1 Day in Copenhagen

Travel Itinerary

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Itinerary by: Josie
a year ago
Duration: About 7 hours

Beat the crowds and start early in the north of the city. Check out the classic Little Mermaid statue and her genetically modified sister, before heading into the city centre via the Royal Palace and the Marble Church. Enjoy a lunch of Danish classics at the cafe of the Design Museum, before discovering everything there is to know about the history of legendary Danish design.


Mermaids, royalty and design

If the weather cooperates, start outside in the morning and spend the afternoon inside. It would be just as easy to do in reverse order if the typical Danish rain decides to make an appearance.
10:00 - 11:00
The Little Mermaid(s)
Langelinie Allé 17, 2100 København, Denmark
Mention Denmark or Copenhagen to most people, and the Little Mermaid immediately springs to mind. The iconic statue was unveiled in 1913 after Hans Christian Andersen wrote the famous fairytale, and was actually financed by Carlsberg breweries. The mermaid has been sitting on her rock in the harbour in the north of the city for over 100 years, but those 100 years have been far from peaceful. She has suffered countless acts of mostly politically-motivated vandalism; she’s been beheaded twice, and has had paint poured on her several times! But, apart from a brief stint at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, she has remained a stalwart of the Copenhagen waterfront. The area around the Little Mermaid is usually packed with tourists trying to catch a glimpse of her. She really is a little mermaid, so you might have to wait your turn for a good view! Just around the corner from this famous statue is another one - the Genetically Modified Little Mermaid. She sits on the other side of the harbour with her genetically modified friends, which together make up a project by Bjørn Nørgaard called the ‘Genetically Modified Paradise’. So, while you’re in the area visiting the more famous mermaid, why not pay a visit to her lesser-known, but just as interesting cousin? The Little Mermaid is in the north of the city on Langelinie, a long pier that stretches from the city centre up to the north harbour. It’s a nice walk or cycle up the waterfront to get to the statue, or you could take the yellow harbour bus. Alternatively, most canal boat tours from Nyhavn or Gammel Strand pass by the Little Mermaid, so you could see her from a different angle from the water. Image credit: enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay.
Article By: Josie

11:45 - 12:15
Amalienborg - The Royal Palace
Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København, Denmark
Amalienborg palace has been the home of the Danish royal family since 1794. Built in 1754, it was designed as part of the Frederiksstaden area of Copenhagen, commissioned by King Frederik V. Amalienborg is actually a complex of four palaces, each one home to a different member, or members of the royal family. Queen Margrethe II, the current queen, lives in one, and a second is occupied by her son, the Crown Prince Frederik, his Australian wife Princess Mary, and their four children. The other two palaces serve as temporary residences for Prince Joachim, the queen’s younger son, and visiting heads of state. When you visit, be sure to look out for which flags are flying to find out who’s at home! One of the most striking things about Amalienborg is that unlike other royal residences such as Buckingham Palace, the complex is totally open, and there are only a few guards separating the general public from the doors of the palaces, no locked gates or high walls. This reflects the status of the Danish royal family, who are generally regarded as relatively approachable, likeable people. Some Danes can tell stories of seeing Queen Margrethe II in a local corner shop, and Prince Frederik can sometimes be spotted out for a morning run nearby the palace. Only the outside of the complex can be visited, as the palaces are all functioning homes, after all! If you can, try to get there for 12pm, when the changing of the guard takes place. As you admire the richness of the architecture, keep in mind that the most expensive thing to design and build in the complex were not the palaces themselves, but the statue of King Frederik V on horseback, which is right in the centre. The statue took 13 years to design and build - so long that King Frederik himself actually died before its completion, and never saw the final result! Images by Nils Nyvang and Bente Jønsson from Pixabay.
Article By: Josie


Make sure you're here at 12pm to see the changing of the guard!

Getting there

It's an easy walk south along the waterfront to get here from the Little Mermaid.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
12:30 - 13:00
The Marble Church
Frederiksgade 4, 1265 København, Denmark
The magnificent Marble Church, or 'Marmorkirken', sits in the heart of Copenhagen, in the Fredriksstaden area of town. King Frederik V ordered the church to be built, and construction started under the management of the royal architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1754, but it was not completed until 150 years later, due to changing monarchs and architects, and financial issues. But the long wait for the finished product wasn’t all bad - while the church lay unfinished, students from the Royal Danish Art Academy took the opportunity to practise painting ruins. After all, it was cheaper and easier than going to Italy or Greece! The design for the church was inspired by St Peter’s in Rome, and the 46m high copper dome is the third largest in Europe. Make sure you climb to the top to see the amazing view of the city! The dome is open to visit at 1pm every day during the summer, and at the same time every weekend at other times of the year. The church itself is free to visit, but you'll have to pay 35dkk to visit the dome (20dkk for children). The Marble Church lies on a breathtaking architectural line with the royal palace, Amalienborg and the Opera House, so it couldn’t be easier to incorporate into your sightseeing schedule. Image credit: Nils Nyvang from Pixabay.
Article By: Josie

Getting there

From the square at Amalienborg you can't miss the Marble Church. Just cross the road away from the waterfront and you're there!

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
13:15 - 17:00
The Design Museum Denmark
Bredgade 68, 1260 København, Denmark
Denmark is famous for its design, and many people around the world aim to emanate the Danes’ sleek, functional style in their homes and interiors. To learn more about the history and importance of Danish design, take a trip to the Designmuseum Danmark. Conveniently located in the centre of the city, the Designmuseum Danmark presents a fascinating journey through the 20th and 21st centuries, where you can learn about the design of everything from furniture to fashion to bicycles. One of the highlights has to be the permanent exhibition called 'The Danish Chair: An International Affair', which tells the story of how Danish chairs became international exports and put Denmark on the map as a world design powerhouse. Marvel at Arne Jacoben’s iconic ‘Swan’ and ‘Egg’ chairs and learn about the importance of this seemingly simple piece of furniture. After you’ve had your fill of design, you can refuel at the museums’s cafe, which serves coffee, snacks and full meals, including lots of Danish classics. There's also a small garden to enjoy some fresh air with your refreshments.
Article By: Josie
Standard 115.00 - 0.00 DKK
Group 80.00 DKK
Students 0.00 DKK
Kids 0.00 DKK Under 18
Seniors 80.00 DKK


Buy your ticket for the museum and then refuel at the cafe before checking out the exhibitions.

Getting there

From the Marble Church, head north again for a few minutes to reach the museum.

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
Privacy: public

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