The cheapest way to get around Copenhagen as a tourist is to buy a Copenhagen Card. You can buy this card for an allotted amount of time (24h, 48h, or 72h) and get free public transportation along with free entry into almost all of Copenhagen’s tourist attractions. Some overall tips for a Copenhagen Card trip: plan it in advance and make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before! I also want to emphasize that timing is largely important and valuable–spending time in the city allows you to hit the highest number of attractions, double check what days and times attractions are open, and starting in the later morning allows you to use the Copenhagen Card for early morning transportation to a further away attraction.
FYI within these 24 hours, we saved EIGHTY-TWO DOLLARS through buying a Copenhagen Card instead of paying for each attraction individually. We are all about #ballinonabudget!
Before I continue, I want to give a shoutout to my friend Laken for providing amazing company on this trip and to Maddie for being my personal photographer because I knew this was going to be a valuable blog post.
11:26 AM–The Round Tower
We activated our cards at 11:26 AM and started at the Round Tower that is located right in the city of Copenhagen. It is about a 7 minute walk from DIS. The building itself is a ramp on the inside and once you get to the top, there is a beautiful view of the whole city!
12:16 PM–The Royal Reception Rooms in Christiansborg Palace
I have already been to the royal reception rooms with a class but I was happy to return because my friends had not been. Within this exhibit, you can walk the throne room, see where the Queen of Denmark gives her annual New Year’s speech, and see beautiful artwork within the palace.
The tapestry room shares the history of Denmark. The tapestry below was my favorite and represents the 20th century. Highlights of the tapestry that you can look for include WWI and WWII, Donald Duck, and some famous politicians you may know. I found it fascinating how the artist illustrated the globalization of the world and the prominence of the impact of the US on Denmark. The most interesting part of the tapestry to me is the top right corner–“Fill in with your imagination” for the following reasons: (1) It is influenced by a German piece of artwork that aspired to question if everything that you can imagine has happened already. (2) The words are actually in English, something I didn’t even think about until our tour guide told us. (3) It may be homage to people wanting to fill in the tapestry with something they believe the artist is missing. And (4), it is the most recent tapestry and there is no more room in the hall, so I believe it points towards the future as well.
12:24 PM–The Ruins under Christiansborg
Denmark is a very old country with a long history and many of the palaces before Christiansburg have ruins underneath the current palace that have been excavated. I’d recommend going to see the ruins if you’re interested in finding out more about the long history of Denmark and being able to see history in person!
1:00 PM–Lunch break
We had a lunch break and a little bit of time to kill because we were waiting for the royal stables to open. To get prepared to meet horses, I wanted to get in the mindset of horses so I ate some carrots.
1:24 PM–Thorvaldsens Museum
This museum is to honor the artist Thorvaldsens who was from Denmark and worked in Rome for a majority of his life. To speak to his talent, Thorvaldsens is the only non-Catholic artist who has a piece displayed in St. Peter’s Basilica. I loved the GIANT statues that you can see below.
1:53 PM–The Royal Stables
My roommate and I both have an obsession with farm animals. Therefore, I was obviously very excited to go see horses. You can often see these horses prancing around in front of the palace. Pro tip: watch out for horse poop when walking around this area.
2:26 PM–The Danish Architecture Center
I’d say this was my favorite stop of the day. A rule I live by in my life is that a museum with a slide HAS to be your favorite museum. The museum was obviously about architecture, hence the name, but it was about much more than just that. They discusses the right to public space and how Copenhagen has transformed into multi-use public spaces, the impact of the welfare state on housing, the issues of the prison systems, and Copenhagen’s path to sustainability.
3:40 PM–The Museum of Copenhagen
My friends and I realized we had way more time to explore than we anticipated, so we looked up a nearby museum on the map and checked it out! This museum is one of the strangest museums that I have been in. It gave me the kind of vibes like I was entering someone house who just liked to collect random antique things. If that piques your interest, check it out! If not, feel free to skip it. A lot of it was history about the building and some strange videos.
When Walt Disney was in the process of designing the Magic Kingdom, he visited Tivoli for inspiration. I wouldn’t directly compare Tivoli to the scale or magic of Disney, but it has its own unique aspects. Lots of fun rides, lots of games, lots of delicious food options (even a food hall), and lots of people. I just walked around with my friends instead of going on rides–none of us were really amusement park type of people and the rides do cost extra on top of the entrance fee. Nonetheless, Tivoli was beautiful and worth the trip. There was great people watching and we had a nice place to sit down and eat food after our long exhausting day of being tourists.
10:45 AM–Random Beach ?
This section has nothing to do with the Copenhagen Card but it was still relevant to the 24 hours as a tourist! We took the train to see Louisiana and arrived before it opened so we took a walk and found a cute beach. We walked by a little yacht club with sailboats.
11:21 AM–The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Because we took a walk, we didn’t realize that there was a line forming to enter the museum. We got back from our walk at 11:00 AM to a full line. Automatically, I panicked because our Copenhagen Cards expired at 11:26 AM and I wasn’t sure if we would make it through the line by then. But don’t worry, we made it and met a German woman on the way in–she was saying that everyone still has to wear masks in Germany all of the time, so brownie points to Copenhagen for doing so well with COVID!
Louisiana is well worth the visit–I’d say it was up there with the Danish Architecture Center. There are so many exhibits that are all so unique and even outdoor artwork and a beautiful water view where we could sit and enjoy lunch. It was the perfect end to our 24 hours as a tourist.
Since our card expired, we had to buy the train ticket back to central Copenhagen, but it was well worth it. The 24 hours were jam-packed, super busy, and also amazing and educational.
I was exhausted by the end and took a nap when I got home 🙂