How to spend 3 days in Copenhagen, itinerary to the happiest city in the world

by Rebecca
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Looking to spend 3 days in Copenhagen? Well, then this Copenhagen itinerary is for you.

The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen,  received the accolade of being named Lonely Planet’s best city to visit in 2019. Not only that but year after year, Denmark is named one of the happiest countries on the planet.

Get ready to find out why with the Copenhagen itinerary, showing you how to spend 3 days in Copenhagen.

An influential food scene is spearheaded by Noma, the best restaurant in the world. Innovative  Danish design is mixed among historic colourful buildings, such as the photogenic harbour of Nyhan.

Copenhagen invites visitors to explore, relax and find their Hygge, a Danish term translating as warmth and cosiness.

 

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Copenhagen itinerary

How much will three days in Copenhagen cost?

You may be asking how much does it cost to travel to Copenhagen ahead of your trip.

I worked out, the average daily cost for a budget-conscious traveller in Copenhagen is around £65, (545DKK or $83.75.)

If you are on a tighter budget, here are some great money-saving tips I discovered during my time in the city:

For cheap Smørrebrød (Danish open Sandwiches) visit Domhusets Smørrebrød which is open on weekdays, where each Smørrebrød is only 17DKK.

If you want to go for a drink, head to Downtown Hostel Copenhagen between 8 pm and 9 pm for happy hour, where a litre of Carlsberg will cost you 50DKK.

Take a free walking tour to learn about the city.

 

3 days in Copenhagen – where to stay?

This map below will help you easily search for accommodation in Copenhagen across a range of different prices.


Booking.com

 

During my trip to Copenhagen, I stayed at the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel. Prices for a bed in the largest dorm room, with 10-beds, starts at around $41 per night.

The best part about staying here was the great bar on the ground floor, the perfect place for socialising with both travellers and locals.

It’s important to note that Like it’s other Scandinavian counterparts alcohol in Copenhagen is very expensive.

That is another reason I enjoyed staying at the Downtown Hostel Copenhagen because honestly the happy hour is probably the cheapest night out you will find in the city.

From 8 to 9 pm you can get 1 litre of beer for 50 DKK. This Viking size portion was so big I had to use both hands to lift it.

three days in Copenhagen itinerary

Food to eat in Copenhagen

Smørrebrød

During your 3 days in Copenhagen, you must try Smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is a Danish open-faced rye bread sandwich, with various toppings.

Hotdog (Pølse)

Danish people love their hot dogs. Try one from one of the many hotdog stands around Copenhagen.

Snegl

Danish pastries are incredible, and my favourite is Snegl (which means snail.) A cinnamon swirl pastry with icing topping.

Stegt Flæsk

Voted in 2014 as Denmark’s national dish, stegt flæsk is fried pork belly served with potatoes and parsley sauce.

Frikadeller med kold kartoffelsalat

Fried meatballs served with cold boiled potatoes in a sour cream garnished with chives.

 

How to spend 3 days in Copenhagen – itinerary

Now you know some helpful tips about travelling in Copenhagen check out the helpful day to day itinerary below. Here you will find out exactly what to do each day during your trip.

Day one in Copenhagen

Take a walking tour

The first thing I always love to do when travelling to your new city is to take a walking tour. This is the best ways to gather your bearings and get a sense of where things are, as well as tick a lot of the must-see sights of your, wishlist.

When I arrived in Copenhagen I was eager to find out more about the history of the city and get a local‘s perspective of what Copenhagen it really is.

Taking a free walking tour is great if you are on a tight budget. On a free walking tour, You are usually expected to pay in tips, allowing for your budget.

The tour I took part in it was the Sandemans New Europe Free Tour of Copenhagen. the tour lasted for roughly 2 1/2 hours, with a much-needed break in the middle to warm up, grab a coffee and ask the tour guide any questions you have so far.

What will you see on a free walking tour of Copenhagen?

Some of the highlights of the tour included visiting the grand Amalienborg Palace, Nyhavn and The Marble Church.

I really could not rate this tour highly enough and it was the perfect way to start three days in Copenhagen, by walking through over 6000 years of Danish history.

I felt now I was ready to tackle the rest of the city without feeling so hopelessly lost.

What’s great about Sandemans is they have tours in cities all over Europe, and you can collect stamps on your Sandemans loyalty card and earn freebies.

There are also other tour options available in Copenhagen, as well as free walking tours. Some of these tours offer fantastic which are specialised experiences.

Below you will find some of my favourite unforgettable Copenhagen tours:

See the famous Little Mermaid statue

One of the most loved sites in Copenhagen and is the bronze little mermaid statue created by Edvard Eriksen. The statute, which turned 100 years old in August 2013, is displayed on the waterside of a beautiful promenade.

The sculpture is based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale about a mermaid who was driven by her love for a prince gives up everything.

The statue is a short walk from the Amalienborg Palace and will take you roughly 12 minutes to walk there. If visiting on a particularly cold day fear not as there is a small coffee stand nearby to help you warm up from the bitter Scandinavian winter weather.

Top tip if posing for a picture on the rocks near the statue be careful not to slip and fall in the water especially in the winter as it really really is absolutely freezing cold, just watch your step.

Explore Nyhavn

One of my highlights during my three days in Copenhagen was the colourful Nyhavn, which is a 17th-century waterfront harbour area and entertainment district.

Here you will be wowed by picturesque buildings, in a smorgasbord of different colours on both sides of a small canal dotted with boats. Most of the boats here are not in use anymore and instead, the harbour is kind of like a boat museum.

There is no shortage of appetizing places to eat and drink,  although as this is a bustling tourist hotspot things can get a little pricey, so be warned.

Instead of grabbing some food and drink here I enjoyed wandering around the canal and taking plenty of photos on my way back from viewing the little mermaid statue.

If you are peckish, there is a hotdog stand nearby. You may be baffled by that but in Denmark, these hotdogs are one of the most popular forms of street food.

3 days in Copenhagen

Visit the Round Tower

After Nyhavn, it’s time to take a trip to the Round Tower, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. To get to the top of the tower walk up the spiral walkway which is big enough to fit a horse.
You may be thinking “that was an odd thing to write Rebecca”, well honestly that is what the staircase way made to be.

It was designed to be used as an equestrian ‘staircase’ so that King Christian IV of Denmark could effortlessly trot up to the top of the tower and enjoy the scenic views. Oh, what it would like to be royalty.
Entry to the tower costs 25 DKK for an adult and 5 DKK for a child.

Copenhagen itinerary

An evening at Tivoli theme park

Is a trip to Copenhagen complete without a stop at the famous Tivoli Gardens Amusement park?
The park opened in 1843 making it the second-oldest operating amusement park in the whole world.

Funnily enough, the first of which is also in Denmark too. I guess the Danish really do know how to have a good time, hey.

Tivoli is the most visited theme park in all of Scandinavia and once you arrive here it is easy to see why. Below you will find some helpful information about Tivoli.

What can you do at Tivoli?

Alongside the usual rides you would expect to see at an amusement park there are plenty of other things to do.

These include visiting the Tivoli food hall for a gastronomic delight. Also, depending on the time of year, there are seasonal offerings. In the summer there is a classical music concert and later in the year, a spectacular New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

Over the Christmas period is when Tivoli is at its most magical. The gardens light up and everything takes on a Christmas theme with food, sweets, gifts and even an elf train – all aboard.

When to visit Tivoli:

Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the whole of Europe. It’s a location on many travellers bucket lists when in the Danish capital, but to avoid showing up and being disappointed, it’s wise to check when it is open before your 3 days in Copenhagen.

Tivoli is not open all year round. Tivoli amusement park has four distinct seasons, which are:

SUMMER 6 APRIL – 24 SEPTEMBER

For the best weather, open-air concerts and long hours of sunshine, visit in the summer season.  

HALLOWEEN 13 OCTOBER – 5 NOVEMBER

Halloween isn’t really a thing in Denmark yet, but it is a Tivoli. Expect pumpkins, decorations and lots of candy.

CHRISTMAS 18 NOVEMBER – 31 DECEMBER

Yey for Christmas. Tivoli is so cute and festive this time of year. Enjoy a glass of glögg (mulled wine), browse the Christmas market for handmade gifts and enjoy the evening fireworks.

WINTER 2 – 25 FEBRUARY

Tivoli closes in January but reopens in February for their Winter season. It’s cold out so wrap up warm, enjoy a hot chocolate and warm up with comfort food from one of the restaurants on-site.

Ticket Prices:

There are various options for tickets to Tivoli with adult entrance starting at 130 DKK. There are also other ticket packages available which include unlimited ride tickets and other bonuses.

Day two in Copenhagen

 

Find the best Kanelsnegle in Copenhagen

Denmark is famous for its pastries, and what a variety it has to offer. Although it was funny to find out the confusingly named Danish Pastry isn’t actually from Denmark. Whilst in Copenhagen, trying the best Danish sweet treat is a must, and my favourite variety of all was the Kanelsnegle, chocolate snail in English. Finding the best Kanelsnegle in Copenhagen is a task worth pursuing.

If you need some help, check out these recommendations from Scandinavia Standard. I rate the Kanglesnegle from Lagkagehuset, as pictured above. Not ashamed to say I ate it every morning.

3 days in Copenhagen

Exploring Copenhagens museums

Copenhagen has no shortage of fantastic museums and visiting some of these are a great way to kick off day number two of your three days in Copenhagen. Below are some of my recommendations.

Dansk Arkitektur Center

Denmark is known for its architecture, so why not find out more at the Danish Architecture Centre?
Tickets cost 116 DKK for an adult but anybody 26 or under gets free entry. There is also a discount for students with the tickets costing 96 DKK.

The National Museum

For history buffs, Denmark’s National Museum is the place to go. Here exhibitions span from the Stone Age through the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and into the now of modern times.
Tickets cost 95DKK for an adult but the entrance is free for those 17 and under and those with the Copenhagen card – something I recommend investing in if you are travelling to Copenhagen.

Christianborg – The Royal Reception Rooms

If like me you’ve dreamed of being a princess, or you are curious to see how Danish royalty lives, then pay a visit to the Royal reception rooms at the Christiansburg Palace in Copenhagen.

These rooms are used by the Queen for official occasions and receptions which include visits from foreign heads of state and the official royal new years eve banquet.

Make sure to attend the daily 3 pm guided tour of the reception rooms which are conducted in English.

The best part is the tour is free of charge when you pay for regular admissions. Cost of the entrance is 95DKK for adults 85DKK for students and is free for those 17 and under.

ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst

The Arken and Museum is bursting at the seams with creations from the greatest modernist artists. But you will also discover exhibitions of contemporary art showcasing emerging young talent.

The museum is known to have one of Scandinavia’s finest collections of contemporary art, with over 400 different works.

The museum also houses one of Europe’s most comprehensive collections of famous British artist Damien Hirst a must-see in my eyes.
Damien Hirst is one of my favourite artists, and not just because I thought it was pretty cool to cut a dead cow in half and call it art.

Tickets for the Arken Museum cost 150 DKK for Adults 130 DKK for students and those who have a Copenhagen Card and for everyone 17 and under entrance is free.

Eat at Torvehallerne Market Hall

Who doesn’t love to visit a food market for tasty local treats? Torvehallerne is my favourite in Copenhagen. The two modern glass market halls house over 60 stands serving Danish delicacies, international cuisine, coffee, cakes, drinks, and fresh produce. A true foodies paradise, and a great place to try Smorrebrod.

3 days in Copenhagen

Day three in Copenhagen

 

Rosenborg Castle

To kick off your third and final day in Copenhagen it’s time to take a trip to Rosenberg castle. The castle was built by one of the most famous Scandinavian Kings Christian the IV.

At the castle, one of the highlights has to be The Danish crown jewels which are kept here in special vaults.

A visit to the castle is a walk-through 400 years of Danish splendour, grandness and royalty. Make sure to see the Great Hall were the remarkable coronation thrones are kept.

Tickets to the Palace cost 115 DKK for adults and students with a valid ID can gain entry for 75DKK.

If you are visiting both the Rosenberg and the Amelienbourg Palace you can purchase a special ticket valid for 36 hours which costs just 160 DKK saving you money.

If you are 17 or under or have a Copenhagen card entrance is free – result.

Freetown Christiana

Visiting Freetown Christiania will show you a completely different side to Copenhagen, one that is certainly more hippie commune than cosy Hygge.

Here a bustling community of residents Champion an alternative way of living which can sometimes be seen as controversial.
I say controversial because the area is somewhat known for its relaxed view on weed. During your visit, you will see what I mean as even though it isn’t officially legal, you’ll see plenty of sellers and smell that vague pongy waft of pot in the air.

Walking around the settlement it certainly has a strong 70s vibe, very much a place of ‘peace love and pot’.

A lot of the people living in Christiania built their house themselves, which cuts through the yawn-worthy homogeny seen in many western cities. Creativity is championed but eco-friendly ways are even more encouraged.

Just be careful during your visit as there are some things to remember when visiting the area as you will see below.

What not to do in Freetown, Christiana:

The autonomous bohemian district of Copenhagen is a world away from life in the city centre. It’s so interesting to visit and explore, but its wise not to do these things:

Don’t take photos on Pusher Street:

Pusher Street is the name the locals have given to the most famous part of Freetown, Christiana. This is where people by and sell Majorana, which isn’t legal here – which explains why taking photos is a big no-no.

Don’t buy or smoke weed:

As mentioned above, it’s not legal.

Don’t take photos of the locals without there permission:

I mean its a bit intrusive to go up to someone’s front yard and take photos of them, just be polite.

Don’t Run:

There’s a sign at the entrance that says’s ‘running causes panic.’ So in an effort not to panic locals, it’s probably wise to just walk instead.

3 days in Copenhagen

Shopping on Strøget street

If you are looking to indulge in some retail therapy when spending 3 days in Copenhagen, Strøget Street is a must-visit. At 1Km long, this is the longest shopping street in Europe. There are also two shopping malls located on Strøget.

 

3 days in Copenhagen

Shop and eat smørrebrød at Magasin Du Nord

I was super excited to visit Magasin Du Nord when in Copenhagen not just because for some weird reason I love department stores (maybe because I’m am soo damn British it’s laughable) but actually because this department store is a little bit special, and dates way back to 1869. 

The store covers five floors with everything on offer from food to beauty, fashion and homeware. 

I felt that walking through the store gave me more of an idea of what being Danish is really like. 

When shopping here you can find some tasty food treats, particularly on the fifth floor. I just couldn’t say no to picking up a cheeky local smørrebrød, opting for the delicious prawn option – a local favourite.

Smørrebrød is a tasty Danish open sandwich that can be topped with all kinds of yummy goodies. This is a must-try delicacy to eat during your 3 days in Copenhagen.

Beware that food here can be a little on the pricier side but that’s because it is more of an experience than a necessity.

3 days in CopenhagenCopenhagen itinerary

Enjoy a canal tour of Copenhagen

You’ve seen the city from many angles by now, but for a new view of Copenhagen’s beauty, it is time to take to the water. A memorable activity to take part to enjoy your trip is a brilliant canal tour.
There are lots of options on offer and here are some of the tours I recommend taking part in during your 3 days in Copenhagen:

3 days in CopenhagenCopenhagen itinerary

Trip ready resources:

Things you can book in advance before your 3 days in Copenhagen:

If you want to visit Tivoli Gardens, you can book tickets here. 

To save some money during your trip, you can purchase a Copenhagen City Card here.

Book onto the Sandemans free walking tour of Copenhagen here.

Want to see an alternative side of Copenhagen? Book a walking tour of Christiania here.

Experience Copenhagen’s nightlife on a Copenhagen Pub Crawl which you can book here.

Love food and want to learn about Copenhagen’s popular dishes and food scene? Book a Copenhagen food hour here.

The best way to see Copenhagen is by bike. Book a Copenhagen Bike Tour here.

Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. Learn why that is the case and what the word Hygge means on a special walking tour that you can book here.

 

Copenhagen itinerary

 

 

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Check out my Favourite travel resources, perfect for 3 days in Copenhagen

My recommendations

For amazing cheap flight deals, I love Jack’s Flight Club.

To get great train passes across Europe, Interrail is the place to go.

Check out this site for awesome last minute travel deals.

To book onto a fabulous group tour, check out Contiki. 

You may want a guide book for your travels if so I love Lonely Planet.

Never leave for a trip without travel insurance! You’ll never know when you may need it.

 

Thank you for reading my post all about how to spend 3 days in Copenhagen, and I hope you feel inspired and ready to explore Copenhagen.

Want more Scandinavian travel guides? Then check out my awesome itinerary to Stockholm, Sweden. 

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media, as I love hearing about your adventures.

Connect with me on facebook to keep up to date with new content.

You can follow my travels on Twitter.

Be inspired by my travel photography over on Instagram.

And get pinning some travel inspo over on Pinterest.

See you on the road,

Rebecca Rayner

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4 comments

Adele Gee 26/01/2019 - 11:45 am

Wow! What a comprehensive post on Copenhagen , liked that it has so many details

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Adele Gee 07/08/2019 - 7:27 pm

Wow! What a comprehensive post on Copenhagen , liked that it has so many details

Reply
Clara Henningsen 19/01/2020 - 11:37 pm

The Danish capital is having a moment, but can be prohibitively expensive. Here’s how to enjoy 48 hours there without blowing the budget But though Copenhagen might currently be the cream of the Scandi crop, this is undoubtedly one of Europe’s more expensive capitals. So here’s a guide to seeing the parts of the city that don’t cost much – or, even better, are free.

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firtukloimutrzas 27/03/2020 - 1:35 am

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