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One Day in Copenhagen Itinerary

If you get the chance to visit Denmark, make sure that you take the time to spend at least one day in Copenhagen. Although a day in Copenhagen doesn’t give you the opportunity to do everything this amazing city has to offer, you will be able to see some of what makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Copenhagen Card

Before you head to Denmark, purchase your Copenhagen Card. Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in Scandinavia and this card will save you money (as well as time).

The Copenhagen Card you will want to purchase is the 24 hour card. If you are travelling to Copenhagen with kids, cards for up to 2 children under 10 are free with your purchase! This card will get you:

  • Free admission to Copenhagen’s most popular museums and attractions
  • Free public transportation (bus, train and Metro)
  • Discounts for restaurants, attractions and entertainment
One day in Copenhangen

One Day in Copenhagen (Itinerary)

  • Christiansborg Palace
  • Canal Boat Tour
  • Roskilde: Viking Museum & Cathedral
  • Tivoli Gardens
Visiting Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen Denmark

Christiansborg Palace

You should begin your first day in Copenhagen at Christiansborg Palace.

This former Danish palace is currently the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark.

Library in Christianborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace has a history that dates back 800 years (it burned to the ground several times before being rebuilt to its current state).

Interior room at Christianborg Palace

Inside, you will find elaborately decorated rooms along with period furnishings and vintage heirlooms.

You will learn about the history of the palace along with being able to visit many of what makes Christiansborg special.

There are 10 things you will want to make sure you see at Christiansborg Palace:

  • Royal Jewels
  • Throne Room
  • Queen’s Tapestry
  • Queen’s Library
  • Royal Reception Rooms
  • Royal Stables
  • King Christian IX’s equestrian statue
  • Tower
  • Palace Chapel

There is an underground tour of Christiansborg Palace Ruins, but there isn’t that much to see. I wouldn’t bother wasting your time on it especially when you only have one day in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Canal Tour

Canal Boat Tour

One of the best ways to explore Copenhagen is on a canal boat tour. The boat tour is part of the Copenhagen card and will allow you to see parts of the city that you can’t by foot!

Things you will see on a Copenhagen Canal Tour

The canal boat will take you to see these Copenhagen landmarks and popular architectural sites. These are some of what you will be able to see on a Copenhagen Canal boat tour.

  • Amalienborg Palace
  • The Old Stock Exchange
  • Christianshavn
  • Our Saviours Church
  • The Sixtus Battery
  • The Black Diamond
  • ‘BLOX’
  • Little Mermaid Statue
Roskilde Street

Roskilde

After your canal tour, take the 30 minute train ride to Roskilde. It’s part of the Copenhagen Card transportation package! Here, you will get to see the Roskilde Viking Museum and a UNESCO Gothic Cathedral.

Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

The main attraction in Roskilde is the Viking Museum. While you might not think about Denmark as a hub for Vikings, but it was!

Inside the Viking Museum you will find five ships discovered at the bottom of the nearby fjord along with other various artifacts.

It is truly one of the best Viking Museums I’ve visited and worth the visit even when you are short on time!

Admission is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Roskilde Cathedral

Also in Roskilde, is a 12th century Gothic Cathedral that sits along the fjord and adjacent Medieval village. It is the first Gothic cathedral known to be built of brick and thus deemed an UNESCO World Heritage site.

With only one exception since the reformation, all Danish kings and queens have been buried in this Cathedral.

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens

If you are looking for something to do in the evening on your day in Copenhagen, consider going to Tivoli Gardens.

Walt Disney visited Tivoli Gardens as a young man and it is what sparked his imagination to create Disneyland. It is filled with rides, restaurants, and even live entertainment.

Tivoli Gardens Pagoda at Night
Courtesy Rasmus B. Hansen

You will get free entry into the park with your Copenhagen Card, but if you wish to ride any of their rides, you will have to pay for ride tickets separately.

Copenhagen Cruise along the Canal

Overall, you really can see a lot when you are only in Copenhagen for a day. The key to seeing all of this is careful planning.

You are going to want to get your tickets in advance or purchase the Copenhagen card online. Believe me, it will save you money and time (no standing in ticket lines).

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

Day Trips from Copenhagen

How to get to Malmo from Copenhagen

If you are travelling to Malmo from Copenhagen, the fastest way to get there is to take the train. It is only 30 minutes and under $25 USD.

Trains leave just about every 15 minutes.

How to get to Hamburg from Copenhagen

If you are hoping to visit Hamburg, Germany, you can take the Bahn train. It is about 4.5 hours You will probably be best to stay at least one night.

There typically are 3 trains a day running to & from Copenhagen to Hamburg all year long, but in the summer of 2022 this will expand to 5 trains each way.

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