Copenhagen is an atmospheric, colourful city with a blend of quaint and cool. You have the famous boats and buildings of Nyhavn Harbour which show its colourful beauty and then not so far away you have the indie looking town of Christianshavn, where you walk on cobbled roads and see its natural aura. It is the perfect all year round city break, where in summer you can hit beaches and relax in the sun, whereas in winter you get to enjoy the festive lights and lit up streets.
On our visit, we decided a short 3 days in Copenhagen trip would be perfect. Our second decision was when to go. We decided to go in early January, where we could still experience the festive lights and feeling of the city. This is our guide to spending 3 days in Copenhagen, a place that you always see beautiful pictures of. Thankfully, flight prices were cheap for our January term break so that meant this place was a must! It reminded us a lot of Amsterdam, specifically the layout and even the canal system (which was designed to replicate Amsterdam) but it has its own unique presence in Europe. You can check our other destinations out here.
How to get there
Copenhagen is a huge hub of travel in northern Europe and has access through flying, trains and cars. It’s a great location to travel to if you’re wanting to go on a Scandinavian adventure or have easy, cheaper access to visit Iceland (another trip we’ve done), or even access the amazing Greenland. That is definitely on our bucket list and we will have to access it through Denmark as they have regular flights there.
Getting to Copenhagen from Manchester was an easy direct flight trip which had cheap flight prices from Skyscanner. However, as previously mentioned there are flights all across northern Europe to Denmark which also offer cheap flights, so if you’re there, why not make a visit?
Another easy way of getting there is from Germany and Sweden by train. We talk about how to get there from Sweden here.
If arriving at Copenhagen airport, it’s very easy to get to the city centre by train. You can find more information here.
What to do
We arrived in Copenhagen very sleepy because of an early flight. Our hotel wasn’t ready so we went to the stunning Nyhavn harbour and paid for a boat cruise to help explore the area. A perfect chance to see the different buildings and learn about the history. It’s worth the boat ride but even just a trip to Nyhavn is a must.
There are plenty of cafes by the side of the harbour to just take in the gorgeous scenery. Most have patio heaters too which makes it an awesome place to hang and chill out during the winter too.
Visit the hippie paradise of Freetown Christiania. This quirky area of Copenhagen is is definitely worth a visit. Located in the Christianshavn area, you can get to this former military base by metro, bus or bike. We chose to get the bus which was nice and straight forward. Using google maps makes it much easier and we followed the directions it said. The best way to find Freetown Christiania is by getting off at Christianshavn St and heading towards Dronningensgade. From there you want to enter the bohemian district.
After being an abandoned military base, hippies broke in and started living there. This built a whole community which thrives today. We managed to take a few photos, in areas which are allowed. Make sure the areas you want to take photos allow it, we knew we were okay because we saw signs.
Previously, it was an area known for smoking and selling marijuana. Although, now it is known for police arrests and that this activity is illegal like everywhere else. Having said that, you will see lots of this activity going on and you wouldn’t believe it was illegal.
Other things you can do
View Copenhagen from a different angle
A highlight was pre-booking our tickets at CopenHot. I think our stay in the Iceland thermal springs made us giddy into seeing if Denmark had anything similar. Just like Iceland, the temperature in January was very low, which made relaxing in hot water, sipping prosecco, looking across the water at Copenhagen seem heavenly.
As part of your 3 days in Copenhagen, we have to recommend visiting CopenHot. However when arriving here, we were worried it didn’t exist. We got a bus to the other side of Copenhagen and marched behind the back of factories, following google maps. A few wooden posts behind the factories did guide us their eventually and it was all worth it. Definitely worth a visit in the cold… and if it isn’t raining. Make sure you prebook because it will sell out.
A trip to Sweden
Visit the famous Øresund Bridge…sort of and get on a train to visit Malmö in Sweden for a day trip. We had a day to kill before our flight home and felt we’d explored Copenhagen. Above all, it was a great opportunity to say we’d been on the famous Øresund Bridge and visit a new area in a different country.
Malmö was a very interesting place for a day trip. We did our usual routine of finding a place to eat and drink, along with visiting a couple of landmarks. Click here to see our day in Malmö. With such easy access from Copenhagen, why not make it a day trip?
Where to stay
Probably our favourite hotel that we’ve stayed in whilst visiting a city in Europe. We highly recommend CitizenM because it’s located centrally, check it out on tripadvisor. Furthermore, we got a very cheap deal on booking.com, probably because it was the low season but it was one of the key things to us having such a great stay.
Where to eat
As with all scandinavian countries, you’ll find the prices of food and drink expensive if you don’t live here. As usual, we were on a budget and wanted to be able to have fun and eat well but as cheap as possible. Here we’ve got a cheap option and a very nice restaurant option for your 3 days in Copenhagen.
Scurry Hub – Firstly, here is a cheap option, so nice that we came here twice. The Thai green curry was amazing! Very good value for money. Although the place is a bit small and simple, the food is definitely worth eating here. Highly recommend!
Guru – Next, a more expensive, but tasty option. We had a lovely Indian meal here because of the range of dishes and the peaceful ambience.
Where to drink
We found some great quirky bars in Copenhagen, some which reminded us of being near the Northern Quarter in Manchester.
Our top choice is Ruby because it’s a cool hip bar with a retro feel and offers craft cocktails and good music. The location is also very central and it has an outdoor area with patio heaters.
Kennedy’s Irish Bar is another nice place to drink at. Similarly, it’s a friendly pub, but smaller with a cosy atmosphere and a good selection of drinks.
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