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Last summer, my Baltic Sea cruise with Princess Cruise Lines embarked and disembarked in Copenhagen, Denmark. So, I decided to take advantage of this and stay over a few days to explore Copenhagen. Scandinavian countries are notoriously expensive, and because of this, we only added on three extra days. We discovered that this is a totally doable timeframe to hit the highlights and so I’m sharing my three-day Copenhagen itinerary with you!
When I’m visiting a far-off destination for whatever reason (whether that be a trip, visiting a friend, a cruise, etc), I often try to find another destination to visit that’s close by. I mean, if you’re traveling all that way anyway, why not capitalize on the opportunity? With cruises, that typically means adding time to explore the embarkation port (or port city of origin). Since that port was Copenhagen this trip, Copenhagen it was. Now onto the itinerary!
Copenhagen Resources & Recommendations
- AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen– (where I stayed) Read the reviews, see photos and book rooms all right here!
- Allianz Travel Insurance– Don’t get caught without travel insurance, please! Get a free quote now.
- Skyscanner– Compare prices and get the best deals on flights
- Lonely Planet Pocket Copenhagen– the best (and my personal favorite) destination guidebooks out there!
Christianborg Palace holds the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of State. Although admittedly, I’m not much of an “inside” tourist, I do wish I had gone inside to see the Royal Reception Rooms and The Great Hall where the Queen’s tapestries are on display.
I found the steeple interesting. Just wish it had been prettier weather!
Christianborg Palace has various hours of operation and is located at Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218, København, Denmark. You can find ticket information here.
Exploring the Streets
I know, could I be any more vague? This is what I call it when I’m in transit from one landmark or attraction to another and I grab photos of things along the way!
Equestrian Statue of Bishop Absalon unveiled in 1902
Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange, one of the oldest buildings in Denmark dating back to 1625!
Probably the most iconic attraction in Copenhagen is Nyhavn. I’m sure you recognize its colorful buildings! Nyhavn is a 17th-century entertainment district right on the waterfront.
Like most popular bridges in Europe, Nyhavn has a love lock bridge! I really loved this area. Great for relaxing, grabbing lunch, dinner or going on a canal cruise, Nyhavn is where the action is. I wish it had been sunny, but you’ll see how I fixed that problem later! 😉
Nyhavn is located at Nyhavn 1-71, København K, Copenhagen 1051, Denmark
Amalienborg Palace is the home of Denmark’s royal family. It is made up of 4 identical palace buildings that surround an octagonally shaped courtyard.
While we were there, we noticed a “checking of the guard”. Now that is solely my terminology because the guards didn’t change and there was no ceremony of any type. I couldn’t find what this process is called anywhere. To me, it just looked like one guard came in and “checked” the other!
There is a changing of the “Life Guard” when HM the Queen is in residence and it is accompanied by music. The Queen is usually in residence in the winter (September-April) and you can read all information about the different changing of the guards.
TIP: Children 17 and under are admitted free!
Amalienborg Palace is located at Amalienborg Splotspads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark and you find ticket information here.
Frederik’s Church is also commonly known as The Marble Church. It is an Evangelical Luthern church known for its rococo (Late Baroque) architecture. Located right across the street from Amalienborg Palace, the Church is the focal point of the Frederiksstaden district.
The dome is its most impressive feature in my opinion. It’s the largest dome in Scandinavia spanning almost 102 feet and rests on 12 columns. The inspiration for its design is thought to be St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Frederik’s Church is located at Frederiksgade 4, 1265 København, Denmark
Exploring the Streets (Again)
I love the colorful buildings that can be found throughout Copenhagen!
How cute is this bike with a basket full of flowers?
*Both of these were found within close walking distance to Frederik’s Church.
Nyhavn (Take 2)
I really wanted a photo of Nyhavn with blue sky behind it and thankfully, on the second day, I was able to do that. Sort of. But, I will take it over the completely gray sky I had the day before.
There is a lot of history to Nyhavn. Its oldest home is Number 9 which dates back to 1681. Hans Christian Andersen previously lived in Numbers 20, 67 and 18. It was in Number 20 where he wrote his fairy-tales The Tinderbox, Little Claus and Big Claus and The Princess and the Pea!
Canal Boat Tour
Don’t just explore Copenhagen by land. Take a canal boat tour and see Copenhagen from the water too! The tours last about an hour, run almost continuously and you can buy tickets at the booths located on the water in Nyhavn.
You pass by many attractions such as the gorgeous Copenhagen Opera House.
Other attractions include the Black Diamond, the Blue Eyes building, and the famous Little Mermaid statue. I’m not going to go into further detail here but look for an in-depth post on cruising the canals coming soon.
Walk down Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets. The 1.1 km (0.6 mi) shopping street mecca runs from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv.
If you are looking for those high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Hermès, this is where you will find them! However, there are also regular stores and great places for souvenir shopping too!
Strøget is located at Strøget, København, Denmark
No visit to Copenhagen is complete without going to Tivoli Gardens. The park opened in August 1843 and is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. In case you’re curious (I was), the oldest is Bakken which is in Klampenborg a little north of Copenhagen.
Entering Tivoli Gardens
The flowers throughout the Gardens were beautiful!
You’re all tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Our favorite ride was The Demon. It includes a half loop with a twist, a vertical loop and a zero-G roll all in the matter of 1 minute 46 seconds!
You have the option of adding on a virtual reality experience which simulates a ride through ancient China with demons and dragons. Since watching these kinds of things causes motion sickness for me, I passed. 😉
Another ride worth mentioning if you like to do “all the things oldest, biggest, best in the world” is the Rutschebanen which was built in 1914. It’s one of the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coasters!
I personally loved the Chinese influence in the park
Fun Fact: Walt Disney visited Tivoli a few times prior to opening Disneyland. He liked the ambience of Tivoli Gardens and wanted to incorporate it into his own park.
TIP: You can buy tickets to enter and ride individual rides if you don’t want to ride them all.
Tivoli Gardens is open Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm and Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight and is located at Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
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On the third day, we really just enjoyed the city. We took our time walking around the city, stopping whenever and wherever we pleased and had a relaxing day.
The Rundetaarn (or Round Tower in English) is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The tower was built by Christian IV during a time when Denmark was known for its astronomical achievements and the observatory is still used by amateur astronomers today.
To get to the top of the tower requires walking up a spiral walkway that is 0.12 miles (209 meters) long.
On the way up (or down), you can take a peek into Trinitatus (Trinity) Church
as well other cool structures such as the library hall and the floating glass floor as you’re on your winding journey.
Once you get to the top, you have 360-degree views of Copenhagen and it’s really pretty!
Round Tower is located at Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København, Denmark
The Rosenborg Castle is a 17th-century royal hermitage built by the famous Scandinavian king, Christian IV.
Herein lies the Crown Jewels of Denmark. Seriously. The crowns of the Danish kings and queens are kept in special (and separate) vaults in Rosenborg Castle. The Crown Jewels consist of a diamond set, a ruby set, pearl set and emerald set.
You can also see the Knight’s Hall containing the coronation thrones and three life-sized silver lions that stand guard.
Spend some time walking around the gardens and grounds. They are huge and offer beautiful flowers, fountains, benches and sprawling lawns!
Where To Eat
Cocks & Cows
If you love burgers and fries, Cocks & Cows is the place to go! I highly recommend the Cheeseburger with the Salt and Vinegar Fries. Amazing!
Check out the Cocks & Cows menu!
Before or after your canal cruise, have lunch at Harbour Grill right there in Nyhavn. I had the Fish and Chips and they were quite yummy!
Harbour Grill is located at Nyhavn 1, 1051 København, Denmark
Grab a latte or another handcrafted drink at Espresso House. They have a cool ambiance, nice restrooms, and wifi!
Espresso House has several locations all over Copenhagen (and Scandinavia).
Where To Stay
And that concludes my three-day tour of Copenhagen and how I added an extension onto my Baltic Sea cruise.
I should note that all three of these days were very relaxing. I took a much slower-paced approach to my usual hustle and bustle and I thoroughly enjoyed the break!
Who else when visiting one destination finds a way to explore another nearby? If you do this, I totally want to know which destinations you paired together. Drop me a line below-I’m always looking for new ideas!
‘Til next time…