Copenhagen is one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe. Danish people are one of the happiest nations in the world thanks to the green areas and their philosophy, the Hygge. Let us guide you through the green city of Copenhagen, here are 10 things that you can do to feel the Hygge as well 🙂
How to get around Copenhagen?
Public transport in Copenhagen? You absolutely don’t need it! Of course, you have to take the subway between the airport and the city center, or maybe your accommodation is also far from the central station, but all the interesting spots are very close to each other. It’s also very practical to hop on a bike or scooter, the city has a great infrastructure for bikers. In Copenhagen, more people use bikes, than cars.
Anyway, in Copenhagen the buses, subway, trains, and waterbuses can be taken with the same ticket, you just need to check to which zone are you traveling to.
The price for a single ticket for an adult for 2 zones (which covers the city center) is 24 DKK, but if you are going to use the transport for a whole day is maybe more convenient to buy a pass for 24, 48, 72 or 120 hours.
If you want to use public transport or one of the passes, we recommend you to click here and check this detailed article about the prices!
Currency: 1 euro is like 7,50 Danish crowns (June 2019), and approx. 6 US Dollars. But don’t forget to check the exact numbers before you go! 🙂
If you want to get the most of the city, use a lot of public transport and enter to a lot of museums, getting a Copenhagen pass or a City pass can be the best option for you. The Copenhagen pass includes free transportation for all the zones and free entrance to up more than 80 attractions in the city. You can buy it for 54 euros, it’s valid for one day, or for 100 euros for three days. The City pass is just for public transportation and it can be also purchased online and for different periods.
1. Explore Nyhavn early in the morning
One of the most colorful spots in the city, but also very crowded! So we really recommend you to go very early in the morning if you want to catch the channel without lots of tourists. This beautiful port was founded in 1673 and since then it went through lots of changes.
After the second world war, it got empty of ships because everything started to be transported by trucks. But in 1960, the Danish people worked hard to recover it from the ashes and convert it into “Museum Port”.
An interesting fact is that Hans Christian Andersen lived here for almost 18 years!
2. Walk around the botanical garden and enter the Palm House with butterflies
Located in the center of Copenhagen, the botanical garden is one of the most beautiful public parks in Northern Europe. There’re more than 13,000 species of plants from all around the world disposed around the garden and inside of the Palm House.
The Palm House is an amazing greenhouse that recreates a tropical environment inside. Thanks to this, a lot of ficus trees and other plants from regions like South America and Africa can live and grow here. It’s a very surrealistic experience, and a funny sensation to feel the warmth of the jungle in the middle of the capital of a Northern European country.
The place has also a butterfly house that opens in the spring and summer. Here you will be able to see butterflies from all sizes and colors flying around and learn more about their cycle of life and growth.
Arrive at 10 when they open and you will have the palm house only for yourself. There is also a student discount, so if you’re a student, don’t forget to bring your student card.
Admission: You can walk around the botanical garden for free, but there is an entrance fee in the Palm House.
Adults: DKK 60
Children (3-16 years): DKK 40
Children (0-3 years): Free
Students (with student-ID): DKK 40
Season pass: Free entrance with a season pass to the museum.
3. Take a walking or biking tour in the old town
Northern European countries are known for their green movement. Denmark reduces its CO2 emissions by encouraging people to ride the bike instead of driving the car. In Copenhagen, it’s actually easier and faster to get from one place to another by bike. There are fewer parking places for cars than for bikes. You can actually see lots of bike parking all over the streets. If you like to ride the bike, scooter or even a tricycle with a compartment for your babies, this city is perfect for you!
We decided to walk in the old town and took a very special walking tour with the company Green Bike tours.
Maybe you took other tours in the past, but the special thing about these tours (that you can do by foot or by bike) is that the guide will not just tell you about the history of the city. They will also tell you about green and sustainable facts that make Copenhagen and Denmark a place where sustainability, eco-tourism, and awareness of climate change is a very high priority.
The tour takes about 2 hours, and in this short time, you can learn a lot about the Sustainable Development Goals, and how Denmark is working towards achieving them. We visited a lot of important places in the old town with our guide, Julie. We also learned how we can take action to help the city in reaching the sustainable standards they are aiming for, and of course, how to do it in our own home country.
Exploring the city with our guide from Green Bike Tours
Maegstreet, the most colorful street in Copenhagen Old Town
A guided tour is a unique way to learn about places. There are are some facts that you won’t find on the internet, and what’s better than hearing them from the locals who know their city the most? 🙂
We really recommend you to book a tour with them, if you click here, you can go directly to their webpage and book the best tour in Copenhagen!
4. Feel the Hygge
During our tour, Julie explained to us about a very important Danish concept, the famous Hygge.
Maybe you have already heard about it’s because it’s a concept that has been getting very famous. Hygge is actually the Danish philosophy. It’s also one of the reasons why they have one of the highest standards of life quality and happiness in the world.
The word Hygge doesn’t have a translation in another language, but the concept can be explained as enjoying the little things when you have the chance to do it.
It can be every little thing or activity that you can enjoy, for example: Walking on the dry leaves in autumn or watching the sunset every evening from your window or even things like making an order on your desk after a day of work.
The Library Garden - green areas help you to stay close to nature and live in a Hygge way 🙂
The Hygge is different for every person, but two people can enjoy the same Hygge together or even create a new one just for both of them! Great concept, right?
Julie told us, that the goal of the authorities of Copenhagen is to create a city full of happy people. Indeed, Copenhagen is full of places that contribute to this goal! You can hop on one of the trampolines that are in different spots of the city (How cool is that? :D) or just sit down in one of the green areas in the middle of the city. For instance, in Copenhagen, there are green areas enough to provide every citizen a place to chill, jog or just to feel the “hygge”. The goal was that every person has a green area that they can reach in just 15 minutes or less walking. All this contributes to SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being and SDG 15- Life on Land.
5. Walk through the Strøget
Strøget is one of Europe's longest pedestrian streets with a wealth of shops, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world's most expensive brands. If you walk or ride a bike in the city, at some point you will end up walking here as well. The 1,1-kilometre stretch covers the streets Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, and Østergade and runs from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv square. Strøget is most famous for shopping, you can find here budget-friendly stores and fancy brands as well.
This street was actually the first street in Copenhagen that was closed for cars. First, it was a controversial decision, but now this street is everyone’s favorite.
The development of the stores located in this street is a perfect example of the good effects of the growing economy in Denmark. The owners of these stores focus on their own businesses and getting wealthier, but they are supporting the government with high taxes to increase the quality of life of others in the city as well. Even if Denmark is one of the countries with the highest taxes, it’s also one with the lowest corruption level and these taxes are being used properly to satisfy the needs of the Danish people.
Interesting fact: Dante loves LEGO, and Denmark is the home country of this company, so you will find several stores with a lot of sets and toys here! It’s important to mention that LEGO and other Danish companies are focusing on making their own processes more green and sustainable. For example, LEGO has announced that by 2025 they will produce the toys with sugar crane fibers instead of plastic! They already reduce their CO2 emissions and they also offset them.
6. Torvehallerne Market
If you want to try the Danish food before continuing your exploration of the city, this amazing food market is the best for you! The Torvehallerne market has a lot of options for every taste, most likely you will find vegetarian and vegan-friendly options too!
It’s also a great option to take a good breakfast before starting to explore the city 🙂
7. Tivoli park
Entrance fee: 130 DKK
Saturday and Sunday: 140 DKK
For kids 3-7 years - 60 DKK
Famous in Northern Europe, and really special for the inhabitants of Copenhagen, this amusement park is the second oldest in Denmark and it was founded in 1843.
Since those years, the park hasn’t changed their original shape and the buildings keep the same aspect as 176 years ago!
It’s a very important place for the Danish people. Every year it was more than 4 million visitors, mainly Danish and Swedish people. If you go during the summer months, you will find a very incredible pyrotechnic show. In Christmas time, the Tivoli becomes even more magical than usual.
8. Visit the Christiansborg Palace
This was our first stop during our tour with Julie, and she told us that this is the base of the Danish parliament. It’s interesting to know that this is the only building in the world that keeps inside the three powers of Democracy.
It is a very important place for all the citizens of Copenhagen because of the big political interest that allows this country to take several decisions in pro of the environment and social development.
This building has been reconstructed several times due to diverse fires that suffered through the times, but it never lost its essence and even today, some of the classic activities that occurred here are still happening, like the care of the royal horses 😀
Entrance fee: 160 DKK
Student entrance fee: 140 DKK
Children under 18 years old: Free entrance
Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen
9. Little Mermaid statue
Created by the sculptor Edvard Ericksen and based on the character of the famous story written by Hans Christian Andersen, the statue of the Little Mermaid is one of the most important symbols of the city.
You can find it in the Langelinie coast next to the port of Copenhagen lying on some rocks. This statue was installed in 1913 and since then it has faced a lot of history. In 2010, the statue traveled to China and it was there for 6 months to celebrate the Danish parade from an exposition realized in that country.
If you want to take photos of it, we recommend you to go early in the morning to catch the first light beams and avoid the huge amount of people who go to take photos of the statue every day.
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10. Spend the evening strolling around the Christianhavn area and channels
Copenhagen has been a very famous port since years, and even if nowadays commerce and movement of products are made more by earth with trucks and trains, the remains of this activity are still visible in the ports of the city.
Christianhavn is a lovely district surrounded by channels that you can visit and look around. This district is also the party districts, so you can find lots of bars, cafés all around the channels.
You can also find a box full of books next to the channel. There you’re able to take a book from the box and leave there and another one.
Where to stay in Copenhagen?
If you’re a budget traveler and you’re up for an adventure, then couchsurfing.com might save you here!
If you’re traveling on a budget, then you really have to book everything super early! The prices are very high, so you would pay the same money here for a backpacker’s hostel, as for a luxury stay in another European city. If you’re on a budget, book early! There’re some backpacker’s hostels, so it’s not hopeless 🙂
Some affordable hostels for backpackers:
Another option would be staying in Malmö. This city is in Sweden, 30 minutes from Copenhagen by train or bus, and you are able to find accommodations for half price as in Copenhagen. But don’t forget to count in the prices of the buses neither! We can recommend you FlixBus as well. If you book early, you might find tickets for 5-7 euros.
You can also check the special deals in Copenhagen here:
We hope that you enjoyed our little guide! If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them in the comments! You can also send us an email or a private message on Instagram!
If you want to read more about Copenhagen, head over to Leisurelydrives and read their post about the best day trips from Copenhagen!
If you're interested in sustainable travel, make sure to check out our article about 12 (+1) tips for sustainable traveling by clicking here.
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