Copenhagen has been high up on my list of places to visit for a while, we have already visited Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki and loved them all. So when our trip to Montenegro was cancelled because it become a red country and Denmark went green, off we went. I already had a rough itinerary planned as I had planned on taking Pip for a girl’s weekend at some point, so even though we only had 4 days to plan and book everything, it wasn’t too much of a pain. Copenhagen is an excellent choice for a child friendly holiday, lots to do, good food and very easy to get around.
What we did
We ended up with 6 nights in Copenhagen due to flights being less frequent at the moment. We thought it might be too long and we would get bored, so wrong!
We opted to get the Copenhagen card as it gives free entry to most attractions and also free travel on public transport. This turned out to be a brilliant option as we were able to do lots of things we probably wouldn’t have paid to do, some were brilliant and some were meh!
Explore the Copenhagen card here.
Opened in 1843, the amusement park right in the middle of Copenhagen is a must do. It is essentially a theme park with a good selection of rides that will suit everyone from thrill seekers to toddlers. It is also a fairground with a carousel and stalls like hook a duck. But it is also so much more, the gardens are stunning, there are ballet performances and pantomimes on the peacock stage and there are more places to eat than you could possibly get round in an entire year. Our day at Tivoli was definitely the highlight of our holiday.
A day at Tivoli Gardens blog post
Hans Christian Anderson Experience
Situated on city square, this is a part of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not and you can buy a buy a ticket that gets you in to both. It is a walk through museum giving you Hans Christian Anderson’s life story and then some of the stories he wrote. There is the option to read/ listen to the stories in several languages so you are fine, if like us, your Danish isn’t fluent. Pip really enjoyed this and the Ripley’s Believe it or not next door.
Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Palace)
Christiansborg Palace is in the centre of Copenhagen and was built as a Royal residence but is currently used for Royal events and entertaining. There are 5 attractions to visit although you can get a combination ticket that saves you about 40% on entrance fees, each attraction is also included under the Copenhagen card.
The Ruins – Under the castle there are the ruins of 4 previous castles that were on the same site. You can walk around the site and see the foundations and get a glimpse of the previous architecture as well as the former city walls.
The Royal Kitchen – Step back in time to a world of copper cookware. See the kitchens as they were and the lives of the staff who lived and worked there.
The Royal Stables – The beautiful, white, Royal horses are stabled here and you can tour the stables and watch them being exercised.
The Royal Reception Rooms – Visit the rooms where the Queen of Denmark entertains foreign Royalty and Presidents. The tapestries are beautiful and an interesting modern twist to the rest of the very traditional rooms. There is a mystery hunt that you can opt to do around the palace for an extra fee, the hunt is designed for 4+ players.
A great way to see the city and save your feet from all the walking. We chose to do a Stromma canal Tour which went from outside Christiansborg palace, they also have a stop at Nyhayn. The weather was amazing but they do run all year round and have a cover for the boat in winter. Seeing the city from the water gives a totally different perspective and travelling under the very low bridges on the canals was a lot of fun.
This was one of the things on my list that I really wanted to visit and it did not disappoint. Frederiksborg Castle is near Hillerod, about a 45 minute train journey from Copenhagen Central Station, no ticket needed if you have the Copenhagen Card. The castle is signposted from the train station and you can either walk through Hillerod and round the lake or get the sweetest little ferry that takes you across the lake ((again included in the Copenhagen Card). Frederiksborg Castle is seriously impressive; beautiful architecture, lavish decorations, artwork and furniture. There was a portrait painting activity for children and also a trail around the castle with things to find for a small prize at the end. This was great for keeping her engaged and interested. The Great Hall was filled with an exhibition about Queen Margrethe II of Denmark who designs all her own clothes and has also designed ballet costumes. At one point we came across a string quartet playing and there are also some very impressive formal gardens to wander around.
The Botanical Gardens are free to enter and you can stroll around or just hand out by the lake. There is a fee to go in to the palm and Butterfly houses which are in a beautiful old glass house with a spiral staircase that takes you up to a walkway around the top of the palms.
About a 20 minute train journey from Copenhagen Central Station. The museum itself is not that big, it gives you a history of the circus and various circus acts with some interactive stations where you can try some activities for yourself or dress up. However the highlight for us was the Circus Skills Workshop. This only runs on a Sunday and is an extra charge to the museum entrance but is totally worth it. Where else can you spend your Sunday morning learning how to trapeze, tightrope walk and juggle. The booking system is in Danish so makes sure you have a bit of time and Google translate before you sit down to book tickets.
Hidden in the countryside around Copenhagen are several Giants. Sculptures by Thomas Dambo to be found. We only managed to see one, so that’s another reason to go back!
This wasn’t included in the Copenhagen Card and is free although you are expected to tip your guide at the end and we were certainly happy to do so as the tour was excellent. We opted for the Grand Tour of Copenhagen and met our guide Daniel in City Square at 10:30am. The tour lasted 3 hours and took us round most of the major sights as well as some lesser known ones, giving us a full history of the city as well as teaching us some Danish. Pip was the only child on the tour and he adapted some of his stories to make them more child friendly but it was so engaging that he really didn’t need to. The tour included a break in the middle.
A round tower with a spiral ramp rather than stairs and a wonderful 360 degree view of the city from the top. This was well worth a visit as it has some interesting history and is so unusual.
The Little Mermaid
Everything we read said not to bother visiting The Little Mermaid as she isn’t worth it. I’d disagree with this. Yes she isn’t as big as you would expect her to be and she is also a fair walk outside the centre of Copenhagen, however I’m glad we visited her. The area around her is lovely to spend some time and you might also spot some of the nearby seaplanes taking off.
Things we didn’t get time to do……….
- Amalienborg Palace – The Queen’s winter residence.
- Rosenborg Castle – The Danish Treasury