Nyhavn from canal cruise Copenhagen

The Ultimate Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide (2023)

UPDATED 3/11/23

When people hear “Copenhagen” they think of beer, tall people, canals, chic dressers, and Hans Christian Andersen. These are all true but a drop in the bucket of the reasons why you should visit Copenhagen.

Ready to tick Copenhagen off your solo travel bucket list? Use this ultimate, one-stop-shop Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide compiled from my first-hand, solo travel to Copenhagen, which has all things Copenhagen travel planning information with bonus budget travel tips, eco-travel tips, and more throughout.

When done, you’ll not only be confident to plan your Copenhagen travel this year, but book it as well. Let’s dive in.

This Copenhagen Travel Guide is intentionally written for the solo traveler, first time Copenhagen traveler, and/or older traveler (I am over 50 and have been solo traveling FOREVER) in mind. Yet, anyone can use this travel guide it to plan and book a fulfilling trip to Copenhagen.

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Denmark Solo Travel Guide

For more Denmark travel tips to supplement your Copenhagen travel planning, consult my ultimate Denmark Solo Travel Guide full of tips on culture, entry requirements, currency, tipping, using electronics, safety, and a lot more to plan Denmark solo travel.

I’ve visited Copenhagen a couple of times and love this town. Get ready to get excited about traveling to Copenhagen.

Also, don’t forget to check out my fabulous 3 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary perfect for first-time Copenhagen travel.

What is Copenhagen Known For?

Situated on the southern island of Zealand, Copenhagen (København in Danish), became the capital Denmark and the residence of the Danish royal family in 1445. It has experienced religious and civil conflicts, established a stock exchange, wared with Sweden and Britain, and destroyed by fires – twice.

For the past couple of centuries, Copenhagen has flourished and expanded with manufacturing, finance, trade and education. The University of Copenhagen was established in 1479 and is the second oldest university in Scandinavia.

Carlsberg Beer is also an institution in Copenhagen. Founded in Copenhagen in 1847, Carlsberg’s famous pilsner style beer is a classic and sustainable choice of beer to pair with Danish cuisine.

Rosenborg Castle and gardens Copenhagen
Rosenborg Castle and gardens

Copenhagen was Hans Christian Andersen’s home town. H.C. Andersen is famous for his 156 fairy tales, such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling. The Little Mermaid statue, erected in 1913, has served as one of Denmark’s national symbols.

On the Copenhagen Harbor, the city includes canals and waterways for boating activities, food and entertainment like iconic Nyhavn (“New Harbour”), a popular hangout.

Copenhagen is also flat, making it perfect for bicycling, a popular mode of Copenhagen transportation.

The city’s location also opens up to travel from mainland Europe to other Scandinavian countries. Hamburg, Germany to Copenhagen is less than 5 hours by train. A bridge and tunnel service makes entering Sweden less than an hour away.

In fact, this largest city in Scandinavia can be considered Scandinavia’s beautiful ‘welcome mat’.

Hans Christian Andersen statue Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen statue

Is Copenhagen worth visiting?

You’re going to get hit from all sides on your Copenhagen solo trip. What does this city not offer?

Copenhagen is a city of history, art, royalty, castles and palaces, children’s fairy tales, baroque and contemporary architecture, bicycles, counterculture, a university, canals, beer, and more.

If you haven’t been, Copenhagen solo travel is a must. Keep reading this guide to Copenhagen and the Denmark Travel Guide so you can book early.

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen

When to visit Copenhagen may be subjective, but mostly relies on weather, costs, and activities offered.

Copenhagen Weather & Costs

Personally, I prefer warm weather for mature solo travel. If you do, too, then the summer months (June to August) are when to go to Copenhagen.

The weather in Copenhagen averages in the 50°s F to the low 70°s F in the summer. Outdoor activities and strolling the city’s Old Town is best in the summer, but more crowded. 

The winter months (December through February) are the coldest and rainiest, but also come with lower costs and fewer tourists.

Is Copenhagen expensive?

Copenhagen ranks 29 out of 578 cities in cost of living (at time of writing), putting it in league with major cities in California, Isreal, Switzerland and France.

Still, if you plan it with this Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide and book your bundled flight and accommodations early, you can bring your costs considerably down for your solo travel in Copenhagen.

For example, instead of summer, go to Copenhagen in the shoulder season months (April, May, September and October) for lower airline and hotel costs. You’ll still experience longer day light hours, less tourists, and warmer weather than in winter. Dress in layers and bring an eco-friendly travel umbrella, and you’re good to go.

What is the best month to visit Copenhagen?

For this solo guide to Copenhagen Denmark, I highly recommend September to visit Copenhagen, which is when I was there last. I was in Copenhagen in May over 26 years ago, and it was still nice but a little chillier.

As you’ll see from my beautiful photos, there were far fewer tourists in September and the weather was lovely.

Fredericksholms Kanal Copenhagen solo travel guide
Fredericksholms Kanal in September

Copenhagen Events

Still, you may wish to solo travel Copenhagen around a holiday or festival. I suggest checking the events in Copenhagen to help determine which month is best for your Copenhagen trip and budget.

Copenhagen Budget Travel Tip

Denmark is on the Krone, not the Euro. Manage your currency exchange wisely on your solo trip to Denmark from Europe.

How to Get to Copenhagen

Flying Into Copenhagen

Copenhagen has two airports, Copenhagen Airport (CPH) and Roskilde Airport (RKE/EKRK).

For ease, book your flight to Copenhagen to arrive at CPH. Copenhagen Airport is serviced by most major and European airlines. It is also the closest airport to Copenhagen. International flights to Copenhagen arrive in Terminal 3.

Search for Cheap Flights to Copenhagen

If you can’t fly into Copenhagen, you could fly into Malmo (MMX) or Helsingborg (AGH) and take a train to Copenhagen. Both airports are 52.4 km and 79 km from Copenhagen, respectively.

Eco Travel Tip

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2. Additionally, you can purchase carbon offsets through your airline to lower your carbon footprint.

How To Get to Copenhagen from the Airport

Copenhagen Airport is only 7 km outside of the Copenhagen city center and offers multiple transportation options.

You can travel to central Copenhagen by hotel shuttle, taxi, private transfer, bus, train, or metro. Renting a car in Copenhagen is not necessary when you have the Copenhagen public transportation system.

If you do not have access to a free hotel shuttle, the quickest and cheapest way from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen is by train or metro, depending on where you’re staying in the city center.

Both the metro and train leave from Terminal 3. You can walk easily from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3. There is a free airport shuttle that can take you from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 in minutes.

Kultorvet outdoor market Copenhagen solo travel eating
Kultorvet outdoor market

Copenhagen Airport Train

There are direct trains to Copenhagen from the airport.

Like Paris, there are multiple Copenhagen travel zones. The Copenhagen Airport is in Zone 4 and Central Copenhagen is in Zone 1.

Once you pass through security, you can buy your Copenhagen train tickets at any of the red DSB ticket machines. You can use your credit card.

A one-way Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen ticket across three zones costs around $6 USD (at time of writing).

If you want to save time in the airport, buy the Copenhagen Card in advance, which I recommend, and just pick it up at the airport. It covers the Copenhagen airport train to central Copenhagen ride.

You can also purchase it on the app later, but why not get the Copenhagen Card in advance when it covers your transportation and attractions? I’ll cover more on the Copenhagen Card later.

From Terminal 3, follow the signs for the train platform. Trains from Copenhagen Airport to Central Station leave from platform 2. Trains run 24/7 and take only 12 to 15 minutes to reach Copenhagen Central Station (København H). It really is the way to go.

Royal Library Copenhagen
Royal Library

Copenhagen Airport Metro

The Copenhagen Metro also goes direct to Central Station. You can walk to your hotel from there or switch metros to stop closer to your hotel.

Purchase your metro ticket at the same airport ticket machines. The cost of the metro is the same as the train.

Follow the signs for the metro station from Terminal 3.

The metro runs every 5 to 20 minutes, depending on time of day. Any metro from the airport can take you to central Copenhagen in approximately 20 minutes. Consult the metro map for the most convenient stop.

Note: if you’re only going to Central Station, I recommend taking the train with the Copenhagen Card.

Copenhagen Airport Bus

The bus is going to be the slowest method to get to Copenhagen (35 to 45 minutes, depending on time of day).  With the train or metro, why bother?

Copenhagen Airport Taxis and Transfers

Taxis can be hailed from Terminals 2 and 3.

Taxis are the most expensive way to get to central Copenhagen, which could cost upwards of 350 DKK and take the same amount of time as the metro. You can pay for a taxi by credit card. Tipping is not necessary.

I do not recommend a taxi for solo travel in Copenhagen.

However, if you need the convenience, try a Welcome Pickups private transfer. Welcome Pickups works with 5-star taxi companies, based on rider reviews, providing safe airport transfer service with local, English-speaking drivers. You can book the private transfer in advance on a flat, pre-paid fee, get flight-delay monitoring, and qualify for free cancellation.

I have not yet tried Welcome Pickups, but I hear they are a convenient, reliable and safe option for private airport transfers, something solo female travelers can truly appreciate.

Frederik's Church Copenhagen
Frederik’s Church

Trains to Copenhagen

Copenhagen receives many regional Denmark trains and trains from outside Denmark. The trains can be an inexpensive way to travel to Copenhagen. Most trains will arrive at Central Station.

Buses to Copenhagen

Same goes for regional and international buses to Copenhagen. There are variety of buses to take you to central Copenhagen or Copenhagen airport.

Trainline Provides Cheap Train and Bus Tickets

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Eco Travel Tip

For flights only 2 to 3 hours in duration to and from Copenhagen, take the train or bus instead. It could also save time and money, and the scenery is much prettier.

Copenhagen City Hall dragons
Copenhagen City Hall

How to Travel Around Copenhagen

Is Copenhagen a Walkable City?

That’s a firm yes.  Not only is Copenhagen flat, a large portion of Copenhagen attractions are within walking distance of each other. Even walking between different districts is doable. City sidewalks and pedestrian streets are extensive in Copenhagen.

Of course, you can do like the Danes and rent a bike to save time getting around. Copenhagen streets are perfect for biking. Another option for quick transport is to rent an electric scooter. Have some fun!

Bike rentals Copenhagen
Bike rentals

Walking, biking or an electric scooter is ideal so you can see more of the city.

If you are planning on a short solo trip to Copenhagen, I would plan activities in sections of the city center that are closer to each other before moving to another section, and rent a bike or scooter to see more sights in less time.

Save Time and Book Your Ride in Advance

Want to ride around Copenhagen, but not alone? Copenhagen has bike, e-bike and segway tours, too. I always say group excursions are a great way to learn more about a city while meeting new people during solo travel. At any age.

Copenhagen Biking Tours and More

If you want to slow it down and still learn more about the city, consider a walking tour of Copenhagen. In addition to Copenhagen free walking tours, you could take a self-guided walking tour or a private or group walking tour with that additional chance to meet others traveling in Copenhagen alone.

Copenhagen Walking Tours and More

Børsen stock exchange Copenhagen solo travel
Børsen stock exchange

Copenhagen Public Transportation

If you want to cover more ground quicker but use the options above, you can always take the metro. You do miss out on sites, though.

Don’t discount the bus as well. Both metro and buses are available 24 hours a day. These could also help those on short Copenhagen travel itinerary.

Getting a single or unlimited Copenhagen travel card is an option, depending on the amount of time you’re traveling in Copenhagen.

Again, there is the Copenhagen Card, which 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, 72, 96 or 120 hours.

I was pleased with my 72-hour Copenhagen Card. Read the details of the card benefits before you purchase.

Five Circles Pedestrian Bridge Copenhagen solo travel
Five Circles Pedestrian Bridge

Copenhagen Boat Cruises

A solo trip to Copenhagen would not be complete without a harbor and canal cruise. Not only one of the prettiest ways to see, and learn about, the city, but kicking back for an hour cruise can rest the weary feet for a decent price.

More options include a jazz boat cruise, if you like live jazz, or a hop-on, hop-off bus and boat cruise.

Most boat cruises depart from Gammal Strand or Nyhavn.

Is there Uber service in Copenhagen?

No, there is no Uber or Bolt rideshare service in Copenhagen. The above transportation methods should do you plenty in Copenhagen.

Even if you wish to explore beyond Copenhagen, taking the train, or organized day trips from Copenhagen, make for great Denmark exploration.

On canal cruise boat Copenhagen solo travel
Canal boat cruise

Is Copenhagen Safe for Solo Travel?

Copenhagen is considered one of the safest cities in the world due to many factors, including its low crime rate. I never felt unsafe as a Copenhagen solo female traveler.

Yes, it is even safe to walk around Copenhagen at night. I walked a lot at night by myself and always felt comfortable traveling in Copenhagen alone, even around Central Station.

As a general precaution, of course, I never really veered away from the city center or Christianhavn area, and I stayed on well-lit streets at night.

As always in crowded or touristy areas, I recommend using safe, travel day-bag keep your belongings with you at all times, and be watchful of pickpockets.

Scandic Palace Hotel and Copenhagen City Hall at night
Scandic Palace Hotel and Copenhagen City Hall

If you normally feel uncomfortable being out at night by yourself, you may want to do your lone trip to Copenhagen in the summer months when daylight hours are longest giving you more time to explore Copenhagen, Denmark.

Note: Christiana, is dubbed the ‘hippy counter culture’ area of Copenhagen. This area has seen some crime, mostly around drug use (marijuana is illegal in Denmark). If you go to Christiania and the Green Light District alone, I would recommend go during the day, or take an arranged tour of Christiania.

Best Places to Stay in Copenhagen Solo

Whether you’re staying a week or a weekend in Copenhagen, the best area to stay in Copenhagen is north of Bernstorffsgade to any part of Old Town (city center) west of the harbor as noted on the map below.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen map
Where to Stay in Copenhagen

This area, especially Old Town itself, is also a pricier area to stay, but it’s also the best area to stay in Copenhagen for sightseeing, especially for first-time solo travel.

Having safe, walkable Copenhagen attractions is worth the higher hotel cost for solo female travel, in my humble opinion.

The island of Christianshavn (west part of Freetown Christianshavn) is also nice, with trendy restaurants and shops along the canal, so possibly consider this area if you have a longer stay in Copenhagen.

Jazz boat canal cruise Copenhagen
Canal cruise, Christianshavn

Copenhagen Hotels and More

There are multiple Copenhagen accommodations across all budget types to choose from. Going in the off season, or booking well in advance, will get you the best Copenhagen prices.

Consider booking at a property that either is eco-friendly or sustainably rated, or at least employs these methods into their business to reduce your travel carbon footprint.

Best Copenhagen Hotels

Hotels in Copenhagen will range from budget to posh.

For location, price, amenities (including free-cancellation), eco-friendly and sustainable operations, and customer reviews and ratings, here are my Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide recommendations (i.e., where I would stay):

Eco-Friendly Places Stay in Copenhagen In Great Locations

In fact, I booked at Wakeup Bernstorffsgade for my last Copenhagen stay. The rooms are small, but the hotel has everything single travelers need, including great location, amazing breakfast and dining setting, friendly staff, and it’s a top-notch sustainable hotel. 

Wakeup Copenhagen hotels have been awarded Green Key status for is sustainable operations. Booking in advance can make this a budget-friendly option.

Wakeup Bernstorffsgade Copenhagen Green Key sign
Wakeup Bernstorffsgade

Reserve Early for the Best Price

Eco Travel Tips

In addition to Booking.com’s Copenhagen’s Travel Sustainable properties, Green Globe and Green Key Global also have eco-friendly certified lodging options.

Solo Travel Tips

Have WhatsApp on your mobile device(s). Many smaller establishments and activities offices use this as a method of communication making it easier to make inquiries or booking and learn, or notify, of any scheduling changes.

Get the T-Mobile International Plan or something similar in price and features. I no longer work on WiFi only on international travel. I’ll use it when it’s there, but having access to roaming when needed for GPS and Google Maps is a game changer.

Best Copenhagen Hostels

A hostel can be a budget accommodation in Copenhagen for solo travel over 50.  Using the same conditions above, and the ability to get a private room, here are my Copenhagen recommendations for a hostel stay:

Museum of Copenhagen
Museum of Copenhagen

Find the Best Copenhagen Hostel Deal

5 MUST DOs in Copenhagen VIDEO

What would a Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide be without providing best things to do in Copenhagen? Don’t worry, there are tons of things to do alone in Copenhagen, and all within a fairly close proximity for a capital city.

Now that you also know about the advantages of the Copenhagen Card, pick what you want to see and do in Copenhagen on your upcoming solo trip, just don’t miss the Copenhagen must see items.

Start with this Copenhagen video. You’ll see what a wonderful solo trip in Copenhagen you’ll have.

Ways to Do Copenhagen MUST DOs

More MUST SEE Copenhagen

After the must do’s in Copenhagen above, here are a slew of more must see in Copenhagen items for your Copenhagen itinerary. If you want to know how to see most of them on your first time Copenhagen travel, use my Best 3 Days in Copenhagen Itinerary. I’ve laid it all out for you.

Stroget and Stork Fountain Copenhagen
Stork Fountain, Stroget pedestrian street

Landmarks and Points of Interest

Copenhagen landmarks are plentiful and can be free things to do in Copenhagen alone.

Gefion Fountain Copenhagen solo travel
Gefion Fountain

Churches, Cathedrals and Castles

Christiansborg Palace and Tower Copenhagen solo travel guide
Christiansborg Palace and Tower

History and Architecture

  • Nyhavn (New Harbor) – iconic, lively Copenhagen harbor with colorful buildings
  • Rundetårn (Round Tower) – 17th century astronomical observatory with circular “staircase” to city views
  • Kastellet (The Citadel) – well preserved 17th century fortress
  • Københavns Rådhus (Copenhagen Town Hall) – 1905 building on Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square) with clock tower and more city views
  • Copenhagen Opera House – national opera house of Denmark on the island of Holmen
  • Børsen (the “Exchange”) – 17th century stock exchange with distinct spire
Round Tower Copenhagen solo travel
Round Tower

Museums and Aquariums

Note, many museums may be closed on Monday.  Check the day and hours of operation in advance. 

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen solo travel
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Change of the Guard Amalienborg Copenhagen
Changing of the Guard, Amalienborg Palace

Parks, Gardens, Plazas and Promenades

Kastellet Bridge Copenhagen Denmark
Kastellet Bridge

Copenhagen Restaurants, Nightlife & Shopping

From restaurants and bars, to theme parks and musical entertainment, Copenhagen has plenty to keep you satiated in between the above attractions.

Solo travel in Copenhagen would not be complete without sampling the local Copenhagen food and drink.

Fredericksholms Kanal outdoor dining Copenhagen
Fredericksholms Kanal outdoor dining and bars

Some traditional Danish food to try on solo dining Copenhagen are:

  • Stegt flæsk med persillesovs – (the “national dish of Denmark”), crispy pork, potatoes, and parsley sauce.
  • Frikadeller – savory pork meatball often served with brown sauce, potatoes, and cabbage.
  • Flæskesteg – roast pork with red cabbage and caramelized potatoes with boiled potatoes and gravy.
  • Forloren hare – (“mock hare”), Danish meatloaf wrapped in bacon and served with a jelly sauce.
  • Wienerbrød – croissant-like puff pastry served with chocolate, sugar pearls or glacé icing topping.
  • Koldskål (“cold bowl”) – summer dessert of cold buttermilk soup, biscuits, and fruit.
  • Smørrebrød – open faced sandwich on rugbrød  (rye bread) topped with meats, cheeses, and garnishes.
  • Pølser – a kind of gourmet hot dog made with a red sausage, bun, and various toppings – the ultimate Copenhagen street food.
Smørrebrød open faced sandwich and beer Nyhavn
Smørrebrød and beer, Nyhavn

Grab-and-go or budget-friendly options are:

  • Torvehallerne  – outdoor market full of vendors for fresh food, sandwiches, pastries and more.
  • Reffen – multiple street food options.
  • Pølser food stands – they are everywhere.

Copenhagen Travel Tips

Copenhagen has open container laws so no reason why you can’t grab a bite and a beer while exploring Copenhagen. I enjoyed a Carlsberg on my canal cruise.

Eco Travel Tips

Avoid using single-use plastics when dining, shopping and on food tours in Copenhagen to reduce plastic waste and your carbon footprint by bringing your own reusable collapsible shopping bags, collapsible water bottle, recycled plastic water bottle carry sling, and bamboo travel utensils so you’re prepared to travel with the planet in mind.

I always travel with the above items. Light weight and taking up very little space in my carry-on bags, I love the convenience and peace of mind these inexpensive, eco-friendly products provide.

Copenhagen Things to Do at Night

  • Tivoli Gardens – amusement park, with rides, live music, restaurants and bars and great option for night time fun on solo travel. This is a must do in Copenhagen.
  • Nyhavn – full of fun hangouts for locals and tourists alike.
  • Strøget – too many places to eat to list with option for drinking and live music.
Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen solo travel at night
Tivoli Gardens

Beyond Copenhagen

If you have time or want to explore more of Denmark on your Copenhagen travel, try a day trip from Copenhagen.

Catch one of the many trains from Copenhagen to Malmo or a train to Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Of course, there are organized day trips from Copenhagen, which, again, are a great way to meet other solo travelers.

Kronborg Castle Helsingor Denmark
Kronborg Castle, Helsingor Denmark

Top Day Trips from Copenhagen

Best Booking Sites for Copenhagen Travel

Here is a summary of the best booking sites I recommend you use to successfully book your travel to Copenhagen. I use just about all of these for most travel locations. I even gave you my suggested Copenhagen hotel.

These booking sites give you multiple travel options and awesome travel deals for all travel budgets. They will certainly help get a jump on your trip to Copenhagen.

For the best travel deals, always book early.

Don’t forget to check out Copenhagen Ecotourism Ideas and use my Denmark Travel Guide complete your Copenhagen travel planning and booking.

How to Get THE BEST of Copenhagen in 3 Days

Now that you know you are familiar with Copenhagen, thanks to this ultimate Copenhagen solo travel guide, would you like an itinerary idea to get you going? Check out my 3 days in Copenhagen itinerary perfect for first time solo travel to Copenhagen. You won’t be sorry.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if my ultimate Copenhagen Solo Travel Guide was helpful in planning your solo travel over 50. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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