Slow travel itinerary: 1 week in Copenhagen

You may be able to see most of Copenhagen’s sights in one day, but what’s the rush? Forget about a quick getaway and enjoy a real vacation in Copenhagen with 1 week in Copenhagen. This itinerary will give you a chance to experience the real Copenhagen and the hidden gems as well as it will show you where to mix and mingle with the Danes. Read on and figure out how to slow travel your way through Copenhagen in the summertime.

Only in town for a few days? Check out the itinerary for 48 hours in Copenhagen.

Day 1: Arrive and explore your neighborhood

AM: Arrive and check in to your Airbnb

Welcome to your 1 week in Copenhagen. Whether you arrive at the airport or Central Station, take it easy! Grab a hotdog and take the metro, bus or S-train to your chosen destination. It’s not that there are not tons of great hotels to choose from but if you want to blend in and become part of Copenhagen, we highly recommend checking into an Airbnb. Preferably in Nørrebro, Vesterbro, Østerbro, Frederiksberg or Amager where you get the neighborhood feel without being too far from the city center.

Should you choose an Airbnb for your Copenhagen slow travel? Check our guide to staying in an Airbnb in Copenhagen.

Airbnb in Copenhagen
Ditch the hotel and stay in an Airbnb when in Copenhagen

Afternoon: A walk in the park

Let’s assume it’s sunny and nice out. Get takeout from the local kebab place or grab a salad in the supermarket and head to a nearby park. If you’re staying in Nørrebro, you might want to check out Assistens Cemetery, or go to Fælledparken or Østre Anlæg in case you’re staying in Østerbro. In Frederiksberg the obvious choice would be Frederiksberg Gardens, while Amager is all about the beach. Lie down, smell the grass and enjoy your lunch.

On your way back, stop by the grocery store and buy whatever you need for your breakfast tomorrow morning.

Copenhagen is home to plenty of green oases. Not least Frederiksberg Gardens. Photo: Maria Sattrup.

Evening: Eat local

No matter what neighborhood you’re staying in, you will find lots of great dining options. Check out or if you’re looking to save a little money.

Day 2: Go sightseeing

9 am: Get up and get ready

Admitted! This day has nothing to do with slow travel but you might as well get it over with. Shower, have breakfast and wear something comfy. This is your super touristy day and you’re going sightseeing!

10.30 am: Rent a bike…

If you want to feel like a local, you need to get around like a local. There are several ways to rent a bike. If you want the authentic bicycle, many local bike shops offer rental bikes that will blend in perfectly. If you don’t mind looking like a tourist as you ride around town, get the Donkey Republic or the Bycyklen app and locate a bike nearby.

Only here for a day? Check out the 24 hours in Copenhagen itinerary!

bike copenhagen
Rule number 1: Rent a bike! Photo:

… and get touristy

Roll down the street and get comfortable on your bike, then head to Central Copenhagen. Don’t be late for the guard shift at Amalienborg, which takes place at 12 pm. Beware that you won’t be the only one there so get there a bit early if you can. It’s a monarchical show off and if you want to add a bit of excitement, try to see how close you can get to the guards before they start yelling at you.

After checking out the guards doing their thing, go to Marble Church across from Amalienborg and from there ride your bike down Bredgade, pass the Gefion Fountain and go the The Little Mermaid at Langelinje. Catch a glimpse of the little copper statue – if she’s not completely blocked by other tourists – and head to Nyhavn.

1 pm: Lunch time

If you want to try the traditional smørrebrød (open rye sandwich), stay in Nyhavn. Otherwise you can cross the bridge from Nyhavn to Christianshavn and have lunch at Broens Street Food.

Street food at Broens Gadekøkken at Inderhavnsbroen, right across from Nyhavn. Photo:

2 pm: Pit stop at Christiania

Ride your bike through Christianshavn in the direction of Freetown Christiania, park your bike and take a stroll through the colorful neighborhood. Take a quick walk through Pusher Street and explore the side streets. You might want to grab a cup of coffee somewhere and maybe play backgammon at Nemoland. Stay as long as you feel like before heading to the next tourist hot spot.

4 pm: To the tower

Jump on the bike again and cross Knippelsbro, pass Christiansborg and get off your bike at Højbro Plads. Walk through Købmagergade (walking street) to Rundetårn, Round Tower, and enjoy a bit of exercise when you walk up the tower. Enjoy the view and walk down again.

5 pm: Zen time at Kongens Have

Kongens Have (King’s Garden) offers a view of Rosenborg Castle, but most importantly it’s a great place to relax and meet the locals, who just got off from work. Bring beer, soda or whatever you like and enjoy the late afternoon sun.

6 am: Food and drinks at Kayak Bar

No need to dress up. Move on to Kayak Bar and grab a seat. You may have to wait a bit, but it’s worth it. Enjoy a casual dinner and drinks, maybe at a shared table, and stay for as long as you like… who knows. You might make new friends.

10 fun facts about the Danes


If you have had too much to drink, leave the bike and get it tomorrow. Otherwise bring it on the metro.

Kayak Bar
Kayak Bar – one of Copenhagen’s coolest hangouts. Photo:

Day 3: Relax and recharge

AM: Wake up slowly

Today is about winding down and recharging. Bring your breakfast to the balcony or have brunch in bed. No rush.

Noon ish: Relax by the water

Who would have known! Copenhagen is actually a brilliant destination for beach bums. Go to Amager Beach for real beach life or to Svanemøllen Beach if you’re staying in outer Østerbro. Or do as many Copenhageners prefer – spend your day at the canals.

Copenhagen offers plenty of great harbor hangouts for sunbathing and swimming with Islands Brygge as the most popular spot, booming with primarily young people. Other options are Fisketorvet, Sandkaj in Nordhavn, Sluseholmen or in Christianshavn by Broens Street Food.

Life by the water in Copenhagen.
Beachy vibes in the middle of the city. Photo:

Evening: BBQ or picnic

Stay out if the weather allows and enjoy a simple barbeque if you’re up for it. Otherwise get pizza, sushi or kebab and enjoy the last sunrays of the day.

Day 4: Hello sailor!

11 ish: Go sailing

Pack a bag with extra clothes, a towel and a few snacks and ride your bike to your chosen boat rental. If you are looking for electric boats that are easy to navigate there are two good options: Friendships in Christianshavn and GoBoat in Islands Brygge. Note that you have to book these boats in advance. Another option is Copenhagen Boat Rent by Fisketorvet, which offers motorboats. It is not possible to book a boat at Copenhagen Boat Rent – you simply just have to show up and wait. On a sunny day it can take a while. While you wait you might as well enjoy an hour at the pool or wait by the pier. That’s what slow travel is all about – enjoying the moment between the moments.

The advantage of GoBoat and Friendships is that the boat trip is more comfortable and you can sit around a table. The downside is that you have to book in advance and you need to return the boat on time. The motorboats from Copenhagen Boat Rent are able to go faster, however they are not as comfy and won’t seat as many people. The greatest advantage is that you don’t have to book in advance and you can keep the boat for as long as you want.

Boat rent in Copenhagen
Explore the canals in your own pace like a true slow traveler.

Afternoon: Enjoy Copenhagen from the water

It’s not entirely up to you, where you want to go with your boat. There are certain rules. But it would make sense going through Holmens Canal, around Christiansborg, continue by Nyhavn and cross the water and sail to the backside of Christiania. Stay here for a bit, have a chat with other sailors passing by and jump in the water if you feel like it. Once you’ve had your break, continue through Christianshavn and back to your boat rent.

Want to experience the water in a different way? Rent a kayak at Kayak Republic.

Evening: Cool down after a hot day on the water

A day on the water is fun but it can also be exhausting. So do whatever makes you happy but don’t stress about it. You have 1 week in Copenhagen, which gives you plenty of time to explore it all. Check out Meatpacking District if you haven’t already done so. Or head back to your Airbnb for an early night.

Meatpacking District Copenhagen
Enjoy a night out in Meatpacking District.

Day 5: Relax at Refshaleøen

AM: Wake up

Wake up, eat your breakfast and take it slowly. Don’t forget – you have 1 week in Copenhagen and it’s meant to be enjoyed. Today is about hanging out and living life. Again!

12 pm: Refshaleøen

Refshaleøen is possibly the coolest part of Copenhagen! Known for super fancy restaurants such as Amass and Alchemist as well as Copenhagen’s biggest food market, Reffen, is more than just food. However, this is where locals as well as tourists go to eat and hang out on a sunny day. In this place your lunch could easily last for five hours!

You can easily spend all day at Reffen but there’s more to the old, industrial island. Looking for wellness? Head to Copenhot for some outdoor jacuzzi time. It’s even possible to go for a ride in a floating hot tub. Want to mingle with the locals over a beer or a glass of wine, go to La Banchina – once a hidden gem by a small harbor, now a popular hangout with a great mellow vibe. Looking for a posh beach club? Also a possibility if you go to Halvandet.

Evening: Stay or go…

You may want to stay in Refshaleøen. If not you might want to go back to your apartment, get dressed and eat out. Let’s suggest Guldkroen in Nørrebro for a traditional pork feast – or explore what’s on the menu in some of Vesterbro’s many great restaurants. Do you think social dining could be fun? Then check out Absalon in Vesterbro.

You might want to taste it all at Reffen.

Day 6: Take a walk on the wild side

Morning and afternoon: Wake up and tie your shoes…

With yesterday’s calorie intake you might want to consider burning some. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting the gym. Have a solid breakfast, tie your shoes and head to Amager for a day of walking the Amarmino. The Copenhagen version of The Camino.  

Take the metro to DR Byen and start the hike. The full hike takes 5-6 hours. If that’s too much it’s possible to cut it short. The hike is a great contrast to the city and will take you by nature reserves, meadows, coastline and the small town of Dragør. A great hike if you’re up for it.

Amarminoen is a 26 kilometer hike from DR Byen to Dragør. Photo: Martin Heiberg.

Do you prefer a city walk? Tour the three parks Ørstedsparken, Botanical Garden and Østre Anlæg and continue to Kastellet. Or stroll down Nørrebrogade, Istedgade or Gammel Kongevej if you want to do a bit of shopping and experience some of the cool streets of Copenhagen.

Evening: Go somewhere nice!

Copenhagen is packed with great restaurant, and you definitely deserve to go somewhere nice. After dinner you may feel like a drink or two. Check out Meatpacking District in Vesterbro for a great party on weekends, Ravnsborggade in Nørrebro or Central Copenhagen for a variety of cocktail bars and clubs.

Hygge in Nørrebro
Enjoy a night out in Ravnsborggade. Photo: Maria Sattrup

Day 7: Repeat and enjoy the show!

Morning and afternoon: Do whatever makes you happy

Maybe you feel like another day at the beach, or perhaps you want to explore more of Refshaleøen. Basically you should enjoy your last day just the way you want to.

Want to find a hidden gem and get lost? Visit BaneGaarden, a little organic oasis hidden behind the railway tracks between Vesterbro and Sydhavn. Depending on the schedule there might be a concert, a beer tasting or another event going on – and of course, plenty of good food and coffee.

Evening: Go to a concert!

If you haven’t already done so during your 1 week in Copenhagen, you may want to visit Byhaven by Pumpehuset today, depending on whether or not there’s a concert – an outdoor venue where you can enjoy free concerts while having drinks and snacks.

If nothing is happening at Byhaven, maybe there’s a concert at Christiania – or even at Tivoli if you want to do something a bit more traditional but also touristy. Whatever you choose, make it a night to remember.

Byhaven København
Visit Byhaven for a concert and a drink. Photo: Byhaven

Day 8: 1 week in Copenhagen has come to an end

Wake up, pack your bags and leave your Airbnb in proper condition. If you have time, enjoy a brunch at Mad & Kaffe, which you will find in Vesterbro, Amager, Nørrebro and Frederiksberg before heading to the airport or train station after this brilliant 1 week in Copenhagen.

Why you should ditch the hotel and stay in an Airbnb

Daily cleaning, a breakfast buffet, soaps and shampoos… Hotels are nice (usually!) but staying in an Airbnb could add an extra spice to your Copenhagen adventure. Not only do you get a sneak peek in to the everyday lives of the danes. You also get the chance to experience the essence of ‘hygge’ and you may even get an understanding of why the Danes are so ridiculously happy… despite the lack of elevators and luxurious bathrooms.

Here is what you can expect when booking an Airbnb.

Istedgade Copenhagen
Stay local in Vesterbro! Photo:

People actually live there

In many cities Airbnb is pure business. You can tell that no one lives there. No personal items, no family photos and very standardized interior. Airbnbs in Copenhagen are different. In most cases people actually live there. You shouldn’t expect to be left with too much closet space because the wardrobe is most likely packed with sweaters, jeans, dresses, etc. from the person who lives there, and you may be asked to water the plants if you are staying for a longer period of time. On the other hand you usually don’t have to worry about buying butter, ketchup, coffee and other essentials, which in many cases are part of the package.

The best part about checking into an Airbnb in Copenhagen is that you are entering a personal home that portrays the hygge and happiness that the Copenhageners are known for. Whether you are staying in a small apartment in Nørrebro, a modern seaside apartment in Islands Brygge or an old mansion in Østerbro you can very often expect to stay in a home that unites Danish design classics with a personal touch. Danes know good design, and they aren’t afraid to make it personal!

Airbnb in Copenhagen
Expect your stay to be homey, yet stylish.

Small bathrooms and walk ups

While the Danes are big spenders when it comes to design, the Copenhageners are not the big bathroom connoisseurs. It’s not that the regular Copenhagener doesn’t want a cool bathroom. We do! But many of us also enjoy living in old, charming buildings and let’s face it… they didn’t have bathrooms back in the 1870’s.

If you are staying in the old working class neighborhoods such as Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Amager you could end up with a small bathroom covering about 1 square meter, which fits a toilet, sink and a shower. Pretty impressive actually! Also you will rarely find an elevator in the older buildings. Frederiksberg and Østerbro are also home to many lovely, old buildings but back in the days these areas were primarily reserved for the better bourgeoisie, who could afford – and had enough space for – an actual bathroom. If a large, modern bathroom and an elevator is your main priority you should probably have a look at the newer areas such as Islands Brygge, Nordhavn, Amager Beach, Sluseholmen and Teglholmen.

Amazing design

Denmark is known for the endless list of great 20th century designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Poul Henningsen and many more. The designs are known for simplistic functionalism suited for everyday life whether you’re young or old, and the classics can be found in many homes across all social classes.

When checking into an Airbnb in Copenhagen you could very well run into iconic chairs such as The Ant, the Y Chair, The Egg, The Swan, Papa Bear Chair and the 7 Series as well as PH lamps, Flowerpot and several other Danish darlings.

Fritz Hansen
If you’re in luck you’ll run into classics like The Egg and PK22. Photo: Ditte Isager, Fritz Hansen.

5 reasons to pick an Airbnb in Copenhagen

  • Understand and feel the concept of ‘hygge’ in a homely atmosphere.
  • Cook your own food. Eating out in Copenhagen can be pricy.
  • Authentic and local! Get closer to the locals and experience their lifestyle.
  • Pick the neighborhood that matches your personality.
  • It’s a real home and your host may even lend you his or her bike.

Hip, central or quiet? Which Airbnb in Copenhagen is for you?

The question is not whether or not you should chose to stay in an Airbnb in Copenhagen. The question is where to stay. Copenhagen has plenty of personalities spread all over town and there’s an Airbnb to suit any mood.

If you want to stay in the hip neighborhood of Nørrebro, Airbnb is pretty much your only choice since there are basically no hotels in this part of town. And even Amager, Frederiksberg and Østerbro only have a few hotels to chose from.

Stay in Vesterbro if you’re looking for nightlife, great dining options and a neighborhood that’s both cool and central. Head to Østerbro is you’re looking for extra space, playgrounds for the kids and some peace and quiet. Pick Nørrebro if you want to hang out with the young, cool crowds or stay in Frederiksberg if you’re looking for the exact opposite of Nørrebro. Amager is great if you expect to spend a lot of time at the beach, in Refshaleøen or Christianshavn. And last but not least: Go for Indre By and Christianshavn if you want to stay central and have all the biggest sights within walking distance.

Bopa Plads
Pick a neighborhood for your personality.

Copenhagen classics and cool newcomers

Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen may very well be connected but they are in fact three quite different neighborhoods. What they do have in common is that all three are artificial islands in extension of each other.

While the famous King Christian IV, who had been inspired by the canals of Amsterdam, built Christianshavn in 1617, Holmen was built in 1680’s for navy purposes while Refshaleøen was built for industry in 1868. Though the islands are now quite old, Holmen and Refshaleøen still make up some of the “new” neighborhoods in Copenhagen.

Broens Gadekøkken
Street food at Broens Gadekøkken at Inderhavnsbroen in Christianshavn, right across from Nyhavn.

Where is Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen?

The small archipelago is divided from the Indre By by the port of Copenhagen and borders Amager to the east. You can get from Nyhavn to Christianshavn by bike or walk along Inderhavnsbroen or via Knippelsbro if you’re driving, walking og cykling. You can reach Holmen and Refshaleøen taking the yellow harbor bus if you want to avoid the long bike ride.

Map of Christianshavn
Tucked in between Indre By and Amager, Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen are some of Copenhagen’s coolest hotspots.

Christianshavn – nostalgia and free spirits

With the gorgeous old buildings and enchanting life by the canals, Christianshavn will mesmerize you immediately. Christianshavn is one of the areas in Copenhagen where you will find some of the oldest buildings from the 17thand 18thcenturies, among others Vor Frelser Kirke – the church with the very noticeable 95 meter spiral spire.

Most famous – or infamous – is perhaps the freetown of Christiania, a former military base in Christianshavn, which was occupied by autonomous hippies in 1971. People settled in the old buildings, created their own unique neighborhood and built colorful houses along the water. Throughout time Christiania has been subject to much turmoil due to drug trade, which takes place in the infamous Pusher Street. While Pusher Street can seem a bit rough other parts of Christiania can be quite idyllic. Take a stroll through the village, eat vegan, try the local beer and check out the cool houses and the quirky architecture.

You should stay in Christianshavn if…

  • you want to eat breakfast or lunch by the water.
  • Christiania seems like a place you wouldn’t mind hanging out.
  • you want to stay central but with a bit of edge.
  • exploring Refshaleøen, Holmen and Amager is also on your agenda.
SUP in Christianshavn
Enjoy life by the canals of Christianshavn. Photo: Kim Wyon.

Holmen – opera and a rural feel

This little cluster of islands is a zen oasis between lively Christianshavn and the rough, upcoming cool spot, Refshaleøen. Though not much is happening here, you will find world famous gourmet restaurant, Noma and Also Holmen is home to The Royal Opera House, which is based on a little island of its own.

Today Holmen is primarily a residential area with new apartment buildings offering a laidback luxurious lifestyle by the water as well as it is a creative area with cool startups. Though you are technically part of Indre By you get the feeling of being in an almost rural setting, surrounded by water.

Holmen is the place to stay if…

  • you want to stay in an Airbnb – there are no hotels in Holmen.
  • you enjoy the quiet life close to the city.
  • kayaking or daily swims are on your agenda.
  • you want to explore Copenhagen off the beaten track.
Copenhagen Opera House
Copenhagen Opera in Holmen, Copenhagen

Refshaleøen – the Wild West of Copenhagen

20 years ago this concrete peninsula was basically just leftovers from an industry that collapsed in the 90’s. There’s definitely a bit of ‘Wild West’ going on though Refshaleøen is geographically located on an artificial island east of the city. Technicalities aside this little gem is a ‘must experience’ when you are travelling to Copenhagen. Perhaps the most hip and creative area you will experience even though it feels like it’s far from the city.

If climbing, skiing or bungy jumping is your thing, Refshaleøen is for you. If you love flee markets and contemporary art, Refshaleøen is for you. Do you just want to eat, drink and relax? Then Refshaleøen is also for you. Home to some of Denmark’s best restaurants such as Alchemist and Amass as well as Noma close by, this is the place to go if you want to go all in on the dining experiences. However, Refshaleøen may be even more famous for Reffen – a giant street food market offering tasty street food from all over the world in a heavenly, trendy-trashy atmosphere.

Urban Rigger
Urban Rigger – unique student housing in containers on the water. Photo: Daniel Rasmussen.

When walking – or cycling – around Refshaleøen you quickly sense that this place is a product of creative thinkers. There are no hotels and only few people living on the island (for now!) You will find luxurious student apartments in containers on the water, old warehouses that are turned into restaurants, offices or galleries, houseboats in all shapes and sizes and cute little bars by the water, such as La Banchina.

Visit Refshaleøen if…

  • you are in Copenhagen for more than 2 hours.
  • streetfood and cold cocktails in the summer sun is your idea of a good time.
  • adventure activities such as skiing, climbing, etc. is for you.
  • you want to experience the hippest and most dynamic part of Copenhagen.
Wine, dine and indulge! Reffen Street Food in Copenhagen offers a laid back atmosphere and great food.

8 must do things around Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen

Only a few years ago Christianshavn was a poor, working class area with a lot of turmoil around Christiania, while Holmen and Refshaleøen were somewhat abandoned. Today these areas may very well make up the most innovative area of Copenhagen – a place to dream, create and enjoy life. Let’s have a look at 10 things to see, do or taste around Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen.

CopenHill – go skiing! 

When great minds are allowed to think big, CopenHill happens! A waste management center, which also functions as an artificial ski slope and hiking area. Enjoy a day on snowboard, go climbing or get a workout while you enjoy the view.

Go sailing – rent a boat

Join a guided tour around the canals or rent your own boat and explore the waterways of Indre By, Christianshavn and Holmen. A great way to get a new perspective – and not least to see the beauty of Christianshavn from the water!

Rent a boat or join a canal tour and experience Christianshavn from the water. Photo: Martin Heiberg.

Reffen – eat, drink and enjoy the sun

Reffen is Copenhagen’s biggest street food market with more than 50 food stalls located in a sustainable colorful container village. Pasta, beer, tacos, smørrebrød, ice cream, burgers, you name it! It’s all right here and it’s absolutely delicious.

La Banchina – cold drinks, cold dips and life as it should be

A small restaurant located at a little harbor in Refshaleøen. La Banchina is the perfect mix of great, organic food, natural wines and a maritime atmosphere combined with the Danish concept of “hygge”. Enjoy summer days on the pier, jump in the water and heat up in the sauna.

La Banchina
A popular hangout: La Banchina in Refshaleøen. Photo: Kim Wyon

Alchemist – eat like you’ve never eaten before

This is not just any restaurant! It’s more than what is on your plate! At Alchemist you will experience holistic dining where science, technology, art, performance and gastronomy come together in a unique set up. A meal never to be forgotten.

Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) – living art

Need some inspiration? Look no further! At Copenhagen Contemporary, also known as CC, you will find art in all its forms spread over 7.000 m2 in the former B&W welding hall. With a mix of installations, performance, video, paintings and much more you can look forward to entering a room of art with no boundaries.

Halvandet – it’s like a beach!

The harbor club with the beachy vibes, Halvandet, was one of the first places to open on Refshaleøen. Here you can indulge in champagne, cocktails, great food and snacks while enjoying the sun and the view of Copenhagen. Play volleyball, go for a swim or how about a game of petanque? The choice is all yours!

Christiania – let yourself loose

Though the police come to visit from time to time you have absolutely nothing to worry about as long as you don’t take photos while walking through Pusher Street. This place may not stick to the rules at all times but don’t let that get in the way for you to experience a unique, free spirited village in Copenhagen.

Freetown Christiania in Christianshavn, Copenhagen. Photo: Kim Wyon.
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