6 Long Summer Days in Copenhagen

Kayak the Danish capital’s canals and take spectacular day trips to Dragør and North Zealand with this summer itinerary.

A few people kayaking in the canals of Copenhagen, Denmark

Kayaking Copenhagen’s canals

Photo by Kim Wyon

A trip to Copenhagen during the summer months means an embarrassment of riches when it comes to enlivening activities and ways to experience the great outdoors. Scandinavians really make the most of their summers, bathing in the waters surrounding the Zealand island on which Copenhagen sits and throwing huge outdoor festivals. Copenhell, the heavy metal fest on the island Refshaleøen and the all-Danish Grøn Koncert series are two big ones nationwide. Within the city limits, Tivoli Gardens hosts a concert every Friday all summer long, and locals light huge community bonfires to celebrate Saint Hans at the end of June.

So, before your trip, check the events calendar. If any of the dazzling one-offs are happening while you’re in Copenhagen (the city’s Pride Week is spectacular, as is its Nordic cuisine-celebrating Copenhagen Cooking festival), make sure to check them out. Plan your trip with ease: American Airlines launches a direct route from Philadelphia to Copenhagen, June 6, 2024, making summertime fun in Denmark much more accessible from North America.

This itinerary lets you make the most out of the longer Danish summer evenings and warm weather with explorations in and outside the capital. You’ll explore picturesque fishing villages, sail the city’s canals, and discover the up-and-coming Danish wine scene. Be sure to toast your summertime adventure in beautiful Copenhagen—the memories from your trip will last a lifetime.

For those savvy travelers who want to ensure every activity they embark on suits their tastes, take our fun and interactive quiz that will create the perfect itinerary tailored to you.

Fishing boats docked in the water in Copenhagen, Denmark

Trip Highlight

A Charming Fishing Village Excursion

Spend a day exploring the idyllic, off-the-beaten-track fishing village of Dragør.
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.
Two people swimming in a pool outside of a brick building at Villa Copenhagen, Denmark

Make a splash at Villa Copenhagen

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 1:Soak Up the Wonders of Copenhagen from the Sea

Upon arrival in Copenhagen, head straight to Villa Copenhagen, where a stunning rooftop pool, fantastic courtyard bar, and luxurious room await. You’ll want to get out on the water to bask in the bright Scandinavian sun as soon as you arrive.

Take a Hey Captain small group sailing tour of the canals with a local guide—a great option for meeting other travelers and locals alike—or rent a GoBoat and be your own captain. Buy snacks and drinks onboard to add a little hygge, the traditional Danish concept of getting comfy and cozy. Summer days are long in Copenhagen, so stay by the waterside and enjoy a late dinner at the relaxed restaurant and wine bar Nærvær (the cuisine has a Mediterranean flair). After the sun sets, return to your hotel and chill out on its signature rooftop.
An aerial view of colorful, crowded, communal dining tables at Absolon in Copenhagen, Denmark

Rub elbows with the locals at the communal dining spot, Absolon.

Courtesy of VisitDenmark

Day 2:Explore Vesterbro and its Beer Culture

Do like the Danes and go for a morning swim at one of the many harbor baths—Copenhagen is nestled on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand, so you’re never far from the beach. Then grab a Danish pastry or other morning treat at one of the Carlsberg City District bakeries (try Hart or Sankt Peders Bageri) before heading to the neighborhood of Vesterbro to shop the boutiques or sunbathe along Sønder Boulevard to shake off any jet lag with some fresh air. Italian is the hottest food trend in Copenhagen at the moment, so stop by Surt for a sourdough pizza lunch.

Walk off your meal on a tour of the Home of Carlsberg museum dedicated to the history of the famous beer brand with highlights including a trip down memory lane of vintage Carlsberg ads. Or go for a beer tour with BeerWalks to explore the world of craft beer instead.

End the night with a multicourse communal dinner at Absalon, a colorful restaurant in a former church back in Vesterbro. This casual, meet-your-neighbors way of eating is popular in Copenhagen and shouldn’t be missed.
Boats in the water at the fishing village in Dragør, Copenhagen, Denmark

Explore Dragør by bike or foot.

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 3:A Charming Fishing Village Excursion

Take a bus 7.5 miles—or if you prefer being active, bike or hike the Amarminoen trail—to explore the charming, off-the-beaten-path town of Dragør. The picturesque harbor village boasts a historical Old Town with cobblestone streets and centuries-old houses, a Dutch village, quaint shops, and a nature park with protected beach meadows. The yellow houses with red roofs are quintessentially Danish and make a perfect snapshot.

After your excursion to this idyllic fishing village, go back to Copenhagen and delve further into Danish seafood with a dinner at the hip Fiskebaren in the Meatpacking District. Expect heaps of oysters, sourdough bread with seaweed butter, small plates, and—of course—the freshest fish around.
Two people in a green kayak collecting trash out of the water in Copenhagen, Denmark

An eco-friendly adventure with GreenKayak

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 4:Active and Sustainable Summer Exploration

Explore the harbor for free on a GreenKayak, by a nonprofit that encourages locals and tourists to help clean up the harbor and keep the water pristine enough for swimmers. Afterward, dry off and head out on a four-hour private culinary biking tour with Foods of Copenhagen that’s customized to your taste. Copenhagen is fairly flat—and you’ll feel like a local on your bicycle.

Before dinner, explore the up-and-coming Nordvest district, a lively and diverse neighborhood that epitomizes Copenhagen’s urban development. As you explore, stop by the low-key and industrial Autopoul for a coffee or aperitif of wine, beer, or cider. Be sure to check out Rentemestervej Street, an upcoming area for design and craft studios, that’s bursting with dynamic street art.

Enjoy dinner and drinks outside at Friheden, an urban hotspot next to a skate park with DJs on the weekends, that serves your choice of a la carte small plates or a three-course pre-fixe menu. Have a leisurely al fresco dinner, soaking in the warm summer air. Make time to explore Superkilen, a nearby public park featuring fountains, sculptures, and other elements from around the world that reflect the global currents of the surrounding neighborhood.
A crowded beach in summertime at Bellevue Beach in Copenhagen, Denmark

A perfect summer day at Bellevue Beach

Photo by @thetfoodie

Day 5:Beach Day in North Zealand

It’s summertime in Scandinavia, so some sunbathing is in order. Head north to visit the sandy beaches of North Zealand—the popular Bellevue beach is an explosion of Arne Jacobsen architecture to experience when you’re done with the sun. The celebrated Danish architect’s style evokes American retro diners and can be seen all around town, from the famous theater and geometric kiosks to private homes and the beach’s lifeguard towers.

Continue north to Rungsted Harbor to see the Karen Blixen Museum and her beautiful garden. Once the retreat of this acclaimed author, the home now houses a bird sanctuary in addition to the museum. There’s also a café where you can grab a bite to eat before heading back to bustling Copenhagen. Named after the writer’s cherished housekeeper, Caroline Carlsen, the all-day eatery serves homemade food, coffee, tea, and wine.
A diner sprinkling salt the on a dish at Gaarden and Gaden in Copenhagen, Denmark

Savor the wine and food at Gaarden & Gaden.

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 6:Explore the Danish Wine Scene

Denmark—Europe’s northernmost wine-producing country—is enjoying its burgeoning wine scene, and Copenhagen has a variety of venues that offer Danish-produced bottles. First, hop around the city on a “tasting tour” and try wines from Danish vineyards. But don’t skip the stylish Ved Stranden 10 or its vibrant sister bar, Lille Blå—both natural wine bars serve only Austrian wines, and neither has a list; simply chat with the staff about your preferences. Finish up at Gaarden & Gaden for a six-course, chef’s choice dinner with natural wine pairings.

Serious oenophiles should leave Copenhagen and head out to wine country for a winery tour. North Zealand’s award-winning Ørby Vinyard is one stand-out (among many). After the tour, dine at the winery’s fantastic café/restaurant, and purchase your favorite bottles of delicious, organic wine—the perfect souvenir to remind you of your fabulous Danish adventures.
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