The 20 finest free issues to do in Copenhagen

It is easy to fall in love with Copenhagen, a metropolis directly historic and trendy, conventional and revolutionary. The Danish capital is thought for its design scene, top-notch delicacies and hip, laid-back environment, however Copenhagen is definitely not thought-about a funds vacation spot.

Surprisingly, although, there are numerous experiences that you would be able to take pleasure in for no value in any respect, together with a few of the most well-known sights that Copenhagen has to supply.  This is a information to one of the best free issues to do in Copenhagen.

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1. Relive Copenhagen’s seafaring previous in Nyhavn

The colourful colours and historic tall ships of nautical Nyhavn make it Copenhagen’s most well-known vacation spot. Stroll down the southern facet of the canal for one of the best views and pictures, and try home quantity 20, the place beloved Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen lived in 1835 when he revealed his first quantity of fairy tales. Do not let the crowds discourage you from going to see this picturesque harbor in excessive season – it is nonetheless nicely price a go to.

Planning tip: Reasonably than paying sky-high costs on the harborside eating places, do as locals do and choose up a snack and a few beers to take pleasure in picnic-style on the water’s edge.

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2. Pay your respects to the Little Mermaid 

Guests from everywhere in the world flock to see Copenhagen’s most well-known resident, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Perched on a rock simply offshore alongside Langelinie Park, this celebrated sculpture is far smaller than many anticipate, and a few say she is an overrated attraction. Nevertheless, the stroll up the harborside is rewarding as there are different sights to absorb in your method to go to the town’s iconic motif. Go early or late to keep away from the worst of the crowds.

The tower of Christiansborg Palace is the town’s finest free viewpoint © william87 / Getty Photographs

3. Take in the views from Christiansborg Palace

For panoramic views of central Copenhagen and past, head to Christiansborg Palace, house to the Danish Parliament and the Royal Reception Rooms. Though there’s a charge to tour most components of the palace, entrance to its crowning tower is free. At 108m (354ft), Christiansborg Tårnet is Copenhagen’s highest viewpoint, with gorgeous views in all instructions. From right here, you may absorb sweeping views of the cityscape, and even see throughout the Øresund strait to Sweden.

Planning tip: Behind the tower is the out of doors Royal Driving Ring, the place you may usually spot a few of the  white royal horses having fun with coaching for his or her royal duties. It is a cheaper different to purchasing a ticket for the Royal Stables.

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4. Uncover Danish sculpture on the Thorvaldsens Museum

The quaint Thorvaldsens Museum, subsequent to Christiansborg Palace, is totally devoted to works and collections of Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, and is free to enter on Wednesdays. Thorvaldsen spent 4 a long time in Rome and drew his major inspiration from classical mythology and sculpture. The museum incorporates a whole bunch of items of Thorvaldsen’s work – statues, drawings and molds – in addition to many antiquities that the artist collected overseas.

Woman Sketching at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Come on Tuesday to benefit from the artworks at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek without spending a dime © Bo Zaunders / Getty Photographs

5. Admire artwork without spending a dime at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

The sprawling Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is crammed with sculptures and work by the likes of Rodin, Van Gogh, Gaugin and different Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century European masters, in addition to an impressive assortment of Mediterranean antiquities. Admission is free on Tuesdays. The museum constructing itself is as spectacular because the artistic endeavors it homes, with a shocking plant-filled winter backyard and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views.

Planning tip: When you’re within the space, wander down the highway to admire the outside of the Copenhagen Metropolis Corridor, a high-quality instance of the Nationwide Romantic type, constructed by architect Martin Nyrop in 1905.

6. See a contemporary facet to Copenhagen’s artwork scene at Nikolaj Kunsthal

Free on Wednesdays, the Nikolaj Kunsthal is a up to date arts heart housed in a former church whose magnificent spire towers over the town. Exhibitions change recurrently and characterize quite a lot of media and types; most deal with modern social, cultural or political points.

Gefion Fountain and St Alban's Church, along the Harbourside Promenade © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet
Gefion Fountain and St Alban’s Church, alongside the Harbourside Promenade © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet

7. Snap a photograph of the Gefion Fountain and Kastellet

The Gefion Fountain, that includes the Norse goddess Gefion and her oxen, is an imposing creation neglected by St Alban’s Church. Behind the fountain is the Kastellet, a star-shaped fortress constructed within the 1600s to defend the town; guests are free to walk the grounds and examine its historic buildings and windmill.

Planning tip: Mix a go to to the Kastellet with a stroll via the greenery of Langelinie Park, passing the Little Mermaid and the Maritime Monument.

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8. Take in the environment of Strøget and the Outdated City

One of many longest pedestrian streets on this planet, Strøget is the hub of Copenhagen’s full of life heart and a purchasing playground, notably for followers of Danish design, however there is not any cost to browse. Dotted with historic buildings, squares and fountains, it’s one of the visited components of the Outdated City, welcoming as much as 10,000 individuals a day within the excessive season.

Those that stray from the bustling most important purchasing avenue are rewarded with charming, quieter squares comparable to Gråbrødretorv and a few of the most picturesque streets within the metropolis. Maintain your digital camera useful for a stroll alongside Magstræde, a curved, cobblestone magnificence lined with colourful previous houses.

Rosenborg Castle, in the King's Gardens © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet
The scenic King’s Gardens sprawl round Rosenborg Citadel © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet

9. Respect the calm inexperienced areas of Kongens Have

Copenhagen is stuffed with inexperienced areas, however Kongens Have (the King’s Backyard) is particularly beautiful. The gardens function the grounds of Rosenborg Citadel, which was constructed because the royal summer season house within the 1600s and is now a museum (an entry charge applies). Intersecting tree-lined paths, an orchard, a rose backyard and expansive lawns which can be excellent for picnics make this a favourite spot for locals and guests alike.

Planning tip: The gardens have a marionette theatre staging free performances for teenagers within the afternoons from mid-July to mid-August (Tuesday to Sunday).

10. Stroll within the lush Botanisk Have gardens

Copenhagen’s historic Botanical Backyard is a 10-hectare oasis, boasting 13,000 species of bushes, flowers and different crops. Highlights embody a perennial backyard, a rhododendron backyard and a rock backyard with alpine crops. Strolling paths wind via the flowerbeds and circle the stunning lake on the park’s coronary heart, a remnant of the moat that protected the town for a whole bunch of years. There’s a charge to go to the Nineteenth-century Palm Home, which additionally features a seasonal Butterfly House throughout the heat summer season months, however the Botanical Backyard itself is freed from cost. 

The Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace, residence of the Danish Royal Family © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet
The Altering of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace, the residence of the Danish Royal Household © Caroline Hadamitzky / Lonely Planet

11. See how the royals stay at Amalienborg Palace

Comprising 4 outwardly similar palaces set round a central courtyard, Amalienborg Palace is the official metropolis residence of Queen Margrethe II and the Danish Royal Household. There’s an entry charge to see the palace rooms however there is not any cost to observe the Altering of the Guard. On daily basis at midday, members of the Royal Life Guard march via the town from their barracks at Rosenborg Palace to Amalienborg to take over the watch. The troopers march across the courtyard in distinctive bearskin helmets and midnight-blue uniforms (or pink uniforms on particular events); when the Queen is in residence they’re accompanied by a marching band. 

Planning tip: Near the palace, the free-to-visit Ameliehavn gardens flank the harbor, dotted with sculptures by Italian artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro. 

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12. Benefit from the sights, smells and tastes of Torvehallerne Market

The Torvehallerne market is a foodie wonderland, the place house cooks {and professional} cooks alike come to supply recent, native produce. Inside the advanced of two glass halls and lots of out of doors stands, you may store for high quality substances for picnics, choose up take-home goodies comparable to wines, teas and sweets, sit and people-watch in one of many many cafes. or simply wander without spending a dime investigating the stalls.

Planning tip: When you’re eager to pattern a few of the native delicacies, strive a smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) from Hallernes, or a fiskefrikadelle (fish cake) with remoulade from Boutique Fisk

People relax by the Black Diamond, the national library of Denmark
The “Black Diamond” containing the Royal Library of Denmark is without doubt one of the metropolis’s most putting landmarks © Vladimir Mucibabic / Shutterstock

13. Marvel on the structure of the Royal Library

The Royal Library, on the island of Slotsholmen, is made up of two sections: the unique constructing, based in 1648, and the trendy extension, accomplished in 1999. The newer a part of the library sits gleaming on the shores of Copenhagen harbor; it is often known as the Black Diamond as a result of its shiny marble exterior.

The library holds nearly each e-book ever printed within the Danish language, with some titles relationship again so far as 1482. The inside is an interesting piece of structure and the central corridor is accessible to the general public, however books should be reserved prematurely and accessed in one of many studying rooms.

Planning tip: Between the charming historic facet of the library and the doorway to the Danish Parliament you will discover a peaceable hidden backyard the place you may sit by the fountain and take a break from a busy day of exploring.

14. Drop by some historic church buildings

Many Copenhagen church buildings may be visited without spending a dime. Christiansborg Slotskirke has been the location of royal christenings and funerals for hundreds of years, whereas Vor Frue Kirke (The Church of Our Woman) has hosted many royal weddings, most lately the nuptials of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson in 2004.

Overlooking the grounds of Amalienborg Palace, Marmorkirken (The Marble Church) is a powerful domed church constructed from limestone; it’s the most important church of its variety in Scandinavia. One other distinctive church is the baroque Vår Frelsers Kirke (The Church of Our Savior), most well-known for its spire, which has an exterior spiral staircase that may be climbed for a charge.

People at the entrance of the autonomous settlement of Christiania
See Copenhagen’s bohemian facet in Freetown Christiania © JJFarq / Shutterstock

15. Uncover bohemian Copenhagen in Freetown Christiania

Situated on the island borough of Christianshavn, Freetown Christiania is a singular and considerably controversial a part of Copenhagen. This autonomous settlement was established throughout a housing scarcity in 1971 when squatters took over an deserted navy base and based another enclave within the metropolis.

Greatest identified for its Inexperienced Gentle District, a gritty central quarter crammed with marijuana sellers and people who smoke, Christiania is an expansive space that additionally consists of nature trails and a lake. The Freetown can also be house to eating places and bars, a market, artist workshops and live performance venues. There’s loads of avenue artwork to admire, and lots of residents stay in imaginatively transformed military barracks buildings or distinctive, hand-built houses.

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16. Take pleasure in an arty lunch or snack at Reffen

Established in 2017, the Reffen meals market rapidly gained over locals and vacationers alike because the place to go for scrumptious avenue meals in Copenhagen. Situated on the previous industrial island of Refshaleøen, it’s house to greater than 30 distributors promoting multicultural meals from transformed transport containers. The thought is to assist new entrepreneurs set up companies and encourage sustainable practices.

It is not only a place for scrumptious eats. Reffen can also be house to artists’ workshops and hosts frequent free concert events, artwork festivals and different occasions. The market is open every day within the excessive season, and at weekends for many of the remainder of the yr.

Planning tip: The placement of Reffen is fairly remoted however getting right here is half the enjoyable on the yellow “harbor bus” boat.

Young man climbing out of Copenhagen harbor after a swim
The easiest way to take pleasure in Copenhagen harbor is to take a dip! © Cavan Photographs RF / Getty Photographs

17. Swim within the harbor

Sure, you learn that proper! Whereas not often known as a seashore vacation spot, Copenhagen is surrounded by water, and its harbor is clear sufficient to swim in. Although chilly, even in the summertime months, its harbor is a well-liked spot for a dip in heat (and generally chilly) climate. The town has three harbor bath facilities which can be free to make use of (Islands Brygge is essentially the most central) however many locals simply leap in straight from the docks.

18. Take a beachside stroll at Amager Strand

To make one of the best of a heat summer season day in Copenhagen, take the Metro to Amager Strand for a day on the seashore. Many come to the lengthy, sandy shoreline to benefit from the solar and waves, and the waterfront promenade is a good place for a stroll or bike trip. There are spectacular views of the Øresund strait, together with the well-known bridge connecting Copenhagen to Malmö in Sweden, seen within the distance.

People sit at cafe tables covered with large white umbrellas in a city square with buildings surrounding
Rådhuspladsen is a good place to people-watch in Copenhagen © Tibor Bognar / Getty Photographs

19. Discover the Rådhuspladsen

On the finish of Strøget sits Rådhuspladsen, house of Copenhagen’s Italian-inspired Metropolis Corridor, the place guests can admire the ornate foyer and marvel at Jens Olsen’s World Clock, an extremely intricate timepiece. As you discover the sq., pause to admire the Gothic-style Dragon Fountain, the favored statue of Hans Christian Andersen and the stone pillar marking the previous website of Vesterport, the western gate of the wall that used to encompass the town.

20. Really feel Copenhagen’s hipster vibes on Jægersborggade

Head to the hip neighborhood of Nørrebro for a stroll on Jægersborggade, one in all Copenhagen’s finest streets for unbiased retailers and native cafes. Browse artists’ studios, classic clothes boutiques, and retailers promoting every part from sweets to cactuses.

Planning tip: For a recharge whereas exploring Jægersborggade, cease for espresso on the acclaimed Espresso Collective, or a warming bowl of gourmand porridge on the unbelievable Grød.