Copenhagen is a bustling, dynamic city full of opportunities to explore all year ’round, but the city truly comes alive during the Summer season when the days are long and the sun is hot. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite things to do in and around Copenhagen to make the most of the beautiful Scandinavian Summer days!
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: great art, and somehow, an even better view
Located a short trip North of Copenhagen proper, this world-renowned art museum is an absolute must. The museum itself has a world class collection, and boasts an impressive rotation of modern art exhibitions from artists from all over the world. If the exhibitions alone aren’t enough to draw you to the Louisiana, its sculpture garden and café with breathtaking views of the Swedish coast are worth the trip all on their own.
Tivoli Gardens: the city’s playground
Tivoli is like something out of a fairy tale. The park’s fantastical landscape, vegetation, and amalgamation of architecture make it a truly one of a kind amusement park. Despite being an amusement park, Tivoli refreshingly does not feel overly commercialized and, as a result, it’s a genuine joy to explore at your leisure. Rides are not included in the base ticket price and are not required to enjoy the park. All in all, Tivoli is a great place to come with friends and spend an afternoon or evening!
Reffen: Copenhagen’s street food market
Hungry at the end of a long day? Reffen’s got you covered. Reffen, located along the northern waterfront of Amager, is host to a delicious variety of authentic global street food. The space also hosts smaller concerts and events during the Summer. Nowhere else in Copenhagen (and perhaps all of Denmark) will you find food from so many different cultures – and at decent prices, to boot!
Islands Brygge: harbor baths, Go Boats!
Copenhagen is a waterfront capital city, and as such the locals love to make use of the city’s clean harbor water whenever it’s nice out. Harbor baths, such as the Havnebadet at Islands Brygge, are a uniquely Scandinavian way to beat the heat. Next door to the harbor bath is Go Boat. Go Boat allows you to rent a small boat (for relatively affordable group prices), bring some friends, food, and explore the harbor at your own pace and leisure. There’s no better way to enjoy a beautiful Summer day than doing what the locals do – making the most of city’s harbor!
Nyhavn: A street you won’t forget
Nyhavn is indisputably Copenhagen’s most iconic street. Two rows of vibrant multi-story houses gleam in the summer sun, reflecting their colorful facades onto the canal they border. There are a number of delightful, authentically Danish restaurants on the ground floors of many of the building on Nyhavn. Despite its postcard aesthetics, Nyhavn isn’t completely overrun with tourists, making it a great place to sit relax in the evening sun!
Frederiksberg Have: an emerald within the city
Frederiksberg Garden is, in my opinion, the most beautiful park within Copenhagen. Located within the municipality of Frederiksberg, it’s about a 10-15 minute bike away from the city center, and sits on one of the only hills within the entire city. Walking through this park is like walking through a fairy tale. Pictured above is the picturesque main promenade in the center of the park that extends beyond the facade of Frederiksberg Palace. The periphery of the park is much more winding and intimate – perfect for walks in the cool shade. There are few better places to have a serene picnic with friends than under the warm glow of the evening sun in the main green of the Frederiksberg Gardens.
There are so many things to do and places to see in Copenhagen that my shortlist doesn’t do the city justice. As much as I love and recommend these spots in particular, I strongly encourage future students to go out, explore, and find their own corner of Copenhagen – each part of the city has its own unique character that’s waiting for you to discover!