Over on my blog, I'm Just a Girl, I primarily specialise in New York travel guides and Interrailing content in Europe, but after travelling to over 50 countries as a nomad and travel writer in the last five years, you’ll also find guides to destinations such as Croatia, Portugal, Iceland, Jersey, and many more on my blog!
In my guest post for the Jet2Blog, I’m sharing my top tips for spending 48 hours in Copenhagen, Denmark!
Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, is the perfect European city break that can be enjoyed all year round. However, it’s a particularly special destination in the winter months thanks to the spectacular festive atmosphere at the city’s Christmas markets!
Note, this itinerary includes an afternoon spent at Tivoli Gardens which is only open from March to September and select dates over Halloween and Christmas. If you’re not visiting Copenhagen during those times, you can skip the section about Tivoli Gardens and spend longer at the other attractions instead!
Freetown Christiania (Christianshavn)
Begin your first full day in Copenhagen bright and early with breakfast at Parterre Christianshavn. Once you’ve indulged in fresh pastries, hot chocolate or a delicious muesli bowl, you can explore the fascinating area of Freetown Christiania.
This cool and quirky part of the city was once a military base and is now an intentional community, located within the Christianshavn neighbourhood of the capital city. Inside the commune, you’ll find unique cafés and restaurants, remarkable street art and people from all kinds of backgrounds and alternative lifestyles.
Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke)
From Christianshavn, it’s just a five-minute walk to the next stop of the day; the Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke).
This 17th-century baroque-style church is one of the best places to take in the views of the city. You can climb the 400 steps to the top of the church’s spire to admire Copenhagen from above.
Next up, pay a visit to the magnificent Christiansborg Palace, where you can take a guided tour of the Royal Reception Rooms, the Great Hall, the Royal Stables and the Christiansborg Palace Chapel.
The modern-day palace was completed in 1928, but the area of Slotsholmen in Copenhagen, in which the palace is located. has been the centre of Denmark’s power for over 800 years.
Museum of Copenhagen (Københavns Museum)
History buffs will relish a visit to the Københavns Museum, where you’ll find detailed exhibits and collections that depict the city’s history since the 12th century. It uncovers historic moments such as the Vikings’ rule, the dreadful plague, fires and bombings of the city, all the way to the present-day free town of Christiania.
Tivoli Gardens is one of the most notable theme parks in Europe, dating back to 1843. Today, it offers an antique rollercoaster, awesome rides, games, attractions and multiple concerts and musical performances.
You could easily spend an entire day enjoying the many rides and attractions at Tivoli, but as you only have 48 hours in Copenhagen, we recommend allocating around 3-4 hours inside the amusement park (hence the need to be up bright and early for your weekend in Copenhagen, to make sure that you can squeeze as much into your day as possible!).
Once you’ve spent a few hours getting your thrill on at Tivoli Gardens, head to the notable street of Strøget, where you can do a spot of shopping, grab a coffee or generally just soak up the atmosphere of one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe!
The Round Tower (Rundetaarn)
As well as taking in the views from the top of the Church of Our Saviour, you can also pay a visit to the Rundetaarn (Round Tower); a 17th-century tower complete with its very own observatory, planetarium and spiral ramp that leads to the observation deck at the very top of the tower.
The tower is one of the most notable buildings in Denmark and is a fantastic place to take in the city of Copenhagen from above.
Dinner at Marv & Ben
To conclude the first day of your 48 hours in Copenhagen, make your way to Marv & Ben to sample some traditional local cuisine at one of the city’s most prestigious Danish restaurants.
On the menu, you can expect to find Nordic gastronomic delights such as scallops, raw beef, lamb and truffles. Marv & Ben offers a six-course or four-course tasting menu, as well as an à la carte menu to suit your tastes and preferences.
Brunch at Torvehallerne Fresh Food Market
If you want to join the 115,000 Copenhageners who frequent the food market every single week, you’ll want to kick off your second day in Copenhagen with brunch at Torvehallerne Fresh Food Market.
Located in the heart of the city, Torvehallerne boasts an incredible array of street food vendors specialising in everything from baked goods and Italian cuisine to freshly caught fish and exquisite vegetarian dishes, and everything in between!
Rosenborg Castle and the The King's Garden
From Torvehallerne, it’s just a ten-minute walk to Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot), a breathtaking Renaissance castle located next to the grounds of the Kongens Have (The King’s Garden).
With a history spanning more than 400 years, Rosenborg Castle is a remarkable place to visit during your 48 hours in Copenhagen if you want to learn more about the enigmatic history and collections left behind by Christian IV and his heirs. Tour the Writing Room, the Marble Room and the Stair Turret, before making your way to the expansive grounds of The King’s Garden outside.
Another ten-minute walk will take you to the incredibly popular waterfront and entertainment district of Nyhavn, which is popular among locals and tourists looking for coffee, cakes and cocktails!
The canals are lined by beautiful 17th-century townhouses that host some of the city’s best cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s worth spending an hour or so walking along the canals at Nyhavn, and if you have time, head to Vaffelbageren Nyhavn for an indulgent ice cream, or Steff Houlberg for an afternoon snack of loaded hot dogs!
Frederik's Church (Frederiks Kirke)
Known as “The Marble Church”, Frederiks Kirke is a stunning 18th-century Lutheran church which houses the largest dome in Scandinavia. It’s a true sight to behold from the outside, but you can also take in the magnificent view of the city from its copper-green dome.
The church lies within the Amalienborg Palace grounds, which is also worth a wander through to admire the official residence of the Danish royal family.
This star-shaped 17th-century fortress is one of the most unique places to visit in Copenhagen, and it’s renowned for being one of the best-preserved fortresses in Northern Europe!
The Kastellet Citadel was founded in 1626. Today it’s used as military barracks and offices, as well as a place where tourists and locals can gather to explore the museum, jog along the ramparts or simply admire the fortress remains.
The Little Mermaid Statue (Den Lille Havfrue)
While the Little Mermaid Statue often divides opinions and usually leaves people feeling quite lackadaisical as to its size and significance (it stands at just 1.25 metres tall), if you’re already exploring the area of Kastellet, we think it’s worth hopping over the island fortress to check out the infamous statue.
The statue was designed by Edvard Eriksen, and it depicts a mermaid transforming into a human. It was completed in August 1913 and has since become one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions.
Dinner at Krebsegaarden
As your 48 hours in Copenhagen comes to an end, we suggest heading back into the city centre to dine at Restaurant Krebsegaarden, whose menu is inspired by the current exhibitions hosted at its neighbouring art gallery.
The menu changes at least eight times a year in line with the exhibits at the gallery, but you can always expect dishes created with the utmost care and precision to reflect quintessential Danish cuisine.
48 hours in Copenhagen
There are so many wonderful things to see and do in Copenhagen, and while you could easily spend a lot longer in the city, 48 hours gives you enough time to explore the highlights of this remarkable capital city!
Posted: 7th Dec 2023.