I never considered Budapest to be a metropolis, but I was aware of that it's big, escpecially compared to other cities in Hungary, and I was fortunate enough that my late-teenager/young adult years coincided with the city's development from many aspects. Many ruin pubs, restaurants, cafés, events and programs appeared out of the blue, which made the city vibrant. But this post is not about Budapest, I only wanted to illustrate that how I perceived the dimensions of Copenhagen when I started to live here. Before my first visit I was very excited, because I've never been to "the mysterious North" and I had huge expectations, to be honest, maybe too huge. During my first visit in Denmark, I spent a whole week in the country, out of which 4 days in the capital. It was back in 2014, and a huge international song contest, the Eurovision took place in the city (we also had tickets for that). I had a long list with the places I wanted to visit and I was afraid that 4 days wouldn't be enough for that. I was wrong, because Copenhagen is one of those cities which were invented for a one-day-visit. Of course, when you plan to spend more time here, you should definitely check out the beauties of outer Copenhagen as well. The most touristic part however, is the city center, and the attractions are situated very close to each other, which makes it very easy to explore as much as you can within one day. Because of this fact, Copenhagen feels very small for me, even after living here for more than two years, but fortunately packed with many beautiful places so I can never get bored.
I have never been to a city where the airport is so close to the city center, and in Copenhagen since you get off the plane, you are literally only a couple of metro stops away from it. The good news is that with the metro you can get almost every main attractions, or at least very close to them. If you get off the metro at Kongens Nytorv, with a few minutes walk you'll reach the Nyhavn, which means New Harbour in English which is the ultimate landmark of Copenhagen. Yes, this is the one with the colorful houses and you know the old phrase... if you didn't take a photo here, then you were not in Copenhagen.
2. Canal Tours
Since you are already at the Nyhavn, it is a very time-saving idea to do a sightseeing from a boat. These are guided tours for about 10 EUR, and you even have the chance to see the Little Mermaid from the boat. Many people say that the statue inspired by Andersen's fairy tale doesn't worth a walk because it is disappointingly small, however I don't share this opinion. Yet, if you have such a short time here, you should postpone to another time to have such a long walk for it. All in all, you can get familiar with the city's history, however, you have to consider about the weather conditions, because the boats sail in the bay as well, where the wind might be merciless, especially during winter.
3. Amalienborg Slot
Denmark has the world's oldest monarchy and the royal family is very popular among the Danes. The Amalienborg is divided into four identical buildings and beside as the permanent residence of the Queen and the Prince Consort, one of the buildings function as a museum. The museum presents the private interiors of former kings and queens, in addition introduces the traditions of the monarchy. If you are not interested in the museum, you can still watch the changing of the guards, that takes place everyday at 12:00 on the palace square or you can visit the nearby Amaliehaven. This green oasis is protected from wind and noise, enclosed by two levels of hedges and walls.
4. The Parlament
There is no surprise that the building of the Parlament (Christiansborg Slot) is a palace and some parts of it are still in the use of the Royal family. It is located on a tiny island, called Slotsholmen. Its tower with 106 metres is the highest in Copenhagen, offering a breathtaking view to the city, which is a great news, because the access to the Tower is free of charge. If you are up for try some traditional Danish food, this is a great opportunity for that, because the Bojesen restaurant is specialized for the Danish cuisine (https://taarnet.dk/restauranten/menu/).
5. Meatpacking district
For the closing of the day, it is a perfect choice to explore the vibrant Meatpacking district (Kødbyen) in Vesterbro and definitely a must see. This place is extremely popular among the locals for going out. This district is a great example for the creativity that gives a second life of the shabby industrial areas. I am always amazed by the variety and coziness of the places that can be found here. There are well-known restaurants such as the Warpigs, Kødbyens Fiskebar and Gorilla, where you can try handicraft beers, even if you are not a huge fan of this drink and food specialities. No matter what are your preferences, I am sure that you will find something of your taste.
I hope this small guide will be helpful for you, if you have only a short time to spend in the Wonderful Copenhagen.
Cover photo: @ktabori
Location: Amager Strand