Copenhagen is such an astonishing city, and during the summer, it is irreplaceable. I got inspired to write this blog post as a result of having my parents visiting me in Copenhagen recently, a friend from the USA coming over soon, and with many people asking me about what they can do in the city for a short trip. After all, we talk about one of my most favorite cities in the whole world.
So here they are – the top 10 things to do in Copenhagen during the summer – especially suitable for spending quality time with friends, family (or by yourself) in the beautiful capital of Vikingsland. ! 🙂
1. Rent a boat for a trip around the Canal
..and sail around Islands Brygge harbor (probably my favorite place in Copenhagen during the summer). Here is all you need to know about “how-to” arrange the boat tour: http://www.copenhagenboatrent.dk/ Alternatively, try the toured boat trips. When I have had guests, we have always taken the one leaving from Nyhavn and sailing around the main historical locations in Copenhagen. With the city surrounded by water, embarking on the one-hour tour is the perfect way to see some of the main sightseeing places close by the water and enjoy a nice, relaxing boat-ride.
2. Experience the royal side of Copenhagen through the city’s historical castles
To start with, Rosenborg slot is located in the heart of Copenhagen, just next to Nørreport st., and it is a very beautiful castle (both inside and out), famous with its wonderful garden Kongens Have and with having an “exhibition” of the Queens & Kings jewelry.
Moving down the road, you will find the Danish parliament Christiansborg palace, which has once also been the residence of the royal family. There you can also have a panoramic view over the city from the Tower.
Not far from Christiansborg palace, and thus still in the Inner City, is the current royal residence – The Amalieborg castle. If you come at 12.00 noon, you can witness also the change of Royal Guards (Den Kongelige Livgarde).
I am very keen on the Frederiksberg palace, located in the Frederiksberg district of Copenhagen. The design of the castle resembles the Italian style of 1700, which distinguishes it from the other castles I have mentioned so far. And what a garden! It is no doubt referred to as one of the most romantic places in Copenhagen, with its big a lake and swans, the unspoiled nature, the pretty bridges and the stunning view towards the castle located up the hill.
I also recommend having a trip to the baroque Frederiksborg castle in Hiilerød (north of Copenhagen), where the museum of national history is, and the Kronborg castle of Hamlet in Elsinore, if time permits.
If you are passionate about castles, make sure to read my trip diary blog post from my visit to the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein castle in south-west Germany.
3. Have a picnic in Kongens Have (Rosenborg Castle Garden)
Or in the Frederiksberg garden. Or may be around the Lakes of Copenhagen? Whichever of these locations you choose, you will feel as if you are having a picnic in a fairy-tale land.
4. Attend a RoofTop Party
Party on top of the world? Ja, tak! Visit http://www.copenhagen.com/events/122661 for the up-coming rooftop events. If you are not too much into open-spaced heights, however, try these cafes and restaurants – they offer a fantastic panoramic view of the city and the canals: DAC & Café at Strandgade in Christianshavn, Sticks & Sushi in Tivoli Congress Center (the food is also great) and the ILLUM Rooftop restaurant.
5. Visit Torvehallerne – the Farmer´s Market
Fascinating market with a huge diversity of food and drinks for everyone: from Nordic cuisine to Asian kitchen, bakeries, cafes, organic food & beverages, ice cream, hand-made chocolate, fresh fish and meat, exotic spices, Italian traditional pizzas..and so much more. The Coffee Collective also offers delicious coffee from all over the world.
The market is always full of life during the summer days, and in case you cannot find available spots to sit and enjoy the good weather and food, grab a take-away and sit across the street. Just opposite the market, after crossing Vendersgade, a small playground-stadium is located (Israels Plads). My friends and I love to go if we would like to avoid the crowds at the market.
6. Spend an afternoon in Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli is exactly what ‘hyggeligt” looks like in my mind. Gardens, cozy cafes (see my top 10 cafés in Copenhagen for a cozy afternoon) and restaurants, fountains, small popcorn, ice cream and candy stands, concert halls, rollercoasters, pastry shops, ballet performances, playgrounds. It is a heaven for children, but also enhancing place for everyone (even if you do not have the romantic soul in you).
7. Attend a festival or a concert
There are so many of them around Copenhagen during the summer, that it is hard to miss them. The Jazz festival is starting 1 July, while there are all sort of food festivals around the city, such as Asian street-food festival, and the Copenhagen Cooking and Food Festival, which will take place between 19-29 of August.
Every Friday during the summer period, there is also a Fredagsrock concert at the open-air stage in Tivoli. It is also the perfect time to have a BBQ and enjoy good music around the city.
8. Explore Amager Strand
The beach is located 5 km from the city center and is easily reachable by metro. The coastal line is perfect for long walks, biking trip or morning jogging (aside from the swimming, of course).
9. Indulge on ice cream or waffles at Vaffelbageren
You should not miss to taste the homemade waffles at the famous Nyhavn street, made by the recipe from 1920 (and kept a secret:)).
10. Visit Dyrehavsbakken
It is the world’s oldest amusement park, with beautiful surroundings – definitely a place to remember.
Hope you have a wonderful stay in one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals!