• 3 May 2022

Copenhagen, Denmark, is a charming seaside city that inhabits the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. The Danish capital offers an alluring mix of old and modern attractions that are perfect for all interests and age groups. 

Touring Scandinavia and making a stopover in the city? Expat Explore has laid out the perfect itinerary for your 24 hours in Copenhagen!Our guide will help you to easily discover the cultural, historical and local highlights of the city. We’ll also provide you with plenty of Copenhagen sightseeing tips.

Here is how to spend the perfect 24 hours in Copenhagen: 

Wander the Langelinie Promenade 

Langelinie is a promenade, pier, and park in central Copenhagen. This beautiful seaside location offers gorgeous harbour views. Taking a stroll by the sea will certainly start off your 24 hours in Copenhagen on the right note!

One of the promenade’s most popular features is its iconic bronze statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s the Little Mermaid. This 1,25m tall sculpture is displayed on a rock along the shoreline and depicts a mermaid becoming human. It’s been popular with tourists since it premiered in 1913 and is therefore a must-see attraction in Copenhagen!

The little mermaid at Langelinie Promenade, Copenhagen
The little mermaid seen from Langelinie Promenade
Tour Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle is a Renaissance castle that also houses a museum. To visit the castle and museum, you may either buy a general admission ticket and visit the sites by yourself or, book a 1-hour tour to learn more about the castle from a knowledgeable tour guide. 

The museum displays the Royal Collections of the palace. The Crown Jewels, the coronation chair, and the Danish Crown Regalia are some of the most fascinating items to admire. By visiting the castle you’ll obtain a more insightful and comprehensive look into Copenhagen’s unique history. Rosenborg Castle should be on all Copenhagen bucket lists!

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen
Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.
Climb up the Round Tower

The Round Tower is a 17th-century public astronomical observatory tower. It’s the oldest functioning observatory in Europe and as a result, one of the top things to see on your one day in Copenhagen.

To reach the top of the tower, instead of climbing stairs, you’ll have to walk up a wide spiral ramp. Once you reach the top you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of the city. 

Rundetaarn - The Round Tower, Copenhagen
Rundetaarn – The Round Tower.
See Amalienborg Palace and witness the changing of the royal guards 

Amalienborg Palace is the official residence of the Danish Royal Family. The large complex consists of four identical classical palace façades. To see the palace’s elaborate Rocco designed interior, be sure to purchase a general admission ticket or book a tour

The changing of the guards takes place in front of Amalienborg Palace every day at 12:00 and is certainly not to be missed!

Royal guards in the Amalienborg Castle, Copenhagen
Royal guards in the Amalienborg Castle.
Visit the Nyhavn District 

Nyhavn is Copenhagen’s iconic waterfront and entertainment district. If you’ve ever seen a postcard of Copenhagen, chances are you’ve seen Nyhavn! It is certainly one of the city’s most recognisable sites. If you’re wondering what the most quintessential sight to see in Copenhagen is – look no further.

Brightly coloured 17th and 18th-century bars, cafés, shops, and restaurants line the waterfront. If you would like to try Danish cuisine, you’ll find lots of traditional Danish restaurants in this area. Take a boat tour, sit down for a drink, or try out the local cuisine. Visiting this colourful district is an essential stop on your 1 day in Copenhagen itinerary. 

The famous Nyhavn pier in the Nyhavn district, Copenhagen
The famous Nyhavn pier in the Nyhavn district.
Take in the views from the Church of Our Saviour

The Church of Our Saviour is a 17th-century Baroque church which is most famous for its helix spire that contains an external winding staircase.

Climb to the top for breathtaking views over central Copenhagen. Whether you are religious or not, you will definitely appreciate the ornate architecture and magnificent history of the building. 

The famous spiral at the Church of our Saviour, Copenhagen
The famous spiral at the Church of Our Saviour.
Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace houses Denmark’s three supreme powers of government: the executive, legislative and judicial powers. In addition to being a government building, it is also a palace!

It is located on the small islet of Slotsholmen, a quick 10-15 minute walk from Copenhagen City Hall. The entrance fee includes a tour of the palace which lasts for approximately 60-minutes. Tours are offered daily, however, different days of the week offer different tour itineraries of the palace and visits to different rooms. However, all will provide information on the history, function, architecture and decoration of the castle. 

The Christianborg Palace in Copenhagen
The Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen
Stroll through Strøget

Strøget is in the centre of the old city of Copenhagen and a popular pedestrian-friendly shopping and tourist area. Spanning 1,1km, it’s one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe!

You’ll discover many popular attractions in this area. For shopping, you’ll find a wide range of options, from high-end designer brands to classy boutiques and souvenir stores. For eating out, you’ll find everything from large eateries and cosy cafés to fast-food restaurant chains. All of the attractions are set within the wonderful backdrop of classically gorgeous Danish architecture.

The Amagertov Square in Strøget, Copenhagen
The Amagertov Square in Strøget.
Visit City Hall Square

The City Hall Square in Copenhagen is a large public space in the centre of the city. It’s located in front of Copenhagen City Hall and is surrounded by museums, cafés, restaurants and shops. It’s filled with tourists and locals all hours of the day and is a connecting point for many of the city’s attractions. 

If you’re in need of an energy boost, Bastard Café is just a quick 5-minute walk from the square. This cafe is a local favourite, a great, casual place to grab a coffee, beer or snack. Many free Copenhagen walking tours depart from City Hall. If time allows, take a guided group tour for more insight into the city’s history and culture. 

City Hall Square, Copenhagen
City Hall Square
Take in the splendour of Tivoli Gardens 

Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world. This vintage theme park has a vibrant and fairytale-like feel to it. The park is located in the city centre and is just a few minutes away from City Hall Square. 

This historic park is fun for all ages. If riding roller coasters isn’t your thing, the park also offers beautiful gardens, regularly scheduled music and theatre performances, firework shows and much more!

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Seeing the highlights of Copenhagen in one day is totally doable thanks to the city’s compact layout, well-established transport links, and accessible attractions. Many of Expat Explore’s Scandinavia tours offer free time to explore Copenhagen!  Everything about the city is magical, from its wonderful waterfront location to its imposing palaces and warm-hearted locals. Visit Denmark and you will certainly discover why Danes are some of the happiest people in the world! 

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