Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting? 2023 Guide

Have you been considering a visit to Copenhagen, Denmark?

As one of Europe’s top Scandinavian destinations, this capital city entices travelers with its enchanting historic architecture, colorful harbor, cozy cafes, and endless biking trails.

But is Copenhagen worth visiting?

Yes, Copenhagen is absolutely worth visiting, especially for first-time visitors to Scandinavia or Northern Europe. The city offers the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern Scandinavian lifestyle.

Visitors can wander colorful historic buildings and harbors, feast on new Nordic cuisine, bike along postcard-perfect canals, and experience the cozy hygge lifestyle that Denmark is famous for.

I loved the bike cycling culture of this city which make Cophengan unique and environment friendly.

In this extensive Copenhagen travel guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Denmark’s charming capital.

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Is Copenhagen Expensive to Visit?

As one of the Scandinavian capitals, Copenhagen is certainly not a budget destination. However, it doesn’t have to completely break the bank with proper planning.

Here are average prices for hotels, food, transportation and entertainment in Copenhagen:

  • Hotels – $150-$250 per night for mid-range hotels. Hostels and budget hotels can be found for $75+ per night. Luxury hotels average $350+ per night.
  • Food – Sit-down restaurants $20-$40 per person. Quick fast food around $10-15 per person. Groceries from markets average $50 per person per day.
  • Transportation – Buses and metro average $5 for a ticket. Bike rental around $20 per day. Taxis average $3-5 per mile.
  • Attractions – Museums average $10-20 entry. Tivoli Gardens around $20. Row boat ride $25 per hour.

While not the cheapest city, you can visit Copenhagen on a budget by opting for cheaper food options, staying at hostels or budget hotels, and taking advantage of free attractions.

The Copenhagen Card can also save money on transportation and museum entries.

Note: Above prices and budget is based on my personal experience. Prices may be vary while you visit so please check latest rates.

My tips?

Take advantage of public transportation, free attractions, vacation rental apartments with kitchens, and limit splurges to special experiences like one Michelin-starred meal.

With reasonable expectations on costs, Copenhagen can be enjoyed on a moderate budget.

Top Things To Do in Copenhagen

Copenhagen offers endless things to see and do for history lovers, foodies, families, and everyone in between. Here are some of the top attractions and activities in Copenhagen that are worth adding to your itinerary:

Marvel at Tivoli Gardens

No trip to Copenhagen is complete without a visit to Tivoli Gardens. This charming amusement park and pleasure garden in central Copenhagen has enchanted visitors since 1843.

Spend a day enjoying the beautiful landscaped gardens, riding thrilling rides like the Demon rollercoaster, taking in concerts and performances, and eating at one of the restaurants or food stalls.

With something for all ages, it’s easy to spend an entire day at Tivoli.

Hours: Open daily from 11am-11pm in peak season (limited days in off-season)
Price: 120 DKK ($18 USD) per adult, free for kids under 8

Behold the Little Mermaid Statue

One of Copenhagen’s most iconic landmarks is the world-famous Little Mermaid statue perched on a rock at Langelinje promenade. Depicting the mermaid character from the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, this bronze statue has faced both adoration and controversy since its creation in 1913 by Edvard Eriksen.

While small in size, it’s a free must-see when exploring Copenhagen’s waterfront.

Location: Sitting on a rock at the Langelinje promenade, about a 15 minute walk from downtown Copenhagen.

Price: Free

Wander Down Nyhavn Harbor

Nyhavn is the picture-perfect postcard view of Copenhagen. This colorful waterfront canal and entertainment district delights visitors with its 17th century gabled townhouses lining the harbor, lively restaurants with outdoor seating, boats docked in the canal, and street performers.

Enjoy a meal by the water, snap photos of the colorful facades, or relax with a harbor cruise.

Location: In central Copenhagen, connect by metro at Kongens Nytorv station

Price: Free

Embrace Your Counterculture Side in Christiania

For a unique experience, head to the autonomous neighborhood of Christiania. This artsy eco-friendly community with its own set of rules has been a hub for hippies, artists and nonconformists since the 1970s.

Wander the car-free neighborhood and check out the homemade houses, art galleries, workshops, restaurants, and music venues.

Be respectful by keeping your camera away and not running.

Location: In central Copenhagen, accessible via the Christianshavn metro station.

Price: Free

Step Back in Time at Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle is a striking Renaissance castle dating back to 1606. It was built as a summerhouse for King Christian IV and now houses the royal treasury and artifacts in the basement, including the dazzling crown jewels.

Hours: Open daily Jan-May and Oct-Dec from 11am-3pm. Open daily June-Sept from 10am-5pm.

Price: 110 DKK ($17 USD) per adult

Climb for City Views at The Round Tower

For panoramic views over Copenhagen, head to the top of the Round Tower built in 1642. This iconic tower features a 209 meter long spiral ramp that you can walk or ride a bike up for observation deck views.

The old library halls now house exhibitions and the tower also has the oldest functioning astronomical observatory in Europe.

Hours: Daily 10am-8pm (until 9pm May to September)

Price: 25 DKK ($4 USD)

Beyond Copenhagen’s Top Sights

Copenhagen offers much more than just its well-known attractions and landmarks. Here are some additional top experiences for foodies, museum-goers, cyclists and those looking for a cozy Scandinavian atmosphere:

  • Copenhagen is a foodie haven, boasting over a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants like Geranium and Noma. Try New Nordic Cuisine or Danish classics like smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches.
  • Denmark is the homeland of hygge, the cozy lifestyle of relaxation and contentment. Visit Copenhagen in winter to cozy up by a fireplace in cafes.
  • Copenhagen is one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities with over 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes. Bike like a local to see the city.
  • Shoppers will love Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets located in the heart of Copenhagen.
  • Take easy day trips to other nearby attractions like Hamlet’s Castle of Kronborg, Sweden across the Öresund Bridge, and lovely coastal towns.

When is the Best Time to Visit Copenhagen?

Copenhagen enjoys mild summers and cold winters. Spring and fall tend to be the best times to visit, when precipitation is lower and crowds are smaller than summertime.

  • Spring (March-May): Average highs of 50°F/10°C. Blooming gardens and flowers at parks and gardens. Some attractions closed for winter may still be closed.
  • Summer (June-August): Average highs of 71°F/22°C. Peak tourism season with long days, festivals, and open attractions. But also most expensive and crowded.
  • Fall (September-November): Average highs of 57°F/14°C. Fewer crowds than summer but still mild weather and open attractions.
  • Winter (December-February): Average highs of 37°F/3°C. Cold, dark days with more rain/snow. Some museums and gardens closed. Christmas markets until early January.

While summer promises the best weather, the ideal times to visit Copenhagen fall in the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall when the weather is still comfortable with fewer tourists and lower prices.

Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting? The Final Verdict

Copenhagen offers the perfect blend of Scandinavian history, quaint medieval charm, and modern trends that make it a fabulous vacation destination. But is it truly worth the price tag? Let’s weigh the biggest pros and cons:

Pros of Visiting Copenhagen:

  • Walkable historic city center with colorful architecture and harbor views
  • World-class cuisine scene with tons of top-rated restaurants
  • Family-friendly attractions like Tivoli Gardens and dense city parks
  • Bike-friendly city with extensive infrastructure of bike lanes
  • Efficient public transportation by bus, metro and rail

Cons of Visiting Copenhagen:

  • One of the most expensive cities in Europe, especially for hotels and dining
  • Cold and rainy weather in the winter months
  • Very crowded during peak summer tourist season
  • Can be challenging for travelers on a tight budget
  • Nightlife scene less robust than cities like Berlin or Amsterdam

Conclusion: Copenhagen is Worth Adding to Your Bucket List

While certainly not the cheapest European destination, Copenhagen offers tremendous value and rewards travelers with its vibrant history, cozy charm, cutting-edge cuisine, and countless cultures experiences.

By avoiding winter months and peak summer crowds, you can visit Copenhagen comfortably and on a reasonable budget.

Take advantage of free attractions, public transportation, and street food to save money for splurges at world-class restaurants.

For first-time visitors to Denmark or Scandinavia, Copenhagen is absolutely worth a visit for a few days or more to immerse yourself in everything this charming capital has to offer.

Add it to your European bucket list, you won’t regret it!