Explore Copenhagen’s Restaurants and Outdoors in Spring

This 6-day itinerary takes you through the Danish capital’s epicurean delights and the centuries-old historical sites of North and South Zealand.

A woman in a light pink dress photographing cherry blossoms along a trail at the Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark

Cherry blossom season at the Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen

Photo by Thomas Høyrup Christensen

American Airlines is launching a new direct route from Philadelphia to Copenhagen starting June 6, 2024, making Denmark more accessible from North America than ever. Consider booking a spring trip to take advantage. You’ll feel the excitement in the air as the long, dark winter at last retreats—those first rays of spring sunshine are a cause for celebration across Scandinavia and a perfect time to explore the Danish capital.

Local Copenhageners head outside as soon as the temps start to rise, catching up with friends over a picnic in a public park, sharing a bottle of wine on a restaurant’s patio, or attending al fresco beer tastings during Beer Week. The city has even gained notoriety around Europe for its outdoor festivities—Distortion, Copenhagen’s biggest street party, draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city during the week that ends with the first Saturday in June.

This itinerary is a treat for your tastebuds, too. It also gets you outdoors in creative ways, including a biking tour with a cycling chef and dinner at a beautiful rooftop garden. You will also tour centuries-old historical sites and venture beyond Copenhagen on two different day trips, taking you to the natural wonders of South Zealand and historic North Zealand. To unlock the perfect itinerary tailored to your specific travel style, take our fun and interactive quiz to reveal your travel personality.

A silver statue outside of Kronborg castle in North Zealand, Copenhagen

Trip Highlight

Visit the Castle of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Discover the royal North Zealand, where you can visit the fishing village of Elsinore, home to the castle that inspired Hamlet, Kronborg—a magnificent Renaissance palace and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the architectural gem, the M/S Maritime Museum.
Logos of VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark

Trip Designer

VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark

VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark welcome all travelers to the vibrant Danish capital of Copenhagen and the wonders beyond. With the new American Airlines route direct from Philadelphia to Copenhagen, traveling to explore The Land of Everyday Wonder has never been easier.
People walking and biking along cobble stone streets in front of Amalienborg, The Royal Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

Amalienborg, The Royal Palace

Courtesy of VisitDenmark/Martin Heiberg

Day 1:Discover the Royal Copenhagen

After your direct American Airlines flight lands at Copenhagen Airport, check into your hotel, Audo House. Located in Copenhagen’s fast-growing neighborhood, Nordhavn, Audo House is one of the oldest buildings in the area. Today the one-time merchant’s building bursts with new creative flair, encompassing a café and restaurant, concept shop, and event spaces, in addition to the 10 guest rooms, each featuring pieces from the furniture designer Audo Copenhagen. After freshening up, head to Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish Royal Family. The dramatic changing of the guard in the palace square (often accompanied by music) happens every day at noon and is a must-see.

One of the most famous spring events in town is the Royal Run, which takes place annually in May or June. The all-inclusive race caters to all levels and is considered the most informal setting to see the Royal Family. So royalists and running enthusiasts should plan their trip around this unique event—you’ll have bragging rights that you’ve run with the King of Denmark.

From the Palace, head across the water to the Royal Danish Opera House for a tour of the modern theater or the Old Stage’s backstage. After so much sightseeing, you’ll be hungry; next, head to Christiansborg Palace, which houses the Danish government, for a traditional lunch of open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) at the parliament’s Meyers i Tårnet restaurant. When you’re full, continue to the top of the tower to enjoy the city views.
Join Morten preparing dishes outdoors with foraged food during one of his bicycle tours in Copenhagen, Denmark

Join Morten aka @cykelkokken on one of his bicycle tours, discovering secret locations and ingredients while cooking on the move.

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 2:Dining Under Open Sky

After fueling up on breakfast at the hotel’s Audo Restaurant, which prioritizes seasonal, local, and organic ingredients, head out for a gastronomic bicycle tour with the Bicycle Chef. The roughly three-mile culinary adventure features delicious food prepared by the chef from his custom kitchen bike and is a great way to see beautiful Copenhagen like the locals do—on two wheels!

Spend the afternoon strolling through Assistens Cemetery, the 250-year-old resting place of the who’s who of Danish history (keep your eye out for Hans Christian Anderson’s gravesite). If you’re traveling in early spring, visit Bispebjerg Cemetery to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Nearby, check out the famed gothic cathedral that is Grundtvig’s Church, a rare example of expressionist church architecture.

Grab dinner at Gro Eatery, the restaurant at ØsterGRO’s rooftop farm. Finishing the day with an organic, farm-to-fork meal in a peaceful greenhouse restaurant nestled in lush, green surroundings can’t be beat.
Forest Tower, a tall open structure made of lattice diamond shapes in the forest at Camp Adventure in Zealand, Denmark

The 148-foot tower in the heart of the forest at Camp Adventure

Photo by Effekt Architects, Sydkystdanmark

Day 3:Get Out Into Nature Beyond Copenhagen

A day trip to the white chalk cliffs of Møns Klint in South Zealand is a must during any spring trip to Copenhagen. On the way there, stop off at the hourglass-shaped Forest Tower at Camp Adventure. Feel enveloped by the forest as you trek the 12 circles of the spiral stairs to enjoy the panoramic views—on a clear day, you can see Sweden.

On the way back to Copenhagen, visit the coastal town of Ishøj to check out the world-famous ARKEN Museum of Contemporary Art. Don’t leave town without heading back out into the great outdoors to look for Oscar, one of six climbable, social media-friendly Forgotten Giant statues “hidden” in the suburbs of Copenhagen. Stumped? There’s a treasure map to help you find it. You might even be enticed to look for all six Giants spread out among Copenhagen’s suburbs.

For dinner back in Copenhagen, head to Kanalhuset, a locals-packed hotspot. The singular “meal of the evening” using the freshest ingredients is served daily at 7 p.m., and a vegetarian alternative is always available.
A birds eye view of  The Kings’ Hunting Lodge overlooking Øresund in Denmark

On top of a hill in Deer Park you’ll find The Kings’ Hunting Lodge overlooking Øresund.

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 4:Uncover Royal Gems

Attention, adrenaline junkies: Board the train for the quick 30-minute trip to the oldest amusement park in the world. The family-friendly, nostalgia-steeped Bakken boasts roller coasters, rides, and games in a woodland setting. After you’ve had your fill of thrills, look for deer as you wander through the aptly named Deer Park to the nearby Hermitage Palace. Open for tours in June, July, and August, the castle has a long history of royal hunts and is one of Denmark’s finest works of late baroque design. Stop for lunch with a view in the small village of Raadvad at the top-rated Raadvad Kro, situated at the edge of the forest.

Back in town, enjoy an open-faced sandwich picnic lunch at The King’s Garden before strolling the beautiful grounds that include a Hans Christian Andersen statue and exquisite rose gardens. The now-popular public space was laid out in the early 1600s, making it the oldest royal garden in Denmark. Today, the tree-lined paths and sweeping lawns come to life in the spring, when locals celebrate the end of another Scandinavian winter by soaking in the sun.

Save time for touring the adjacent Rosenborg Castle, a 17th-century pleasure palace that houses the Danish royal crowns and the crown jewels that are today at the exclusive disposal of the incumbent queen.
A walkway at the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark in Helsingør at night time

The M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 5:Embark on a North Zealand Adventure

Travel by train (50 minutes) to North Zealand for a packed sightseeing day in the picturesque harbor city of Elsinore. Here you’ll find the Renaissance Kronborg Castle, nicknamed “Hamlet’s Castle” after William Shakespeare wrote his famous Hamlet tragedy with it in mind. Next, hit the interactive M/S Maritime Museum and the town of Hornbæk, which faces the Øresund strait and separates Denmark from Sweden. Here, you can visit the white sandy beach that characterizes the Danish coastline.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at the Værftets Madmarked, a street food market. Located at the shipyard adjacent to the maritime museum, more than 100 food stalls serve a diverse menu of savory international treats in a relaxed setting. Check the calendar—the market often hosts events such as dance parties and live music.

Before you head back to Copenhagen on the eastern shore of the island, spend the night at Hornbækhus. Expect to share a meal with other guests at long community tables, and don’t be shy about jumping into other group activities.
The grassy hill on a built structure at CopenHill, an artificial ski slope and recreational hiking area in Copenhagen, Denmark

Take in the view From CopenHill, the artificial ski slope and recreational hiking area.

Photo by Astrid Maria Rasmussen

Day 6:Urban Explorations

For spectacular city views, visit CopenHill, an old power plant repurposed as an all-year ski slope and viewing point. Rooftop access (think hiking, mountain running, or simply taking in the scenery) is free. Or head to the world’s highest climbing wall that ascends the other side.

Now that you’ve stretched your legs, it’s a 30-minute walk from CopenHill to Refshaleøen, where you’ll find Øens Have, a green oasis full of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and more. Join the volunteer day on Tuesdays to help maintain the largest urban farm in Scandinavia. It’s a great way to interact with locals and fellow nature-lovers, and a free communal lunch is included.

You’ll also want to browse through the Reffen street food market, which offers more than 50 start-up food stalls and year-round hygge—a relaxing fireside tradition that’s the perfect way to cap your fabulous Copenhagen trip. Don’t get too cozy, though. After Reffen, it’s time to head to the airport and fly home.
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