Last Updated on June 2, 2020 by Candy Wafford
Copenhagen is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever visited! We found ourselves in Copenhagen for the start of our Baltic capitals cruise. I never expected to fall in love with this city, but fall in love I did. If you find yourself with only a day here make the most of it. Read on for things to do in Copenhagen in one day.
Airport to Copenhagen City Center
If you only have a day or two in Copenhagen you want to spend as much of that time seeing the city and not getting to and from places. Staying in the city center will give you access to popular attractions and make the most of your time.
Getting from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) to the city center is very easy by metro and takes less than 15 minutes. We did this and found the metro in Copenhagen to be very easy to use, clean, and efficient.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen
With only one day in Copenhagen, you’ll want to stay in the city center. This will give you easy access to the city’s most popular attractions. We stayed in this Airbnb and loved the space and the location. A popular choice with Americans coming to Copenhagen before a Baltic cruise is the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel.
Getting Around Copenhagen
How Do You Want to See Copenhagen? Bike, walk, boat, or public transportation? I recommend using as many modes of transportation as possible to really get a feel for Copenhagen. We used the train to get from Copenhagen airport to the city center, and a bus to get to the Copenhagen cruise terminal from the city center. You can visit this website beforehand to see your public transportation options in Copenhagen. Again, all of the public transportation we used was very easy to use, on time, and an easy way to explore.
Taxis are also plentiful in Copenhagen. We opted to take a taxi from the cruise port Copenhagen to the airport. You will find plenty of taxis waiting when your cruise begins disembarkation.
What to Eat in Copenhagen
The word smorgasbord came from Denmark and eating a smorrebrod, or open-face sandwich is a must in Copenhagen. But you may have some difficulty in selecting from the many beautiful smorrebrod sandwiches on display.
With only one day in Copenhagen, I suggest checking out the Torvehallerne food hall. Visiting food markets is one of my favorite things to do. And Torvehallerne is located in the city center and is a delight to visit. Not only can you enjoy a delicious meal here, but it also offers you the opportunity to browse stalls selling meat, produce, and other locally grown items. Each food stall offers Danish specialties each more appealing than the next. And the clean Danish aesthetic is evident even in their food.
Torvehallerne – Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 Kobenhavn
Getting to the Copenhagen Cruise Terminal From the City Center
If you are visiting Copenhagen before a cruise or after a cruise, you’ll need to get from the Copenhagen cruise port to the city center. Can you walk to Copenhagen from the cruise terminal? Unfortunately not. The cruise terminal in Copenhagen is located a good distance from the city center. But you can take public transportation in the form of a bus.
After checking out of our Airbnb, we dropped our luggage off at a nearby Luggage Hero and did some more sightseeing. We then walked to the nearest bus stop and caught the number 27 bus to the cruise port. It was about a 15-minute ride and was a very affordable way to get to the cruise terminal. You can also catch a taxi.
What To See in Copenhagen
My favorite type of destination is one where I can wander the streets and never run out of interesting things to see. And Copenhagen has incredible attractions from the historic to the whimsical. Here are some of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen before or after a cruise. Bonus – many are free!
- Nyhavn Harbor – A walk along Nyhavn Harbour is one of the many must-sees in Copenhagen. We’re talking quintessential Copenhagen with boats gliding along the sparkling water and the colorful houses lining the harbor. If you are planning on taking a canal cruise (more on that below) this is the place to catch your ride. It’s also a lovely place to grab a bit to eat and a drink at one of the many cafes. Or simply people-watch. – Nyhavn 17, 1051 Kobenhavn
- Amalienborg Palace – This the house of Danish royalty and a must for any royalty or history buffs. Looking for free things to do in Copenhagen? You can watch the changing of the guards each day at noon. Visitors can also experience royal life with a visit to the Amalienborg Museum (entrance fee applies). – Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 Kobenhavn
- Marble Church – Close to Amalienborg Palace, you’ll find the Marble Church or Frederiks Church is a popular attraction in Copenhagen. Its lovely turquoise dome is beautiful both inside and out. Visiting Copenhagen on a budget? This is another free thing to do in Copenhagen. – Frederiksgade 4, 1265 Kobenhaven
- Kastellet – This star-shaped fortress is a popular park and a great experience for military enthusiasts. – GI. Hovedvagt, Kastellet 1, 2100 Kobenhavn
- Christiansborg Castle – A palace and a castle in one place? Christiansborg Castle is the home of Dutch Parliament and daily tours are available for visitors to ooh and aah at the grandeur of the palace. Looking for things to do in Copenhagen with kids? The Castle features a mobile treasure hunt that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy. – Prins Jorgens Gard, 1218 Kobenhavn
- The Little Mermaid – Visitors to Copenhagen flock to this bronze sculpture created in 1913 by Edvard Eriksen. Of the many things to do in Copenhagen with kids, visiting the famous Little Mermaid statue is at the top of the list. Go early to avoid crowds and get a great picture. – Langelinie, 2100 Kobenhavn 0
- Tivoli Gardens – Tivoli Gardens is a whimsical place located smack dab in the center of Copenhagen. A visit to this amusement park is another fun thing to do with kids in Copenhagen. You could easily spend the better part of a day here, but even if you only have a couple of hours make sure you visit this fairy tale come true. Read more about our magical experience at Tivoli Gardens here. – Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Kobenhavn
- Canal or Harbor Cruise – A canal cruise in Copenhagen is a wonderful way to see many of the attractions listed above. This is a great option for those with only one day in Copenhagen. Gliding along the water will give you a great perspective of the city and is a relaxing activity.
Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting for Only One Day?
Absolutely! I loved everything about Copenhagen from it’s beautiful architecture to the food and the friendly people. One day in Copenhagen will give you a taste of what the city has to offer while leaving you wanting more. If you have more time, check out this three-day itinerary for Copenhagen.