5 day itinerary in Copenhagen, Denmark – November edition

Apps you might find beneficial

  • Dots – to book bus and metro tickets on the go
  • Rejseplanen – to check metro and train and bus timetables and routes
  • Tivoli tickets – if you’re planning to visit the garden you’ll get access to more features using the app within the park

My favourite photo spots

  • CopenHot during sunset
  • Tivoli Gardens for the abundance of rides and theme park vibes
  • Illum Rooftoop for a panoramic view of the city
  • Nyhavn for the colourful houses
  • Copenhagen City Hall Clock Tower for 360 views of the city

DAY 1

Arriving into Copenhagen, we went to buy a ticket for the metro to reach our hotel. Google suggested it would only be 16 minutes and we easily bought tickets from a machine at the airport – however, don’t just follow the crowds because a lot of them are getting the train to Sweden. I almost followed before George reigned me back…

But then our next mistake: we just followed a sign for trains. This time I realised after noticing that the next train’s stops didn’t quite match what I’d seen on google. Back we went! So check you’re after the metro or trains. Lastly, since the ticket you just bought is a paper one, you don’t need to tap in, even though I got George to do it at least twice just to make sure 😂

Eventually we got to our hotel: the NH Collection Copenhagen. When checking in we were told that the hotel was only 2 months old, and it showed: everything was in great condition and super modern. Very Nordic! 

After dropping our stuff off and relaxing a little we set off while it was still light out. This day’s stops:

ILLUM ROOFTOP

We went to the Illum rooftop as there is a choice of cafes and restaurants. We opted for an Italian meal as it was already 3pm. We hadn’t eaten since 8am and I was definitely a bit hangry… 

The Illum rooftop is actually a big department store, but if you head to the Original Coffee shop, it offers panoramic views and because we were here eating so late, we actually caught sunset – at 4pm in early November. It was a great vantage point and worth visiting.

NYHAVN

We then walked over to Nyhavn – the most widely shared picture I’d seen of Copenhagen was here, along the river, with the colourful houses in the background.

We arrived near 5pm so it was dark, but because a lot of Christmas decorations were up, and small Christmas stalls, I felt it was actually the perfect time to arrive. We sampled a bunch of glogg (like mulled wine) and then sat down for an actual drink while enjoying being sat outside with a blanket and people watching.

DAY 2

COPENHAGEN CITY HALL

On our second day, we first walked towards the Copenhagen City Hall where you can do a tour of the Clock tower for about £4. This involves climbing about 185 steps but you do get panoramic views of the city and we felt it was worth it. The tours happen hourly, on the hour. 

The City Hall itself is quite an interesting building, but maybe because it was a Saturday, it was a bit surreal as we saw at least 8 weddings take place/the bride and groom walking out or in! So much so that we weren’t sure it was actually open to the public.

The City Hall tower was the tallest building in Copenhagen when built. And in fact it still felt like it was!

TIVOLI GARDENS

From here we walked over to the Tivoli Gardens, making sure to go check out the Axel Towers and the Palads Theatre. Two architecturally interesting buildings. The garden entrance was directly opposite, so not a detour at all. 

We had bought our tickets to the garden on our phone so didn’t have to wait in line. Everything was still decorated for Halloween for a couple more days, so that was quite cute. In fact, had we visited a week later, the gardens would’ve been closed while they switched all the decorations to the Christmas ones!

If you’re interested in the rides, I would advise getting the ticket which includes unlimited access and maybe even the ticket which includes the skip the line access! We waited for a while to get on, so I feel like it would be worth it, considering the rides themselves are over within 30 seconds each ride! Paying for more than 1 ride if you only bought the access only ticket would suddenly not make financial sense. 

We ended up spending quite a while at the park between having a hot drink, the rides, late lunch, and just walking around. It did get prettier as the sky got darker so if I were to go back I’d time my visit with late afternoon/sunset/dinner. But as I said, we knew it would be raining, and it did start from about 3pm, so by 5pm we were done for the day!

ICE SKATING NEAR NYHAVN

This was a completely random but lucky find: we’d decided to go for a walk after dinner and chanced upon the rink. It was close to 9:20pm and it was due to close at 10pm. But the music was great and it only cost £5 to rent ice skates for an hour. The rink was pretty empty by then, which added to it as well as we could goof around. I ended up trying to improve George’s skating technique by getting him to use one of the many helping “seals” left spread around the rink.

The rink was, however, also quite wet and it was raining a little at the time, but it was so much fun to play around, it was actually my favourite thing of the whole day, and top 3 of the trip in fact! I think the spontaneity of it – and the fact that originally George said he’d just watch me before realising it was so cheap and why not just do it for 30 minutes – made it a lovely way to end the day.

DAY 3

LITTLE MERMAID STATUE

In the morning, our one plan was to walk over to the little mermaid statue. I’d been told the walk over was the best thing about it, and I agree. We went via Nyhavn, this time during daylight. Then you go past a number of beautiful buildings, and then end up within the Kastellet fortress.

We walked back, looking to maybe do some shopping and kill time and for the first time, George got the direction wrong. However, it ended up being a happy accident as we walked through a gorgeous park and even found some big industrial looking swings which entertained us for a while.

COPENHOT

Eventually, we got the bus to the main activity for the day: CopenHot! – we pre-booked this a few weeks early and are happy we did. 

CopenHot is a space with outdoor hot tubs and saunas, and even floating hot tubs. 

To get there it is a bit desolate and in the middle of an industrial park, with little signage. But once you arrive, it’s gorgeous. And funnily enough, we could actually see it directly opposite the water when we were at the Little Mermaid statue in the morning. 

You can’t book a specific hot tub but we were very lucky and had one on the corner of the pier so we enjoyed uninterrupted views.

Little did we know when booking that we also got access to the ice bath and also were encouraged to jump into the sea water. We tried both. Funnily enough, when dipping my feet into the sea water I spotted a few jellyfish – that was a surprise! I later googled it and found Denmark shorelines have quite a lot but only 2 are stinging varieties, not those we saw there. Still, I would’ve expected them to warn us to expect them!

We’d booked our hot tub for 4pm (1 hour session) as sunset was as 4:15pm and it was perfect. Watching the sky darken and the fairy lights pop out. It was truly a great cap to the day and worth the money. The drinks themselves while in the hot tub weren’t overly expensive either, so it was great to sit back, relax, between ice baths and freezing sea water, with a drink in hand and looking out to the water.

DAY 4

MALMÖ, SWEDEN

We got the train from the airport and mostly winged the day. Admittedly, we’d been averaging over 20k steps a day since Friday and we were pretty tired. First we plonked ourselves down for a coffee at the Coffee Factory. Then we ended up walking towards the beach, which included a view of the Turning Torso tower and the Øresund Bridge which connects Sweden to Denmark. 

This felt very much out of town, and would probably have been lively and bustling had it been summer and sunny, however, being a random Monday in November, it was dead. 

We walked back into Lilla Torg, a romantic little square with small shops, cozy restaurants and bars with outdoor seating only to release that, again, being Monday a lot of places were already closed at 2pm. Thankfully we found the perfect spot for none other than Swedish meatballs – exactly what we were after!

Admittedly, had I looked into Malmo further, I would’ve made sure we visited after lunch instead, and stayed for the evening as there are a few great looking bars and edgy spots, but being a Monday, they only opened from 5pm onwards. One for next time 🙂 A few are listed here.

DAY 5

NY CARLSBERG GLYPTOTEK

This was our last day so we decided to keep it quite light and opted to visit one of the museums. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a gorgeous building and actually free to visit (only the special exhibitions are paid for). It has everything from ancient Egypt to Danish art. It also boasts of a gorgeous palm tree garden – a particular favourite of mine. 

With that, it was time to head home! One quick note on the metro, and that we only realised the day before leaving – if you sit at the front, or back, you get an amazing view of the underground tunnels and the train speeding along autonomously!

And on that note, I can safely say I really enjoyed visiting Copenhagen. There were things we didn’t do, like jumping on the trampolines on the street, or venturing further afield within Denmark. I feel like I would like to revisit in the Summer months and make it down to areas like Møns Klint – I mean, look at the pictures and imagine kayaking and exploring here! But other than that, visiting in the winter with all the winter markets popping up has its own charm and I wouldn’t change much about our trip as it was.

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