Steeped in history, full of brilliant architecture and brimming with surprising natural spaces, eclectic restaurants and vibrant nightlife, Copenhagen has something for every visitor. There’s so much to do it can be difficult to decide where to spend your time. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the 5 most fun things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Cycle Tour

Location: throughout Copenhagen

Best time to go: April to September

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a cycling tour through the city. With 375 km of cycle paths, you can get just about anywhere you want to go by bike. Take yourself on your own personalized tour and create your own perfect day.

See the attractions, do a shopping tour, hit the most exciting restaurants or just jet around the city like the locals do. You can find bike rental shops and cycle tours everywhere you go, although you can also ask the hotel or hostel you’re staying at – many have bikes available for guests.

If you’re timid about cycling try to work around rush hours. Read up on the rules of the road before you start pedaling.

Tivoli Gardens

Location: Rådhuspladsen & Tivoli

Best time to go: June to September; also open during Halloween, Christmas, Winter (a few weeks in February) and Easter

Tivoli is a fantastic 19th century amusement park, complete with pleasure gardens, rides (like the renovated wooden roller coaster “Rutsjebanen,” one of the oldest in operation today), carnival games, fireworks and shows at its many venues. There are dozens of places to eat and beautiful gardens to stroll through. If you intend to ride the rides, consider paying for the unlimited rides ticket – most visitors strongly recommend it.

Visit the Tivoli Concert Hall for classical music, ballet and pop performances. Friday evenings feature free open-air concerts with big names in Danish music and beyond. Fireworks go up Saturday evenings during the summer months.

Nationalmuseet

bracelets from the nationalmuseet - 5 most fun things to do in copenhagen

Location: Rådhuspladsen & Tivoli

Best time to go: year-round

While you’re in the Tivoli area, be sure to check out Denmark’s national museum. This incredible museum features collections of objects that date back to the Stone Age.

Get face to face with Vikings, learn the stories of everyday Danish people from the past 400 years in the “Stories of Denmark” exhibit, marvel at prehistoric relics and get up close to Egyptian mummies and other near eastern antiquities.

A popular highlight is the ethnographic collection, which includes unique displays about Arctic cultures. The Children’s Museum is also worth a stop – it’s a hands-on collection that encourages kids to explore, play around and touch things.

Freetown Christiania

Location: Christianshavn

Best time to go: June to September

An autonomous, intentional community on the site of a former military complex, Freetown Christiania has been a haven for the hippie and anarchist crowd since the 1970s. About 1000 people live in this area of DIY houses and organic grocers.

Highlights include the famous (or infamous) Pusher Street. Hash is sold there but it is illegal and many of the residents don’t support the drug trade, so take that into consideration if you’re thinking of buying.

The major draw is the district’s vibe, which couples cobblestone streets with graffiti murals, low-key cafes and impromptu jam sessions. Locals offer guided tours, which run daily in the summer and on weekends in other seasons. Cross the Dyssebroen bridge over into Amager and you’ll find beautiful parks and waterfront spaces that tend not to be as busy.

Rosenborg Slot

Location: Nørreport

Best time to go: Shoulder months (early June or September) – summer line-ups can be long

This early 17th-century moated palace was built by Christian IV as a summer home. A must for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts, tours through the castle and grounds give visitors a peek into the official and private lives of the past 400 years of Danish monarchs.

The upper rooms of the castle are a real trip through history – taking visitors through rooms that feature portraits and objects from the reigns of every monarch from Christian IV (1596-1648) through to Frederik VII (1848-1863). The basement holds one of the biggest attractions, the Treasury, which includes such spectacular highlights as the crown jewels and a jewel-studded sword belonging to Christian III.

Most of the major attractions are within walking distance of each other, making Copenhagen an easy city to get around and have a blast in. Safe and happy travels!

featured image: Shvets Anna; image 1: Peter Leth