The Danish capital is truly a colorful place to visit, especially if you love cozy port cities and their picturesque views of the sea. Unfortunately, while it is quite beautiful, it’s eye-wateringly expensive to do anything around there. As such, free attractions in Copenhagen are your best bet when it comes to absorbing the culture without breaking the bank.
Good thing Cez and Agness of eTramping offered to present us some of the cooler insider picks for Copenhagen. Here they are with no particular order:
#1 Hop on a Free Bike Ride
Copenhagen is quite a large city (at over 80 sq km or 34 sq mi). If you hope to see as many free attractions in Copenhagen, you’ll need some form of transportation. Don’t feel like forking over 80kr (€10) for a City Pass? Simply deposit 20kr in one of the few thousand bikes spread throughout the city and you’ll get your money back when you take it back to a locking device!
#2 Langelinie Park
Danes enjoy taking relaxing walks through this hidden treasure of Copenhagen, and so should you! Make sure you visit the country in spring when the cherry trees start to blossom for a truly dream-like waltz through the park. From the Langelinie it’s only a 10 minute hike till the next landmark.
#3 The Little Mermaid
Inspired by the tragic tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, this statue is one of the most famous free attractions in Copenhagen. The lonely mermaid is perched on one of the shore rocks and stares at the sea as if she wants to return to her home. There is a sad history of vandalism of the statute (even getting bombed in 2003), so better enjoy it while you still can!
#4 The Botanical Garden
Open all week long, it is quite fortunate that there is no admission fee to see the lush, 10 hectare gardens at the center of the city. With over 13,000 plant species and 27 glasshouses, you can pretty much dedicate an entire afternoon for a visit. There are also selected areas where you can enjoy a quiet picnic inside.
#5 Bispebjerg Cemetery
This took a dark turn, didn’t it? But don’t worry, this place is actually not as spooky as it may sound. In fact, just as in the case of the Langelinie Park, people come here from all over the place to enjoy the Japanese cherry trees in bloom (especially Instagrammers).
To dispel the somber atmosphere even more, each grave benefits from its own small garden, tended by the city workers. Other avenues of trees are perfect places for quiet contemplation, and the nearby Grundtvig’s Church is also an epic sight to behold in its own right.
#6 Islands Brygge
Care for a swim? Summer is a great time to enjoy a (free!) dip at the Islands Brygge harbor bath, have a barbecue with the locals, or just enjoy the sun in the green areas. Two of the five available pools are aimed at children, so families have an even better incentive to come here. Of course, since it’s free, you should expect for it to be a bit crowded at times.
#7 Kongens Have (The King’s Garden)
It’s a shame that Rosenborg Castle is not part of the free attractions in Copenhagen, but at least the verdant King’s Garden surrounding it is! Over 2 million people visit the gardens on a yearly basis, and for good reason too. Magnificent flowerbeds all over, winding bushy pathways, plenty of space to sunbathe, as well as a dedicated adventure playground for kids make it a fantastic opportunity for the capital’s visitors. A statue of H. C. Andersen also watches over the expanse, so make sure you don’t miss it.
The self-proclaimed “autonomous” region of Copenhagen, and sometimes called Freetown (not because things are free here, but because its inhabitants wanted to make their own rules). The place used to be a military base up until the 70s when a group of squatters proclaimed the neighborhood as autonomous.
Christiania was most famous for its “Green Light District” and Pusher Street where cannabis used to be sold openly. Of course, it is still an illegal activity in Denmark, and the police shut that down in 2016. Far from us to promote illegal activities, the neighborhood is still a nice place to visit simply for all the buildings covered in colorful and quirky graffiti. Beyond the multitude of cafés and restaurants in the area also lies a beautiful lake surrounded by trees where you can relax.
Of note is that until Pusher Street closed down, photography was banned in the area. You can still see signs up saying as such. But nowadays it is allowed – just make sure you don’t capture other people in the frame. Or, if the area is too crowded to do so, ask politely if they don’t mind appearing in your pics.
#9 Christiansborg Palace Tower
The palace itself charges a steep admission fee, but luckily the tower numbers among the free attractions in Copenhagen you can enjoy. It is 106 meters high, so from atop the tower you can get a sweeping view of the city in all its splendor.
The only downside is the limited space at the top, and the fact that plenty of people take advantage of free entry. As such there may be a long queue before you can actually climb. At least there’s a lift at the entrance, so you won’t lose your breath on the stairs. Maybe just at the top after you get a glimpse of the magnificent views, though!