Living in or visiting Copenhagen can be quite expensive, but I found several things to do for free in the city. Explore art, nature and much more with this guide.
The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, is known as an eco-friendly destination with helpful and friendly citizens. Copenhagen is also famous for being both historical and modern at the same time. For me the city is full of unique and beautiful design scenes with an laid back atmosphere, a tasteful Nordic cuisine, beautiful Renaissance castles and many other things. Despite Copenhagen’s reputation as an expensive city, I have been able to find many free attractions in the city – and with the upcoming summer you can find even more opportunities.
I like to explore the city, and I also like to save money – so in this guide I will mention some of the attraction you can enjoy for free. I have been there – and now it is your turn to enjoy the activities without spending any money.
The Little Mermaid – Den lille Havfrue
This little lady is one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions, who receives more than a million visitors a year. She is located at Langelinje Pier and is quite a symbol of Copenhagen, that was made in 1913 by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen who was inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale.
On your way to visit the bronze mermaid you will also be able to see other sights. For example The Gefion Fountain, St Alban’s Church and The Citadel (Kastellet), which is a star-shaped fortress built in 1626 to defend the city. However, the area is open to the public and you can enjoy the green lung for a brisk walk and stroll the historic building and windmill.
The address for “ The Little Mermaid”: Langelinie, 2100 København Ø
The address for “ The Citadel”: Gl. Hovedvagt, Kastellet 1, 2100 København Ø
The colorful houses and the historical tall ships are some of the things you can enjoy in Nyhavn. It was originally a commercial port where ships from all over the world dock, but today Nyhavn is an area with many expensive restaurants and filled with people enjoying the cosy atmosphere.
House number 9 is the oldest house in the area dating back to 1681. The design of the house has not been changed since that time. And do not forget to see house number 20, where the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen was living in 1835.
In Nyhhavn you can take the perfect photograph with the beautiful colors or enjoy a guided tour through the historical canals of the city. However, the price for the guided tour in the canals is around 40 kr.
The address: Nyhavn 1-71, 1051 København
Not so far from “The Little Mermaid” you can find the Amalienborg Palace. If you have an interest in Denmark’s royal history and royal family this is the place to be, because the royal family still lives here. Denmark has the world’s oldest monarchy, and from the palace square you can experience the Royal Guards protection of the buildings. You can watch the changing of the guards as they march from their barracks to Amalienborg.
If you would like to have a closer look at the royal family then note down the Queens birthday (psst, 16th of April). Every year the royal family show up on the balcony on the occasion of the birthday celebration where they wave and greet the people who are there to celebrate the Queen from the palace square.
The address: Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K.
Botanical Garden – Botanisk Have
When it is summer and the sun is shining in Copenhagen my favourite thing to do is to make a visit to the Botanical Garden. It is a little oasis located in the city center, which for me is a lovely break from the “city life”. This garden has the largest collection of living plants in Denmark with more than 13.000 species, and you can also visit the large Palm House from 1874 where you will be able to see different kind of palm plants. Between trees, flowerbeds and a lake you can spend your time in the casual cafe and relax in the delightful nature in the middle of Copenhagen.
The address: Øster Farimagsgade 2B, 1353 København K
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
A lot of studies show that art can make people happier – including me, so this is one of the reasons for me to recommend this place. Even though this museum, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, is located 40 kilometres north of Copenhagen it is worth a visit. Louisiana has 8-12 special exhibitions every year, which are really fun to explore, and besides the special exhibitions they have permanent collections with over 3.000 works. And art does not have to be boring, especially not for the kids. If you bring them with you, you can find a kid’s area, where the little ones can express themselves creatively.
Louisiana cooperates with the Red Cross Schools and together that have created a project for refugee children, where they get opportunity to meet the art. The purpose of the customized teaching program is to strengthen the children’s self-confidence and give them a good experience in a safe environment with the opportunity for contemplation.
The museum gives free entry to asylum seekers. All you have to do is to show your ID-card.
The address: Gammel Strandvej 13, 3050 Humbebæk
Zulu Summer Open Air Cinema
Who doesn’t love to enjoy a good movie with friends or family? For me Zulu Summer open Air Cinema is a perfect match of my two favourite things – summer and movies. With Zulu Summer open Air Cinema you enjoy a movie in cosy atmosphere in middle of nature. Every year Zulu Summer Open Air Cinema visits a number of cities in Denmark, and in Copenhagen it takes place in Fælledparken in Copenhagen’s Østerbro area and in The King’s Garden (Kongens Have) which is located in the city centre.
There is no admission fee, so you can enjoy some Danish “ hygge” with your friends for free. You can also bring your own soft drinks and popcorn. The Summer Open Air Cinema takes place every summer in beginning of August. For the exact date check their Facebook page.
The Address for Fælledparken: Edel Sauntes Allé, 2100 København
The Address for Kongens Have: Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København