only in summer), which is 60 DKK (around £7).
7- Grab delicious bites at local eateries
Whether you are on a solo trip or travelling with friends and family, gastronomic experiences are a must to make the stay worthwhile. And as a part of your sustainable trip, be sure to delve into meals at local eateries.
Enjoy brunch at Mad & Kaffe, delicious Smørrebrød (butter and bread) at Selma, and Danish pastries at Sankt Peders Bageri. Additionally, Torvehallerne is a gourmet food market featuring twin glass halls where you will find plenty of food stalls.
Eco-tips: ask the locals where they like to eat, buy your food at local markets and eat at local restaurants that use produce from the region. You will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting places where food does not come from long distances.
Food tours I recommend
8- Take a swim at the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
The Islands Brygge is one of the best places to take an open-air swim right in Copenhagen; yes, the harbour is clean enough to swim in! Here, you can take in city skyline views whilst submerging in the water. As a secret spot not known by many, it is the perfect local thing to do in the Danish capital.
The Islands Brygge features five pools, and the shallowest one (30 cm) is also safe for kids. Afterwards, you can enjoy a picnic in the grassy area nearby. And if dancing is your thing, you can take a salsa class – just follow the music.
9- Get mesmerised by the bright colours of Nyhavn
If you are looking for views straight from a postcard-like picture, the 17th-century merchants’ houses of Nyhavn are where to head. Whilst it can get crowded with tourists, it is worth visiting if you are in for some stunning photos of pastel-hued buildings and wooden ships.
Take a stroll around the area, and if you get hungry, there is a buzzing food market with plenty of seafood restaurants to satisfy your cravings.
And for couples looking for a special thing to do, Nyhavn is also a beautiful and romantic place to explore in the evening.
Fun fact: three of the houses in Nyhavn once belonged to the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
10- Consider a sustainable boat rental
What better way to see Copenhagen than from an electric boat? You can pilot the boat yourself or join a social tour where you can relax and make new friends instead of controlling the wheel – a cool thing to do any time of the year!
Plus, the boats move at a leisurely pace, allowing you to enjoy beautiful views of the Danish capital and its highlights.
Enjoy Copenhagen With These Eco-Friendly Things To Do
With these top 10 things to do in Copenhagen, we hope you can now create the perfect itinerary for your trip! Whether you are here for a day, a weekend or a week, be sure to add these to your bucket list, and you will be in for a vacation you will never forget.
Looking for the best place to stay? Check out this article: Where to Stay in Copenhagen: 6 Best Areas (& Hotels)
What to do in Copenhagen in winter
Visiting Copenhagen in winter is a fun and unforgettable experience, especially in December! Here are some extra sustainable activities and eco-friendly things to do if you plan to visit the capital this season:
- Soak up the holiday atmosphere at the Christmas markets
- Go ice skating
- Relax in a hot sauna at Vinterbad Bryggen
- Stroll through the Tivoli Gardens
- Go Skiing at CopenHill
Shop the printable travel itinerary
Plan your perfect city break & live a unique green experience.
Top day trips from Copenhagen
Tips for reducing your eco-impact 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 eco-friendly travel 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 eco-friendly 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.
Copenhagen, Denmark – FAQ
I recommend spending at least 3 days in Copenhagen to have enough time to immerse yourself in the unique Danish atmosphere and see its main attractions. I also suggest planning your Copenhagen itinerary in advance so you can explore without rushing.
Copenhagen is an expensive city to visit, like most Scandinavian countries – but I did not find it excessive! It is possible to explore the capital on a budget but keep in mind that you might spend more money than in other cities. Look out for free or cheap things to do.
Yes! Copenhagen is compact, and all its best sights and highlights are within walking distance of each other, so you can easily explore them on foot, even on a short city break or weekend trip.
And you, what is your favourite eco-friendly thing to do in Copenhagen?
Let me know in the comments below!