Travel to Copenhagen to discover a charming blend of centuries-old history and a fascinating, forward-thinking culture. Denmark’s capital is one of the greenest cities in the world, with more cyclists than motorists and a vast pedestrianised city centre. Copenhagen is a story-book delight to visit and explore. In fact, among its most famous attractions, the city is home to the statue of the Little Mermaid, the heroine of the story of the same name by Copenhagen-born author Hans Christian Andersen.
You’ll also find Tivoli Gardens here, the world’s second-oldest amusement park, created in 1843; its early 20th-Century rollercoaster still draws the crowds. Home to numerous fascinating museums and art galleries, excellent restaurants and quirky shops, Copenhagen is a charming city you’ll want to visit and explore time and again.
Why travel to Copenhagen
- Known as the happiest city in the world, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome in Copenhagen.
- The city’s cuisine is legendary, plus it’s home to Noma, one of the world’s most famous restaurants.
- Getting around is so easy, either by hiring a bicycle or walking.
- Copenhagen is the epicentre of inventive design and interiors, evident in its stylish furniture and design stores.
- You haven’t lived until you’ve savoured a Danish pastry... in Denmark.
- It’s one of the cleanest cities you will ever visit – part of its green ethos.
- The creators of LEGO have something to be proud of.
- Marvel at Scandinavian architecture, particularly in colourful Nyhavn.
- Copenhagen boasts 850 years of history and is home to the oldest monarchy in Europe.
Travelling to Copenhagen opens one’s eyes to a very different world. This delightful Nordic city offers a fabulous blend of people, food and activities. Thompsons Holidays can create the perfect travel package to Copenhagen for you, whether you’re travelling solo, with your family, on a romantic break or with friends.
Things to do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen offers a wealth of activities for first-time and returning visitors. Some of the top things to do in the city include visiting Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and the statue of the Little Mermaid, a famous attraction. Trendy shops, Viking museums and historical palaces should also be top of your list of places to visit in Copenhagen.
As your travel guide to Copenhagen, we highly recommend shopping in Strøget, the largest pedestrian mall on earth, and a must-visit. There’s fabulous food to enjoy plus innovative modern design to inspire you in furniture stores and in every building you visit.
Things to do in Copenhagen
- Take a free canal tour to familiarise yourself with all of the city’s landmarks.
- Visit Rundetaan, the Round Tower, Europe’s oldest functioning observatory.
- Explore Nyhavn’s historic waterfront area with its colourful buildings where Hans Christian Andersen lived.
- Visit Christiansborg, home to the Danish Parliament and Supreme Court.
- Rent a bicycle and explore Copenhagen at leisure.
- Explore the glasshouses in the city’s Botanical Gardens.
- Discover communal living in Freetown Christiania, a lifestyle practised since the 1970s.
- Enjoy the rides and entertainment at famous Tivoli Gardens or try another old amusement park, Bakken, which has been operating since 1583.
- Take in magnificent views of the city from Our Church of Our Saviour.
- Enjoy a drink with the locals in Strøget before painting the town red.
- See the Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen’s heroine from the book of the same name.
Copenhagen’s attractions appeal to a wide range of holidaymakers. Whether you’re travelling as a family, on a romantic break, going solo or exploring with friends. Thompsons Holidays can put together the ideal Copenhagen travel package to suit you.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Denmark is in the warmer months, May to August, when the days are longer and temperatures are mild.
- There are reasonably regular flights direct from Johannesburg to Copenhagen. Alternatively, you can fly to another European city and then to Copenhagen from there.
- The flight duration from Johannesburg to Copenhagen with one stopover is 13 hours, 40 minutes.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Denmark.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
- Copenhagen is 1 hour behind South Africa during winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Danish Krone (DKK). This is the best and often the only currency accepted.
- Some hotels, restaurants & shops accept Euro, but they are not legally obliged to do so.
- Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops.
- ATMs are found in tourist areas and cities.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. Tip restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides around 10% of the service charge, at your discretion.
- Danish is the official language.
- English is widely spoken in Denmark.
- Christianity is the main religion in Denmark.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- It is safe to drink tap water in Denmark. Bottled water is also readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required, but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter and rain gear. Choose items that can be layered.
- Dress modestly when visiting sacred sites – no shorts or tank tops. Legs & shoulders must be covered. Long, loose pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts are best.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Local transport in Copenhagen includes trains, Metro and buses.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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