This is the last blog of a four-part series of our trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. Over the last four weeks, I broke down the traveler’s common questions into individual blogs, including: Traveling in Denmark, Where to Stay, Food and Drinks!, and today’s post: 6 Awesome Things to Do in Denmark.
There is so much to do in Denmark. So much, that we weren’t able to do it all in 10 days. I’ll explore more places and activities later on, but the below are my top favorites from our trip.
The Forgotten Giants of Denmark
One of my favorite memories was a special adventure with just Jeremy and I. We went on the hunt for hidden, forgotten giants. These massive forms were built by the artist Thomas Dambo using reclaimed wood. Their purpose is to encourage people to venture out into nature. The artist also designed a map, so you can go old school on your search
This was a special adventure for us, because it felt like we were embarking on an actual adventure. When you find a giant, it’s like a successful milestone. You feel like an adventurer! When you grow up and work all day, every day, going on a search for giants brings you back and sparks imagination.
Each giant has a special motif and story, and the two we found were Friendly Teddy and Sleeping Louis.
Location: Somewhere in Taastrup’s fields
Teddy Friendly extends his arm to help you cross the river. He was so lovely, I wanted to hug him (and hoped he would hug me back!).
Location: On top of a mound most likely discovered using your imagination
Sleeping Louis has found the most perfect, cozy hill to sleep on with sunlight gently falling through the leaves of surrounding trees. Kids (or small-ish adults) can crawl into his mouth. I was a little too scared to go completely inside, just in case he closed his mouth mid-snore.
A goal of mine for this trip was to find hygge in the origin country. Jeremy and I quite often would be walking to our next destination when we’d pass a square. When it felt right – which was often – we’d stop and sit for awhile and enjoy a good drink. Here are a few of our favorite stops:
Address: Vingårdstræde 21, 1070 København
This square is more off the beaten path. I’m not sure if it could be called a square, but I’ll include it. We stumbled upon it when we left Nyhavn for our reservation at Marv & Ben’s. We had time before dinner, so we had a few glasses of wine wrapped up in blankets on a quiet, stone paved street. The seating is split between two restaurants, and ours was owned by Ristorante Santoni.
Address: 1175 København
In front of the Jacobsen Restaurant, we enjoyed Jacobsen brews and coffees in between attractions. It’s a bustling space full of tourists and locals. Active workers would pass through on breaks. Casual locals witting by the fountain chatting or eating. It’s a neat place for food and goods vendors, and a great opportunity to people watch and get hygge.
Rundetårn or Round Tower
The Round Tower is a really neat building to visit. It’s one of the highest you can climb in Copenhagen to get a 360 degree view of the city. Instead of stairs, a spiral ramp – originally designed for horses – twists its way up 42 metres to the top. Admission is pretty affordable; Just 25 DKK (about $4 USD) for adults, 5 DKK (about $1 USD) for children 5-15, or free if you have a Copenhagen Card.
Throughout the walk, museums and historical information are scattered along the ramp. The coolest and scariest part was a glass floor in the center where you can stand on and stare down to the bottommost pit. It took me two tries to do it and quickly grab a photo!
Also, I’ve been given many compliments for my purse in the image above and several have asked where it’s from. Honestly, it was a steal I found on Amazon!
The museum with a gigantic collection of sculptures, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a cool to do attraction for your trip. It’s a huge building located conveniently walking distance from Tivoli and other attractions. Admission is included with a Copenhagen Card or you can pay once you’re in the door.
We loved walking through each exhibition. It’s filled with so many marble statues that encourages you to peacefully walk around and reflect. When you want a pause from art, there’s a beautiful room or greenhouse in the center with seats, a fountain and lots of greenery (this was my favorite room!).
I read that Walt Disney was inspired by Tivoli to build Disneyland. Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and it’s like walking into a fairy tale… Stringed lanterns, pirate ships, water and light shows, music, ballet, and so many flowers and greenery. It’s an enchanted land with lots of roller coasters, food, and shopping.
It’s always listed as one of the top place to visit in Copenhagen.
Admission is free with a Copenhagen Card (hooray!), and we went ahead and purchased the all you can ride additional fare so that we didn’t have to worry about paying per ride and holding up the line. I enjoy the ease of annual passes, all you can… tickets, and all-inclusive. It really makes traveling easier.
A word of advice when you’re planning when to go: Choose a weekday and check the entertainment schedule beforehand. My family and I visited Tivoli near dusk on a Tuesday just to look around and watch live music. It wasn’t crowded and it was a lovely to walk around. At that time, we decided to wait to ride roller coasters until Saturday because we would have a full day and then watch the Saturday night fireworks.
Come Saturday night, and we had the hardest time walking around. It was worsened because of a live concert and sprawling with teenagers and young adults with little respect for others.
If you want to visit the actual world’s oldest amusement park, then you don’t need to travel far. It’s also in Denmark! Called the Bakkan, it’s located north of Copenhagen in the woods of Dyrehaven.
Built in the 16th century, Frederiksborg Castle is a great castle to visit. Located in the center of Hillerød, you’ll need to take a train or drive there. I’ve never been to a castle before, and since this was my first, I’m glad it was one of the largest renaissance castles in the Nordic region. Every inch is beautiful, ornate, and decorated with history. I was able to see a super old Bible, a royal church with organ music playing in the background, a jaw dropping celestial artwork, and even current art for today’s royal family (this was super interesting to see how they incorporate today’s art into the tradition of royal family portraiture).
Outside of the castle, you can enjoy a giant lake – equipped with a boat tour – and a large royal garden.
This was a lovely place to take it slow. We visited near the end of our trip, and we strolled through all the parts we were interested in. It was a nice breather.