Guide to Copenhagen Solo Travel
Solo travel to Copenhagen is safe, educational, fun, and expensive.
I know, I know. It’s a weird combination of adjectives to pick for promoting a solo trip – especially the “expensive” bit, haha. I loved Copenhagen, though. Loved, loved, loved. I didn’t expect to enjoy it nearly as much I did, which reminds me that sometimes it’s for the best to keep your expectations low.
Copenhagen’s price partly discouraged me. Plus I was so intrigued by the Baltic countries that I didn’t give Copenhagen too much thought. It was an “add on” destination if that makes any sense to you guys.
However, Denmark’s capital city rocked my world. I’m glad I didn’t choose to skip it.
It was waaaay back in summer 2016 that I visited Copenhagen for a few days and overall, I had a great time exploring Denmark’s capital city.
Although, to be perfectly honest with you, my vacation to Copenhagen now makes me want to experience other parts of the country that don’t draw as many international tourists, but I digress.
This post is all about Copenhagen solo travel. I want to help you plan the best possible “citystay.” Enjoy.
Is Copenhagen Worth Visiting?
I might be biased because I loved Copenhagen, haha. I realize that. But, hey, blogs are all about opinions.
Personally, I think Copenhagen is worth visiting if you’re already traveling to Scandinavia. I don’t know if I’d necessarily fly there if your backpacking route takes you to Spain or France or Croatia, but Copenhagen’s great for travelers who are already planning on visiting the region.
As a warning, Copenhagen has a reputation for being a bit cold and definitely for being expensive. Like, wow, “it costs over $10 for a beer” expensive. Copenhagen’s not necessarily a place you want to go if you’re on a super strict budget – although traveling Scandinavia cheaply is possible. Without a doubt, you’ll get a bigger bang for you buck in places such as the Baltic countries.
But, regardless of price, Copenhagen is a great city to visit especially for first time solo travelers. You can even find plenty of free activities to cut down on the dreaded price.
Not to mention, I’d recommend Copenhagen to anxious solo travelers due to the impeccable tourism infrastructure and safety. English speakers have no reason to fear a language barrier either. The locals speak better English than I do!
Over all, Copenhagen solo travel is worth your time, energy, and your money.
Best Activities in Copenhagen to Do Alone
Are you spending a weekend or more in Denmark’s capital city? Luckily, you have plenty of options as a solo traveler in Copenhagen. So let’s get planning now.
Like I said above, don’t let the price stop you from visiting Copenhagen if you really want to come here. Despite it’s price, Copenhagen isn’t limited to expensive activities either and there’s a lot to do in the city for free, which is fantastic if you’re traveling on a budget.
As a solo traveler, you want to do activities that won’t make you stand out or feel awkward. Copenhagen is the perfect destination for blending in. No one bats an eye at a traveler exploring alone.
Keep in mind that I didn’t have a chance to visit Copenhagen’s famous amusement park Tivoli Gardens. However, I’m sure hoping on a couple of rides wouldn’t feel weird as a solo traveler! I know I’d do it!
Here were some of my favorite things to do as a solo female traveler in Copenhagen.
1. Take a Canal Tour in Copenhagen
A canal tour is a quintessential Copenhagen experience that any solo traveler needs to partake in. The capital city’s canals are only second to Amsterdam’s. They’re stupidly beautiful. Pictures don’t do a justice.
Copenhagen is a very “green” city and therefore the tours use environmentally friendly boats to show visitors all the highlights. Some places canals tours visit include the Little Mermaid, the Black Diamond Library, Christiansborg Palace, and much more! You’ll also receive an in-depth history of Copenhagen. A talented tour guide goes a long way. I always like having a deeper understanding of the places that I travel to.
Finally you can pick up most tours from Nyhavn (more on this neighborhood later!) or Gammel Strand. Tours run on a regular basis. Make sure to book tickets early in the high season months of July and August.
2. Eat Delicious Scandinavian Food at Refshaleøen
One of my biggest concerns as a solo traveler is eating alone in public. Although my courage has improved, sitting down at a table for one is still a big challenge for me, because I feel like everyone and their mom is judging me. Please tell me I’m not alone in feeling this way, haha.
However, don’t worry about meals as a solo traveler in Copenhagen.
For Copenhagen solo travel, Reffen ought to be your eating destination of choice. Paper Island was my “go to” spot on my trip, but alas, Paper Island permanently closed on 31st of December 2017 due to the contract expiring.
However, the initiator and restaurateur, Jesper Møller opened Reffen as an open market for entrepreneurs to blossom, including those in the street food industry! Go check it out!
You can find Reffen at Refshalevej 167A.
3. Go “Alternative” and Explore Christiania
Freetown Christiania is one of the most unique things to do in Copenhagen. This “independent” neighborhood has a variety of cool organic eateries and art galleries for solo travelers to check out!
Christiana also has a very interesting history which you ought to take the time to learn about. In 1971, hippies and other free thinkers broke down the barricades of the former military base and created what is now known as Christiana.
Roughly 900 people live in Christiana and have their own rules and values. This place is car free and devoid of excessive commercialism, which makes it something of an oasis in a busy urban center.
Finally do not take photos on Pusher Street aka “The Green Light District.” Marijuana is illegal in Denmark – including Christiana. You might not even see Pusher Street regardless. In May 2018, the famous drug street was closed off.
Going beyond Copenhagen? Check out these 25 tips for solo female travel in Europe!
4. Chill Out at Nyhavn – Even Though It’s A Touristy Area
Don’t overlook Nyhavn. Yes, it’s packed with tourists. But guess what? You’re a tourist too! So go sightseeing! Prices are steep for food and drinks. However roam the canals and take pictures for free.
It’s no exaggeration Nyhavn’s colorful houses and canals offer visitors a postcard perfect view of Copenhagen. It’s legitimately iconic.
Literary travelers, like me, will appreciate that fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen used to live in house no. 20. He wrote the famous story “The Princess and the Pea” while he resided in this area.
Furthermore Nyhavn has a deep maritime history. Sailors used to dock here to enjoy alcohol and *ahem* ladies of the night.
Nyhavn is a “must see” for Copenhagen solo travel.
5. Enjoy the Park and Museum at Rosenborg Castle
Go to the museum at Rosenborg Castle to learn all about Denmark’s extensive royal history.
The biggest draw for Rosenborg Castle is the collection of Denmark’s crown jewels. These stunning diamonds, rubies, impeccably cut gold, and emeralds are kept in special vaults. Obviously photos are not permitted in this area. Respect the rules.
You can find this tremendous Renaissance Castle at Øster Voldgade 4A. Admission runs at 110 DKK. Apply the appropriate exchange rate.
Don’t have the money to spare to see the Danish crown jewels? Not to worry! The stunning park around Rosenborg Castle is free for all visitors. Flowers bloom everywhere in the summer months. Additionally there’s an amazing statue of Hans Christian Anderson that fairy tale lovers need to check out!
Enjoy Rosenborg Castle and pretend you’re a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
6. Book Yourself on a Free Walking Tour
Free walking tours are always part of my own travels. Always.
You see the city’s major highlights, learn about the history, meet other travelers, and get new recommendations for bars and restaurants. All for the price of a tip! Free walking tours help you strengthen your sense of direction, too.
As for personal recommendations, my favorite free walking tours are given by New Europe Tours. Their Free Copenhagen Walking tour runs every single day at 10:00, 11:00, and 2:00 so solo travelers can easily find a place in their itinerary for it.
New Europe Tours conduct other walks of the city for a reasonable price. For example, I greatly enjoyed the Alternative Copenhagen Tour, which covered the distinct neighborhoods of Free State of Christiania and Vesterbro.
Take a free walking tour to have a deeper appreciation for Copenhagen.
Best Hostel for Copenhagen Solo Travel
Copenhagen has many wonderful hostels for solo travelers to choose from. You have plenty of options here!
I stayed in Urban House which was like a cross between a hotel and hostel. In other words, Urban House was perfect for solo travelers who don’t necessarily want to party into the late hours of the night. Additionally, Urban House is located in the trendy and bustling Vesterbro District and is a mere 3 minutes from Copenhagen’s main train station.
Not one for hostels? Then enjoy an AirBNB apartment in a lovely neighborhood. Get a $40 credit when you sign up for the service with me and plan your solo trip to Copenhagen.
What to Do in Copenhagen at Night
Don’t limit your Copenhagen solo travel experiences to the daylight hours. Copenhagen, like many other cities, springs to life at night.
For example, go to Nyhavn and enjoy an ice cream cone on the canal. Jazz musicians flock to this area at night, and the scene is free for you to experience, although you ought to tip the artists for bringing their snazzy music to the public.
Furthermore, seeing a Copenhagen sunset ought to rank on your “must see” list. Go to the docks of the Copenhagen Opera House to enjoy the greatest views.
Finally Tivoli Gardens remains open at night. What better way to see the amusement rides than glowing with lights under the stars? Perfect!
Is Copenhagen Safe for Solo Travel?
Copenhagen solo travel is 110% safe!
Okay, more details.
Traveling to Copenhagen doesn’t require much planning with regards to safety. You don’t constantly need to check your bags due to pickpocketing (although nothing wrong with vigilance!) and the odds that you’ll fall victim to violent crimes are extremely low.
Honestly, the lack of a bathroom mat in my apartment (ahh, slippery!) is probably more dangerous than Copenhagen.
However, simple street smarts apply to Copenhagen. For example, don’t leave your bags unattended at the main train station. Don’t snap random pictures of locals in Freetown Christiana or wander the streets high on cannabis.
Enjoy Copenhagen’s safety.
Getting Around Copenhagen
Finally, is it easy for a solo traveler to navigate Copenhagen? Again, the answer is a big fat “yes!”
Most visitors will fly into Copenhagen Airport which is located outside of the city center. This airport is connected to Copenhagen’s rail system. The entire ride only takes about 17 minutes. Not too much of a challenge even if you’re jetlagged.
Furthermore Copenhagen has an extensive metro system that will take you all over the city. However, to save money, it might be even better for you to rent a bike. Copenhagen is one of the most bike friendly cities in all of Europe. Bike lanes exist on every road.
A four hour direct train comes multiple times a day from Stockholm. So it’s easy to create a Scandinavian itinerary that includes all the capital cities.
What are your thoughts on Copenhagen solo travel? Have you ever visited Denmark alone? How about Europe? Share your thoughts in the comments. And don’t forget your guidebook!
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