Things to do in Copenhagen

Think Copenhagen and Danish design immediately springs to mind. The capital of cool has no shortage of awe-inspiring architecture and drool-worthy interiors. For Modernist style, head to the Paustian  interior design complex on Østerbro’s  north harbour to see a trio of buildings by Joern Utzon (who also designed Sydney Opera House), Arne Jacobsen’s Royal Hotel in Indre By and the Wing House by Henning Larsen. For an insight into the architectural tradition, head to the Danish Design Centre in Indre By, also a work of Henning Larsen.

To steal the sartorial style of the Danes, the world’s longest pedestrian street – Strøget – is a good place to start. High-street labels and Danish designer brands share space along this boulevard with interior design boutiques or head to the 7-storey Magasin du Nord department store at Kongens Nytorv if the weather is inclement. The narrow streets leading off Strøget are where you’ll find up-and-coming designers, chic boutiques and niche stores. Areas like Nørrebro and Vesterbro are also worth browsing through.

For uniquely Danish daytrips, think Lego, Vikings and Hamlet.  West of Copenhagen, Legoland Billund is a toy-filled wonderland for kids of all ages with Lego-themed rides and attractions including amazing structures and cities on a miniature scale built entirely of coloured bricks. For seafaring adventurers, the Viking Ship Museum located by the fjord in Roskilde, 35 minutes from Copenhagen, has 5 original ships for an insight into the warrior way of life. And for fans of the bard, a trip to Hamlet’s castle, Kronborg, in Elsinore (a 45-minute train ride north of Copenhagen) is a must. The famous Renaissance-style castle still hosts performances of ‘Hamlet’ every summer in the courtyard.

Want more ideas on what to see and do in the Danish capital? Here’s our top 5 picks for Copenhagen.

Tivoli Gardens

One of the world’s oldest amusement parks, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens charms with unique buildings, custom-made period decorations, old-school attractions and lashings of traditional food, rides and fun fair fare. Don’t miss the 100-year-old wooden rollercoaster.

The Little Mermaid

The iconic image of Copenhagen is also the world’s most famous mermaid. The bronze statue atop a rock in the harbour proffers a siren’s call to visitors from around the world who flock to photograph the lovelorn subject of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale.

Amalienborg

Home to the Danish Queen and Crown Prince Frederik and ‘Aussie’ Princess Mary, Amalienborg Palace is actually 4 stately mansions that act as the royals’ winter residence and also houses the year-round Amalienborg Museum for the public to peruse the regal life.

Christiania

A uniquely Danish attraction, Freetown Christiania is a self-governing community within Copenhagen set up in the early ‘70s as an alternative to the mainstream lifestyle. Forty years on, Christiania is a counterculture hub of music, art and theatre attracting hippies and visitors from all over the world.

Statens Museum for Kunst

The National Gallery of Denmark or SMK is the country’s largest art museum and the place to go to see 7 centuries of Danish and international art from the Renaissance to modern day. From old-master paintings to video installations and digital art, it’s a comprehensive course in culture.