Our kids seriously loved Copenhagen so much – and so did we! It’s one of those cities that has a really great mix of adult-and-kid-friendly things to do, and sites the whole family will enjoy. Here’s how I’d recommend spending three great days there.
It’s always nice to get a feel for the country on the first day. Start off by heading to the National Museum of Denmark. There’s a whole children’s museum area on the main floor of this museum that has a play Viking ship and lots of Viking dress up, and a Viking hut and food and work. Super fun and you could easily spend an hour or two just in the children’s museum. Plus, the rest of the museum has various Danish-specific exhibits. Not to mention it’s (inexplicably) actually cheaper to go with children than it is to go as a single adult! Be aware that many exhibits (including the children’s museum) close at 4:30pm.
After the museum, take a walk over to the Royal Library gardens. Pick up some food along the way and have a picnic near the beautiful pond with the stunning library in the background. There are lots of fun and colorful chairs, too!
After that, head over to Church of Our Savior to climb the steep and winding exterior staircase. I’ll be honest, I was a little (illogically) panicked about losing a child. But it was totally safe and a kid couldn’t slip through the bars (as I irrationally feared…ha). Our kids thought it was so cool to be on the outside of the spire! The carillon bells ring at 3pm, so depending on your timing, you may or may not want to be up when they ding.
After all that climbing, your kids will be excited for a break…at the beach! Take the metro over Amagerstrand beach. Google maps shows it as quite a long walk over to the island, but you don’t have to go all the way down, and it’s a lovely walk down the boardwalk and everything. I’d say it took us about 10 minutes from the Metro. Enjoy playing in the sand, and even swimming if you’re brave like the Danes!
You’ll probably be tired from the busy day before, so take it easy in the morning and either eat breakfast at home or pick up some pastries on your way out. Head over to one of the palaces – I recommend Rosenborg, which is where you can also see the Crown Jewels. So sparkly and fun! The palace also has some fun winding staircases and rooms with interesting artifacts and wallpaper to keep little ones engaged.
Head over to Hija de Sanchez for a light lunch and revel in the fact that you found good Mexican food! In Europe! 😉
After that, head to Tivoli Gardens. Ride some rides, eat amusement park food, and watch a show or parade or two. Stay until evening, when everything is lit and magical.
Start your morning off at the Church of Our Lady (Copenhagen Cathedral) before the kids get squirrely. Take in the beautiful sculptures by Thorvaldsen of Jesus Christ and His Twelve Apostles. Depending on the timing of your visit and also the time of year, there may be an organ concert taking place. Google beforehand to see if you can find any schedules, although be aware that they’re not great about updating info online.
From there, walk over to the Stroget pedestrian area. Take in the bustling shopping area and pop into the LEGO store (you can fill containers with the colors of your choice!), Illums Bolighus (gorgeous Danish department store…our kids loved perusing the children’s section and I loved spotting all the classic Danish designs), and a bookstore or two. We loved picking up a copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales in English! Pick up some lunch to eat while you mosey.
If you have time, head up to the Experimentarium for a few super fun family hours. It’s a science-focused museum, but also has one area filled with team activities (your family can be your team) such as a room with putting balls in hoops, a room to push lit buttons without touching the floor, and virtual reality surfing. So fun!!
Either after the Experimentarium (or instead of), walk over to the beautiful Nyhavn area to see the classic Copenhagen port and colorful buildings. Catch one of the canal boat tours to see a final few sites, such as the Little Mermaid statue, the other side of the Royal Library, and more. Then either grab dinner on the water there, or walk over to the Bridge Street Kitchen street food area for a plethora of options. Either is a perfect way to finish a perfect few days in Copenhagen!
If you’re shorter on time and feeling ambitious, here’s a terrific one-day guide to Copenhagen. You’ll get lots of highlights in a brief amount of time!