My Copenhagen Must Do List

As my time in the Danish capital of Copenhagen was fleeting, it’s safe to say two things-that one, I barely scratched the surface, and two, a return trip is definitely in order. So whenever I make it back to Københavnhere are the five things at the top of my list. 

The Museum of Danish Resistance

I’m a history nerd through and through so while the idea of visiting a museum solely devoted to the Danish Resistance Movement against the Nazis in World War II may seem like the worst kind of punishment ever, to me it sounds fascinating. While I wasn’t going to attempt to visit this on a 36 hour visit, I was somewhat mollified when I learned that it was unfortunately closed for the foreseeable future due to a devastating fire, causing the building that housed the museum to be demolished. Thankfully all museum objects and archives were able to be saved. It’s said the new museum won’t open until 2018 so it looks like I have some time. While one often hears about the French Resistance and Polish Resistance Movements, the Nazis were just as oppressive in this tiny Scandinavian country and its people were just as brave and willing to fight back. I was inspired to purchase and read a children’s book I hadn’t read in decades, Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, which is set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation in Denmark.

My Copenhagen Must Do List


Noma is the biggest name in the Danish culinary world, safe to say bigger than even the beloved herring. It’s a two-start Michelin restaurant run by chef Rene Redzepi in the capital city. Its biggest praise comes from the fact that it has not only cast Danish cuisine in a much more becoming global light, but it has also brought a level of reinvention and interpretation of Nordic cuisine. Noma is extremely popular (one must book reservations MONTHS in advance) and also quite expensive. But being an amateur foodie, dining here is an experience I would like, so you can bet that the first thing I do after booking my plane tickets would be trying to reserve a table here.

Canal boat ride

Due to time constraints, this is one of the things I missed out on doing. Even though the boat rides didn’t look “utterly” enchanting (people are packed in like sardines), like anything a different perspective is to be had when gliding along the water versus walking on foot. And as Copenhagen is a city of canals, it would be neat to see the buildings from the water’s level. It’s probably one of the most touristy things you can do in Copenhagen and yet it also seems like a requisite must.

My Copenhagen Must Do List

Kronborg Castle

While this is technically outside of Copenhagen, it’s an easy day trip all the same. Kronborg’s biggest claim to fame is that it served as the inspiration for Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Europe and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As it’s situated on the tip of an island (Zealand), its setting also makes it quite unique and intriguing to visit.


Tivoli is the beloved Danish amusement park that is said to have inspired Walt Disney with his own theme park dreams. Open since 1843, it’s the second oldest amusement park in the world. Although it has countless “modern” attractions, I’m most interested in the classic ones like Rutschebanen, a wooden roller coaster, or the Hans Christian Andersen-inspired ride, the Flying Trunk. The buildings found on the grounds of the park also look particularly enchanting. As Tivoli is on the larger side, I’d ideally like to be able to devote an entire day for visiting.

Are there any things you would add to my list?

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  • Reply
    July 30, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Completely agree with all your picks for things to do. A visit to NOMA would be so amazing, but definitely would take some advance planning!
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    • Reply
      August 3, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      I’ve heard that NOMA is actually opening a pop-up restaurant in Sydney soon. Maybe you can visit since that’s a tiny bit closer for you than Denmark 🙂

  • Reply
    Jefferson Stovall
    August 8, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Julie, I just came back from a trip to Copenhagen (and Stockholm). I have a lengthy recap on my blog:

    Two comments:
    1. Yes, the boat rides do pack you in like sardines, and yet it is still a must.
    2. I was kind of down on Tivoli, but my wife wanted to go. Now I can’t wait to go back. I say this in the post, but have dinner there and stay until the sun (finally) goes down. the lights are absolutely amazing.

    Good luck getting back over there!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Jefferson-thanks for commenting! I’ll be sure to check out your blog posts and I’m also quite jealous you made it to Stockholm too as that also looks like a beautiful city. You can count on me doing both of those things on my next trip there. My husband is a huge amusement park aficionado and I have no doubt he’ll adore it (and me as well 🙂 )

  • Reply
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