How to spend an awesome 3 days in Copenhagen with kids

Colourful buildings at Nyvavn in Copenhagen with kids

The best things to do in Copenhagen with kids

Copenhagen is a great city for kids.  We found absolutely tons to see and do and we didn’t pause for breath during the three days we spent in the Danish capital.

Families will be spoilt for choice in Copenhagen.  There’s a wealth of museums to look around and the Danes have gone to a huge effort to make them interesting and family friendly.  You’ll also find fun playgrounds dotted all over the place, lots of gardens and plenty of historical attractions too.

Copenhagen just has a great feel to it as well; it’s not hectic or rushed, everyone is friendly and welcoming especially to families.  It must be the hygge lifestyle; although it was so hot when we visited we didn’t need to snuggle into any blankets or seek out cosiness – we wanted air conditioning!

An itinerary for spending 3 days in Copenhagen with kids

Marble Church and Amalienborg Palace seen from river , Copenhagen Denmark

I’d recommend at least three days for exploring Copenhagen.  You could spend at least four or five days in Copenhagen if you wanted to thoroughly explore the city centre and take a couple of day trips.  Depending on how old your kids are (and how deep your pockets are), you could probably spend most of one day at Tivoli Gardens.

Below is our itinerary for 3 days in Copenhagen with kids, and it’s exactly what we did.  There’s a lot of walking involved as many of Copenhagen’s attractions are so close to each other that it’s not really worth getting a bus between them.  However the public transport is pretty good and I expect we’d have used it more if we’d visited at a colder time.

If your kids are older than ours then you could hire bikes to get around.  The bike lanes are everywhere; they’re wide and easy to navigate.  There are also tons of places to leave your bikes and so this would be my choice.  Many hotels offer bike hire as part of their services.

A top tip is to use a Copenhagen Card for the duration of your stay.  We used it to get in to most of the below attractions, and you can also use it on public transport.  Click here to buy the Copenhagen Card.

Day 1 in Copenhagen with kids

Frederiksberg Slot, or castle, in Frederiksberg Have

Take a family friendly tour through Fredriksberg

On our first day in Copenhagen we took a bike tour with Copenhagen Family Tours.  Just like locals, we rode around on bikes, with the kids in a trailer.  This was a fantastic way to get around in the city, and it really helped us to get our bearings, as well as getting insights into Danish life!  The kids thought that the trailer ride was fantastic!

Boat rides in Frederiksberg Palace gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

On our bike tour, we explored the neighbourhoods of Fredriksberg, Vesterbro and Nørrebro.  Fredriksberg Palace Gardens was one of the highlights, and it’s a fun place for kids.  The palace itself is now used by the Danish Army, but guided tours take place on the last Saturday of the month.  Even if you’re not taking a bike tour, we’d recommend stopping by.

In the gardens there are boat tours along the river, and a Chinese Tea House as well as plenty of play areas.  This is also where you’ll find Copenhagen Zoo (which we didn’t visit).

You can read more about our experience in my post about our tour with Copenhagen Family Tours.

Torvehallerne Copenhagen

Torvehallerne food market in central Copenhagen is a good place to stop for lunch

Our bike tour finished at Copenhagen’s New Food Market so we decided to stay in the area and take a look around in the afternoon.

Torvehallerne is one of Copenhagen’s largest markets and the stalls inside sell a variety of local and international cuisine, alcohol and chocolates – all very tempting.  You can either eat at the stalls or take your purchases away.  We grabbed some food from the market and crossed the road to the Botanical Garden to have a picnic.

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden covers a large area and it’s a perfect place to relax in the centre of the city.   There are 27 glasshouses here, but the Palm House is the largest and inside it’s definitely reminiscent of the huge historical glasshouse at Kew Gardens in London.

Outside there are large grassy areas as well as planted gardens for exploring.  We were really lucky with the weather while we were in Copenhagen so the kids had great fun playing here.  If you’re visiting Copenhagen in the winter this could be a good place to come and warm up for a bit!

Copenhagen Botanical Gardens are a fun thing to do in Copenhagen with kids

Children will be enchanted by the relatively new Butterfly House which is open in the summer months – there are hundreds of butterflies in here.

The main part of the garden is free to enter but if you want to go inside the Palm House then there’s a small fee, or you can use your Copenhagen Card.

Workers’ Museum (Arbejdermuseet)

The Workers’ Museum is right next to the food market.  We’d have gone in if we had more time, but I’ll mention it here in case you’d prefer to visit it, or if you’ve got bad weather and you’d rather be inside than visiting gardens.

This museum is all about the lives of Danish workers, and it mainly covers the workers’ daily lives in the 1950s although some of the information goes back to the 1880s.  There’s a special kids’ area where they can dress up and find out about how kids lived in the 1930s.

There’s a restaurant on site where you can try traditional Danish smørrebrød and chicory coffee.

The Workers’ Museum is free with the Copenhagen Card.  You can find out more about what’s on here.

Rosenborg Castle and The King’s Garden

Rosenborg Castle seen from Kongens Have, Copenhagen, Denmark

Rosenborg Castle sits just across the road from the Botanical Gardens, in Kongens Have, or the King’s Garden.

As it’s also nearby to the food market, Kongens Have is a great place to let the kids run around after lunch.  If you’re short on time you could skip the Botanical Gardens and come straight to Rosenborg.

Tapestries and treasures inside Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen

Rosenborg is a compact little castle, right in the middle of the city.  It’s now over 400 years old and its beautifully decorated rooms are filled with treasures, tapestries and paintings.  It’s small enough for little ones to look around without getting too bored, although you could spend quite a long time looking at everything in the Palace.

Knight's Hall in Rosenborg Palace, Copenhagen

Rosenborg Palace is also where you can see the Danish crown jewels – they’re worth a look!  Other highlights include the large hall which runs almost the whole length of one of the floors and its three enormous silver lions.  Our kids liked the tiled toilet for the King best though.

Entry is free with a Copenhagen Card.

Round Tower of Copenhagen (Rundetaarn)

Kids in the Round Tower, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark

Something I have to do when I visit any town or city is to find a great viewpoint!  In Copenhagen’s case, the best place is the Round Tower.  This is around a 10 minute walk from Rosenborg Castle.

The Round Tower is an observatory built in the 17th Century in memory of the astronomer Tycho Brache.  You climb up the gentle slope of the tower (there are only a few steps at the top) to a viewing platform where you can see out over Copenhagen and all the way to Sweden which lies just over the Øresund bridge.

The tower is only 36m tall but Copenhagen is such a low-rise city that the tower is one of the tallest things here, bar the occasional church steeple.

View of Copenhagen from the Round Tower, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids

As you walk up the tower’s circular route, don’t forget to look into the side rooms – there’s the next door church and a large hall used for art displays.  Look our for the glass floor which shows you the hollow interior of the tower.  To see it you have to duck through a narrow claustrophobic doorway (like the one the kids are hiding in in the top picture).

Art exhibit in the Round Tower of Copenhagen, Denmark

There’s also a good opportunity to work in a fairytale to interest the kids when you visit. The best known story by Hans Christian Andersen is probably The Little Mermaid, but my favourite is The Tinderbox. The Tinderbox tells the story of a soldier who can control three enormous dogs; one with eyes as big as saucers, one with eyes as big as mill wheels, and the last with eyes as big as the Round Tower of Copenhagen.

The kids loved this rather gruesome story so they were excited to see how big the third dog’s eyes were when we visited!  We found a tinderbox toy dog in the shop too; not at all creepy.

Entry is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Not far from the Round Tower you might like to take the kids to the Lego Store, as Denmark is of course the birthplace of Lego!  You’ll find this shop on Strøget, Copenhagen’s largest shopping street.

Day 2 in Copenhagen with kids

Today you can hit many of Copenhagen’s biggest attractions.  There’s a lot of walking today but you can hire bikes to make the going easier!

You’ll find the Little Mermaid in the northern part of central Copenhagen, and from here there are enough sights to keep you busy all the way down to Tivoli Gardens for the end of the day.  We started early and were at the Little Mermaid by about 9am.

Little Mermaid statue (Den Lillen Havfreue)

Little Mermaid statue at Copenhagen's waterfront

Yes, it’s super touristy, but I didn’t think we could go to Copenhagen and not see the Little Mermaid statue.  Fairytale writer extraordinaire Hans Christian Andersen lived in Copenhagen, and so if you’ve got any small fans of his stories you might want to see one of Copenhagen’s most famous attractions.  We went out of obligation rather than being desperate to see her – more to tell you guys if it’s worth it or not!

Actually, as long as you know that it’ll be stupidly busy whatever time you go to see her, and to expect her to be small and a little underwhelming, you can appreciate that she’s actually very pretty.  She’s just been overhyped.  The statue dates from 1913 and she’s been vandalised a few times, including having her head cut off!  There’s no sign of that today.

We took the train from Copenhagen central station to Østerport station to reach her; the train journey was free with the Copenhagen Card. If you’re not really interested in The Little Mermaid then you can skip seeing the statue, and if you’re taking a boat tour you’ll pass by quite close anyway.

The Citadel (Kastellet)

Red barracks in Kastellet, or the Citadel, in Copenhagen, Denmark

Just next to The Little Mermaid is the Citadel, or Kastellet.  This is a fortress that was once part of Copenhagen’s ring of defences and is still used by the military today.  As we’d recommend coming to Kastellet, you may as well stop by the Little Mermaid and the Gefion fountain briefly!

A former military barracks doesn’t sound all that welcoming (or interesting) but that’s not to say you can’t visit it, and walking through the barracks is actually very pretty! The buildings here don’t look particularly military, and are cheerfully painted in reds and yellows.

The Citadel is also a public park and has several interesting things to see, as well as being a nice place for kids to run around.

The Citadel is a star-shaped island hill cut off from its surrounds by a moat, and the fortress dates from 1626.  There’s a central path which is a straight shot through the barracks, but there’s also a path around the top of the hill which makes for a nice stroll.  Don’t forget to look at the lovely windmill here either.

Windmill at the Citadel in Copenhagen

The windmill is easy to find – when you get to the centre of the main thoroughfare look to the right (away from the river) and  the windmill is up on the hill, behind the important looking yellow building with the large yard in front of it, which is actually the castle church, Kastelskirken.

There were once sixteen of these windmills around Copenhagen’s ramparts – they were built so that the city could guarantee the production of flour – but today only two are left.  The other is at Christianshavn and is now a private house with a museum.

Gefion fountain near the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen

Once you’ve looked around head towards the south entrance and swing by the Gefion fountain which is worth stopping at briefly.  You’ll see it over to the left once you’re out over the Citadel’s moat.

Both The Citadel and the Gefion Fountain are free.

Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace in central Copenhagen

It’s only about a 10 minute walk to Amalienborg Palace from the Gefion fountain.  If you’re in need of a rest we found a nice cafe just next to the church in the above photo, only a minute from the palace complex.

Amalienborg Palace is the official residence of the Danish royal family, and it’s made up of four identical buildings surrounding a large courtyard.  Two of the buildings are used for the royal family and aren’t open to the public, but Christian VIII’s palace has a large museum and further rooms laid out so you can get a good idea of what the others look like inside.

Christian VII’s palace runs guided tours at the weekends at around 1pm – click here to book.  We didn’t take the tour – we didn’t think the kids would be interested and we had a really packed schedule for the day and so we couldn’t hang around waiting.

Interior of Amalienborg Palace, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen

A good time to arrive at Amalienborg is for midday when there’s the changing of the guard – we were here slightly earlier so missed it. The entrance to the museum is in the building on the right of the above photo.  It’s not very clear which building has the museum in and we wandered around the plaza until we found it.

Once you get inside there are rooms laid out as they would have been at various different points in history – they’re behind glass so you can’t actually go in them.  Further upstairs there are more rooms that you can walk through although they are mainly empty.  There’s more “stuff” at Rosenborg Palace but Amalienborg was interesting in its own way.

Entry is free with the Copenhagen Card.

The Marble Church (Frederik’s Kirke)

After you’ve looked around Amalienborg Palace it makes sense to take a quick look inside the Marble Church just next door.  It’s one of Copenhagen’s most striking buildings as you can see its green copper dome from all over the city.

Also known as Frederik’s Kirke, the construction of the Marble Church was started in 1749 by King Frederik V but due to lack of funding it wasn’t actually completed until 1894 so poor King Frederik never saw the finished building.

Dome of the Marble Church, or Frederik's Kirke, Copenhagen

You can climb the dome for views over the city at 1pm every day in the summer, and at weekends in the winter.  We’d already  got our birds’ eye view of Copenhagen from the Round Tower but I’m sure it’s lovely from here too!  The interior of the Marble Church is definitely worth a quick peek, especially the dome’s ceiling.

Climbing the dome costs 35DK for adults and 20DK for children.  Entry to the church is free.

Once you’ve looked inside the church, carry on down the street for ten minutes to reach the lovely area of Nyhavn.

Nyhavn

Nyhavn harbour is one of the prettiest street scenes in Copenhagen, Denmark

This is best known area of Copenhagen, and one of its loveliest, on a good day at least.  Brightly coloured houses line a network of canals filled with pretty boats, and crossed by bridges (most bearing a load of love-locks).  If you’re following this itinerary then by the time you reach Nyhavn, you’re either going to be hungry or thirsty or both.

So take some time to pause, and people watch (well, tourist watch).  Wherever you choose to eat in Copenhagen is going to be expensive so I don’t need to say that the prices here are high, but ah, whatever.  Needs must.

Hans Christian Andersen lived in several of the houses along this street, although there’s not much about him here (there is a small museum about him and his fairytales near to Tivoli Gardens, as well as a statue).

You can get boat tours from here which take you around Copenhagen’s canals. Depending on how well your kids are doing, you might want to rest your legs in the afternoon and pick up the rest of this itinerary the following day.  We did take a boat tour in Copenhagen but we started at Gammel Strand instead (see below).

Boat tours from Nyhavn are included in the Copenhagen Card.  Alternatively, click here to buy a boat tour ticket.

Children’s Museum at the Danish National Museum

Mongolian exhibition in Copenhagen's National Museum in 2019

Copenhagen is stuffed full of museums and each one we visited was pretty good.  We visited the National Museum on our way to Tivoli Gardens from Nyhavn.

We especially wanted to visit the children’s museum here, and the kids really enjoyed their visit.  They got to play on a Viking longboat, build a wall, sword fight in a fortress and of course dress up along the way.  We’d definitely recommend taking the kids here.

Elsewhere in the museum we found an amazing exhibit on Mongolia (pictured).  The highlight was sitting in the yurt around a campfire where we were told a very romanticised version of Genghis Khan’s rise to power.  I think this exhibition was temporary. We also got to meet some Vikings!

Look out for the “bored buttons” elsewhere in the museum that flagging kids can press to make something more exciting (like flashing lights and music) happen.  Every museum should have some of these!

Entry to the National Museum is free with a Copenhagen Card.  The museum is closed on Mondays. You can find out more about what’s on for your visit here.

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens is one of the best things to do in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest theme parks in the world – second only to Bakken which is also in Denmark.  It’s not always open so you’ll need to check opening dates before you travel.

Tivoli Gardens isn’t that far from the centre of Copenhagen, and it’s absolutely unmissable if you’re visiting Copenhagen with your family.  This is the case even if you don’t normally “do” theme parks (like us!).

Even if you’re not into thrill rides you can still enjoy the outrageous architecture and the beautifully planted garden areas.  There are a wealth of cafes, restaurants and picnic areas.  Boating on the lake looked good fun too.

Fun architecture at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

The kids were really keen to try their first rollercoaster, the runaway mine train, which they’d seen from outside the park.  They were jumping with excitement as we got on, but this quickly turned to terror and they both came off crying as it went a bit quicker than they expected!  Parenting fail.  We stuck to the gentle rides after that!

At one end of the park is a brilliant playground which we couldn’t tear the children away from, despite it being the end of a really busy day.  The Danes are really good at playgrounds which encourage kids to push their physical capabilities in a safe and fun way.

Flower beds at Tivoli Gardens, one of the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids

If your kids are into thrill rides and you’ve got plenty of time, you could definitely spend all or at least half a day at Tivoli.  We were probably there for 2 or 3 hours.  Tivoli Gardens is open late into the evening, so in the summer with its long days you can even arrive after dinner.  The gardens are illuminated after dark which makes evening a magical time to visit.

The main season runs from April to September; however the gardens are also open over Halloween, Christmas, and usually in February too.  So if you’re visiting in March, November and January the gardens will probably be shut.

You can get into Tivoli Gardens once using the Copenhagen Card, but anything else isn’t included.  The rides at Tivoli Gardens aren’t cheap, so if you’re planning on going on lots of them it might be worth buying a day pass for the rides.  Click here to buy an unlimited rides ticket for Tivoli Gardens.

Day 3 in Copenhagen with kids

For day 3 you can take a day trip from Copenhagen or visit more of its museums.  We decided to spend the morning at Copenhagen’s recently refurbished Science Museum, before taking a boat ride in the afternoon.  There are more ideas for how to spend your third day, or more days, just after this section.

Copenhagen’s Science Museum (Experimentarium)

Bronze staircase at the Experimentarium - Copenhagen's science museum is great for kids

Experimentarium is Copenhagen’s Science Museum.  It was completely refurbished in 2017 and it boasts a spectacular curved staircase in the entrance hallway.

Everything at Experimentarium is hands on and perfect for kids of all ages.  On the ground floor there’s a special area for smaller kids where they can help to run a farm, carry out building experiments, and explore their senses.  The kids loved this area.

On the next couple of floors the attractions are for older children.  The kids had a great time playing at a shipping game where you used boats and air transport to move goods between Copenhagen and other countries around the world.  In other exhibits you could make enormous soap bubbles and explore your senses.  There’s more to see and do on the rooftops in the summer months, and we spent all morning here.

Overall the museum was really good fun and we all enjoyed our visit.  Many of the exhibits are computer based and some of these were broken or not working which was a bit disappointing, but despite that we’d recommend a trip here.

Experimentarium is a little way out of Copenhagen’s city centre.  To get there we took the train to Hellerup from Copenhagen Station and walked about 15 – 20 minutes through the leafy neighbourhood.  Alternatively you can take bus number 1A.  Entry is of course free with a Copenhagen Card.

Copenhagen City Hall (Radhus) and Hans Christian Andersen

Copenhagen Town Hall is an impressive building

After our visit to Experimentarium we took the train back to Copenhagen Station and walked to Gammel Strand for a boat tour.  There are a couple more things to see on the way, the first being City Hall.

In a lovely open square just by Tivoli Gardens is the Copenhagen City Hall, or Radhaus.  This beautiful building is free to look around if you’re just walking past, but you can also take guided tours.  Tours in English run at 1pm during the week and at 10am on Saturdays, and cost 50DKK.

It’s also possible to go up the tower which is one of the highest in Copenhagen.  If you choose to do this, then tours run at 11am and 2pm in the week, and at midday on Saturday.  The tower visit costs 30DKK.

Just outside of the town hall, on the left near Tivoli Gardens, you can see a statue of Hans Christian Andersen and there is a small Hans Christian Andersen Museum on the right, just across the road.  We ran out of time to visit it, but it’s here, almost hidden next to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Entry to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot)

Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen

Christiansborg Palace is on a tiny island (Slotsholmen) which is cut off from the rest of central Copenhagen by a semicircular canal.

As we’d already subjected the kids to Rosenborg and Amalienborg Palaces we just walked past this one. However, if you’ve got the time and inclination you can see some of the interior including the magnificent reception and throne rooms including the Queen’s tapestries which depict key events in Danish history.

The current palace is built on top of other, ruined palaces which date back some 900 years. You can tour the underground ruins as part of your visit, including buildings that were used as prisons – this might be more interesting to kids than tapestries!  More things to see at Christiansborg Palace include the kitchens, stables and climbing the tower.

Entry is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Copenhagen Boat Tour

Waterways of Copenhagen; taking a boat tour is a must in Copenhagen

After all the sightseeing you’ve been doing for the last few days it’s now time to sit down for a change and relax!  We would recommend taking a boat tour when you’re in Copenhagen and if you’ve got a Copenhagen Card then you can take a free tour from either Nyhavn or Gammel Strand.

Gammel Strand was nearer to the train station so made more sense for us.  We did end up waiting for a bit so we could all sit together on the boat, but we were all glad to be able to rest!

The boat tour we took ferried us around the canals of Christianshavn, the islands opposite Copenhagen’s city centre.  We also went all the way up to the Little Mermaid statue and back down past Amalienborg Palace and Nyhavn before ducking back into the canals opposite.

Along the way we saw plenty of tourists and locals enjoying the hot summer weather outside, and it was good to see some more residential areas rather than the main touristy parts of the city.  There was commentary via earphones and a steward on board who made sure everyone was sitting down when the boat passed under the many bridges (some were very very low!).

If you don’t want to take this boat tour included in the Copenhagen Card then there are more to choose from.  This boat tour leaves from either Nyhavn or Ved Stranden – click here to book.

Tycho Brache Planetarium

At Tycho Brache Planetarium in Copenhagen

The kids were really excited to visit the Planetarium, which is a stone’s throw from Tivoli Gardens.

Here you can see a film or two in the enormous IMAX cinema – we watched a film about the first Danish astronaut to visit the ISS, and an introduction to the universe.  The cinema is the main attraction here and when we arrived we had to wait for almost an hour to see the next show.  Some shows are in English but this one wasn’t, so we had to pay about £10 extra for disposable headphones.  So you should probably check the shows and their timings as we didn’t!

While we were waiting we took a look around the displays.  There’s a large chunk of moon rock, which was pretty cool to see.  There are computer games to play and some little videos and information about the planets but some of it was broken or very tired, and it didn’t really engage the kids.  The newer displays in the centre of the exhibit were much better and more engaging (probably because they used huge screens!).

I’m not sure if it’s because we visited the Planetarium right at the end of the day and we were all shattered (the kids fell asleep during the films) but we found the whole thing a little disappointing compared to some of the other sights in Copenhagen.

You guessed it – entry is free with a Copenhagen Card.

More things to do in Copenhagen

Den Blå Planet

Den Bla Planet is a must visit in Copenhagen with kids

This is a lovely aquarium not far from the airport.  We actually had almost four days in Copenhagen so we managed to squeeze in a visit to the aquarium before we left.  If you’ve got a late afternoon flight then definitely visit before you leave.  There are large lockers where you can leave all your luggage.

There are all sorts of creatures here, from animals and fish found in Danish waters, to tropical reefs and a huge tank containing a number of sharks, rays and turtles.  It’s all very well laid out and there are loads of hands on things for kids to do.  Our kids also loved the colourful frogs in the rainforest area (they’re not poisonous) and the huge number of piranha fish in the river waters.

Inside the aquarium are large areas to sit and relax by the tanks (they’re obviously used to jet lagged customers!). There’s a large playground outside for when the kids have had enough fish.  It was a great end to our Copenhagen break!

Entry to the aquarium is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet)

This open air museum, just a little outside of Copenhagen’s centre, is a fantastic place to bring children on a sunny day.  It’s one of the biggest and oldest open air museums in the world, and puts on plenty of activities for kids.

As well as looking around the old houses (which come from all over Denmark and surrounding countries) there are lovely gardens to explore and depending on when you visit, you can see traditional cooking, beekeeping and follow a Hans Christian Anderson trail.  Check the website to find out what’s on when you visit.

To get to the open air museum you need to take a train to Sorgenfri station and the museum is a 10 minute walk away.

Entry is free with a Copenhagen Card.

Kronborg Castle (Kronborg Slot)

This is one castle I wished we’d had time to get to.  Said to be the inspiration for Hamlet, Kronborg Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Denmark’s most famous attractions.  You can reach it easily enough from Copenhagen – take a train to Elsinore station, about an hour from Copenhagen.

If you’d rather take a tour than go on your own then this tour takes in Fredriksberg and Kronborg castles in one day.  Click here to book.

Check the website to see what’s on for your visit.

Bakken

Bakken is the world’s oldest theme park and it’s not far from Copenhagen.  It’s set within a lovely park called Dyrehaven, and it has rides for all ages.  Dyrehaven park, unsurprisingly, is home to some 2000 deer and it’s a lovely place to get away from the city even if you’re not planning on riding rollercoasters.

Entry to Bakken is free but you have to pay for any rides.  Like Tivoli Gardens there are plenty of amusements and food and drink.

Bakken is open in the summer, in October for Harvest and in December for Christmas.  Check on the website before you travel to make sure that it’s open.  To get to Bakken from Copenhagen, take a train from Copenhagen station to Klampenborg station.

Copenhagen Zoo

Copenhagen Zoo's elephant enclosure

If you’re visiting Frederiksborg then the kids will probably want to visit the zoo.  Copenhagen Zoo has been designed with the welfare of its animals foremost but as we don’t often visit zoos and we didn’t go to this one, we can’t say how well they’re kept.

The star attractions at the zoo are giant pandas and elephants.  There’s a spot in the Frederiksberg park where you can see into the elephant enclosure but when we cycled past, the elephants were all inside and we couldn’t see them.

Fin out what’s on for your visit here.

Entry to the zoo is included in the Copenhagen Card.

Christiania

Christiania is a law unto itself.  This area is run by its inhabitants and anything goes, but it’s a peaceful place and tourists are welcome to look around.  It’s meant to be a colourful, relaxed commune with a hippy vibe.

There are rules though – you’re not allowed to take photos as people will openly deal drugs here.  For the same reason you’re not supposed to run in case you spark panic.  The rules are displayed before you enter Christiania and it’s highly advisable to follow them.  This walking tour gives you plenty of information about Christiania and you’re able to enter the commune after the tour.

We didn’t take the kids here and you might not want to either.  However if you’re with older kids you might be interested to see how people live in Christiania.

You can take a 3 hour guided bike tour of Christanshavn and Christiania – click here to book.

Take a day trip to Sweden

Ahus pier in southern Sweden is a fun place to take the kids

Sweden lies just over the Øresund Bridge from Denmark, and it takes only a few minutes to get there.  It’s quite a fun journey as the bridge seems to emerge from the water – kids are bound to find it exciting.

We’ve taken the train to Sweden several times from Copenhagen as my sister lives in the southern Swedish region of Skåne, and the nearest airport is actually in Denmark!  We’d advise the train rather than driving as the Øresund Bridge has a hefty toll for cars.

The Swedish towns of Malmø and Lund are popular day trips from Copenhagen, although we’re yet to visit them – we carry on further up towards Kristianstad.  The area that we visit (Åhus beach is pictured) is probably a little too far for just a day trip and you’ll need a car to get around.

You can either visit Malmø or Lund yourself, or take a tour.  Click here to book a tour that takes in both cities and crosses the bridge.

Trains to Malmø leave frequently from Copenhagen’s main train station.  Just remember to take your passport as it might be checked.

Copenhagen with kids: Know before you go

Where to stay in Copenhagen

Accommodation in Copenhagen can be expensive (like everything else).  I’ve picked out some family friendly hotels in the centre of Copenhagen below.

Staying in Copenhagen’s city centre is obviously best for most of this itinerary.  We were based slightly out of the centre, about 10 minutes walk from Copenhagen Station and Tivoli Gardens and this location worked pretty well.

Click here for a full list of Copenhagen hotels.

Luxury hotels in Copenhagen

Fun architecture at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Moorish-influenced Nimb Hotel is right in Tivoli Gardens and its premium location comes with prices to match.  This hotel boasts beautiful Moroccan decor, two pools, a hammam and free entry to Tivoli Gardens.  Family rooms and babysitting services are available and there are on site restaurants too.  Click here to book the Nimb Hotel.

If you want to stay in the lovely Nyhavn area then the 71 Nyhavn Hotel is right on the waterfront at the far end of this beautiful street.  Its boutique style rooms have period features but modern fittings.  There are family rooms and a restaurant on site.  Click here to book the 71 Nyhavn Hotel.

Manon Les Suites Guldsmeden has an amazing pool that kids will go crazy for.  Rooms come with a four poster bed and the restaurant serves delicious organic breakfasts.  The perfect place to relax after a long day sightseeing! Click here to book Manon Les Suites Guldsmeden.

Mid range hotels in Copenhagen

Hotel Bethel is located in central Copenhagen in the lovely Nyhavn area.  It’s a cheaper alternative to the 71 Nyhavn Hotel mentioned above.  Hotel Bethel has newly refurbished family rooms, serves a continental breakfast and all mod cons.  Click here to book Hotel Bethel.

The Andersen Boutique Hotel is located just around the back of Copenhagen Station so it has great transport links.  The rooms come with modern decor and family rooms are available.  There’s a lounge serving breakfasts and drinks.  Click here to book Andersen Boutique Hotel.

Copenhagen Strand is right by the waterfront, close to Nyhavn and Strøget for shopping.  The building is a former warehouse and the rooms are clean and modern. Breakfast is served on site and there’s a bar for evening drinks.  You can also rent bikes here, making getting around central Copenhagen easy.  Click here to book Copenhagen Strand.

Budget hotels in Copenhagen

I wouldn’t exactly call these hotels budget, but they’re among the cheapest you can find in the city centre!

You can get a nice bright family room at Annex Copenhagen.  This hostel/hotel is near to Copenhagen station and Tivoli Gardens.  There are self catering facilities and a buffet breakfast.  Click here to check availability and to book.

Zleep Hotel Copenhagen City has clean bright family rooms and has a similar location to Annex Copenhagen.  This modern hotel also serves breakfast and has all mod cons.  Click here to book Zleep Hotel Copenhagen City.

We stayed in the Tivoli Hotel which had a great kids’ play area including a bouncy castle and a game with little prizes for the kids each day.  Our room was nice, with a view over the water.  There’s a fitness centre, pool and restaurants on site.  Click here to book the Tivoli Hotel.

How to get around Copenhagen with kids

Copenhagen is a very walkable city but it also has great public transport.  It’s really easy to get into central Copenhagen from the airport – the airport’s exit leads straight into the train station.  A Copenhagen Card includes transport too.

If you’re with small kids and you think that their little legs will get tired easily you could get a 24 hour hop on hop off bus ticket for maximum convenience.  Click here to book.

You’ll find that most hotels will have bikes available to rent, but you can click here to pre book a day’s bicycle rental.

You can also get around Copenhagen by boat.  Click here to buy a hop-on hop-off boat ticket.

How to save money in Copenhagen

Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries (and I’m including Iceland here too) are often accused of being expensive and Copenhagen is no exception.  Sometimes the prices can be eye watering!  This was the one downside to Copenhagen.

Be prepared to pay about 50% more than you’re used to for things like coffee, sandwiches and drinks, and other little things that all add up.  You can put restaurants on that list too, so eating is going to cost you.

We found that the cheapest way to eat was to buy our breakfast and lunch from a supermarket (we used our old friend 7-11 for most days).  Little snacks from the bakery here were reasonably priced and so were their salads and sandwiches.  This kept the costs down and we were even able to afford the occasional meal out for dinner!

The Copenhagen Card

Copenhagen’s attractions are mostly paid and so entrance fees can stack up pretty quickly too.  We would definitely recommend that you buy a Copenhagen Card for your trip.  The card is honestly one of the best city passes we’ve used.

We don’t always bother with city passes as sometimes they don’t include the most popular attractions, or they only give discounts on entry, but that’s not the case with the Copenhagen Card.  Everything you’ll want to see is included, as is public transport.  You can even visit Tivoli Gardens using the card (only once, mind, and rides cost extra).  As long as you’ll be visiting plenty of paid attractions rather than wandering around, we’d recommend a Copenhagen Card.

Once you’ve bought your voucher just exchange it for a card at the airport – the kiosk is in the train station once you’ve left the airport.  There’s also a digital version but we prefer to have the card itself in case our phone batteries run out!

You can get the Copenhagen Card for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days.

Click here to buy your Copenhagen Card

When should you visit Copenhagen with kids?

I’d say that pretty much any time of year is great to visit Copenhagen.

We went in the summer and it was hot hot hot!  We had great weather and barely saw a cloud for our whole visit.  This meant we could walk everywhere and enjoy the parks and gardens.  Spring and autumn also have pleasant temperatures, although it can of course rain at any time!

Winter, especially around Christmas, is also a great time to visit.  Everything is festive, with Christmas markets to grab stocking fillers from and Tivoli Gardens turned into a winter wonderland.  If the weather isn’t on your side then there are many museums and palaces and coffee shops to shelter in. Just make sure that you wrap up warm.


I hope you’re now inspired to spend some quality time in Copenhagen!  If you found this post useful then take a look at our other capital city guides!  Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments.

Tokyo with kids

Lisbon with kids

London with kids

Paris with kids

Rome with kids

Prague with kids

Reykjavik with kids

Pin this post for later!

A complete 3 day itinerary covering the best things to do in Copenhagen. Ideal for families and first timers, this guide includes all the major sights in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens, the Littler Mermaid, Rosenborg Palace and much more! Includes the best palaces and museums, the best parks, and recommendations for where to stay and how to save money in Copenhagen. #copenhagen #denmark #travel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.