Rosenborg Castle and gardens in Copenhagen Denmark

Best 3 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary for First Time Travel

Wanting to spend a long weekend in Copenhagen? Here is my suggested way to spend 3 days in Copenhagen alone, full of top attractions, dining and booking tools, perfect for first-time Copenhagen travel.

As you’ll notice from the tips throughout, this Copenhagen itinerary is intentionally written for the solo / older traveler (I am a solo traveler over 50), first time Copenhagen, budget and/or eco-friendly traveler in mind. Yet, anyone can use this Copenhagen itinerary it to plan and book a 3 day trip to Copenhagen.

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The Ultimate Copenhagen Travel Guide

Don’t forget to use the Ultimate Copenhagen Travel Guide to plan your 3 days in Copenhagen Denmark. It’s complete with great Copenhagen tips on when to go, how to get there, getting around Copenhagen, best place to stay in Copenhagen, dining, nightlife, and other best things to do alone in Copenhagen It also has budget and ecotourism travel tips.

If you’re a first-time traveler to Denmark, also use my Denmark Travel Guide full of tips on culture, entry requirements, currency, tipping, using electronics, safety, and a lot more.

Memorial Anchor at Nyhavn Copenhagen
Memorial Anchor, Nyhavn

Copenhagen Travel Packing Essentials

These Copenhagen travel essentials can make your Copenhagen travel easier and more memorable while being friendlier to the environment. Check them out.

5 MUST DOs in Copenhagen

Yes, you will get to do all of these top Copenhagen activities in this 3 days in Copenhagen itinerary. Inspired yet?

Best Booking Sites for Copenhagen Travel

Here best booking sites I recommend you use to successfully book your 3 perfect days in Copenhagen. I use just about all of these for most travel locations. I even give you my suggested Copenhagen hotel as a wonderful, sustainable and budget friendly option for Copenhagen solo travel. There is also a second city center location, however, my suggested location is closer to the central train station.

These booking sites give you multiple travel options and awesome travel deals for all travel budgets so you can get a jump on getting to Copenhagen for 3 days and save money.

Budget Travel Tip

For the best travel deals to Copenhagen, always book early, especially if you are traveling during peak season.

Book Your Flight to Copenhagen Early to Save Money

The Copenhagen Card

With this itinerary, I suggest getting the Copenhagen Card when you visit Copenhagen in 3 days to save time and money, especially if your your solo trip to Copenhagen is during peak season.

The Copenhagen Card, not only covers unlimited public transportation (including to and from the Copenhagen Airport), but it also provides entry to over 80 Copenhagen attractions, discounts on tours, cruises, restaurants, and more. Purchase a card for 24, 48, or 72 hours (up to 96 and 120 hours if you’re staying longer than three days in Copenhagen).

I was pleased with my Copenhagen City Card. Read the details of the card benefits before you purchase.

Get Your Copenhagen Card to Save Time and Money

3 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary for Solo Travel

This Copenhagen itinerary provides some of best things to do in Copenhagen alone in 3 days, both indoors and out. Copenhagen is a beautiful city and is optimal when visiting during warmer, clear weather. However, do not let weather deter you from the top Copenhagen sights. Just dress accordingly and take advantage of the multiple museums, shops, restaurants and bars.

Use this 3-day Copenhagen itinerary and you’ll be constantly moving to see and do as much as possible in Copenhagen’s city centre in 3 days on your solo travel in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen 3 Day Itinerary Tips

  • This itinerary assumes staying in the vicinity of my suggested Copenhagen hotel as a reference point. However, any city center hotel within in the ‘Best Area to Stay’ of the Copenhagen Travel Guide also works. Just allow some extra time for walking.
  • This itinerary starts on day of arrival to Copenhagen assuming hotel check in (or checking bags) early for a start no later than noon.
  • Travel in the shoulder season for good weather and daylight hours, less tourists, and lower costs.
  • This Copenhagen itinerary is covered by walking. Even through Copenhagen is flat, you’ll be walking on a lot of concrete and cobblestones. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Renting a bike in Copenhagen is not mandatory for this itinerary, however, it could save time between attractions, which may allow for you to add more to this itinerary if you wish.
  • Dress in layers to allow for changes in weather.

Copenhagen Day 1

Morning / Noon

Leaving your Copenhagen city center hotel, you’ll start your exploration of the city center with the Rosenborg Castle. On the way, stop to grab a bite at the Torvehallerne, an outdoor market full of vendors for fresh food, sandwiches, pastries, etc. Or grab a Pølser (think hot dog) at any one of the Pølser stands in the city center.

By 1pm, you should be at Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle), as seen on the featured image, a renaissance-era castle that houses the crown jewels. Take time to stroll the Kongens Have (Kings Garden). This a beautiful setting in Copenhagen. Allow 2 hours.

Around 3pm, head to the Rundetårn (Round Tower), a mere 15-20 minute walk. Go up the 17th century astronomical observatory via its circular “staircase” for lovely city views.

Copenhagen skyline from the Round Tower
Copenhagen skyline from the Round Tower

Evening

Around 5pm you may be hungry again. Head to the famous pedestrian street, Strøget, to stroll its shops and restaurants. You have plenty of dining choices here. Meander and observe street performers. There is also live music to found here. Don’t forget to spot the Storkespringvandet (Stork Fountain) in the center of Strøget.

Stay in the Strøget as long as you like, or if you prefer to be closer to your hotel, another great dining and music option is Green Island on the Copenhagen harbor. Another lovely setting for drinks and live music.

Pedestrian walking Stroget Copenhagen
Stroget

Day 1 Copenhagen Activities

Entry to the Rosenborg Castle and Round Tower are free with the Copenhagen Card.

Copenhagen Day 2

Morning

Grab breakfast your hotel early so you can be out and about by 8am for another full day in Copenhagen.

Walk north along the Bølgen afslapningsanlæg, the riverfront boardwalk and park, and take in the views of Christianhavn across the harbor.

Wander Ny Kongensgade across the Fredericksholms Kanal through the beautiful Det Kongelige Biblioteks Have (Garden of the Royal Library) ending at the Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Palace) around 9am.

Frederik VII and Christiansborg Palace Copenhagen
Christiansborg Palace

Allow 2 hours to tour the Denmark royal residence with vast halls and one-of-a-kind tapestries, the royal kitchen, and stables with carriages. The tower is also open to the public and has a restaurant.

Christiansborg Castle hall and tapestries in Copenhagen
Christiansborg Castle tapestries

Upon leaving the castle around 11am, walk north towards Frederik’s Church and catch a glimpse of distinct spire atop Børsen the 17th century old stock exchange.

Børsen stock exchange Copenhagen
Børsen Stock Exchange

Not long after 11am you should reach Frederiks Kirke (Frederik’s Church), also known as The Marble Church. This 18th century Lutheran church, free to enter, is worth a peek inside, trust me.

After marveling at the church for a bit, you’re just a short stroll to the Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish royal family.

Frederik's Church Copenhagen
Frederik’s Church (The Marble Church)

Afternoon

You’ll want to try to be at the Amalienborg Palace before noon to get a good viewing of the changing of the royal guard that starts promptly at noon. Allow at least 15 minutes to watch. Then stroll around the palace grounds and Frederik VIII’s Palace grounds. All of this is free.

Change of the Guard Amalienborg Copenhagen
Changing of the Guard, Amalienborg Palance

Around 1pm, head towards the water to walk south towards Nyhavn (New Harbor) for a late lunch. You can’t miss this iconic harbor and its colorful buildings with restaurants that seem to stretch forever along the water.

Nyhavn restaurants in Copenhagen
Nyhavn restaurants

Take your time to spend a few hours here. Try a Smørrebrød, a traditional open faced sandwich on rye bread topped with meats, cheeses, and garnishes. Wash it down with a cold beer and get in some people watching. Take in some shopping in the area if you wish.

Smørrebrød open faced sandwich and beer Nyhavn
Smørrebrød and beer

Around 4pm, make your way to one of the highlights of your Copenhagen 3 day tour: a grand tour of the Copehagen harbor and canals. This is a must do in Copenhagen. Copenhagen canal tours are 1 hour and leave from multiple locations: Nyhavn and Gammel Strand and Ved Stranden.

If you are using the Copenhagen Card, you must depart from Ved Stranden. Booking your spot ahead of time is not possible.

Boat cruise, Gammel Strand Fredericksholms Kanal, Copenhagen
Gammel Strand Fredericksholms Kanal boat dock

The canal cruise is the best way to view Copenhagen. You will not forget the city’s colorful history that rivals the colorful city itself. From the tour you’ll also be able to see the following, which is ideal as you’ll only have 3 days in Copenhagen:

Our Saviour's Church Copenhagen
Our Saviour’s Church

Evening

You should be done with your canal tour between 5 and 6pm, at which time you can head back to your hotel and freshen up before dinner, or simply keep wandering the city. More outdoor dining opportunities and live music are close by the Fredericksholms Kanal should you wish to explore this area.

Fredericksholms Kanal outdoor dining Copenhagen
Fredericksholms Kanal outdoor dining

Day 2 Copenhagen Activities

You saw many epic Copenhagen sites today for free, and entry to the Christiansborg Palace and the Stromma Canal Tour are free with the Copenhagen Card. Not bad for a second day in Copenhagen, huh?

Copenhagen Day 3

Morning

Take your time getting up and enjoying your European breakfast in your hotel. You won’t have to leave until 9am on your last full day in Copenhagen.

After breakfast, make a short walk to Museum of Copenhagen. I found this museum fascinating. The exhibits are unique and creative. You learn much about Copenhagen from this museum. I recommend allowing 1 to 2 hours.

Around 11am, head back to Frederiksholms Kanal area and stroll where you have not been already. Again, it’s also a great place to dine outside for lunch, especially if the weather is nice.

Copenhagen Tourist Tip

Many museums may be closed on Monday. Check the day and hours of operation in advance to align for your 3 days in Copenhagen.

Also check for possible tourist attraction closures due to Covid. For example, Tivoli Gardens is currently closed but is to reopen on March 31, 2023 (as of time of writing).

Afternoon

Around 1pm, make your way towards the Københavns Rådhus (Copenhagen City Hall). Built in 1905, it lines one side of the spacious Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) with its Dragespringvandet (Dragon Fountain). The Hans Christian Andersen statue is also there.

Hans Christian Andersen statue Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen statue

The Town Hall clock tower is open to the public if you’re up to climbing the 300 steps. It’s another opportunity for views of Copenhagen. Note, this is only available to do Monday through Friday at 11 am and 2 pm, and Saturday at noon. Town Hall tours are also available.

After you climbed the tower at 2pm, take a short walk to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (“Glyptoteket”) to soak in some amazing art for a leisurely couple of hours.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen
Glyptotek

Once you’ve had your fill, had back to the hotel and take a break, because you’re going to need it. Tonight is for celebrating your last night in Copenhagen, and this has to be done at Tivoli Gardens.

Evening

Tivoli Gardens has it all: games, rides, live music, restaurants, bars… Will not believe how much this park packs in within Copenhagen’s city center. The only way to see is it at night lit up in all of its glory.

Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens

For dinner, try the “national dish of Denmark”: Stegt flæsk med persillesovs, crispy pork, potatoes, and parsley sauce with more delicious Danish beer. Check the entertainment line up in advance to see what music is playing. Ride the rides.

Tivoli Gardens is another must do in Copenhagen. You can spend hours here, trust me. Best yet, it’s really close to your hotel so walking back late a night is a breeze.

Day 3 Copenhagen Activities

Yep, you guessed it. Your day 3 in Copenhagen museum entries, the Town Hall clock tower, and entry to Tivoli Gardens was all covered on the Copenhagen Card! I trust you’ll enjoy your 3 days in Copenhagen.

4 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary Option

If you can, I highly recommend stretching your 3 days in Copenhagen to 4 Days in Copenhagen. As you can see, three days is enough time to cover many Copenhagen top sights. Four days in Copenhagen, however, allows for a day trip to Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kronborg Castle Helsingor Denmark
Kronborg Castle, Helsingor

This massive Renaissance castle and stronghold in the town Helsingør and is infamous as the setting for Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Helsingør is a 45 minute train ride from Copenhagen and multiple trains leave the central station daily. It is an easy walk to the castle from the Helsingør station.

If you’re on a budget, take the train and buy your entry ticket there. After touring inside, walk the grounds and see if you can spy Sweden across the water. Don’t miss spending time in the quaint town of Helsingør for lunch and visiting shops before you catch the train to Copenhagen.

If you don’t want to go alone, go on a day trip private to Kronborg Castle and Frederiksborg Castle. These are wonderful options to get out of Copenhagen to see more of Denmark solo.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if how to spend 3 days in Copenhagen itinerary was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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