After an amazing time in Munich, we packed our bags and headed to stop six on our two-week tour. 36 hours in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have a friend who lived in Copenhagen for grad school, so we went in with many recommendations and high expectations. Everyone I know who’s ever visited Copenhagen has only had positive things to say, so we were banking on having an amazing time in Denmark.

We were in town during a jazz festival, and while we didn’t make it to any official shows, we did stumble across a concert in the park. What we loved most about Copenhagen is the culture. Those Danes sure do love their summer – everyone was out and about enjoying the long sunlight hours, eating and drinking anywhere they could sit down. Most folks were incredibly friendly and helpful when we needed help, but otherwise they let people do their own thing. Plus, everyone is so tall and blonde and beautiful!

July 6th – Noon to Midnight

After a quick flight from Munich, we made our way via public transit to our AirBnB in Nørrebro – a very, very, very hip neighborhood. I have never felt more mainstream or normcore in my life. A word to the wise – if you want to fit in while in Copenhagen (and other similar northern European cities), wear lots and lots of black. If you don’t want to stand out, don’t wear a bright orange sundress, like I did. I did a great job of packing for the warmer climates of Croatia and Italy, but not so much with the second half of my trip.

36 Hours in Copenhagen

Once we got into our apartment, got settled and threw on whatever layers we could find, we headed out for some food at Cafe N, which was recommended by my friend. We enjoyed a bunch of delicious mysterious vegetarian food – although I know fries were on our platter – and then headed out to explore.

36 Hours in Copenhagen36 Hours in Copenhagen 36 Hours in Copenhagen

We hit up the Botanical GardenRosenborg CastleKastellet, the Little Mermaid statue and Nyhavn. We took a beautiful canal tour, grabbed our first (and only) Smørrebrød at some random cafe and then walked back home to collapse. My sister was lame and didn’t go out with us for drinks, so feeling like two free parents, my boyfriend I stopped by The Barking Dog and Ravnsborg Vinbar for drinks and to King of Kebab for a drunken doner kebab. We had such a fun first day, and the night was the icing on the cake. We enjoyed chatting with locals about what to do and what life is like in Copenhagen.

36 Hours in Copenhagen36 Hours in Copenhagen

July 7th – All Day

This was a day of super weird (but still super fun) stuff. After an amazing breakfast at Torvehallerne (check it out!), we hopped on an one-hour bus ride out of town to visit somewhere my sister insisted  we visit. Cirkusmuseet. To be fair, whoever wrote the Copenhagen pamphlet we picked up did a really good job of marketing Cirkusmuseet. They made it seem like we’d be swinging from trapezes and performing tricks. Instead, we were looking at creepy things left and right. It was hilarious and we made the best of it, but I don’t think I’d recommend going out of your way to visit.

36 Hours in Copenhagen

After finding our way back to town via the bus again, we scoped out Freetown Christiania, the notorious autonomous neighborhood in the middle of Copenhagen. I was expecting it to be all care-free and happy, but it was actually kind of depressing. Just a mix of silly tourists like myself and burnouts. My sister picked up a few souvenirs and we high-tailed it to Papirøen (Paper Island) for some food truck bites and to lounge by the water like total hip locals. Our lunch was absolutely delicious and it was a fun way to people watch.

36 Hours in Copenhagen

We made it back to our apartment when it started raining. After waiting out the rain, we geared up and made our way to Tivoli for some frivolity and rides and then grabbed a drink at Mikkeller and some tasty thai food at Namthip. Buzzed and full, we called it a night relatively early and packed up for our flight the next afternoon.

July 8th – 9AM – 2PM

Our flight to Amsterdam wasn’t until two in the afternoon, so we planned to spend the morning at the Copenhagen Aquarium, which is on the way to the airport. We weren’t entirely sure what to do with our luggage, but thankfully the Aquarium had huge lockers that guests can use FREE OF CHARGE. How unAmerican is that?! After looking at as many water creatures as we could handle and taking this gorgeous green screen photo, we grabbed our bags and took the bus the rest of the way to the airport. Just like that, we were on our way to Amsterdam.

36 Hours in Copenhagen

Copenhagen Tips and Tricks

  • Get the Copenhagen Card! It gets you on public transit and into many attractions free of charge.
  • The Little Mermaid statue is crowded and tiny. I’m not saying you shouldn’t check it out, I just want you to know what you’re in store for.
  • If you want to blend in, wear lots and lots of black. Maybe white and grey if you wan’t to get wild and crazy. Also bring lots of light layers.
  • From my friend Kate who lived in Copenhagen (I didn’t have time for these ones):
    • If you want a quick day trip, Louisiana Museum of Art is beautiful. About an hour train ride from the city.
    • Check out Hans Christian Andersen and others’ graves in Assistens Kirkegard – it’s a cemetery but it’s also quite nice to bring a picnic to.
    • Go swimming in a harbor pool (Islands Brygge, Svanemøllen or Fisketorvet).
    • If you see a Lagkagehuset (famous Danish bakery, you can’t miss them, they’re everywhere), you’ve got to try a kanelsnegle (cinnamon bun).

Tell me: Have you been to Copenhagen before?

10 Comments on 36 Hours in Copenhagen, Denmark

  1. Allison @neversaydiebeauty
    January 25, 2016 at 5:08 pm (7 years ago)

    Although Copenhagen has never been at the top of my list, I would like to go there someday. Your trip sounded a bit meh, but a very informative recap and set of do’s and don’ts. What’s the art scene like there?

    • Kristin Bassett
      January 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm (7 years ago)

      I would highly recommend it. It’s a lovely city with a lot to see and do. To be honest, we didn’t check out much art, but I’ve heard that it has a good art scene. We were mostly just trying to enjoy the laid back summer culture and see as much of the city as possible. Freetown was definitely meh, but everything I would 100% do again. Ok, I wouldn’t do the circus museum again, but it was absolutely hilarious and a great memory!

  2. Collective Beauty
    January 26, 2016 at 2:32 am (7 years ago)

    Awesome!! I’m part Danish, so this is on my bucket list!

  3. Grow It Girl
    January 26, 2016 at 3:18 am (7 years ago)

    The photos are gorgeous and the food looks so delicious!

  4. marciaf
    January 26, 2016 at 3:39 am (7 years ago)

    I spent a day there a very long time ago and I loved the city. We went to Tivoli and that was a highlight too.

    January 26, 2016 at 4:19 am (7 years ago)

    How brilliant! Denmark is on my bucket list, because I grew up to Andersen’s stories (have a 100+-year-old edition at home) and also because of their maritime history (my family has been in shipping for four generations).

  6. all_the_words025
    January 26, 2016 at 4:28 am (7 years ago)

    Creepy clowns aside, it looks like such a great time. I might be just a bit jealous!

  7. FabZilla_Kath
    January 26, 2016 at 6:19 am (7 years ago)

    Take me next time 🙂 Great summary and photos!

  8. Lola Seicento
    January 26, 2016 at 6:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I would say that was 36 hours well spent!

  9. Erika
    January 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm (7 years ago)

    I am so enjoying your travel posts and your photos make me want to pack my bags!