7 Unique Things To Do In Copenhagen

Copenhagen harbour
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You’ve walked along Nyhavn, marvelled at the Tivoli Gardens, and wondered whether the Little Mermaid was worth the hype. But now you are ready for something more, to find some of the unique things to do in Copenhagen. I asked a group of travel bloggers for their suggestions.

1. Bathe In The Harbour Baths

In the past decade, a tremendous effort has been made to improve the water quality of Copenhagen Harbour. As a result, the harbour is once again home to fish and wildlife. Best of all for those living in Copenhagen or visiting the city, it’s once again healthy and suitable for bathing. 

Dotting the harbour, you can find a number of baths and saunas to visit for a truly unique Copenhagen experience. There are five large public baths in Copenhagen Harbour and the biggest of them all is located at Islands Brygge. This contains five segmented pools with two reserved specifically for children. There’s also a tall platform for climbing and diving. A short walk away, in front of the Culture House (Kulturhuset) you can bring a group and play kayak polo, a sport that combines kayaking and water polo. 

Wooden hut and tub on a deck overlooking the harbour
The CopenHot spa (picture copyright Derek Hartman)

Best of all, Copenhagen’s Harbour Baths are a year-round attraction for visitors. Many Danes will swim or bathe in the harbour every month of the year, so whenever you visit you can enjoy the waters. If you prefer to stay warm, you can visit one of the saunas or wood-burning hot tubs that pepper the waterfront.

(Contributed by Derek and Mike of Robe Trotting)

2. Escape To The Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are just a short walk from Nørreport Station. The ten acres of gardens dating back to 1870 contain more than 13,000 species of plants. The outdoor area surrounding the gardens is full of walking trails, a perfect outdoor activity if the weather is fine. 

The Botanical Gardens make for a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, a place not only to explore, but also to rest and read. The greenhouses are beautiful and a great experience for plant lovers. There are even benches inside the palm house where you can just sit, relax, and observe. In summer visit the Butterfly House and learn all about their lifecycle. Look out also for red squirrels and other wildlife around the lake.

The Palm House in the Botanical Garden (picture copyright Dave of Silverbackpacker)

If you are one of those who likes to shoot instagrammable shots then head to the 148 year old Palm House, built in 1874, and featuring a sixteen metre high cast-iron spiral staircase.

The Gardens are open to the public with no entrance fee. There is a charge for the Palm and Butterfly Houses, but entry is free with the Copenhagen Card.

(Contributed by Dave of Silverbackpacker)

3. Discover Freetown Christiania

Freetown Christiania is a self-styled independent republic in the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen. Originally a squatters’ district it is now a colony of freethinkers and alternative lifestyles.

Graffiti and street art on the sides of buildings
Street art in Freetown Christiania

Few tourists discover Freetown Christiania, but its quirky houses, street art and natural spaces make for an unusual, and enjoyable, excursion. Read more about Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen’s “Independent Republic”.

4. Hunt For The Six Forgotten Giants

The Six Forgotten Giants is the name given to a group of wooden structures concealed in Copenhagen’s forests and fields. A true hidden gem, these unusual structures can be found in different parts of the region west of the city.

The six friendly wooden giants were created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo as part of “the great story of the little people and the giant trolls” project. Using recycled scrap wood, the scheme was inspired by the love for nature and as a way to motivate visitors to think of trash as a valuable and important resource. It was also created with the intention of bringing art out of museums and into everyday life, while simultaneously providing a thrilling and unique experience for locals and tourists alike.

Searching for the giant trolls is a fun activity, and they can be seen as part of an open air sculpture treasure hunt. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover these lesser known attractions in the city’s natural spaces.

(Contributed by Rai of A Rai of Light)

5. Seek Out The Art Nouveau Telephone Kiosks

As you walk around Copenhagen you are likely to spot some small, but curiously ornate, structures. Some are in use as coffee shops, others are abandoned. But all have clearly been designed to be noticed: Art Nouveau confections with domes, clocks and intricate carvings.

Street scene with tables and chairs beside an ornate coffee kiosk
An ornate telephone kiosk has been turned into a coffee shop

These are Copenhagen’s former telephone kiosks, and there are eight of them scattered around the city for you to discover. You can read about my quest to learn more here – In Search of the Old Telephone Kiosks of Copenhagen.

6. Enjoy The Cherry Blossom At Bispebjerg Cemetery

Founded in 1903, and famous for its cherry blossoms, Bispebjerg Cemetery is a hidden gem in Copenhagen. Located in the northwest of the city, about 6 km from the centre, this historic cemetery sprawls over an area of 43 hectares on the north slope of Bispebjerg Hill.

In spring, Bispebjerg Cemetery becomes beautifully decorated with cherry blossoms, the avenue of cherry trees transformed into a photogenic floral tunnel. Needless to say, the cemetery is a firm favourite with photographers and instagrammers at cherry blossom time. In recent years it has gained popularity among locals and tourists alike. It gets quite busy at weekends, so come early if you want the place to yourself.

People standing on a path between a line of cherry trees with pink blossom
Cherry blossom at the Bispebjerg Cemetery (picture copyright Chasing the Long Road)

Even if you can’t make it in spring, the cemetery is a very nice spot to take a peaceful wander. And don’t miss the nearby Grundtvig Church, famous for its unique architecture.

(Contributed by Moumita and Sankha of Chasing the Long Road)

7. Take A Day Trip

There is much more to Denmark than just Copenhagen, and it is very easy to take a range of day trips from the capital. Not just to towns, countryside and historic places, but also to nearby Sweden. Read more – 7 Great Day Trips From Copenhagen.

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Karen Warren

WorldWideWriter is owned and managed by Karen Warren.

I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 70 countries at the last count), and I’ve visited every continent except Antarctica. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…

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