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Copenhagen is located in the beautiful country of Denmark and is a great city for solo travel for several reasons: it is full of culture and history, there are SO many activities for all types of travelers, and it is one of the less expensive cities in Scandinavia! I spent a week in Copenhagen exploring all it offers during my solo trip through Europe, and this itinerary compiles my favorite activities and attractions in the city. Learn about the best way to spend 2 days in Copenhagen!
Is Copenhagen Safe for Solo Travelers?
Copenhagen is one of the safest cities for solo travelers, especially for female or first-time travelers, making it a great city to start with if you are nervous about traveling alone. There was no moment in Copenhagen where I felt unsafe, even when walking around at night.
However, it is still a big city, so exercise standard precautions. I recommend buying useful travel accessories such as an anti-theft bag or a scrunchie with a hidden pocket to store emergency money. Also, check out useful apps for solo travelers, such as Geosure, which shows you the safety rating of any city worldwide.
Where to Stay?
Next House Copenhagen is my favorite option for travelers and backpackers looking for a comfortable stay in the city’s heart. This hostel has a hotel-like feel while keeping intact the social aspects of a hostel. It is just a short walk from the central train station, making it easy to reach and a convenient location as a home base.
Check-in is at 3:00 PM, and check-out is at 11:00 AM, with pricing ranging from $25 – $50 a night. These timings and prices are standard for hostels in Europe. The location also has many amenities and perks. The amenities include a fully equipped gym, a cozy lounge area, a rooftop garden, a game room, and a breakfast buffet with various delicious options. They often host events on the rooftop, such as live music, DJ sessions, and even salsa classes, so remember to ask the front desk about it!
Note: If you cannot book 2 days in row at Next House Copenhagen, try searching each night individually. You may have to switch rooms, which is what I did during my trip.
Best Time to Go?
The best time to visit Copenhagen depends on your interests, but my favorite time is Summer, especially when you have 2 days! Though Summer is peak tourist season, it does not feel too crowded, and the weather is phenomenal. However, here is a breakdown so you can decide the best time for you:
Summer: As I mentioned, this is the peak tourist season in Copenhagen. It has long days (so much sunlight!), warm temperatures, and many outdoor events and festivals. You can spend all day exploring. However, this is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit (but worth it!).
Spring and Fall: Both seasons offer more moderate temperatures and smaller crowds, making it a great time to enjoy the city’s parks and gardens and visit museums. It will also be less expensive and less crowded.
Winter: This season can be cold and dark, but the city transforms into a wonderland. This transformation means charming markets, holiday lights, and festive decorations. However, the cold would keep me away!
How to Get Around
Copenhagen has an extensive public transportation system with trains, buses, and the metro. There are also many ticket and pricing options. The different options can confuse travelers, so this section will give you a breakdown of everything you need to know, including pricing, zones, and passes.
Walking and Biking
The best way to see Copenhagen is by walking and biking. That is what I mostly did during my trip to discover the city. Your hotel or hostel can help you with bike rentals; many have their own rental programs.
Trains, Metro, and Buses
If you aren’t big into walking or biking, the metro and buses will be your primary modes of transportation. The metro, s-trains, and buses all use the same ticket, which is convenient! You can buy them at ticket machines near the trains and metros or through the “DOT Billetter” app. After downloading the app, click “Indstillinger” (settings) followed by “Sprog” (language) to change the language to English. Here are the best ticketing options, depending on your needs:
- Single Tickets: The single-use tickets work on a zone system and allow you to use public transport within your chosen zones for up to 1 hour and 15 minutes after activation. Everything within the city center is within two zones, which costs approximately $3.55 per ticket. The airport is within three zones, which costs roughly $5 per ticket. Note: This is the best option if you mostly plan on walking and biking but may use public transportation occasionally.
- The City Pass: The City Pass allows travelers access to all public transportation throughout Copenhagen for the period defined, which ranges from 24 hours to 5 days. I recommend buying the City Pass Small, which covers four zones and is perfect for this itinerary. The price for 48 hours is approximately $23. This pass is great if you plan on relying on public transportation!
- Copenhagen Card: The Copenhagen Card is a fantastic deal, especially for 2 days, that not only gives visitors access to all public transportation in the city and the capital region (zones 1-99), but it also grants access to 80+ attractions, including ALL of the ones in this itinerary! The pass costs a little over $100 for 48 hours, saving you money overall!
National Museum of Denmark
- Hours: Summer – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily. October to May – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily and closed on Mondays.
- Price: $18 for adults, free for anyone under 18.
- Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Start the first of your 2 days in Copenhagen with breakfast at your hotel or a cafe nearby, then head to the National Museum of Denmark. The impressive collection includes artifacts, exhibits, and displays that showcase Denmark’s history from prehistoric times to the present.
The Viking exhibit was my favorite, but I was also impressed by the Royal Danish Collections and the Egtved Girl, the remains of a girl from the 1370s. I do recommend taking a guided tour (I wish I had done so) and checking if there are any special exhibits during your visit.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, with extended hours to 9:00 PM on Thursdays. Closed on Mondays.
- Price: $19 for adults, $14 for students, free for anyone under 18. Free on the last Wednesday of every month.
- Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Glyptoteket is one of Copenhagen’s most impressive art museums, featuring a stunning collection of ancient and modern art from around the world. The museum is a short walk from the National Museum of Denmark, making it the perfect second stop in your itinerary. It features a large selection of sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts.
The museum’s collection includes works by renowned artists such as Monet, Gauguin, and Degas, along with ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and artifacts. Remember to check out the Winter Garden, a stunning glass-enclosed space filled with exotic plants and sculptures. Also, check for unique displays and events! Thanks to an interactive exhibit during my visit, I created my own clay mosaic piece and did a little sculpting when I was there.
Church of our Savior
- Hours: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.
- Price: $9 for adults, $8 for students, free for anyone under 14.
- Time: Approximately 1 hour.
The Church of our Savior is your next stop in this itinerary, though I recommend taking a lunch break in between. The Church of our Savior is one of Denmark’s most famous churches, with a winding staircase around a striking spire. Most people visit to climb the tower, but I also recommend admiring the church itself, which has shorter opening hours and a beautiful altar in its Baroque interior.
The tower is the biggest draw of this location, and for a good reason! It offers one of the most gorgeous views of Copenhagen. You can see the entire city as you climb the stairs, but be warned, there are a LOT of stairs. It took me 15 minutes in the summer heat, but the view was worth it. Also, it gets crowded thanks to its popularity, so book your visit in advance.
After admiring the view from the church, walk over to Freetown Christiana. What began in the 1970s as an abandoned military base broken into by a group of hippies is now an international community that exists independently of the Danish government.
The town used to be famous for its weed trade, but residents now campaign for no drug activity to keep conflict out of the community. I recommend walking through and admiring the street art, green spaces, and cafes. The sculptures and graffiti are incredible, and I bought some great artwork! Be mindful of the rules when you go there. Though you can take pictures in Christiana now (it was initially banned), don’t take pictures of residents without their permission. I recommend sticking to photos of the art!
Reffen Food Market
Your final stop during your first day in Copenhagen is the Reffen Food Market. This food market is a little out of the way but walkable from Freetown Christiana. The walk takes about 30 minutes, but you could also take a bike or bus.
The market was one of my favorite spots and worth the trek! It is open every day from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM so you can stay there late. The market has all types of food, from Danish to Asian to American. There is also a bar to unwind with drinks and take in the atmosphere. It is also a great place to meet new friends or travelers. There is also a club venue right outside the market. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, get a walk-in tattoo at the shop nearby like I did!
- Hours: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily in the SummerSummer. 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM daily in the Winter.
- Price: Free for all visitors except for a $9 fee for the Palm House and Butterfly Garden.
- Time: Approximately 2-3 hours.
Start the second day during your 2 days in Copenhagen with a big breakfast and head out early to the Botanical Gardens. Get there right at opening time to avoid the crowds and roam the green spaces without the business of other tourists.
The Botanical Garden is the most extensive collection of Danish flora and fauna, containing over 13,000 species worldwide. There are 27 glass houses with everything you can imagine, including Arctic plants!
I highly recommend visiting the Palm House (open year-round) and the Butterfly House (available in the Summer). The Palm House offers a great view of the rest of the garden and features tropical plants. The Butterfly House is exactly what it sounds like. Who doesn’t love being surrounded by beautiful butterflies and feeling like a nature whisperer when one lands on you?
- Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily with extended hours to 5:00 PM during the first week of April and from May 5 – October 22. Closed on Mondays until February 10 and from February 21 – March 31.
- Price: $20 for adults, $12.50 for students, free for anyone 17 and under.
- Time: Approximately 1-2 hours.
After the gardens, go to Rosenborg Castle, my favorite castle/palace in Copenhagen. It is the smallest of the three popular ones but the most majestic. It was built by Christian IV in the 1600s during the Renaissance. Spend time roaming the interior and exploring the four floors, including the basement.
The Knight’s Room and the Crown Jewels were my favorites! Who doesn’t love seeing precious gemstones on stunning crowns? The artifacts in the castle and the preservation of history made this castle very special.
- Hours: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily, with extended hours on Thursday until 8:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.
- Price: $17 for adults, $18 for students, free for anyone under 18.
- Time: Approximately 1 hour.
After the castle, switch gears and check out Cisternerne, an underground reservoir turned museum unique to Copenhagen and one of my favorite stops in this 2-day itinerary. This Subterranean space is one of the most unique museums in Europe. It showcases one artist or architect at a time as they are invited to use the underground area to test their creativity and design an exhibit.
The area is dark and creepy, giving off an ominous feeling. I was there during the Chiharu Shota’s Weaving Realities exhibit, which featured spinning dresses and objects, with the highlight being thousands of strings weaving through parts of the exhibition. These strings created a mesmerizing web-like effect. The museum is also in the middle of the park, perfect for a picnic or to relax in the sun.
- Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily during the Summer, with extended hours to 6:00 PM in July and August. Closed on Mondays from October to March. The Royal Stables have variable hours.
- Price: $26 for adults, $23 for students, free for anyone under 18.
- Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Next, head to Christiansborg Palace, which has an extensive array of attractions, including the Royal Reception Room, the Royal Stables, the Palace Chapel, the Royal Kitchen, and the Ruins under the palace. Enjoy the horses and the glittering hall as you walk through the rooms and different areas. The Reception Room and the Ruins were particularly fascinating.
I recommend going for the complimentary guided tour at 3:00 PM, which lasts 50 minutes and is very informative. It also makes the palace feel less overwhelming than walking through alone.
Finally, you cannot complete your 2 days in Copenhagen without a visit to the colorful buildings on the water at Nyhavn. Capture your perfect Instagram shot and enjoy a cool beer in the harbor. You can also have dinner here or enjoy the live music.
If you have time, take a canal tour to see the city from the water. I didn’t get the chance to do this during my visit, but the travelers from my hostel who did it enjoyed it!
Activities you can skip
To conclude this article, below are a few activities that show up in many Copenhagen guides that I believe you can skip:
- Little Mermaid Statue: This statue is displayed on the waterside and depicts a 4-foot-tall mermaid becoming human. Though this is an icon of Copenhagen, it isn’t that interesting to look at. With only 2 days in Copenhagen, I recommend skipping it.
- Tivoli Gardens: Tivoli Gardens is another iconic spot in Copenhagen and the world’s second-oldest amusement park. The rides are standard, and the gardens are pretty, but the place gets crowded with tourists and is more for families with kids than solo travelers. I only recommend it if you bought the Copenhagen Card and have extra time!
- Amalienborg Castle: This is the third of Copenhagen’s famous palaces/castles, home to the royal family. The palace itself is not open to the public except for the Royal Representation Rooms, the Gala Hall, and other staterooms during Summer. The Royal Guards change every two hours, with a total change at noon. However, if you are like me, two castles/palaces are enough in two days, and given that you cannot see as much in Amalienborg, it isn’t worth trying to squeeze in with only 2 days in Copenhagen.