Copenhagen in 3 Days: The Ultimate 3 Day Guide to Copenhagen

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What are the top things to do in Copenhagen in 3 days? Discover the top tips to explore Copenhagen by Billy from

Looking to maximize your precious vacation days on a quick Copenhagen city break? Fantastic choice – Denmark’s colorful capital blends storied history, striking waterside views, and effortlessly hip Scandinavian style into one vibrant yet walkable package. 

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From quirky neighborhoods like Christiania built on hippie vibes to regal Renaissance castles housing crown jewels, Copenhagen invites you to experience it all in 3 lovely, memorable days.

Whether you seek out quiet garden strolls, marvel at modern Danish design, or simply relax canal-side fueled by coffee, craft brews, and Copenhagen’s famous cozy hygge lifestyle, this handy guide helps first-time visitors uncover the best Copenhagen offers.

Prepare to fall head over heels for Scandinavia’s singular city built for wandering, cycling, and nonstop inspiration. Let’s dive into how to see the finest sights, venture beyond tourist traps, and truly soak up local Copenhagen vibes across a quick but satisfying long weekend visit. 

Copenhagen in 3 Days At A Glance

Colorful building in Stroget, Copenhagen

Ready to dive into the key details of how to spend your precious 72 Copenhagen exploration hours? This handy at-a-glance overview maps out day-by-day highlights so you can hit the ground running.

Day 1: Alternative Culture & Streetside Harbor Dining

  • Wander Norrebro’s hip, multicultural neighborhoods
  • Visit Freetown Christiania’s unique autonomous district
  • Instagram magic hour over Nyhavn Canal harbor fare

Day 2: Design History to Fortress Views

  • Uncover Danish-style icons strolling Strøget shopping street
  • Picnic on the grass at Kastellet fortress grounds
  • Bar hop in Meatpacking District’s vibrant nightlife

Day 3: Postcard Scenes from Landmarks

  • Climb to the top of the picturesque Church spire
  • See Superkilen Park’s quirky global art installations
  • Revisit Tivoli Gardens under enchanting evening lights

With your itinerary basics mapped out upfront, you can experience Copenhagen’s high points stress-free and at your own pace. Now let’s uncover all there is to see, taste, and enjoy across this Nordic urban jewel one delightful day at a time.

Day 1 – Copenhagen Alternative Culture & Streetside Harbor Dining

Morning: Norrebro

Buildings in Norrebro, Copenhagen

Fuel up on coffee and Danish æbleskiver pancake puffs at Café Grod (open daily 8 am-10 pm) in Norrebro. What makes this cafe unique is its quirky thrift shop interior decor and lively mix of locals reading newspapers.

Afterward, roam Norrebro’s diverse neighborhoods, known for colorful street art and an alternative culture vibe. Check out the massive murals along Mimersgade Street, and don’t miss Assistens Cemetery, where famous Danes like Hans Christian Andersen are buried.

Pro Tip: Cut back on public transit day passes by mapping routes between major sights, which can be covered on foot in under 30 minutes.

Afternoon: Freetown Christiania

A wall in Christiania, Copenhagen

Spend your afternoon exploring Freetown Christiania (open daily 9am-8pm), founded in 1971 when squatters took over an abandoned military area to form their micronation. 

Still semi-autonomous with creative flag designs, visitors can wander car-free streets and buy handicrafts from its standout grey Hall of Stalls market.

Grab a late lunch at Mjølnerparken for Dutch-style pancakes or authentic Italian thin-crust pizza. No photos of homes are allowed but do observe respectful quiet here.

Evening: Nyhavn

Nyhavn harbor in Copenhagen

Taking a stroll down Nyhavn Harbor is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen. Arrive at Nyhavn Harbor around 5 pm to watch the sunset over canal boats. Built-in the mid-1600s, it brims with colorful facades housing cafes and bars with dockside seating facing wooden ships. 

Choose from over 20 restaurants like Cap Horn (open daily from noon-11 pm) for dinner featuring open-faced Danish smørrebrød sandwiches and weekly specials. Then stop into Mojo Blues Bar for free nightly live jazz starting 8 pm.

Day 2 – Copenhagen Design History to Fortress Views

Morning: Strøget

Colorful building in Stroget, Copenhagen

Explore Strøget shopping streets when stores open at 10 am, wandering over a mile from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv through pedestrian zones with no cars. 

Hundreds of shops, like Illum Bolighus, populate medieval alleyways, showcasing iconic Danish designers and Royal Copenhagen’s luxe porcelain.

Pop into cafes like The Coffee Collective when needing a break while strolling between H&M and department stores. Don’t miss the tiny historic Hyskenstræde lane’s cobblestones and architecture dating back to the 1600s.

Top Tip: Embrace getting a bit lost while exploring side streets on foot or bike as that’s often where the best local gems hide.

Afternoon: Kastellet

Kastellet in Copenhagen

Walk 10 minutes from Strøget to Kastellet, the old 17th-century star-shaped fortress with lovely hilltop lawns overlooking the harbor. Buy Simons sandwich fixings at a mini-mart to assemble onsite or pre-order gourmet smørrebrød from Aamanns Takeaway online. 

Relax, picnicking on the grass while watching swans and boats drift by. For drinks, order local favorites like Tuborg beer, which is delivered to your blanket for a full Danish hygge.


Evening: Meatpacking District

Venture to the Meatpacking District after 6 pm for dinner at trendy Jolene (closed Mondays), known for seasonal New Nordic sharing plates enhanced by creative cocktails, like their signature Flora Flowers. Make reservations ahead of time. 

Afterward, roam Værnedamsvej street’s laidback bars like Curfew, staying open till 2am on weekends. Stop for late-night gourmet hot dogs at DØP food truck, often parked at the main square until midnight.

Pro Tip: Splurge on at least one memorable Michelin-starred meal at restaurants like Noma, Geranium or Alouette to taste seriously creative New Nordic cuisine.

Day 3 – Postcard Scenes from Copenhagen’s Landmarks

Morning: The Church of Our Saviour

Church of Our Savior in Copenhague

The Church of Our Saviour opens daily 10am to 4pm, except during church services. Climb up the 50-meter-high winding 400 steps to reach 360 views of red rooftops and boats from the narrow top platform. 

The corkscrew spire dates from 1752 and costs just 5 DKK to access. Don’t miss elaborate wood carvings and the ornate marble baptismal font and altarpiece inside the church.

After descending by noon, walk 10 minutes to Tivoli Food Hall for affordable Danish open-face sandwiches at Halleschen Ølbar or Aamanns Deli celebrating smørrebrød.

Afternoon: Superkilen Park

Superkilen Park in Copenhagen

Nearby, enter Superkilen Park just before 1 pm to wander freely this genre-defying landscape along curving bright red pathways. 

It is unique because objects inside reflect over 60 nationalities, like a neon sign from Russia, palm trees from China, and picnic tables from Iran surrounding the central fountain. On the park’s edge are ethnic food counters like Turkish kebabs and Argentine empanadas at affordable prices.

Evening: Tivoli Garden

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Finish your last night back at Tivoli Gardens amusement park from 6 pm before its midnight closing. 

Revisit favorites like the centrally located 1914 Rutschebanen wooden rollercoaster with a drop nearly 70 feet high or wander pebbled paths viewing over 4 million blooms in flowerbeds and garlands during the summer season. 

At 9:30 and 10 pm, don’t miss the lights over Tivoli Lake choreographed with music. If needing sustenance, the historic Nimb Hotel’s Brasserie offers classic Danish fare like frikadeller meatballs or roasted pork belly with perfect views of it all.

Budget Tip: Save money by grabbing hot dogs, fries, sandwiches, or street food from stands and trucks vs pricey sit-down restaurants.

Last-Minute Day Trips by Train

Should you have an extra day for venturing out, Copenhagen makes an easy base for day trips by train or ferry without needing advance plans. 

Cross the bridge nearby directly into coastal Sweden and spend a day immersed in dynamic multicultural Malmö – Sweden’s third largest city. Discover the top things to do in Malmo with its vibrant neighborhoods, gardens, and museums worth exploring across the water.

Or head north to Denmark to investigate grand castles and Viking ships. With bikes or public transit so easy here, even last-minute day trips end up relaxed. But Copenhagen’s cozy charm, design savvy, and effortless fun tend to pull you back gently.

With bikes or public transit so easy here, even last-minute day trips end up relaxed. But Copenhagen’s cozy charm, design savvy and effortless fun tend to pull you back gently.

Copenhagen Travel Tips

  • Copenhagen is extremely walkable and bikeable, so wear good shoes and bring a windbreaker if it gets chilly near the water. Using the efficient public transit system of buses, trains, and Metro can save time and weary feet.
  • As Denmark’s currency, know that the Danish krone is required for all transactions except at rare places accepting euros. Have small bills and change ready since some bathrooms and streetside kiosks charge usage fees.
  • To save money, opt for picnicking or street food instead of restaurant sit-down meals, which can get pricey. Stock up on breakfast items and sandwich ingredients at grocery stores like Netto to fill your fridge, too.
  • If you ask yourself for a packing list for Copenhagen and Denmark, pack layers since Copenhagen weather fluctuates often. Temperatures average mild 60s, much of spring and summer, but can quickly drop to require a sweater or jacket in other months. Rainfall occurs year-round, so bring an umbrella. 
  • Water in Copenhagen is perfectly safe to drink. Tap water wins taste awards compared to expensive bottled imports. So reuse a refillable bottle freely to stay hydrated and reduce waste while sightseeing.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

Nyhavn harbor in Copenhagen

Copenhagen offers diverse accommodation options, from hostels to luxury hotels fit for Danish royalty.

Indre By puts you right in the heart of all attractions, wedged between Kongens Have Gardens and Nyhavn harbor, while linked by Stork Fountain to Strøget pedestrian street. Historic hotels with classic ambiance dot the area, like Hotel Skt. Annæ, Bedford, and Sanders.

Trendy but spendier Nyhavn Canal brims with waterside hotels from Wakeup Copenhagen facing colorful facades to 71 Nyhavn Hotel in two heritage townhouses. Watch boats come and go outside your window.

Vesterbro blends chic scenes with vibrant city life. Boutique urban hotels like Axel Guldsmeden or Absalon capture that vibe through eco-friendly Balinese warmth or sleek mood lighting alongside minimal Nordic decor. Expect lower summer rates.

Or opt for apartment, condo, and cottage rentals from services like Airbnb for extra space and amenities when traveling with family. Just beware of city regulations capping entire home rentals without hosts present to under 70 total nights annually.

How to Get to Copenhagen

By plane is the most convenient and increasingly affordable way to reach Copenhagen as more global carriers and budget airlines add direct route options, and how to find cheap flights is always an option. Copenhagen Airport sits just 15 minutes by train outside the city center with smooth connections on Metro or local lines.

Travelers can also fly into Malmö Airport near Sweden across the Øresund Strait Bridge linking greater Copenhagen. Then, simply ride Route 830 buses to Copenhagen’s city center in about 35 minutes, with views along the way.

International rail arrives at the main Copenhagen Central Station, which also serves as a hub for national transit. Travelers from major European cities like Hamburg, Berlin, or Amsterdam by high-speed train or sleeper car can arrive refreshed right in the city’s heart, ready to explore.

Passenger ships and ferries offer leisurely journeys predominantly from Baltic port neighbors and Scandinavian destinations. You can hop on a ferry after discovering the top things to do in Oslo and sail straight to Copenhagen. Arrivals generally dock at Nordhavn, Langelinie, or Ocean Quay terminals, depending on port deal locations alongside Copenhagen Harbor.

Copenhagen FAQs:

What are the top things to do in Copenhagen in 3 days?

See the key sights like Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn harbor, the National Museum of Denmark, and Rosenborg Castle, along with time to wander colorful neighborhoods like Norrebro and Christiania. Get a mix of history, culture, food, and quintessential Danish hygge.

How much does 3 days in Copenhagen cost?

With free walking tours and museum days, using public transit, eating a few meals, and picnicking, around $125-150 per day per person covers a moderate budget, including lodging in a private room. Solo traveling or hostels reduce costs further.

Is 3 days enough time for Copenhagen?

Yes, 3 full days allow a great introduction to seeing top attractions at an enjoyable pace without feeling rushed, plus you have time to wander off the main tourist trails. Add day trips if extending your visit.

What is the best area to stay in Copenhagen?

Downtown, just northeast of Tivoli Gardens, puts you near all the prime sights, restaurants, nightlife, and transit while letting you easily walk or bike everywhere. Christianshavn, Nørrebro, Vesterbro, and Frederiksberg are highly desirable central areas.

Should I get a Copenhagen Card for 3 days?

The Copenhagen Card, making transit and museums free, often pays for itself in a couple of days. But also check options like free walking tours plus free admissions on Sundays and specific days. Do the math relative to your plans.

What is the best month to visit Copenhagen?

Late spring and early fall (May-June, September) have milder weather, fewer crowds, and lower costs than peak season. Summer allows enjoying long daylight hours while winters get cold but with charming Christmas markets and lights.

What should I avoid in Copenhagen?

Avoid places catering expressly to tourists with inflated costs, like chain restaurants, green bicycles, and yellow rental bikes meant just for locals. Be wary of common travel scams like pickpockets, too, especially downtown.

Final Thoughts on Copenhagen in 3 Days

Over just three lovely days, you’ve uncovered wonderful Copenhagen – the perfect introductory experience to inspire returning for more. 

The city reveals its multiple dimensions through an alluring blend of harmonious landscapes, from rustic castles to vibrant streets, award-winning cuisine, and effortless Scandinavian hospitality around every corner.

Whether you feel hardest for hipster havens like Norrebro’s street art lanes, Christiania’s laidback counterculture, or Tivoli’s playful neon-lit nights, something here leaves a sweet impression on every traveler’s heart.

In mindful moments encaptured strolling storybook harbor lanes, Copenhagen stays with you, or in cravings for just one more smørrebrød, just one more buzzy bicycle ride through indelibly invigorating city life.

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What are the top things to do in Copenhagen in 3 days? Discover the top tips to explore Copenhagen by Billy from

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