What started as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century is now a popular tourist attraction for millions every year. As the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen is also the most populated, so you know it must be a great place to be.
No matter what time of year you are visiting and how long you will be in Copenhagen, it is always nice to have some free things to do. That gives you more money to spend on Danish food and souvenirs. Be sure to stop at a Copenhagen luggage locker to drop off your bags for a hands-free day first.
Museums and Galleries
- The National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark is free all year long. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, you can see exhibits of the country’s culture, people, and history. Some cool items include Egyptian mummies, African masks, and golden horns. They also have a kid’s section, restaurant, and gift shop.
- Open-Air Museum
How about the Open-Air Museum? This unique outdoor collection includes historic gardens, old breeds of animals, and fascinating buildings. You can also get a ride in a horse-drawn carriage and buy some souvenirs in the gift shop.
- Post and Tele Museum
Opened in 1913, the Post and Tele Museum is a trip back in time. Learn how they sent telegraphs, check out the special subject library, and see the largest stamp collection in Denmark. Get some selfies with the antique telephones and other communication equipment.
- National Gallery of Denmark
Also known as SMK, this is the largest art gallery in Denmark and has over 260,000 pieces of artwork. It started as a royal collection by Danish Kings but was given to the people in the 1800s. Many pieces date back to the 1300s.
- Museum of Copenhagen
The Museum of Copenhagen boasts historic items from the 12th century to the present with Viking memorabilia, items from the Royal Family, and even a skeleton of a warrior from the Middle Ages. Also see a bike made of wood, a comb made of bone, and old weapons.
- Danish War Museum
If you like old weapons, the Danish War Museum should be on your itinerary. With over 8,000 machine guns, pistols, and swords as well as armor and uniforms, you will be taking lots of selfies. They even have over 300 cannons.
- Hirschsprung Collection
The unique art in this museum came from the collection of tobacco manufacturer, Heinrich Hirschsprung. From the Danish Golden Age to the Symbolist era, you can see all sorts of fantastic art here. In the middle of Østre Anlæg Park, the whole area is beautiful.
At Fælledparken, which is the biggest park in Copenhagen, you can play chess, meander along the paths, or just sit in the grass and do some people watching. They also have playgrounds, a skatepark, soccer courts, and a café if you get hungry.
- Bakken (Dyrehavsbakken)
Yes, the world’s oldest amusement park is free! Bakken was founded in 1583 in the middle of the woods and has 31 rides, including six roller coasters, and even a water ride. The 18.5-acre park also has food, games, and shops to get souvenirs.
- Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden
This 25-acre garden was established in 1600 and has over 13,000 species. The sections include annuals, perennials, Danish plants, mountain plants, and the rhododendron garden. There is also a butterfly house, 27 glass houses, and a palm house from 1874.
- King’s Garden
At Rosenborg Castle, you can see the King’s Garden. It is the oldest and most popular park in the city. Get selfies with Hans Christian Andersen and Hercules. See the Renaissance garden from 1606, the Baroque garden from 1669, and even several historic buildings.
- Green Kayak
Want to get out on the water? Green Kayak will loan you a kayak for two hours if you promise to pick up trash as you go. You can find them in many spots around the city including all Letz Sushi locations as well as Svanemølle Beach.
- Frederiksberg Gardens
This 158-acre park has been open since 1699 and has some amazing sights to see, so bring a camera. Some of the highlights include the 22-foot waterfall, Swiss Cottage, Apis Temple, Chinese summerhouse and bridge, and the pacifier tree. Don’t miss the elephant viewpoint.
- Amager Strandpark
Hit the beach for free at Amager Strandpark. The three-mile beach is filled with water fun, a sea bath, playgrounds, cafés, and bars. There is a kiddy pool on one side and the dunes and beach on the other so everyone can enjoy.
Palaces and Other Structures
- Christiansborg Palace
Head over to Christiansborg Palace on Castle Island. When the royal family is not home, you can tour the place for free. See the chapel, ruins under the palace, the royal kitchen, the great hall, and more. Do not miss the royal stables where you can see the family’s steeds.
- Christiansborg Tårnet
After seeing the palace, go up in the Christiansborg Tårnet, which is Copenhagen’s highest spot. See the city from high above the streets where you can see all the way to Sweden. Then you can grab a bite to eat at the Restaurant Tårnet.
- Amalienborg Palace
After you see the Christiansborg Palace, you have to see the Amalienborg Palace, which is the royal family’s winter home. Between the harbor and the city, the palace was built in the 1750s and although you cannot go inside, you can certainly watch the changing of the guard at noon every day.
- Fun Copenhagen Walking Tour
Why not let the pros lead you around so you can see all the best sites for free? This 2.5-hour guided walking tour is free and you get to learn about over 6,000 years of Danish history. See the Danish Royal Palace and Tivoli Gardens as well as many more favorite attractions.
- Classic Copenhagen Walking Tour
Another free Copenhagen walking tour takes you from the City Hall to the Royal Palace with stops at the Nyhavn Harbor, City Center, and Christiansborg Palace. Find out the best places to eat, shop, and visit while you are there.
- Pub Crawl
Do the Pub Crawl, which is a fun way to visit the best bars in the city. You will be guided to four bars and a nightclub. Get free beer and shots and dance the night away with the friendliest people in Denmark.
You may not be able to do all of these while you are in Copenhagen, but you can save some for your next trip! And don’t forget to enjoy some great Danish food while you are in town. It would be a shame to miss the Kartofler (caramelized potatoes), Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (crispy pork, potatoes, and parsley sauce), or Forloren hare (Danish meatloaf).