Best Free Things to Do in Copenhagen

 

Copenhagen, the city that cares more about the cyclists also boasts of being the first country to depend majorly on natural sources of energies. The city that was once the home of Hans Christian Anderson, has still retained the beautiful sceneries as a memorial of his writings. A disturbingly quiet rhythm of the city mesmerised me initially. Then it became a routine to be in such tranquillity. It is so surprising that the world doesn’t believe in keeping harmony with nature and its rhythm whereas Copenhagen has achieved it quite gracefully. The city is a modern settlement yet in the lap of nature.

Copenhagen is a perfect city for the tourists to get a glimpse of the modern architectural oasis in the middle of a number of lakes and green spaces. History, literature, architecture, nature, food and beer, this city has the masters from all fields of art. Dotted with fairytale-like palaces and gardens, the imperial architecture of Copenhagen is a sight to devour. Be it the Frederiksborg Palace or Rosenborg Castle, the awe-inspiring architecture is completely unmatched. While the city loves its open sky, no building beyond 5-6 floors is ever built in Copenhagen.

Free pure air, water, recreation areas, parks, lakes, towns to a never-ending list of free things to do, this city is a touristic masterpiece.

While I would not want you to miss some of the iconic places worth spending money, the free things to do here are also should not be missed. However, almost all the places in Copenhagen turn free for you if you are a Copenhagen Cardholder.

Take a Stroll at Nyhavn

The colorful buildings at Nyhavn have become an identity of Copenhagen. The picturesque harbour looks like a fresh art by a painter who is fond of bright colours. Entering the Nyhavn canal, that looks more colourful with the reflection of the historic buildings, feels like a dream where you are taken off to some set of a movie. It is the oldest harbour in Copenhagen with some of the buildings ageing back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

The colorful boats anchored at the canal just enhance the feel of the olden days. The market along the buildings is one of the oldest markets with really interesting flavours to savour. The cafes and bakeries in the buildings are famous for their cheesecake. The cakes aren’t too heavy unlike other common cheesecakes found around the world. You can also sit on the benches set up on the opposite bank.  And can listen to some music played by the street players.

Explore Kastellet – Star Shaped Fort

The trend of building star-shaped forts prevailed in the bygone era of European kingdoms. It was built for the better defence and to make it more invincible as well as naturally beautiful. If you are expecting to see some normal architecture in star-shape, then you would be disappointed. The land at the sea-coast is carved in the shape of a star and the important buildings are right in the centre. It looks like a fossil of a huge starfish that emerged from the sea once upon a time. The fort is made in such a manner that none can cross from one wing to the other. All the wings would only lead you to the centre of the fort.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

While you stand at the edge of one tail of this star, the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ would come alive before you. The greenery, the azure sky and the cathedral paints a perfect backdrop for the little ducklings to follow their mommy duck creating hundreds of beautiful ripples in the water.

Winston Churchill had planted a few trees on these grassy tails which have now turned into a high canopied green park.

The fort area also has a fountain with the sculpture of a Norse Goddess and a cathedral.

Gefjun Fountain

The Fountain is perched on one of the wings of Kastellet The Gefjun fountain was the gift of Carlsberg Foundation on its 50th Anniversary. The interesting thing about the fountain is the mythological story of the Goddess Gefjun. The King Gylfi promised a land to Goddess Gefjun that she can plough within a night. The goddess then turned all the four of her sons into oxen and ploughed a territory out of the earth. The ploughed territory was thrown into the sea creating two large lakes. And the new island created by it was named by the Goddess as Zealand. The city of Copenhagen was established on the same land created by this Goddess.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

The fountain is also an architectural masterpiece. The sparkling water of the fountain makes it more of a magical sight.

Gammel Torv: Laze around The old town Square

The Old Town Square houses a few of the important historic buildings including the old Palace of Justice. Most buildings are built in the Roman style with huge pillars. The square is a happening place with a number of musicians playing different instruments or some jugglers entertaining the crowd.

 Get a View of the City skyline from Christainborg Tower

The Royal Residence and the ruins of the palace have the entrance fee. However, the tower in the entrance hall is free to access for all. You might need to stand in a queue before you find your way to the elevator. It is an excellent viewpoint for the 360-degree scenery of the city.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

Enjoy the Change of Royal Dutch Guards Ritual at Christainborg and Amalienborg Palace

My first impression of these guards was that of wax statues. Then, suddenly they started marching and I had to blink my eyes to believe this robotic act. Clad in the traditional military dress, these soldiers look like those in the paintings of a storybook.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

Relax or swim at the Main Canal Promenade

On a sunny day, the canal turns all alive with water sports and hundreds of people enjoying the sunbath and swimming. Being nearer to the North Pole Copenhageners crave for sunlight throughout the winter and thus, sunny days are the blessings of the Sun God. You can rent a kayak and go for kayaking or can just swim around.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

Rock N Roll at Christiania – The Free Town

An alternative, carefree lifestyle is what you can see in this hippie town on the bank of a lake. The houses aren’t built conventionally here nor do people do any conventional stuff. The walls are never painted in a particular colour. In fact, the wall art changes with every visit you take here. It is also a great place to observe graffiti artists at the task. The marijuana is sold illegally on the streets of Christiania. The tourists are not advised to fall for any price or offer. Don’t even try to click the main street of the town where the marijuana is sold. Once you are done exploring the touristy part of Christiania, i.e. the creative buildings and garden exhibits, you can move towards the water.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

As you move along the cutely decorated huts and gardens along the river, you would also find the teens partying and chilling around. I had easily moved around all by myself despite the warnings and the hype of it being unsafe.

If you are afraid or feel unsafe you can also go with any local. The experience is not worth missing.

Chill around Copenhagen’s Lakes and Gardens

With a number of lakes all around this island, you can be in the company of nature even in the bustling city. While Christiania is one of the best places I found to sit along a water body, you can choose your own waterfront.

Botanical garden is another favourite of the locals for a picnic on a sunny day. It is located in the heart of the city and is a must visit on you visit to this colourful city.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

Rosenberg Castle Garden

The entry into the Rosenberg Castle is free for the Copenhagen Card Holders. The entry is now restricted as the building is used by the military department. The garden surrounding the castle is free for all. You can roam around the garden and get a mesmerizing view of the palace on a sunny day.

Walk in the Colorful Streets

Copenhagen was a busy harbor town on the east coast of Zealand. The old town street hasn’t lost its charm even a bit.  Coffee tables and cosy sitting corners on these streets is the best thing about these streets. I didn’t follow any specific route. I just bumped into beautiful streets with every random turn that I took.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

You can also opt to go for Free Street Walks. You can take the info about the same from the Tourist Info Office located opposite to Tivoli Garden’s main entrance. Such free walks work on tips and the customers are free to choose the amount they pay.

Free Museums in Copenhagen

The following museums have free entry for the visitors throughout the year(except on the fixed holidays)

So, grab your chance to take a glimpse into Danish culture.

City Hall Square

City Hall square is super crowded at any time of the day. If you do not mind the crowd, you can sit here for some street performances.

Sit with ‘The Little Mermaid’ and her sisters

“The Little Mermaid” by H C Anderson was written during his days in Copenhagen. Although most of us have read the story, it was more popularised by Disney’s cartoon series where we all were the fans of Ariel.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

The little mermaid falls in love with a charming son of a trader. While the young boy barely remembers the face of his saviour he also falls in love with her. The little mermaid Ariel sits back waiting for her prince to return and find her one day. And the statue depicting the same little mermaid was put up at the shore in the 19th century. It is funny that she was painted red and golden a few times by some prankster. Even one of her hands was broken once. However, the statue is now restored perfectly.

A few metres ahead on the shore is the statue of a genetically modified mermaid. Yes, a mermaid with silicon breasts, lifted eyebrows and bigger eyes. She is believed to have been put up to accompany the lonely mermaid on the shore.

Ride a bike with Bycyklen

When you are in the paradise of cyclists, how can you miss cycling here? Copenhagen is the first country to think about the pedestrians and cyclists than about the motorists. It is the first country to have a separate bike riders’ bridges and lanes.

Free Things to do in Copenhagen

It is no more free owing to the loss incurred due to stolen bikes. However, you can choose to use it on a sharing basis. You need to log-in with your account details on their app. And once you have the account with all credit card details, you can just log-in on the front screen of the white colour cycles. You can park it on any Bycyklen stand with built-in electric locks. The charges range from 25 DKK per hour or 70 DKK for a day. Read more about the system on their official website. Moreover, you can also get a discount with your Copenhagen Card.

Isn’t that fun!!!

Travel Tips – Be in your Budget
  • The food in Copenhagen can be quite expensive but the Chinese and the Mexican Food shops on the main shopping street is quite cheaper. Buffets are always cheaper than specially ordered food.
  • Buy the day ticket valid on all public transport if you wish to quickly explore the city. Or just rent a bicycle.
  • You must buy a Copenhagen Card if you stay in Copenhagen for 2 days or wish to complete the exploration in a day without wasting your time in the queue.
  • Where to stay? stay near the city centre in order to conveniently explore the city attractions.
  • How to reach Copenhagen: Air India runs direct flights from Delhi to Copenhagen thrice a week.
Also Read: 10 Fun and Unusual Things to Do In and Near Copenhagen

 

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Free Things to do in Copenhagen

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This Post is written in collaboration with wonderful Copenhagen. However, all the experiences and the views are of my own.

Free things to do in Copenhagen

35 thoughts on “Best Free Things to Do in Copenhagen

  • July 22, 2018 at 4:51 pm
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    I’ve been to this beautiful city several times, but always during winter.
    You’r advice about the free bike is definitely the best tip, next time i’ll make sure to find the stand 125!
    Thanks for sharing all this!
    Simone

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  • July 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm
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    Copenhagen seems to be such a charming city. I just loved the idea of free cycling service there. It’s the most fun way to move around the city with such a beautiful and colorful streets. Also the city’s view from the skyline is so lovely. I can’t wait to explore for myself one day soon! 🙂

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  • July 22, 2018 at 7:56 pm
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    Thanks for the great guide! I love free stuff! Copenhagen looks so beautiful and colorful. Christiania sounds like a really cool, alternative place to check out!

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  • July 22, 2018 at 8:20 pm
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    My goodness that was amazing. I love the market stalls and the coloured houses, that street has always intrigued me and would love to visit it one day. How long did it take you to see all that you wrote about?

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    • July 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm
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      Hey, glad that you liked it. It took me around 3 days to explore everything at peace. But I also included a few more places not mentioned here. Would be writing a separate blog post for the same.

      Reply
  • July 22, 2018 at 11:01 pm
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    Thanks for the tips, I always enjoy reading about the free things you can do in a city. These were great ideas, thank you.

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  • July 22, 2018 at 11:57 pm
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    A very useful travel guide to Copenhagen.I really want to book that ticket Delhi right now 🙂
    Pinned it to my wishlist

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    • July 23, 2018 at 1:38 pm
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      Hey Sinjana, yep you must do that. Now is the right time for the same. 😉

      Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 12:53 am
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    I was thinking back to my trip to Copenhagen as I read this, and I think most of the places we visited while we were there were free as well!!

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  • July 23, 2018 at 1:05 am
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    Great post on a day in Copenhagen. We covered most on our last visit but our favorite was the Palace Guard marching thru the center of town.

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    • July 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm
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      Wow, that quite lucky. Usually, they are only in the palace premise. You have certainly seen them in the city centre on some special occasion. I wish I was fortunate enough for the same.

      Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 2:05 am
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    I LOVED Copenhagen and wanna return very soon to stay longer. I lodged near Nyhavn so walked along all the tie and along the waterfront as well as the canal tour with a Copenhagen Card. I loved Rosenborg Castle too and all the coloured row homes. Gamel Strand near Christiansborg was a lovely area too as well as Kultovert. Cheaper food is found if you cross the bridge via bus or bike, to Norrebro, considered the hipster part lol. Norrebro is very diverse with immigrant stores (if you don’t mind that) thus things are cheaper than touristy Kongens Nytorv and Stroeget. I ate mostly Lebanese and Thai because the food was in large quantities for a good price. As you found out, Copenhagen ain’t cheap and food is expensive so you need to eat a large meal to last you the day and snack. Heck, I took dried fruit from NYC to snack on lol.

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    • July 23, 2018 at 1:34 pm
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      Hey, this is quite helpful and adds to the info. Yes, I did try one of the Indian stores at Norrebro too. The area really has quite a number of restaurants and stores. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 4:08 am
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    Copenhagen has been on our shortlist of European cities to visit for a long time. We’re always looking for free/cheap activities when we travel so this is a really helpful resource. Thanks!

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  • July 23, 2018 at 8:44 am
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    This is on my bucket list, I would love to go one day, I’m saving this for a future trip, thank you for the info

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  • July 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm
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    I spent 6hrs in Copenhagen a number of years ago and this list of free things would have been great to have had at the time. I can’t wait to go back to visit and actually check out some of these things 🙂

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  • July 23, 2018 at 3:11 pm
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    Thank you for a wonderful post on Copenhagen! Out of all the sites you mentioned, i was spoilt for the best one and though the star shaped fort or Christainborg Tower looked amazing, my favorite was the Main canal promenade. I dont know why but I guess it’s because I am a water sign and I would love to relax or swim at the Main canal promenade the most.

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  • July 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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    These are really great suggestions. I’ve heard Copenhagen can be a bit pricy and so anything on the cheap or free is always so helpful. Especially for a family of 5. Right now the airfare is cheap, but am weighing if it’s worth it once we get there.

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  • July 23, 2018 at 6:54 pm
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    Wow! Those are some of the best things and MANY things to do for free in Copenhagen! Especially loved the ideas of exploring Kastellet – Star Shaped Fort and Rock N Roll at Christiania – The Free Town. Walk on the colourful streets looks like a delight. Budget travellers are always looking for such recommendations! And what best way to slow travel a place and do so many things.. for free! Love.. Backpacking Series.

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  • July 23, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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    Great post! Always looking for free things to do and I’m always traveling on a budget. Thanks for sharing

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  • July 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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    What a wonderful city. I should visit next time I am in Europe. It is quite funny the comment about trying out the Mexican food. I wouldn’t have thought that would be the go-to budget food there.

    Thank you for the tips

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  • July 23, 2018 at 11:19 pm
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    I’m probably going to Copenhagen in august and I’m so happy about it. So this post helped me very much to know something to see.

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  • July 24, 2018 at 12:21 am
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    Great tips, I would love to visit this place and use some of your tips.

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  • July 24, 2018 at 10:46 am
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    Quite an informative post! Copenhagen seems beautiful as explained includes modern architecture perfectly balanced with nature’s beauty. Would love to explore it.

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  • July 24, 2018 at 11:50 am
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    Copenhagen is one beautiful country i cant wait to visit. The architectures there are so appealing and those colorful buildings have stolen my heart. This is great informative post and many thanks for sharing

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  • July 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm
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    Copenhagen seems like an amazing place to visit.All photographs used in the blog are amazing as well.Thanks for sharing !

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  • July 24, 2018 at 1:16 pm
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    I haven’t been to Copenhagen yet but I hear it’s a really expensive city, so will be bookmarking this article for when I go. Very useful. Thank you!

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  • July 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm
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    Copenhagen is high on my list. Thanks for sharing this! Definitely will be biking there since cyclists have the priority 😉

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  • July 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm
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    Thank you for all the tips! I really want to go to Copenhagen! It looks like such an amazing city!

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  • July 24, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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    I love museums. The list on museums alone is enough to inspire me to visit Copenhagen. Loved your pictures.

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  • July 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm
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    What a cool guide! I always search for some free things to do in every city I visit!

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  • July 25, 2018 at 3:28 am
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    Copenhagen is truly an amazing city. I have been there few times, first time for a day and loved just exploring things, many of which were free. I would love to see more of the city.

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  • July 25, 2018 at 11:37 am
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    Copenhagen looks extremely beautiful and vibrant. I love the colourful streets of the old town as well as the vibes of the hippy town. Kayaking at the Main Canal Promenade sounds like a great way to explore the city. I would so love to see the star shaped fort as well. Sounds fascinating!

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  • July 31, 2018 at 5:26 pm
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    Never been to Copenhagen before but looks enticing.. Will keep this handy. Waiting to sort my Europe visa and seems worth doing a road trip across Europe

    Reply

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