Craft the Perfect 48 Hours in Copenhagen Itinerary

Here’s what we presume you’d want to do if you only had two days in Copenhagen.

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Street with bikes in Indre By, Copenhagen

So you’ve decided to spend two days in Copenhagen. A dreaded business trip, a blind dart throw on a world map or perhaps a layover gone wrong? Whatever the case may be, this article will help you make the best out of the situation and the most out of your time in the Danish capital. Here are our suggestions for a sudden 48 hours in Copenhagen itinerary.

Visit a museum

Granted, spending valuable time to pay a visit to a museum while only having two days in Copenhagen may be a drag. But it rains a lot in Denmark browsing through Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket’s 19th-century Danish art or admiring the works of Eckersberg and Købke at the National Gallery of Denmark will elevate your table talk and allow you to gloat when the discussion inevitably goes towards the influence of the Biedermeier style on the Danish romantic nationalism movement. And that seems to happen a bit too often, doesn’t it? In any case, a visit to a museum certainly beats aimlessly strolling around the city centre.

Glyptoteket Museum Copenhagen, Denmark

Take an aimless stroll

Forget what you’ve been advised to do on your short city break to Copenhagen by pompous online travel blogs and pretentious art critic wannabe freelance contributing writers. A leisurely walk downtown is the perfect way to get a quick taste of what Copenhagen is all about. Start off at the charming artificial lakes, cross Queen Louise Bridge towards Frederiksborggade and keep heading down the street to enter Indre By. Get lost in the narrow streets inexplicably and you’ll come by the Round Tower, the Rosenborg Slot, the Christiansborg Palace, the Slotsholmen canal, Børsen or the Royal Library, depending on which way you turn. You can’t really afford to be that picky if you only have 48 hours. You can, however, pick an exceptional apartment located in the inner city for your stay. Both Midsummer and The Old Museum would be ideal Indre By (thanks, Plum Guide).

Join a boat tour

We are absolutely aware of what a bore this touristy activity can be. We have also boarded a “unique sightseeing experience extraordinary boat tour” in Amsterdam, Venice or Hamburg some fifteen years ago and swore never to do it again. But bear with us for a minute. Is there really a better way of going over Copenhagen’s most famous attractions by sitting back and not having to bring up that free city map you found at the airport every two seconds? You know it’s never going to fold right again. Just admit defeat and enjoy the frigid breeze while you pass by the Opera, the National Bank of Denmark, Amaliehavn, Islands Brygge and other world-class sights you’ve never heard of.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

Have a hyggeligt café afternoon

Hygge is a famous untranslatable Danish word that signifies a quality of cosiness and the feeling of being warm, comfortable and safe, according to Cambridge Dictionary. Some would argue (not us) that Hygge is just an elaborate excuse for gossip-fueled chatter over unreasonable amounts of salted liquorice candy in dimly lit coffeehouses. Either way, you should really experience Hygge on your stay in Copenhagen and make up your own mind. Head for the neighbourhoods of Vesterbro and Østerbro just a few minutes away from the city centre to hang out where locals do. These areas teem with charming small cafés serving Danish pastries, cakes, tea and criminally mishandled espresso. If you want to always be close to the inaction, check out Catch of the Day and Choir Song in Vesterbro and Østerbro respectively.

Spend a day at the park

This might seem like a generic filler that was drafted hastily with the sole purpose of meeting the word-count quota but it’s really not. Danes really do love their parks and spending a day at one of them will do more in terms of getting acquainted with the Danish way of life than any sightseeing tour would. There are numerous parks in the city centre like the Frederiksberg Gardens, Ørsteds Park, Kongens Have and Østre Anlæg Park that are full of people during the annual fortnight of good weather. There you can wander around the beautiful gardens, enjoy a picnic by the lake, have a refreshing drink and admire the local urban wildlife that includes squirrels, ducks, swans and teenagers playing overly complicated drinking games. An absolute must inclusion to your 48 hours in Copenhagen itinerary.

Rosenborg Castle in Kongens Have, Copenhagen, Denmark

Explore Copenhagen’s nightlife

Brimming with bars, pubs and traditional bodegas, Copenhagen is known for its vivid nightlife scene that drags on until early morning. On Friday and Saturday nights that is. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a weekend, you will find several classy cocktail bars sophisticated jazz clubs and cosy pubs among your option for a delightful evening in Copenhagen. If you’re going out on a weekday, on the other hand, expect to be greeted with moderate surprise when entering a bar downtown. Pro tip: If a friendly barkeep suggests that you try shots of snaps or something called Akvavit before your next round, decline politely and change the subject swiftly. Your second day of sightseeing depends on it.

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