This Summer, I visited Denmark and Sweden with my brother and his girlfriend. People had told me Scandinavia would be beautiful, but I really didn’t know what to expect until I arrived. For the record: beautiful is an understatement. Copenhagen was remarkable; rich with history and brimming with some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. Whether it was strolling through Strøget or relaxing by the pier at Ofela Plads, I loved every minute of it. We were only in the city for 48 hours, but we managed to tackle most of the noteworthy attractions in a short period of time. If you are planning a trip to Copenhagen, consider visiting the following hot spots (pro tip: rent scooters to move around the city faster).
Rundetaarn (The Round Tower) | The Round Tower was one of the first sites we visited in Copenhagen. This 17th-century tower is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Fun fact: the tower was built by Christian IV to continue the research efforts of the astronomer, Tycho Brahe, whose astronomical and planetary observations were some of the most accurate observations at that time in history. The observatory is still used by amateur astronomers and is a popular venue for tourists. In order to get to the observatory deck, visitors must walk up a long, spiral path inside the tower. Once outside, the observatory offers magnificent views of old town Copenhagen.
Rosenborg Castle | If you enjoy history, the Rosenberg Castle is a great place to learn about Danish history. The 400-year-old Renaissance castle was built by Christian IV and was a popular venue of many lavish events hosted by the royal family. The castle is a popular tourist spot, so if you are interested in visiting, I highly suggest going early in the morning. Right outside the castle, is the King’s Garden, Demark’s oldest royal garden, which features an impressive landscape and many historical sculptures. Visiting the King’s Garden is completely free and a popular place to relax, have a picnic, or simply walkthrough.
Kongens Nytorv| Kongens Nytorv is a beautiful public square at the end of Strøget street in Copenhagen. It’s home to the Royal Theatre, the D’Angleterre Hotel, and the Charlottenborg Academy. There are a ton of restaurants, shops, and historical statues around this area so it’s definitely worth visiting. Plus, the gardens are incredibly picturesque – Kongens Nytorv is a great place to snap a few pictures.
Amalienborg Palace | In the heart of old town Copenhagen sits Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish royal family. We stopped by the Palace on our way to Nyhavn and although we did not do a formal tour, it was certainly a sight to see. For those interested, Amalienborg offers visitors a peek at the city’s royal history over the last 250 years. The museum in the Palace offers insight into the lives of the royal families of Europe and, on most days, you can see the private chambers of former kings and queens. If you are patient, stay long enough to witness the changing of the guards.
Nyhavn | If you’re looking for a scenic place to grab a drink or the perfect location for an Instagram-worthy picture, head over to Nyhavn. Originally, Nyhavn was a commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. Its salty history is jam-packed with sailors, prostitutes, pubs, and alehouses. Today, Nyhavn is just as vibrant and full of character. This waterfront canal is lined with brightly colored buildings including 17th and 18th century townhouses, bars, cafes, and restaurants. During the Summer, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, jazz music, and delicious food. Nyhavn reminded me a lot of Amsterdam and was one of my favorite parts of Copenhagen.
Tivoli Gardens | Even if amusement park rides are not your cup of tea, Tivoli is worth visiting for the scenery alone. Walking through Tivoli is like walking through a fairytale garden oasis tucked in the middle of a bustling city. At 9PM every night, the park puts on the Tivoli Illuminations, which is a stunning light show that incorporates music, lasers, fire, smoke, and water. And for the history buffs, Tivoli is worth visiting because it is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the entire world.
Fredrik’s Church | We didn’t tour through Fredrik’s Church, but if you appreciate ornate architecture, it’s worth viewing just from the outside. This nineteenth-century church is stunning and has the largest church dome in Scandinavia. Grab your camera and swing by to see the exquisite exterior and a beautiful example of rococo architecture.
Christiansborg Palace | Christiansborg Palace was incredible. Chock-full of history, the palace is frequently used by The Queen and Danish parliament for official events such as gala banquets. When the royal family is not using the Palace, it is open to the public for tours. Visitors of Christiansborg are given access to five attractions on the grounds: the Royal Reception Rooms with The Great Hall and the Queen’s tapestries, The Royal Stables, The Royal Kitchen, The Ruins under the palace, and Christiansborg Palace Chapel. I’d recommend a tour of the Palace to anyone not familiar with Danish history. The tour is also self-guided so you can go at your own pace.