20 Free Things to Do in Copenhagen
Denmark is one of the most beautiful Scandinavian countries. Unfortunately, it is also known for being expensive and unaffordable, but after traveling there, we discovered there are plenty of free and fun activities to do.
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture, and there are many ways to experience it for free. Here are some of the top things to do in the city that won’t cost you a krone:
Free Walking Tour of Copenhagen
A great way to learn about the city and get a better understanding of the layout of the city is with a free walking tour. These tours provide a broad overview of the city, so you know which sights to visit and spend more time exploring. Although the tour is considered free, you are expected to tip the tour guide.
Although there are many options for free tour companies, here is one to consider.
Window Shop along Strøget
Take a walk along Strøget street, the world’s longest pedestrian street (1.1 km), which stretches through the heart of the city. Along the way, you’ll see a mix of historic buildings, modern architecture, and charming storefronts.
See the Iconic Little Mermaid
See the Little Mermaid statue, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Located on the waterfront, the statue is a tribute to the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
Trek down the Harbor Front
Walk Along the Canals of Nyhavn
Take a stroll along the city’s waterways and canals, which offer a beautiful and peaceful way to see the city. Nyhavn meaning “new harbor”, was initially built as a place for commercial boats to dock which made it an ideal location for pubs. Today, the area is known for its “painted buildings”, great restaurants and live music. You’ll pass by historic buildings, parks, and other points of interest along the way.
Check out Kastellet
Kastellet, also known as The Citadel, is a historical site and landmark built in the 1660s to defend the city from attacks by sea. The fort is located on the northeastern tip of the island of Amager and is surrounded by a moat. The Kastellet is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit, offering a unique glimpse into the city’s history and defenses.
Changing of the Guards
The Amalienborg Palace is the home of the Danish royal family. Within the octagonal courtyard, you can witness the changing of the guards procession each day at noon. You must purchase a ticket if you wish to tour the Amalienborg Palace.
Enjoy a Meal at One of the Food Markets
Copenhagen is a foodie paradise. Visit one of the food markets to see the many options offered here: fresh seafood, fruits & vegetables, meats, bakeries, and various restaurants. If you decide to dine at one of the food markets, you will find indoor and outdoor seating. Food markets to consider Torvehallerne Market, Tivoli Food Hall, Broens Gadekøkken, Reffen (only open in spring/summer), and Meat Packing District.
The World’s Oldest Amusement Park
Dyrehavsbakken or Bakken, as it is located 10 minutes outside Copenhagen, but well worth the visit. The park was founded in 1583 and is the world’s oldest amusement park. Although the rides and food stand cost money, the entrance to the park is free. We visited during the Christmas holidays and found the historical park very enjoyable.
Visit the Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish parliament, and take a tour of the palace’s beautiful tower, parliament, and chapel. The palace is open to the public for free on certain days of the week, so be sure to check the schedule before you visit. If you want to add some spice to the experience, you can dine in The Tower’s restaurant overlooking the city.
Nikolaj Kunsthal Museum
Enter the Nikolaj Kunsthal free on Wednesday, located in the third oldest church of Copenhagen. Here you can admire the international contemporary art museum. Many exhibits focus on current political, social, and cultural issues.
Christiania is considered the hippie community of Copenhagen. It is a self-proclaimed autonomous region free from local and national laws. In the area, you will find cannabis shops that have strict rules about taking photographs. However, if you love wall art, you will find many colorful murals to capture. Although it is free to walk about this area, I would not go after dark.
Even if you are not religious, visiting the breathtaking churches in Copenhagen gives you an insight into the incredible architecture and development of the city. Check out this while in Copenhagen: The Church of Our Savior, Frederiks Church, Alexander Nevsky Church, Trinity Church, Christiansburg Palace, Holmen’s Church, Church of the Holy Spirit)
Modern Superkilen Park
Superkilen is a public park located in the Nørrebro neighborhood. The park is divided into three main areas, each with its distinct character and designed to reflect the surrounding area’s cultural diversity. It is an excellent spot for that Instagram pictures, watching people, or skateboarding.
The Beautiful Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle was built in 1608 as a summer home used by the royal residence until 1710. The renaissance-style castle is home to the royal collections of jewels and other interesting belongings. You can admire the castle from the outside and walk or picnic in the King’s Garden. However, there is a fee to enter the castle.
Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen City Hall was built from the inspiration of Italian town halls, considered today a classic of the National Romantic style. The walls are adorned with Danish flags. Although the tower is currently being refurbished, it is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. Tours are offered for an additional fee.
Denmark’s most extensive collection of living plants is housed at the Botanical Gardens, where you can roam among 13,000 plants. Along with gardens and historical glasshouses dating to the 19th century, the gardens also have three gene banks.
Museums of Copenhagen
Explore the city’s museums and art galleries, such as the Thorvaldsens and Glyptoteket museums. Many of these institutions offer free admission on certain days or at certain times, so be sure to check their schedules.
Vibrant Copenhagen Neighborhoods
Copenhagen is divided into very diverse and unique neighborhoods offering great shopping places, sightseeing historical buildings, and classy and posh with royal ambiance. Veterbrø is the red-light district with nightlife, fashion boutiques, and cozy restaurants. Nørrebro is a melting pot of diversity with a vibrant flare. Østerbro is the greenest neighborhood with a more elegant feeling to the area. Other neighborhoods to visit are Refshleøen, Frederiksberg, and Amager)
Shop Department Stores and Malls
A variety of department stores and malls are scattered about Copenhagen. ILLUM is a high-end premium department store offering everything from fashion and beauty to home décor. Magasin du Nord is a nostalgic department store with fashion for men, women, and children, as well as luxurious beauty products, décor accessories, and delicacies. Illums Bloghus for unique ceramics, porcelain, glassware, and more. Shopping centers to visit are Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall, Frederiksberg Center, Waterfront Shopping, and Field’s.
Copenhagen has something for everyone, and these are just a few of the many free things you can do while you’re here. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or just soaking up the local culture, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so without spending a lot of money. So, don’t miss out on these amazing free things to do in Copenhagen, and have a great time exploring the city!
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.