Copenhagen 3 Day Itinerary: An Insider's Guide

A modest list of all the things you can fit on a short trip to Copenhagen.

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Nyhavn shop fronts, Copenhagen

What would you do if you had 3 whole days to spend in Copenhagen? If that is more or less what you googled (or binged – we’re not judging) to get here, you’ll be glad to know you’re in safe hands. If not, we are going to reexamine our digital marketing strategy and try again in the near future. In the meantime, keep on reading to discover our excellent, incredibly specific recommendations targeted to those planning a perfect Copenhagen 3 day itinerary.

Visit one of Copenhagen’s renowned museums

Madrid has the Prado, Paris has the Louvre and London has the British Museum. Have you -or anyone you know for that matter- ever wondered what Copenhagen’s most famous museum is? Just ask a local and they’ll politely urge you to go grab a cocktail at Nyhavn and pay no mind to a random online travel guide you hastily read on your way from the airport to the city centre*. Be that as it may, we strongly recommend that you spend some time in Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket, the National Gallery of Denmark or the National Museum of Denmark for a deeper look at Danish arts and culture.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Discover Copenhagen’s jazz scene

Surprisingly to most, Copenhagen is home to a very active -both mainstream and underground- jazz scene. There are countless tiny jazz cafes and bars hosting concerts in the city centre like Hvide Lam and Jazz Cup; the latter having the capacity to host approximately four people including the band and the bartender. Copenhagen also boasts numerous acclaimed jazz clubs such as La Fontaine, the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre and the jazz club of Christiania. With the exception of the last one, reservations at the clubs are often made weeks in advance and the admission and drinks can be a bit pricey.

Spend an afternoon at the vibrant Nyhavn

Speaking of overpriced drinks, why not fall head-first into the city’s largest tourist trap hidden in plain sight? Nyhavn is that one place you’ve seen on the cover of almost every article you’ve read so far about Copenhagen. It’s a striking 17th-century harbour in the heart of the city lined with the trademark traditional colourful houses, cosy pubs, alfresco restaurants and souvenir shops. Delicately nicknamed “the longest bar in Scandinavia”, Nyhavn might be constantly jam-packed with people but it’s a site that should not be missing from your Copenhagen 3 day itinerary.

Tivoli Gardens

Founded in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is said to have been a favourite hangout spot of Hans Christian Andersen and an inspiration for Walt Disney’s vision of Disneyland. Copenhagen’s world-famous amusement park has something for everyone, from thrilling cutting-edge virtual reality rides (designedly terrifying) and a wooden 1914 rollercoaster (unintentionally terrifying) to impressive landscaped gardens and high-end restaurants. Tivoli Park is obviously a definite must, especially if you’re travelling with kids. There are enough rides to get you some alone time with a cold pint of Carlsberg while the young ones run around and consider your nomination for parent of the year.

The Little Mermaid

We know you’ve already heard about this one and we know that you’re going to see it no matter what we recommend, so why not get it out of the way? Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale and gifted to the city of Copenhagen by a local brewer named Carl Jacobsen, the Little Mermaid is probably Copenhagen’s most beloved fiasco. The bronze statue is way, way smaller than you would expect but it still manages to lure in hundreds of selfie stick-wielding visitors daily. Fun fact: Back in 2010, the Little Mermaid was transported to Shanghai for Expo 2010 and a screen streaming the statue real-time was put up in its place. Tourists still swarmed the spot to take photos of other tourists taking selfies with the mermaid on the screen. Make what you will of that.

Wander around in the city centre

It sounds cliché but walking through Indre By (or the inner city) might be one of the most enjoyable things to add to your Copenhagen 3 day itinerary. If you’re planning to travel in the immediate post-quarantine period, there’s no need to worry about social distancing. The Danes will take care of that for you. They have been doing it for ages and they excel at it. Roam through the labyrinthine streets to discover the busy winding shopping streets, captivating sites like the Round Tower, Rosenborg Castle and the Botanical Garden as well as the most iconic landmarks in town; Pølservogn, the small hot dog carts -or sausage wagons as locals call them- that stand on every major street and square in Copenhagen.

Tropical Plants in Copenhagen Botanical Garden Glasshouse

Experience local gastronomy

Has the sight of a rød pølse med brød built up your appetite (It’s boiled red sausage with a side of bread served at the carts mentioned above in case you’re wondering)? Luckily for you, Copenhagen is the most fitting place to get a taste of the authentic Nordic cuisine. Forget about hot dogs for a minute - geez. The Danish capital is home to internationally acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurants like Geranium, Noma, Kadeau, Alchemist and Jordnær. These gastronomy heavyweights will welcome you to the culinary big leagues of Scandinavia. If you’ve failed to make a reservation to any of those a few months prior to your arrival, forget we ever mentioned anything. A slightly overcooked french hot dog drenched in remoulade sauce from 7-Eleven will have to do.

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*We’re jesting of course. Plum Guide’s journal is irrefutably a trustworthy, authoritative platform of informative, educational and up-to-date travel resources that no one would dare call random.

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