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12 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen with Kids (2024)

Copenhagen harbor Nyhavn

Heading to Copenhagen with the whole family? Everywhere you turn, there are attractions for kids in Copenhagen and people are over-the-top friendly!

It seems like everyone smiles at children, whether they’re trying to entertain a fussy baby, or shrugging their shoulders when your child inadvertently steps into the path of their bike. (Sorry to all of you cyclists, as our children were guilty of multiple offenses.)

In the city center, take your pick of things to do. You can tour historic buildings, explore a food hall, or enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, Copenhagen is extremely pedestrian-friendly, public transit is easy to navigate, and children are welcome in any restaurant.

We found Copenhagen clean, charming, and one of the most bicycle-friendly cities we’ve ever seen. It’s a great place for the whole family. We spent 3 days in Copenhagen but barely uncovered all the jewels this capital city of Denmark has to offer.

Do you need a list of the best ways to spend a long weekend in Copenhagen with kids? It does the city an injustice to narrow it down to just 12 things, but here you go!

Best Things to Do in Copenhagen with Kids - Kids Are A Trip

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How to Get Around Copenhagen

Most travelers arrive in Copenhagen via train or plane. From the Copenhagen Airport to the city center, it’s a 15-minute train ride. Copenhagen Central Station is the main train terminal, offering easy access to all areas of the city.

Once you’re there, getting around Copenhagen is a breeze, even if you have a crew of 5 like us! The city is compact, making it perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. Many attractions are within a 10-minute walk of each other, like the colorful Nyhavn and the majestic Frederiks Kirke.

For longer distances, hop on a short train ride using the efficient and clean public transportation system. Biking is also a popular and kid-friendly option, with dedicated bike paths throughout the city.

Get the Copenhagen Card

Upon arriving in Copenhagen, immediately purchase a Copenhagen Card (found in the train station and tourist offices, or you can purchase it in advance).

This handy little card entitles the cardholder to free admission to more than 80 museums and attractions in the Copenhagen area, free public transportation, dining, and other discounts. Also, up to 2 children under the age of 12 are free with each card.

The card must be purchased in time increments (24, 48, 72, or 120 hours) and you’re required to sign and time/date stamp your card when you first use it.

There is also a Copenhagen Card App to set up on your phone which will provide you with a map and all the attractions available to visit in Copenhagen with the card. We felt this was such a worthwhile investment and we definitely made the most of it during our 48-hour window of time.

What to Do if You Have 3 Days in Copenhagen

1. Grand Tour of Copenhagen Canal Cruise

A great way to kick off a visit to Copenhagen with kids is by taking a tour of the city by boat to get the lay of the land. Canal boat tours of Copenhagen are included with your Copenhagen Card!

There are different types of boats, some have closed roofs, and others are completely open to the elements. If rain is in the area, you should take this into consideration.

fall destinations in Europe Copenhagen

Your guide will point out important buildings and attractions along the way, including the Opera House, the Little Mermaid Statue (overrated), Amalienborg Palace, and other significant landmarks throughout central Copenhagen.

There’s the option of listening to an audio tour in English, Danish, and possibly another language, but you have to bring your own headphones.

The tour lasts approximately one hour, and you can pick up a canal boat at Nyhavn or Gammel Strand. This was such a fun introduction to the city. We were able to immediately create a list of our sight-seeing priorities and make a game plan for Copenhagen with children.

2. Stroll the Strøget and Sample Street Food

We decided to find a vacation rental in Copenhagen just off the main shopping street, Strøget. The street is pedestrian-only, making it perfect for families to enjoy a stress-free walk with children while window shopping.

There are plenty of restaurants along the Strøget, but some of the best fare comes from the stands they roll out in the morning and close up at night. Our favorite was the crepe stand, one of a few that lined the street. It doesn’t matter which one you visit; they’ll all have long lines!

Stroget Copenhagen with kids

The crepes were some of the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. They were filled with various toppings, like apples and cinnamon, strawberries and whipped cream, and chocolate and bananas. It was definitely more of a meal than a snack.

Vendors were so nice and even made accommodations for our son with a nut allergy. They wiped down the crepe pan and were very careful not to cross-contaminate his apple and cinnamon crepe. He was over the moon!

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Don’t forget to check out the huge LEGO store here if your kids are LEGO fans. And here are some other ideas of where to eat in Copenhagen!

3. Climb the Rundetårn and the Church of Our Savior

Admission to both the Rundetårn (the Round Tower) and the Church of Our Savior is included in your Copenhagen Card. However, the climb to the top of each tower is quite different from the other.

The Round Tower is the oldest functioning astronomical observatory in Europe. To reach the top, you take a leisurely walk along a wide, winding stone ramp. Most children will enjoy hiding around every bend and jumping out to scare you! There’s no elevator, but it’s accessible if you have a stroller.

There’s a small museum and library, but the panoramic city view is the reason most people visit. When we arrived on the rooftop platform and saw a spectacular rainbow, we understood why it’s such a popular landmark!

Rainbow over Copenhagen

The other tower to climb in Copenhagen is on top of the Church of Our Saviour, known as “The Spire.”  This spiral tower is visible from most parts of Copenhagen. As you get close to the church, you realize you can see people at the top enjoying the view.

This climb is not for the faint of heart. There are over 400 stairs, wooden steps, and a ladder. Plus, the last part of the ascent is on the outside of the church for about 150 steps!

We had every intention of making the climb, but when we arrived, the building was closed due to high winds at the top. In hindsight, I think the view from the Round Tower was more my speed.

4. Tour Rosenborg Slot

There are several castles and palaces in Copenhagen, like Amalienborg Palace and Christiansborg Palace. Nearby, there’s also Frederiksborg Slot and Kronborg Slot. All of them are included with your Copenhagen Card or have a discounted admission.

Rosenborg Castle was built in the early 17th century for King Christian IV. It is centrally located and small enough that you can easily tour it in less than an hour. The main attractions are the collection of Danish weapons (my kids always go crazy for these), the Royal Danish crown jewels, and the coronation thrones. It was all quite magnificent.

Rosenborg Slot

Surprisingly, the kids never complained about exploring the castle and even asked to borrow the camera to make some of their own memories. Unfortunately, the castle doesn’t have an elevator, so it’s not practical for a stroller.

Afterward, take the kids for a stroll in the surrounding Kongens Have (The King’s Garden). They have a nice playground for young kids and it’s a great way for them to let off a little steam!

5. Explore Nyhavn

Nyhavn is quintessential Copenhagen, and visiting was one of our favorite things to do in Copenhagen with kids. The name, “Nyhavn” translates to “new harbor.” The whole place dates back 400 years, when it was the main harbor connecting the city to the sea.

Today, Nyhavn is a pretty waterfront district in the heart of the city, known for its colorful 17th-century buildings and charming canal-side cafes and restaurants.

It’s a charming place to stop and enjoy lunch or grab a cup of coffee and sit on the dock on a pleasant sunny day. You can enjoy the sidewalk cafés, historic architecture, and boats bobbing gently in the water. 

We ducked into Vaffelbageren for ice cream (Nyhavn 49) and sat on the dock to dive into the generous scoops and handmade waffle cones. The ice cream was probably “tourist priced”, but the views were free!

6. Visit the Copenhagen Zoo

Visiting the Copenhagen Zoo is one of the top things to do in Copenhagen with kids. It’s quite a unique zoo, split into two parts connected by a long, underground tunnel.

The zoo is known for its gorgeous habitats (some that you can go into), especially the ones for elephants and polar bears. You can also see a Tasmanian Devil, which is rare outside of Tasmania!

Even if you have little kids, they are sure to stay engaged with hands-on attractions, a full play area, and a petting zoo.

Tours We Recommend

7. Spend the Day at Tivoli Gardens

We’re not fans of visiting theme parks when we travel (especially since we used to live down the road from Six Flags and spent quite a bit of time there). However, we made an exception for Tivoli Gardens, since free entry was included with the Copenhagen Card!

Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second oldest amusement park (the oldest, Bakken, is just outside of Copenhagen). It’s located right across the street from the central train station, so you really can’t miss it.

Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen with kids

The park is visually stunning, especially at night. There are roller coasters, various stages with musical and theatrical performances, restaurants, gardens, and more. We found plenty to entertain us for a couple of hours, but if we had more time, we could have spent at least half a day at the park!

Your Copenhagen Card includes admission to the park, but rides and games are extra. We felt the rides purchased individually were rather expensive (around $5-$10 US per ride), but if you’re planning on riding multiple rides, the day pass makes pricing more reasonable.

8. Nationalmuseet (National Museum of Denmark)

If you say the word museum, my kids are skeptical at best.  However, admission to the National Museum of Denmark is free with the Copenhagen Card, so I was willing to take a chance and see how long they would let me explore.

Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry, as there were plenty of fascinating artifacts to excite my kids! Their favorites were the creepy bog people, the horned helmets of Viksø, the sun chariot, and the rune stones.

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While we were there, an announcement was made that the children’s museum would be closing within the hour, so we headed directly to that section. The kids loved trying on costumes, mounting wooden horses, climbing through a castle, and pretending to be archers.

We could have stayed for hours at this museum, but unfortunately, we arrived too close to closing time. This is a wonderful overview of Danish history, just remember that the museum is closed on Mondays.

9. Tour the Hans Christian Andersen Experience

My kids were completely against visiting the Hans Christian Anderson Experience, just off Strøget at Rådhuspladsen 57. This small museum is part of Ripley’s Museum next door, which they were much more interested in!

But once inside the house, they were enchanted. The whole place is all things Hans Christian Andersen, but not in a boring way and it was worth the half hour we spent on the self-guided tour.

Hans Christian Andersen statue

Visitors walk through the hallways as various exhibits tell Andersen’s stories in the language of their choice. However, if someone in front of you has pushed the button and walked on, you’ll need to wait for the story to finish before you can start over. They also have a copy of each story hanging from a chain next to each “live” exhibit.

My kids read (or listened to) every story in the place. I think there were 10 in all. At the end of the exhibit are some of H.C. Andersen’s belongings.

Since we couldn’t visit his childhood home and museum in Odense, this sufficed. We thought it was a great introduction to the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. 

10. Sample the Danishes

This is a must while in Copenhagen, as there seems to be a bakery on every corner. You can’t go wrong just choosing one, going in, and pointing out a Danish that calls your name!

We sampled several bakeries: Meyers Bageri and Conditori La Glace. They were all delicious and we tried every Danish you can imagine. Chocolate, cinnamon, with or without frosting, we really weren’t picky.

Find one near you and be sure to stop in for a delicious treat.

11. Enjoy All of Copenhagen’s Beautiful City Parks

If you want to have a great time in Copenhagen with kids outdoors, just head to a local park. There are so many to choose from, but here are a few favorites:

  •  Østre Anlæg: This historic park is a gem, full of public playgrounds, beautiful gardens, and bike paths, perfect for everyone in the family.
  • Ørstedsparken: A smaller park near the Round Tower, this one offers something in every season, including a wonderful playground, a sledding hill in winter, and a lineup of summer concerts.
  • Fælledparken: The largest park in the city centre, Fælledparken is fantastic for all ages. You can jog around the lake, take the kids to different playgrounds, or rent bikes during the week and ride on bike paths. Older kids can enjoy the skate park and athletic fields.

12. Take a Day Trip from Copenhagen to Roskilde

Probably one of the highlights of our visit was taking a trip to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. Using the Copenhagen Card it’s approximately 40 minutes by train from Copenhagen to Roskilde. From there it is a 15-minute walk to the museum from the station.

The museum has five different Viking ships from the 11th century on display. In the boat yard, there are builders creating boats, metal workers forging, and other craftsmen making a variety of boat-related items. It’s truly an interactive experience. If you’re so inclined, you can even take a Viking ship replica out into the water.

Roskilde Viking Museum Denmark

There are also very informative displays at each exhibit. We learned a ton about the Viking ships and the early explorers in the area.

If you wish to take a Viking ship on the water, arrive early. This is a popular tour and spots fill up quickly. Tickets for rides are available each day from May 1 through September 30, and you can purchase them online in advance or at the museum.

Copenhagen is one of the most charming places we have ever visited. Climbing the tower, seeing Nyhavn, and savoring danishes will be experiences we’ll carry with us for a long time.

With all of its charm, we hardly feel we scratched the surface in exploring this beautiful city. A return trip is definitely in our future. If you have never been, what are you waiting for?

Looking for other places to visit in Scandinavia with kids? Don’t miss my posts with the best things to do in Oslo with kids, Helsinki with kids, and Stockholm with kids.

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